It’s fun to get all wrapped up in wrapagami

FUROCHIC FABRICS produced by Jennifer Playford of Victoria, British Columbia, evolved from her interest in Japanese textiles. Her book, “Wrapagami,” shows how to handle a standard box and a single bottle for gift giving.


Three book fairs — each benefiting a different quilt guild in the Grand Valley — are planned this month at Barnes & Nobel Booksellers, 2451 Patterson Road. A percentage of all sales during each event go to the sponsoring guild. Shoppers need to present a voucher from guild members or ask at check-out that their purchases be credited to the specific guild. Purchases at the caf&233; are included as well.

Monies go toward each guild’s ongoing continuing education programs.

Thursday, Dec. 9: Sunset Slope Quilters will give hand-quilting demonstrations and display Christmas-themed table runners, table toppers and wall quilts. Shoppers can vote for their favorite with a People’s Choice ballot. The guild’s 2011 raffle quilt also will be exhibited.

Tuesday, Dec. 14: Colorado West Quilters Guild will show hand-stitching techniques and give demonstrations, as well as gift-wrap purchases for customers. At 7 p.m., an old-fashioned bed turning is planned; many quilts are layered on a bed and turned down one-by-one to reveal the next design underneath it.

Wednesday, Dec. 15: The Art Quilt Association of Western Colorado will give demonstrations, display members’ art pieces, sponsor a children’s table and staff a gift-wrapping station. Special bookmarks will be given to customers.

I often envy holiday gift wrappers at retail stores, secretly wishing I could spend a couple weeks of the Christmas season in their place.

Wrapping presents is one of my favorite chores. It ranks up there with baking date pinwheel cookies from my mother’s treasured recipe. But neither is really a chore per se.

I happily anticipate the yuletide tradition of wrapping — rolling out the fanciful papers, crisply folding and tucking the edges around the boxes, then tying them with a flourish in elegant wired ribbons, perhaps catching a tiny bauble in the bow.

It’s as much fun for me to wrap a present as it is to open one.

That’s why I was drawn to a book titled “Wrapagami.” It’s the art of fabric gift wraps written by Jennifer Playford of Victoria, British Columbia, and published by St. Martin’s Griffin.

Now I can combine my fabric addiction with my zest for wrapping presents.

I tried at least a dozen of the book’s styles — from the easy four-tie box wrap to the single bottle wrap with a twisted fabric handle.

No tape, no scissors required. The wrapping is a gift within itself, and because it’s reusable, it’s a green alternative to paper.

Playford’s instructions and diagrams are simple to follow. (If you want to watch demos on her wrapping techniques, go to her website,

Furochic is Playford’s interpretation of a traditional Japanese fabric wrap called furoshiki. She has designed and produced original patterns on 100 percent cotton under the Furochic label, which is distributed internationally; each wrap measures 27 inches square.

In her book, Playford tells how to make your own fabric wraps — either hemmed or cut with pinking shears — and gives approximate sizes based on the type of gift.

For example, a hardcover book requires a medium-sized wrap of 28 inches square to 32 inches square.

Of the 25 wraps featured in the “Wrapagami” book, two that I enjoyed most were the kangaroo wrap and the repurposed wrap.

The kangaroo wrap actually folds into a front pouch, into which another surprise can be tucked for the recipient’s delight. It’s perfect for a baby shower, with the pouch holding a plush animal or a baby rattle.

The repurposed wrap calls for a secondhand man’s shirt from a thrift store.

Tuck the gift inside the shirt, buttons facing upward, then cross the long sleeves behind and over the front, tying them into a square knot. I wrapped an outdated necktie around the knot for an amusing embellishment.

For other styles, I raided a jewelry box with old and mismatched pieces. Vintage brooches, earrings, long necklaces, silk flowers and other trinkets turn into clever adornments.

Finally, I have one last recycling tip of my own to share.

Make gift tags from last year’s greeting cards by cutting out the best designs with decorative-edge scissors, punch a small hole in one corner and fasten to your wrapagami package with ribbon.

Now, that’s a wrap.

E-mail Sherida.Warner@


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