Thread

Although we’re having great weather and I’m still picking up multiple leaf bags full of the neighbor’s pine cones, I’ve basically closed out the gardening season and moved indoors.

The sewing and embroidery machines have been running, and I’ve made table toppers, a wall hanging, and a few Christmas ornaments.

The wall hanging was a panel that included a large colonial house on the left side. I wasn’t interested in the house so I cut it out and then cut trees from that section and affixed them with invisible thread to fill in the space. Fun stuff for a sewing nerd.

This past weekend, a Facebook machine embroidery group I belong to caught on fire with a discussion about giving, receiving, and thanking people for hand crafted gifts.

There was a wide range of responses from love hand crafted gifts because of how special they make a person feel to preferring not to get any because it’s not their thing and they would rather have a gift card. Some said they would also like to receive a simple thanks for a gift while others felt it wasn’t needed.

What are you feelings on hand crafted gifts and do you prefer a thank you when a gift is sent or are you fine with no response? Let’s chat.

Happy Monday and stay well.

About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in New England, Sewing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Thread

  1. jacquelinefaith2020 says:

    I love the ornaments you made! Where did you get the patterns? thanks!
    Jackie

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love your projects (except the leaf raking part). Your ornaments turned out very well! Congrats!! I just love those “in the hoop” projects for the embroidery machine. I downloaded a cute “pot holder” pattern I want to try. GIFTING hand made – I read something this morning about this being the year of the handmade gift, with so little opportunity to go out and shop. I’ve only had one where there wasn’t even a thank you, and that young person’s parents will never receive any gift from me again. I am going to try to make ornaments for each in the family again this year and have them ready for Thanksgiving distribution. Better get on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your help in making those ornaments. ❀️ I gifted a couple that were met with smiles, laughter, and a nice thank you but a couple of others not so much. Live and learn for next year, right? Good luck with your yearly ornaments and your Thanksgiving celebration.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I enjoy answering your questions. Not an expert, but have had my trials and errors and successes. Don’t tell, but I spent 3 hours cutting down trees in my flower bed yesterday, and boy do my muscles hate me today!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I love the sentiment of the 2020 goodbye ornament. These are all beautiful, Judy. I was sharing hand crafted gift stories with someone last week. Our daughter made a friend a set of bookends from a highly figured segment of a large black locust board. The person receiving the bookends loved them, and understood the effort that went into them and how that adds to the “value” of the gift. Another friend said, “I don’t get it, you can buy bookends at Target.”

    Some people don’t appreciate hand made items. I always consider the thought and time that went into them, and I think that adds to the meaning of the gift. I guess it’s not a one-size-fits-all world. In any case, you do really good work, and I’m impressed at how quickly you switch gears from garden to thread. I stopped active construction at the end of October, but it will take me a few weeks to solidly slide into my winter mix.

    Enjoy the nice weather we have for raking.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The 2020 ornaments are hysterical. I want one 10′ x 10′ to put in my front yard! As for a thank you, well yes! That’s manners. Even if you don’t like the gift you always thank the person. Home-made versus gift card depends on the recipient. If you do a home-made for someone and aren’t sure if it’s their bag be prepared to not see it in their home. I have received beautiful things and some things that were so poorly done I couldn’t figure out what they were. We are older so at this point we are downsizing. We have told the kids no gifts. If we get something I’d prefer it to be a consumable (food, candle, fancy soaps, something used up and not stored). Again, know your recipient.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love the house ornament! I love handmade gifts because of the love that they show. I try to make something each year for a “house” gift to each family. This year, I’m making shadow boxes for each family with a photo of my mom and one of her handwritten recipe cards, and I’m trying to match a recipe to each person, for instance one of my nieces loves punch, so she’ll get mom’s party punch recipe. In our immediate family, my kids and spouses and grandkids, we open the presents (usually) together and give verbal thanks, no cards. I do like getting a thank you card from those in the extended family, especially the ones out of town so I know they got the gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely adore getting handmade gifts. Always so moved that someone would take the time to make something for me. You might be interested in knowing that even though we won’t be having a Christmas tree this year—it would make me too blue to have one without the kids coming—I will be doing some decorating, and the lovely panel that you sent last year will be on display. As for thank yous…Always! I am fine with an electronic thank you, but a hand-written note is even better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is the tree and ornaments, but then there are always smaller decorations that mean a lot and can fill in. That’s exactly what we are doing this year too. πŸ™‚ An electronic thank you works for me too. Our home town Hallmark store went out of business last year due to lack of sales. The days of hand-written notes of any kind are gone except for those of us of a certain age who still enjoy sending them. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely! I have a collection of Santas that will be coming out soon. I arrange them on the big bookcase in our living room, which will be perfect when we Zoom with the kids. They will see plenty of ho-ho-ho.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Heather says:

