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Thread: How would you react?

  1. #51
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    Having read so many of our thoughts concerning the mistreatment of our quilts, I began thinking in a little different light. Perhaps the lady really loved the quilt and had it on her sofa in order to display it, but the husband, having no appreciation for the work and art, came in and plopped down on it before she could stop him. You know our "honey" sometimes just lives in his own world and is unaware of our treasurers. I know at my house a freshly cleaned floor seems to be an invitation for my hubby of 40 years and now retired to track in mud from the back door all the way to the front door. However it would probably be best if we quilters who have retired and have a retired husband didn't tell all of the things this man of ours can do to drive us up the wall. I just go to my sewing room and think about the beautiful work of art I can create in the most recent project.

  2. #52
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    Its her quilt now and while you want her to appreciate and cherish the quilt, after 50 years of close friendship that its the friendship NOT the quilt that matters

    I do agree with Henry...I would say something like "Oh, by the way..here are come care intructions for the quilt I made"

  3. #53

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    I have heard of other quilters being similarly shocked to have their work not appreciated, usually because the receiver has no idea of the time and work that went into a quilt.
    I think you should have a talk to your "friend" about what I have just said. The quilt is a work of art made from your heart and worth very much in sentimentality to you and if she could put it in a place of honor including draped over a chair or the couch it would help you feel better. If she is truly your friend, she will take your words to heart.
    Something that was suggested to me recently is to have the quilts you make appraised and then include the appraisal with the quilt if you give it as a gift.
    Please don't sit a fume over this. She does not know your feelings unless you tell her. The only person suffering now in YOU!

  4. #54
    Junior Member crazicorn's Avatar
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    I was kind of distressed over everyone saying ooh and aah when I gave a quilt or showed them a quilt I was making. They (meaning mostly family) didn't really understand the making of them. So, the last quilt I gave away, I took pictures of each step with my digital camera and then I wrote a step-by-step document to go along with the pictures (Put each picture below each step, etc.). When I gave the quilt, I gave the step by step printed out on paper as well as on disk for them to be able to keep longer.

    It seemed to generate a little bit more appreciation for the time and effort put into the making of the gift.

    Brenda

  5. #55
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    I have a different 'take' on this. I have given most of my more than 100 quilts as wedding and baby gifts. For years, I realized that many were put away in drawers, the way our mothers and grandmothers saved things that were 'too nice' to use every day - and we inherited them unused. I wish that I had included a note describing how to use the hanging sleeve that I put on them!

    Now, I machine quilt, because of arthritis. I include the poem 'It's okay if you sit on your quilt, It's okay if you spit on your quilt..." with the baby quilts, and I write "it's machine wash- and dryable." I machine quilt wedding quilts, too, and write a note saying the quilt is machine wash- and dryable. I also write that I've included a hanging sleeve, because I've noticed some people don't know it's there, and they've hung my quilts by nailing them to the wall!
    JoanneS

  6. #56
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    I haven't given many quilts, but have given several framed cross-stitch pictures, mostly to family. These have been large and the framing alone about $150. On the quilts I always add the rod pocket and explain how it can be used. Then, I took a line from the "Antiques Road Show" and explain that for for insurance purposes this probably should be covered for about $1000. Yet, I am now making a baby blanket for a little boy, and I have no idea if it will be a wall hanging or a "blankie" that will be dragged through everything. If it is, I have to comfort myself that nothing is so beloved as a boy's first blankie.

    Your situation touches the hearts of all of us, and there is really no answer. I have been known to say that if I want bed covers, I go to Wal-mart, and if I want art, I make my own.

  7. #57

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    i made a babies quilt they used it to change the baby's diaper i was so disappointed told them it was not made for that. :cry:

  8. #58

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    Janeen,

    If your friend doesn't sew or craft anything with her own two hands, she probably doesn't realize the time and other resources that go into a quilt, or anything hand-made. This is by no means meant to excuse quilt abuse, but it could be a possibility. I have a friend who is an art knitter and a weaver. She told me of a friend of her's who knitted an item for someone and that item ended up in the dog bed! Yikes.

    If you think it is a matter of ignorance on your friend's part, rather than malice toward you or your gift (let's hope so), you may want to ask how she and her husband are enjoying their quilt. You can then offer advice about how to care for quilts. I have given quilts as gifts and as donations to auctions in the past. I always like to include some quilt care tips, similar to what we are all used to seeing in our clothing. Sometimes, people just need to be made aware of certain things that they may have never realized before.

  9. #59
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    Janeen, my heart breaks for you because I know EXACTLY how this feels. I gave a very special quilt (an autumn leaf pattern) to a family member that I invested a ton of time, effort, money, and love into and have never seen that quilt again in all the years since that I have visited her home. I even made sure that the fabrics matched her "style" and chose all hand dyed batiks for the leaves thinking she would be proud to display the quilt somewhere in her home. Even seeing it in the guest room would have made me happy. After sending it to her, I never saw it again. For all I know she gave it away or stuck it in a closet somewhere. Now I know my aunt loves me and I adore her so the best I can figure is that since she is not a quilter, she just doesn't "get it". I've decided that all I can do is be careful to give quilts to only those that I KNOW will appreciate them because it's important to me that my quilts are loved. At the very least, your friend has your quilt on display in her home even if it's not being treated the way you or I would treat it. I think it is possible that she truly LOVES the quilt you made her even if she doesn't quite "get it" as far as caring for such a special item.

