Helping you create a home by hand.

Middle Daughter’s Handmade Gifts

This year Christmas gifts were small, mostly handmade due to the expense of our move and with the exception of this first gift that I’m going to show you, they were made from fabric I had on hand.

I usually start by sharing the gifts I make for our oldest daughter but her package won’t arrive in Shanghai for a while yet so I’ll begin instead with the gifts I made for our middle daughter.

Back in the summer, middle daughter mentioned that she would like new oven mitts and hot pads as the ones I’d made her several years ago had seen better days. She also requested that they have frogs on them. I searched several shops looking for frog fabric that wasn’t intended for little ones. Finally I found the perfect one for her.

Oven mitts, hot pads and tea towels

Aren’t those frogs doing yoga the cutest ever! They were especially suited for her as she loves doing yoga.

To make the pattern for the oven mitts, I just traced around one of my oven mitts and added a 3/8” seam allowance. The fabric for the hot pads was cut at 12” square. The insulating layers are one layer each of Insul-Bright and Warm and Natural batting (<-affiliate links). The oven mitts are lined with more of yoga frog fabric.

I had enough leftover to make two tea towels by cutting rectangles 19” X 25” and then doing a ½” double hem all the way around.

I’m pleased to say that she really likes her new froggie kitchen accessories.
When I was researching information about Thimble Pips, I came across some photos of sewing chatelaines and those inspired the idea to try to design one that would include one of my small thimble pips. This is the sewing chatelaine that I gave to middle daughter for Christmas.

Toal Stool Chatelaine

It includes a 1.5” thimble pip, a small pincushion and a scissor holder. I’m still working on variations of what items to include in the chatelaines so I guess you could say that she received one of my first prototypes.

A bit of interesting background information: originally a Chatelaine was the woman who controlled the keys of the household which would be worn on a ring pinned to her waist or clipped to her belt. Eventually those key rings also came to be known as a chatelaine. As time wore on other useful household items such as scissors, thimbles, watches, household seals, etc were added along with the keys and sometimes even replaced the keys entirely.


Another of the traditions that I have chosen to continue is that of the giving handmade ornaments. Every year from the time they were little, I’ve made each of our children an ornament. The idea was that by the time they were grown and ready to move out on their own, they would have a collection of Christmas ornaments to decorate their first (and subsequent) Christmas trees with.

If our children are home for Christmas, they receive them when we are decorating our tree. If not, then I include them unwrapped in the package that I mail to them with their other gifts.

This year’s handmade ornament was, as you may have already guessed, a Christmas Pip.

Pointsettia Christmas Pip
I popped a small foil wrapped chocolate into each pip.

The non-handmade gifts she received were a set of glass tea light holders and in her stocking a cold pack style eye mask, a small statue of a cat playing a fiddle, some chocolates and an orange in the toe.

I’ll share the gifts I made for our son and my husband in Friday’s post.

In the meantime, I wish each of you:

Happy New Year

and a

Joyous and Prosperous 2015!

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  • Mary
    December 31, 2014 5:00 pm

    What a great idea for the pips! I love that frog fabric and all the fun it created.

  • Kate
    December 31, 2014 2:22 pm

    A Christmas pip – you’ve just given us a new use for your pips. I can just imagine little ones squeezing a pip to open it and finding a wee treat inside!!! Love those yoga froggies and the sewing chatelaine you made! It’s so nice to see handmade gifts being given and received.
    Happy New Year!

  • twotoast
    December 31, 2014 12:10 pm

    What fabulous gifts – your daughter must have been thrilled. I made a few items for family – I love making box bags and jewelry pouches as well as knitting socks. The thimble pips are a great idea – I think using them to hold earrings would be a fun idea – perhaps having them on display in a glass bowl (like a bowl of fruit) – ideas, ideas, ideas!

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