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Thread: Is there a limit as to how ugly a charity quilt can be?

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Is there a limit as to how ugly a charity quilt can be?

    Or as to what materials can be used in it?

    I've recently joined a group that makes charity quilts for international relief projects, and at today's meeting, things got a little... uh... tense... when we talked about the donated materials in our "stash".

    Since that little quilting group is probably not the only one whose members have different opinions on the subject, I thought I would put the question out for discussion here.

    And... if you've also been in a group of "differing opinions", how did you work it out?

  2. #2
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I believe that there is no such thing as too ugly when donating to needy people.As long as it is decent fabric that will not fall apart after a few washings.I have donated many quilts for sick children-some are not my best works-they were all well received by the kids.Kids are not so picky about the quilts like we are.They are grateful that some one made the effort to think of them and make them a quilt.just mu opinion anyway-sure there will be others.
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  3. #3
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics View Post
    Or as to what materials can be used in it?

    I've recently joined a group that makes charity quilts for international relief projects, and at today's meeting, things got a little... uh... tense... when we talked about the donated materials in our "stash".

    Since that little quilting group is probably not the only one whose members have different opinions on the subject, I thought I would put the question out for discussion here.

    And... if you've also been in a group of "differing opinions", how did you work it out?
    I may be missing the point altogether, but is all the fabric washable? That would be my first concern.
    Do members pick out what they want to work with? Or does the group pick the design and fabric?
    I'd think most would be acceptable if someone wanted to work with them.
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  4. #4
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    Need more information about what the disagreement is.

  5. #5
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    Are you talking about fabrics, colors or design? It's a touchy subject, one that I try to stay away from in my group. I personally only give quilts that I would like myself. If I don't want to give it then I'm content.

    If the fabric is decent, and you have quality sewing so that it will stay together after many washings-ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Some colors and patterns don't really appeal to me but somebody else may like it.

  6. #6
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    I view my charity quilts just like any other quilt I would make. In my world, if that charity quilt is not good enough to give to a family memeber then it is not good enought for anyone else. I don't believe that people who need charity deserve second hand quality or any old thing.

  7. #7
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    Charity is not an excuse to give away unsuitable quilts. That being said, give the best you can in materials and workmanship and design. Give what you would like to receive. When looking at what others are giving, accept that they have given the best they can and bless them for their efforts. If the gift is going to reflect as a gift from the group, rather than an individual, set some standards. Identify materials to be used (all cotton), size, and choose simple designs so that all can participate. Maybe have a charity work day where those who have less experience can do some easier parts of the project and learn from those who have more experience.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have seen some particularly ugly quilts get donated to charities. I have mixed emotions on the subject. If it means the recipient is going to go cold, with nothing .... I can see the argument for "at least it will keep them warm". On the other hand , I can also see the argument that "we cared enough to send our best.. or at least good".
    I do keep inmind that different cultures have differnent tastes, some use color combo's I would never use. At an International Show one year I saw some quilts that would never made it in the door of my home. I also see some U.S .made quilts that the many thought were nice that would not have made it into my home.
    So I guess my point is that not knowing exactly who is receiving them... it is tough to guage the what the tastes are. Who knows you could send what you think is a show stopper , and they may think it ugly.
    I would rather error on the side of judgement that keeps them warm , rather than cold and hoping maybe this year they might get something to keep them warm.
    You do not mention if these are made by indivuduals and then dropped off to your organization , or all the quilts are made from donated fabrics.. lots to consider.
    As for Ugly fabrics.... cut them into smaller pieces. I have seen pretty quilts made from uglies.... its all in the size of the pieces.
    Last edited by Lori S; 01-17-2012 at 12:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Here's our situation: the stash consists of over a dozen of large boxes of "textiles" that have been donated over the course of I don't know how many years. In the boxes are everything from new fabric (cotton, blends, T-shirt knits, double-knits) to fabric that was on the shelf so long that it has really obvious fade marks to curtain panels, old tablecloths, and lots of sheets, from faded-but-serviceable to nearly worn through.

    And a number of different thoughts were expressed at the meeting, such as:

    "Why should we buy ANYTHING to work with, when we have so much stash already."

    "Don't insist on just cotton. Those double knits we have would make great backs, if only we had some smaller quilts, because they're just not quite wide enough."

    "Those double knits - it's just too hard to get the needle through them."

    "All those fabrics were donated, and we really should use them as they were intended."

    "We've become a dumping ground, every time somebody wants to clean house!"

    "Well, if you think our quilts are ugly now, you should have seen what we were working with 40 years ago! We were cutting apart clothing to use..."

    There is a wide range of ages in this quilting group, and some have lived through the depression and some haven't. (I suppose that changes one's perspective.)

    The quilts are all going overseas. We're not actually quilting them, just tying through with perle cotton (or similar). I don't believe all the fabrics would wash succesfully, but the point was mentioned that if the quilts are just to serve as a wall or a rug, they might not ever get washed anyway.

    I don't think we're even at the point where we're discussing taste or aesthetics or colors, really. The quilts are just 8" squares sewn together. We're talking REALLY BASIC quilts here.

    A couple of the ladies cut the 8" squares (very accurately, I must say) and sewers get handed a bag of 108 pre-selected squares to put together however we please. Some in the group don't cut, or sew, they just help layer & tie.

  10. #10
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    I go by the rule of: I give charilty quilts that I wouldn't be ashamed to put my name on. The dogs go to the resale shop (Goodwill, St. Vincent, Salvation Army) where I figure customers can make their own choice if they want to buy it.

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