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Thread: Making things for family

  1. #1
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    Have you ever made things for your family and they say "Thank you, that is really nice" but you have the feeling it really isn't good enough?

    I some times wonder if I should continue. Do you ever think that too?

  2. #2
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    I get that feeling every now and then...I just don't make the certain people things, or limit it to really quick, simple things for them.

  3. #3
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    there are few non-quilters that do not see what time effort and money go into it that cannot seem to appreciate homemade gifts and then there are others who just plainly do not like homemade gifts- if it doesn't have a store tag then you were considered cheap..

    Just remember how it makes you feel.. Don't worry about them.. Know that YOU did a great thing.. after all its what we love..

  4. #4
    Cyn
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    Yes, especially when it get puts away and never pulled out. My mom always nagged me to quilt her a jacket. Finally I bit the bullet, made a jacket that I was proud of and made a matching bag. She tried it on and didn't like the way it fit, although no one else sees anything to change. I felt bad but have never made anything else for her to wear. I did make a quilt later for her that she and her sister tore up with comments so I don't make her stuff anymore. It's ok tho, after 52 years, I know nothing I do is good enough and FINALLY, it doesn't bother me anymore and I don't try. She didn't get the perfect daughter she wanted. She loves me bunches but she has problems and they aren't my fault. Sorry too long. Sore subject at times for me :(

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    Yes, I have a SIL in AZ that is always wanting something, and if i don't get it done soon enough or exactly how she imagined it, she says so. I have made more for her, and she still wants more. She just told me today that "She really would like her purse, and didn't you say you had the cats blankets done?" I said, "there are alot of things I would like to get done for myself too." I haven't ever made anything for me yet. It is usually gifts or donations that get done first. I work a full time job and a part time job. So this year I have decided that I want to sew at least one evening a week, and to start something for me! I probably will keep making things for others, but cut back on things that someone asks me to make. In other words, I need to learn to say, "Sorry, I have too many things going right now." :)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvTooQuilt
    there are few non-quilters that do not see what time effort and money go into it that cannot seem to appreciate homemade gifts and then there are others who just plainly do not like homemade gifts- if it doesn't have a store tag then you were considered cheap..

    Just remember how it makes you feel.. Don't worry about them.. Know that YOU did a great thing.. after all its what we love..
    DITTO!

  7. #7
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    I've been reading quite a few comments like this, especially now after the holidays. I sew and quilt myself, so I do have an idea about how much time, skill and money goes into projects. On the other hand, doesn't it ever occur to you that other people just have a different taste than you, and no matter how much work went into something, they just don't like the looks of it? I know I've received gifts in my life that I didn't like, handmade and store bought. I think, with quilts especially, the person giving them is very proud of the achievement, and there's probably also a bit of vanity involved. So the disappointment sometimes has more to do with hurt pride, I would say. I just think we can't give something as a present that suits our taste, but not the recipient's, and then not understand that they don't like it.

    Do you all hate me now?

  8. #8
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn
    Yes, especially when it get puts away and never pulled out. My mom always nagged me to quilt her a jacket. Finally I bit the bullet, made a jacket that I was proud of and made a matching bag. She tried it on and didn't like the way it fit, although no one else sees anything to change. I felt bad but have never made anything else for her to wear. I did make a quilt later for her that she and her sister tore up with comments so I don't make her stuff anymore. It's ok tho, after 52 years, I know nothing I do is good enough and FINALLY, it doesn't bother me anymore and I don't try. She didn't get the perfect daughter she wanted. She loves me bunches but she has problems and they aren't my fault. Sorry too long. Sore subject at times for me :(
    so similar to me. Try for myself now.

  9. #9
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    You need to know and understand your family's likes and dislikes. Everyone has family members that just don't understand what we do and why we do it. They are the ones who wouldn't appreciate anything you made so why bother. Save your special "things" for yourself or those you know appreciate them. My sister absolutely adores what I make and she will get more. My brother couldn't care less so why would I bother to take a lot of time and money to create an unappreciated gift? As quilters we have to determine who we will share our works of art with and who in the family gets a gift certificate to Canadian Tire.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    I don't make things for my family any more (other than my DH, DS and me). Nobody ever complained about things, but they were accepted and then put away. After my mother told me that I made things for family to be a "show off", I stopped. Nobody ever complained about that either!

