About three years ago I posted a tutorial on how to create a gift basket. I still use this method for making gift baskets and try to keep the supplies on hand so that when I need a quick gift, this go-to idea is ready. Of course, it means I have to pick up the items that will go into the basket, but that's just a quick trip to the grocery store for fruit and something for contrast, such as chips, crackers, or cheese.
I thought it would be useful to you, as well. It's easy to pull the items together and you can use the basket idea to make many other gifts. For example, load the basket with gourmet coffees for a coffee connoisseur; wine and cheese for a wine aficionado; loofah, scrubbers, oils and lotions for a spa lover; or books with a reading light and pretty bookmark for your favorite reader. Really, you're limited only by your imagination and the size of your basket.
Now is a good time to pick up baskets. I like to have a few extra on hand and don't worry too much about buying the fancy, expensive ones. I think the items in the basket are what count in this case. The dollar stores are great places to pick up a few cheap plastic ones. Of course, I've been known to give beautiful baskets to those who really appreciate a decorative basket. Perhaps most important is that this is a great way to show that you know the recipient well.
After all, you are choosing items especially for that person and so it makes sense that you'd pick up some things that he/she really wants or needs. Additional baskets ideas may include
ribbons, bows and pretty papers for someone who loves to wrap beautiful gifts\
games and snacks for a family with children
favorite cookies, cupcakes, etc. for a snack-aholic
DVD, microwave popcorn, drinks and candy for a movie buff
paper, washi tape, punches, and stamps for the paper crafter
lighter and many scented candles
whisk, spatula, mixes and frosting for the baker
craft paints, small canvases, brushes, etc. for the crafter
fat quarters, thread, needles, small scissors for the quilter
embroidery thread, hoop, canvas or fabric for the needlewoman
all of the ingredients for someone's favorite soup or casserole
Pinterest is full of ideas...just search gift basket ideas.
I have a place to put it! Today I made a Christmas card holder. I purchased some Christmas fabric at Quilts Bayou, a cute little quilt shop in Lake Charles, on our way home from Texas several months ago. I didn't realize it before but I've been hooked on this soft ice blue for some time. I noticed it today when I decided to use the fabric. It has the same blue in it that I chose to use on this year's tree. It's probably not a coincidence but it sort of feels that way. I decided to use the focus fabric separately to make a top for the holder. Then used the other three fabrics for the back and the envelopes. The olive is sort of unusual for a Christmas color but it contrasts nicely with the blue. I love that one of the blue has the titles of Christmas songs on it. Had I paid attention to that I may have used it for the back piece. However, it's a bit late for that now.
Regardless, I really like my little holder and am looking forward to our first Christmas card. I am fairly sure my mother-in-law will hand me one in a day or two....she is faithful to her traditions and giving out Christmas cards is definitely one.
I've decided this bird is a partridge. Since I like it so much, I chose to quilt the bird by quilting around it and following some of the lines on it for detailing. The end result is that the bird pops forward and the detailed lines really add to the look.
I just wish I hadn't cut off the little guy's beak. It's just a tiny little bit but still,it bothers me.
For the rest of the quilt, I practiced some quilting designs that I learned in an Angela Waters Craftsy class. The top block is quilted in squares, the second in shells, and the third in circles. I really need to practice some more, but in a few days the quilting will be covered by cards and next year I will be laughing that I did such a poor job of it.
I know, I know. Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet. Well, maybe not, but I'm already getting into the Christmas spirit. Last night Richard and grandson Lane pulled the tree and boxes of ornaments down from the attic. Then they shook out and stood up the tree, leaving the decorating for me. I did that today, then realized that I'll need new ribbon since the old ones were puppy shredded last year. I haven't decorated the tree in a couple of years--Richard usually does it all while I'm at work. However, I insisted that we be the first ones in the family to have the tree up. We've NEVER been first for this honor. That's because Richard's mom generally kicks everyone out of her house on Thanksgiving afternoon so she can put up her tree. She buys and wraps gifts all through the year, so by this time, most of her gifts are bought, wrapped and ready to display. She's just about impossible to outdo.
Not this year. This year it's our turn. Oh, I'm not really thrilled, mind you. I don't have to be first and Richard usually is the last one in a line. I just wanted to be first one time.
Turns out it's not all that. No one is singing my praises or congratulating me, or even saying, "Hey, you win." Why not? Really, why the heck not? I worked hard to get two big men into the attic. I had to promise cheesecake to make it happen. I also had to put the decorations on the tree, and chances are pretty good that now I'll have to undecorate after Christmas. (I tell Rich you made the mess, you clean the mess. I fear he will use my words in about a month.)
So much for saying "nanny-nanny boo-boo" to everyone I know. Next year we may not even put the tree up. After all, if this is the big to-do for getting the tree up first, there's no reason for bothering, is there? I'll just open presents and smile my happy smile knowing I don't have to con a man or two. Mrs. Claus must have to work really hard to get Santa out into the middle of a cold, frosty night.
Have you ever known a 4-year-old to have a birthday party in which several other children were invited and no one showed up? That's what's happened to Fleur de Lis Quilts. It's sad and disheartening, but I've decided to move on. Much of what I write about is for myself: a way of recording my ideas, my quilting story, and events, So in a way it makes sense that I continue in that vein and not let my lack of interested, engaged readers affect who I am or what I write. People will either read or not. On the other hand, I have to admit that it stings. After all, there were a few people who visited. They, apparently, just chose not to enter the giveaway. Regardless, I have one faithful follower: Kaja, who visits a couple of times each week and leaves her sweet comments. Since she is the only one to comment on the giveaway, she wins by default! Congratulations Kaja! I'll send the New Orleans recipe book and the fabric, in yellow, once I hear from you. I've already sent you an email and it would be best to respond to that so that I'm sure to get your note. I hope you enjoy your prizes!