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Thread: How can I overcome my fear?

  1. #101
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    As a rule, once something is gifted, it's gone and out of my control. But I gotta say, if one of my grandchildren or children mistreated something I'd made for them, you better believe I'd be having something to say about it. I might say it lightly, but it would be said. To the 17 yr old, I'd probably say something like, "Dang, girl, if you don't want that quilt, give it back to me and I'll clean it up and pass it on to someone who needs it and will use it. No sense letting it lay there and rot." Then I'd hug her and say that next time I'll try to give her something more to her liking.

  2. #102
    Super Member Marilynsue's Avatar
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    ....and try to remember, she was only 17. How did we feel if we had been given a quilt at that age? I'm afraid I wouldn't have known enough to be grateful at that age. Just love her and don't let it hold you back from something you love to do.

  3. #103
    Senior Member kwilter's Avatar
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    I pin a card tied with a bow onto the quilt I'm gifting with all the instructions on its care. I include all the quilt information from the label and add info as to the pattern, block, quilting, etc., etc., as well as why I chose the colors and what was my inspiration. The beginning of the care instructions begin with.."Every quilt is a work of art to be hugged, admired and cuddled up in..." Then I give the care details such as never dry clean, best in coin operated front loading washer; mild soap, delicate cycle, cold water and how to dry it, etc., adding storing and refolding advice, etc. I believe this indicates to the recipient that this is one fine piece of art and he/she should be glad to have it after all my work and love that goes into it. I have never had a problem with unapreciative recipients...they have all been thrilled to have one. Maybe you would feel less ravaged by doing something similar.

  4. #104
    Senior Member newbiequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwilter
    I pin a card tied with a bow onto the quilt I'm gifting with all the instructions on its care. I include all the quilt information from the label and add info as to the pattern, block, quilting, etc., etc., as well as why I chose the colors and what was my inspiration. The beginning of the care instructions begin with.."Every quilt is a work of art to be hugged, admired and cuddled up in..." Then I give the care details such as never dry clean, best in coin operated front loading washer; mild soap, delicate cycle, cold water and how to dry it, etc., adding storing and refolding advice, etc. I believe this indicates to the recipient that this is one fine piece of art and he/she should be glad to have it after all my work and love that goes into it. I have never had a problem with unapreciative recipients...they have all been thrilled to have one. Maybe you would feel less ravaged by doing something similar.
    EXCELLENT suggestion! I will use it also. Thank you.

  5. #105
    Senior Member GloBug's Avatar
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    I made a quilt {crib size} for a great neice when she was in pre-school. Her wove a wonderful story about how it was a magical quilt and that no bad dreams as long as it was covering her. She is now a senior in high school and her quilt will go to collage with her. It is a good size to snuggle under while reading.
    I have also made others that were used to make tents or fort walls.They are long gone,but were loved to pieces.Some were misstreated,and some are still loved today.
    Sorry you were hert by the way one person treated their quilt,Please don't let it spoil your joy in making quilts. :-)

  6. #106
    Junior Member seweasy's Avatar
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    I'm just about finished with a baby quilt for my grand-nephew, he's 6 mos old. I don't know if the mother will like it or not but I'm truly not worried about it. If she doesn't, she can do whatever she wants with it. I had fun making it and I learned a few things along way, that's all that matters to me. I believe once given, it totally out of my hands; and I'm not sure I would say anything to anyone because that could cause hurt feelings that might never heal. Its a risk I wouldn't take.
    Keep quilting for the joy it brings you. And I believe that there will be more who will enjoy your work than not. Chris

  7. #107
    Member LeeJay's Avatar
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    I made a rather nice quilt for my step-granddaughter, with applique and other features which are time consuming. I later found that the family was using it for a dog blanket. I get along very well with this GD and her family, so I know it wasn't done for out of meanness for me, but it still hurt. On the other hand, I have three young ladies who "adopted" me when they were little girls. I made each one a simple quilt - blocks of bandana print and denim. They loved these quilts so much they carried them everywhere. When they grew older and they became cheerleaders, they took their blankets in the bus for out of town games. Made me feel warm and fuzzy all over..... You can't let one person ruin your joy of quilting and sharing your craft. It is very discouraging to see your pride and joy abused, but I will never quit giving my quilts to those I love.

