Handmade Heirlooms: Crafting with intention, making things that matter, and connecting to family & tradition by Jennifer Casa
This book embraces the idea of family heirlooms being special keepsakes that are, more often than not, handmade by someone in the family. One doesn’t often think of creating new heirlooms, but this book challenges the reader to do just that – instead of simply making a gift for a family member, make something that will be loved by that person and handed down over the years. These projects are made using a variety of techniques including knitting, crochet, sewing, and more. They range from traditional baby items like booties and caps to more unique objects like a knitted airplane toy. Some are more utilitarian, like a knitting needle roll and a monogrammed bulletin board.
Dresden plates are a classic and these designs play with the original idea in a variety of ways. Many but not all of these designs are floral – dresden plates lend themselves so well to floral motifs – and range from very traditional to more modern. This book includes pattern pieces (which could be copied or traced from the page) throughout as well as larger pieces in a perforated section (for easy removal) in the back.
This was such a fun swap to put together! My partner and I figured out quickly that we both like the Mori Girl style and that really informed my process for making things. I got so excited about it! I wrote a few new patterns for knitted items (see yesterday’s freebie for one!) and sewed a bunch. Here’s a quick look at the things I sent:
Many people, myself included, love to make quilts to give as gifts. It’s fun and gratifying to create the quilt in the first place, but sharing it with someone else is gratifying on another level. The nineteen projects outlined here are relatively easy to cut and put together, so the time investment shouldn’t be too daunting. Some quilting basics are provided, including a few piecing techniques used in some of the quilts. Also included is a short section covering things to consider when making a quilt as a gift, such as considering size and shape and selecting materials. Most of the patterns are minimalist and/or modern but designs have been included for a range of audiences – some are clearly aimed at children or parents of infants, for example. I’m usually one to make up my own pattern rather than following someone else’s, but many of these quilts are very appealing, so I might make an exception in this case.
One of the charms of vintage and antique quilts is that they were often made by hand without the use of rulers and rotary cutters, so they aren’t as technically perfect as some quilts made today. They can feel more person-made and the connection to the quilt-maker can feel stronger. This book takes inspiration from those handmade quilts and shows how to make your own, whether you choose to make it using contemporary techniques or not. Many of the dozen patterns here will be familiar to quilters: Log Cabin, Lone Star, Stacked Bars, Barn Raising, and many others. Each pattern features a full page, full color photo of a vintage or antique quilt along with notes about its origin; a materials list; and instructions for cutting, construction, assembly, and finishing. Diagrams are provided for piecing and assembly. A smaller version is also provided for each pattern. Only two of the original quilts are tied but note that they can be finished however the maker desires.
Happy new year! I’ve been attempting to spend more time doing things other than the internet, hence the lack of posts. I’m not giving up on blogging – far from it! – but am trying to focus on mostly on making things and taking political action. I’m still planning to make time for blogging but I am also in winter hibernation mode, so posts will probably be more sporadic at least for a bit.
So, back to making things! I made these three dresses for Blythe and would love to give them away to other Blythe folks. Head over to YouTube and comment there to be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner on Friday January 13th so hurry on over!
I finally finished all the holiday knitting I had on my list and decided to make another Katie Cardigan for my Blythes. I love this pattern (if I do say so myself) and it is a really nice piece for pairing with a dress, so I decided to make a new dress to go with it.