Tuesday, October 23, 2012

stingy stitcher

i had mentioned in a previous post that i am a stingy stitcher.

this is also a subject that palma and i discussed at length while she was in town. while stitching is a hobby for most of us (or at least until robin and vicky hire me to be their personal assistant, lol!) the work we produce tends to be more meaningful than that of a hobby

we make cherished treasures that will be passed down and admired for many years. and when you devote as much time and love as we do, it can sometimes be difficult to give away. 

will the recipient know to store it in acid-free paper? will they keep it in good condition? and most importantly, will they truly appreciate the time that went into making it?

for me, it's a catch 22. i always see so many canvases and potential projects and think, "this would be perfect for insert name here." but then i come to my senses and remind myself that insert name here probably won't appreciate it as much as i do. or won't love it the way i do. 

it's almost like fostering a pet. you grow to love it so much that even though it's going to a good home, you still want to check up on it and make sure it's doing ok. i still check on the family sampler i made for my parents last christmas every time i travel home. why? because i'm a crazy person with nothing better to do my blood, sweat, tears, and not to mention cricket's hair...are woven into that linen for all eternity. i grew to love it just as if it were my own (like a foster pet). 

it's hard to give my work away. especially to those that are unfamiliar with needle arts and all the work that goes into it. it's hard when i feel that i don't get the adequate praise i feel i deserve because they don't know any better. and it's hard feeling like a selfish old scrooge lady because i don't want to share my work with the people i love the most. 

the holiday season is quickly approaching, and tis the season for giving. i'm curious to know what you all think of my predicament...am i really just being a selfish old scrooge lady?


  1. Nope. I don't give things to folks who don't appreciate them. That way lies resentment on the part of the gift giver and the recipient, too!

    I am lucky that my mother always appreciated my handwork but she's a rare bird indeed.

    1. i too am lucky to have a few women in my family that know (and appreciate) the work that goes into it!

  2. No you are not. I learned many years ago that you only give needlepoint to those who you know will love and truly appreciate what you have given them. I rarely give to my family members except for my daughters' who both stitch.

  3. I applaud your thinking! I feel the same way. I use to give away all my ornaments as gifts and then came to my senses :)

  4. You are not a selfish scrooge lady at all. We all learn the hard way that some people just don't understand how much of ourselves we put into each project. I only give my stitching to those few people who are needlepoint worthy.

  5. Hi,

    Yup, you got it right. Sometimes a gift card is just what a person wants and should get for a gift and then everyone is happy. I can give needlepoint to my parents, sister (who stitches) and I make lots of ornaments for my son because he is somewhat aware of the time and cost. I won't say that he completely appreciates them but hopefully he will some day. He has ornaments for all of his major trips and accomplishments.

  6. Choosing wisely does not make you a Scrooge. But keep in mind that sometimes it isn't the recipient who appreciates the gesture. I don't know that any of my in-laws truly appreciate the quilts and pieces of needlepoint that they have recieved over the years, but I know that my husband appreciates that I make these things for his family. He never complains as massive amounts of our household income get funneled out to various quilt and needlepoint shops, so giving my stitched babies away is a small price to pay to thank him for his tolerance. (As Palma can tell you, my hubby is a prince among hubbies in this respect.) Also, I derive pleasure from the process of making something. What happens to it when I'm done doesn't interest me much. Sad but true.

  7. I used to be so generous with my stitching gifts. Until, one day there was a sarcastic remark made by the recipient about a gift I had stitched to perfection and sent to Mountain Shadow Studio to be finished. That's when I knew they didn't appreciate it and I never said a word, I just am very stingy as to whom I make things for. My son and daughter each love the things I stitch for them and Zach has actually taken up a liking to stitching. Nothing really big yet, but he finds it most relaxing when he needs to get away from the LAW for little while. You might want to get your husband started.

  8. I don't give my needlepoint to people who I don't think will appreciate it. But once I do give it away, I try not to think about it anymore.

    Surprisingly, my 10 year old son gets a lot of my stuff. He likes the Christmas Ornaments I stitch (he has a small tree in his room and I noticed several of my needlepointed ones made it from the big tree to his tree) and even after the Christmas ornaments were put away, he kept some in his room as decoration. He sleeps with several pillows I've stitched. They probably weren't really designed for such wear, but when I see his sweet little head laying on a pillow I stitched, it warms my heart.