Graduation Gifts

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Monogram Wristlets

My daughter graduates from high school in a few days, and I wanted to give a few of her closest friends a little gift to celebrate.  They’ve stood by her through everything, and as her Mom I really appreciate that.

Monogram Wristlets

Since they’re graduating and moving off in many different directions, I wanted to give them a gift that would remind them of their friends.  Each of them have a similar wristlet, but with fabrics chosen with each girls’ personality in mind.  The same, but different.

Inside Monogram Wristlets

I was able to sneak in a giraffe print, a favorite of one of the girls.  It’s inside, like her own little secret.

I used a mashup of this wristlet by Ayumi of Pink Penguin and this clutch by Anna of Noodlehead, then threw on a monogram just because.

Monogram Wristlets

What girl doesn’t like a monogrammed purse?

While I was at it, I made extra monograms for their gift bags.

Monogram Gift Bags

(The tissue paper is their school colors.)

It’s so hard to believe they’re all grown up!  I hope they’ll stay in touch with each other.  I hope they’ll make their dreams come true, even when they change their minds over and over about what those dreams might be.  I hope they’ll stay just as awesome as they are today.

Watch out world, here they come!

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One More!

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Sunrise over a New Bag

Oh, how I love these checkerboard tote bags!  I made two as gifts (you can see them here) and kept one for myself.  I just finished mine this morning and have to show it off!

Checkerboard Bag

It’s such a fun design, the way the squares make little patchwork frames for the appliqued circles.   And it’s a great way to use up all those tiny scraps of fabric I’ve been hoarding.  They remind me of the things I’ve made for people, so when I see this bag I think of the people.  Don’t the little circles all look so happy together, like a group of friends?

I was hoping to use this as a carry on bag for our upcoming New York City vacation, but thanks to several thousand dollars worth of unplanned expenses (eeeeek!) our trip is very much in jeopardy.  Sometimes everything just hits at once, doesn’t it?  … At least I HOPE that was everything!

Checkerboard Tote

So maybe I’ll just enjoy my new bag around the house.  I guess that works, too.

Gathered Wristlet

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Gathered Wristlet

Anna at Noodle-head.com designs some SERIOUSLY cute purses!  Can you tell I love her 241 Tote?  I’ve made three of them!  This wristlet was made from her Gathered Clutch tutorial, I just added a little wrist strap.

Gathered Wristlet

I love the little divider and pockets, and it’s a good, roomy size for a wristlet.  This one was a gift for my Mother in law for Mother’s Day.

Did you happen to notice that one of the 241 Totes I made was from the same fabric?  That was a gift for my sister in law, my Mother in law’s daughter.  I hope knowing her new bag coordinates with her daughter’s will make it an even more special Mother’s Day gift.

Happy Mother’s Day, All!

Mom Knows Best

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Kim's Checkerboard Tote

Mom has always warned  me about the possible heartbreak involved in giving a homemade gift to someone who isn’t crafty.  After you spend hours and hours making something special just for that person, there’s the risk they’ll smile and say, “That’s pretty,” and simply not understand.  It’s not just the “thing” you gave them, you were thinking of your lucky recipient, planning something just for them and devoting a large chunk of precious  time to their gift.

I never quite understood until I made this bag.

A person who doesn’t make things might look at it and say, “That’s pretty.”  But a person who crafts or sews would look at it and, among other things, notice those 60 circles.  They’d know that meant I traced 60 circles on the back of some HeatBond, roughly cut out those sixty circles, then cut out 60 pieces of fabric, ironed those 60 pieces of HeatBond to those 60 pieces of fabric, neatly cut out those 60 traced circles on the back, ironed 60 circles onto the patchwork bag and then appliqued around them.  You got it, 60 times.

Kim's Patchwork Tote

Not to mention the 70 squares.

So you see what I mean.

The Underside

Thankfully, this purse is going to a lovely person with a high craftiness level.

She’ll completely understand.

If you want to make a checkerboard tote of your own, you’ll find the pattern in the Summer 2011 issue of Stitch magazine, designed by Ayumi Takahashi.

And: One for my Mom in pale linen and vintage sheets!

Checkerboard Tote, Vintage Linens

A phone pic of my own checkerboard tote bag in progress:

My Future Tote Bag

I love the little “windows” of fabric in the circles.  (You can see the finished bag here.)  I think I’d like to make an i-Spy baby quilt with this method.  I’ll be sharing it with you if I do!

Works in Progress

Work in Progress

I’m really bad about starting one project while right in the middle of another.  There is an upside though: having a pile of partially completed projects means that I have several things that much closer to being done.  Or at least that’s how I always choose to see it.

This tote bag design by Ayumi Takahashi can be found in the summer 2011 issue of Stitch magazine.  She used brown and cream linens for the circles, and it was lovely, but the Anna Maria Horner voiles I’ve been saving seemed like such a good fit.  As I was cutting out the voile circles last night I told my husband the fabrics were out of my league, just so amazing that if they were human, they wouldn’t be seen with me.  They are seriously soft, light and totally saturated in color.  I hope they’ll be kind to me as I try applique for the first time.

And here’s a phone pic of my other work in progress, a happy baby quilt for a friend who finds herself unexpectedly expecting.

Why yes, I do love squares.

So this is how I’ll be spending my weekend.  What are you working on?