  8. #108
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    That is heartbreaking to read that someone could show such disdain for a lovely gift like a handmade quilt.

    Any time you offer such a gift, you run that risk. I always cut the odds when they say 'thank you', by winking and saying, "Just don't put it in the back of the truck for the dog to lie on!"

    Haven't found one with dog hair on it yet! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  9. #109
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    I have two god daughters, just about the same age. I used to make them both handmade gifts, knitted or quilted or something similar. One always made a big deal out of it, the other not so much. I was quite surprised when the 'not so much' practically asked for a quilt for graduation. She is now 45 and when showing me around her new home, she made sure I saw her quilt on the bed in the guest room. funny how it works. by the way, she comes from a non-craft family and she hinted that her aunt would really love a quilt for wedding -- they get it!

  10. #110
    Senior Member sew wishful's Avatar
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    I gave my son's baby quilt to my DIL when their son was born. This "bonkey" blanket was so loved by my son that I felt he and his wife would love it for their son. WRONG! I could tell by the look on her face it "wasn't good enough" for her baby. So I told her later, if she didn't like it to please return it to me and I'd put it away for my son another time. It was returned to me within the month. It's still in my cedar chest. I take it out and have great memories of my son loving this as a child. It has monkeys all over it and he LOVED it!

  11. #111
    Junior Member Derla's Avatar
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    An opposite kind of story: I either would knit or crochet a baby afghan for each grandchild that was born (after my mom died - that was her role until then) One granddaughter, now in highschool, has more 'mending' area than original on hers now(and I'll bet it is still on her bed, - she just doesn't carry it around with her wherever she goes anymore) When a hole developed on it, that was a real disaster in her eyes, and it had to be 'fixed'.

  12. #112

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    I have to admit that the moral I keep taking away from these threads is to not give a quilt to a dog owner!

    :)

  13. #113
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    There was another thread a few weeks ago along this line, so there are lots of unloved quilts out there, and the advice pretty much the same, once you give it, its not yours so let it go, dont be hurt and move on and do what you want to do, don't let the inconsiderate actions of others take away something that gives you pleasure. Just choose your recipients more thoughtfully in the future. Teenagers just don't usually have the experience to appreciate much that they didn't have to work for, but that too will come.:)

  14. #114
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    It really seems like a lot of non-quilters don't understand or value quilts or understand quilters and our values. Maybe the best thing to do with someone we think would like a quilt or should have one because we're related to them, is find out first, and also whether or how they understand they should look after a quilt. Receiving some things mean taking responsibility for its care. Getting this bit of clarity would take away the surprise, if that is part of the gifting plan, but maybe it would prevent surprise disappointments for the quilter, and we do have to look after ourselves too. Imagine something in men's worlds with the same value as a quilt. I think a quilt, especially hand made, has about the same value as a car in design, materials and labour. (Think of the breast cancer auctions and the thousands of dollars people paid for each quilt sold in that auction). What if we gifted someone with a car and they bashed it around and wrecked it, what would we think? It wouldn't be reasonable to give a careless person a nice car, so why a nice quilt? First help them learn to be responsible, then gift them.
    I love that set of care and instructions - maybe asking someone if they had the time and interest to do all that care before thinking of making them one.
    Am I giving quilters and quilts with too much value? I know I have so little time to quilt what with working on my products, marketing and just surviving as a single woman (was a single mum from the time my sons were 6 and 4, absolutely no support at any level from my ex), the time spent to make a quilt was so precious I wanted every stitch to stay safe. Of course we all know that isn't desirable or possible if the quilt is to be snuggled in or bounced on a bit, but in general, we as women and quilters (most quilters are women but of course men quilters and their quilts deserve the same) deserve respect and our work does too. Quilting is such an important combination of art, love, hope, caring, labour, practical comfort creation and heirloom, to say nothing of history, especially family history it and we deserve very high symbolic and real value. If that sounds too feministic, it really is just a search for balance in the appreciation of men's and women's work and of art.