  10. #60
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    My cousin came to my house for a party once and after seeing my quilt blocks up on the wall said to me "why would you cut up all that fabric just to sew it back together again??". Needless to say I have never made him a quilt nor do I plan to...ever.

  11. #61
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I have actually had people ask me the same thing. I then break out pictures and show them. It usually shuts them up when they see the final product. Then I'll get....can you make me one? NOPE!! Only because you made that snotty comment!! Mean, huh?

  12. #62
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    There was one time that I was able to inform a friend about a quilt they owned that another person had made. My friend and I were in her kids playroom, cleaning up and organizing toys when a bit of fabric stuffed way back in a cubby caught my eye. I pulled it out and it was the most beautiful grandmother's fan pattern baby quilt. I could tell it was hand-pieced and hand quilted. The quilter (great aunt of the baby) used some velvets and silks along with cotton to make a truly exquisite quilt that my friend stuffed into a cubby in the back of the kid's playroom. Not only was it not being cared for, it wasn't even being used. I informed my friend about what kind of time, effort, and expense went into making that quilt and told her that she should hang it properly on the wall or drape it somewhere in the baby's room. She actually had never made anything by hand in her whole life so had no idea what a precious gift she had there. She thanked me for letting her know about it and the next time I saw the quilt it was displayed properly in the nursery. Since I've never had the nerve to give instructions to a recipient of one of my quilts, it was nice to back up a fellow quilter when I had the chance.

  13. #63
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    I think I need to start documenting the process! What a great idea! That will make them understand. I'm with you though...they still won't get a quilt from me.

  14. #64
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    I think that I have to agree with Chele. My kids usually have the quilts I made them put away in a closet. I make them to be used. In fact, when I give a quilt to a new baby, I tell the Mommy that it's a "poop and pee" quilt and is to be used. How many times do we put our "good" things away for company and they hardly ever get used at all. We pass on and our kids think we hoarded "junk". I believe in using the good china and silverware for no special occasion at all. Put out that beautiful expensive bowl that Aunt Edna bought you, just for your own enjoyment. I don't have company often enough to save those things for just them. I want to enjoy the gifts others have given me and show them that I enjoy them. It's too bad that your friend didn't really appreciate the value of your quilt, but she was using it so be happy about that. Life is too short to worry about "things". By not saying anything to her, you at least kept a friend, and in the end isn't that the most important thing?

  15. #65

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    Think of it as her way of honoring you and your friendship by displaying it on the couch for all to see. A way to tell people how much you mean to her by giving her such a wonderful part of you. She can feel your love and friendship each time she sits on the couch and is surrounded by you! Just like receiving a big hug daily from a friend! May you be blessed with a good friend as she was blessed with your gift!

  16. #66
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    the whole point of 'giving'---anything---is that its released to the person to whom its given....EVEN if its not taken care of or respected for the amount of time, $$, etc that put into it.

    YES!!! We put alot of ourselves into the gift but after its 'given' there should be no strings attached.

    My personal take on giving quilts is that I make the quilt for the receiptant to enjoy and use. I usually include a care instruction note---just like they do when you purchase clothing. If they chose to use the quilt I "gave' them in a different manner than I prefer--and it bothers me-- I shouldn't have "given' them it!

    You have a big portion of your life invested in a 50 year freindship...which would be much more valuable than fussing over a quilt to me

  17. #67

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    I found a hand crocheted rag rug I gave my sister on her outside porch covered in mud. (I'm sure that was her husbands work) But, needless to say she has continued to hear about it off and on for the last 13 years. Now she wants to make one herself. By the time she even gets the strips cut she'll appreciate the effort that went into it. My very first, and so far only, completed quilt went to her daughter. She assures me that she is taking good care of it. I basically threatened them both before I gave it to her LOLOLOLOL!

  18. #68
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    I've had that happen with my crocheting people love it (yeah, right) the babies never wore or if they did i never saw a picture (broke my heart). So now i'm just starting quilting and well, i see the same thing happening niece and a nephew both got quilts and not a thank you or anything. People just don't understand the work or money that goes into anything, we live in a disposable world. Oops sorry got off track. I guess what i'm saying is we have to bite our tonges even when we don't want to. But i won't be making things for those family members again.

