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Dear Professor Pincushion: Holiday Sewing

Dear PPC Holiday FrenzyDear Professor Pincushion,

I just learned how to sew and I’m eager to sew holiday gifts for all my friends and family.  I have lots of great ideas on everything I want to make, but do you have any holiday sewing tips so I don’t get too overwhelmed?



Dear StitchDreamer,

By my calculations, this being the beginning of December, it seems like the perfect time to start your holiday sewing….for next year...and that’s considering that you’re sewing a couple of items for only your closest, dearest friends.  If you’re thinking you’re going to sew something for every person in your life, well, that’s pretty much impossible unless you literally have nothing going on.  As it is, many of us are waiting until retirement until making this type of  a commitment and, even then, that may be wishful thinking.

Things start off well with wishful planning beginning Dec. 26th where we make grand plans to sew all of our gifts the following year, but why worry about it now when we have a whole year.  If we’re getting really organized, some time, halfway through the year, maybe we’ll starting pinning ideas and congratulate ourselves in being organized this year.  But before you know it, December is back with a vengeance and you find that you’ve hardly done anything at all.

But this year will be different and you’ll make amazing gifts.  It usually starts off like this:  (4 weeks left) This year I’m going to king size quilts for everyone in my family...but first, I need to run to the grocery store and do some quick house cleaning.  (3 week left)  Ok, I can still do this, but maybe I’m going to make full size quilts for half of the family members.  Which I’ll get started on, as soon as I get home from work and after making dinner and doing dishes.  (2 week left)  Ok, If I really hammer it out after decorating the tree and wrapping gifts, I can make a couple lap quilts for a couple of my favorite relatives.  (night before)  gasp!  Grandma gets a pot holder and I need to finish tonight!  (Day after)  Ok, but next year, I’m totally going to sew all my holiday gifts.

If you do end up sewing gifts, you must not go into it for the glory.  If you’re expecting the receiver to wax poetry upon receiving your handmade gift, well, I can tell you that it doesn’t always happen that way.   Let’s be honest, this is what we would like to happen:

Ideal Receiver:  (pulls out homemade quilt)  Oh my gosh, did you make this?

You:   Yup!

Ideal Receiver: (crying tears of joy)  I can’t believe you made this especially for me!  It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! (sob)

When sometimes this is more the reality:

Realistic Receiver:  Oh my gosh, did you make this?

You:  Yup!

Realistic Receiver:  It’s nice.  Thank you.  (moves on to next gift)

That’s it!  That’s all I get after all that work I put into that!!!   Look, here’s my advice.  Make holiday gifts for yourself.  Chances are that you’ll appreciate the most the time and energy that went into making your project.  And don’t forget to start planning your holiday sewing projects ...for next year, of course.

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2 thoughts on “Dear Professor Pincushion: Holiday Sewing

  1. catsmom

    Yup, exactly right. I’ve already cut out the pattern for the hot pad mitt, and will make it out of Christmas fabric so I’ll be able to use it next Christmas. I have no lofty ambitions that I ‘ll be making one for all family and friends, my goal is to finish it for myself to use during the next set of Christmas holidays. Maybe I’ll use summer themed fabric, no wait, that’s pushing the envelope. Note to self; start tomorrow.

  2. ElizabethQ

    Haha… Yep! That’s pretty much how it goes at my house at Christmas! Thanks for the laugh! Happy Holidays

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