There’s been a bit of resurgence for hand made things lately. Kirstie Allsop has made it her mission in life to spread the knowledge of the wonder that is home-made items and I for one couldn’t agree with her more.
For years, I’ve hand-made the majority of the gifts I’ve given. It takes quite a long time, a large dose of effort and more patience than I admittedly have but people love it.
The difference between giving a shop bought trinket, and something you’ve made with your own two hands is perfectly clear on the recipient’s face. Unless someone really, really wants a specific item from a shop, 9 times out of 10, home made will be appreciated more. Trust me, I’ve seen it myself.
My crafty endeavours are currently quite limited. I knit obsessively and always have something on the go on my needles. This meant that one Christmas everyone got knitted hats, gloves and wrist warmers. I still get excited and proud when I see my family and friends wearing the things I’ve made for them.
I also cross stitch but until recently I didn’t really give cross stitch as gifts. It lends itself to framed samplers most of all and that doesn’t appeal to everyone. But last year mini cross stitches became squishy baubles for very lucky Christmas trees and dangly bits of loveliness for lonely door knobs. They might sound like tat but they really do cheer up a bland door.
In the past I have done drawings and paitings and soft pastels but my skills there are seriously limited. Random moments of inspiration have created some quite attractive things but nothing spectaclar and with a talented artist for a fiance my attempts seem to pale in comparison.
That is the extent of my creativity. But not for long. I am determined to learn how to sew. Clearly I know how to thread a needle and put two peices of fabric together. What I mean is actually make something from just a reel of something pretty. I have an embarrassing tendency towards the furiously angry when it comes to sewing – my needle never wants to stay threaded, I think even more so because it knows how annoyed I get. Horses can smell fear, needles can smell impatience.
I was given a book of quilting projects for my birthday in the summer and I even invested (ahem less than £2 – offcuts I love you!) in some fabric to make napkin rings. I cut out one of the 4 different fabrics before I ran out of steam. I tell everyone that uni and reading and essays get in the way but a lot of it is fear too.
So I ask you to come on the journey with me. By next Christmas I am determined to be giving out home made SEWN gifts. Hopefully with the aid of a sewing machine I may or may not get this December 25th…