Saturday, July 19, 2008

Buzzing around the sewing machine

Today is my twins' 24th birthday. Twenty-four years ago, I gave birth to a very small girl and a tiny boy, and after a few years of health issues, developmental testing and treatment, and on and on too numerous to express in just a few sentences, they've grown into lovely 24-year-old adults. The girl is always easy to gift. She has 1000 things in mind. The boy, not so easy. But! Every time I ask him what he wants for this occasion or that, the response is always the same - "A jar of bees."
Why a jar of bees? I don't really know, but it's just the stock answer!
I picked up some bee fabric a couple years ago, intending to make something bee-like for him and just never got around to it. Today, I was sitting at the sewing machine working on pot holders for an upcoming sale and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the bee fabric. I stopped what I was doing, cut some squares of denim and some strips of the bee fabric and made a pillow top. I cut a simple jar shape out of the bee fabric, neck of the jar from some white, and snipped a piece of double fold black bias tape for the jar top. Two hours later, I have a stuffed "Jar of Bees" pillow!
I attached a note saying, "Dear Tom, Here's something I know you've always wanted - your very own jar of bees. Happy Birthday! Love, Mom." Then, I put the pillow on his laptop, where I know he'll find it.
Breaking it down, the bee fabric cost about $2 a few years ago, the denim is recycled, the white is recycled, and the black bias tape was something I already had. I zig-zagged over all raw edges and used polyfil I already had. So, really, the cost of his pillow was about $2 plus a hefty dose of love. Frugal birthday giving with a heart.
I love to make simple things that may mean something to the recipient. I hope he gets the humor in the pillow and gets a smile on his face. It doesn't cost a lot to make a person happy. So, keep your ears open and listen for little things that those you love want or like. Then get that sewing machine humming and put it together. Recycle something you already have or make it out of alternative fabrics and threads that you can throw together with your imagination.
Frugal sewing definitely doesn't have to be dull and this pillow was as easy as it comes. No pattern. Low cost. Done.

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