A few years ago, my mother learned hand embroidery. She taught herself, which always impresses me. Each Christmas, for the last three Christmases, Mom has given me, my sister, and my sister-in-law each a hand embroidered tea towel. Stuffed in our stocking. I love them. They're beautiful, practical, and a precious heirloom.
I recently learned to hand embroider, and taught my daughters. My second daughter has really taken to the craft and already made my newest nephew a baby blanket, with his name and a design on the corner, and another daughter is making a pillowcase as a Christmas gift.
A hand embroidered tea towel is very practical and personal. The time taken, and the thought put into such a delicate looking work of art is special and useful to the one who receives it.
I use my tea towels to cover bread while it's rising, to tuck around fresh-baked rolls to keep them warm, and to throw over food and pitchers to keep bugs off.
If you've never tried the craft of hand embroidery, it's simple to learn. Embroidery is probably the easiest handiwork I have ever learned. You can purchase patterns to iron on and use as a guide, or you can draw your own pattern with a washable fabric pencil, which will disappear with water, after you have finished your design. As I said, my daughters (10, 12, & 14) picked it up very quickly, using their own designs to create handmade gifts. Tutorials are easy to find online, like this one, and just as easy to find in your local craft store.
Enjoy this timeless art and pass the gift along to a special person who will appreciate your time and effort.