  15. #115
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    I know how that must have hurt. I put a lot of work and love into a quilt for a little neighbor girl. A year later I saw the quilt in the back seating area of their pick up just wadded up and on the floor.
    The most hurtful thing was this summer at my wedding rehersal supper when I overheard my grown[38 yo] daughter say to family and friends "I just hate it when Mom makes me things". Well let me you....I said to my sister and sister in law, away from Amy's hearing, I will never make anything for her again, it takes too much time, money and effort to waste it on someone who doesn't appreciate handmade gifts.
    If my work looked shabby, I might understand. My Mom made things for me when I was a child and I thought they were wonderful. I feel better now....

  16. #116
    Super Member Izaquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuneD
    You know, a 17 year old may not appreciate the work that went into making the quilt, but I hate to say it, her mother or father should have. Especially if it was given to her by her grandmother. I am sorry for being so blunt, that's just my opinion.

    I can understand your reluctance in making another quilt, but there is someone out there that would LOVE a handmade gift. (especially me!!!!! :-)
    I made 5 baby quilts for our first grand daughter which none of them were ever used. Once she got older, she'd see me quilting & wanted to make a quilt for her doll. I told her I made her several baby quilts when she was a baby to ask Mommy for one for her doll baby. She never did show up with any. Some people just do not appreciate, period. It's like you said, it's the parents. For some they take no value in what you have put into it & other just don't have any idea what a quilt means (to you or from you). I know the feeling. I also made them a super king size quilt for their wedding that was not appreciated (by her, not my son). Later heard that she hates the color blue. Looks great in my house!

  17. #117
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    Our bicentennial quilt group talked about these values. Several of us also smock and the smocked dresses have not always been appreciated. One made a pink dress for her granddaughter and her dil said the pink was too bright and put it at the back of the closet. My friend took it back.
    More and more the solution to the problem seems to me, no matter how much we want to make a particular quilt in particular patterns and colours, does the intended recipient share our aesthetics and values. If not, make it for ourselves or someone else who will appreciate, unless we really want to see it in a muddy heap in a pickup truck or backyard doghouse!
    Giving is a type of communicating - we can say something, but if the intended hearer doesn't hear or won't listen, then the communication is incomplete, one-sided; if too much communication falls on no recipient, then better for our own health and sanity to communicate to someone else.

  18. #118
    Super Member Izaquilter's Avatar
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    I know you all say "once it's out of your hands" but have you ever put alot of work into a quilt & had it used as a dog blanket, not used at all, not acknowledged? You put your heart into making it & to see it not appreciated hurts. I'd loved to see my grandbabies drag around their 'blankies' until they were worn & tattered but they were given these cheap fuzzies when they were little so that is what they got use to. Really makes you NOT want to do something special. And then they bring the cheap fuzzies to me to fix the binding on all the time! Errrrrr!

  19. #119
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    Speaking of grandbabies dragging around blankies - here's a cute logo - for the Native American Quilt shop I mentioned a few days ago - their term for quilts is blankets too. http://www.calicocottage.ca/quilts/ she's in the upper left hand corner. They've changed the logo a bit in the past couple of years, she used to be just in red and black.
    The ladies at the shop are great.
    The quilters in the community are great, but very particular. I once saw a grandmother measure a gorgeous hand quilted hand appliquéed 'blanket' by holding the side of the end of her fore finger against it to to see if the quilting was the proper 7 st per in! She checked the appliqué stitching very carefully too. Whoever the quilter was passed muster, good thing for her!

  20. #120
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    Give your granddaughter a little talking too :) I am 24. When I graduated from high school my grandma made me a beautiful pillow. She chewed my butt when she found it downstairs in our basement. I had only taken it downstairs to prop it up and lean against. It was a great size for that. But she was really upset that it was just left out. So I learned my lesson and always put it back on my bed. I have all of the wall hangings now that she has given me and table runners out on display even though they do not necessarily match my home or each other :) I leave them all out because I know now how much time she put into them for me :)
    So maybe your granddaughter just needs to know how much love and time went into it. As for the fiancee she might need to know how much effort is involved as well.

