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Thread: Labour of Love

  1. #1
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
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    I presented my sister-in-law with a quilt for her 70th birthday, which, thankfully, she was delighted with, but she could not understand why I do not make quilts to sell. Bearing in mind it was hand quilted and took at least ten months to complete from design to finish, I could not make her understand that this is something I could only do for someone I cared about. How do other quilters feel about their quilts? Is there a word for our addiction to this craft and the emotion it evokes in us?

  2. #2
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    I can't put a price on what I put into a quilt. I also don't think I could make one without a specific person (even if it's me) in mind to make it for.
    Some people love to cook for others, we quilt.
    I know I do it out of love for the person I am giving it to, and out of love for playing with fabric.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I have an Aunt that always asks the same thing. I have tried to explain to here that this is something i do for myself. the greatest pull is that i don't have to do it, but am drawn to do it. Those who do not hand quilt a quilt, don't understand the joy we get from doing all those stitches. It's not about the finished item, it is about the journey along the way. I love choosing a stencil, and sitting down and seeing it come together with my own 2 hands.

  4. #4
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    I doubt that anyone who doesn't quilt or hand quilt would understand the amount of love, thought and time that goes into making a quilt.

    I've done just one commission... and would never do another as I know the amount of work wasn't appreciated with the cost I had to charge. I only make quilts for family and friends now as gifts and chose the fabrics so suit who the recipient is.

  5. #5
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I haven't been able to sell one for a while. I am able to part from them if my family is in need of the $$. My MIL keeps asking why I keep making them if I am not selling any. She doesn't understand loving the process as well as the rewards.

  6. #6
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I don't think I could ever sell one. I love them all to much. I would just make them for family and friends.

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I quilt because I enjoy it, if I started making them to sell then I would have to make them and in a specified time frame. This would seem more like a job than a hobby that I love. I like being able to bounce from quilt to quilt as my mood strikes....:wink: :D:D:D

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I love making quilts for those I love. I have a hard time imaging letting one go.

  9. #9
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Just as some people cannot understand why we make quilts, I do not understand people who have no hobby, specifically one that stirs their creative juices. I have several friends who have no hobby, but who have the time to devote to one. They don't have jobs and do not spend a great deal of time and effort cleaning or doing yard work. What do they do???? It's a big mystery to me. The days and evenings can be mighty long and boring with no hobby.

  10. #10
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezie
    Just as some people cannot understand why we make quilts, I do not understand people who have no hobby, specifically one that stirs their creative juices. I have several friends who have no hobby, but who have the time to devote to one. They don't have jobs and do not spend a great deal of time and effort cleaning or doing yard work. What do they do???? It's a big mystery to me. The days and evenings can be mighty long and boring with no hobby.
    Me either....I can't be without something to do, I love quilting, gardening, embroidery and reading. I need a whole other lifetime to squash in all the things I want to achieve. People are often surprised I quilt....apparently I don't look like a quilter??? They are also surprised when they see how long it takes to do and wonder why I even bother....ah well...another of life's weirdosities (I don't even think that's a word, but you know what I mean!).

  11. #11
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Weirdosities looks like a good word to me. I'll borrow and use it sometimes if you don't mind. In our family, we've created a lot of new "words"; I can't think of any at this particular moment but I'm pretty sure some of them are rude.

  12. #12
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I'm asked the same thing all the time...why don't you sell them?
    Well...no one really wants to pay the price just so I can recoup what I spent and I just like making them. So, I make them, give them away and everyone is happy.
    Now, if someone were to ask me to make one for them, sure...not a problem, but they WILL pay for everything!

  13. #13
    graphicsbysue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I quilt because I enjoy it, if I started making them to sell then I would have to make them and in a specified time frame. This would seem more like a job than a hobby that I love. I like being able to bounce from quilt to quilt as my mood strikes....:wink: :D:D:D
    That is exactly how I feel. Don't make it a job. I will lose interest quickly. I make them because it is fun. I love to hand quilt. The cutting and sewing/piecing are just things I have to do
    to get to quilt them. That's also why I don't quilt for people.
    I do it for me and those I love. :thumbup:

  14. #14
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    the question "why don't you sell your quilts?" is a compliment.

    don't be confused or offended by the question. be grateful for it. it means the asker does recognize and appreciate your talent and efforts. she/he believes others would also recognize them and be happy to pay you for your work.

    the answer is easy. "I don't have the time to make some quilts for gifts and some for profit. So, I choose to make them as gifts. My "profit" is your happiness."

  15. #15
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
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    Whilst I agree with everyone, and I can certainly empathise with Earthwalker, I think Patrice has nailed it. Thank you all and next time MDH makes fun of my "obsession" I shall admit to being a Weirdosity and proud of it!

  16. #16
    Senior Member pegquilter8's Avatar
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    How is it that quilters can GET it. We all come from such different backgrounds and yet the fabric pulls us in.
    I do both gift and commission quilts. I do get a certain amount of joy from the reaction of $$$ recipients, but the JOY from a giftee is such music to my soul. I feel as if I have given a memory along with the quilt.
    Really how philosophical on a beautiful Sat am. Let's go quilt
    With Joy,

  17. #17
    Senior Member A1penny's Avatar
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    If you were to get paid for your hours of labor making a wonderful quilt, you'd be paid about 8 cents an hour.........and that is not counting all the money for fabrics and materials..........and the expense of your sewing machine, electricity, etc,, etc!
    Friends always say to me, please, just put a price on it and I'll buy it.........! For me the quilts are only for my pleasure, and if I choose to give them as special gifts. No one could actually pay enough!

  18. #18
    Member tucky46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I quilt because I enjoy it, if I started making them to sell then I would have to make them and in a specified time frame. This would seem more like a job than a hobby that I love. I like being able to bounce from quilt to quilt as my mood strikes....:wink: :D:D:D
    I totally agree. If I had to do it..the joy would be gone and it would just be another job.

  19. #19
    Super Member GladGrams's Avatar
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    Maybe there is a difference between quilting as an expression of my love for creating and quilting because it is an artistic talent with which I can add to my income? Although I think both reasons for quilting involve a deep love for the art and there will always be some quilts one can never part with.

    For me parting with a quilt is like giving a piece of myself away... it always leaves a little hole in my heart that only the joy of knowing the recipient loves it can fill up again.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marjpf
    I can't put a price on what I put into a quilt. I also don't think I could make one without a specific person (even if it's me) in mind to make it for.
    Some people love to cook for others, we quilt.
    I know I do it out of love for the person I am giving it to, and out of love for playing with fabric.
    I agree. It' sort of like that charge card commercial - Fabric $50, Machine $1000, finished quilt - priceless! I always think that if the people I gave them to would realize their monetary value, they'd be shocked. And I would never buy a child a $500 gift, but I'd GIVE them a baby quilt - go figure! :-D

  21. #21
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have had people tell me I could sell my quilts for lots of money but, when I give them one they have never offered me any money for it. I give them to special people for special reasons. Granddaughter told me today people are always talking about my quilts, I have given them to several of her friends. They really appreciate them and have no idea the amount of time nor money that goes into the making of them. I just like the whole process of making a quilt and decided however amount of time I have left on this great earth I want to spend it making quilts. I don't have enough room to store all I make and so I try to find someone I think would enjoy them.

  22. #22
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I am the odd ball around here because I do sell them. I have sold 3 so far. Of course, they were what the customer wanted me to make.

    I have some for sale right now in fact. Just haven't listed them yet.

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