    When we put “up” the tree here, we are retrieving memories. This ornament was painted by my mom and the delicate, crocheted snowflakes her’s as well; this one by a friend; this blue one is over 90 years old and has my grandma’s writing on it; this egg with with 1981 embalzoned on it was the first one I made for our first tree together…we unpack the stories every year with antipaction as the crafts sketch out our connections. I think it will mean so much more this year as well which is why I love the one with “2020 – The Year We Stayed Home” – captured one moment of positivity – home. Our tree is the way the family is brought together. You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joyce says:

    I always love your hand work and these new additions are no exception. Someday, one of your descendants will marvel at your 2020 ornaments the way we regard items made with Great Depression frugality now.
    I like how you altered your wall hanging…the sign of a real artist, not just someone who β€œquilts by number” like I do!
    I love handmade gifts when they’re from the grandchildren. Adult kids are told to bring wine if they absolutely need to do something, although we prefer just their β€œpresence!”
    Kind of hard to believe there are people out there who don’t expect a simple β€œthank you” for any gift regardless of its value to the recipient. I randomly send surprise packages from Amazon (craft kits, books, etc.) to the grandkids and cherish the β€œunboxing” videos my daughters send. Then I see them working on the projects, followed by finished items. I’d be heartbroken if these ever stopped coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The red barn in the wall hanging was the perfect image of the farm next to my grandparents. That farmer actually bought my grandparents place, and it became one. The house didn’t mean anything so you would have laughed watching me take it off and then cutting the trees out that were around the house part and putting them back on to make that side. πŸ™‚ I have kept every thank you of any kind my grandkids ever gave me. Warm memories, each and every one.

      Like

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful post. Don’t see enough conjugation in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oddment says:

    I read your post a couple hours ago but had to think about it before I could respond. Your work is so beautiful that it always inspires. But what really knocks my socks off is your mental energy, especially right now. So I’ve been reflecting on that and on your comments about homemade gifts. I love ANY present, but hand-made things are often the very best. My mother loathed handmade things and Christmas time was especially gruesome for her as I was seriously into glue and glitter. A happy Monday to you too, Judy! I hope you and your so-interesting commenters all stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the glue and glitter smile. I could sincerely visualize your delight and her not so much. πŸ™‚ One thing about sewing, you have to stay focused which means you can’t let your mind wander into areas of concern. Now that gardening season is over, sewing gives me something to focus on and a little time to not worry because I can always grab Jack the Ripper and start pulling out stitches if I mess up. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Joyce says:

    Oh, something else! Was reminded after reading Kate’s hilarious reprisal of the squirrel broach! While student teaching my elementary unit, I was cautioned to be very careful of my choice for classroom made parent gifts. It seems that one year kids brought home pasta earrings for Christmas. All hell broke loose in multiple houses when mommy tried to sneak out for church without spiral rotini dangling from her earlobes! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ally Bean says:

    I used to be all about thank you notes and disapproved of anyone who didn’t send a thank you note. But now I’ve mellowed on the topic having decided that I give gifts because I want to do so. Not for the thank you afterward, but for my joy in giving. As for hand crafted or a gift card, I’ve no preference. It’s just nice to be remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. When my kids were little and money was tight and I was crafting a lot I made homemade gifts and quickly found out who appreciated them and who did not. πŸ˜€ My Mother-in-Law and Step Great Grandmother were/are the most appreciative of them all. My MiL would store anything I made it and declare it much to fancy and good to use, and Great Grandmother J displayed it all. The memories are making my heart swell with love for them. I miss them. πŸ₯°

    I don’t make homemade things often anymore. I have given little hand-painted watercolor gifts to very special people, but that’s about it anymore. When I did and have I appreciate a Thank you. At least I know they received it if it was mailed, and it’s polite!

    I love your wall hanging with the red barn and Silo! I love silos. I don’t know why but I do.

