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Thread: Charity Quilts

  1. #1
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    Not sure if this belongs here or in GCC - or if it will get deleted.

    A Charity Quilt -

    What does it mean to you?

    What it means to me:

    A quilt that will given to someone I probably do not know.

    But what if that quilt WAS given to someone that I know - or that knows me??

    I still want that quilt to hold up to many washings and hard use. (Hopefully, not abused - but the line gets murky between hard use and abuse)

    I would not want to be embarrassed to have my name as the maker of it emblazoned on it.

    I want it to look "planned/intentional" versus "scraps off the floor" or "clean out the closet" - even if it was made of "scraps off the floor"

    Material can be decent/good, even if relatively inexpensive.

    Workmanship - it's as easy to sew at least a 1/4 inch seam as a 1/16 inch one.

    I want it to be clean when it leaves my custody.

    If a practice piece is truly a disaster - why would someone else cherish it?

    Who knows? Someday, I or someone near and dear to me might be on the receiving end.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jean1941's Avatar
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    I agree with everything you said and I do charity quilts

  3. #3
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    Thank you for posting this. I teach a quilting class once a week in my home. The ladies do not have to pay but in exchange they must donate for our local police depoartment 2 quilt tops per year. I will FMQ them. One of the ladies first one was sad and the second worse so I finally pulled her aside. She said 'they're just for charity". My DD overheard as I said to her - I don't think a homeless person, victim, or whoever deserves anything less than I would give my own daughter. She didn't agree nor did my daughter. After talking to someone that had received a quilt that was donated my DD now realizes that because you are less fortunate does not mean you deserve less. She felt like it was better than nothing. I don't want my quilt to scream "I'm better than nothing". I want it to say "God was thinking about you and sent this as a reminder". Give with a glad heart.

  4. #4
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    Zhillslady - what a beautiful thought and conversation

  5. #5
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Well said.

  6. #6
    Super Member Monika's Avatar
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    Well said!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Missysgottohelp's Avatar
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    I totally agree with you! I want to be proud of the quilts I give to charity. I want the person who receives it to have something special.

  8. #8
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhillslady
    Thank you for posting this. I teach a quilting class once a week in my home. The ladies do not have to pay but in exchange they must donate for our local police depoartment 2 quilt tops per year. I will FMQ them. One of the ladies first one was sad and the second worse so I finally pulled her aside. She said 'they're just for charity". My DD overheard as I said to her - I don't think a homeless person, victim, or whoever deserves anything less than I would give my own daughter. She didn't agree nor did my daughter. After talking to someone that had received a quilt that was donated my DD now realizes that because you are less fortunate does not mean you deserve less. She felt like it was better than nothing. I don't want my quilt to scream "I'm better than nothing". I want it to say "God was thinking about you and sent this as a reminder". Give with a glad heart.
    I agree with you. I always do my best for charity, my BEST might not be your best, but it's my best. I try as hard as I can, and I hope that the love and effort that I put into it is appreciated.

  9. #9
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    very well said i make lots of charity quilts

  10. #10
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i'm with you.

    every quilt i give to charity is a quilt i would give to my loved ones.

    i refuse to work with fabrics that i don't enjoy working with.

    i believe if you don't enjoy working on the quilt it will reflect in the quality of your work - you'll cut corners, rush thru steps, etc.

  11. #11
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I dont agree, A local church makes quilts for the homeless. Every Tuesday they get together in a donated building, bring sewing machines and cutting mats. They take donated clothing cut them into large squares, using donated stained blankets for batting and sometimes donated batting, they make quilts. The clothing is usually ripped or stained, those parts are cut away and not used. The Homeless shelter in Indy is very grateful for these ugly non perfect quilts. And from what I understand those that sleep in the ally are grateful also. The things we find unsatisfactory or ugly is a treasure to someone living out of a shopping cart. So never think that your quilt cant be loved or needed just because the fabric didnt come from the LQS, or because the stitches are uneven, or they simply dont match. Charity is giving to those in need, not giving to those that are picky and could go to the store and buy one if needed, IMHO.

