Quilting Arts Holiday Blog Hop 2014 and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Lori Miller Designs!  I am very excited to be participating in the Quilting Arts Holiday Blog Hop 2014.  All of the contributors have joined the hop and you can find great give-aways, tips and ideas for holiday gift giving along the way.  The magazine features a slew of great holiday gift ideas that you can whip up for the special people on your gift list this holiday season.   I really enjoy making handmade gifts for my friends and family, especially for the holidays.  These unique, one of a kind gifts seem to be well received and I like infusing a little love into each item.  In recent years, I have started making multiples of similar gifts to give away.  These small, useful items are on the agenda for everyone on my list.

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This year I am making these cute Gingerbread House Pincushions featured in the magazine.  It is a great little project for gift giving to your creative sewing and quilting friends for the holiday and it is not too early to start getting ready.  All  of the directions are included in the magazine and you can sew up these cute little confections in a jiffy.  Make a bunch of them using my ideas below to create gifts in multiple quantities.

Nifty Gifty Tips

LM Designs calendar and list

Start planning early.  Figure out what kind of item or gift you want to make in early fall so you can gather patterns and materials and have time to stitch them up.  I like to start in September and pace myself so I am not pulling my hair out as the holiday gets closer.

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Customize the gift. Just because you are making many of the same item does not mean that you can’t tailor them to individuals and make them special.  Personalize them with names or with your choice of fabrics.  Try a fabric with a theme or hobby or favorite color that matches the individual or their décor.

Practice.  Take an afternoon and completely sew through one version of the gift to have a feel for the time it will take, any special notions you will need, and to make notes on the pattern that will make the assembly go faster.  Also, it may eliminate a few surprises if you get in a hurry.

Set up an assembly line.  When you do similar items at once, I think the work simply goes faster.  Group the tasks together.  Consider cutting everything out at once, then stitching and piecing, then quilting, and finishing.  If you are appliquéing or sewing, try to sew all of the things with that particular thread color so you are not constantly changing the spool.

LM Designs rainbow baskets

Don’t get too ambitious.  Ask me how I know this one.  I made these lovely rainbow baskets for my sewing friends last year.  I used all scraps to make the 2 ½ inch squares, but these were huge and the quilting took forever, I thought I would never get them finished.  One friend even got a few pins instead of buttons as I rushed to gift them.  Oops.  May I suggest you find a simple but useful item, big is not always better.

Lori Miller Designs supplies

Stock up on supplies. Be sure  to have extra thread, needles and notions handy.  Needles break and threads run out and if you are in the stitching zone, you don’t want to have to stop to get a needed supply.  Stock up and be ready.

Have fun! Sew with a friend.  Turn on your favorite music, invite your crafty friend over stitch and EAT the day away.  You will not believe what you can accomplish, and the fun memories you will have,  when you share the day sewing with a friend.

lori miller designs gingerbread house pincushion

To celebrate my pattern being published in the magazine, one lucky reader will receive this Gingerbread House Pincushion in a giveaway.

Contest Closed.Thanks to those who entered. Winner is Josie Davis, congratulations.

Here is the Holiday Blog Hop Schedule:

Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre

Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard

Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson

Monday, September 15, Linda McLaughlin,  and Kathy Kerstetter

Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller

Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa and Liz Kettle

Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp,

Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin

Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith

Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford