Friday, December 24, 2010

From the Heart

My favorite gifts to give are not purchased at the mall or in boutique stores.

They are homemade gifts. 

The problem is . . . I'm a huge procrastinator.

I always have a big list of gift ideas of things I'm going to make for friends and family and by the time Christmas rolls around, I've usually only made one thing for one person (unless you count cookies and candy).

This year I'm proud to say I did a little better.   I made two gifts for one person.

I love making gifts for Imani because she truly appreciates them.  I feel like we've done something right in raising her so far because she gets almost more excited from receiving homemade gifts as she does when she opens all of the toys she's asked for from Santa.

She understands the meaning of gifts from the heart . . . even more so than some adults I know. 

I love that about her.

Like when I made her fingerless gloves last year for Christmas.

She did a little dance when she opened them and then she wore them to school almost every day.

So this year, I made her another pair, except I put her initials on them. She's going to be so happy when she opens them.

Knitting isn't that much of a big deal for me though because I love to do it and I've been knitting for a long time now, so I can knit a pair of fingerless gloves quickly.

The real labor of love came from something I've never attempted before.

I decided to start this project back in the Spring time when I was inspired by Katie at Philigry.  She made a beautiful quilt for her daughter and I had great ambitions to learn, start and finish one for Imani before Summer.

I went to the Salvation Army and bought a few sheets with patterns and colors I liked.  And then the cutting began.  I had no idea what I was getting into.

My friend Claire came over to my house one night to help me make the cuts because I was clueless (I did purchase a mat and rotary cutter though!)
I became overwhelmed by all of the cutting and quit in the Fall.   I think Imani forgot about my ambitious project.

I pulled out all of the pieces just a couple of weeks ago and somehow managed to finish last night.

I'm so proud of myself and I know Imani is going to be psyched that my first quilt is for her.  Technically, this isn't my FIRST quilt, because my mom and I made one by hand when I was young, but we never finished it properly and it fell apart.   But this is the first quilt I've done all alone and it's the first quilt I've actually made cuts.

I was a little nervous to show it to Jason. 

Jason, who can work a miter saw and makes perfect cuts.

Jason, who has incredible artistic talent.

Jason, who is precise and neat.

Jason, who paints trim without tape because he has such a steady hand.

I am completely opposite. 

I rush.

I'm impatient.

I'm not neat.

And you can see it in some areas in my quilt.

But Jason's response was one of pride.  "Holy Crap . . . you MADE that?  Steph, seriously, you could sell those!"

This is why I love that man.

He didn't zoom in on my crooked cuts or crooked sewing.  He didn't care that my quilt didn't have a border.

And Imani will love it too.

Oh, and for the record, I would never sell a quilt.  I cannot believe people make these and sell them.  This was one of the most labor-intensive, time consuming projects and it wasn't even a big quilt (or a fancy one!).  I have a new found respect for quilters. 

I don't know if I'll ever make another one, but I am proud of myself.

I'm just happy I finished it.

I'm happy it's for someone I love.

I'm happy it'll bring her warmth and comfort.

The Girl Creative


  1. How about teaching me how to quilt ...I have always wanted to try it.
    And yours looks so beautiful,I thought why not ask.

  2. What a lovely gift for a beautiful girl. I am happy for you that you have a kindred spirit who can appreciate a labor of love more than a fad or store bought trinket. That is truly a gift.

  3. Oh my was it that bad. I've never made one but have a new machine and was planning on making my first quilt. Your quilt is beautiful and I'm sure she will be happy with it.


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