  12. #12
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I also will not put my name on a charity quilt, only city and state and year. Recognition isn't my goal, only to help someone in need. True charity comes as selfless act, not someone needing to be recognized for how wonderful they are. And you may think well maybe mine are so ugly that I wouldnt want my name not used but thats not so, this is a charity quilt, http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-140582-1.htm

  13. #13
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    I agree with both bearisgray and leatheflea. I make quilts for both groups. Above all, in both instances, the quilts need to be well-sewn so they wear well.

  14. #14
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Not sure if this belongs here or in GCC - or if it will get deleted.

    A Charity Quilt -

    What does it mean to you?

    What it means to me:

    A quilt that will given to someone I probably do not know.

    But what if that quilt WAS given to someone that I know - or that knows me??

    I still want that quilt to hold up to many washings and hard use. (Hopefully, not abused - but the line gets murky between hard use and abuse)

    I would not want to be embarrassed to have my name as the maker of it emblazoned on it.

    I want it to look "planned/intentional" versus "scraps off the floor" or "clean out the closet" - even if it was made of "scraps off the floor"

    Material can be decent/good, even if relatively inexpensive.

    Workmanship - it's as easy to sew at least a 1/4 inch seam as a 1/16 inch one.

    I want it to be clean when it leaves my custody.

    If a practice piece is truly a disaster - why would someone else cherish it?

    Who knows? Someday, I or someone near and dear to me might be on the receiving end.
    Very well put! I so agree with you.

  15. #15
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I'm sorry but I dont agree, A local church makes quilts for the homeless. Every Tuesday they get together in a donated building, bring sewing machines and cutting mats. They take donated clothing cut them into large squares, using donated stained blankets for batting and sometimes donated batting, they make quilts. The clothing is usually ripped or stained, those parts are cut away and not used. The Homeless shelter in Indy is very grateful for these ugly non perfect quilts. And from what I understand those that sleep in the ally are grateful also. The things we find unsatisfactory or ugly is a treasure to someone living out of a shopping cart. So never think that your quilt cant be loved or needed just because the fabric didnt come from the LQS, or because the stitches are uneven, or they simply dont match. Charity is giving to those in need, not giving to those that are picky and could go to the store and buy one if needed, IMHO.
    I don't think bearisgray is talking about scrappy quilts, made out of good pieces of used clothing. Many of us find these to be quilts that are beautiful, last long and wear well :D:D:D

  16. #16
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While this year's LQS offerings may be the only thing acceptable to some, others may have pleasant memories sparked by a bit of fabric that was buried at the bottom of a bin. The colors that may seem dated and old-fashioned to one may be a comforting and familiar to another.

    I hope every quilt made, charity or not, finds a person to cherish it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member marscrafter's Avatar
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    I think a charity quilt to me means something I make with love for someone who needs it. I try to be picky with what material I buy anyway for quilts, so a lot of it does match and it's good use able quality. I do spend some time coming up with a pattern to make sure I have enough of the material and to make it attractive.

    I have made quilts out of clothes in good shape, and they turn out well. If it's a scrappy quilt I think there is more leeway on patterns and colors. One quilt I made out of khaki pants and it's one of the most durable quilts. LOL

    I guess for me, as long as it was made well and with thought that's the big part.

  18. #18
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    I think you made a very good point. I was making charity quilts every year for kids and this year because of health reasons I was really unable to get any out. I met JDIANE on the board here thats at Project Linus and I get to send fabric and they do all the sewing there. Its a win win for me. One thing I can do and do well is go yard saling. This has been a great fabric finder year for me so I get to send all my great fabric finds to her at Project Linus. I can still feel good about doing something for Charity that way. I just look at it as sending unassembled quilts :thumbup: When I was making them before I'd look at them like "is that something I would make for me or friend".
    Thanks for the great post.

  19. #19
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    I want my best work to be given no matter who gets the quilt or what it is made from. Make it with love and give with a cheerful heart.

