I'm thinking of Christmas already, and birthdays for the older ladies of my family who need nothing, want nothing, etc.
My mother-in-law is 81 & loves fleece throws...one to cover her legs & one to drape across her shoulders when she settles in to watch TV.
Right now initials are surfacing strong. I have been doing towels left & right. I have a source for seconds in high dollar towels that I can get for 3&4 dollars for 15.99 to 18.99 preticketed towels. I keep a stash of blanks on hand... as many ivory as I can get & use a slightly darker monogram. I keep these mainly for gifts where I don't know color schemes. For family, I stash their colors as I find them & I am always prepared for birthdays, anniversaries & Christmas.
The fleece throws are always a favorite fpr both kids and adults.
I like doing towel sets also. They always seem to be well recieved. I think partly because they are personalized and people seem to like it when something was made especially for them.
I wish I had a source for good towels, other than department stores.
Any chance you can share your source Rushingseams??
I get my towels from Bill's Dollar Stores & Super 10 Stores. They are owned by the same company & are chain stores. I am in Alabama. They are usually in the downtown sections or maybe strip malls on the outskirts. I don't know where all they are located. When I worked, I went to 3 towns a week. All three had one or the other. I was in them most lunch hours or before heading home. From my home, I have to go 10 to 25 miles to shop. I would offer to mail but towels are heavy & fgt might be quite costly.
Jenni you can get good quality towels at Ross or Marshalls here in California (I see you live here too!).
I have bought Tommy Hilfiger hand towels as low as $2.99 and big Wamsutta bath towels just recently for $4.99 each which were big fluffy Egyptian cotton.
I like to make napkins, placemats and tablecloths & table runners.
I also like to make little decorative lavender sachets-I grown & dry my own lavender but you can make sachets with anything that smells good-or buy it too.
Also pillowcases which I embroider on my machine and add a bit of lace-my family & friends love them.
I also buy good quality blanks in linen hand towels & cotton kitchen towels and embroider on them in color schemes that match my family & friends homes.
Everyone loves sweatshirts and I buy them in various colors and embellish them either with applique or embroidery trying to match the design to that person's interest whether it be a cooking, gardening motif or other hobby they may have.
My favorite is cardigan sweatshirts. I used to create patterns for a neck and front facing and search for the perfect color to match the sweatshirt. I saw a program on the Carol Duvall show and the crafter just cut the front, turned it back a little over an inch and did decorative hand stitching to hold it down. I cannot do any hand stitching, arthritis does not allow, so I catch the edge with a decorative stitch on the sewing machine and it works well. You can embroider any motif that you wish on the jacket from or back. It is really easy and people seem to like them.
Jenni and all, much as I hate to say it, the new towels at Walmart are wonderful. Egiption cotton and only $4. They are big, thick and fluffy. I'm seeing more and more projects on the web sites. MooseBStitchin has completly made in the hoop items and another favorite is Reen's site, she has several items, and some great wallhangings.
Nice to see you here Lynn!!!!!!
Once in a while we have to leave the embroidery machine and come see whats going on here!! LOL
I like to make quilted handbags for close relatives, also padded and embroidered covers for steno pads (these are really cute and include three tabs that hold the pen). I also make padded and embroidered paperback book covers with bookmarker (these are fast to make). Blanks (bib aprons and tote bags) with machine embroidered motifs are good, too, and I made grandchildren treat totes for Halloween with embroidery and their names on them.
I also make golf towels out of hand towels. These have embroidery on them, Velcro at the top and are stitched in a way that creates a pocket for tees, balls, etc. I put in a grommet at the upper corner and a metal shower ring for a hanger.
This reminds me I gotta get going...it's already mid-May!
Sets of linen napkins for holidays/special dinners that are embroidered in colors to coordinate with a woman's dining room or dishes. This is something she is often too sensible to buy for herself. If you use white 100% linen and polyester thread instead of rayon, you can even bleach them.
They will last for decades.
This last Christmas I churned out a whole lot of tree ornaments, personalized & with the year. They were blackwork [actually in red & green] with a little dangly star. I also do embroidered scenes that are symbolic for an occasion [a gliding owl for a friend turning 50, that sort of thing]. I just acquired a stash of hand towels at a clearance, so will probably do those for the next holiday!