    The only thing I ever made for my mother that she has used and loved is a memory quilt made for my parents' 50th anniversary. But I think the reason is that it shows her as a young woman and is all about her. Ooohhh...was that snarky? (I do see that we have some "mother issues" here.)

    Now, I make things for very close friends and for donation. I feel so much more satisfied.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Patchwork Pam's Avatar
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    Rarely. My family and friends love and appreciate my efforts. Very few exceptions.But then I know them well enough to not bother making any thing for the 1 or 2 of them who wouldn't like my efforts. lolol

  12. #12
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    I know just how you feel. No one in my family sews and they do not realize how much love and time, goes into these items we make. i only have a few family members who really appreciate my work. I am going to keep doing what I love to do regardless. Happy quilting and sewing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie1001
    I've been reading quite a few comments like this, especially now after the holidays. I sew and quilt myself, so I do have an idea about how much time, skill and money goes into projects. On the other hand, doesn't it ever occur to you that other people just have a different taste than you, and no matter how much work went into something, they just don't like the looks of it? I know I've received gifts in my life that I didn't like, handmade and store bought. I think, with quilts especially, the person giving them is very proud of the achievement, and there's probably also a bit of vanity involved. So the disappointment sometimes has more to do with hurt pride, I would say. I just think we can't give something as a present that suits our taste, but not the recipient's, and then not understand that they don't like it.

    Do you all hate me now?
    I agree with you. We need to understand that people have different taste in things and if we don't know the person well enough or take the time to figure out individual preferences we shouldn't bother making items for gifts. Some people love gift cards. To me they aren't fun to give, but I noticed people seemed to enjoy receiving them this year. That saved my sewing time for someone who I knew would appreciate it.

  14. #14
    Cyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmw0829
    I don't make things for my family any more (other than my DH, DS and me). Nobody ever complained about things, but they were accepted and then put away. After my mother told me that I made things for family to be a "show off", I stopped. Nobody ever complained about that either!

    The only thing I ever made for my mother that she has used and loved is a memory quilt made for my parents' 50th anniversary. But I think the reason is that it shows her as a young woman and is all about her. Ooohhh...was that snarky? (I do see that we have some "mother issues" here.)

    Now, I make things for very close friends and for donation. I feel so much more satisfied.
    Snarky! I love that word. May I use it ;) Love your avatar- beautiful cat!

  15. #15
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    My SIL and I do much the same things so we rarely exchange handmade items (my SIL made my son a quillow when he was 5, when he wore it out he asked her for another one and she's been happily replacing them at his request ever since).

    Since we don't live near my DH's family, and his family is huge and they all pretty much live in the same area, I really don't know what their likes or dislikes are, and I would love to give them things so what I do is mail a box of things I've done to one of the nephew's wives, who in turn offers them to any family member that would like them. I send a box a couple of times a year. There are never "leftovers" and I know that family members are taking what they really like.

  16. #16
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie1001
    I've been reading quite a few comments like this, especially now after the holidays. I sew and quilt myself, so I do have an idea about how much time, skill and money goes into projects. On the other hand, doesn't it ever occur to you that other people just have a different taste than you, and no matter how much work went into something, they just don't like the looks of it? I know I've received gifts in my life that I didn't like, handmade and store bought. I think, with quilts especially, the person giving them is very proud of the achievement, and there's probably also a bit of vanity involved. So the disappointment sometimes has more to do with hurt pride, I would say. I just think we can't give something as a present that suits our taste, but not the recipient's, and then not understand that they don't like it.

    Do you all hate me now?
    I think you have a very valid point. Everybody has different tastes and I think you'll find each quilter has their own preference for quilts they like to make and would want to display.

  17. #17
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    When I make things for family or friends, I do the best I can to choose something I think they'll like. And then I divest myself of any need for them to actually like them or to use them. You never can tell with handmade gifts whether people will appreciate them. With so much heart and effort going into them, I just know within myself that the effort and the desire to please were there. Whether people actually like or use the gift is none of my business. (In fact, I live by these words: What other people think is none of my business.)

