Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ok, I’ve been away for a while, and I had promised to talk about the best reception of a stitched gift. So here goes.

Without a doubt, my family members are the most appreciative of anything I’ve ever stitched for them. Mom and Dad have several of my pieces in their dining room, including a big sampler for their 40th anniversary, some smaller samplers, and a few pieces with sayings. Maybe you’d call those samplers, too. But without alphabets. A couple pieces of work have found their way out to the living room.

Mom always loves what I’ve stitched and I believe it’s genuine. Dad loves my stitching, too, although he’s never been as verbal about it as Mom. But my paternal grandmother was very accomplished at embroidery, (and tailoring and knitting) and Dad was a very talented model railroader (HO scale), so he seems to have an eye and an appreciation for detail and fine work that many men may not have. Giving them a stitched gift makes me feel fabulous. If they were ever to decide that they didn’t like gifts of my stitching…. I’d be sad, because I enjoy the process of making the gift so much. But I’d prefer their honesty.

My brothers and sisters also seem to appreciate my stitching and I’ve even made them a couple of quilts. Maybe they take their cues from Mom and Dad? But I think they genuinely like their gifts. I have one sister that has received lots of my stitching, and I know she likes it, but she doesn’t take care of it. Once she put lots of stuff in storage (my stitching included), then didn’t pay the storage fees and lost it all. I’m ok with that – it was a gift, after all. She likes it – she’s just kind of clueless. I wonder if my stitching was auctioned off? Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned up, 100 years later, in some collector’s stash? Well, we can all dream!

I have friends who like my stitching, too, but you never know. One of my dearest friends lives in a log cabin. I tended to buy or stitch her “woodsy” or “cabin-y” things. Now she and her husband have separated. She still lives in the cabin. But as it turns out, she doesn’t like the cabin very much. He liked the cabin, and the woodsy, LLBean type décor. Now that he’s gone, she’s doing her best to convert the interior to her tastes. Holy cow, was I ever off! She’s way more Pier One. And I’ll tell you what, I’d so much rather know that than to keep giving/stitching her things that she doesn’t like.

But I’m getting away from the original gist of my post.

Two instances stick in my mind.

The stitched gift that sticks in my mind the most was something I stitched for my grandmother. She had been through so many changes in her life. She lost my grandfather, then she lost my great grandmother (they lived together), and then after staying with my mom a bit, she sold her house in New Jersey and moved to a small apartment near my parents in Philly. MomMom was having a tough time adjusting to all of this. So for Christmas, I stitched a simple “Welcome” sign in a heart wreath as her gift. Something for her new digs. She was so taken, she just cried. And I have a photo of her all teary eyed, holding the stitching up on Christmas morning. I always laughed at her – Smilingly telling her to “quit that cryin’.” She really did love it and I was so happy that something I had made meant so much to her.

I had a wonderful grandmother, and I still miss her, even after 15 years.

My other most memorable moment was with my DD Colleen. When she was little, I loved making her vests to wear to school. I loved the fabric panel easy-as-pie vests you could buy at JoAnn Fabric. And I loved to make them with a pattern and embroider them, and add buttons, and I loved to pick out her favorite things for the fabrics - usually kitty cats.

Then one day I made a vest, (don't even really remember which one it was), and she put it on, and I said something like Colleen, how do you like that new vest? And she said in her 8 year voice, "Mom, I like the vest, but what I like most about it is that you made it for me." You could have knocked me over with a feather. She's a gem - and always will be.

So – those are my most treasured gift moments.

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