Every once in a while you do better than good when it comes to giving the perfect gift; you hit a grand slam.
That's what happened in my family this Christmas. I gave a Janome AQS-2009 25th Anniversary sewing machine to my 20-year old nephew. I just had a feeling that this creative, artistic kid would take to it like a duck to water, and he did! I was counting on his interests in air brush painting (art), welding (using his hands) and cooking (following directions but with flexibility) to give him a "Try anything! Try everything!" approach, and boy-oh-boy, was I spot on.
I wrapped all the family gifts in fabric secured with straight pins and bundled the leftovers for a "starter stash." He was fondling fabric all day! (And the rest of the gang enjoyed the fabric, too.) I also gave him a craft organizer; a rotary cutting mat, cutter and ruler; neutral thread; and pins. Told him to buy his own scissors as these are highly personal tools people are fussy about.
We spent a couple of hours getting him acquainted with the machine, which is a nifty little gem, lightweight enough for classes and retreats, if he goes that route. He's got enough to get started playing around with the machine, making a sampler of stitches he likes and seeing what that baby can do.
He may never make a quilt or use the machine in typical ways - whatever those are - and that will be fine. He will have a blast using yet another set of tools and techniques to learn new skills to unleash even more creativity and imagination.
I may never again find as perfect a gift as this one, and that's OK; it really was the highlight of the holiday for me. I imagine all of us have some wonderful "first" memories related to quilting. Feel free to share those here!