Wisdom Comes Suddenly

My First Giveaway!! (Handmade, Of Course)

February 2nd, 2011 · 49 Comments

From the moment the beautiful and extraordinarily functional Bernina 230 became mine, I have wanted to do a giveaway.  I’ve had lofty goals.  I’ve spent hours flipping through pattern books.  I finally decided that “something” was better than nothing, and with fun Amy Butler and Moda scraps in hand, I put together some items.

I only sew on inspiration, and never on a schedule, which can be problematic. When the idea hits me, I may have fabric lying about, but I often lack the coordinating thread. Much like the use of my stove, I use A LOT of thread.  My in-laws gave me the Gutermann Thread collection for Christmas, and YEE-HA, this cowgirl has been in color-coordinating inspiration heaven.

So let’s get to the business at hand: my first giveaway.  I made a small selection of multi-purpose bags, without patterns, pins, or heck folks, let’s face it: very little measuring.  I just picked up the fabric and let the machine decide which way to turn.  You know how handy I think these little suckers can be, so let me give you some suggestions:

Bag #1 (left): Clearly, a reusable wine gifting bag.  I did insert my wine into it, and a standard bottle fits nicely.  I’d gift it with the bag, but I drank it.  What can I say?  We’re on Day #3 of being iced in (no snow…but enough ice to shut down trash service, mail service, all government offices…you get the idea).  I’m in survival mode.  But let your mind wander (wine really helps with this process): it would also hold some homemade bread or a stack of muffins and magazine to give to a sick friend (linking to “Hands Free Mama” who gave me the idea).  It would hold a pretty coffee mug and a box of Chamomile tea for the same.  Greg is always asking for particular brands of tshirts and work out clothes, which would fold nicely into this bag for Father’s Day.

Bag #2 (upper right): This was designed to be a tooth fairy bag.  It has a one button closure, and easily holds coins and a new toothbrush.  If you wish to insert dollars, they only need to be gently folded a bit.  It is also deep enough for a standard sized gift card.  It’s very flat for “under the pillow” use, but would also work well as a gift card holder for a male or female.

Bag #3 (middle right): This is my favorite little bag.  It has no closure, which makes it perfect for travel Kleenex.  I have a new Snoopy brand set tucked inside, and I shall leave it there, as it fits so nicely.  I am in constant need of Kleenex, and buy the little travel size sets in bulk.  However, they get smooshed (surprisingly not a word) inside my purse, and so now I store them in a fabric container.  It’s such a lovely addition to my messy backpack.  I’ve made many of these as gift card holders (reusable and made entirely from scraps), and the recipients have told me they use them for a myriad of purposes: holding small cameras, cell phones, re-gifting them, etc.

Bag #4 (Bottom Right): this is a smaller replica of the reusable wrapping gift bags I gave to the girls’ teachers at Christmas.  The trees are pointing UP on the other side…my apologies for not cutting the fabric and flipping it upright!  Handmade always has its quirks.  It’s large enough to hold a Christmas card and small gift.  The fabric is as sweet as can be, and doesn’t scream “Christmas” for that gift you might give to the “not sure which holiday you celebrate” acquaintance.

Here are my rules:

(1) Simply leave a comment guessing the nickname of my sewing machine.  I call my daughters Ducky Wigglebottoms and Boo Boo Chicken, so you can safely assume I nickname damn near everything. Hint #1: My minivan is named “The Chicken Box”, so if that was your guess, it’s right out.  Hint #2: It is named for someone in Classic Children’s Literature (meaning it isn’t some wacky figment of my imagination type of name..it is a book I guarantee you know).  Hint #3: It does have something to do with sewing. Hint #4: It has nothing to do with the Bernina name or brand.

(2) You can leave as many guesses as you wish, but only 1 guess per comment.  That will make the “drawing your guess” from a random hat much easier to orchestrate.  The guess does NOT have to be correct to be entered into the drawing.  All guesses count.  Although, if you do guess the right name, I will high five you from my couch into the internet void.

(3) If you already know the name, please refrain from commenting.  I believe only 3 of  you exist (so Greg…you are so out…sorry), not counting Sara and Kelly, who know the name well, but cannot spell.  If you see a comment, poorly spelled and rather nonsensical, from a girl named Sara, please let me know.  That girl is sneaky and can do much more than she lets on…

The deadline for entering is Sunday night at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.  I’ll reveal the name of the sewing machine and ship to the winner early next week, barring another hell storm that prohibits me from getting to my mailbox.  If you are reading from overseas (hello lovely ladies in The Philippines and Australia!), please guess…when I stamp “airmail” on my packages, I feel so worldly and exciting. My giveaway is not fancy, but is handmade, which is SO MUCH BETTER than fancy!  Don’t you agree?

