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Thanks so much for all of your words these past few days - they've been so nice to read. Before we move on from HANDMADE HOME, I want to round out the week telling you about just a few more favorite projects in the book.
(And a note for those of you waiting on books from my shop - they're coming as fast as I can send them - while still feeding my children three meals a day. Wink, wink. I expect to be all caught up in the next day, so watch your mailboxes! Oh - and yes! I'm shipping internationally -just select your country at checkout.)
One more thing - as stated in the back of the book, the pattern templates are available for online downloading and printing (they won't make sense without the book and corresponding patterns, so you'll need that of course!). You can find those now on Shambhala's website, and on the HANDMADE HOME page.
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Today from HANDMADE HOME, I bring you...Ezra's Letter Satchel!
These letter satchels are also one of the boys' favorite gifts to make and give. They can be so easily and sweetly customized for a friend with a little child-like imagination, and made not just for letters, of course, but anything really. We all have 'bits of paper' we want to gather and collect, right?
The satchels are really simple enough in construction for a young child to do much of the work on, and they're quick to make, too. I find that 'quick' is helpful for sewing projects with kids, particularly at these young ages. Really, though, we all love a little instant gratification, don't we?
And Mama likes to make them too.
Recently, I was given this very special pile of letters. They're letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother when he was in Germany during WWII. But there are hardly any tales of war, or the place in the world that he was in, or any of the events that were going on around him. Instead, they are simply and beautifully 'love letters' of the truest sense - they were courting in the beginning of the letters that span a period of four years. By the end, they were engaged and planning their wedding and family. I can hardly put into words what these letters mean to me, of course...the personal history that they tell, the gaps in our family stories that they fill, and the record of the passion, love and sweetness that my grandparents shared in their marriage. (Not to mention, how much more compassion I think I feel for all soldiers far away from those they love).
Well anyway, the letters arrived from my mother in a recycled manilla envelope. My sweet Mama must know me well, because as she handed them off, and saw me glance silently at the oh-so-humble envelope containing such family treasure...she gave a slight roll of her eyes with a smile and said, "I know. I'm sure you'll find something else to put them in."
Well, naturally. A Letter Satchel was in order.
I made this one last night (yes, last night). I scanned one of the letters, printed it out onto fabric (using printer fabric), and stitched that onto the outer fabric in place of the name label in the pattern. I skipped the button, because it seemed too much with all of that print, but other than that, it's true to the pattern.
And now...these very special letters have a new home. And a new way to travel when the next family member is ready to read the treasured tales of history, family and love.