Saturday, December 31, 2011

Handmade Christmas Presents

Every year I try to make something for all the kids in the family. They always get so many toys that I like to give them something handmade that they can enjoy. Previous years they have received quilts, backpacks, Christmas stockings and more. This year I thought I would make them something that was personalised and be fun for them.

Kids Pillows

This year each of the kids received a pillow with their names on them.. The letters where cut out of the fabric with Steam a Seam 2 on them, then ironed onto the background fabric. I then satin stitched around each of the letters. Once the borders were added I backed the pillows with some of the Shannon's Cuddle - this is a polyester fabric, which wears really well, is excellent in the wash and has that cuddle feel to it. 

Kids Pillows

They look pretty good, but there is one more fun element to them. I use Superior Threads NiteLite Extra Glow Thread to stitch around all the letters. Once the lights are out the fun begins! This is a great way to get the kids to turn out the lights. The NiteLite Thread is available in several different colours and we have them all in stock at Berrima Patchwork.

For Zara's Pillow I used the purple and pink NiteLite Thread

For Toby's Pillow I used the blue, yellow and purple NiteLite Thread

This is an image from Superior Threads showing how the different NiteLite Threads "glow"

Superior Threads states "Charge it with natural or artificial light for a few seconds and watch it glow for up to 6 hours, night after night. NiteLite ExtraGlow 40 wt. polyester and is dryer and iron safe (low/med. heat). Recommended for quilting and embroidery. Available in six shades: Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, and White. The thread glows the color of children's glow-in-the-dark toys. White glows the brightest."

A couple of tips if you try to make these pillows.
  • Get letters that look great I enlarged an alphabet that when I traced them they didn't look too good so I changed the alphabet to another one. 
  • Don't forget to trace the letters in MIRROR IMAGE onto the steam a seam.
  • If you use a thicker thread - use a larger eye needle on your sewing machine. 
  • Use a good stabilizer when sewing the satin stitch. 
  • If you are using a polyester thread, don't place a "hot" iron onto it  - I learnt this on a previous project, some of those threads melt really easily, but so far I haven't melted any from Superior Threads.
  • The glow in the dark thread is great to find out if you have left out sewing any of the letters - I forgot to sew inside some of the a's. 
  • You don't have to use a glow in the dark thread, variegate threads can look fantastic. 
  • And lastly make sure you spell the kids name correctly (no I didn't make a mistake but when I was tracing all the letters I did forget to trace a few of them!)


  1. Beautiful, well done. Would definitely have been a great hit for your grandchildren.

  2. they look excellent and I bet the kids loved them, thanks for an idea for gifts this year,cheers Vickie

  3. I must try these next year. I have a 2 year old grand daughter and one on the way.