    Your 2020 Christmas ornaments are perfect for this year! The Grinch sayings one is so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your memories reminded me of my very special in-laws. My father-in-law was a wonderful woodworker and made her special wall frames to hold family pictures and small school photos. She would arrange photos of children, spouses, and grandchildren so she could look at them every day. She also loved hand crafted gifts. πŸ™‚ I can only imagine receiving one of your watercolors because that would be a wonderful family gift. I like silos too, and my appreciation is because of living for many years in Kansas where every small town had one kind of like every small town in New England has a white church.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Paula says:

    First of all, “thank you” is a must as far as I’m concerned. I can’t imagine being given a gift, even if it’s not my ‘thing’ and not saying thank you. I’m very old school about manners. Hand crafted gifts is a little more complicated. If the person making the gift isn’t aware of my decorating preferences it can be a problem. For instance, Early American items don’t fit into my decorating scheme, no matter how beautifully they are made. I hate accepting a gift, not really caring for it, then re-gifting. Makes me uncomfortable. But insulting the giver makes me even more uncomfortable. Lifeis full of dilemmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi from cold Northern California. I love receiving handmade gifts! My daughter in law frequently makes things for me she knows I would love. Regarding thank yous for gifts, I believe it is something everyone should do regardless of age. Now days my nephews will send me a text message thanking me for their birthday gifts which is perfectly fine with me. I know that is how our new generation communicates. I believe it’s much more important people show appreciation than how they show it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Beautiful, clever, work!
    Always a thank-you, via phone, card or letter (email okay).
    We still call to say thanks when we’ve visited with friends, especially if we’ve shared time over a meal.
    One Jamaican tradition that makes me smile is the habit of phoning after a visit to say thanks and to let the host know you’ve reached home safely. One of my relatives does so even if it’s 11:00 p.m. at night! I could have waited till the next morning, but I sincerely appreciate the grace of such calls.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Nancy says:

    Those ornaments are darling! Goodbye 2020! I may need to make a felt one for our tree!
    I love handmade gifts…!
    As for thank you’s… yes indeed. I usually call the person and chat. Or send an email but most of the time a card in the mail.
    I do use an app on my phone called Touch Note. I upload one of my pictures and send a Thank You post card. Now it’s not handwritten but it’s my picture and my words. I love it!
    Happy Monday dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. germac4 says:

    Your post really made me think…I love handmade gifts, and appreciate the amount of thought and time that has gone into the gift. However, now that we are de-cluttering and we know we will have to downsize one day, the handmade gifts will be the hardest to part with. I also have some lovely landscape paintings of our area, painted by a friend, but I no longer have the wall space for them.
    Overall, I feel lucky to have friends who give such presents.
    Have a happy week, away from all those leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We downsized almost twenty years ago when we made a cross country move. It was hard to get rid of things that all had memories and people attached to them. Since decluttering, I haven’t added a whole lot except what I make for myself, and I do one project at a time so I don’t have unfinished ones. My daughter will thank me some day because at least she won’t find bins full of pieces and parts. πŸ™‚

      Like

  19. Judy, I love all of the hand made crafts you show here! I always enjoy receiving a handmade gift. I used to always send a hand written thank you card but these days my thank yous are usually by phone or in person. I recently had some note cards made with one of my photos so I can go back to hand written notes.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Murphy's says:

    Love, love, love your ornaments and wall hanging. Love everything actually, but those are my favorites! For many years the gifts we gave included a large variety of handmade gifts. A simple thank you is always appreciated. Especially if you’ve mailed the gift, it’s nice to know it reached its destination. You shouldn’t have to call and ask if your gift was received.

    There’s no gift more special or appreciated than a handmade one. The work and time and love that go into a handmade gift is priceless. That’s why they’re so treasured.

    Glad to hear you’re pine cone free, at least for now.

    Have a great week!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • A gardening friend who is moving out of state stopped last Friday to say goodbye. She took a look at the pine cones in the yard and driveway and laughed out loud. After I told her, I’d picked up four large leaf bags full, she sent me an ad for a small bag of cinnamon scented pine cones that was selling for $4.99 and suggested I go into business. I guess I missed a money making opportunity here. πŸ™‚

      Like

  21. Oh, what interesting questions…

    But first, your handwork is always so beautiful and I love the ornaments!

    Thank you notes: yes, absolutely. I’m afraid they are becoming a lost art, but I always send a handwritten note.

