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Thread: Strangest reaction to a quilt---I take the prize!

  1. #1
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    Cool Strangest reaction to a quilt---I take the prize!

    I have to start this story with the fact my niece has Asperger's. While she is very high functioning, every once in awhile, it just slaps you in the face that she is different.

    So my niece graduated from HS and I suggested to my sister that I would make a memory quilt. My sister really wanted this done and bought all the fabric. Now when it started out, in my mind, I was doing T-shirts and transfers of her prize-winning art onto fabric. Ultimately, it ended up about 1/3 that kind of stuff and 2/3 pictures of her from baby til graduation.

    I get the quilt together and then in the sashing while it was still a top, as an embellishment, I FMQ'd words in script in different color threads to describe her. The first letter of each word spelled out her name. Like for B--I had bright and for R--I had Reflective, which you will see was quite appropriate! I have to admit, it turned out cute! Lucky for me she has three short names.

    The party was yesterday. The room has a cathedral ceiling. My sister hung the quilt high over the dessert table. The niece must have walked by it ten times without seeing it. Everybodyelse in the room commented. There were about 40 people there.

    Then the niece sees it and gets the strangest look on her face. I am prepared for anything. In my mind, I made this quilt to make my sister happy so if the niece loves it or hates it I don't care but I was not prepared for this.

    My niece pops out with....When did you put that up. That's my face up there on a blanket. Wow, that just freaks me out.

    All day, she just kept looking at it. At one point, she commented that she didn't know about putting it on her bed since it would be like her looking through herself. Way too deep for me.

    So when your family doesn't like your quilt, realize it could be worse. LOL!

  2. #2
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    You just never know! And they don't have to have Asperger's or anything to make a comment like that. It's just their way of thinking. I'm sure it was lovely! I know a child who has Asperger's and every time she looks into a mirror, she tells her mother, "That ugly a** girl is back!" And she is absolutely gorgeous. If you are standing next to her and looking in the mirror with her, she'll say and she has a friend just like you! She cannot connect reflection! No association with reflections in mirrors!

  3. #3
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I do understand the picture comment. I don't know if I would want a quilt with my pic on it. friends and family yes. me not so much.maybe mom will like to keep it and you can make another simpliler quilt for your niece.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

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    Interesting - is there only one picture that bothers her? If so, maybe something could be appliqued over it?

  5. #5
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    Nah. I made it and it's done. I never thought she would use it or like it, that's just her. I figured it would end up at her mom's or wadded up in a closet some place.

    Funny thing was that there was a prom pic in there. The guy in the picture was at the party. He thought it was cool.

    To each, their own.

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    I kinda saw this differently -- not that she didn't like the quilt, but that she was being reflective in her thoughts. " it would be like looking through herself. Wow that is deep. I think with time she will feel more comfortable with it and grow to love it. Blessing to you for taking that risk! Kathy

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    Sometimes it takes awhile for things to grow on you, then you like it better with time. This is especially true for people with Asperger's. At any rate, you can't judge how they like something based on their off-the-cuff comments. She may like it as a wall hanging.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Elise1's Avatar
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    My son has Asperger's. Yes, they do think differently. He attended a special school where all the kids in his class had Asperger's. Quite a few of the students were adverse to having their pictures taken.

    I bet your sister will treasure the quilt even if your niece does not warm up to it.
    "Be brave enough to be who you really are.

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    Just a thought -- but I'm not sure I'd like a hungry caterpillar on my bed (especially if I was a kid that understood what that meant) -- or someone's face, mine, an ancestors or anyone. However, they could hang on the wall anytime. Her perspective was certainly something I didn't know and was glad to learn about.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My niece like yours is high functioning with Asperger's. We couldn't sing Happy Birthday to her at all when she was younger, she said she didn't want all the words surrounding her. She is working two part time jobs and going to college. She asked me to make her a swirly smooth quilt. I haven't figured that out yet.
    Got fabric?

  11. #11
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahm4605 View Post
    I do understand the picture comment. I don't know if I would want a quilt with my pic on it. friends and family yes. me not so much.maybe mom will like to keep it and you can make another simpliler quilt for your niece.
    This sounds like a great idea.

