Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gifts of Stitching or What Stitching do You Gift-a-Way???

Gentle Friends, usually I talk about SF on Wednesdays, but not much is happening in my little old life here by the Bay that would be of interest - however, yesterday I was reading over on the 123 Board about a subject I thought was very interesting.  I read that Board daily, I might not comment often, but I read through most of the Posts every day.  There was a post about a stitching gift that wound up in a Church Bazaar and how upset the stitcher was.  That brought lots of reply's with examples of stitching gifts finding their way to thrift shops and garage sales.  

It also got me to thinking that I really never gift away my stitching unless someone specifically asks -  either for something specific I've finished or that I am working on.  

On the weekends I am always out Thrifting as you know and going to Estate Sales, and the mountains of stitching I see at the Salvation Army stores and Goodwill's and various thrift shops is just crazy.  I usually take a look at the pieces and think of the hours of work put into them, and at the same time think how sad it is for it to end up in a pile with framed prints or empty frames for a couple of dollars.  It's especially sad to see names and dates on things, marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, christenings, birth announcements and other things.   

 After my mom passed and we broke up her house last year one of the things I made sure to do was to gather up the framed stitched pieces I had given her to make sure I got them back and they did not go into the Estate Sale. One of the nicer things that happened during all that hubbub was one of the women friends of my mom's that had helped her out so much stopped by while my sister and I were there.   We were standing around talking and reminiscing I mentioned that I wanted her have something from my Mom's house as a sort of remembrance.... she immediately walked over and picked up one of my stitched samplers I had given my mom - she didn't know I had made it - after she found out that I had stitched it she was really happy about that, and I was thrilled to let her have the piece.  

Here's one of the pieces I made for my mom that came back to me.......


... I took this picture in my mom's house, you can tell by the dark paneling behind the piece that was in the family room .....  I remember what a pleasure this was to stitch and it's nice to see it in my house and know that I made it for my mom and that she enjoyed it - I was a travelling piece and I was stitching on it on one of my trips home and she and totally asked for it, it became a Christmas present.

I know that when I'm gone that the stitching I've done will probably end up on a pile somewhere, but for now I enjoy seeing the things on the walls - and can only hope that what I've made will end up in good hands..... just something to think about.
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That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again.

Take care,
edgar

35 comments:

Rachel S-H said...

I give things to people that I know will appreciate it. My mom, my MIL, and my best friend. And my husband. Or things that go in exchanges. I just don't "share" well.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

WOW! My Mother once told me to give needlework to people who understood and appreciated the time to make a handmade gift. Glad you are a realist (me too).

LindaLee said...

I also have seen stitched pieces in the thrift shops and all Edgar, and have always thought about the love that went into each stitch. A real shame. I have bought a couple of the ones that I found but there are so many out there.

You're so fortunate to get the pieces back from your mom. Not only did she love and enjoy them, but for you they'll bring back many good memories of her.

Mary said...

I feel the same way ( sad) when you find books at sales with inscriptions. Years ago I received a small book from my children, one of the girls had found it at a book sale. It read " To Mother from Bob Jr, Mothers day 1936" It was a little book of poems. My children wrote in it " To Mommy Love, Mothers Day 2006. PS Please don't get rid of this book like Bob's Mother did!!!! my favorite. Sad no family member rescued it. I think it is nice when others admire your stitching, I know your Mother's friend will think of her when she looks at this piece.

Shirlee said...

It's very sad when someone doesn't appreciate the time or thought you've put into a stitched gift for them. Then again, it brings much joy when you make something for someone who is appreciative. I've had it both ways. I'm glad you were able to get back the stitching you did for your mom, & also glad that one of the pieces was appreciated by her friend.

Jan said...

Hello Edgar! How interesting you should write a post on this subject. Just this past weekend I gathered the nerve to ask my daughter in law about the stitchings I had lovingly made for my two granddaughters. I noticed they no longer hung on the walls in their bedrooms. Apparently the stitchings no longer "matched" the colours and decor in their bedrooms. I was okay with that......but, sadly rather than keep them in a memory box, or at least salvaging the frames, they ended up in the garbage. Well, I can't control what happens to my works after they are given away, but the beautiful Sudberry House jewellery boxes I have been working on for the three of them are now on hold!

Vicki said...

I can't tell you how many pieces I have bought at the Goodwill or Estate Sales just because I know how much work the stitcher put into them. I have them displayed in my craft room. I have given gifts to people that didn't ask (baby/wedding samplers), but I know they may end up at the Goodwill some day. Oh well.

Ann said...

Sadly, I learned early on that I should give needlework only to people who also stitch, as they are the ones who appreciate it and rarely ever receive stitched presents. As far as what happens after I am gone, both DD and DIL stitch so I think most of the stash will find a good home. However, to be painfully realistic, I won't be here to care!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

You know, this is an interesting thought to sit with. I've stopped giving handmade things to friends and family members that don't stitch. I just feel like only another stitcher would appreciate the time and love that goes into making a piece. Sad, but in my experience true.

Lizzy said...

