I’d love to give handmade gifts to everyone I know. But a) I have a big family, never mind friends and b) as much as I love them all, many don’t realise how much time and effort goes into a handmade gift.
A friend of my sister’s once spent hours and hours making a beautiful beaded mobile for her nephew, only to find it crammed into the back of a cupboard on her next visit. And I never saw my (step) niece in the pink baby booties I made her.
My mom, sister and mom-in-law are the exceptions. The way their faces light up as they peel back the wrapping to see a handmade gift – and they way my mom-in-law shows it to everyone she sees for the next month – makes it totally worthwhile.
I don’t always give my mom and sister handmade as they’re extremely capable in this department and often prefer books, supplies or things for their homes. But I do make something for my mom-in-law’s birthday each year. So I hope she likes her latest gift, which I’ll be finishing off today. I can only post a picture once she’s opened it on 11 November, but here are two things I’ve made her in the past:
Bible holder, 2007.
She’s extremely active in the running of her small church and this has pockets inside for pens, notepads, leaflets... The pattern is from Inspirations issue 51, but the beaded and embroidered design is my own.
Crochet cushions, 2006.
Made from Erika Knight’s Essential Crochet, these cushions sit on a wooden “riempie” bench at the front door of my in-laws’ home.
Other gifts include cream embroidered bolster cushions, a make-up bag featuring an embroidered thistle (my mom-in-law is Scottish), a rust-coloured handbag with embroidered detailing… all of which she uses, much to my delight.
My mom has a hunter green pair of crocheted cushions, which she uses on their bed, and a black velvet jewellery box with ribbon blooms and embroidered stems. My sister has a stylised tulip cushion, appliquéd, and will no doubt be receiving more handmade gifts now that she and her fiancé have finally moved into their first home and her bottom drawer is empty.