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Thread: do you get strange comments when people find out you make quilts for charity?

  1. #1
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    I've started not to mention why I'm making my quilts (and in the past rag dolls) because people will say, "Oh, I'll take it."

    When I try to explain that I'm making it for children who are sick I've gotten "Oh, my daughter is sick, I'll take one for her." Her daughter had the sniffles, not even a full blown cold. She was offended when I told her that my qults go to children battling cancer and that a cold wasn't the same.

    I've also had people get angry with me when I wouldn't just give them a quilt since I make so many to give away or I wouldn't make a quilt for them for free because I have so much fabric given to me. When I mention how much I'd charge them they go through the roof, "It didn't cost you anything, why would you charge me?" Because I have to go and replace what I used to make you a quilt.

    I find it absolutely amazing that so many people don't understand that when fabric is given to me because I make quilts for charity, I personally feel an obilgation to use that fabric to make quilts for charity. At least that is how I treat all donations to me.

    I keep my personal stash separate from my charity stash.


    Have you had any strange comments?

  2. #2
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know what you mean. I try to keep things like that to myself. It's kinda like religion...I'd never EVER want to get into a discussion with someone about why I believe the way I do. It's between my heart and the receiver of my love.

  3. #3
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    I think you are right not to mention it. Almost everything I make to sell - handbags & wallets - is to have $$ to buy fabric for charity quilts. There is sooo much need for comfort out in the world, it can get overwhelming. Keep up the good work!

  4. #4
    Cyn
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    I just don't tell for that exact reason!

  5. #5
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    Isn't it funny the number of invites you get to wedding and baby showers when they know you quilt? I guess I am bad because I just don't go........ I don't make any type of excuse. They really don't like it if they have their own business and I offer to 'barter'....

  6. #6
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    I take remarks like that as tongue in cheek. My usual response is a smiling "don't hold your breath"

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    that is amazing that people would be so dense. I would just smile and say, let me know when your kid gets cancer, I will make one for them then.

  8. #8
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    I've not had a negative comment about my charity work. I've had a few "that's alot of time and money"; however, it is my time and "our" money. I usually just say "that's true but it so blesses my life".

    How sad anyone would have such negative feelings about us giving of ourselves to bring comfort to others.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Becka's Avatar
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    I guess I shouldn't be surprised there are people like that, that think like that, and would say things like that anywhere but books and television, but it's disheartening to learn they exist in real life. That's very bold, assuming and rude. I haven't encountered anything like that, thank goodness, and kudos for not letting them discourage you. Under those circumstances, I'd probably stop mentioning it as well.

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    They really don't like it if they have their own business and I offer to 'barter'....
    Love it!!!!!

  11. #11
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity-crafter
    When I mention how much I'd charge them they go through the roof, "It didn't cost you anything, why would you charge me?" Because I have to go and replace what I used to make you a quilt.
    My husband's favorite come back at the store was "I don't work for a bowl of rice."

    Me? I'd say, "You buy the fabric and pay me for my time, I'll be glad to make a quilt for you. By the way the quilt in this picture took XX hours."

  12. #12
    Super Member MellieKQuilter's Avatar
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    We live in a world where self absorbed, selfish people (not to mention people in need of instant gratification) are the norm. Some people cant even see outside of their own needs and wants.... so very sad.

  13. #13
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I've never had any strange comments when I tell people I quilt for charity. They just say what a nice thing to do.

  14. #14
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn
    I just don't tell for that exact reason!
    I don't tell anyone I know either. Sometimes my husband says something because he is proud of what I do.

  15. #15
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Wow, I could never beat the people you've run into!! Actually I have not had anyone say things to me like that. How completely tacky!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
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    wow!
    you sure handle it well i believe-
    i have had a couple rude people expect a freeby-
    and yes- they are shocked when i tell them what it would cost---and that i have to have cash---first
    i make charity quilts too- i had one person say something once about my giving them away- but would charge a family member...
    i have made all of my siblings, their spouses and their children (free quilts) out of the goodness of my heart- they call up expecting another one- to give to a friend or something- they become (irritated-sometimes rude)hate it when i say- hey come on up- i'll show you how to make your own---for your friend- i'm not giving them away to your friends...

    now when one of them approach me about another quilt- i just tell them- sorry- you can not afford my quilts-
    tired of their---expectations
    i got so tired of it i started telling people when they inquired- "how much would you charge me for a queen size quilt?"
    my response-
    a queen starts at $500 and goes up from there- what did you have in mind?"
    usually shuts them up.
    i would rather give them away to deserving recipients than sell one to some rude person who has no concept of what they are expecting- or desire to find out.
    luckily i've been at it long enough i have a pretty good customer base- and my family knows me---
    they approach me with realistic requests now.
    stick to your guns- after awhile it will stop

  17. #17
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    I've also had good things come from talking about my comfort quilts. I'm just selective now when I say my purpose, if they sew and appreciate quilts I may say something.

