For baby, I was inspired by the hooded towels that my grandmother made for me and my brother when we were babies, so I decided to try my hand at it. I bought a very soft towel, and a matching washcloth. I did the embroidery on the washcloth before folding it cornerwise and sewing it to the towel. Now when baby is bathed, she can go straight into a warm fluffy towel with a hood, and be all wrapped up and warm (and super cute!).
Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Here's a close up of the embroidery:
Before friend R could tell me she and her partner didn't want wedding gifts, I had started one, so I decided to finish it and give it to them anyway. It is practical and pretty, I think, so it won't just be taking up space. These were my first real knitting projects, and I am pleased to say they came out well, and were a joy to make. Just as I finished them I developed tendinitis in both wrists from repetitive typing motion, so it was good timing- I'll be taking a break from knitting until they heal (they're already feeling better since I've been wearing wrist braces, and soon I won't be working on the computer so much).
this pattern from Homespun Living but changed the placement of the stripes. The other two I made up as I went, doing sort of a sampler on the yellow and white one, and alternating horizontal ribs of knit and purl on the one with the blue. For all of them, I used 100% cotton, 4 ply I think.
I also bought a few flour sack towels to embroider. I just packed two untouched ones away into storage to embroider for myself next year, but these two are for R & L:
The finished gift set, given with a bar of Dr. Bronner's almond soap:
I realized I forgot to post a photo of the GORGEOUS cutting board Matt made for Tighe & Lisia's wedding present. It is made from Spanish Cedar scraps from his surfboard construction, with a stripe of oak. I really want one like it, I especially love the routed edges and the sheen of the wood (oiled with olive oil). Tighe and Lisia both love it, of course :)
Have you been working on any handmade gifts? I'd love to see more ideas and inspirations for homemade presents. Making them is so satisfying, and when I receive something handmade, I know it is a treasure and that it will last longer and mean more than any store bought gift.