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Thread: How would you react?

  1. #1
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    I have something that has been gnawing at me and I would like some opinions.
    I have a friend that I've known for over 50 years. At least I have always thought that we were friends - even close friends - in fact, I have considered her my best friend.
    We retired here and so did they but they are not having a good time of it because her husband still needs to work - and in his line of work (tree service) he has only gotten a few small jobs here. In fact they probably will wind up moving back to Florida. That's ok - whatever they need to do.

    My question is about a quilt. I found 'cat' prints from Indiana to Florida to Missouri (like the cats in Paris, etc) and made them a quilt large enough for their king size bed. Granted it's 'just' a 9 patch but I really wanted to showcase the fabrics because she's a real cat lover.
    I stippled the quilt - not the world's greatest job because I'm still learning the machine quilting part. Presented the quilt to them for Christmas.

    We went over one day about two months ago and there's this quilt on the couch as a slipcover - NOT artfully draped on the back or arm of the couch but used as PROTECTION for the couch so her husband could lounge on the couch and not make it dirty from tree jobs or working on the diesel trucks and stuff.

    Frankly I was speechless - I didn't say anything because I think I was in shock. How would you have reacted?
    The same way I did and still not say anything?
    I asked another friend - a quilter - and she said yes she'd be hurt but 'once you've given the quilt the other person can do as they please'....
    Is that really how it goes?
    Let's put it this way - will she EVER get anything else from me? A resounding NO.
    Janeen

  2. #2
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Well, this HAS happened to me...and you do have to keep the attitude, "once its theirs....its theirs to do with as they please"

    My sister put the quilt I made for her (hand embroidered with their names and date they married, along with names and dates of birth of their two children with embroidered babies, wedding rings etc....) and I went to their house only to find it on their bed, where it belonged, BUT with THREE huge dogs laying on the bed on top of the quilt and it was FILTHY with hair, and paw prints.....I was SICK!!!

    But, didn't say a word....just let it go and yes, I have given her other things but never anything I put so much work into as I did that quilt....

    SO....I feel for you....its wrong but there really isn't anything you can do or say to them that will make you feel any better.

  3. #3
    Junior Member OnTheGo's Avatar
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    I have no idea how I would have reacted....I would have been surprised like you were. I've found the older I get, the more likely I am to say what I think, soooooooo....maybe I would have said something that I would have regretted later. I think it's best you didn't say anything. On the bright side, she must like it to be using it where everyone will see it.

    I have a friend who made a lovely appliqued poinsettia quilt and gave it to her son and his wife only to find it folded and in the dog's bed.


  4. #4
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    Once it leaves your hands, It's out of your controll.
    Think of it this way, What if you never saw it again.

  5. #5

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    Janeen...Here is my 2cents!:))First...a friend of 50yrs plus is amazing!! Now...as far as walking in her house and seeing the quilt drapped on the couch...(I would have had a cow!! W/a poker face!) But, honestly when someone does not do our art...they have no idea how much time or money is invested!! If she did...I'm sure it would not be on the couch. Her thinking is it is pretty and loves for it to be seen...just not the way you or I would think it to be:)). Since you did not say anything....here's what I'd do...I'd either go buy her a 'throw' that is nice for her couch and then show up for coffee and always choc. chip cookies:)) And, I'd explain to her you bought a throw to match her living room and then nicely explain the 'value' of that quilt. How much money do you have in it alone would shock her! Or, do as I would at this point...nothing!! When I give a good gift...I also include a letter of care instructions and value. Reason being...you avoid this kind of thing. Now, remember...it is a gift and it is given freely...w/no stipulations. If she wants to put it on her couch...then so be it. The thing about our art is we enjoy doing it...moments like these just give us an opportunity to make more:))LOL Just remember...DO NOT take this personal...I'm sure she does not mean it to be a bad thing towards you...again, she must LOVE what you did to showcase it for all to see. And, in that thought and thinking...you should feel honored!! Skeat

  6. #6
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    I agree that once given, they may do with it as they please, but I would never, ever make anything personal again for them. I also would probably have said something I would regret, so good thing it wasn't me!

