Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Obvious Dilemma of a Prolific Quilter

I finally got my sewing machine back from the maintenance/repair place and wow have I been antsy to get something ready to stitch on! So yesterday saw me sandwiching and pinning two quilt tops--one for machine quilting and the other for hand quilting. Later in the day I actually started machine quilting the Random Sampler quilt and it got me thinking. Uh oh... Get ready for a long post....
Random Sampler quilt--getting ready for machine quilting!
Why do I always have to have this mental discussion with myself: Am I giving this quilt away? Should I? Who to then? Then if I decide to keep it, why is there {on occasion} this guilty little feeling of possession or even greediness? And yesterday I thought to myself, 'This stops now!'

Julie's recent post and the subsequent comments really brought all this into sharp relief. First of all, if you read her blog, you'll instantly get that Julie is a giver. Some of us give quilts away and some don't. She does. Whether she gives of {what she determines to be} her very best, shouldn't really matter because hello? She always does excellent work. So good for her, coming up with a good plan of attack for how to gift in the future.

And then I thought about another recent post that resonated greatly with me. Debbie talked about when someone determines that one of our quilts has greater value or is better than another one we've made. They can't possibly know 'what lies within' like we do. That can really smart if we have a deep fondness for the one they've ultimately declared less than. I love how she further writes in the post, '.... acknowledge that what we do and what we have is something pretty special.' 
Eagle quilt--finally about to be in the hoop....
Basically, we need to just let people see what they are going to see, but know within ourselves the gift of our own creativity. It's a great post! So back to my original point--whether we give away our quilts or not is absolutely nobodies business but ours. And circling around to Debbie's thoughts and applying them to 'gifting', whatever quilt we give should be deemed good enough and special enough without having to go through these stupid mental gymnastics. We don't do shoddy work my friends! Let's try and put this into perspective. 

I started in with my love of quilting some 20 plus years ago. My skills were extremely questionable in a myriad of ways and I positively wince at some of those efforts! That didn't stop me from lovingly creating {and gifting} anything from baby quilts to what I considered to be great lap-sized quilts--all to people who I knew would appreciate the love. Here! Have this awesome quilt I made you! And as happens with many of us, my love of the  hobby {and more emphatically, my love for the process] grew to a time when yes, I do have quilts stacking up all over my house. There are some amazing quilts and not-so-amazing quilts sitting in those stacks but all are special as they have been part of my wonderfully creative journey. I have reached that pinnacle in time when I always, always wonder if the next quilt will be given away. If it should or could be. What an incredible place to be in. But that's where I think I have recently stumbled and desperately need to reassess. 

This is my love and my hobby. It's perfectly okay if I choose to keep every single quilt made for the rest of my, hopefully, long lived life. Okay, I know--definitely not going to keep them all, because I looooooove giving quilts away. That being said, new parameters probably need to be determined so as to get rid of this creeping feeling of obligation. Prolific quilt-making does indeed have some consequences, thus the gifting. However, it never feels good to give special things to persons who won't appreciate the effort involved. Hmm... 

I'm going to start by recalling a moment when my husband walked in the house with a brand new baby quilt 23 years ago. He went out on a construction job one day, as was usual, and when the elderly woman of the house found out that he had a 1 month baby boy? She immediately went to her stacks of completed baby quilts and gave him one as a gift. She loved to make and also, she loved to give, even to the construction guy who was working at her home for maybe a total of a week. Was I arrogant enough to think that particular quilt was her very best work ever? No. Did I care? Absolutely not. Happy dance everyone! We got a new quilt!! It was an awesome moment. 

Another moment in time that settled deep into my consciousness was when the 2014 fire burned through our community. We stuffed as many quilts {and other important things} as could possibly be carried into our suburban and then drove away from our house. KNOWING that our house was going to burn down and there was nothing to be done. In a very surprising and miraculous turnabout, our house did not burn, but alas, many others did. Will anyone ever know exactly how many quilts burned just from my mom and sisters possessions burning? At one point we guessed well over 40 that they had been fully completed--they were very prolific quilters so maybe even more than that. Plus they had been peronally gifted quilts--I counted 4 quilts burnt just made by me! But the greater point was this: although my sister had gifted many of her quilts, my mom had not. Only one or two people in the entire huge family have one of her quilts!! That hurts so much.

