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Santa Sack Swap – The Gifts I Made for Debbie

Santa Sack Swap – The Gifts I Made for Debbie

Each year in the Santa Sack Swap, we are each allowed to choose if we receive a sack, a stocking or a tote. Debbie requested that I make her a tote… which was great because I enjoy creating new totes!

Also in her first email, Debbie mentioned that she loves owls. So when I came across a beautiful owl while blog surfing, I just knew that I had to embroider it for her. Gina (aka paganquilter) kindly provided me with the pattern that she had used to stitch hers.

I had this picture in my mind’s eye that I wanted it to look as if you were seeing the owl through sun dappled leaves. After searching through dozens of fabrics at several different quilt shops and rejecting them all, I finally found two batiks that I hoped would give me the effect I was looking for.

I think I came pretty close:

The embroidered owl tote I made for Debbie

Close up of the embroidered owl

I was a bit nervous though as to whether Debbie would like it. I’m delighted to say that she loves it and says she plans to take it on holiday with her in the spring!

Now knowing that Debbie loved owls, I couldn’t leave it at just one owl. I also made her this little pincushion with matching thimble pip.

Owl Pincushion and thimble pip for Debbie

He is a combination of several different owl pincushions that I have pinned.

Click on the link to purchase the pattern for:

Archimedes Owl Pin Cushion
(Please note: The pattern for Archimedes is currently unavailable while we work on creating a new way to sell my sewing pattern after Craftsy closed so many of our shops.)

I have to confess though that he actually sat, sightless, on the end of my sewing cabinet for weeks while I tried to figure out what to use for his eyes. I tried all kinds of buttons but couldn’t find any that looked just right. Then one day, Middle Daughter came into my sewing room, picked him up and stuck two pins in the little yoyo ruffles and he came to life! How perfect is that… pins for the eyes on a pincushion!

Red Hat Mug Rug

Debbie is also a member of the Red Hats. In fact, she is the Queen of her local chapter. I figured that as the Queen, she probably had more Red Hatter knick knacks and fabric, etc than she could use in a lifetime.

Still I wanted to give a nod to this important part of Debbie’s life. The Polar Bear in the Red Hat was cut from a fabric panel to make a mug rug for her.

Polar Bear mug rug that I made for Debbie

After I got it all pieced, quilted and bound, it still looked like it needed something so I embroidered over the white dots in the sky. I’ll let Debbie decide if they are stars or snowflakes. 🙂

Of course, I had to make her, her very own Prairie Point Star Ornament.

Prairie Point Star Ornament I made for Debbie

That completed her tote and her small gifts but I also wanted to give her a larger gift.

I had seen a wreath block kit in a quilt shop in Michigan and decided to see if I could recreate it from memory to make it into a pillow cover.

Pillow cover that I made for Debbie

The center of the wreath just called out for some embroidery. And this vintage Workbasket pattern fit perfectly.

I used a pretty red fabric for the pillow cover back and binding.

Concealed zipper on the pillow cover for Debbie

The concealed zipper closing will make it easy for her to take the pillow cover off so that it can be stored away after Christmas.

Of course, every gift needs a gift tag:

Gift tag for Debbie's gifts

Everything all ready to be wrapped:

All of Debbie's Gifts before wrapping

As you can see… I also added a few little purchased extras.

Here they are all wrapped and ready to go into the tote.

Wrapped and ready to go in the tote

Packages in the tote and ready to go

Then when it came time for us to meet, I realized that if I took the gifts to her like that, it would ruin the surprise of the tote, so I put them all into the fabric gift bag that you saw when I posted pictures of the brunch where we exchanged our gifts.

And as I mentioned in that post, Debbie’s daughter, V, came along to keep her mother company on the drive. Well, I couldn’t very well arrive with gifts for Debbie and not at least a little something for her daughter, so I put together a small gift for V as well.

Small gifts for Debbie's daughter

I do hope that Debbie (and her daughter) enjoy using their gifts as much as I enjoyed creating them.



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  • Catherine
    October 10, 2017 3:02 am

    What a lovely gift, you do make such wonderful gifts. That owl pincushion is the cutest!

  • Jenny Benton
    June 14, 2016 9:22 pm

    Wow – such an exciting assortment of goodies!!!

  • CathieJ
    June 14, 2016 8:06 pm

    The gift bag and its contents are so pretty. I love the ornament and especially the bag itself. I think you were very successful in getting the look you were after with the ow.

  • Flashinscissors
    December 23, 2015 7:17 pm

    I love this bag with the owl – such a thoughtful gift! So many lovely gifts – you are kind! They’re all lovely! I think I’m feeling a touch of gift envy!!!
    Barbara xx

  • Corene
    December 21, 2015 5:45 pm

    You are a wonderful, warm and crafty lady…Debbie is lucky to have you as a delightful friend. I wish I lived near you and got to know you better then on the web. Where do you get all your ideas?

  • Renee
    December 21, 2015 12:30 pm

    Oh my goodness! What treasures you created. I LOVE the addition of the personalized gift tag. (Making one a month might be added to my list of goals next year.) The tote, pincushion, ornament and pillow are all so sweet. I love the mug rug, too! Every item you added is just so sweet. I love that you created gifts for Debbie’s daughter, too. Your post warmed my heart!

  • MA
    December 21, 2015 11:19 am

    This had to be one of the funnest swaps ever!! Even better that you could meet in person to exchange them and being on the phone with each other as you opened the gifts would have made it even more fun.

  • Mary
    December 21, 2015 10:17 am

    Each and every one of the gifts is beautiful. That would be a wonderful swap to receive.

  • Maria
    December 21, 2015 9:25 am

    Such fantastic gifts you made for Debbie and how nice to include her DD.

  • Rachel
    December 21, 2015 7:27 am

    The owls turned out so well, didn’t they!

  • Susan
    December 21, 2015 12:01 am

    I’m wowed by your tote and the owl. I love it in those soft colors! Everything you did was so perfect. What a lucky swap partner, and to even make something for her daughter, you are good! That looks like a wonderful gift. I really like the pillow cover with that embroidery in the center.

Comments are closed.