When I asked Mike what she liked I got the expected guy answer, "well, I dunno." I decided to take a different approach and give examples of things I could make and see if one of those flipped the switch.
Then I started getting desperate.
Bedside pocket? No.
Mug rug? No.
Seriously Mike? Would she want anything I make or should I just get a bottle of wine?
Finally we decided on a set of placemats to match her kitchen, which is decorated in chefs with a red, black, and white color scheme. I had never made placemats before and I couldn't find a pattern or tutorial that I liked so I drew an idea up in Touch Draw to see if Mike thought she would like the idea I was thinking of.
He said go forth with the plan and so I did. I only had about 5 hours of free time from that point to the point we were leaving so I started banging them out. I made four matching placemats and luckily ran into no problems along the way so I finished them all without rushing.
Here's a picture of one of them.
I gave them to her and she seemed to really like them so hopefully they get some use! Plus, now I know how to make placemats!