Quilt Artists’ Gifts Gone Wrong

30 Nov 2010

Most people I know are scurrying around trying to find the perfect gift, whether it's for Christmas, Hanukkah, or a December birthday (seems to be a lot of those).

I try to avoid the malls craziness by shopping online (it's easier to do when I'm traveling, anyway). Plus, I often think many of the best gifts are handmade gifts.

But lately, I've been hearing some funny stories about handmade gifts gone wrong. I should note that these stories are usually only funny if a) they didn't happen to you or b) you're looking back on the incident. At the time, they're usually embarrassing.

Our Studios Editor, Cate Prato, recalls that one year she slaved over handmade felted bangles for her sister-in-law, choosing shades of purple wool (her SIL's favorite color) and hand-beading embellishments on them. Only to have her sister-in-law open the gift, look blankly at it and blurt, "You gave bracelets to the one person in the family who doesn't wear jewelry?" (In 21 years, Cate hadn't noticed that.)

Then there's Kay Nice, who told us about the Christmas when she gave her mother-in-law an embellished poinsettia table runner. The recipient announced she liked the back better than the front and used it (upside-down) as a keyboard dustcover. At least she used it!

Enid Sorkowitz also shared a story with us about an embarrassing handmade gift moment. She made a quilt for a baby shower gift, but when the mom-to-be opened it, the other guests made derisive noises. One declared that a store-bought gift would show more respect for the honored guest. Can you imagine? Fortunately, the recipient actually loved and appreciated the quilt.

Now, I bet you're wondering if I have my own embarrassing gift story, and I do. It's not about a handmade gift, but it is related to my work.

Many years ago, I gifted my husband, John, with a subscription to one of his favorite magazines. (No, it was not Quilting Arts!)

Maybe you're thinking that that was kind of a last-minute, not terribly creative gift, and that's why I'm embarrassed. No, I think a subscription is a terrific gift (of course). It's something that many people won't get for themselves and every time an issue arrives, the recipient is reminded of your thoughtfulness. Plus, each issue is like a gift in itself.

The reason why I'm turning red while typing this is because I told him I was getting him a subscription, but then I never followed through. So, in reality, I got him nothing.

Total fail!

In fairness to me, back then, it wasn't so easy to subscribe to a magazine; you had to actually fill out a card and mail it in. It took effort! Now, you can just subscribe with a few clicks of the mouse. But still, whenever the topic of gifts comes up, John gives me a look and I turn red.

You, dear reader, have no such problem. First of all, your handmade gifts are certainly all beautiful, appropriate, and appreciated.

Second, you have the ability to give a Quilting Arts gift subscription quickly, easily, and successfully. Just a few clicks, and you're done. It's the perfect gift for friends and relatives--even your fiber- and stitch-loving hairdresser or daycare provider! It's the embarrassment-free gift-giving option.


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