Gifts: Handmade vs Purchased
Do you create/sew more gifts than you purchase? That’s the question The Nancy Zieman Productions Team posed earlier this month, via this blog, Facebook, and Pinterest. It isn’t a surprise to learn that NZP Blog readers are a wonderfully creative bunch of makers.
Enjoy the selected responses below, plus a spotlight on one featured reader.
Here’s what you are saying:
Calendars and more
“I definitely create/sew more gifts than I purchase. In my family we’ve done away with regular presents between adults (what a stress relief). Therefore, all the presents I give are hand-made. For years I’ve been making personalized photo calendars and mug rugs. For close family I make quilts, blankets, wall-hangings, table toppers, embroidered towels, and tablet cases. For the children I make bags, clothes, doll clothes, and cuddly toys. I love that I give something unique that nobody else has, and can personalize it to the recipient. ”—Cecilia Nilsson, Rijnsburg, Netherlands
“Yes, I do. With two great granddaughters born this year, I’m sewing like crazy and there will be more for Christmas. We don’t exchange gifts with the adults, but I make a little something for the house. The grandkids usually want a new scarf or something small.”—Christine Rhodes, Strathmore, Alberta CA
Baby Showers and Baby Quilts
“Yes, I make many baby blankets and quilts—my sister-in-law has over thirty grandchildren who are having babies, and I am usually invited to the many showers!”—Cathy Catanzaro, Lakeside Park, KY
Make it all!
“Always and absolutely! Usually totes, aprons, nightgowns, flannel pajama pants, and quilts-quilts-quilts. These are usually for family; for others, I bake or give lap quilts, for aging and creaky knees.”—Susan Sweet, El Sobrante, CA
Handmade Every Holiday
“Almost all… About 2 years ago now, I told my children and the friends that we swap gifts with, that I wanted to switch to all handmade gifts. My children are grown and my friends are also 50-somethings who have managed their own households for many years and can (usually) afford to buy what they truly need/want. I did not want the gift expressions of my affection to become unwanted clutter for them. A gift of my time in creating something for them seemed more appropriate.
This year almost all of the birthday gifts have been handmade, but the Christmas gifts will be a mix of homemade and store purchases. I have made: crochet area rugs, LOTS of knitted socks, knitted pillows and quart-size zippered pouches, crochet trinket boxes, knit sweaters and hats. Sewn gifts have included: tool aprons, tool storage rolls, LOTS of aprons, silk ties and scarf sets, grocery/tote bags, college-themed pj pants, and aprons, hot mats (your pattern), napkins, and pillows. Most recently, I decorated a store-bought grocery bag with a custom-created appliqué. My 1st appliqué project, but it won’t be my last! :)”—Jane Caruso, Miami, FL
“I make most of the gifts. I start sewing in July, just after vacation. I’m done by Thanksgiving, except gift cards. I make ALL of my husbands shirts, and of course I make one for myself, so we match. We match all the time, this way we are easy to find if one gets off track. People are fascinated by the looks.”—Janet Harris
All Things Fabric
“Yes, I sew/create. I make pj pants or night gowns for four grand girls. Last year I made slippers as well. For girl friends and exchange gifts I make whatever is new that year like microwave bowls. hot pads, mug rugs, or fabric buckets. This year I did coasters from the flat fell seams of old jeans I had been saving. and I have often made small throw pillows.”—Judy Schulte, Kimberling City, MO
A Family of Makers
“I have sewn more than purchased. I make items for my children and grandchildren while my husband makes wooden games (when the grandchildren were little) and now turns bowls or boxes for them.
Mug mats and microwave bowl holders are the most recent.”—Kathe Mayer, University Heights, OH
“My reason for buying my first sewing/embroidery machine in 1994 was to be able to make personalized gifts for family members and friends. Many years and machines later, I still love to make such gifts. I’ve learned so much for improving my sewing and embroidery techniques at conferences and shows and in books since 2001, thanks to wonderful instructors and vendors, including you, Nancy. Thank you so much.”—Rosann McGuire, Graner, IN
“I create most of the gifts that I give because I treasure all those that have been given to me by my mother—clear back to my great grandmothers. I love the tradition. I learned to sew when I was four, and I have been retired for a while. I love to watch the sewing programs on PBS and was disappointed when HGTV discontinued theirs. It is true that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! I sew clothing, home décor, and quilts. I also love other crafts such as tatting, crochet, knitting, weaving, embroidery, and jewelry making. It’s a relaxing hobby and an opportunity to give to charity. A definite 2-way plus!”—Anny Laird, Stockbridge, NY
“I will give baked goods this year, not sewn items. Many years ago, I gave sewing gifts but got away from it. My passion is beginning to bloom again, so I will probably make sewn gifts for next year.”—Peggy Riordan, Chicago, IL
Yarn and More
“Yes, I rarely, if ever, purchase gifts for my family and friends. I usually sew, knit, crochet, or embroider something for each of them. Of course, this means that I start early for Christmas.”—Mitzi Peters, Gulf Breeze, FL
This Month’s Reader Spotlight:
“Since we moved to a very small town in rural Alaska 15 years ago, where the gift shopping is extremely limited, I have created virtually every gift given to those I love. Christmases, birthdays, special events, comfort for illnesses…all gifts made by me. Quilts are the main items I make for gifts, but also lots of embroidered/quilted pillows, placemats and table runners, table toppers, clothing, bags of all kinds, wall hangings, custom furniture slipcovers, pet blankets, pillowcases, linen tea towels. The list is long, now that I think about it! I love making all these things, and the gifts all seem to be appreciated (something we makers always love knowing). ”—Enid Keyes, Homer, AK
Next Month’s Share Your Insight Question
Next Month’s Question: Aside from quilts or curtains, what items do you sew for your home?
“Aside from quilts or curtains, what items do you sew for your home?”
Submit your answer by Dec 10, 2017, using the form below, to be considered for our next month’s Reader Spotlight.
Team Nancy Zieman
Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.