The Birthday present problem

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In recent years, Birthday presents have been a problem in our large family.  We lived so far from our children and grandchildren, and saw them rarely.  It was fairly easy when they were preschoolers to find something suitable, but as they developed their own personalities, we didn't really know what they liked or what they already had. We solved the problem by giving them all money to go buy their own presents! The grandchildren especially seemed to enjoy being able to go to a shop to get something they really wanted.

This weekend we had a special reason to go and visit our daughter and her family - this little grand-daughter's sixth birthday party!

She didn't have a problem with being given money to spend!

DD2, however, surprised me a couple of months ago by putting in her birthday order:  "What I really want for my birthday is for you to make me some covers for all my kitchen appliances."

Janelle and I have quite different tastes in colours so I suggested she choose the fabric so that I knew she would be happy with the finished product. Guess what she came back with!!!! - a dozen placemats and a table runner, plus some odds and sods of different materials to add so that there would be enough fabric to make all the covers!

How was I supposed to tackle this assignment???  No patterns either ....  Armed with newspaper, scissors, tape measure and sticky tape, I did lots of measuring over all the protuding bits and tried to draw up patterns that would fit.  Newspaper mockups, stuck together with sticky tape, were quite good at seeing whether the prospective cover would go off and on easily, and if the gussets would fit the curved shapes. Daughter lives nearly 3 hours away, so the covers were going to have to be made blind, with no opportunity to check and measure as I sewed, which is my usual method!

Last week I plucked up the courage to attack the project. First of all I had to allocate the placemats so that each cover would have some fabric in common and to make sure that I didn't run out. Then there was a lot of unpicking of the placemat hems, as I really needed that extra inch of fabric.  It was amazing how I was able to fit quite a number of the patterns after that, without having to add any extra fabric, particularly for the fronts.

They came together fairly quickly, apart from sewing lots of binding down by hand which took for ever, and I managed to get five of them finished in two days.

I was quite pleased at the results, and daughter thought they were fabulous when I handed them over to her yesterday ... and they all fitted!

Toaster, Food Processor, Popcorn Maker, Grinder, Electric Jug

There's still the Mixer and the Bread Maker to go.
Now I'm all enthused to design a sewing machine cover for myself! 

This week I hope to get stuck into some of the commissions that are piling up on my "to do" list. The Spring-cleaning has gone to the bottom of the list again! One thing for sure, it won't disappear - it will still be there waiting for me to do next week, or the week after, or .....?????

Happy stitching!