So you see, maybe it's okay to sometimes gift quilts that perhaps we feel aren't our perfect work. Would I even care what the quilt looked like if I could just have ONE of my moms quilts? After that experience I started occasionally gifting an older, gently used quilt depending on the recipient. We give for all sorts of reasons. Why do we have this perception that only newly finished quilts are acceptable for giving? That it has to be tailor-made for someone in specific? That it has to be super-duper special or our intent is somehow suspect. 

I think it all boils down to the recipient and the reasons we're currently wanting to gift. We have to keep in mind that our creativity really is a special thing--from the least {in our minds} to the greatest of our efforts. Finding a way to share that creativity is a gift to ourselves--letting it go into the world-- as well as to the recipient of that physical thing--a  warm, cozy quilt. A close, personal friend or beloved family member is probably a better bet to gift the bazillion hours of hand work sort of quilt to, not the construction guy with the new baby. Just saying! And we all have those relatives and friends who wouldn't recognize a fantastically implemented quilt from a Thimbleberries knock-off. You know exactly who I'm talking about. That doesn't mean they won't positively adore having a quilt made by yours truly. So be it. 

From now on, the plan is this: I'm gleefully keeping all the quilts that I really don't want to get rid of just yet . Who cares exactly why they might tug on my heartstrings at the moment! That is totally beside the point. These are going to decorate my couches, snuggle with my kids while they're watching a movie, hang off my bed at nights and warm my nieces and nephews when they visit. When I finish the next ten quilts in line, which of course will be amazingly better than the ten before, then I'll slowly find the right recipient for the quilts I've grown tired of or feel less of an attachment to now the new, improved ones are currently staring me in the face. {That doesn't mean they are suddenly undesirable to everyone else, duh!! It's just part of the journey!!} And when a brand new finish wants to go live with someone else, of course I'll work with that. But it's not going to be all about someone else--all of the time. I vow to enjoy this creative outlet I've been blessed with and not wallow in guilt for when and why and how I decide to give away the results.*whew! Glad that's all settled. So exhausting to try and analyze all the quirky thought processes we go through...

If you're still reading along, thank you for your patience! I've got a simple giveaway for one lucky, but loyal reader.
A giveaway
Simply Moderne sent me two magazines by mistake this month {my last issue, boohoo!} and it's a great one. Really, Sujata Shah and Rachael Daisy both! Just leave a comment telling me your thoughts on why and how you gift quilts and/or if you even do. Maybe you plan to gift more in the future or keep them all till you die and let the kids sell them at the estate sale. Whatever! I'll randomly choose a winner sometime next week!



64 comments:

  1. quiltmania sent extras because of a binding problem during the first run . love your post

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  2. sometimes a quilt just talks to me, it seems to reveal a person i know when i am sewing along. When that happens, i give it, but i try to wait for an occasion! I love your blog and yes i read each word!

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  3. I have 4 quilts and only one I made for myself. I am gifted many scraps and feel they need to be gifted on - pay it forward. I make quilts to sell (pays the bills), but I have a passion for charity work. If it's not fully finished quilts, I send off box full of blocks to others who do the finishing and then the gifting. This fills my heart.

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  4. Hi- I was just coming here to tell you how much I love your blog - that I feel like I"m sitting down with an old friend when I read it! And, that I love the way you share you processes and what you are working on. I find myself blogging less and less lately and rarely comment - but I wanted to tell you thanks!

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  5. This post made me smile. 1st of all - woohoo for the eagle quilt in the hoop - I love that one and can't wait to see what you add with your stitches. Secondly - way to go talking about guilt and blowing it up - kapow! Life is too short to waste it feeling guilty.