  7. #7
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    wow, I'm finding out that there's "lots of them out there" 8) :wink:

    I have seen my share of old 'antique' quilts that have been mistreated - I guess I just didn't expect it..... and I didn't expect it from her - she is an artist after all - just ask her....

    I'm really naive in a lot of ways - we were taught to respect people, other peoples' stuff (don't walk in the neighbor's yard, etc) and to take care of our own stuff - don't walk on the books, don't dogear the pages, etc etc...

    Just the other day I saw a quilt folded and on a swingset (not hung to dry) so I don't know.....
    I guess I'll just make them and give them to family, hopefully show some at the guild show, and stack them up in my sewing room and not worry about them.... once I'm gone the kids can divvy them up.....
    thanks everybody, nice to know I'm not the only one!


  8. #8
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    So sorry that your hard work was not appreciated the way you wanted it to be. People just do not realize the work that goes into a quilt. I hooked a rug for my mother - took me forever - and she gave it to her dog!!! I didn't say a word and even laugh about it now.

  9. #9
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
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    Well if I had seen the same thing I would have been upset. I also would have said something along the lines of, "Oh, by the way did I include care instructions for the quilt I made for you. If not I can jot it down real quick." I think that would have been a diplomatic way of showing your unhappiness without losing a friend.

  10. #10

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    Here is another perspective.

    Well, she liked it enough to use it daily and have it seen in a promanent way. (Not saying it is the prettiest or best way to display it. Her husband lounges in its comfort on a daily basis. It is loved in their way.

    I received a quilt from an in-law that had so many stipulations attached that it is now in a closet packed away - only seen when I clean the guest room closet. Do I appreciate the work that went into it. Yes. Do I have the fear in me that if something happens to it I will never hear the end to it. Yes.

    Maybe it is just a matter of perspective.

  11. #11
    Junior Member imaquilter's Avatar
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    This may sound very selfish on my part but, this is exactly the reason I DO NOT give out very many quilts. The only ones I have given out are to two people with new babies and 3 to my mother and 1 to my sister. I have however made over 60. Yes, I have kept the other 54 to myself. I have spent so much money and time on them that I could not bear to see them abused.

    I would have reacted the same way you do.

  12. #12
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imaquilter
    This may sound very selfish on my part but, this is exactly the reason I DO NOT give out very many quilts. The only ones I have given out are to two people with new babies and 3 to my mother and 1 to my sister. I have however made over 60. Yes, I have kept the other 54 to myself. I have spent so much money and time on them that I could not bear to see them abused.

    I would have reacted the same way you do.
    I probably would have had a cow too! But like others, not have said anything or I would have lost the person as a friend. Sometimes my mouth engages before my brain.
    Plus, like imaquilter says......money and time........something you really cannot replace.
    With that said...IF someone is wanting a quilt and I know their lifestyle and KNOW they will take care of it, I will go the extra mile to get BETTER quality fabric for them and take a little more time. For those that don't really take care of their things,,,,well...$1 fabric, here I come, along with the most simplest pattern.
    I have given away ALL of my quilts and the people who have recieved them have cherished them dearly. I have, however, included Care Instructions with some of them, as a "just in case".

    But, with your quilt...I think it's a lesson learned. Just horrible what they have done, I, for one would LOVE to have that fabric you used.....I love kitty fabric!!

  13. #13
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    I say "lighten up!" Do you think the quilters long before us worried if their quilts were being used "properly?" No, the quilts they crafted were meant to be useful and functional. If you treasure a specific quilt, KEEP IT! Cherish it and only display it on rainy day! Keep it tucked in a closet so your kids sell it for $5 when you're gone. I'm being a bit cynical, but I've actually been to estate sales and bought gorgeous, unused quilts for $5! And I bet that long gone quilt maker is happy I got that quilt! At least it went to a true fan.