This is a subject we all think about. I also think about my scrapbooks. Well we have to enjoy them now i guess.

Beth said...

It makes me I'll to think of someone throwing away a lovingly gifted stitch because of a change in decor or the age of the child. Speaking of which...will I get up the nerve to ask my sister in law what she's done with the bunnies I stitched and framed for my nephews when they were little ( they are now 18 & 22)?!

Jeanne said...

I mostly stitch for myself because most other non-stitchers don't really value it like we do. I too am sad when I see handmade items (quilts, old doilies, etc) for sale so cheap - I think of all the work that someone did to make the piece and they likely were proud of it. My things will likely end up the same way as I have no children to pass anything to. When my grandmother died I got back a needlepoint pincushion I'd made for her when I was in high school- it's stuffed from sawdust from my dad's garage tablesaw - I enjoy looking at it and remembering them both. We do this because we love it and that has to be enough I guess!

Berit said...

All things in this world probably have a "fate"--they will come to be in a state we'd call "destroyed" or "lost", at any rate.

As for gifts, I keep learning not to go for it unless a asked, but then something "perfect" occurs to me and off I go! They are almost all in a to be finished pile...finishing mojo? Not in this house!!! Heh.

I sure think it is wonderful Mom's friend chose a work from you as a memento! And I remember when you stitched the pictured piece for your mom, too!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Great post edgar. The piece you did for your mom was pretty. I know her friend will enjoy it. I only give to People I know will love the piece. But who knows where they will end up some day.

Colleen said...

I think everything I would have said is here in the previous comments. I too wonder what will happen to the walls of stitching when I'm gone. I've suggested to my daughter she contact a textile museum, perhaps they might want something. Other than that I'm sure it's off to Value Village (the Canadian equivalent of Goodwill). I guess the lesson is to live for today, because tomorrow is uncertain. Now back to BBD Hedgerow Birds!

Julie said...

For me so long as I am enjoying each stitch I put in and it makes me happy now I don't mind where it goes after I am no longer here. Having said that family members have already got their eyes on certain projects I have on my walls......

Jennifer said...

Maybe I'm vain, but it breaks my heart when one of my handmade pieces ends up in a "pile". I found a small quilted wall hanging I made for my brother of his beloved cat Murphy while I was house-sitting. It was at the bottom of the linen closet in a plastic bag. That was years ago and I have never mentioned it to him, but it still hurts to this day. I am pretty sure my sister-in-law put it there as she is not fond of "sewing stuff" or anything handmade for that matter. My mother has found sweaters she has knit for my niece and nephew (never worn!) in yard sale bags. She laughs about it but I know this hurts her too. She says "they prefer things that say GAP or AEROPOSTAL to anything that grandma makes!"
My grandfather, a tough old sailor who lost his own mother at the age of 4 was the most appreciative of anyone of handmade gifts. I had made some little flannel stuffed rabbits to sell to make some pocket money when I was a kid. About a dozen of them. He bought them ALL for an outrageous price and never parted with a single one.

cucki said...

Great post my dear...the piece you do for mom is very pretty...
I stitch for my friends and for my family..
Big hugs x

Nancy said...

Lovely stitching that you did for your Mom Edgar. I think I remember reading on your blog that you have nieces and nephews - I would make sure they get your stitching - not that you are going anywhere! I think serious needleworkers have had that same thought though - I have. If my daughters or grandchildren didn't want some of my stitching I would be sure they knew to contact the EGA or a similar organization about what to do with my needlework. Not that I'm going anywhere either!

Krista said...

I used to make gifts for everyone for almost any and every occasion, holiday, anniversary, baby, wedding, etc. At one point I realized I did not have one thing for myself! At that point I decided to only stitch for me and only stitch for others on a rare occasion when it is specifically asked for or I absolutely know it will be the person's style and taste. What a wonderful story about your Mother's neighbor, and I love the piece you brought back with you. A very cheery sampler, I hope it gives you fond and happy memories of your Mom.

Margaret said...

I often wonder what will happen to my stitching when I'm gone. I'm never sure anyone in my family really appreciates it at all. I hope they do. How lovely for you that that friend of your mom's wanted one of your stitching pieces that you made for your mom. So special indeed. Nice to have the pieces you gifted your mom back as well.

Frances N said...

I, too, am glad to read this post! How touching that your mother's friend wanted your piece! You know she liked it because she chose it, but then she was thrilled when she found out you made it! How wonderful!
After my mother in law passed, I got back a couple of things I had stitched for her and I'm so glad to have them back. I really liked them and I remember how pleased she was that I made for her. It's just a great memory each time I see them.

Jackie said...

I actually have been thinking about this. I have 2 sons and I need to stitch some things I know they'll want. Anniversaries of the Heart is in progress. I know they'd like some Christmas ornaments. Outside that, I need to find out more about what they'd be interested in having (if anything). If they don't like any of it (possible), I'll have my friend who will be in charge of disposing of my stash do something with the finished items too.

Natasha said...

I make ornaments and pillows but I usually give them to either stitching friends or to my Aunt or Grandma because I know they will trully appreciate the time that went into it.