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  6. A thoroughly heartfelt post, and one I can relate to and agree with entirely. It was 2013 I think when I finally finished a 14-year odyssey with creation of our marriage quilt and I realized that after 30 years of making quilts this one was the Only one that I could claim as mine other than a couple of very small wall quilts. I felt so extravagant having a quilt I had made finally covering us at night! So fast-forward to today and there are now at least two quilts for each bed in the house and several couch size throws. And, you know what, after making over 80 quilts, we still have only about 16 in our possession, but the photos are a happy reminder of the hours well spent, and that counts for a lot. I am very discriminating about who receives a hand quilted treasure though!

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  7. I have given about half my quilts away and I absolutely cringe at some of my earlier efforts. My goal is to make a quilt for each of my children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews so they all have a tangible piece of my love.

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  8. I have a lot of quilts too and I've given away a lot and sold a lot - I feel like keeping most of them now and sometimes regret giving away the ones I did. I would like to make one for each of my brothers and sisters but yet never get around to it.

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  9. Audrey me encanta tu sampler.
    Hice edredones para regalas a mis ahijados,
    para mis nietos,
    a mis amigas le hago un edredón cuando tiene su primer nieto.

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  10. I LOVE your eagle quilt..is that a pattern or one of your own design? LOVE it! And I've been saying for quite some time now (especially since my hubby died 5 yrs ago) that I was going to get rid of the majority of my quilts so that my kids don't have to deal with it when I die (since they're really not interested). I did give quilt away several Christmases ago..just put them out and told everyone to pick one or two that they liked. Most of what I make these days are for charity (Quilts of Valor etc.). My stash is TOO HUGE and I've been getting rid of it as well.

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  11. I give away a lot of the quilts I make. I hate it when someone asks who that one is for- like I should only be making them for someone else..I’ve try to give to people who I think will appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into making a quilt. But I have learned to let go-if I’ve given a hand quilted quilt away and I see it being dragged on the floor, I know they won’t be getting another one!

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  12. This could be a very long comment, but I won't. Once I looked all over my house for a specific quilt I made. For the life of me I couldn't find it. Then I borrowed my brothers condo in Seattle and there was the quilt! I remember him asking for a quilt and I brought out several for him to choose from. Once in a while I'll make a quilt specifically for someone or an event, but more times then not it is a spontaneous gift of love.
    I'm using many of my quilts now for guild lectures, which I use the money for my missions trip, so its a win- win, until I can't find one! LOL
    Please put my name in the hat for the duplicate magazine.

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  13. I started quilting in 1973 and up till 2009, I always gave my quilts away. When I started giving Civil War programs, I had to borrow quilts from friends at first because I hadn't kept any! I now keep any I sell patterns for or need for my displays. I still gift quilts to family and special friends though. It warms my soul to see their pleasure at the gift as much as the quilt warms them. This was a fantastic post. I read every word. :)

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  14. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on gifting quilts. some I've not contemplated & are worth considering. I once made something for a friend & family with great love. Their dog liked it to rip & tumble with it. All the hours & hand work I'd given, not accepted for the comfort it was intended. They thought it was really funny the dog could destroy it. Perhaps I had it all wrong. Since then I'm very careful where I gift any handwork.

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  15. Hey Audrey!! I love to give quilts away, but squirm when they are homely and made up of a million scraps...I love those the very best!!Thank you for mentioned me in your lovely talk. It always seems like you share your heart as you blog, and I love to read each entry. Go girl...we will continue on this journey and love each stitch!!

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  16. Your thoughts and writing are as precious a gift as your quilts.....just saying! To sit down and read your thoughts feels like a conversation over a hot cup of tea.....I sit here nodding as I read, learning from you and others how we all negotiate this creative life. Thank you!