  20. #20
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    I went to a quilt show at a HUGE church several years ago and they handed out some guidelines for quilts to be made for the poor in some foreign countries (their mission work) and they requested that not much time or money be put into any of them because the women had to wash their clothes/bedding in creeks, rivers, lakes, etc. and beaten on rocks. They did not want any time-consuming hand quilting on them either. Just machine quilted or tied.

  21. #21
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    I think that making a charity quilt is an opportunity to give back and thank God for the blessings I have received. You know the old adage, "cast your bread upon the waters and it shall come back to you buttered and toasted". Nothing given away with love (and the right attitude) really costs much because what's given away is returned with interest, eventually!

    What I really hate is the mentality of "just throw it together and get it done as fast as possible" where the quantity out the door is of paramount importance. It does no one any good to make a tacky quilt to give away and the pool of receipents feel like drawing straws for the short straw to get stuck with the quilt.

    I don't want any of the people who receive my quilts to feel like they got stuck with it. I'm a newbie quilter and perhaps my seams don't always match (ok, so they rarely match as well as I think they should) but I try to do my best. If I'm in a foul mood, quilting for others is not something I should be doing. Even on my best day, I'm not up to competition standards, but that doesn't mean I can try to put together a nice quilt, charity or no.

    Our small quilting group of 10 has a service project of making lap quilts for the residents of a nursing home which basically translates to each of us making about 15 lap quilts between now and Thanksgiving. Some think it's okay to just grab squares and sew them together, and if they match okay, if not, well it's a learning experience. I'm okay with scrappy sometimes, but putting holiday fabric and hula girls in the same quilt is a little too much for me. But perhaps someone receiving the quilt will love it.

    I like to put thought into it. May not look like I did in the end, but I did try! :lol:

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I certainly agree that doing something for charity does not mean unloading trash, but none of us has more than 24 hours in a day, and in some situations quantity does get a little priority over quality. I'm not saying that I would donate something that I'm ashamed of, but I most certainly feel I should give more of my effort to things for my loved ones.

    As others have pointed out, a person who is cold will be glad for a quilt that is warm. Quality of workmanship and materials is important only in so far as it affects the functionality of the quilt - definitely 1/4" seams, for example.

    Seriously, if you can make several simple quilts in the time it might have taken to make one special one, which would be preferred by the ones standing in line for them? That said, I try to give the best I can at the moment, and I try to put some thought into each one.

    Another thing I sometimes do is try something new that I may not have quite mastered yet. I hope the recipient recognizes my human frailty and desire to do something special, even if the result is less than perfect.

    I would not want to see a newbie quilter hesitate to make a charity quilt because of a fear that it might not be good enough.

  23. #23
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    A friend of mine told me that some of the "fabric" donated to her church group for quilts was fiberglass curtains.

    This is the kind of thing I was talking about NOT using.

    I totally agree that it makes a lot more sense to make four "quilts for kids" types of quilts than one Baltimore Album type quilt.

    One can still do "economical and easy" with thought and care.

  24. #24
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    My charity quilts are quilts that I would be proud to give to family. If something is crappy or a practice piece, I give that to the animal rescues. Dogs don't care and neither do I. It's a win win situation.

  25. #25
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I'm sorry but I dont agree, A local church makes quilts for the homeless. Every Tuesday they get together in a donated building, bring sewing machines and cutting mats. They take donated clothing cut them into large squares, using donated stained blankets for batting and sometimes donated batting, they make quilts. The clothing is usually ripped or stained, those parts are cut away and not used. The Homeless shelter in Indy is very grateful for these ugly non perfect quilts. And from what I understand those that sleep in the ally are grateful also. The things we find unsatisfactory or ugly is a treasure to someone living out of a shopping cart. So never think that your quilt cant be loved or needed just because the fabric didnt come from the LQS, or because the stitches are uneven, or they simply dont match. Charity is giving to those in need, not giving to those that are picky and could go to the store and buy one if needed, IMHO.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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