ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT…………………..
There is one thing I really dislike about the Christmas holiday period…….that last minute semi- panic about what to get for various people + going out shopping at this time of the year! It is either wet & cold or snowy & cold…..neither a good combination for driving around in crazy traffic or elbowing your way around crowded malls.
SO……my dislike is so great that I made a plan a few years back to START EARLY and MAKE most of my gifts. Now I certainly don’t make ALL my gifts but I make a point of shopping throughout the year for special & unique gift items AND starting very early to make gifts for many folk. You cannot really decide on 23rd Dec that you want to sew gifts unless you plan on burning the midnight oil! But you CAN start now for next Christmas……..I’m serious: Put it in your 2014 planning and work a little each month towards next Christmas. You will be amazed how much less stressful Christmas has become for me now that I am doing things this way. I even had time this year to make around 35-40 zipper purses for charity (our Blog bag challenge).
This year I decided I would knit and sew scarves. So I have been knitting and sewing since about May or June – nice quick & easy scarves that don’t take more than about 2-4 hours each to complete. It is very therapeutic for me to sit relatively still (those who know me know this is rare!) and you would not believe how many different & unique scarves I have made. I counted last week & there are 18 or 19 ready to give away. Still busy with one more but it should be done by 25th. I also decided I would not trouble my poor brain trying to decide which scarf to give to each person. No matter how carefully I choose, there will be someone who won’t like my choice. So I decided to rather have a basket: they will get to root around the basket & pick the one they like – brain teasing problem solved!
OK so that was one thing. I also gave up sending Christmas cards many years ago as I just found it a rather pointless exercise. I do send a newsy email with pics about my family’s year to friends & family far away and we also Skype around Christmas with a number of loved ones around the world. What I do for folk who live locally is to sew little personalized gifts: some years it has been a tree ornament; another year it was a luggage tag, another year it was a little zippered bag with their name embroidered on it & a hand cream popped inside…….simple quick little gifts. Not a lot of money spent but the personalized name embroidered on each gift seems to count for far more than the $$ involved.
These little stockings always seem to be treasured by whoever receives them. I digitized them using our JANOME DIGITIZER MBX software:
- I drew a stocking shape with a sharpie marker on a piece of paper & scanned it on my scanner. I saved this file merely to use as a backdrop when I digitized the shape. Not necessary if you think you can manually click a smooth shape.
- The name was simply inputted from the Lettering: either in the software OR from the fonts on the Embroidery mode of the machine.
- The snowflake was found in the Embroidery gallery of the Digitizer MBX. I enlarged it quite considerably & popped in onto the front of the stocking. You could use any embroidery design you like so long as it is small enough to fit into the base of the stocking. I wanted mine simple & monochromatic so that the embroidery stitch out would be quicker.
- I manually digitized the stocking shape with a stem stitch.
- The trick here is to hoop up felt or other fabric that will not fray. I used felt. Fleece & other knit fabrics also work but ensure it has some body & not too much stretch. Boiled wool and some soft vinyls would also work.
- Embroider the name, snowflake or other design FIRST.
- Then stop (so the outline should have been digitized with a different colour even though you may embroider all in one colour). Remove the hoop from the machine & lay another piece of felt or similar on the BACK of the hoop. I tape a small strip on all 4 sides to ensure the felt does not slip.
- Now return the hoop to the machine and embroider the outline of the stockings.
- Unhoop everything and use pinking shears or (preferably) a pinking rotary cutting blade to cut the stockings apart around the outside of each stocking.
- Thread up a needle with thin cord or thick thread of some sort & pierce the top corner of the stocking with a loop tied with a little knot – to hang it on the tree.
- I have resized these little stockings many times depending on what gifts I wanted to put into them. These in the pic had little tubes of hand cream. Sometimes I have filled them with Christmas candy. They can also be a great gift card holder and/or a unique name tag for place settings at the Christmas dinner table. This year I resized them to fit 9 at a time into 1x GR hooping. (JANOME MC 12000 OR JANOME MC 15000). I saved the outline & snowflake & then just changed the names for each hooping on the edit screen of the machine: delete a name & insert a different one. Honestly, I do believe this is way quicker than writing messages in a bunch of Christmas cards, addressing envelopes & then going to mail them all – and it was a whole lot more sewing fun!
HOWEVER, if you have not planned ahead for this year you might want to take a look at the current JANOME FLYER ……………
- you DO still have time to purchase a Janome sewing machine to start making gifts for next Christmas!!!!
- OR you could buy a sewing machine for some folk on your Christmas gift list.
- OR leave the flyer prominently displayed for your significant family members to seize upon as the answer to their worry about what to buy YOU for Christmas! Circle or mark the machine you want to prevent disappointment!
One last word……..if you were thinking of purchasing a JANOME MC 15000, I would highly recommend you not leave this too long……that’s if you want the FREE iPad with it………..this is a limited time offer and I would hate for you to miss out on the ipad experience. Do I love the ipad or what?! The AcuEdit & AcuMonitor apps are so much fun and add SO much to this already incredible machine. See your local JANOME dealer today before the Ipad offer expires.