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  17. Great article. I think I give about half of my quilts away. Someone always needs one, maybe a good friends retirement, a new baby or my Mom turning 80. I'm doing more miniatures and I appreciate those the most, so I keep those. Or if I appliqué a quilt, it will be one I want. No one else would appliqué a quilt for me, so I must do it myself. I only wish of all the quilts I have given away, I knew ahead of time, that some of those recipients didn't appreciate them. That makes me sad. I gave them with such joy...

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  18. Good and thought provoking thoughts here. I gift quilts as an expression of my love for someone. I am, after all, giving of myself, my time, my skills (at whatever level at that time), my creativity and inevitably my thoughts as I always find myself thinking of the person I am making the quilt for. Much of my work has been made specifically to benefit my church's sewing circle sale so I don't have more than a couple of my own quilts. I've decided that needs to change, but I'm still deciding what I might love enough to keep.

    In a sidebar, a friend told me once that love is one of the most important elements of a quilt. Our love for creativity, making, etc. and that sometimes, a quilt isn't done until we're done loving it enough to give it away. So yes, give someone a less than spanking new quilt, if it seems to be the one for that person.
    (bolderbaker.at.gmail.dot.com)

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  19. Brilliant and well written article. I have a room full of completed quilts that I just can't bear to part with (just yet) and often wonder what will become of them later (when I'm gone). But for now, I love petting them, unfolding them and admiring my hard work in making them and refolding them. Am I crazy? Well no, I don't think so because there are some quilts I make which are easy to give away, I simply don't get attached to them as I am making them for some reason. So in my 30+ years of making quilts, many have new homes but my favourites stay with me.

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  20. A timely post for me. i do give away many new quilts but have some old ones that you've inspired me to find new homes for. They are still good and, as you say, someone else will love them.
    I do prefer to give to people I know. I'm fortunate to have a large family with lots of friends who like quilts. But after all, some people actually don't like quilts. Horrors. Rather not waste one on them. They can have something else.

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  21. Loved reading this post Audrey. These days, I make quilts firstly for me, from a need to be creative & a love of colour. My mum always used to ask 'who is that quilt for?' - well, I had no answer, and so for a long time, I didn't finish any of my quilts. Now they all eventually get finished, home or no home! If along the way, someone ends up with a quilt, then that's lovely too. I also gift lots of baby quilts, ones that I don't really get attached to during the process. I have a few quilts that live around here first, then over time they end up in new homes. And I have donated a few quilts.

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  22. You've written a great post that many of us quilters can identify with! I love making and giving quilts...but sometimes (many times?) I want to keep the quilt! The quilt becomes a friend and sometimes I wonder if the quilt will be loved "enough". Thanks for the opportunity to win! ;)

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  23. I'm a slow quilter who doesn't finish many quilts in a year. Usually when I give away a quilt it is because I made it in particular for the person or organization. But when my daughter asked for a quilt I had on a bed last year, I sent it home with her. It might have been a little harder to part with it if it had been one of my favorites. Not being prolific, I have with me only 9 quilts that I've made. (Two are miniature quilts, two are baby quilts, and the rest are about twin size quilts -- and one of them will definitely leave this house as soon as I can find a home for it.)

    Personally, I think most of us are making the best quilts we can -- maybe never perfect but our best. I don't have a second thought to giving away the best. But, like you, sometimes I just want to keep a quilt because I like/love it. No worries. Maybe I'll like another one better in a year or so and will pass on the the previous favorite.

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  24. I've only made a small quilt for my mother, I would like to make one for my niece and for a friend but heven't decided on patterns at the moment. So I just make quilts for me now. The quilts I've made so far are so precious to me. They all have special memories. Maybe when I've made some more quilts it will be easier to give them away. Warm greetings

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  25. My recent mission is making and giving quilts to people having chemo. This makes my hubby's chemo extra special. The smiles I get are priceless. Now I can finish my bazillion tops.

