Friday, April 6, 2007

Scrappy Gift Bags

I have been sooooo busy preparing for my Grand Baby's first birthday party that I just have not had time to get a new post up. I had this wonderful brainstorm while sitting with my daughter and discussing the particulars of the upcoming event. My daughter and her husband had decided on a Monkey theme - my son-in-law loves monkeys. Now, probably because this is my first Grandchild, and also the fact that I am a quilt-aholic and occasionally an overachiever, the wheels started turning in my head concerning the coordinated Monkey Birthday Party accoutrements. I have found it so easy as of late to quilt and appliqué many child oriented objects, that instantly the idea flew into my brain to appliqué a simple monkey face onto gift bags for the birthday party attendees. How hard could that be, right? Certainly I have plenty of brown scraps to use for the appliqués, right? A little bit of searching and I found a bunch of pink felt, which I decided would be great for the body of the bags, and shoot, I wouldn’t be considered lazy if I chose not to quilt the 20 bags I needed, right? I would just appliqué the monkey faces onto 20 felt rectangles using my embroidery sewing machine, throw on the handles, sew up the sides and then miter the corners to make it a flat bottom bag so it could stand, and in no time at all, and at no cost whatsoever, we would have wonderful hand crafted coordinated gift bags for the birthday party. Exquisite!

However, I must say that there was one thing I forgot as the gift bag idea was born. I forgot that I really don’t like making the same thing over and over. I thoroughly enjoy creating a new pattern, gathering the new pieces, assembling it, working out the bumps, and then naturally – completion! Having to make twenty, yes, 20 gift bags has been a lesson in perseverance for me. Imagine, cutting 20 monkey heads, twenty monkey muzzles, hooping felt 20 times, cutting forty handles, then sewing each and every element …… I set daily limits on what I HAD to accomplish each day, or I could not have that second cup of coffee – and I made myself stick to these goals. That was the only way I could muddle through the boredom and monotony of producing something over and over, 20 times. I was surprised at myself because when you quilt, you are repeating the same process to make the blocks, over and over, but I realized that that repetition is not grueling to me because it is the journey to complete the one object – the quilt. If I had to create even 2 identical quilts, I would be hard pressed to make myself begin the second, but would have raced through the first as I always do, to get to that prize – the completed quilt. I guess I just like to create once – and when that one creation is complete, it is time to move on to the next project and begin a new journey.

All in all, the bags turned out wonderfully and I am so pleased that I made them. When lined up at the party the bags will look wonderful and I won’t tell a soul that I had to make myself top-stitch ten handles a day for four days in order to get them done in time…..


Nichole Petscher said...

Yes, you are the greatest! These bags are soooo cute, bright, and happy! They are the perfect gift bag, for Miss Madelyn's first birthday party!! We appreciate your hard work mom! You always go above and beyond!! Again, what you have made is so unique, and full of character, made with your talent, but truly from your heart!

Kate & Gabe said...

Hi! These bags are about the cutest this I have ever seen! I am just starting to plan our little boy's 1st birthday party and the theme is also monkeys. Just wondering, do you sell your products/is it even possible to make these gifts bags for purchase?

Deanna Dingman