Monday, June 20, 2011

handmade giving

When I began writing here, I was very inspired by reading (among other things) this post from Joshua Becker over at becoming minimalist. Just after the craziness of Christmas time, when my whole family seemed focused on buying, the idea of giving meaningful gifts really hit a nerve for me. That Christmas, we had both families come to our place for a meal- although we are the furthest away. That was the ultimate gift for me, having family that would travel to spend a meal together. That's really truly what I wanted from Santa.

We have had lots of babies born the last month or so, starting with our little girl. We have received many, many generous gifts. Many of them pink versions of perfectly good things we already had. With this in mind, I decided I would give something handmade to the next two baby girls (first Baby BFF, my bestie's little girl, and now Baby Girl Cousin, my sister's first bubba). So out came my old friend the sewing machine, and I began a quilt. It should be said that I am not a quilter, so please don't judge me too harshly. I followed this pattern from Made by Rae. I managed to do some beautiful hand-quilting before realising you are meant to quilt after sandwiching all the layers together (kind of obvious really, blaming breastfeeding brain on that one). But I really like the way it came together, it looks kind of naive and homely, and I hope this BFF bubba will spend many an hour wriggling and rolling on this quilt. Now to start the next one for the Baby Girl Cousin!

Now to try to apply this idea a little more broadly. The Big Boy has been invited to a slew of birthday parties in his first six months at school, and with that comes the anxiety over a gift. How much should I spend? What does this child like? What do his/her parents consider an appropriate toy? I am wondering if I am brave enough to give a handmade gift to a school friend. I thought this was such a thoughtful gift for a little kid. Love to hear any ideas for home-made gifts for children.


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