Every year I make Christmas gifts for the family, usually on a theme. This year, I wanted to make a small difference in the amount of textile waste that accumulates in our nation. Rather than buying new fabric, I found some large men’s shirts at a thrift shop and used those as my source material. A few extra scraps were added in (like the red linen and Star Wars print), but the rest of the cotton and linen were repurposed.
Couples and families got tea towels made from the fronts and backs of the shirts. I played around with little Dresden plates to evoke snowflakes or poinsettias! The blue one went to my brother and comes from my late Grandfather. The linen shirt was first used in a quilt made for my son. I felt my brother would appreciate the sentiment and style. The other blue rosette went to my parents for a similar reason – and the contrasting “petal” was a scrap from my son’s outfit he wore home from the hospital!
I have a few unmarried brothers-in-law who I didn’t think would appreciate holiday towels. Instead, I turned a fine cotton shirt into bow ties for them! I almost couldn’t bear to cut into the shirt. The pattern matching and detail were exquisite! But I am glad I did – the bow ties turned out so nicely! My brother got one of these as well, and as he is such a sharp dresser, I also made a hand-rolled matching handkerchief (or pocket square). The brother-in-law who received the Star Wars bow tie had instructions to open it before going to see Rogue One. If we lived closer, I know we would have enjoyed seeing it together.
Being apart at the holidays isn’t our favorite, but I hope it’s made a little sweeter with lovingly made and thought-through gifts!
Hoping you feel loved and cherished this holiday season!
This will be my husband’s and my second Christmas together. Last year, we chose paper as our theme, and this year, in keeping with the list of anniversaries, we chose cotton. With the baby around, I am particularly glad we settled on something so easy (for me!) Most of our decorations were sourced from my stash!
The only thing I bought was a pair of green sheets from Goodwill, which I shredded and turned into “yarn” for the greenery. The rest – doily “snowflakes”, crocheted and patchwork garland, fabric scraps for bunting, an embroidery hoop base for the wreath, even the birdie ornaments – all came from my sewing wardrobe, and most of that was kept from our wedding decor!
The tree itself was a collaborative effort. My husband conceived the cone shape and went on a quest for branches. The draping and dressing of the tree was mine, though he insisted on layers of nested greens and wonderful peeking lights. Our son is not yet mobile, but even if he were, all is soft enough for him to be unharmed. Further, I have plans for the “tree” when the holidays are over: the wood can be chopped for kindling, and the “yarn” will make a great hearth rug! For now, the baby loves looking at the lights, and the dangling snowflakes with their lacy shadows make even this warm Southern winter feel cozy and bright!
Linking up with the 2015 Finish-A-Long!
Someone was nosing around the remnants of our woodpile…
He is a native of Tennessee river systems and quite friendly. He is an original design and made of repurposed cast off clothes. Little toes and webbing are quilted with batting scraps; that telltale tail is filled with Insul-Brite, delightfully crinkley to hear. I embroidered his face, hesitating over the teeth as they seem more prominent in illustrations than photographs. But I like how he turned out. He will make a sweet squishy friend for the bun-in-the-oven!