Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Handmade holiday presents 2014: shopping totes and more

Alisa's shopping tote

Here are the rest of my handmade holiday gifts for 2014.

I started out with the aprons featured in my Dec. 2 post "Handmade holiday presents 2014: Hot Cider apron panel" . For one of my favorite gifts, I used that same apron panel to make a shopping tote for Alisa using the Metro Shopping Bag pattern from Bags: the Modern Classics by Sue Kim (Stash Books, 2011) p. 81. I used a coordinating fabric from Wilmington Fabrics "Hot Cider" line, and for a touch that I really love, I added piping to the seams of the front and back panels. If you add piping to your project, don't forget to strip the cording out of the last one inch of both ends of the piping to make the top seams easier to stitch. The tote handles are made of webbed belting available at JoAnne Fabrics.

Tote in cotton twill by Project by Cotton, made in Japan

I also made this tote in a cotton twill with a multi-colored, stylized cat design by Project by Cotton, made in Japan. This tote also has webbed belting for the handles. I used iron-on batting for the front and back panel interlining and DecorBond for the side and bottom panel. Those cats are the cutest!

Harper Rose's Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas pillows

Harper Rose's Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas pillows

I made two pillows for Brandi's one-month-old niece, Harper Rose, from Andover's "Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas" panel, copyright by Eric Carle. The ruffle is made from "Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Scribble Red" yardage and the pillow backing is "Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas" allover print (below). I hand-quilted the design on both pillows, inserted a zipper in the bottom seam of each pillow, and used 20-inch pillow forms from JoAnne Fabrics for the filler.

Andover's Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas detail

12 Days of Christmas panel crib quilt

And for Kaden's first Christmas I made a hand-quilted crib quilt from the "12 Days of Christmas" panel by Gingerbread Angel Fabric for Benartex.

"12 Days of Christmas" panel detail 

That was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Handmade holiday presents 2014: Photo book of Zoar Ohio

Baumeler/Bimeler cabin built 1817, oldest building in Zoar, Ohio. Photo copyright Linda Theil

This handmade holiday present is a gift to you. If you like, you may download a free iBook version of my architectural photo study titled Zoar Ohio from my Blurb bookstore at http://www.blurb.com/b/5792171-zoar-ohio 

I love making personal books using the Blurb software and website to create unique publications that I can print on demand. Since Blurb announced their iBook option a few years ago, every book I publish can be digitally shared using Apple's iBook application. All my books can be downloaded as iBooks at no cost and viewed on any computer or mobile device equipped with the free iBook app.

This year, a chance conversation reminded me of a series of architectural photographs that I took in Zoar, Ohio in the spring of 2007. I had printed the photos and put them in an album, but thought it would be great to use those photos to create a coffee-table book for my son and daughter-in-law as a Christmas gift this year. They are both interested in architecture so I thought the Zoar book would make a great handmade gift for them. I loaded my Zoar photos into Blurb's Booksmart software, added information about each photo, uploaded the book to Blurb and got a hardcover delivered within 10 days. You can also use Blurb's online service, Bookify, or their ebook/print book designer BookWright. I only just learned about BookWright, and I think I will try it for my next project because it is created especially for books that will be used in both print and ebook form.

For my Zoar Ohio book, I chose to publish an 80-page, 12-inch by 12-inch hardcover on upgraded paper at a cost of aproximately $75, but most books are not that expensive. Once you have ordered at least one copy of your book, your place in the Blurb catalog is secure and you can reorder any time. 

My new Zoar Ohio book can be previewed on the Blurb site, and the iBook may be download free from my Blurb bookstore at http://www.blurb.com/b/5792171-zoar-ohio. A free PDF version is also available. Or click on the video link at the bottom of this page for a preview of Zoar Ohio.

Gartenhaus, Zoar Ohio. Photo copyright Linda Theil

Zoar Ohio by Photographed May 5, 2007 by Linda Theil | Make Your Own Book

Blurb, http://www.blurb.com/
Zoar Ohio iBook, http://www.blurb.com/b/5792171-zoar-ohio
BookWright, http://www.blurb.com/bookwright
Historic Zoar Village, http://historiczoarvillage.com/
The Communistic Societies of the United States by Charles Nordhoff (New York, 1875) Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8116
Linda Theil's Blurb Bookstore,

For more examples of Blurb published books by Linda Theil, see the book badges in the sidebar and bottom of this web log or visit her Blurb bookstore at http://www.blurb.com/user/store/LindaTheil

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Handmade holiday presents 2014: Hot Cider apron panel

"Hot Cider" apron panel by Nancy Mink for Wilmington Fabrics

I bought the "Hot Cider" apron panel by Nancy Mink for Wilmington Fabrics at the American Quilter's Society expo in Grand Rapids this summer. I thought it was pretty so I bought a coordinating stripe and a "Hot Cider" panel in the same line. When I pulled all my Christmas panels and fabric out of my stash in preparation for making some handmade holiday gifts, I thought the apron would make a great Thanksgiving gift to send to my faraway friends Virginia and Janet and Cindy to use during their holiday preparations. I ordered more apron panels and some other coordinating fabrics from Hancocks of Paducah  and got busy when they arrived in mid-November. 