    I love quilting and I know the time and effort it takes to make a quilt. Not to mention the money involved. But remember, our friends and family don't get it! Buy them a cheapie quilt at a discount store. You'll be spreading "the quilt word" without stressing yourself out. If the dog lays on it, you'll know that pup has good taste in bedding! Life is too short not to use the good china or quilts!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chele
    I say "lighten up!" Do you think the quilters long before us worried if their quilts were being used "properly?" No, the quilts they crafted were meant to be useful and functional. If you treasure a specific quilt, KEEP IT! Cherish it and only display it on rainy day! Keep it tucked in a closet so your kids sell it for $5 when you're gone. !
    you know, you are absolutely right :P

    Brings to mind when my hubby and I went to check out a new quilt shop (yes, he TAKES me to quilt shops... and Joanns.... and Hancocks..... and...... :mrgreen: )...
    there was an absolutely GORGEOUS dahlia quilt top 'artfully arranged' and I mentioned it... the owner of the shop said these adult children of the woman who made the quilts (she had more) came in and asked her did she want to buy these quilts that their mother had made..... because if she didn't want them, they were going to BURN them because they all used blankets and had no need for the quilts.....
    yep, tada... you made me feel better in one fell swoop! :wink:

  15. #15

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    i use to tell my hus. thatbefore i give anybody one of my quilts they need to fill out a application. you know just to be sure it is going to a good home. that dogs or cat or horse doesn't tear it up. or have grape juice all over it. i'm sure ya'll understand. my sis. did the same to me ,her dog had puppies on the quilt i gave to my neice , then she threw it away. now that hurt needless to say she never got another quilt from me. only gift cards.

  16. #16
    lisae's Avatar
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    You know, I would be happy she is using the quilt. I make quilts to be used and am happy when I see people using my quilts. I like it when quilts get used so much they are worn out. Exactly why I made it.

    I have had the experience of going to a flea market and seeing a quilt I made as a special order for someone being used as a ground cloth. I was upset, but decided that they had paid for it.

  17. #17
    nel
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    I made a quilt for my daughter's dance teacher who we have known for 10 years. She is known for never saying thank you or even telling her dancers if she doesn't care for the gift. I figured by making her a quilt with colors from her home, she would react differently and really appreciate everything she has done for my daughter. Well, her response was NOTHING!!! Never a thank you note, email, or any response of any kind. I evn asked her if she received the quilt and she replied that it was still in her car!!! Who does that?

    In contrast, I gave a quilt to a couple for their wedding shower, and she called me that afternoon to express how grateful she was. She sent a note of thanks, and now I am teaching her to make quilts for her friends and family.

    So, when I give a quilt to someone now, I give it because it gives me pleasure to do something for someone else. If they don't appreciate it is okay because I know my gift came from my heart!!

  18. #18
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    Nel,

    You hit the nail on the head - give it and let them appreciate it or not - the fun was in the making. We have a friend who gives, from her heart, but almost always lays claim to the gift after it's given - by telling us what we can/cannot do with it. OR she constantly reminds us it's from her... I love quilting so much that I want to give away quilts to everybody... I will give to whom I want to and sell to the others. I know some people are offended because I give to some and not them, but I want to do it because I want to not because I feel like I should. If I give a quilt I hope the recipient will use it - hopefully not as a dog blanket, but if that's what they choose... :( ok.

  19. #19
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    My mother and I have both made quilts for my sons and nephews, They have used them on their beds, took them camping, moved with them wherever they went and used them until they fell apart, that is how much they loved and appreciated them. I guess I feel better knowing my quilt is used instead of just displayed, I think that is why I have really never made a wallhanging quilt. We received a double knit quilt for our wedding and have used it for our picnics, (usually everyday when my children were young) and it reminded me of our good friends that gave it to us. I sure hope she wasn't upset about us using it, because to this day it is 'the blanket' and I hope our grandchildren will be able to use it.
    I don't mean to put down yuor feelings, because anyone would feel very disappointed to see their hard work used that way. I wouldn't let it ruin my friendship because those are so much harder work than putting your love into a quilt. Denise

  20. #20
    Junior Member fabuchicki's Avatar
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    I can understand your feelings but once a gift is given you must let it go in your heart. Think of how you've used the things that people have given you. We got a handmade quilt for our wedding (long before I was a quilter) and used it for several years. Then we got a king size bed and now it is stuffed in a hope chest and only comes out when company comes. Also, someone hand quilted a baby blanket for my daughter and it was stuffed away for a while but has recently experienced a renaissance and is on her bed again. The worst was when she was 4 and cut up a blanket knitted for her by her now deceased grandma. Luckily I was able to have it repaired but I haven't given it back to her yet (she's 7).

