Sunday, 26 October 2008

Gifting handmade

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.


Cele said...

It's lovely to recieve a handmade gift, there i lhardly anything more special. Your family are very lucky. Those crocheted cushions are beautiful and look like they took ages to make.

Anonymous said...

I like giving handmade gifts too but like only to those who appreciate them. the bible cover and cushions are all lovely.

Katy said...

No wonder she appreciates your gifts! I can't wait to see what she's in store for this year!

Anonymous said...

Very few people in my family have any idea how much effort goes into a handmade present either. But I gave my grandma a pincushion I made last Christmas and she displayed it as a decoration cos she liked it so much :-) That bible cover is gorgeous and it's clear that so much effort goes into your presents.

Joana said...

I whish you were family :)

Lil D said...

You have a lucky family!

I always gets nervous about giving handmade gifts - and often chicken out. I think that these days many people have no idea how long things take to make, as many of them have never made anything in their lives. I worry that they think I'm being cheap rather than being thoughtful.

Lil D said...

PS. sorry, I forgot to tell you what that crochet stitch was: The stitch is called the Catherine Wheel stitch. I really love this stitch - the blanket took no time at all, and it's an easy stitch (I only know about 2 basic stitches and I can manage it...).