I also stitch a birth announcement or crochet a blanket for friends that are expecting. The ones that I have given have been accepted with great joy.

I have often thought about where my stuff would go if I ever leave this world. I have a few stitching friends in mind that I will bequeath my stash to, I have let my hubby aware of my plans LOL

I agree, I hate to see special stitched items in the goodwill or at yard sales :(

Wanda said...

Edgar, how fabulous that your mom's friend asked for a piece that you had stitched for your mom and how wonderful that you have one of the beautiful pieces you made her (love it!).
It makes me sad when I see handmade items that you know were stitched with love for sale at ridiculous prices. I have purchased a few pieces and can only hope that others who do are now loving and valuing them (even if they were never the intended recipient). I am also sure much of my stitched stuff will be cast off somewhere but if someone who loves it ends up with it, then all is good.

Vicky said...

I have only ever gifted one piece and that was to my mum. She has hung it pride of place so that you see it when you walk in her front door :)

Denise said...

I understand exactly how you feel about seeing all that lovely stitching at yard sales,etc. I always wonder why it ended up there.
I have threatened my son that he is not to put any of my samplers on Ebay after I'm gone! (Fortunately, he appreciates the work)...
Where I live, there are few cross stitchers. I am fortunate to have a LNS near where I work.
I am glad you got your framed pieces from your Mom's. I know they are extra special.

Caitlin D said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I can only imagine the amount of love poured into those pieces. Hopefully in the future your granddaughters will realize the value in everything you do for them even if their mother does not.

Melody said...

Good topic, Edgar. I have told our two children, that I would haunt them if stitching ended up on the goodwill pile after I'm gone. I have told them, if neither one of you want these things, give them away to people that do!

It is sad to see pieces someone spent hours on at the goodwill store or at a yard sale.

Erin said...

Lovely post, Edgar. I often wonder what will happen to all the things I've made....with the number of "smalls" I've done, I can't imagine anyone would want them all! (Although I've left instructions with DH that were anything to happen to me, he is to take all my finished "pretties" and put them out at whatever kind of memorial service/funeral he decides to have and let people take things that they would like. Also, they have to do Mad Libs at my funeral. LOL) And even if there is an appreciation of my work by those close to me after my passing, eventually those people will be gone too.... :/ I think of the few historic samplers that have been charted as reproductions , and wonder how lucky those long-gone stitchers were to have their work 1) EXIST for so long and 2) given a chance at re-birth, as it were!

Joy said...

I gift cross stitch quite a bit but generally only to people who I know will like it and then generally smaller things.

The only one piece that really "got away" was a birth sampler I made for my then-boyfriend's sister. The baby had not been born until after we broke up and I personalized it and had it professionally framed and everything but I never got so much as a thank you and in hindsight, I should have ripped out the blue hands and resistched them as pink and gave it to a couple at the church I was working for at the time. I didn't give him the piece that I had stitched for him. I ended up giving it to a friend who actually does have it hanging on the wall.

Barb said...

We must all have those same thoughts and feelings. I feel the same about family photos. It breaks my heart to see some little child's picture that no one wants any more. I kept all my Grandma's doilies that I could find.

CathieJ said...

I always hope that the craftwork I have stitched for people will be cherished and passed on but I know that is not always the case. Much of my crafting stays with me or goes to my children. I will keep what I have given to my mom when she is gone. My MIL already regifted to me a piece I made for here many years ago. I really liked that thought. I am sure there is someone in your family or friends that will cherish your talents after you are gone.

Susan said...

I do hope the recipients will appreciate the work that went into any stitched/handcrafted gift I give, but I also feel that once I give a gift to someone it is theirs to do with as they please.

stitchinpeanut said...

I give to those I know will enjoy the item that I invested time to make. Some non-stitchers do not realize the work that goes into the process and they do not treat what has been made the way I feel they should.

On the other note... several years ago I stopped at an estate sale... on on a blanked in the side yard laid out... one even had been glass cracked was a series of the mirabilia pieces finished and framed... OH MY GOODNESS... They wanted a $2 each for them i almost cried... then over some was a STACK of pieces stitched but not framed... Oh my heart just wanted to scream. I asked them if they were an agency or family. The girl said family...after her asking if I wanted to buy them... I said no... thank you but I have to say that the person that stitched these ... it was YEARS of their life... and their emotions... tears... joys... struggles... prayers... sorrow... frustration... all went into each stitch... and I hope that they are unable to see how you have decided them to be so worthless.... I thought ...As family you should want these cherished pieces of this family member to keep forever. she looked shocked and said Sorry... and who are you to her??? I said just a NO BODY that stitches and HOPE and PRAYS that one day my family will see my work as more valuable than $2 in a Junk pile broken and ending sold to a stranger for the frame alone. I I felt guilty saying that to a stranger... but they were missing it... and losing out on a piece of this person that was so valuable. I had to leave and still felt like crying after.
How Sad!!!
On a happy note... what an great piece you stitched for your mom... the frame was PERFECT and it was gorgeous.