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Charity quilts vs all other quilts

Charity quilts vs all other quilts

Old 08-03-2020, 09:29 AM
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Default Charity quilts vs all other quilts

First let me say from the get-go that I'm not wanting to offend anyone with this question. Charity quilts are very important to me & I make more blocks these days for charity quilts then the actual finished quilts because quilt completion has really gotten hard on me as I am getting older. Now I want you to know that I am not a perfectionist by any means and I make a lot of mistakes & imperfections in my quilts but I make them with love for those to whom I give them.

Over the years I have heard comments from friends & quilters concerning charity quilts that go something like this:
1. Charity quilts are good to "practice" my quilting skills on.
2. I really "botched" up on this quilt but it will make a good charity quilt & they will never know the difference anyway.
3. I have the quilting fever & want to make something...anything...and I'll give it to charity even if it's not something I would keep for myself or give as a gift.
4. I just finished a quilt but it's not something I like or good enough to gift so I will just give it to charity.
etc, etc, etc.

So here is my question to you. Isn't a charity quilt a "gifted" quilt & shouldn't it be made with the same amount of love & attention that you would give any other quilt? Shouldn't we slow down & put the same amount of time & effort into a charity quilt that we would put into a quilt for someone that we personally know? Can't we make "practice" quilts to donate to animal shelters (or something similar) & make real, thoughtful, caring & loving quilts for charities. It's true, we probably won't ever know who will end up with the charity quilt that we donate, but in my opinion that does not matter. It was made for a person in need of love, warmth & prayers at the time it was gifted to them for a very special reason.

Just some food for thought on this subject.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:35 AM
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Thank you for your post! I quite agree!
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:40 AM
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Yes, I want my donation quilts to be good enough that I would put my name on the label and give it to someone I love. If you don't like it enough, consider giving it to a donation center and let someone choose to rescue it or not.

Last edited by kacie; 08-03-2020 at 09:43 AM. Reason: another thought
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:31 AM
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My donations are not always up to my standards. Sometimes it’s a mystery quilt that I didn’t particularly care for the outcome. Sometimes it’s the color combination I did not like. But as I see it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because I did not like it does not mean that it is inferior. Not everyone likes what I do and that’s ok. There is someone out there that will love my efforts. If it is shoddy work it will not go anywhere beyond the deep dark corners of the closet
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:55 AM
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There is a difference between "I don't like it" and "this is a piece of 'inferior work/materials;

I think most "people in need" can tell the difference between well-made and not well-made.

Poor people recognize good quality as well as wealthy people do.

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Old 08-03-2020, 11:01 AM
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My guild requires all donation quilts given in the guild's name to be good quality and well sewn to stay together. The guild has a big supply of good fabric any member can get free to make donation quits for our guild to give. I have seen some donation quilts made from the poorest quality stuff possible. I know our community chairperson will donate to animal shelters when the call comes sleeping pads are needed. LOL
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:34 PM
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There have been a few mystery quilts over the years that have gone to charity only because I had nowhere else for them to go. I don't have a huge family that wants quilts. And, when I practice, it doesn't mean it turns out bad. If I'm sending to charity, I usually do a quicker, over all quilting as opposed to a keeper where I might do feathers or quilt each block.

I wouldn't send something shoddy, but I see nothing wrong with sending a quilt to charity that you didn't put your heart and soul into as long as it's attractive and sturdy.

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Old 08-03-2020, 12:45 PM
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I have mixed feelings about this. There is a need for charity quilts out there. Some go to homeless folks who use them in their "camps" Never will be washed as these folks do not have a place to wash them usually. Our quilt group used to donate over 100-200 quilts...older ladies...some would stitch them at home and prepare backings and yep...these quilts where then tied and not quilted. materials in them are whatever folks donate. Old sheets, knits, even curtain fabric, polyester, cotton..old tablecloths .whatever. If you have seen the photos of folks in refuge camps.....in countries where people are fleeing war or famine....that is where some of these quilts ended up. And were all these quilt used on beds?...Nope...some are used as floor coverings over the dirt floors and some as wall dividers between family units. At one time there was a request not to send fancy quilts as these would be stolen before reaching the refugees. So, while I like to do my best and only use fine quilting cotton put together with skill....a quilt put together with what can be afforded and what skill can quickly complete it...is better than no quilt at times....To me the more useful question is will the quilt I just made serve the purpose for which it was made. We here in the states often use quilts as a thing of beauty not as a necessity...My grandmother lived in a one room house heated with a woodstove. I have one of her old quilts stitched together out of old coats and large stitches, dull colors...it was warm and served it's purpose. .
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:55 PM
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I agree, charity quilts should be made with the same care that you out into quilts for people you know. I also agree that "I didn't like the way this turned out" and "this is too ugly to be anything but donation."
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:26 PM
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My charity quilts are usually simpler than my "keeper" quilts for family. Otherwise, I wouldn't have nearly as many to donate. I do believe that you should only give your best efforts, not your cast-offs. Good fabric, good sewing, good quilting.
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