I dare to bet you know the experience.
Somebody you love dearly is getting married, having a baby, a birthday, retirement, and you are working on THE gift: a double weddingring for on their kingsize bed. Or a babyquilt in just the cutest colors.
You looked for the pattern with joy in your heart, chose a colorscheme, bought the fabrics. And since it was for that special someone, you go to that special quiltshop. Not to the market. No. Not for her. Or him. They are worth the effort.
So, because they are worth the effort, you put all your love in it. Maybe you even make it all by hand. Maybe you put in some symbolic motives. So, it takes a while. You worked on that kingsize double weddingring for over a year. And then the big day is coming up. You can’t wait to give it!
And then the disappointment on the faces. Or the look that says, OMG, WHAT? and the words sound something like, thank you, how unexpected. And the bridesmaid, the sister from the bride, blurts out, these are SO not your colors!
And there you are. You try to point her attention to the symbolic motives, to the sweet tag you made. But you can see that she (or, he) is not interested at all, really.
Don’t we all know these awkward, hurting moments.
I myself had two of them. A very distinguished artquilt for a couple that had a weddingday, and since they got married in China, I made this.
I asked their daughter about the details, she loved it. Her mom said upon receiving, what a cute little patch. I never heard from her again.
I had another experience, but that just hurt even more. Don’t have a photo, don’t want to talk about it anymore. Except that I DID talked about all the details, she even went along to buy the fabrics. But one thing I decided since the “cute little patch”: these girls don’t deserve a handmade gift.
After that, I take away the excitement and the surprise-element. I ask people before I give away something I hold precious. And the gifts are smaller. Like a notebook; and I always take more so people can choose which one they like best.
Not too much work, and fine gifts.
I don’t know about you, but there are off course also people who cherish your every gift. I gave some quilts away to friends, and I was overwhelmed by their gratitude and happiness. But looking back, those are the people who appreciate not only a gift, but also your gift of time, effort and your love.
After a couple of hurting experiences, and much more happy and fullfilling ones, I do keep giving. But only to people who are special. No more big gifts, though. You have to be worthy. Like King Arthur and the sword. 🙂
Now, easier said than done, maybe: how do you know who is worth it? I know it when I hear sincere reactions to my work on Facebook, or when people see my work. I bear that in mind. I know it, when I had people supporting me through hard times. I know it, when people give homemade gifts themselves, or symbolic, meaningful gifts. I know it when people are proud of my work.
I try to keep their homes in mind when I make something for them, ask questions, think about their clothes and the colors they wear. That works for me. Lately, I haven’t been disappointed anymore.
If you would want some tips on sweet, small gifts, you can check out Pinterest. Search for “quilting, small gifts” and you will see a parade of beautiful, thoughtful gifts. Let your creativity burn, but don’t even get near to a burnout!
Keep sharing your love, but limit it to worthy people.
With love to you all. To worthy people!