Glad to hear I'm not the only one who worries about Christmas in May! I got some designs from MooseBStitchin, and they are great! She has a big variety of items, and the designs are very inexpensive.
i make a lot of double sided napking,using the rolled hem on the serger. My only tip is to wash both fabrics first,and try to have the warp threads on each side going the same way. Great way to practice corners on the serger!
If your firends hae cats, knitted catnip mice are greatly coveted- grow your own catnip or buy at markets, fesh catnip is definitely superior. Either knit a square and tack it kitty corner-(Oh so clever so early)_ or use the pattern in an old KNitters- it may be on their archive, it used to be.
I just finished ebroidering napkins for my father's wedding. I also embroidered a matching tablecloth and extra napkins for them as a present.
For my boss, director, etc. I embroidered each of them a sign that said "Welcome to (boss' last name)ville" "Mayor (boss' name)" with a little nickname, etc. as appropriate. I embroidered the cloth, and just put it in an inexpensive frame. They seemed to like them, or, at least, all have them still hanging in their offices.
Rushingseams, you are such an inspiration to me! Every time I am searching for something, and I find a post with an answer in it, it's usually yours. Thank you.
Well, I forgot to ask you my question in the post above.
Rushingseams, how do you finish the edges on the fleece throws? & do you embroider on them too?
Marti - I made some fleece throws a couple of years ago. If they are single layer you can sew on bias tape or blanket binding, but I found the double layer ones to be much easier. You lay both layers out flat, wrong sides together, and clip fringe all the way around about 2 or 3 inches deep and 1/2 inch wide; you also cut out the 4 corners. Then you just tie the fringe together - tie one top piece to one bottom piece in a square knot, all the way around. Great TV watching activity!
I am really new to my embroidery machine....I have bought many sets of pillow cases...at TJ Max....Bed Bath and Beyond...Tuesday Morning...SteinMart....any place that nice count cotton is for a good price...I do not pay more than about 16 bucks for a pair....and I have purchased some really really nice momogram fonts from the net....so that is what my project is for the holidays.....lovely momogramed pillow cases....who would not like that....even the children....fun colors and cute fonts....and then something that relates to them...baseball...soccer....etc....just my ideas ....I would love to hear some other really great ideas....I love the embroidery machine and the designs...I get frustrated with what to do with all this wonderful stuff...lol...Judy
I saw the cutest thing this weekend. It was a sleeping mat for preschool. You know those plastic tri-fold mats that kids have to take to Mother's Day Out & stuff? When mine were in MDO, I just made a big case like a pillowcase out of flannel with velcro on the open end. But this lady had made a quilted case AND sewed a pillowcase to the top for a little pillow.
Forgot to say how cute I thought it would be to have the child's name embroidered on the pillow case since that's the only part seen when it's folded up.
Pillow cases are my favorite thing to make. I have found that buying good quality flat sheets from outlet stores, like West Point Stevens, are a great source for making pillowcases. If you have a serger they go so quickly. You can add lace to add that expensive touch. ( I find this at outlet stores for pennies an inch, ususally the same thing they use on their linens)Often the tops of the flat sheets are embellished and you can use that for the top of your pillow cases.You can also monogram these is you wish. It is much cheaper than buying ready made ones and usually of better material.. What is left over I make cases for the grandchildren or for those tiny travel pillows.
Teacher-I agree about the pillowcases.
I usually watch for the sales and buy twin sheets when they are about $5 or $6 aand like to get at least 250tc.
I like twin sheets because they are easier to handle and I can cut 4 pillowcases from one twin sheet.
I measure about 5" in and then do the embroidery so that the back is enclosed, sew it down and add lace either to cover the sewn down seam or on the end - depending on the design of the embroidery and how it looks.
4 pillowcases from one twin sheet is a great deal!
When I first started sewing with an embroidery machine I took a class and she taught using purchased pillowcases, but you had to pick out that turned back part-do the embroidery and then sewit back down again to conceal the back of the embroidery-too much of a pain for me so I never did another that way!
For Christmas and special occasions I like to make little gift bags with the child/person's name on it and fill it with chocolates or other sweets. It is a little draw string bag with dangling bells on the four corners.