    Renee

  19. #69

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    Ok everybody, here's my 2 cents worth. When you give a quilt as a gift it's theirs to use as they wish. If you're worried about how they will handle it then maybe you shouldn't be giving them the quilt in the first place. Be more selective who you give your cherished quilts to. My grandmother gave me a logcabin quilt on my wedding day 35 years ago. She gave all her children (9) a wedding day quilt as well as her grandchildren (25). And I don't know how many great grandchildren she had, I've lost count. I still have mine. It's worn and a little beat up but I still have it. It's packed away now I had to retire it before it completly died. I've used it for everything over the years. All the things that ya'll have been discribing from covering the couch, laid on the ground for protection from the beach, sunbathing in the backyard and Hubby used it to lay on while working under the car. It's been used to wrap furniture when we moved. We had a litter of kittens on it. Someone droped a cigarette on it once and burned it about a quarter size. It's been repatched many times and washed maybe hundred, maybe more. I loved that quilt and I loved my grandmother and I know that she was happy to know that her quilt was being loved and used. That's what it was intended for. If you have to put a price on a quilt to make it it's worth then it's not a quilt but a piece of art, so put the thing behind glass and hang it on the wall so all you can do is look at it.

  20. #70
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    Ask yourself why do you make quilts? Is it for them to be displayed and oooh'd and awww'd over? Or do you make them for the pure enjoyment of making them? My quilts are made not with anyone in particular in mind, I make them because I enjoy seeing them come together, some are a challenge and I make them to prove to myself that I can make an intricate pattern. Every quilt I make is a learning experience.

    The time and money that goes into my quilts is for my own benefit, it's not for anyone else and once it's finished, I have gotten the enjoyment from it, it came from making it. Once I give it away, it is out of my hands and the new owner can do as they wish with it, I still have the enjoyment of knowing I made it.

    If I give someone a quilt as a gift, and then get upset over how they use it., doesn't that constitute having strings attached? Then it really isn't a gift is it? A baby quilt is made with thoughts of how cuddly and snuggly it will be for the baby....it doesn't enter out minds when making it that the quilt will probably be spit up on, have teething biscuits ground into it, noses wiped with it... why is it so insulting to see a quilt given to a friend used however they choose to use it? Would it be insulting to know that same quilt was on a bed and they made whoopee on it? Where do we draw the line?

    I'm with Chele on lightening up, if the quilt is that special, then maybe it shouldn't be given away.

    Just my two cents. :)

  21. #71
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    I agree with others that once given it is theirs to use as they want. I also agree that she is probably proud of it and does not realize the cost and time it took to make.
    I can understand your disappointment but hope that you can look at it another way. I do quilting because I love to do it and it is a wonderful way to tell someone I care. I am about ready to make my oldest and dearest friend (about 50 years) a whack and stack kaleidoscope quilt. Yes I will be disappointed if she uses it for her dog or had her hubby sit on it when he is dirty, but I will still love her and it wouldn't stop me from making something else for her. I would also not say anything.

  22. #72
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    I too agree with Chele.

    I'm known in my family as the Aunt who makes the baby quilts. I love the title, the nieces and nephews know as soon as a new baby is on the way their "favorite quilting aunt" is making a special quilt just for their little bundle from heaven. I tell them to use it. Babies will pee, poop and puke on it and that won't hurt it.


  23. #73
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    Well being new to quilting and commenting, as I am only on my third quilt, but in a month, so I am moving right along. I also started a "lap" quilt which I am taking the quilting apart because it looks awful....
    So, I started a blog, and posted about the quilts I am making and made.
    I have a few old quilts from my grandmother which I posted as I don't know the patterns or how they were made.
    I gave one of my 9 granddaughters my second quilt, which if you go to my blog, you would see how much work was involved (of course) but she helped sew about 120 of the 2 1/2" squares, so is involved.
    I gave it away with good feelings that it will be used, abused or whatever, if I wanted to just look at it in a cupboard, I don't think I would have started being addicted to quilting.
    So be generous of heart, your quilts are being used, and one day someones says to the recipient. "Where did you get that" and your story is told.
    Thisis my first post on this site too.

  24. #74
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    CottageLover, Welcome! :D

  25. #75
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    Norah, I think you made a great point when you said that maybe a person would "value" the quilt more if they knew what it took to make them the quilt in the first place. See, for me it's not just the time, effort, and expense of the gift...and it certainly is not about accolades... but it's also the desire to give someone a gift that they truly VALUE.

    You know how hard it is sometimes to shop for the perfect gift for someone like at Christmas or Birthday time? Well, even though it's hard most of us hang in there until we find what we think is just the right thing. The reason I do that is because I want to give a gift to my family member or friend that is truly loved and cared for. To me a quilt is no different. Yes, the joy is in the making and the giving but if the recipient looks at the quilt I give them and thinks it's best use is to rest muddy boots on at the front door then I would rather take 5 minutes and $20.00 down to the Home Depot and buy them a doormat.

    Quilts are not for everyone. I understand that not everyone will cherish a thing because it's handmade. That is fine by me. All I'm saying is that I'd rather know ahead of time that someone won't really treasure one of my quilts because it is far quicker, cheaper, and less work to head to the store and buy them a gift than making a quilt for someone who won't care one way or the other.

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