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Thread: 2012 - The Year of Handmade Gifts!

  1. #1
    Junior Member LyndaK's Avatar
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    2012 - The Year of Handmade Gifts!

    I know it's early for resolutions, but I've been sitting here watching the news. I cannot believe the crowds that were out there for Boxing Day Sales, and it's continuing on today.

    I have decided in 2012, that I'm not buying anything for my knitting and sewing unless I need it to complete a UFO.

    I have decided in 2012 that money will not be spent on gifts for our adult sons. I will make them things they can use in their homes, be that a quilted item, a food item, whatever.

    I have decided in 2012 that our little granddaughter will receive lessons in sewing and also in making doll clothing for her 18 inch doll. Her gifts will be doll clothing, a Barbie quilt for her bed at her daddy's house, dresses made by Grandma for summerwear at the trailer and time spent going to interesting destinations.

    I have decided in 2012 not to go to as many expensive quilting retreats. I will attend Sulky School because I learn so much. I will go to visit friends and sew for a couple of days in the States, and I'll attend one retreat with a very good friend here at home in Canada. Other than that, I'm not going to pack up all my stuff, cross the border, and sit and sew on banquet tables in uncomfortable chairs with really carb-laden food for days on end. It's not worth it anymore. I'll miss seeing people, but truly cannot justify the time and expense when I have a fully furnished and equipped sewing room here at home.

    I have decided in 2012, I'm not going to be tempted to buy anymore Featherweights, no matter how much I'd like to fix them up...I have 3. I could be tempted by a 301, but it'd have to be extra pristine. I have one already.

    And all this because I cannot cope with the brand of consumerism I saw on the television. I have a good part time job and can afford to buy things, but really it just doesn't seem necessary to me. Am I losing it or just showing my age?
    Last edited by LyndaK; 12-27-2011 at 08:59 AM.
    Lynda K
    down on the farm in S.W. Ontario Canada, when I'm not at the trailer!

  2. #2
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    I think you are a very wise woman.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I think you are just being reactionary. It will pass. I AGREE with you in part. We stopped exchanging gifts when my youngest sibling was 18 and out of high school. Only children in the extended family receive any kind of gift. We do more for each other during the rest of the year (I don't work well to deadlines). However, homemade food or sewn gifts are welcome by everybody except one.

    I think it's a fine thing to teach your granddaughter sewing skills. But, lets remember she still deserves to get some new things, even packaged in plastic!

    As far as the retreats, if you get little value from them, then pick the ones that you particularly enjoy. I never went on retreats due to health problems. I feel a bit of an outsider (and very envious) since nearly every other quilter I know goes to them. But, that's the way it is.

  4. #4
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    we as a society are prone to so much excess that often we don't even realize that we are doing it. i stop collecting many years ago and would rather spend my money collecting memories from trips i take, cruises with friends, packing up my car and visiting a friend who needs it and spending time meeting new and visiting old relatives.

    my family and friends are the jewels of my life. it's been said friends are the family that we chose and i have some really wonderful friends both here in the u.s. and internationally. i cannot build memories with another new piece of fabric or another antique sewing machine or another bolt of warm & natural or another sewing notion or collecting quilty things that i may never get to use. that is just my perspective. my family and friends are loving the things that i have been making them. the quilts last, the potholders last (for a while at least), they loved the cookbooks i put together for them this year for christmas and the dresses i will be making my youngest niece. i have made double sided baby blankets & quilts for my great niece & nephew and my friends first grandbabies.

    yep handmade is good, leaves a lasting impression and is so much better than consumerism and collecting we have become prone to. spend wisely in 2012. of course this is all my opinion and how i have chosen to live my life.
    Last edited by Havplenty; 12-27-2011 at 09:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member Jo M's Avatar
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    I'll second that!

    Quote Originally Posted by BLAP View Post
    I think you are a very wise woman.
    Jo

  6. #6
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    I made my first advent calendar this year for DGD and made most of their gifts. My daughter got towels for the guest room that I embroidered, my SIL got neck bands with crystals that hold water for mowing the lawn in the summer, I did snap bags (with tape measure pieces) for almost everybody and got rave reviews from all. I have always made some things, but I made it a point this year to give hand made items. I saved a ton of money as I had a stash of dish towels and fabrics for the items. I customized for each person and took my time and talent to give things that would be used and kept. My daughter called after the gifts were opened and started telling me about the day. The girls opened their vests with sherpa lining and put them on and wore them all day! They can't stop talking about the advent calendar. They were very excited about the corduroy skirts, and my daughter said every gift (except those from outside friends and family) were in my cloth, reusable drawstring bags! She is using aprons and potholders from years gone by, and the new table runner is great! .....I have left my mark! I will be remembered! I saved money! I used resources and my talents to give pleasure! What plastic wrapped toy gives that kind of pleasure? At my son's home I counted 5 broken toys before the end of Christmas day! Tears! Anger! Disappointment! Not from me, but good lesson learned..I am with you! Linda

  7. #7
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I too think you are very wise If this kind of thinking means we are ageing then I am really old ......

  8. #8
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    If this means we are showing our age then I am really old lol. I think you are as someone else put it very wise!

