Appliqued Gift Bags, 450 Cookies, and a Sneak Peek

Applique Gift Bags, and a sneak peek.

Applique Gift Bags, good use of scrap, and a great way to try fusible applique!

Like many of you, I have been sewing holiday gifts. I would post them except they are meant to be surprises for the recipients. But aren’t these gift bags fun? Simple raw edge applique, lightly fused in place. Easy shapes, quick projects, and recyclable too!

Patterns and a tutorial for gift bags can be found here: Fusible Appliqué: A Tutorial

Yesterday was cookie baking day for my family. We do cookies in a big way, because we have to. On Christmas Day evening, after all the family shindigs have wound down, we host Winter Feast at our house.

cookies everywhere

Cookies cooling on every surface.

This started when my sons were in high school. Many of their friends did not celebrate the holidays, but they loved the food. Since our whole family loves to cook, Winter Feast was born. It endures after a dozen years, and friends old and new drift through, many visiting home and rekindling high school friendships.

Biscotti, tingalings, and Mexican wedding cakes

Biscotti, tingalings, and Mexican wedding cakes.

I am sure that the neighbors had some concerns the first time this event happened, but now they also look forward to it. The large group of people who assemble is diverse in countless ways. At first it was mostly rowdy young men with sagging jeans and tough attitudes, but it has grown to include their parents, girl friends, spouses, new babies, and more. While my house is decked for Christmas, we have food from many cultures, with people adding Laotian, Vietnamese, African, Mexican, Jewish, Vegan, and vegetarian fare. My small home will see 40-60 guests over the evening, some will linger into the wee hours for chats or games.

Limonbelles awaiting icing.

Limonbelles awaiting icing.

Frankly, we rarely invite anyone, but they know it will happen and they just show up. If I were to move away, the new owners of my house would be in for a surprise on Christmas when tons of people came over. My son’s generation of friends has moved around the country, but if they are in town for the holidays, they know where to come and see their old friends.

Can I tell you that this crowd sails through cookies! For the last few years my son’s girlfriend has been a driving force in getting them made, and brought one of her best friends in to help.

Baking cookies with friends

Liz and Burd baking cookies.

The three of us gathered yesterday at her friend’s house and cranked out 450 cookies, eight kinds. My sons opt out, preferring to be the tasters. We finished spritz, limonbelles, sugar cookies, tingalings, Mexican wedding cakes, two kinds of biscotti, and peppermint pinwheels, which leaves only the krumkaka for me to make this week. (How wonderful that nothing has any calories in December!)

Granola Girl Cardinals in Aspen, a fusible applique project.Sneak peek: Many of you have asked about different types of applique. Fusible applique, even as simple as the gift bags above, is a great way to start. On New Year’s Eve I will be posting a fusible applique tutorial, using a favorite pattern. I am excited to tell you that there will be a Very Special Giveaway posted as well!

©2010, The Curious Quilter,,


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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5 Responses to Appliqued Gift Bags, 450 Cookies, and a Sneak Peek

  1. Linda Bott says:

    oh I hope the applique tutorial will be of the pic you showed with the cardinals….please let it be!!!

  2. Shari says:

    What a wonderful tradition! I hope you have a lovely Winter Feast!

  3. AliExi says:

    You are making me hungry!

  4. Carole says:

    What a great tradition, I have a small family, this extended one sounds like lots of fun.

    Lovely gift bags, looking forward to the NYE tutorial, have wanted to try fusible applique. Thanks! – Carole

  5. Mary, what a lovely tradition you have created, – much, much better than keeping in touch just via Christmas cards.
    Krumkaker is my favourite among the cookies we usually make for Christmas. 🙂

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