Holiday Guests

Hi everyone. Fran was kind enough to share her blog space with me so I could share some holiday memories. By the way, I work closely with Fran as Clover’s Communications Consultant.

On to those memories. This time of year always reminds me of the gifts my grandmother so lovingly created for the entire family. She loved to crochet and would spend hours and hours each day making mittens, scarves, afghans, and sweaters for her sons, daughter, their spouses, and all the grandchildren. Perhaps my favorite gift of all was the beer can hat she made me when I was in college! You would have had to know my grandmother to realize how special that gift was. She didn’t drink alcohol, but she knew I wanted one of those hats. I must have seen one in a magazine and commented on it, though I truly don’t recall. I do know she collected beer cans from my uncle, rinsed them and cut them, then punched holes in them and crocheted them together. I wonder whatever happened to that hat.

Then there’s the sweater I still have. I refuse to let it go. She made it about 30 years ago and for some reason it doesn’t fit anymore. Oh well, it must have shrunk over the years.

Perhaps the most amazing year was when she decided to quilt for everyone. Daughter and daughters-in-law received completed quilts while the grandchildren all received quilt tops. All hand stitched. Three completed quilts and eight quilt tops. All completed in a year’s time. And did I mention they were all hand stitched?! I wish I knew my quilt patterns so I could better describe mine, but it’s all made with little octagon pieces of fabric. And I mean little. I’ve never had the quilt finished, but it’s still safely tucked away.

I loved receiving those gifts and always cherished them.

About 29 years ago I began working in this business we call arts and crafts and began attending trade shows. One year needlepunch was all the rage and I took a class so I could familiarize myself with it. We did a simple flower design and I think I did a pretty darn good job. So, I framed it and gave it to grandma for Christmas that year. I still remember the look on her face. She was delighted and there may have been a tear in her eye. She immediately placed it on the table next to her rocker where she often sat working on her crochet while she looked out the window and watched the world pass by. That piece of “art” never left that table. And that made me happy.

May your handmade gifts bring the same joy to your family and friends. And may they cherish them always and remember them as fondly as I do mine.

— contributed by Bill Gardner

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