Instead of using the ties that came on the apron panel, I used a 28-inch length of cotton belting for the neck ties and cut 3-1/2 inch wide by 32 inch long strips from coordinating fabric for the waist ties. To line and make the apron reversable, I picked fabric from my stash for the reverse side of the apron, and used the apron cut from the panel as a pattern for the reverse. 

I made patch pockets for either/or the front or lining of the aprons. One apron had a pocket made from squares printed on the apron panel, another had a pocket on the reverse side that matched the lining fabric (directly below), another had a piece from a panel that matched the reverse/lining fabric (next picture down).

"Sounds of the Season" coordinate from Bonnie Sullivan for Maywood Studio

The reverse, or lining, for one apron was made of a pink and green holly print from Bonnie Sullivan's "Sounds of the Season" collection for Maywood Studio. 

"Winter Wonderland" coordinate by Bunny Hill Fabrics for Moda

The second apron featured a redwork design of snowmen in pickup trucks from the "Winter Wonderland" collection by Bunny Hill Fabrics for Moda on the reverse.
Decorative topstitching along apron edge

The third apron featured a candy-cane stripe from the "Nancy's Holiday Favorites" collection by Nancy Halvorsen for Benartexon the reverse side. (not pictured)

To make an apron panel reversible:
  • Make apron ties by cutting 3.5-inch by 32 inch pieces of coordinating fabric, press in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch along raw edges making a point at one end and leaving the other end open. Turn using a bodkin. Press and topstitch. Use 28 inches of cotton belting for the neck loop or make another tie 28 inches long, leaving both ends open. Wide, grosgrain ribbon is another option for ties, sometimes with two pieces of grosgrain topstitched together with wrong sides facing each other.
  • Baste or pin neck strap/or ties and waist ties in place on apron front with raw edges of ties matching raw edge of panel and ties (or loop) pointing toward the inside of the panel.
  • With right sides together and ties sandwiched between apron panel and lining, hand-baste the lining to the front of the apron, all around the edges of the apron.
  • Machine stitch over basting with 3/8-inch seam allowance, leaving a six-inch gap in the stitching along the bottom edge of the apron.
  • Turn right-side-out through the gap in the stitching.
  • Press.
  • Topstitch the edge with a decorative stitch, using a topstitching needle and a quilting foot that feeds the top as well as the bottom fabric.
Hot Cider Recipes
I transcribed the hot cider recipes featured on the "Hot Cider" panels and included a copy with each apron gift, suggesting spirits may be added to the ciders as desired.

Cranberry Spiced Apple Cider
2 quarts apple cider
6 cups cranberry juice
¼ cup brown sugar
Nine cinnamon sticks
One teashpoon cloves
One lemon sliced thin
Combine cider, juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon slices. Bring ot a boil . Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove clove, cinnamon and lemon and serve hot.

Caramel Hot Cider
2 quarts apple cider
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup whipped cream
Combine cider, sugar, and caramel in pan and heat. Serve with whipped cream.

2 quarts apple cider
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
12 whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg
Combine and simmer six hours. Serve hot.

Spiced Orange Cider
2 quarts apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
5 whole cloves 
8 slices orange
Combine all ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes. Strain. Garnish with orange slices. Serve warm.

Hot Gingerbread Apple Cider
6 cups apple cider
2 heaping tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon thinly sliced ginger
7 cinnamon sticks
9 cloves
Combine, simmer. Serve warm.

Warm Vanilla Apple Cider
6 cups apple cider
2 heaping tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 whole nutmeg
Vanilla bean, split and scraped
Whipped cream
Combine, simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and serve hot. Garnish with whipped cream.

Note! Are you looking for a quick and easy holiday gifts? Check out the complete directions for a purse-sized, facial-tissue cover and a set of folded patchwork coasters in the Appleton Dance archives.

Nancy Mink, http://nancyminkart.com/
Wilmington Fabrics, http://wilmingtonprints. com
AQS, http://www.americanquilter.com/
Hot Cider apron panel, http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/SHOP-BY-BRAND/Hot-Cider-by-Nancy-Mink/Wilmington-Hot-Cider-by-Nancy-Mink-Apron-Panel-24-x-44
Hot Cider panel, http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/SHOP-BY-BRAND/Hot-Cider-by-Nancy-Mink/Wilmington-Hot-Cider-by-Nancy-Mink-Large-Panel-24-x-44
Maywood Studio, http://www.maywoodstudio.com/
Moda, http://blog.modafabrics.com/
Benartex, http://www.benartex.com