Tags: The Girls

49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hands Free Mama // Feb 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    OK, I have no idea, but I love games, I love contests, and I LOVE your adorable little bags. I especially love the idea of presenting my magazines and muffins IN one of your bags. My friends would REALLY love their visits from the magazine fairy once they got one of those stylin’ sacks.

    OK, so I am going with the name of my all time favorite children’s literature characters in the whole world: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

  • 2 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

    What a fantastic guess! I love, love, love Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. If something else comes to mind, don’t forget…you can guess again!

  • 3 Amie R. // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Oh fun! I’m going to guess Aurora – a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty. I’m thinking that maybe you’ve ‘pricked’ your finger a time or two in the depths of your creative process.

  • 4 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Oh now this is getting fun!!

  • 5 Jill // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

    My guess is- Jemima Puddle Duck from Beatrix Potter. 🙂

  • 6 Jill // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Ooh- Or “Imogene” because it sounds like “imagine” 🙂 (I intend to win one of those adorable bags, I used to sew for years, maybe it will bring inspiration to get back into it! )

  • 7 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I’m a huge Beatrix Potter fan. You guys are so creative!

  • 8 Lydia // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Ok, my guess is the Mad Hatter. Ummmmm…..don’t ask me why a totally crazy and manic guy who makes hats reminds me of you when you are doing a project……….pure coincidence, I swear.

  • 9 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Lydia, please move home…I miss you. What’s funny is that you were with me the day I picked it out! BUT, alas, it took me months to name it. You know Sara and Kelly love Alice in Wonderland!

  • 10 Lydia // Feb 3, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I miss you too! However, I feel that I must point out that your constant posts about bilzzards, being snowed in, and negative temperatures do not exactly encourage me in that direction! How about we all move to Miami?

  • 11 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

    It’s cooler living on the sun than in Miami. We can’t go there until we’re really old and cold all the time. How about we get a couple of nice bungalows off the coast of South Carolina and open a little shop and sell what-nots? Agreed…I live in the North Pole. Ugh.

  • 12 Kelley deak // Feb 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I’ll go with Corduroy though it looks like a girl…

  • 13 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm


    I’m glad you didn’t confine yourself to female names, because the field is wide open. I thought it was a girl too, and then I got it home…once I set my mind free of male vs. female, it came to me.

    I think I’ve read Corduroy 1 million times.

    These are great guesses everyone!

  • 14 Gretchen Bandoli // Feb 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Im guessing Cinderella… only sewing reference I could come up with! I think the bags are adorable!

  • 15 Grandma Sally // Feb 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I guess Miss Tiggywinkle from the Beatrix Potter series.

  • 16 Roxanne Rodenberger // Feb 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I’m going with Veleteen. Because it was a stuffed animal and wanted to be alive, and you always have neat things going on why wouldn’t what you create not want to be alive in your house.

  • 17 Amy // Feb 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I’m guessing Thumbelina.

  • 18 Ellen Beyer // Feb 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    My guess is Bruno from Bruno The Tailor by Lars Klinting.

  • 19 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Ellen definitely gets points for originality! For Roxanne: You know I absolutely adore the store of the Velveteen Rabbit. Good guess. Amy…the girls LOVE the story of Thumbelina.

    Keep guessing guys! I’m impressed with these cool ideas!

  • 20 Blessings // Feb 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Charlotte…not sure why?!?!
    Just came to me ina dream…lol..

    Not Really!

  • 21 Pam Lewis // Feb 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    My guess is Mr. McGregor or Paddington Bear. The floral walls made me think of an English garden. Both names just came to mind.

  • 22 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Mrs. Sharp, are you thinking of Charlotte’s Web? That was one of the first movies Sara ever watched. Someday I’m sure she’ll read the book.

    Pam, I can explain the wallpaper! Well…no, I can’t. Long story…I have some plans for it.

  • 23 Lydia // Feb 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    You can explain that wallpaper??? Ummm….you dropped 3 hits of acid and then went to the wallpaper store? You fell down the stairs, hit your head, then went to the wallpaper store? You have multiple personality disorder and one of your other evil personalities picked the wallpaper?

  • 24 The Daddee // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Lydia, You’re over thinking it. Lori is blind.

  • 25 The Daddee // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Oh, and my guess is the great hero of childrens literature: Chuck Norris.

  • 26 Sue // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    my guess is Chicken Little. no real reason except you make reference to chickens with your girls nicknames.

  • 27 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Chicken Little is such a sweet guess! The girls saw it for the first time when they had the flu last week and LOVED it. I loved that story as a child (can you tell with all the Chicken references?).

