Tutorial

Secret Santa

So this year we decided to “do” Christmas a wee bit different, for us anyway….we decided to do a “Mostly Secret Santa”! We have 3 children aged 30, 26 and 17 and we have always bought pretty much equally for all of them and I’ll be honest….it was wearing me down! Christmas was becoming about the $$$ and not about what I wanted it to be which was a time spent together as a family sharing laughs, food and drink and partaking in traditions! It was becoming almost a hassle to try to find things for the 2 oldest that they wanted and/or needed all the while trying to spend roughly the same amount!

Not to mention the fact that we’re in a global pandemic and shopping can be a struggle! I’m all for on-line shopping but I find that easier when you’re looking for something in particular, but if you’re browsing for ideas, it becomes a sort of rabbit hole….hours escape you and you’re no farther ahead!

As fall was approaching, it kind of came to me that this whole “Mostly Secret Santa” thing might be the way to go, with the “mostly” part meaning that it wouldn’t apply to our youngest as she’s still a wee baby, ok she’s 17 but still, I wasn’t going to penalize her and take away all her presents lol, she would continue to have the same Christmas!

So there we sat at Thanksgiving and when I brought up the idea, everyone was completely gung-ho!! They all liked the idea of putting more time and effort into getting one person the “perfect” gift rather than stressing out about who they’d already bought for, who they still needed to buy for, etc! They were also happy to hear that Santa would still be doing stockings cause they needed those socks and underwears lol!!

We gathered on Christmas Eve and when we went to exchange gifts, it was exciting! Some family members tried to figure out who had who’s name and others, like me, never gave it a thought lol! I was pleasantly surprised when our middle son Josh handed me my gift…he was my Secret Santa!!!

My gift started off with a box of chocolates but what I opened next, brought me to tears…….

Knowing his “slightly” Pug obsessed Mother as well as he does, he gave me this awesome Pug blanket! It took me a second to realize that it wasn’t just any old run of the mill Pug though….it was an actual picture of my Norman….and in case you hadn’t figured it out yet, this is where the tears started lol!!

I think the smile on my face says exactly how happy I was by this oh so thoughtful gift!!

The only thing that he was slightly unhappy with was the size of the blanket, which I never even thought twice about until he told me that later on! Apparently he and his girlfriend were so excited about the idea of this for my gift that they really didn’t pay much attention to the dimensions…until they opened their tiny mailbox to find that it fit in there with plenty of room for lots of other mail lol!

I used that blanket every day when I sat on the couch during my lazy holidays and never grew tired of looking at it! When I did go back to work I was telling Melissa and Holly about my awesome blanket and Holly came up with the best suggestion ever….why not add minky to the back to make it even bigger!!!!!!

It had never occurred to me but it was perfect! As much as I would have loved to use a Luxe Hide minky, none of the colours were just right so black smooth was the winner! It would obviously need to be a self-binding blanket, which I had made once before with flannel and loved! It had been awhile since then, and because I was going to be working with minky, I headed over to the Shannon Fabrics Blog to see what I could find in the way of tips and tricks and of course, there was a Free Pattern and tutorial!!

Boy, was I ever glad I went and looked there because the technique that Teresa Coates, the National Educator for Shannon Fabrics, used was completely different than I had done before, and thankfully, the sewing part was super easy! I made sure to say there that “the sewing part was super easy” because what wasn’t super easy for me, was figuring out the math part….as demonstrated by my comments on my Project Page lol….

It took me a few tries to figure out how many inches to miter the corners but luckily I just pinned them to see how they looked before actually sewing them! Once I eventually figured that out, the sewing was a breeze and here it is…the finished blanket!!

I had purchased 1.5 yards of the Smooth Black and perhaps I realize I could have used a bigger piece to make the finished blanket even bigger but in my trial attempts, I discovered that I didn’t really like when there was more black border on the top and bottom than on the sides, it just seemed unbalanced to me!

And obviously, Norman approves of the blanket as well!

What was your favourite gift this year? Have you ever taken on a similar project to improve on an existing one? I’d love to hear all about it!

Have a great week everyone…if you’re looking for me, I’ll be snuggled with Norman under our blanket!

Shawna

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