Simple Dish Towel

For a few gifts this last Christmas, I made some quick dish towels. Everyone needs dishtowels and I love that they are personalized, but useful. I decided on a little design for each of one and found sketch images on Google images or sketched it myself (the mountains) on Google draw. I printed out the sketches and then traced the back side with a transfer pencil. (See an example on the camera post.)

Iron transfer the images onto some flour sack towels. You can get a whole bunch on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Then start stitching! I just grabbed colors that I had around and did fairly loose backstitches. They were quick and made fun personalized presents.


Make sure to iron out the hoop crease before giving it away!


Careful not to get the transfer line too thick if you are going to stitch over with a light color like the white here.


Market Bags

I attempted to claim 2014 as the year of handmade. I made as many gifts as I could for birthdays and special occasions, but once I found a project that worked, I stuck with it. This meant that a lot of friends and family received a lovely market bag for their birthday.  The easy project is very useful as more and more cities and counties have outlawed plastic shopping bags.  I adapted my market bags from this tutorial and adjusted the measurements based on the amount of fabric I had.

Most of the time I could get 2 market bags out of 2 yards of fabric (1 yard of lining fabric and 1 yard of outer fabric.)  Because of the layout of the cuts and the length of the straps, using only a 1/2 yard cut does not work well.  I also made sure to reinforce the bottoms to make them a little more sturdy.

I had fun personalizing them with different fabrics and colors for everyone!


Double- sided strap with top stitch.



Attaching the bottom to the linking sides that have already been sewn together.



Lining bottom complete.



Complete bag!





Embroidered Cameras

Continuing the year of handmade gifts, I decided to make these embroidered hangings for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. They both enjoy photographer and I thought it would be something fun for them! I found the sketches here as a starting point.

I saved the images and then resized them so that each could fit in a 6″ hoop. I chose just a simple neutral fabric and black thread for them. To transfer, I printed out the pictures and then traced the back side of the paper with a transfer pencil and then ironed the back side of the paper on to the fabric.



Embroidering the three designs did not take that long and made a fun handmade gift!





Burp Clothes


My best friend is having twin girls so I decided to make some burp clothes for the shower.  I have been told that the clothe diapers are the best for burp clothes because of their absorbency. Just buy a package of cloth diapers (I got Gerber ones from Target) and 1 yd of flannel fabric.  You can make about two clothes from 1/2 yd of fabric.  Make sure to pre-wash the flannel fabric first!  Pin the diaper to the fabric (right side facing the diaper) and then cut along the edge.

I then sewed along the edge with a 1/4″ seam leaving a hole to be able to turn it right sound out. After right side out, top stitch all around the edge with the 1/4″ seam and then follow the guides on the cloth diaper and sew along the two lines down the center. You have a easy personalized gift for a shower!

Owl Buddies

Owl Pack

Just before starting my year of handmade gifts, I made some gifts for Christmas.  These owls are a great gift for adults or kids.  They only take about 30sec in the microwave and you have a wonderful heat pack to relax away a knot or for a kid to cuddle with.  I found directions for the owls here.  It was fun finding different colors to mix and match for the owls.   I made sure to use only cotton fabric and cotton thread so it wouldn’t have any issues in the microwave.  Also, I decided to make an inner bag to hold the rice by using the same pattern and then slipping it into the outer fabric so no rice would escape.Owls