    Lydia…Mom picked it. That should answer all of your questions. Ha Ha! Just kidding…Jenny came up with some good ideas and “Charleston Wallpaper Gone Wrong” will be repaired by my birthday. Plus…I’m blind. Everyone knows this. AND, well, I cannot decorate…AT ALL.

  • 28 The Momma // Feb 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    And Greg…Chuck Norris DOES NOT COUNT as a guess. I did not name my sewing machine Chuck Norris. Although, my machine is better than a Ninja. And we all know what is better than a Ninja….

  • 29 Lydia // Feb 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    …..a zombie?

  • 30 The Momma // Feb 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Lydia, CHUCK NORRIS. This is Indiana. We don’t allow Zombies in our state. We ship them all to Pennsylvania.

  • 31 Kathy Millis // Feb 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Lori is naming her machine “The Red Thread” That is a book by Grace Lin that’s my guess the only thing I can think of at the moment !

  • 32 The Momma // Feb 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Kathy that’s uncanny. How did you even know I love Grace Lin? Have you read Lissy’s Friends? She is fantastic. Great guess.

  • 33 Kathy Millis // Feb 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    See n Sew is my other guess….and I like Grace Lin too !

  • 34 Sarah // Feb 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    How about “The Little Red Hen” ?? That is what came to mind and I’m not sure why. I do love the bags you make and all your creative ideas! You are super inspiring 🙂

  • 35 Kathy // Feb 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I say Betty Boop – not that she’s in a book, or sews. I just like the name – Betty Boop. Betty Boop…

  • 36 Kathy // Feb 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Or how about Thumbelina? Cause it sounds like thimble.

  • 37 Deb in Indiana // Feb 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    The only character I can think of in classic children’s literature who sews is Marmee (Little Women), and I asked myself, would I name a sewing machine Marmee? And I answered myself, perhaps. My own treadle sewing machine, however, is already named “Queen of the West” in gold letters, right on the side.

    We are watching it snow and making bread and Killer Shrimp for supper. I LIKE snow days.

  • 38 The Momma // Feb 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I collected the entire Madame Alexander “Little Women” set. It took me years! That is perhaps one of my top 5 favorite books of my elementary years. Great guess! You are brave with a treadle!

  • 39 Lydia // Feb 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Pennsylvania says to the zombies, “Come at me, bro!” I live with a man that has seen every zombie movie multiple times. We are prepared. The undead don’t stand a chance. Bring it, zombies!

  • 40 Kathy Millis // Feb 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    The Bobbin Girl !
    I want a bag. 🙂

  • 41 Kara and Mike // Feb 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Okay, I’ve got nothin! I’m so lame that I can’t even come up with a guess, but I am a bit sleep deprived these days. But I will totally pay you to make me one of those tooth fairy bags:)

  • 42 The Momma // Feb 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm


    Sorry…you have to guess. You have a house packed with kids books! Guess anything!


    You are hereto and forevermore barred from mentioning Zombies on my blog. I am blocking the word “Zombie”. You may, however, make fun of my sewing room wallpaper, AND my laundry room wallpaper, AND my Mom jeans. And minivan. I miss you…but Zombie books cannot be guessed either.

  • 43 Deb in Indiana // Feb 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Treadle machines are wonderful. You control the speed directly, and there are amazingly intricate cool little attachments to do things like handkerchief hems and ruffles. You can sew some very thick stuff, too. You are, of course, absolutely limited to sewing forward, in a straight line. This is actually plenty good enough for making ordinary clothes, curtains, bags, Haloween costumes, and so on.

    Re: Little Women — were you a Jo or a Meg?

    Re: names: I’m sure that Ma from the Little House books sewed up a storm, but I would not name a sewing machine “Ma,” so that is out.

    But I did think of something somewhat sewing-related: how about Rumpelstiltskin? I think that’s a great name for a sewing machine, although not as good as “Queen of the West.”

  • 44 Pat // Feb 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Not from Children’s Lit – but one of the best musicals of all time – – Motel the Taylor in Fiddler on the Roof was SO excited to get his sewing machine – – the whole village turned out!
    Love the bags!

  • 45 Kathy Millis // Feb 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Snow White? she sewed….I think I’m out of guesses now, haha

  • 46 Kathy Millis // Feb 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Dina Kirk in the House of Tailors book? I really want a bag, haha

  • 47 Kathy Millis // Feb 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Ok just one more, hehe.
    The Tailor of Gloucester
    Beatrix Potter book where the tailor became ill and the mice had to finish the coat

  • 48 Deb in Indiana // Feb 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I took a look at the picture of your sewing machine — pretty sure my daughter would guess R2D2.

  • 49 Kara and Mike // Feb 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Okay, my guess is Heidi:) But I’m sure I’m wrong:)