If you remember in a previous post, I made coffee cuffs for teacher gifts. I put them on tall cups and, for presentation, filled them with chocolate and gourmet coffee. I let the children deliver them except for one I gave myself.

Well I was shocked when I received thank you notes from the teachers — very politely thanking me for the coffee and chocolate — !! I couldn’t believe that they had totally missed what I had given them. I shiver to think that they may have just thrown them away.

The one gift that I personally delivered was to the school art teacher. She knew immediately what it was and was very excited. She had never seen a custom one and asked if it was my idea. Sadly no — and you’ll be happy to know I didn’t take credit for the original idea. But I was happy that she knew what the gift was. I told her about the reaction from some of the other teachers — and she told me that, as a knitter, you should never give a piece of your work to a non-knitter — there is no way that a non-knitter can appreciate the time that has gone into the work. I am inclined to agree with her on this point (from a quilting perspective of course).

I have spent at least a month trying very hard not to work on a face quilt that is sitting on my design wall. It is yellow. Next week, when the children return to school, I’m either going to fix it or move on. It is easy to get distracted in December. There a million things for a mother to do — and on top of all of that, one of my daughters has her birthday in December.

And did I mention that my grand-father died? He was a great man. He passed away in his sleep on Christmas Eve. My husband put it best. If you had to pick a day to die, wouldn’t you want to go on Christmas Eve? You would be in heaven just in time for Jesus’s birthday. I remember several years ago when I brought my daughter home from the hospital, and I sat in an armchair, holding my newborn, and slept while he hand washed dishes in the kitchen. He always sent me a birthday card, up until the time when his Alzheimer’s robbed him of his ability to remember things. When I was a child, he brought me chocolate Easter bunnies and let me drive his car while I sat on his lap.

I have a bunch of ties from his house, but they were covered with mold when I got them, and rather than using dry cleaning bags in the dryer (which I realize now would have been the best way to clean them), I ran them through a gentle cycle in the washer. Several came apart which isn’t really a problem since I would take them apart anyway, but many of them lost their sheen.

My collection of ties is probably getting out of control, but they are so beautiful. I gave my mother-in-law the pillow I made from her deceased husband’s ties, and she cried. It fascinates me how the essence of people is carried in the fabrics that they wear, and how personal the pieces are that I make with them.