  21. #121
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    My first reaction to your story was that I would have picked up the quilt from the garage floor and taken it back!!

  22. #122
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    Thanks for the insights on how you learned to appreciate your pillow and wall hangings and your understanding of your grandma's love for you and of quilting! Very, very heartwarming indeed and giving me ideas!!
    When my youngest niece was graduating from grade school, she was going to have to wear a dress, which was not her custom! She played hockey so well she not only scored most of the goals on a boy's team, but they thought she was so cool they make her captain of the team! My sister came to me (she doesn't sew at all) and asked if I had any ideas on how to have this dress thing come about. I said we should ask the niece to draw a sketch what her idea of a dress was and what colour she wanted. The colour was easy, blue, same colour as the team sweaters, and it didn't really surprise us either that she sketched an elongated hockey sweater as her ideal of a dress!
    I got a dozen samples of blue cotton and mailed them to her - she chose a gorgeous intense medium shad of water wash blue - it waswonderful to work with true eye-candy. We had to try a little persuasion re the long sleeves - graduation in June can mean 80° - 90° F weather in Montreal. So she agreed - the dress was a slightly princess style with jewel neck, capped, very slightly gathered sleeve with a tie attached to side seams for a bow in the back. I made it so whe seams could be let out an inch, enough for darts to be put in later (she was then flat as a board), 8" extra for hem to be lengthened. I have to say she looked adorable. Dark hair, tan skin, honey brown eyes - the intense blue was just perfect on her. The dress lasted 4 years with alterations, she's saving it, no chance of getting if for quilting pieces! But I've used a lot of the scraps and have more for future projects. I love the sentimentality of adding a bit of her special dress fabric to special quilts. I put some in our bicentennial church quilt, Ina May Gaskin's Safe Motherhood quilt for a baby boy who died at birth, and have some for a special quilt project for raising awareness on genital mutilations. Sometimes it surprises me how much working with fabric, design, and their purposes means to me!

  23. #123
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    Years ago I made a beautiful baby quilt for a friend & neighbor's 1st child and made sure to match her nursery colors. The next summer I happened to go over to her garage sale and she had it FOR SALE. I asked why and she said it didn't match the NEW room they were "re-doing" for her daughter. OMG She was barely 2 ! She had it marked $10, so I gave her a $10 and took it home. She may have been embarassed but she never said a word about it then, or later, & neither did I. It still looked brand new, so I "re-gifted" it to a friend's daughter who truly loved it.
    People fall into 2 categories with quilts (or handmade/heirloom items) They either GET IT ... or they just DON'T

  24. #124
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    Wow, that's a great rescue! Good for you, for asking about it, maybe she learned something!

  25. #125

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    I'd like to try to provide another perspective. I have a very small home, and it is packed full of stuff. We have tons of things in storage because we just don't have the space for it all. My mother spends hundreds, possibly even thousands, of hours each year, as well as plenty of money, tracking down gifts for us. She doesn't quilt, but she puts a lot of time and effort into her shopping. She puts a lot of love into what she purchases for us.

    Almost without exception, I can't stand what she's purchased for us. Even when I do like something, we don't have room for it. So what do I do? I say thank you politely, and put the stuff in storage. She is sometimes obviously offended that we don't put out the things she buys us. But really, what does she, or anyone else, expect? Believe me, she doesn't put any less love or care into her gifts than someone who has made a quilt (and as a quilter, I know what that entails). Is the way I treat her gifts wrong? Am I obligated to display objects as she chooses just because they're given with love? Should I not have passed many of them on to charity where I knew they would be better loved? Should I not have thrown out some of them that were just too tacky to curse on someone else?

    I just think that just because we value quilts and handmade items so dearly doesn't mean that everyone does, or even should. We can spare ourselves, and others, a lot of stress if we just choose the recipients of our gifts - quilting and not - wisely.

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