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polite moratorium on sewing gifts

polite moratorium on sewing gifts

Old 02-22-2015, 02:49 AM
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Default polite moratorium on sewing gifts

I need some help word crafting! I just got back into sewing, and just started quilting. My friends, none of whom sew, have taken to going to fabric stores and purchasing fabric for me.

It is so kind, and so sweet, and none of it is useful to me. My wife is the best (worst?) of them. She just gave me small quilt pattern she purchased for an applique style quilt of scotty dogs. I have never done applique, and it does not interest me.
I have been graciously accepting these thoughtful gifts, but am now feeling pressured to produce things out of the fabric and pattern. The fabric is huge prints, often flannel.

I want to say something that can work its way through my social group. Is there a loving way to slow this deluge down? (I am aware that this is a first world complaint, I am so lucky to have loving friends, but my hobby is getting the fun sucked out of it.)
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:12 AM
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Maybe you can tactfully make it known that you'd LOVE (prefer) a gift certificate to a specific quilt shop. An alternative would be to provide someone-- your wife or whoever in the group is most likely to quickly spread the word---a wish list for your birthday, and include specific items, their prices, exactly where they can be bought, and include that afore mentioned gift certificate. No matter when your birthday is, get this list out now.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:12 AM
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Wow, that's a tough one. You don't want to seem ungrateful but at the same time, buying patterns and fabric for someone is very personal. It's like buying someone underwear!

I would use the excuse that you are very new to this hobby so projects take a long time (in case they ask "where's the quilt?") If your friends don't sew they may have no idea how long a quilt takes to complete.

In the meantime, use the fabrics to build your stash. You never know when some of those goofy fabrics might come in handy (always be sure to look at the back, sometimes it's too loud or flashy but the back is just right).

Good luck,

Karen
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:31 AM
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Tough one. I'd guess they assume because you are male you prefer flannel fabrics. ALL fabric is usefull in some shape or form. Perhaps you could use some of the fabric to make lap quilts & donate them to your local cancer center, or make dog beds & donate them to your local SPCA. As for the scotty dog applique'....never say never....until you have tried it....ask your wife to work on it with you. Make a list of fabrics/thread/notions/etc you prefer & have your wife spread the word.

Good luck
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:44 AM
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I feel your pain and have been in your shoes. It can be an overwhelming situation. It is difficult to know what to say. ( flannel makes wonderful, warm quilts)
One way I managed to slow down the ( gifts) was to make comments while with some of the guilty parties like....'I have so much fabric, patterns stacking up it will take my grandchildrens lives to use it all' this often opened the door to conversation that helped them understand. I also started asking for gift cards, so I could pick up what I needed/ wanted. As for my spouse, I took him to the quilt shop with me, ( he had ventured into a store on his own & spent almost $400 on a whole collection- which is still 7 years later in the bag on a shelf waiting for me to figure out what to do with it)
When I took him with me I didn't let him ' go crazy' he picked up patterns which I said- ' I will never make that' he pulled fabrics, which I said --',I will never use that'
Now, at Christmas he is great at stuffing my stocking with new rotory blades, post its, needle threaders, rulers/ gadgets recommended by the ladies at the quilt shop who know me.
It took time & patience but I did manage to get all day the ( well meaning friends & family members) to stop dropping off bags of fabric I didn't want. I also started showing them my space, my projects, sharing the process a little which helped them see they had no idea what I would want/ need. Its all a patient process of sharing, open conversation. And those patterns you have no interest in.... Put them on the book shelves & forget them for now, years from now you may pull the pattern out & decide you do want to make it. My ( Unusual Lone Star) quilt which I have shared pics of here on the board is such a pattern. My sister bought it years ago ( over 10) because it was paper pieced & she knew I had done something paper pieced. I thought.... That is the ugliest quilt I've ever seen! I will never make that ( and the pattern was way more complex- out of my comfort zone....so it was stuck away. All these years later I happened to come across it while looking for something else and voila... I made it! Great quilt! With quilting you just never know what direction you will go as time goes by. Interest changes, techniques grow, catch your eye, 5 years from now you may find yourself loving applique. All that flannel may turn into great cozy, warm, snuggly raggy quilts ( you could discourage some of those by making them raggy quilts with the flannels they bought) or donate them to a local place ( emergency shelter, senior living facility, hospice, american legion, Knights of Columbus, any organization that puts together packages for people in need. Good luck. It took me a couple years.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by GemQuilts View Post
Wow, that's a tough one. You don't want to seem ungrateful but at the same time, buying patterns and fabric for someone is very personal. It's like buying someone underwear! Good luck, Karen
BOY, I sure agree with that.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:41 AM
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I personally think the hardest word to say in the English language is NO....I know it sometimes just won't come out of my mouth!, but screams in my brain! But am working on it.....like my friend says, just say it and watch the expression on their face!
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:21 AM
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I would be honest with your wife if you can't be honest with her then you really have a problem. Let her go with you and see what you're drawn to, tell her although you appreciate their thoughtfulness that it would be better if they must give you something to make it the gift certificate/card. I am pretty sure she can then spread the word to the others. I had to do this with my sisters they couldn't believe I was having such a hard time just telling them!
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:36 AM
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I think I'd just say in a humorous way, "Whoa, slow down everybody, I have enough fabric and patterns to work with for a decade now! I appreciate the encouragement, but I'll let you know when I need more. Thanks!"
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:22 AM
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I know gifting - the giving and receiving of gifts is a hot topic that creates lots of angst.

My mil decided that since she loves to collect knick knacks, that I should too. Since I love cats, she started to give me 'cat' gifts for my birthday, Christmas etc. I got figurines, pictures, bags, mugs you name it. I asked xdh to talk to his mum, but that never happened. I finally had to sit her down and say I appreciate the thought, but I love live cats, not images of cats. I asked her not to give me gifts, I do not need 'stuff', but that did not work. I asked her to give in my name to the local cat rescue, but donating if foreign to that family. Finally we settled on her taking me out for lunch.

If I were you, the next time someone tries to give you a bag of fabric, say 'Thanks for thinking of me, but I cannot use it, how about giving it to (give them the name of a group who makes charity quilts, a school that still teaches home ec etc)'

If it is a pattern, tell them you are only working on one project at a time and need to stay focused.

If someone offers you their Auntie's stash, think about what you could do with the fabrics from 40 or 50 years ago? I am not yet 50 and have a 30 year old fabric stash. If I have not purged the wild 80's prints would you want to? You can always use space issues to avoid another person's stash.

Lots of people here will say make charity quilts with the fabric you do not want. Now what I am going to say will not sit well with everyone but here goes.

Not all of us have the time, even if we have the resources donated to us, to make charity quilts. My sewing hours are limited, I do not have enough time to do the projects I want to do in a timely manner. If I feel obligated to sew for charity because someone gave me a bunch of fabric I did not want or need I am going to feel resentment, not the joy of giving to others.

Now having said that I do personally participate in charity quilts through my Guild. We do them as a group project and I helped out all day yesterday to prepare 11.75 quilt tops. I brought the unfinished one home to complete. We will have another sew day to complete the quilting next month.

It is okay to say no thank you.
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