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Thread: Why do we do this?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    Why do we do this?

    Why do we do what we do? Why do we spend so much more money and time making something for someone, rather than going to the nearest retailer and plopping down $20 on a trinket instead?

    I personally have two reasons:

    1. My mother told me some horror stories of shopping the day after Thanksgiving, one of which involved a hurried shopper pushing a wheelchair-bound customer into a wall to get them out of their way, all in the name of obtaining the best sale items. I decided then and there that if a gift wasn't handmade by me, it wasn't getting given. There have been times when people got a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies from me, but they were made with love. One Christmas morning, the cookies were even warm...and who doesn't like warm fresh chocolate chip cookies? I guarantee they won't end up in the Goodwill bin...

    2. The second reason is that when I make something for someone, I put a lot of myself into it. I have a couple of quilt tops made and stored, things that I made to try a new pattern and now what do I do with it, that kind of stuff. But I don't have finished quilts "in stock" for a random person (does anyone else have Justin Case in their closet?). I like to personalize the item, and while I am making it, I think of things that will appeal to the recipient and incorporate them into the quilt. For example, I recently made a quilt for a Volkswagen Club, the members of which are mostly classic Beetle owners. I quilted a likeness of the VW logo in the center (not identical tho - no copyright issues), along with a script of Ferdinand Porsche, the man who engineered the Beetle. Also included was 1945 (the year it was first marketed), "flower power", the words "rear mounted" and "air cooled" which pertain to the Beetle's rear mounted engine - many fun facts were FMQ'd as the quilting into the quilt. It was interesting and fun to do, and I know the ultimate recipient (the quilt will be raffled off this weekend) will love it. (I titled the quilt "One Day in Stuttgart" because that's where the Beetle was engineered, by the way - a little fun fact for next time you want to impress your friends with useless trivia.) That's one reason I do things like this.

    I guess the most important reason though, is that when you do a job for financial reimbursement (and there's nothing wrong with that, we've all enjoyed paying gigs!), the money flows through your hands too quickly, but when you give someone something that contains your blood, sweat, tears, and (most importantly) your love, the look on their face when they first see it will be something you can revisit for years...long after that money is gone.

    It must be that time of the month or something, I'm normally not this mushy!

    So....why do YOU do what you do?
    She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

  2. #2
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I only Quilt and Knit because it gives me pleasure and I find it rewarding and relaxing. It doesn't mean that I have stopped buying knitted things or quilts!! I still do both.
    "In this age of information, ignorance is a choice".

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nygal View Post
    I only Quilt and Knit because it gives me pleasure and I find it rewarding and relaxing. It doesn't mean that I have stopped buying knitted things or quilts!! I still do both.
    same for me
    Nancy in western NY

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have no job. I'm too lazy to clean. I hate yard work. Day time television is awful. I can only kill an hour a day at the gym.

    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.

  5. #5
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Why do I give hand made gifts???????? That's the way I grew up. It makes me happy. Keeps me busy during the year. And MOST people appreciate it.

    Then there is my BIL who was almost beheaded the Christmas he remarked that "such and such" was almost as good as store bought. (Most of us do hand made items!)
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  6. #6
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I have no job. I'm too lazy to clean. I hate yard work. Day time television is awful. I can only kill an hour a day at the gym.

    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.

    LOL, I had to check your name because I started to think I might have posted this last night in my sleep! Except I do watch TV most of the day. Love the house and food shows.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I make items for myself. I enjoy shopping for the supplies and creating something. I won't give a quilt away that I spent months making. I save those for my beds or to display in my quilt racks. I give away the fast block quilts and baby quilts. The fast quilts I have no emotional ties to and couldn't care less if they are used or tossed aside. I haven't given up cleaning or having pretty flower beds yet but I have given up day time tv.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 09-27-2012 at 09:13 AM.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
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    It does keep me sane at times. Besides when I am finished I feel so accomplished.

    But this past weekend this fellow I met for the first time was happy to find out I was a quilter and he asked me why quilts are no light weight now. My belief was because women that could not afford batting used what they could, one thing being old wool blankets. Especially when men came home from the service they brought these very scratchy wool blankets home. They were very warm but very scratchy, so women covered them and they became quilts. My mother did it with my father's blanket. I could be very wrong, but he was fairly sure that's what his mother did. They were also fairly inexpensive at the surplus store and often found at the second hand shops. So he wants one now because they pitched all the ones his mother had after she died. I told him to go buy the wool blanket and I would be able to do the rest.

    Was I wrong asking him to buy the wool blanket first? i felt this was the best way to find out if he was really serious. There is a surplus store near him that he can go to to get the blankets. I just had a feeling in my gut that if I went to buy them they would be the wrong size or not heavy enough or something. This way if he really wants one, he will be able to see before its made how heavy it will be.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.
    ^ this says it all.

  10. #10
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
    It does keep me sane at times. Besides when I am finished I feel so accomplished.

    But this past weekend this fellow I met for the first time was happy to find out I was a quilter and he asked me why quilts are no light weight now. My belief was because women that could not afford batting used what they could, one thing being old wool blankets. Especially when men came home from the service they brought these very scratchy wool blankets home. They were very warm but very scratchy, so women covered them and they became quilts. My mother did it with my father's blanket. I could be very wrong, but he was fairly sure that's what his mother did. They were also fairly inexpensive at the surplus store and often found at the second hand shops. So he wants one now because they pitched all the ones his mother had after she died. I told him to go buy the wool blanket and I would be able to do the rest.

    Was I wrong asking him to buy the wool blanket first? i felt this was the best way to find out if he was really serious. There is a surplus store near him that he can go to to get the blankets. I just had a feeling in my gut that if I went to buy them they would be the wrong size or not heavy enough or something. This way if he really wants one, he will be able to see before its made how heavy it will be.

    Good point----------you'll know if he's serious. His buying the blanket will also give you an idea of what size the quilt will be. He'll start with what HE wants.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

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