The Gift of Giving

I remember when I used to have a measure of embarrassment about telling people that I liked to embroider, sew and craft.  The response I frequently received from many was a firm declaration of not knowing one end of a needle from another and no intention of ever finding out. Embroidery, knitting, crochet et al were synonymous with being boring and not cool at all.

I am sure, like me, many of you enjoyed such handicrafts when they were deeply unfashionable. Mr Stitches used to be quite protective of who I would make gifts for because so many people didn’t value handmade items or appreciate the hard work that went into them. All this seems to have changed in recent years.  What is particularly noticeable is the trend for handmade gifts.

I am all in favour of handmade giving. It is something I will always do.  However, I was thinking about how many people love the idea of being creative but are often not too sure about where to begin. I started to wonder if there is a way to share skills rather than simply make something for a friend or loved one.

image

Leaving Udine last week meant saying goodbye to a beautiful family with two girls to whom I had been teaching cross stitch. I decided to make up individual kits for them. I used the “I Love You” design from my shop for the older girl. I spent a while shopping around for a simple design for the younger girl, but I just couldn’t find the right thing. In the end, I gave up and designed one of my own.

image

It was then simply a matter of assembling kits using aida, floss, needles and hoops I already had to hand.  I popped each one into a gift box along with this gorgeous printed tissue paper I found in the supermarket.  Oh I love the Italian way of making everything pretty! I had spent quite some time teaching these girls how to stitch but I think, if I make something like this in future, I might add a “gift certificate”, giving the receiver some of my time to teach them how to stitch.

image

It probably won’t surprise you to know that I didn’t get away with no making whatsoever.  I made up a couple of gift tags using mini hoops (just over 2″ in diameter) – one for each girl.  I wished I had bought a chain to go with each so they could make them into pendants after they opened their gifts.  Another thing to remember for next time.

image

I thought it all made for a very balanced handmade gift: A little making on my part and a chance for the recipient to do some stitching too!

image

I loved how my mini hoops worked out.  I am currently working on making up patterns for the whole alphabet and they should be in my shop very soon.

There have been lots of other stitchy goings on her so I hope to be back to share more soon.

 


12 thoughts on “The Gift of Giving

  1. Truly lovely gifts! I am still guilty of only gifting handmade things to those I know will appreciate them. Too many times, I’ve been disappointed/hurt to never see again something I’ve spent months or more working on. So, I’m more selective these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kate. I think being a little circumspect about who to make gifts for is still a wise thing to do. I have friends (and even some extended family members) who are lovely but just don’t “get” it. I hope all went well with the move and you are settling in well too xx

      Like

  2. They look lovely!

    I know what you mean about getting a, ‘how dull and pathetic’ response. I came to the conclusion that it because it was traditionally a female (and often one done mostly by older ladies) activity that gave stitchery a bad rap. Only stuff that men are into was cool. Had I been keen on football, cars or weight lifting, I’d have been seen as really with it!!!! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I am glad that the “how dull and pathetic” response has diminished in recent years – people are a bit more likely to say “I’d love to do that” nowadays. My theory for the negative view of such crafts is similar to yours. Painting, sculpture, etc were traditionally the preserve of men whereas embroidery was for women. Painting and sculpture became “art” and embroidery relegated to “handicraft”. Hmmm 😉

      Like

  3. Amber – I love this post! YES – I, too, was stitching for a long time before it started to be considered ‘cool’ again (was it ever?) 🙂 I actually didn’t predict that cross stitch was about to become so fashionable when I started out designing a few years ago. It was/had always been my hobby and I simply had lots of ideas that I wanted to stitch. For once in my life I didn’t show up late to the party! 😉 What lovely, thoughtful gifts you have given these two girls – and the gift tags are gorgeous! I am excited for the patterns to be available in your shop soon! xx

    Like

  4. What truly lovely gifts, so thoughtful and I’m sure they were well received. They are very lucky girls to receuve your gift of time and something to try themselves. I too still get ‘strange looks’ when I talk about how passionate I am about embroidery and am picky about who I spend time making things for.

    Like

  5. what a lovely idea! I’m still cautious who i tell that I embroider, sew and crochet. Some people really look down their noses at me. I often find it’s the people whose idea of a good time is getting drunk and falling over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wendy. A very good point you make 😉. The one that irritates me is when people say “Oh, I wouldn’t even know how to sew a button back on”, like they are really clever for saying it! What is clever about not knowing how to do something?? That said there are plenty of who say exactly the same thing but also express a desire to learn. It is good you are not letting the negative attitudes of others get you down!

      Like

  6. I love giving homemade giftsand am lucky that my family and friends appreciate the thought and work that goes into them. I have also had the pleasure of initiating several young people in the joys of xstitch including one of my male students lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is good to have friends like that. Most of my friends and family fall into the good category but there are a few (some I am very fond of) who just don’t get it! I find children are completely fascinated by it and are eager to learn.

      Like

      1. yes, my sister doesn’t “get it” ^^ She’s always looking at things I made and telling me I could sell that on the internet! I tell her, I don’t make to sell, I make to give ^^

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s