    I have had wonderful people give me their stashes and stashes they've inherited. They say, "I know it's going to a good cause and don't feel guilty about giving it away."

    My aunt made quilts all of her life and very few of them went to the family. She felt the same way. She only gave them to people who really appreceated them. If a family member asked, her starting price was $300 and that was 30 years ago.

  18. #18
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    one friend asked me why i give them away when "you could sell them, you know , for really good money" then proceeded to explain how to keep records for an income tax deduction. she ment well. i tried not to laugh.

  19. #19
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Is it said more jokingly than seriously? If so, then try to take it as a compliment. But if they are getting mad at you about it, then... Wow - you seem to run into some very forward and grabby / greedy people. :roll:
    Try to ignore them and go on with your caring and good works. You are storing up your treasures in heaven!

  20. #20
    Super Member DonnaC's Avatar
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    Actually, no, because I really only discuss it on this Board, and with the members of my sewing/smocking group. I don't ever mention it to the people in my daily life, because I think they'd be totally disinterested and go "Huh?", and I don't want to hear that. I get a lot of enjoyment out of making my charity quilts.

  21. #21
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    Worse is giving a quilt to charity and a year later seeing it hanging in the house of a relative of the organizer! So discouraging.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzinBumble
    But if they are getting mad at you about it, then... Wow - you seem to run into some very forward and grabby / greedy people. :roll:
    Mad was too extreme of an emotion, more like irratated. But yes, I did used to run into some pretty grabby/greedy people.

    I worked closer to the city and took public transportation. I would be working on my projects while commuting.

    It wasn't people who were my friends, it was mainly the people I rode the bus with. People you see every day ~ 1 hr a day depending on the commute. people you are friendly with but don't really know much more then their first name and roughly where they worked by what bus stop they got off.

    I worked at a hospital so I'd bring my dolls into the Pediatric ward to give the kids so I'd have a little baggy of dolls or a couple of lap quilts and that's when I'd get the comments. It's the passing aquaintances who feel the need to make comments.

    My co-workers usually stop asking for one when I give them a supply list and tell them to go buy what is needed to make a quilt. My list includes thread and cotton batting.

  23. #23
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    I have never had this happen, and I have made charity quilts in the past. Right now I'm looking for a local charity, perhaps a hospice to see if they would welcome my quilts for sick children battling cancer or for those people in nursing homes. When I belonged to a quilt guild we made quilts for David's House in Lebanon, NH, which was similar to a Ronald McDonald House. The guild was even asked to make bed quilts when a new house was built on the hospital grounds. Unfortunately, at times fabric given for those quilts went home with members and no quilts were made, they used it for themselves. When people found out what I did they asked if I would like fabric, and I said yes, keeping that fabric separate from my own stash. Seeing pictures of the children with one of my quilts really made my heart sing, there's nothing like it. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who cannot fathom why we would make a quilt to give away to someone we don't even know. Their loss.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MargeD
    Unfortunately, at times fabric given for those quilts went home with members and no quilts were made, they used it for themselves. When people found out what I did they asked if I would like fabric, and I said yes, keeping that fabric separate from my own stash.
    There has been a time or two when the donation fabric was perfect for the project I was working on, but I'd always transfer an equal amount from my stash to the donation stash so I wouldn't feel guilty. I don' t go guilt real well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by emerald46
    I've not had a negative comment about my charity work. I've had a few "that's alot of time and money"; however, it is my time and "our" money. I usually just say "that's true but it so blesses my life".

    How sad anyone would have such negative feelings about us giving of ourselves to bring comfort to others.
    I think it is fantastic what your ladies are doing for charity...especially children.

    A friend of mine...her late hubby's cousin...does the same thing. She retired as a nurse from Hershey Medical Center here in PA and she quilts all of the time. She and a group of her quilting friends get together a lot and make quilts for babies. They take them to the hospital and tell them to give them to unwed mothers or mother's whose babies were born with a birth defect etc. They also give some to Ronald McDonald House near the medical center.

    I would feel guilty too if people were giving me fabric knowing that I would use it for charity quilts...and then I make quilts to sell out of it.

    If you have the time and money then I say do it. I would rather give the quilt that they will cherish forever...then hand them a money donation that will long be forgotten years down the road.

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