  12. #12
    Senior Member countrymaid's Avatar
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    My son also has Aspergers. His perception on the obvious and not so obvious always amazes me. The older he gets the better he can verbalize what his perception means to him.
    countrymaid- I clean up after the kids, the husband and the farm animals

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    Super Member Monika's Avatar
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    Loved your story. What struck me most was your great attitude about it!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    My niece like yours is high functioning with Asperger's. We couldn't sing Happy Birthday to her at all when she was younger, she said she didn't want all the words surrounding her. She is working two part time jobs and going to college. She asked me to make her a swirly smooth quilt. I haven't figured that out yet.
    When I saw "swirly smooth," I immediately visualized a quilt made of sherbet colors mixed with lots of white, maybe even monochrome--like various shades of pastel orange mixed with creamy white, circular patterns. Maybe I'm a little Aspie? I've wondered, to tell the truth.

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    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    My niece like yours is high functioning with Asperger's. We couldn't sing Happy Birthday to her at all when she was younger, she said she didn't want all the words surrounding her. She is working two part time jobs and going to college. She asked me to make her a swirly smooth quilt. I haven't figured that out yet.
    BellaBoo, ask her if she could draw the concept for you. Maybe drawing it out could help.

    My DS was quite an artist when he was younger - he could do almost 3 dimensional views. I actually wish he would draw now, but as an adult, he has moved on towards other things. He has LDs with some Asperger symptoms, but he is fairly mainstream, his main problem is reading people - he is not always able to pick up on things.

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    Super Member Girlfriend's Avatar
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    They say that Bill Gates has Asperger's. They live in they own world of creativity. It obviously worked for him. Interesting to try to understand from their point of view....

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    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Maybe it would be a good idea to tell your niece that you're okay with her not loving the quilt and at the same time explain that you made it out of love for her, and mention all the nice thoughts you had about her as you were coming up with the words for each letter of her name. If a lack of empathy is part of what defines Asperger's, then she may need a little spelling out about what making the quilt meant to you. Who knows, when that hits home, she may immediately feel more receptive toward it. The other reason that it would be good to give her a little explanation would be to assure her that whatever she thinks of your quilt, you'll always be her loving aunt. Some of the other young people and maybe even her mom may have shamed her for her reaction as soon as you were out of earshot, and that would be an unintended side effect. It would not make her feel any more kindly toward it either, if that happened.

    The other thing to know is that if the quilt had been given to her in a less distracting situation, she might have been able to focus on it differently. A big social gathering is often stressful for people like your niece - too much noise and activity. She may be loving it by now, for all we know. It wouldn't surprise me.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    My niece like yours is high functioning with Asperger's. We couldn't sing Happy Birthday to her at all when she was younger, she said she didn't want all the words surrounding her. She is working two part time jobs and going to college. She asked me to make her a swirly smooth quilt. I haven't figured that out yet.
    My middle son was very shy when young and could be a little quirky in his habits. He, too, could not bear having Happy Birthday sung to him at his parties until he was ten or twelve. He'd put his hands over his ears in order not to hear. We thought it was because he felt self-conscious but maybe it was the words for him, too. He also always ate one thing at a time on his plate -- couldn't bear his food to touch. He's grown now and he still does that!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose_P View Post
    Maybe it would be a good idea to tell your niece that you're okay with her not loving the quilt and at the same time explain that you made it out of love for her, and mention all the nice thoughts you had about her as you were coming up with the words for each letter of her name. If a lack of empathy is part of what defines Asperger's, then she may need a little spelling out about what making the quilt meant to you. Who knows, when that hits home, she may immediately feel more receptive toward it. The other reason that it would be good to give her a little explanation would be to assure her that whatever she thinks of your quilt, you'll always be her loving aunt. Some of the other young people and maybe even her mom may have shamed her for her reaction as soon as you were out of earshot, and that would be an unintended side effect. It would not make her feel any more kindly toward it either, if that happened.

    The other thing to know is that if the quilt had been given to her in a less distracting situation, she might have been able to focus on it differently. A big social gathering is often stressful for people like your niece - too much noise and activity. She may be loving it by now, for all we know. It wouldn't surprise me.
    Your take is very insightful, and I agree. I think we need to give him the benefit of the doubt so he can learn grace and empathy. I really think these kids struggle emotionally. They are awkward and probably have received criticism. Love goes a long way. And this act of love in making the quilt needs a little push in the right direction.....

  20. #20
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing....well at any rate your sister will be well-pleased, so that's great.....Not to mention having such a terrific party banner in the form of the quilt. Many of us see the world differently, but keep quiet about it....as someone else said when she has time to see it when there's not so much noise and activity there will be elements she is drawn to.

  21. #21
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    My DH has never been officialy diagnosed as asperger but he sure acts it and his reactions to most anything is the same..always sort of negative but later if I say something about him not liking what I made he says thats not how he feels at all. So give it some time and she will probably treasure it as is.

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