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Thread: Why do we do this?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    Why do we do this?

    Why do we do what we do? Why do we spend so much more money and time making something for someone, rather than going to the nearest retailer and plopping down $20 on a trinket instead?

    I personally have two reasons:

    1. My mother told me some horror stories of shopping the day after Thanksgiving, one of which involved a hurried shopper pushing a wheelchair-bound customer into a wall to get them out of their way, all in the name of obtaining the best sale items. I decided then and there that if a gift wasn't handmade by me, it wasn't getting given. There have been times when people got a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies from me, but they were made with love. One Christmas morning, the cookies were even warm...and who doesn't like warm fresh chocolate chip cookies? I guarantee they won't end up in the Goodwill bin...

    2. The second reason is that when I make something for someone, I put a lot of myself into it. I have a couple of quilt tops made and stored, things that I made to try a new pattern and now what do I do with it, that kind of stuff. But I don't have finished quilts "in stock" for a random person (does anyone else have Justin Case in their closet?). I like to personalize the item, and while I am making it, I think of things that will appeal to the recipient and incorporate them into the quilt. For example, I recently made a quilt for a Volkswagen Club, the members of which are mostly classic Beetle owners. I quilted a likeness of the VW logo in the center (not identical tho - no copyright issues), along with a script of Ferdinand Porsche, the man who engineered the Beetle. Also included was 1945 (the year it was first marketed), "flower power", the words "rear mounted" and "air cooled" which pertain to the Beetle's rear mounted engine - many fun facts were FMQ'd as the quilting into the quilt. It was interesting and fun to do, and I know the ultimate recipient (the quilt will be raffled off this weekend) will love it. (I titled the quilt "One Day in Stuttgart" because that's where the Beetle was engineered, by the way - a little fun fact for next time you want to impress your friends with useless trivia.) That's one reason I do things like this.

    I guess the most important reason though, is that when you do a job for financial reimbursement (and there's nothing wrong with that, we've all enjoyed paying gigs!), the money flows through your hands too quickly, but when you give someone something that contains your blood, sweat, tears, and (most importantly) your love, the look on their face when they first see it will be something you can revisit for years...long after that money is gone.

    It must be that time of the month or something, I'm normally not this mushy!

    So....why do YOU do what you do?
    She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

  2. #2
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I only Quilt and Knit because it gives me pleasure and I find it rewarding and relaxing. It doesn't mean that I have stopped buying knitted things or quilts!! I still do both.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nygal View Post
    I only Quilt and Knit because it gives me pleasure and I find it rewarding and relaxing. It doesn't mean that I have stopped buying knitted things or quilts!! I still do both.
    same for me
    Nancy in western NY
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    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have no job. I'm too lazy to clean. I hate yard work. Day time television is awful. I can only kill an hour a day at the gym.

    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.

  5. #5
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Why do I give hand made gifts???????? That's the way I grew up. It makes me happy. Keeps me busy during the year. And MOST people appreciate it.

    Then there is my BIL who was almost beheaded the Christmas he remarked that "such and such" was almost as good as store bought. (Most of us do hand made items!)
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  6. #6
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I have no job. I'm too lazy to clean. I hate yard work. Day time television is awful. I can only kill an hour a day at the gym.

    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.

    LOL, I had to check your name because I started to think I might have posted this last night in my sleep! Except I do watch TV most of the day. Love the house and food shows.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I make items for myself. I enjoy shopping for the supplies and creating something. I won't give a quilt away that I spent months making. I save those for my beds or to display in my quilt racks. I give away the fast block quilts and baby quilts. The fast quilts I have no emotional ties to and couldn't care less if they are used or tossed aside. I haven't given up cleaning or having pretty flower beds yet but I have given up day time tv.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 09-27-2012 at 09:13 AM.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
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    It does keep me sane at times. Besides when I am finished I feel so accomplished.

    But this past weekend this fellow I met for the first time was happy to find out I was a quilter and he asked me why quilts are no light weight now. My belief was because women that could not afford batting used what they could, one thing being old wool blankets. Especially when men came home from the service they brought these very scratchy wool blankets home. They were very warm but very scratchy, so women covered them and they became quilts. My mother did it with my father's blanket. I could be very wrong, but he was fairly sure that's what his mother did. They were also fairly inexpensive at the surplus store and often found at the second hand shops. So he wants one now because they pitched all the ones his mother had after she died. I told him to go buy the wool blanket and I would be able to do the rest.

    Was I wrong asking him to buy the wool blanket first? i felt this was the best way to find out if he was really serious. There is a surplus store near him that he can go to to get the blankets. I just had a feeling in my gut that if I went to buy them they would be the wrong size or not heavy enough or something. This way if he really wants one, he will be able to see before its made how heavy it will be.

  9. #9
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    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.
    ^ this says it all.

  10. #10
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
    It does keep me sane at times. Besides when I am finished I feel so accomplished.

    But this past weekend this fellow I met for the first time was happy to find out I was a quilter and he asked me why quilts are no light weight now. My belief was because women that could not afford batting used what they could, one thing being old wool blankets. Especially when men came home from the service they brought these very scratchy wool blankets home. They were very warm but very scratchy, so women covered them and they became quilts. My mother did it with my father's blanket. I could be very wrong, but he was fairly sure that's what his mother did. They were also fairly inexpensive at the surplus store and often found at the second hand shops. So he wants one now because they pitched all the ones his mother had after she died. I told him to go buy the wool blanket and I would be able to do the rest.

