List of Gifts To Make

Have you started making gifts yet for the holiday season? I admire you if you started back in July, like I should have! I just recently started making a list of the gifts I want to make. I have gifts completed for just a couple people, but I sure would love to be able to give more handmade gifts this year.

Here’s my list so far, of the projects I want to make for gifts:

-Charm square table runner

Storage cubes

Little Forest Quilt (in progress!)

More bird ornaments

Advent House ornaments

Scrappy tree mug mats

Makeup bags

Makeup brush roll

-Travel jewelry pouch from the Fall 2010 issue of Stitch magazine

-Travel sewing kit from the Fall 2010 issue of Stitch magazine

I used to tell myself that if I didn’t have to work, I would have time to make all those things I want to make. I’m not working now, but I feel like I have less time than before!

I am taking two classes, which means I’m gone about five hours a day. Then I have homework to do. I try to cook and bake a little more, and clean parts of the house once a week (not just before guests stop by). That just tells me that life is busy, no matter what you are doing.

I put a new list on my sidebar called Quilts I Want To Make. Maybe I will get to those projects next year, as long as I finish the five or so quilt tops I have piled in the closet, waiting to be quilted.

These days, I have started telling myself, “if I had all the time in the world, I would make this!” And then I add it to my list.

Best Practice – Notetaking

Notetaking is probably one of my strongest points in keeping my life organized, so that is the topic of today’s best practice idea. This is likely something you all do, sketch your sewing projects, make notes for your crafty business, or keep lists to keep your life organized.

During my first couple years in college, I struggled to find my groove. My mom signed me up for a class called “How to get better grades in school.” It was one of the best classes I’ve ever had. The biggest point I learned was how important it is to always take notes, whether it’s in a meeting, or bumming around the farmers market or visiting the botanical gardens. (The other valuable point we learned in that class was how to take notes, but that was more applicable to a classroom/lecture setting. It was a lot about bullet points and how to make lists.)

These days I carry a notebook or sketchbook with me EVERYWHERE I go, sometimes even to the bathroom. You just never know when an idea is going to pop into your head. I can get so easily distracted by the millions of other things going on or things to remember to do, that I might forget that idea.

I carry a stack of notecards in my purse to jot down ideas, sketch bag shapes or quilt blocks I want to try, colors combinations I’m interested in, names of flowers I want to draw or plant. I also carry a mini color wheel to mess around with when I find a few free minutes to daydream.

I would love to hear what system you use to keep track of your ideas and keep yourself organized.


Previous posts about my Best Practices:

Bobbins, Pins and Folding

Business Cards

Carry Your Product

Sunday’s List

Today’s list includes finishing several projects:

Lots and lots of bulbs to plant. I got a pile of crocuses, hyacinth, anemones and more – all early bloomers. I love seeing the early bulbs coming in March, when there’s still snow around here, yet we are yearning to get out in the garden.

Lots of leaves to rake. We don’t have a lot of trees in our yard that drop too many leaves, but there’s a pretty big pile in the front to rake (and then jump in!).

A sewing project to finish. I can’t say much more about it just yet. But it’s pretty and exciting. I promise.

Finish making my contribution to the scrap challenge, sponsored by JCasa:Handmade. I have my project cut out, and just need a few minutes to assemble it. I’m excited for this one too!

A knitting project (or two) to work on when I have a few spare minutes. I doubt I will have time to finish either of these knitting projects (scarf and fingerless gloves), but it doesn’t hurt to add these to the list.

My to-do lists are usually overly ambitious, but I love having Sundays to work on all these home and craft projects. I have a busy day ahead so I better get going. Hope you have a great day!


I like to write lists. Lately I have been listing the things I want to make for Christmas (it’s a HUGE and overly ambitious list). I also started making my wish list for my birthday and Christmas, which is always helpful to Dave.

Last year I wrote a short story for a graduate class that ended up being full of lists, like the main character was trying to get through a dilemma with lists, as if a boost of confidence. I didn’t intentionally write it to be that way, and for some reason I didn’t like that format, so I ended up hating the story. Oh well, I’m sure there’s a lesson learned in there.

Recently I started writing an email to my husband during the course of the week listing our agenda for the weekend. On the agenda for this weekend:

1. Work on a sewing project (of course!)

2. Plant bulbs

3. Clean up the yard, which includes a sub-list of:

  • Mow the lawn
  • Dig up the vegetable garden that was destroyed by last weekend’s very early first frost, which claimed my last crop of basil and tomatoes
  • Bake something, either apple crisp or pumpkin bread (or both)
  • Spend an hour at the local yarn shop knitting (wanna join me for a coffee?)

My weekend agenda/list is always bigger than I have the free time for, and sometimes I just enjoy being home (and NOT at work), so I don’t get anything done. But that’s okay. I still like to look at the list on Mondays to see if I can cross anything off. And then by about 9:00 on Monday morning, I am ready for the next weekend and I start over again with a new list.

What’s on your list for this weekend?