  18. #18
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    Oh, My I made a quilted,embroidered,mixer cover for my SIL. Haven't given it yet,I feel the way you do catrancher.I made my sister a robe from a 60 kinda I love lucy style,and she is back every winter wanting a new one, tells me it's the only thing she wears when she comes home from work.And it's made from flannel which I have a very hard time finding a good looking print,and quality.I'm thinking about making a scrappy blanket out of the left over fabric.More like a rag type.Last year I used some of the fuzzy soft fabric,which isn't flannel,and the year before that fleece,and tried one out of black flannel back satin for myself, but flannel is the favorite.I want to mix all the fabrics for the scrappy rag blanket.I think I should serge the fabrics that are not flannel with different threads,because they probably will not fray.I'm going to give it a try.might be ugly!I'll keep it for myself.

  19. #19
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    I have read lots of the comments, I understand just how you feel. The question I ask is "How did you feel when you made it?" Did you enjoy yourself? Did it make you smile? If yes to these questions, then you have your answer. Make the things for others regardless of their reactions. Making them is whats important to you. Learn to divorce yourself from the item in question. Be proud of what you have done, and not worry about them. That way your heart is not broken every time some does not LOVE what you give them. I am learning to do just that, it still stings a bit too.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I've learned the hard way to not make some family members anything! So I make things I know that family and friends will use/enjoy, and also I enjoy the process! Having fun being creative is what it is all about! :)

  21. #21
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    All I know is...I have never had someone hand make me something until the other day with my 1st secret swap. I wish I had the words to explain how much this meant to me!!! Personally I could never say a negative thing about a handmade gift.
    David

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    I have the same concerns. I have made quilts for my grandkids and get the strange feeling that my sons and their wives think my gifts are hoaky. (lame or less than what they want) Well, I asked and got a dressing down. My oldest son told me my grandkids love me and use their gifts daily. So I say keep making them and giving them to people you feel will enjoy them. After all....it's the thought that counts.

    rag quilt for grandchild
    Name:  Attachment-157039.jpe
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn
    It's ok tho, after 52 years, I know nothing I do is good enough and FINALLY, it doesn't bother me anymore and I don't try. She didn't get the perfect daughter she wanted. She loves me bunches but she has problems and they aren't my fault. Sorry too long. Sore subject at times for me :(

    WOW..you sound just like ME on the topic of MY mother....her life did not turn out the way she hoped and she takes it out on me....finally THIS year...( I will be 50 in MAY), I figured it all out and decided to just avoid her if at all possible. Thanksgiving my sister/BIL came up and we did the day at moms...all I did was walk in and started in on me....my sister just about fainted...she could not believe my mom....she said, it was just like being back in the 80's...she had not heard mom go at me like that in all these years, because I have always lived AWAY....it was horrible...but now my sister(the baby by the way) understands why my DH and I do not spend much time my parents...
    I don't make her things any more either nothing is ever good enough!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidwent
    All I know is...I have never had someone hand make me something until the other day with my 1st secret swap. I wish I had the words to explain how much this meant to me!!! Personally I could never say a negative thing about a handmade gift.
    David
    I hear ya...everyone who knows me knows I am a craftsman/artisan...so I have never had anything MADE for Me...except for some art things I commissioned or bartered my stuff for....but not for ME with ME in mind, etc....
    I just joined the swap for FEB....I hope it will be as fun as you all make it sound!

  25. #25
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Those who don't craft don't understand what we put into making gifts...in money, worry, and time. To them, that set of placemats that we made for them is something they (THINK) they could have purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $12. In turn, they went out and purchased a gift at the department store that cost them $25...they feel gyped. Nevermind that those placemats cost us $30 to make (with the matching napkins) and nevermind that we worried over patterns for 2 weeks before we could decide, and nevermind that we spent 15 hours cutting and stitching.

    If they're a non-crafter, don't bother. Unless they ask for a handmade gift, they're not going to appreciate it.

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