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  26. I am a quilt giver, and usually after the first washing, my work heads out the door. These quilts are planned for the recipient.
    Guild challenges are tough to gift though. The parameters they set don't usually play well with my ideas for family and friends. So if I can, I donate them. But last year's challenge was one that I experimented with fancy machine quilting. Instead of donating, I've had it displayed in the TV room, not wanting to part with this one. (Geesh, my daughter asked me if I had a longarmer friend quilt it...) Your post is so liberating! It will stay on my futon until I'm ready. Many, many thanks!!!

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  27. Probably half of the quilts that I have made are down at my middle son's house on beds, couches, and used to wrap kids up at football games, etc. The one hand-quilted one, with extensive stitching, the DIL won't use. It's for display only, no matter how many times I tell her to use it. Yet an extensively hand-appliqued quilt, that is tied, doesn't worry her. Go figure! :)

    The youngest son has a quilt from me that is 'his' but he's always using the others around the house ; the Snowball or Stars & Spools quilt are in the living room to snuggle under

    The oldest son has a quilt that I'd made when he went away to college, as well as a large, heirloom Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt...I didn't make it but purchased it at a mission store on half price day. It's magnificent and after using it here off and on I let him take it home. ( That was kind of hard, lol! :)

    His birthday is coming up in November and when he comes home for Thanksgiving I am going to give him the hand quilted Granny Squares quilt.

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  28. I adore your long posts! And as I was reading through your dilemma thoughts, I was thinking about my own process and then - WOW - you described my approach so well! I treasure my scrappy quilts. I enjoy the ones that are more coordinated or heaven forbid made from all one line of fabric - mostly because of the making itself, not the end result - and those are the quilts that are the easiest to give. Everyone in our family has quilts I've made - housewarmings, new babies, new dogs, new jobs, and milestone birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Heck - one family even received a quilt per person when the new baby arrived, including a gently worn one for the family dog. There are some that will stay with me forever, but the rest end up finding their forever homes when the time is right. And that makes me very happy. (p.s. I already have the magazine so please leave me out of the drawing)

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  29. Such a thoughtful post! The quilts that I've given away began with the recipient in mind. Whenever I see blocks made from scraps from blouses that I made for my mother years ago, I feel close to her. Whenever I see block made from fabric purchased on vacations, I experience happy memories. I just can't part with those quilts, and that's O. K. I'll continue to make quilts for donation and quilts for wrapping up my own heart.

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  30. I too have enough bed quilts. I also have some partially finished projects. What I have started doing to finishing those into small quilts for a charity that my guild supports. Since I just love the making of quilts, when I see a pattern I want to make or a technique I want to try I just make it into the size that I need for the charity quilt. This has also given me the chance to practice machine quilting.

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  31. Thank you so much for this post!
    I started quilting many many (many) years ago, but I realized fairly recently that I'd given away or sold every quilt I've ever made. Now I'm working on several that I truly want to keep for myself, just because they make me happy, and had been feeling vaguely guilty about that. It has been hard to reach a point where I could feel that these are MY quilts, and *I* get to decide where they live. I'm going to give my quilts to the ones who will love them most - and sometimes that will be *me*...

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  32. Since I have an abundance of "wall" quilts and theme-like quilts, I recently decided to start making traditional-type bed quilts for my children and grandchildren. Your blog has inspired me to do so. Love reading about your journey.

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  33. I keep a lot of quilts (and feel no guilt) and give a lot of quilts for causes and people who need them and even set some aside for grandkid's hope chests for occasions when I may no longer be around to celebrate with them. Same with gardening...I use all I want for myself and then give extra produce to family, friends, homeless shelters. If someone needs some cheering up I may even take them a bouquet of flowers from my garden. Genealogy is also one of my hobbies but no one wants the data on dead ancestors I collect!

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  34. I have just two words on this -- Trunk Show. Then you will share your quilts with hundreds of very interested people, instead of just one. ;-)

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  35. I give quilts for lots of reasons. The main one is I have to make room for more. Two I feel very blessed and it's may way of giving back. Sometimes I keep a quilt because of all the time and effort in it and my love for it. I don't feel guilty about it. The time may come when it's not so close to my heart and then I'll give it away but maybe not.

