Monday, January 27, 2014

Secret Friend Gifts

This weekend I'm heading to a Quilt Retreat and I cannot wait!  
 I signed up for two swaps while I'm there: 
#1 - a low volume fat eighth fabric exchange and 
#2 - a secret friend swap.   

Now, I know it's not much of a secret if I'm publicizing it on my blog but she doesn't know she's my secret friend and I don't think she knows me or my blog, so I think it's okay to show you what I'm giving her!?!


She said she likes orange, yellow and purple and Heather Ross 
- so I'm crossing my fingers that she likes these goodies.

 
I started by looking on my "More Sewing" Pinterest board for some ideas and came across a couple of super cute bags made by Messy Jessy.  Her photo led me to her blog which led me to Jeni Baker's blog, In Color Order - where Jeni has posted a wonderful tutorial for Lined Drawstring Bags.
 

This bag was super easy and quick to make 
(and you know I don't "do" bags so that should say a lot! :)
The part that took the longest was running out to buy the ribbon - twice because I only bought enough for one of the drawstrings on my first outing!


I lined the bag with some interfacing and 
Robert Kaufman's Essex Linen that I had on hand.

I knew I also wanted to make a boxy pincushion for my secret friend.
So I started by making a tiny star block (using more of my Essex Linen and matching fabric).  Then I wondered the best way to make the "box" part of the pincushion and found this pincushion tutorial by Heather Bailey.  I had never made a fabric box before but it ended up being easy peasy!
 

 I adjusted Heather's measurements and it actually worked out!
I stuffed the pincushion with some stuffing and silicone sand that I had on hand (to give it some needed weight).


I'm throwing in some more Heather Ross fabric, my favorite seam ripper and two of my patterns (that color coordinate, of course! :)  Oh, and some chocolate.  You gotta have chocolate for a retreat, right?

It was fun to try new things.  I learned that I CAN make bags and how to make a box!  These small projects were a nice change from the usual big quilts that I make and I look forward to making more bags and pincushions in the future!

So do you like to learn/try new things?
What's the latest (new) thing you've tried making?
Did it turn out?

Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day!
~ Amber

 

20 comments:

Michelle Jensen said...

How Cute!! I love that. I am sure that will be super fun to gift to that secret friend!! We (my friend's and I) are going on a retreat in March and that would be a super super fun thing to do! :) I am going to try to do that for them for sure. Great job picking the fabrics, they look so great together. I sure love those colors right now too.

Michelle Jensen said...

How Cute!! I love that. I am sure that will be super fun to gift to that secret friend!! We (my friend's and I) are going on a retreat in March and that would be a super super fun thing to do! :) I am going to try to do that for them for sure. Great job picking the fabrics, they look so great together. I sure love those colors right now too.

Amber Johnson said...

Thanks Michelle! I hope she likes it. It is fun participating in a secret friend swap - good luck with yours!

Amber

Katie said...

I love making those drawstring bags to send swap items in -- they are super easy and like you I am not a bag maker. I also like using up scraps and making pin cushions or mug rugs as a change of pace.

Granny's Button Box said...

Amber, wishing I was your secret friend! Beautiful gifts, how thoughtful. Just made a baby quilt for my niece, her baby is due asap, had some fabric over so had a go at a matching tote to carry baby stuff in. It was fun to make, will have a go at the drawstring one, thanks for the links. Regards Sharon

Christine M said...

I'm sure your secret friend is going to love her gifts.

Mary W Quilts said...

Sew nice! She's going to love the gifts. I have been wanting to make one of the drawstring bags.

Amber Johnson said...

Mary,

Thank you! It was fun, you'll have to try it!

Amber

Amber Johnson said...

Christine - thank you. I hope so!


Katie - I need to try a mug rug. I've never made one but I bet they're a fun, quick project!


Sharon,

A baby quilt and matching tote? That sounds cute!

Thanks for stopping by!
Amber

Colleen said...

Totally cute goodies!

Annalia said...

She'll love it!

Jacque said...

I always feel inspired by all your energy and creative pow! Lucky "Secret Friend"! These are darling!
I'm trying to be better about labeling my quilts so I've printed some personal labels on my computer for my newest quilts. I've ironed the printed fabric and popped them in the dryer. Tomorrow I'll soak them in salt and then throw them in the washer and dry them again to see if they will hold the printer ink. I have my fingers crossed that this works!

Thimbleanna said...

It looks like you have the perfect swap package given the color and designer preferences of your recipient! Your items are so cute!

Amber Johnson said...

Thanks Anna! I hope so!

Amber

KMSC said...

Your secret pal is a lucky lady to be the recipient of all your great gifts! I'm going to try to make the pincushion as gifts for the members of my small quilt group. Thanks for the inspiration!

Maddy said...

Your secret friend is a very lucky recipient. Glad l hopped over to very your blog today.

Carla said...

If she doesn't like you can send my way.. LOL
She will love it I'm sure

Amber Johnson said...

Thanks Carla! I think she likes them though :). Sorry! Lol!

Amber

Sarah said...

It must be the bag pattern for me then, too! I don't do bags either. It looks lovely in the Heather Ross prints. I hope your swap partner was suitably delighted.

Amber Johnson said...

Sarah,

I think she liked it. And I would definitely like to make more of those bags. It was very easy and quick. No zipper involved...so that's good! :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Amber Johnson
Gigi's Thimble