Gift Baskets

I like to embroider or crochet little items, like dish towels or aprons. I do it to have something to do with my hands while traveling or while sitting in front of the television watching a program that is less than engaging. Once in a while, I find myself rummaging through my basket of handmade items to give as a gift to someone. For example, a friend moved into a new house – viola! She got a dish towel with strawberries embroidered on it. Another friend was organizing a fundraiser for a non-profit organization – viola! There went the matching mother/daughter aprons.

Sometimes I make things for someone on purpose, baby blankets, for example. I thank God that babies take nine months to percolate! But that is something else, entirely.

I am reflecting this morning on the items I make that I don’t know who they are for. I am recalling the women who came before me, who had their own baskets of things to give away. My maternal grandmother had a stash of aprons and crocheted rugs that were gifts awaiting recipients to happen along. My Aunt Alice crocheted baby blankets and, later, little Christmas tree ornaments that doubled as cat toys if she put some catnip into them. Aunt Rose tatted lace around the edges of handkerchiefs. I don’t know if my Aunt Jo had a particular craft but she married a man named Ralph who made doll houses and little churches that many of us nieces and nephews still have. Like the handiwork of my aunts, I suspect Uncle Ralph’s “gifts” were created before the receiver was known to him.



9 thoughts on “Gift Baskets”

  1. I do that with crochet stuff… I keep a small project in the car and in my bag, typically a baby hat or a dish cloth. With 4 school aged kids, it always feels like I’m waiting in a parking lot somewhere, and it’s good to have something other than my cell phone to entertain me.

  2. He he! I do the same thing. I am always to be seen within arms reach of a crochet hook. I start projects without knowing who they are for, I start them because I like the look of them. Sometimes (all the time LOL) I will be working on three or four (or five or six!) projects at the same time. Then when you add in my sewing and knitting… Hand embroidery has passed me by though, I have never been very good at that. You should post some pictures of the things you make, I’m sure lots of people would like to see them. There is a huge amount of crafters in the blogging community who can give you ideas and inspiration.

    1. Thanks. I am not so much a crafter as a person who has to keep her hands busy if the other thing I am doing is boring. That is why I like to do things during long driving trips and in front of the TV. I have done a little quilting, though. It isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I like the outcome and it is a way of “framing” the embroidery I do. It is also nice to quilt when I can choose a fabric that is unique to the person I am making the gift for.
      I really like projects that use the leftovers that crafts create. It fits in with my philosophy of simplicity. I recently made 3 hand crocheted rugs made of scraps from about 10 years of quilting projects. I chose the colors randomly and they turned out great.

      1. Oooh crocheted rugs! That’s something that I keep saying I am going to do. I also have lots and lots of offcuts and scraps – I always keep them ‘just in case’ – from various projects (I do quilts too occasionally but embroidery is not my strong point). I really must get on with it and stop procrastinating about it!

  3. That’s really sweet! I do the same thing and so does one of my Great Aunties. I’m working on a knitted baby towel right now for no baby in particular. It’s fun to think that I’m making a present for someone who doesn’t even exist yet!

    1. Oh my gosh…I just clicked your name and it took me to your blog! I didn’t know that would happen.
      I only read a little, but really like it. Really colorful. I have to show it to Chris…need to dress mine up a bit. I hope to get back to it later…

  4. I just put some transfer designs on some aprons and dish towels last night and started embroidering one of the towels. I spoke to a young man yesterday who is moving into his new apartment in town. I think I’ll give a dish towel to him. If I am in the mood and have time…a loaf of bread. The nice thing is that these kinds of gifts are never expected.

  5. I do this with knitted gifts. I always have scarfs, hats and coffee cup sleeves on hand. Its easy to dig through my basket and find the perfect gift.

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