My brother and I made a deal this year that we would exchange handmade gifts. We were sick of the commercialism of the Christmas spending frenzy, so handmade gifts seemed like a good idea. I don't know how successful this pact has been for my brother, but I've gotten at least one gift made.
Pictured is the covered journal I made for him. I used a blue batik fabric as a base, and quilted it heavily with wavy vertical lines and an interesting embroidery stitch on my Pfaff. I then appliqued a piece of handmade felt I had leftover from another project and stitched some heavy circular patterns (I added a couple to the back of the journal as well).
I used the last scrap of felt to make a coordinating bookmark. My brother is a talented writer when he puts his mind to it - I hope this might encourage him to keep at it. I hope he likes it anyway.