Do you have any of your very first embroideries? I don't have those first ones--the ones where I made up the stitches as I went along. But recently I asked my mother if she had kept any of those scraps of work--especially a heart that I made in 4th grade. I made it from a course pink cotton from the scrap box of fabric that my homeroom teacher kept. The heart was longer than wide and I embroidered, "I LOVE YOU" in red floss on the front before hand stitching it together and stuffing it. It was a Valentine's Day gift for my mom. Sadly, it has disappeared. It was popping its side stitches when I made it, so I am not surprised. But it hung on Mom's bulletin board in her sewing room for decades.
Mom did find another early gift that I made her one Christmas, after I read somewhere, likely in Little Women or something similar, that flannel kept needles from rusting. I must have made this little needle book in 5th grade. I had learned to use the sewing machine, but obviously had a lot to learn about sewing! The embroidery is done with floss straight off the skein in split stitch. I doubt I even use a hoop.
The raw edges are all simply folded over and stitched and the closure was just a piece of string poked through the fabric and knotted. Very simple, but since it was sewn on the machine, rather than by hand, it has lasted longer than the heart-shaped pin cushion. In fact, it is over 30 years old!
So happy Valentine's Day this week and three cheers for moms who keep homemade gifts--no matter how homely!