    Handmade gifts: depends. My tastes run pretty contemporary so I’m probably just going to feel guilty for not displaying the gift if it’s home decor. Knit scarves: absolutely, if it works well with the colors I wear. Food: bring it on! That being said, one of my favorite wedding gifts was a Christmas quilt/wall hanging. We don’t do a lot of holiday decorating, but that one is always displayed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have two hats and two pairs of matching mittens in perfect condition that my Aunt made for us probably 40 years ago. I get them out and wear them at least a couple of times a season just because they bring back such wonderful memories. I can imagine you smiling as you get out the Christmas quilt. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Lavinia Ross says:

    So much depends on the recipient. Some appreciate handcrafted gifts, some do not. Some people I know are good at thanking, others are not. I suppose it comes down to that the gift is from me, something I wanted to do, and so I should be fine with whatever response I get.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right. Handcrafted gifts are valued differently, and recipients’ responses to gifts vary. I guess after I’ve given someone several gifts with no response, I just may need to stop gifting because I have no idea if they liked them or if they were on the fast train to the local donation center. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Eliza Waters says:

    Love those Christmas ornaments… ‘stink, stank, stunk’ … Definitely! πŸ™‚
    I was taught to always send a thank you note for any gift received. It is basic courtesy, IMO. These days, I’m okay with an email, although a handwritten note is always better. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Judy, these are just wonderful! When my mom used to teach, most of the children gave her Whitman Sampler candy for Christmas, but one little boy gave her something homemade, jelly, I think or something. He felt bad but she told him what a wonderful gift it was. I love homemade gifts and wish I could make some myself to give. I think everyone should either write a thank-you note or at least send an email or thank via phone or in-person. There should never NOT be a thank-you of some sort.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Brenda says:

    I’m also finally done with outside gardening, so have been enjoying this ridiculously warm weather by spinning outside. I cherish handmade gifts–the time and thought involved give them an extra glow in my eyes. On the other hand, I’m extremely careful about giving them to others–I always find gift-giving fraught with pitfalls. And thank-yous? Who doesn’t appreciate a simple acknowledgement that a gift has been received? It’s just one of those courtesies that fortify our relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am picturing you sitting outside on these 70 degree days, spinning, and enjoying your beautiful view – nice! I never thought of gift giving being fraught with pitfalls, but you are right when it comes to handmade gifts. You really have to know your recipient. Yes, a very quick and simple thank you goes a long way. Stay well as numbers climb in both our states.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Those ornaments are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Suznne says:

    Hi Judy, I think this is a case of ‘know your audience.’ Not everyone appreciates the time and effort that goes into a homemade gift. In terms of ‘thank you’; yes, I expect to be thanked either verbally or in writing. We just gifted loaves of pumpkin bread to two separate neighbors on our street. One thanked me personally when I gave it to her and the other left a beautiful handwritten note and a scented candle on my porch. Both acknowledgments were sincerely appreciated.

    I love your goodbye 2020 ornaments. We can’t get past it fast enough!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Almost Iowa says:

    Just dropped by to say, hi!

    My wife is the social director, who never forgets to write a thank you or reciprocate a gift. I’d rather just share a beer. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Tina Schell says:

    Loved your post and the comments it generated. My opinion is that those with whom you have a close relationship will love getting hand-made gifts while others, not so much. Each year we have a christmas get-together with 3 other couples and the hostess always makes us a handmade ornament. Some years I’ve loved and saved them, some years I’m not very fond of them, but I always send a warm thank-you note because I appreciate her time and effort in making something special for us. On the other hand, I’d appreciate hearing from those who’d prefer not to receive them as I’d rather not spend the time on something they don’t want. Many of us are reaching a point where we’re clearing out rather than adding on! Anyway, wishing you good health and happy creating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gift giving in general and more so with handcrafted items is definitely a balancing act. After this wonderful discussion, I’ve learned a lot and will be particular with who I gift to because a lot of effort and time go into handcrafted items. Stay well and happy camera shots. πŸ™‚

      Like

  30. Having issues leaving LIKES but I do πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I do think carefully about who will receive a hand made gift. I need to feel confident they’ll appreciate it. We have a large extended family and by the end of this year there will be six new babies born. In the past we’ve always bought a new family member a gift on our international travels but of course this year, travel restrictions have stopped that tradition. So, I’ve been making crocheted toys for the new arrivals. Each set of parents has been suitably pleased with their baby’s gift and have made sure to thank me, which is a lovely response.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. mitzybricker says:

    I was also trained to write thank you notes. I am told all the time by young (i.e. my grandchildren) and old folks how much they love getting a note in the mail. Handmade gifts are another issue. I so appreciate hand made items, yet I am not much in the ‘getting’ mode anymore, so I am careful about giving them away. Attached is a recent blog of mine in regards to a hand made item. Love to hear y’alls thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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