My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Christmas Gift Bags

I recently spent 10 days in Australia visiting my family.  My parents live on the Sunshine coast, and my siblings - who have spread themselves inconveniently around the rest of the continent - were all converging for a visit.  I thought I better head over too if I wanted to catch all of them (six plus various spouses, nieces and nephews) at once.

The problem is that it's so darn hot over there at this time of year that you can't do much except splash in the pool or visit some place airconditioned!  We had days of 36 celsius (97 fahrenheit) and over 90% humidity.  Urgh.  But hey, I love my family!

While we were there I just happened to visit a fabric store.  Where I found a bundle of six Christmas fat quarters for $3.  I should have bought two because fat quarters make awesome gift bags and I need to replenish my stock.

Fabric gift bags are great because they:

  • save time on Christmas Eve when you realise you haven't wrapped half the pressies;
  • are reusable so your time investment in making them is repaid over and again;
  • save waste - I hate seeing that rubbish sack full of single use wrapping paper;
  • look pretty!
I make mine by sewing two fat quarters together WRONG sides together on three sides.  Then turn them inside out and sew RIGHT sides together to make an enclosed seam.  Fold over the top raw edge twice to make a neat hem and sew down.  Sew a length of ribbon to the side seam with a tight zig-zag stitch and you're done.  

You  can see the enclosed side seam and the top hem in the picture above.  I sometimes use ric-rac or twill tape instead of ribbon.  They are more durable but I don't hold as much in my stash.

I make gift tags from old Christmas cards and thread them onto the ribbon before tying it.  Simple!

What do you do to make your Christmases or holiday celebrations simpler?


  1. Great useful Christmas bags! I hope you had a fabulous time with all the family.

  2. Hey you - it was absolutely fabulous to catch up with you and the kiddies, especially our early morning walks, heat not withstanding. Having said that we've just had 42, then 33, then 38!! But at least we don't have the humidity. Gift bags are on my simple to do, quick craft for Fridays off list this year.

    1. And we've had delightful weather here where I don't sweat and even occasionally put on long sleeves! Look forward to seeing your gift bags on your newly renovated blog - because you'll have so much time on your hands now ;-)

  3. These are lovely and such a great idea. They have been on my mental to do list for years but we still had wrapping paper to recycle this year. I like the idea of FQs for them - seems more doable that way somehow!

  4. You are just such a clever cookie. Was going to comment on how much I liked your new blog header with the faces... and see that it has changed again! Your 100 days of portraits really has inspired some wonderful creations.


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