    In fact even a pottery piece that I bought myself on my honeymoon and love I found in a seldom used cabinet the other day. For now it just doesn't fit anywhere but maybe one day it will.

    The funniest was my best friend from growing up. I had given her a raku vase for her wedding. Since we were childhood friends I really misjudged her taste. She had it prominently displayed when we visited but I have a feeling that she stuffed it in the attic after we left because it really didn't fit in with the rest of her decor. What's better? Pretend to like something or to be actually using it and making it a part of their lives?

    Life is too short and much of our junk is going to outlive us anyway. Enjoy the fact that they are USING your blanket and it is serving a purpose in the world. and P.S. it's NOT because your stippling wasn't good enough or because a nine patch isn't hard enough ... they just needed something to cover the couch and your thoughtful gift was handy and nice to look at.

  21. #21
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    I've given away many quilts but for the ones I gave to my grandchildren I did let them know their graduation quilts should be treated with respect. I've given them "car quilts" they can do as they wish with, but the special quilts are just that. Now, granted, I can say that to my grandchildren. I probably wouldn't say it to a friend.
    I like the remarks of the lady who said by using the quilt, they were really saying it is special. I have a favorite quilt I use as a chair throw and I just feel good everytime I sit in that chair. Perhaps your friend feels that way when he lays on your quilt. (I hope it is very washable!)
    Having them use it beats your kids selling it for 5 bucks when you are gone. :>

  22. #22
    Super Member ania755's Avatar
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    I am sorry your feelings got hurt.....Quilts are made to be used...Some of us are more sensitive than other....Don't take it personally...She didn't mean to hurt you...She probablly never made a quilt and knows little about all the hard work you invested in it....
    Hugs

  23. #23
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    True, if it had happened to me Iíd probably have said something. I mean, if you canít talk to a friend youíve known that long, what kind of friendship is it? Also, a friend would want to know if something was bothering you. You worked hard and are upset; talk to your friend.

    As the hymn goes ďDeath will soon disrobe us all of what we here possess.Ē That includes quilts as well as friends. You can do little about the quilt now, but how about the friendship? As painful as it is for me to say, a friend is worth more than any quilt.

    Donít let this mess it up, talk.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    I have to say, I'm with Chele's way of thinking. When I give a quilt, I tell the recipient to use it, not to put it away and be afraid to enjoy it. I always tell them that if anything ever needs to be sewed or it needs a little fixing, just bring it over and I'll patch it up. That's what people did in the old days. Quilts were washed and washed over and over and used untill they fell apart. That's why I tend to stick to my scrappy quilts and bargain materials. That way, I'm happy to make them and happy to give them too.

  25. #25
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I do a fair amount of "donating" quilts as fund raisers for our family reunions (there are 3 a year). I know that the majority of them are displayed- one is on an antique sleigh bed, my sister has 2 in her guest room. They get oohed and aahed over before the raffle- I specifically tell them they are to be used and loved and they are not professionally made. I did have 1 experience with the quilt police picking at my mismatched seams when I was first learning, but a comment to the reunion committee that I wouldn't make anymore quilts because of them and the quilt police were told to either donate a quilt or shut up.

    I make my quilts to be used, my sons have them on their beds, my future daughter in law loves the one my son and I made for her. I make baby quilts all the time- big enough to spread on the floor for baby to play on. I don't think I'll ever have the expertise level that many of you do, so I make them to be used. My seams are better, my sewing is better each time. My latest purchases- a new machine and frame and I know my quality will be better too. I'm in it for fun, not to be a quilt police.

    Barb

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