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Thread: I consider myself a quilter not a sewing fix-it-all!

  1. #1
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    I am in a pickle. This young wife whose husband works with mine found out that I sew and in the last several months has brought me sofa pillows that popped a seam, a stuffed animal that popped a seam and the other day my hubby brought home a blanket that she needed the binding sewn back on. When I returned it to her this morning, she mentioned another project she needs fixed. Its a simple project, sewing a bow back onto a costume but her excuse was she didn't have needle and thread. I am just beyond irritated that she seems to think that because I have a sewing machine and I know how to fix these things, she can bring me all sorts of projects. I was still fuming this afternoon and bought a cheap sewing kit to give to her the next time I see her and I plan on SHOWING her how to sew that bow on. It really isn't that difficult. I guess I have just been feeling used and I don't know how to tactfully deter her from using me as her personal seamstress or sewing fix-it-all. Thanks for letting me vent!

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I know how you feel! Before I even finished reading your post, I was going to suggest buying or making her a simple sewing kit and deliver it with the offer of teaching her how to sew. My friends were never interested in my quilting or sewing unless it benefited them. Guess what, they no longer get anything from me and they no longer ask me to "fix" something for them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
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    Good for you - you've already decided on a good way to handle this issue. Giving her a sewing kit (and maybe having to show her how to use it) is a gift on two levels. She may learn a new skill, and think of the satisfaction she'll feel on doing her own repairs! Okay, maybe not. But at least you'll feel better for having tried.

    It's easy for 'giving people' to become doormats - you are becoming a mentor instead!

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    say to her what you titled your post, i'm a quilter not a repair person, i don't have time

  5. #5
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Showing her how to sew may be a wonderful opportunity to establish a friendship.

    You also could gently suggest that you can't do her projects - that cuts into your valuable 'quilt therapy' time :)

  6. #6
    Senior Member sandraa's Avatar
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    I too know how you feel. I no longer talk about my quilting to just anyone. They all seem to think just like this girl, you have machine, so you can fix anyhting. I really don't like to repair my own stuff, much less for anyone else. I doubt she will get the message even when you give her the sewing kit. Good Luck.

  7. #7
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    She can learn if she really wanted to. It's just easier to get someone else to do it for her. Sounds like a sewing kit is the perfect idea. She will have no excuse the next time.

  8. #8
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I like the way you handled it. :thumbup:
    Isn't it funny how non-sewers think that quilters like to do repairs??? Yuck, not me!! :D
    You're a nice woman to get her that kit and you're doing yourself a big favor :)

  9. #9
    Super Member wuv2quilt's Avatar
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    OMG it must be in the air...my mom brings items over all the time..."it just needs to be hemmed...it's only a little tear", etc. The thing is, she has 4 different machines to my 2, and could fix them herself with no problem. I know exactly how you feel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    You could just start charging her to fix her items... or recommend a shop that does these types of repairs. Maybe she'll get the hint. I have the same issue and so does DH. he works on cars and the next thing you know, everyone wants him to fix their car for free or RIGHT NOW!

  11. #11
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    Isn't it funny how non-sewers think that quilters like to do repairs??? Yuck, not me!! :D
    Really! I don't anymore, but I used to make some of my own clothes and I STILL didn't like to do repairs on my clothing. :) And it is dreadful how long something will sit in my closet because it needs a button or a hem.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaM
    Showing her how to sew may be a wonderful opportunity to establish a friendship.

    You also could gently suggest that you can't do her projects - that cuts into your valuable 'quilt therapy' time :)
    The problem is I really have no desire to be her friend. We really have nothing in common besides the fact we are both married to Marines. I just don't want to hurt her feelings or cause stress for my husband at work.

    Thank you for all the replies!

  13. #13
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    You are being used. The hardest thing I had learn was to say "No" to people who wanted little things done for them. Because I had a sewing machine, because I knew how to sew.

    I'll show you how to do it but won't do it for you.

    I even had a women tell me I was be unchristian when I said I would not re-upholster her couch cushions. "It's just a pillow case." I turned it around and asked her where in the Bible it said "thou shall re-upholster thy neighbors couch."

    It's very freeing when you learn to say 'No' without guilt. the first few times are the hardest, but more you say it, the less guilty you feel. If you laugh it off as if they are joking it helps a little too.

