Tag Archives: gift

Tutorial: Small Fabric Basket

19 Mar

{Here’s  little simple sewing project from the Jillian In Italy archives.  I think this would be a great project to do for Easter for the kids or even with the kids.  I can just imagine a garden full of these sweet little baskets filled with Easter eggs and candy.}

Here is a very basic tutorial that a good friend of mine designed for a very sweet little fabric basket.  Very quick and gratifying.  I used oilcloth for the outside and a cotton for the inside but it would be possible to use only cotton as well (or even nicer would be linen).  If using cottons or linens I would recommend using interfacing to make it stiff enough to stand up on it’s own.  The paper clips are used to avoid getting little pin holes in the plasticized material or oilcloth. Please let me know if I wasn’t clear on any of my instructions (I know the corner part is a bit hard to see in the photo).

Read on to get full tutorial. Continue reading


Japanese Handicrafts

20 Apr

On our recent trip to Japan we noticed that gift giving is a very important part of Japanese culture.  The Japanese are very warm and friendly people who try to show their appreciation for you in such gentle and considerate ways.  We were really moved by their generosity during our recent trip.

When we went to visit a good friend from my university days we were so touched by the gifts she offered us.  Her mother had hand sewn and created some beautiful, perfectly crafted gifts.  I can’t even fathom the amount of  time that must have gone into these pieces!

These are called Temari balls.  It is a traditional embroidery technique and these balls are given as a gesture of good will, friendship and loyalty.  They have very intricate designs that are usually geometric and symmetrical with many of the design elements being based on nature.  The colours are vibrant and so beautiful.

I would have loved to spend some time with my friend’s mother and watched how she sews all these beautiful gifts.  Maybe a good reason to return to Japan one day?

We were also presented with this small hand sewn purse filled with tiny little juggling balls and a beautiful hand sewn flower.  In the silk flower there is a tiny little pouch  filled with scented cotton and place enough to store small pieces of jewellery.

I think the Japanese juggling balls are referred to as Otedama.  You can find these little silk purses with the balls in many of the tiny boutiques around Japan.  So many thanks to my dear friend and her very talented mother for such lovely and thoughtful gifts.


24 Dec

This year one of my daughters had the idea to do a sort of Secret Santa with the family.  We all drew names out of a hat and were told we had to make something for that person (without telling anyone who we have).  Some people’s gifts were done five minutes later.  Some were put under the tree exactly 5 minutes ago (on Christmas Eve!).  I was a bit behind schedule with all the homemade gifts for friends this year so I finished mine yesterday afternoon (in between parties and cleaning the house).  Here’s the result…

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