Homemade, handmade, heart made!

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In 2015, I had told myself that all gifts that came out of our house would be homemade. I really wanted to take the time and make each piece special, so that everything I gifted would truly come from a place of mindfulness and love. Not that a store-bought gift is devoid of feeling or intention, but I wanted to force myself to slow down. Well, life happens doesn’t it? And with all the unexpected news and the endless stream of appointments, evaluations, sessions we ended up with, most of my free time flew away. I did manage to make a few presents this year, but more than half of everything gifted was purchased. I was (and still am) a bit disappointed.

So I decided to pledge the same again this year. If anything, I see it as a way for me to make the time to practice my crafts, to get some half-done projects finished and to truly reconnect with my passion for homemade things.

So today was the first of I hope many homemade presents.

Oh how I love, love, LOVE a patchwork pillow! They are just my favorite thing in the world to make for kids. I mean, what kid do you know doesn’t like a large overstuffed pillow to crash into? And I find that disappearing 9-patches are just so much fun to work with for small projects like this. It was the very first quilting technique I ever learned (over 4 years ago) and I’ve been coming back to them all the time. They are wonderful for using up scrap fabric or for using leftover charm squares (5 X 5 inch pre-cut fabric) and really, the more random the better. I always back my pillows with flannel for that extra soft touch and make it an overlapping pillowcase so that the pillow can be removed and the pillowcase washed. I know my kiddos carry theirs everywhere so they get pretty grimy.

My daughter left for her little birthday party now. I’ve given many pillows over the years and although they are rarely the most popular gift in the heat of the moment, they seem to always be the ones that the kiddos hold onto the longest. I think that is what I like the most about anything homemade : they defy fashion and fads, they live on through the years. Some get passed down, some get given to loved ones. They are often reminders of happy memories… and isn’t the creation of a happy memory a wonderful gift to give?


About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
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25 Responses to Homemade, handmade, heart made!

  1. 🙂 Jim and I have been invited to a wedding. It is someone we don’t know well, and he lives across the country. We feel honored to have been invited but we won’t end up going. We’ve talked about making placemats or perhaps a couch throw for the couple to snuggle under. D9P would be perfect for either.


    • Yanic A. says:

      It really is such a fun pattern! I’m sure they would love either. Quilts just make a home, you know? And newlywed suggles under them are just wonderful. My mother-in-law made us a great “lap quilt for 2” when we were married an it still follows us all over the house. I actually have cloth napkins as part of my 2016 holiday gift making list. I think a tiny version of a D9P on them would be great too. 🙂 I hope you will share your project when the time comes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. KerryCan says:

    Look at you go! I like your resolution to make your gifts (as long as you don’t beat yourself up if you can’t complete it 100%!) and agree that this sort of big, squashy pillow is the best treat. The ladies in my quilt guild are very in love wth disappearing 9-patch!


    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Kerry, I promise I won’t… But I’m pretty resolute. And my husband has promised to help more. He made handcarved Christmas ornaments for our the family this year and they were very loved. I think it gave him a little boost in confidence. He has been carving me a walking stick. I will share as soon as it’s done. He is so taalented!

      I say it often, the D9P is such a fun technique and it has quite an impact. We (my mom-in-law and I) made a twin size quilt for my niece 2 years ago. It was a stunning piece.


  3. Jennifer says:

    The pillow is so sweet, Yanic. Good for you, I think handmade gifts are best myself. Unfortunately, I don’t come from the kind of family who has any respect or appreciation for them, and I’ve had to stop giving handmade to those people because I usually end up feeling hurt. I wish it were different, but that’s just how they are. It only makes me more motivated to give handmade to the people who are appreciative instead. 🙂


    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Jennifer.

      I totally understand what you mean. The first year we suggested homemade, we got QUITE a reaction. So we just nixed the idea. The next year, we decided to prepare a little homemade goodies basket that we gave in addition to the store bought ones, they were a hit. So this year, we gave even more. Now, when I announced that this year, all presents would be 100% made, people were excited. I takes a lot of time to break that mind set. I think people think “homemade”, they think “cheap” or “poorly made”… I think aftr realizing that I wouldn’t give something I’m not proud of, they finally let go.


  4. kathrynpagano says:

    You did a wonderful job! It looks lovely.


  5. Marie says:

    Très joli coussin! Je n’ai encore jamais essayé le quilting, mais ça m’intrigue depuis longtemps!


    • Yanic A. says:

      Merci… Je n’ai pas mntionné la grosseur, 18′ X 18’… Pour une petite fille de 5 ans, c’est presqu’un “body pillow”. Haha! J’adore ça. Ma belle-maman m’a appris. Je n’ai juste pas beaucoup de temps. Ce n’est pas comme le tricot, tu dois t’installer, alors si tu as juste 30 minutes, tu finis par pas faire grand chose. Au moins le tricot, tu peux en faire beaucoup en 30 minutes. Mais je me suis promsise d’en faire plus cette année. 🙂


  6. alexa says:

    Yanic, your pillow is wonderful! You have such a gift with sewing and quilting. I completely agree about handmade gifts lasting through the years. Here’s to many more such projects!


  7. I love the pillow! And that bird fabric is divine!

    There really is nothing more lovely than a handmade, homemade gift! xo


    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Shel. I adore that fabric. I had bought a few yeards 2 years ago and used it for a few things. I have some scraps here and there, but I was so thrilled when I realized I had enough for the pillow. Such a sweet print.


  8. Marie says:

    Ah oui, c’est une belle taille de coussin! Comme je ne peux pas te montrer de photo sur un blog, je t’ai envoyé un email pour partager ma dernière création, une poupée Waldorf. 🙂


  9. jenny says:

    i love this yanic! you are right.
    out of all the baby gifts we received with my children… the only ones that i still have are the handmades. i plan to keep those for my grandchildren 🙂 your pillow is absolutely adorable.


  10. Appleshoe says:

    Lovely pillow and such cute bird fabric for napkins. You know I’ve made the same pledge for homemade this year. Maybe we can help keep each other on track? Shine my friend.


  11. Sally says:

    What a beautiful, bright cushion, and I love that backing fabric too. I think you’re spot on with the home made, sometimes it’s not as exciting as the cheap, plastic game, but definitely it lasts longer and is appreciated over time – the tortoise of the gift giving world rather than the hare!


  12. So lovely! In my ideal world all gifts are homemade. But life does happen and it is so often full and complicated. Cheers to you for taking up your goal again.


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