Today is the first day of a fun Christmas event 'round these parts! I'm excited to tell you about a little holiday series some blog friends and I have been planning . . . a Handmade Holidays celebration.
When I think of all the gifts I've given and received throughout my life, I notice a theme. Gifts that I made myself have always been the ones I love giving the most--something I've put love and time and work into is, for me, an expression of my love and appreciation for the recipient. And the handmade gifts I've received have become some of my most treasured possessions--I know that the giver thought about me, my style and interests, what I would need and want and use, and made something they hoped I would understand and cherish, rather than heading to the mall and picking up the first cute item they found. Of course, store bought gifts can certainly be meaningful and special and packed with just as much love, but I think there's something special about a gift created just for you.
Because handmade gifts mean so much to me, I want to celebrate them and what they represent--love, time, work, sacrifice, true appreciation, a willingness to put in that extra something to give a special, meaningful gift from the heart--and encourage you to give a handmade gift this season to someone you love.
I've invited some of my favorite bloggers to share their experiences with handmade gifts--presents they treasure, favorite projects they've made and given, ideas and tips to make handmade gifts extra-special--and I'm so psyched at the great line-up. One little rule for my blog: I only invite people I really, really love to come over and play (seriously--anyone you've ever seen mentioned here is a hardcore blog crush of mine), and I'm so excited to share a few of my favorites with you.
Let's kick off our Handmade Holidays with one of the handmade items in my life that means an awful lot to me.
That precious, snuggly bit of goodness is the quilt my mom made for me when I was a little girl. Isn't it beautiful? I don't think I can express just how much I loved it when I was little, and how special it still is to me. It was absolutely perfect for me as a kid--every shade of pink under the sun, plenty of itsy bitsy floral prints, dozens of appliqued hearts . . . Mom got it exactly right (I was an awfully girly child, if you can't tell).
I remember lying on it during sleepovers with friends--we'd each pick our favorite heart from the quilt (mine was the one in the center of the above photo). And I distinctly remember lying in my bed when I was young, afraid of the dark and scared that aliens would come into my room and abduct me (darn you, X-Files!), and thinking to myself, as long as I stay very still and keep every single body part under the quilt, it will protect me. (The power of a mother's love!)
And it's completely hand-quilted. A true labor of love! I noticed a few years ago that it's actually unfinished--there are a few blocks down in one corner that aren't quilted. I think I might finish it myself if I have a daughter someday, and pass it on to her. Two generations of love and work and care stitched into one beautiful heirloom quilt.
I love what this quilt represents--hours of labor spent hand-sewing each block (and my mom likes to remind me that those hearts were a serious pain in the you-know-where to applique) and a quilt design and fabrics chosen especially for me to match my personality, all so I would always have a physical reminder of how much my mother cares about me. This quilt is priceless to me, and it is the reason I wanted to make Forrest's blanket for him. I hope it will be a reminder to him--just like my quilt is to me--of how much his mother treasures and loves and adores him.
(Pop in again on Monday for our first Handmade Holidays guest!)