  9. #9
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I think you are on the right track. I wish more people thought the way you did. We don't need to "buy" our family....we just need to be there for each other. I made most of my gifts this year and they were all loved. That makes me feel good. I get to take my hobby that I love to do, and make gifts for others which are useful. The items that you make have meaning and I know my kids think it is the greatest to have handmade.
    One of my daughters gifts were that we re-did her room. It cost me a gallon of paint. Everyone worked together and took everything out of her room, we taped it off, painted and put it all back together in 2 days. I made her new curtains too(she had to pick from my stash). It was something that she really wanted and we all had a blast working with each other(and the little ones get a learning lesson on how to paint).
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  10. #10
    Super Member Grandma58's Avatar
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    I stopped buying presents for Christmas years ago and as I said on another thread, I give gifts through out the year, things wanted or needed just because I can in the moment. Retreats with friends can be had in the comfort of our homes with friends, and strangers now and then.
    We don't ever need new things wrapped in plastic, when new things can be made for us or by us with love from family and friends.
    I support you absolutely.

  11. #11
    Super Member brookemarie19's Avatar
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    I agree. My kids got a few gifts (nooks to read with) and some clothes. Other than that.... everything was homemade and have to say I have never gotten so many hugs. I about cried when my eldest son (13 and not very huggy... I might get an arm around the shoulder kind of thing) gave me a huge hug for the quilt that I gave him and it wasn't even finished. I got the top done but still have to quilt it. He says he can't wait to have it on his bed. All my children loved their homemade gifts, but this is the one that I will remember giving forever. I just may stick to home made from now on lol. I spent the same amount as usual when you add up the supplies but I think they will get more enjoyment out of this more.
    Brooke

  12. #12
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    We have handmade all our gifts given for the past 39 years, because we have always felt the same as you. Too much commercialism. Our family looks forward to seeing what we've made for them each year. They all love it!!
    Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to GOD

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jennie and Me's Avatar
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    I think that we should all back off from the commercialism of Christmas. It is so "plastic" anymore. I, too, am planning on giving more gifts that I have made, pouring the love into those items rather than buying things that have been made(more than likely) in foreign countries. I've told our children for the last few years that if something takes up more than 1 square inch of space, I don't want it. We have a house full of "stuff" and I am wanting to downsize. (In everything but my sewing/quilting, of course.) So, here's to 2012 and I hope that we keep these thoughts and resolutions.

  14. #14
    SEW
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    Well said!

  15. #15
    Super Member toadmomma's Avatar
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    I told my middle son that next year it would be cookies (which I send every year to my 3 boys) and quilts for xmas, he said that was the best gifts , cookies and quilts, didnt eveyone get that for xmas, cause that was the best. He always knows the best things to say. So I had better get started. Also told him that i found some new cookie recipes to do for next xmas, he wants a preview around june/july to ensure that they are good enough for xmas. got to love him. But everyone is getting hand made something, no more bought stuff. So your on the right track and it will be a well treaded road.
    Deb T

  16. #16
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    I am so sick of the consumerism that my husband and I have decided not to observe Christmas on December 25 anymore. Instead of stressing myself out over a December 25 deadline, I've decided to make things throughout the year and give them throughout the year. I am personally sick of the mega-consumerism that's going on today. It's no news that a security guard at Walmart was trampled to death either last year or the year before during Christmas sales. Really? A man lost his life so someone could get something superfluous, unnecessary, and most likely made in China? Several years ago I heard horror stories of Black Friday shopping and decided then and there that if I didn't make it, it wasn't getting given, and for the most part I've stuck by that decision. I'm a happier person for it too.
    She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

  17. #17
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    Sounds good and I hope your resolution lasts. I am trying to use up my stash and just buy what is necessary to finish U.F.O's as well.

  18. #18
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I too am sick of the mega crap and even more so that almost everything we buy is made in China. So this year I made probably 50% of the gifts.My DIL said to me today "homemade gifts are the best"! Can't beat that. So yes, I intend to be focused on more items to make for 2012.

  19. #19
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    We stopped gift giving a few years ago. It is a material world we live in. I make what I can for those that like my handmade things, and make do with what my DH and I have. Love of family and friends. What more do we need?
    learn each and every day,memories or play.

  20. #20
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I cut way back this year too and it was a much more enjoyable Christmas. I make things all year long and give them out when they are finished as I'm not stockpiling them. My sister got her Christmas quilt in November so that she could use it all of December and my nieces and nephews got their double layer fleece mitts at the end of October before they really needed them. I'm not doing the mad Christmas rush any more. I'm not anti-gift just anti Christmas craziness.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  21. #21
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have been making my gifts pretty much my whole life---we were raised to make something if we wanted to give someone something special. i do buy stocking stuffers---and once in a while something special for hubby-or one of the kids but they also recieve home made gifts-- in fact my granddaughter's both called me and let me know-they would really like some new pillowcases-
    they are always requesting things i can make- they love that they can get (personalized) items no one else has
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  22. #22
    Junior Member Ginny B's Avatar
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    I made quite a few things this year for Christmas -- all were received wonderfully. I made mug rugs for some special people at work, some totes and also hotpads and potholders. I'm already planning my list for next year and planning on starting soon.
    Ginny B

  23. #23
    Senior Member johanka's Avatar
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    I told my niece that I want to make lots of things(small) and next year lay them out on a bed and let the girls chose something they want or can use. The youngest is going to be 11 and there might be something he could find. I live on a fixed income and it is getting just so hard. I sew, knit and crochet, so i should be able to come up with something.

  24. #24
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I am loving your philosophy regarding gifts - since I started quilting/sewing - I really try to make a quilt or some handmade item for birthdays and christmas - my kids (all grown) really love them and they last - the grandkids are young and have their own quilts too - I really enjoy making the gift - picking out the fabric - making it personal for that person - it brings both parties joy - so cheers to you and I think handmade is the way to go.

  25. #25
    Super Member tatavw01's Avatar
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    I agree with you!!! I'm on you ship. But, I'm going one more step further, for every dollar I don't spent on quilting stuff I will put 50.00 dollars in the bank...good luck. No more retreat with cold pizza and saggy salad for me

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