Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gifts

Today will be a gorgeous day, in the low 70's with sunshine.  I will be out in the yard, building the walkway from the garage to the back door.  It'll wind between the vegetable and flower gardens, and I'm just waiting for the ground to dry out a little this morning before I get going on it.
  Meanwhile, I've been threading the baby blanket warp and pondering the nature of gift giving, especially when the gift is handmade.  The first baby blanket from this warp went to Heston Busby, whose dad took my last job as preservationist when I went back to the kitchen as pastry chef.  Since then, the cheesemaker left for another job, and, as I said last week, left without saying goodbye.  If I finish the second baby blanket and track him down to give it to his son Brian, will it mean anything?  Won't it eventually just be a blanket from that woman Dad worked with a long time ago?
  It makes me remember other gifts I've given and will never hear from again.  I quilted for 25 years, and my very first quilt has probably long ago been thrown away.  It was a gift for my then in-laws, for their 25th anniversary.  Two years after its completion, we visited them and I saw the quilt wadded up in the top of a closet.  It hurt, and I wanted to smuggle that poor thing back home with me.  The second quilt was for my son, who still uses his Superman quilt regularly, 24 years after I finished it.  The third quilt was accidentally left behind when I left my husband, and he promptly gave it to the new dog he and his girlfriend adopted for its bed.
  After that, I was more careful as to who received quilts.  When a piece of handiwork takes three years or longer to make, it isn't easy to give it up to the ungrateful.  After I got my first loom, quilting didn't hold my attention anymore, and weaving takes a lot less time to make something beautiful.  Giving handwoven items isn't quite as gut-wrenching as giving quilts, but I still like to know that the receiver will value it more than something I  picked up at Target from their baby registry.
  This morning, I finished one more repeat of the pattern, and have three more to go.  We'll see where this blanket ends up, whether as a lovely shawl for me or someone I care about, or as a blanket for a baby who will be in my life for more than a brief moment.  In the meantime, it keeps my hands weaving and out of dirt from time to time.
  As soon as I got up to check the other side, I found myself displaced.  Ah, well!  It's time to get outside, anyway!  Have a lovely spring day!
Maggie

4 comments:

Roxie said...

I love the smug kitty backs. HaHa! We're where you don't want us.

It's hard to give something that has taken hours of your life and then see it under-valued. It's important to remember that they are not rejecting devaluing you. They're just ignorant.

I have had people look at throw rugs woven from recycled jeans and asked, "Why should I pay $30 for this when I can buy something just as good at Walmart for $2?"

"If you don't mind sending your money to Taiwan, and you don't mind having to buy a new rug every spring, and you don't care about recycling, then you may as well buy your throw rug at Walmart. This rug will last 20 years, is made locally by a retired guy who does this to supplement his Social Security, and recycles materials that would otherwise go into a landfill. And really, I'd rather sell it to someone who knows a good thing when they see it." OK, I didn't say the last sentence out loud, but I sure thought it.

People who don't create often have no appreciation for the value of creations.

Bonnie said...

Well said Roxie. I can't wait to see pictures of your garden.

LA said...

That warp will make a beautiful shawl.....just a thought. And with all your extra "help" it will be even more special! BTW, the garden is looking great!

Tina J said...

The garden does call this time of year. Be sure to post pics of the finished path! I know the shawl will be beautiful!