    Was I wrong asking him to buy the wool blanket first? i felt this was the best way to find out if he was really serious. There is a surplus store near him that he can go to to get the blankets. I just had a feeling in my gut that if I went to buy them they would be the wrong size or not heavy enough or something. This way if he really wants one, he will be able to see before its made how heavy it will be.

    Good point----------you'll know if he's serious. His buying the blanket will also give you an idea of what size the quilt will be. He'll start with what HE wants.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Its about colors and great textiles! Its about that satisfaction I get when I see perfectly sewn points, or a block that when its pressed just after the final seam..just brings a smile to my face. Its about the anticipation of creating and having control over the process.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have given quilts to family,friends and people I don't know, most have several. I love making quilts, usually takes two weeks at most. I have no one at the moment that needs a quilt so I am piling them up until someone comes along. I have lots and lots of fabric. I bought it to make quilts and that is what I'm going to do. I work full time or I could make them faster and get the pile much higher much faster.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  13. #13
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    I guess way back when, it started because i really had no money to buy gifts at Birthdays or Christmas for my large, extended family....but i could make them something pretty and useful and uniquely theirs. I still want that - but there's a lot of therapy involved as well. I have a very stressful job - and sitting at my machine - creating - it just relaxes me and makes me feel good. I said it in another post a while ago -- i'll never write the great American novel, paint like DaVinci, compose a symphony, etc, etc - but maybe someone i love - or someone i don't even know - will feel warm and comfy using one of my quilts after i am long gone.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i enjoy the creativity there is in making my own pattern. i also enjoy collecting beautiful fabrics that i hope to use in my quilts.

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prissnboot View Post
    So....why do YOU do what you do?
    Because I can.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  16. #16
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    I love to sew, knit and bake. I am, however, very careful about who I give homemade gifts to and who gets the store-bought. I think I know who will appreciate my crusty fresh-from-the-oven bread or decorated Christmas cookies. My cute hand-knitted socks are prized by some. Quilts are special gifts, if they end up on eBay to finance her new smart phone purchase, I know cash would have been a better present.

    A couple of years ago during the holidays, a young anchorwoman on a local tv station made a very snarky remark about making a list of stupid unwanted Christmas gifts which included afghans and other handmade items. Later AT&T ran ads showing a father complaining about the presents he received from his children. It made me stop and think. Gift-giving was more enjoyable for me in the past.

    I give a quilt to someone because I hope they will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

  17. #17
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I quilt because I enjoy it.
    Heather

  18. #18
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    I quilt and create to please myself.....once in awhile I will do something for someone else. Sometimes I keep whatever if quilt or create and sometimes I don't. Just what makes me happy.

    delma

  19. #19
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I have no job. I'm too lazy to clean. I hate yard work. Day time television is awful. I can only kill an hour a day at the gym.

    Seriously, I sew because it is fun. I make a quilt and throw it on the pile. If someone wants one, OK. If not, the pile isn't hurting anything.
    That pretty much covers it for me. I sew for me. If somebody else loves what I create, great. If not that's fine too since I did it for me anyway. I wanted to play with the colors, patterns, fabric, etc.

    I frequently make quilts just because I wanted to combine specific fabrics with a specific pattern with no recipient in mind at all.

  20. #20
    Super Member hikingquilter's Avatar
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    In spite of my fabric addiction it's still cheaper than therapy. Well, maybe... LOL Actually it IS my therapy. I work in human services with a very vulnerable at-risk population and after a day like I've had yesterday and today, it relaxes me and helps me feel a sense of accomplishment even if we weren't so successful with the clients. For instance, yesterday we had a series of crises and drama at work and I left wondering what I could have done differently/better. I came home and sequestered myself in my sewing/bedroom, put some music on and spent 3 hours finishing the piecing together of a quilt top for my brother. I felt like "yes, I can accomplish SOMETHING. I WILL have this done in time for his birthday." And besides, quilting is just plain fun!

  21. #21
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Name:  felicity.jpeg
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Size:  265.2 KBWhy do I spend all the time and money instead of just buying a gift? This is why....when I gave this grandaughter her quilt, she was so happy..the next morning she called me to tell me that the quilt made her feel like she was covered in love all night long....THAT is reason enough for me!!

  22. #22
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    I think we quilt because we are creative. Not everyone does this! I paint too, because I have to. That's part of what we are. I could buy my grandchildren a quilt, but that isn't creative of me. I just love it. I have been going thru a bag of scraps this afternoon that someone gave my sister and feeling of every piece.Grin

  23. #23
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I like having something to show for my time. I like the planning and creative outlet from quilting. I love giving something I made from the heart. I hate the holiday commercialism.

  24. #24
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    i quilt to relax and just make for me , i have made a few things for a few people. but usually just to sew and quilt. not to much into tv any more.. the only thing i watch is pawn stars and storage wars with the yepppp guy but there reruns.

  25. #25
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    Except for the gym part, your reasons are just like mine. Plus my husband told me to get a hobby...now he's sorry!

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