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Thread: Consideration of effort, and cost against usefulness

  1. #1
    Senior Member PuffinGin's Avatar
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    When I'm deciding to make a present for someone, I carefully think about the cost of making the item in both actual expenses and the time it will take to make and weigh these factors against how useful I think the gift is. Also factor in whether I know it's something that the recipient will actually like. I realize my taste is not that of others. I've read about making potato chip bags and just know I wouldn't convince myself they were worth time and fabric. Book covers, book marks, small jewelry cases, book bags, pincushions, potholders -- yes.

    Do you do this? How do you decide?

  2. #2
    Senior Member gigi10's Avatar
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    Ok, I agree with you, but my process is much simpler. I give the things I would like to recieve. That simply said means I like it long before I give it.

  3. #3

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    I weigh out cost/time/usefulness the same. Small gifts I have made our fabric napkin holders, hot pads, table runners, and closet pocket hangers.

  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I've never heard of a potato chip bag. Are you thinking of a potato baking bag?

    Anyway to answer your question, I just make stuff I LIKE and when it's done if I think someone else will like it I give it to them. or if they see it in my home, and express admiration I just give it to them. I rarely make a gift spcifically for someone. i just have so much fun making things. I'm just weird.

  5. #5
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    after my sister allowed her 4 labs to sleep on the floor on a bed quilt i made her, i'm very careful about who i give a quilt to. they usually drop a hint or two.

    some people actually appreciate small gifts more than they like bed quilts and that's fine with me. i can generally tell who they are.

    i'd rather see my coasters or pot holders being used properly than see my king quilts on the floor with animals sleeping on them.

  6. #6
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    In my experience, bed quilts are very risky gifts unless you know exactly what the recipient would like. While some people will appreciate and use anything you make for them, others (including me) want control over the decor in their homes and will not use a bed quilt that upsets it.

    That said, we are often the same people who would do cartwheels and set off fireworks if you offered to make a quilt to our specifications!!!

    So unless you know the recipient well enough to know what s/he likes and would want, I'd stick to smaller, simpler, less controversial items than bed-size quilts. (For some of us, even lap quilts should match our decor.)

    Just tryin' to be honest!

  7. #7
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    Hi puffingin!
    Yes, I do the same. I also am careful about the time investment and usefulness. Of course, what I think is useful might be different for someone else but I try hard to match gifts to the recipients and let go of them when they go.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I don't make quilted items for gifts. I only make what I like so I'm never disappointed. I give my DDs and my DGD my projects if they ask for them. The rest of the family can learn to make their own. I've offered to teach them if they hint they would like a quilt or project. It took me a long time to say I don't want to when asked to 'make me a quilt' and now I love to use that phrase whenever I can!

  9. #9
    Senior Member PuffinGin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    I've never heard of a potato chip bag. Are you thinking of a potato baking bag?
    I think you may be right that I misread a post. Thought that was what I saw, especially since I know what potato baking bags are and think they look interesting/fun to have.. . However, when quick searches on several sites failed for potato chip bags bombed, I decided.my tired old eyes and brain played a trick on me. Skimming, another thing failing as I age. lol

  10. #10
    Junior Member quiltingdoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuffinGin
    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    I've never heard of a potato chip bag. Are you thinking of a potato baking bag?
    I think you may be right that I misread a post. Thought that was what I saw, especially since I know what potato baking bags are and think they look interesting/fun to have.. . However, when quick searches on several sites failed for potato chip bags bombed, I decided.my tired old eyes and brain played a trick on me. Skimming, another thing failing as I age. lol
    The baked potato bags are very easy to make.
    Your fabric, batting and thread must all be 100% cotton as the bag will catch fire if you use anything else.
    Two piece of cotton fabric 11" x 22" each. One piece of "Warm Tater" batting 11" x 22". (Warm Tater batting is required as it is 100% cotton).
    Put the fabric pieces right sides together. Place batting on top. Serge or overcast stitch the two short ends. Turn right side out. Serge or over cast the two long ends. Place on table with the side you want on the outside up, with short side at bottom. Fold top down about three inches, then fold bottom up over the top folded piece about one inch. Sew both sides with a 1/4' seam in straight stitch. Turn inside out and enjoy.
    Try it. It's really easy.

  11. #11
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Have made quilts for family,but I know colors wanted.Other than that,I don't make quilted "surprises".My Sis doesn't care for home made anything.Doesn't bother me,just saves time & $$$.

    A neighbor uses a quilt her Mom made as a car trunk liner.To each their own, but my feeling is,quilts takes so much time & work....I prefer to choose where they go.Often times, they stay home with me :)

  12. #12
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    I think I have heard of a potato chip bag but it wasn't to put potato chips in. It was a quick bag that was said to be so quick and easy that you couldn't make just one. (Like the old Lays commercial that you couldn't eat just one potato chip).

  13. #13
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I have made baby quilts for gifts, but I know that the people I have given to are people who will appreciate anything I make for them.

  14. #14
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I always think of the time and $ involved in making a gift. Many people just don't appreciate anything hand crafted. Sometimes it's a whole lot easier to just take a bottle of wine, flowers or a gift certificate. I hate the whole thought of gifts that are not needed or appreciated. I just had this very conversation with my new DIL. Her birthday is this week and I'm just sticking $ in her card. I'm sure that I couldn't pick out clothes for her and I want it right. She was just fine about my choice of gift and why.

  15. #15
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Sorry, double post.

  16. #16
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Before I make anything for another person (unless said gift is a surprise) I have to think for a while about the person and their personality and what pattern would be a good fit. If recipient is rather picky with their style, I let them pick a pattern within my range of skills. Then it is time to start picking fabrics and I always try to work in colors that will match the room it is to be used in, or colors that are requested. I never make a gift quilt that suits me, it has to suit the recipient. That way I am assured that it will be used and loved.

  17. #17
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    For me it depends on the recipient and the occassion. I started out decades ago making needlepoint christmas stockings for my nephews/nieces. My one brother - who has 3 children - has never even said thank you. And yet, because I wanted to do the same for all of my siblins, I made a queen sized bed quilt for he and his wife. He was certainly appreciative - SIL, not so much. Now, on the other hand, my other brother with 2/kids have been incredibly effusive in their thanks for the kids stockings as well as the quilt I made for them. To the point where that SIL asked me to make a quilt for my niece's room as it was sooo cold in her room and the quilt I made them was sooo warm! She offered to pay for all the materials and I turned her down. And my Sis and BIL/SIL on the other side are very appreciative. I make quilts to be used - not heirlooms. When it's friends kids for other occassions, I usually give a bought gift appropriate for the occassion. I am, however, making an oversize twin for one son's friend for his HS graduation. I'll do the same for his younger sister in a few years as well.

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