    I understand how you have to be friendly towards spouses of your dh co-workers. It's amazing how some people think because your spouses work together you should be best friends with them for no other reason. Gently push her away, be busy when she has a requet stuff like that.

  14. #14
    Super Member luv-e's Avatar
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    Maybe you need to have a starter class on sewing???????
    That way they will see what you go through...
    Make up a little flyer and have DH past it out..
    Oh!!! by the way on DH....Tell him the next time he says you sew, He needs to say you are a Quilter!!!!
    If he comes home with something to be mended, hand him the needle and thread......LOL LOL LOL LOL
    I was joking,,,,He is very proud of you or they wouldn't have found out that you sew........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv-e
    Maybe you need to have a starter class on sewing???????
    That way they will see what you go through...
    Make up a little flyer and have DH past it out..
    Oh!!! by the way on DH....Tell him the next time he says you sew, He needs to say you are a Quilter!!!!
    If he comes home with something to be mended, hand him the needle and thread......LOL LOL LOL LOL
    I was joking,,,,He is very proud of you or they wouldn't have found out that you sew........
    LOL, I thought of a starter class! It was actually me that mentioned I make quilts and she was asking me if I know how to fix her pillows. I said sure thinking it was a one time deal. When he brought home the blanket, he was kinda thrust into a situation. She was at work and handed him the blanket along with an extra cell phone they gave us since I got mine wet. So he didn't feel right refusing the blanket at the same time they were giving us something.

    I will get through it. I am just still kinda irritated! :lol:

    Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Tell her you are too busy working on something you are being paid for! Give her a list of charges for items-so much to hem clothing by the inch, so much to repair jackets, slacks, household items etc. Night school for adults will be starting soon, tell her to enroll for sewing. No body minds helping out, but don't let someone take advantage. Good luck!

  17. #17
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    I am in the same boat as you. I just tell them that, 'gee, I'm sorry, I just don't have the time, maybe the alteration shop at such and such place could help you.' The only one I don't say no to is my grand-daughter.....

  18. #18
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    You could use a backdoor - just don't do it.
    "Sorry, haven't had time to work on it yet."

  19. #19
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    Tabby, I would be willing to guess that your DH might be offering your services. I would mention to him that it's not acceptable to do so and have him tell his co-worker that your time is too limited to do anymore repairs. UNLESS they are willing to pay $15 an hour for your time. Maybe you are too accomodating...if they send a repair project for you to do are you dropping whatever else you are doing to get it done? Some people are just too nice..I suspect that is the case with you..
    It's called "tough love" learn to say NO and mean it.
    If she sends another project just say. "Oh I would love to help you out BUT I am in the middle of a project and it might be months before I could consider doing this for you" and politely return the item to her. I am sorry I sound so mean..I don't even have time to mend my DH's clothes that he wants fixed...happy stitchin' (on your own stuff) crafty_linda_b

  20. #20
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I had someone try that... I looked at her and said I quilt I don't sew. Sorry there is a place on ____ street that does that. try there.

  21. #21
    Super Member MellieKQuilter's Avatar
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    When people hint about me fixing or hemming things... I say flat out I dont do THAT kind of sewing... only the FUN kind, like quilting. :):)

  22. #22
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    While selling my items at a market one day a girl I know asked me if I could make flags for to put out.. I said sure - she's given me the fabrics and all- in the meantime she asked me to repair one of her children's baby blankets - I did -but in the process I had to do tons of work on it not to mention use my own fabric to redo the entire back of it... not a dime was given... though she knows I do this for a living!:(... I've yet to make the flags because I'm sure I will get nothing for them either :(

  23. #23
    Senior Member Linnie's Avatar
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    Giving her a sewing kit and instructions is a great compromise. It should free you up to work on your own projects

  24. #24
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    I can understand and feel your frustration. A sewing kit with lessons to show how to make minor repairs is a good idea and maybe giving her a list of shops somewhere close that will do minor repairs or alterations. It would also be in your best interest to mention that you charge for the repairs as it takes away from your quilting time to do these repairs....make it a high price so that she realizes that you are NOT in the repair business.

  25. #25
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    Just say NO, I have had people ask me to repair things or put a zipper in a jacket etc. I said what others have said, I quilt, I do not sew. One lady said well the dry cleaner down the road wants $14.00 to replace this zipper and I think that is to much. I said "I would charge a lot more than that" she never came back.

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