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  36. I do gift quilts that are especially made for that person. But I will not give someone a quilt anymore unless I feel they would really appreciate it. One in the past, in particular, was specially designed and made for someone who never, ever used it. What a waste of time and effort.

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  37. I try to gift every new baby in my church a quilt.... that is maybe one or two a year. Not a hardship! The reason I do this is my granddaughter's words: " Mommo, some children don't have quilts so we have to make some for them. We need to share ourselves!" ( roughly translated from Swedish) She was four years old at the time and it was such a lovely thought that I decided to do this. She is now eight and loves to be the one giving the quilt!

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  38. My girls, who will probably inherit my quilts and stash don't have the same color sense that I do. So, part of me wants to quilt to their liking so they'll value the quilts someday. Snap fingers! Who am I kidding? I'm going to make what I want, what I like, what I'm interested in, what delights my imagination, what I want to cuddle up with.

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    1. Oh, and I give about 1/2 of the quilts I make away. There's always someone who would like a quilt even if it's just that YOU have given it to them.

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  39. My gifting is all over the map. Some quilts I plan, start to finish, for a particular person. Others I just sew for the love of the pattern and/or fabric, then at some point the quilt whispers, "Oh, I was made for Jen!" Others still are planned for charity giving. And then some just hang around in my own home, being used and admired. It's a pretty fluid process for me.

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  40. I love reading all of the comments. So many generous quilters. My sister tells me to keep my quilts for my trunk show, but that hasn't happened yet, so meanwhile I give some away, to friends, for occasions, and as a gesture of love or friendship. I have given lots of quillts to charity organizations, Linus quilts, QOV, Kid Comfort, etc, and also to fund raisers. I just keep sewing and accumulating quilts, and the more I share, the more I seem to have! I would love to be considered for the simply moderne magazine. My most recent giveaway was a baby quilt designed after one of Sujata Shah's quilts. I love your blog and your creative whimsy.

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  41. Interesting read. I have gifted a number of items, but make mostly small things. Looking forward to gifting more in the future!

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  42. I like the layout of your random sampler but the eagle quilt tugs at my heart because I like eagle quilts. Interesting read today. I just coompleted a large quilt recently and it is tugging at me saying it wants to live with me but it also would make a wonderful quilt for a relative or friend. It is large enough to grace a bed and I know someone would love to have it. And I have way too many quilts already. I have given away many, many of them over the years and they are well appreciated by the recipients. For now, I will enjoy the finished quilt until someone talks me out of it.

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  43. I hope the Eagle Quilt lives in your home for a long long time, it's awesome.
    I envy those who receive photos of their quilts in action! I love to gift them, the romantic in me believes each quilt will find it's way into someone's heart eventually, and perhaps even ignite a passion for patchwork in someone down the road. And I like to imagine the stories told in the future, while snuggling under a Christmas quilt. About crazy Aunt Heidi, you know..

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  44. What a thought provoking post especially about the quilts which weren't shared and then were destroyed. I totally agree that we get to keep what we make or choose to give it away. I recently moved and have many boxes, etc. to unpack but here I sit reading. I looked across to a chair piled with quilts, mostly wall hanging size some of which have never been shared with others. I really paused to think what if - my apt. burned and these quilts were gone or what if the apt. burned but some of the quilts had been given away well then I could see them again. What if I had given them away and those homes burned. Well, I would have been glad that the quilts brought them happiness and I'd get busy and make a new one for them. Thank you for an exceptional post as you have given me much to think about.

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  45. Thank you for your post :-) I've given a lot of quilts as presents, for the first 2 or 3 years, I didn't own more than one for myself. Now, 15-20 years later, I have more quilts than I need and just plan to give 2 of them away for a charity. I have a small stack of babyquilts to gift, when the need arises :-)
    And I'm always struggling if the quilts I'm giving away are good enough...

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  46. Great post - and I like the conclusions you have reached. I have given quilts to all my close family but still have a small pile building up. I use some, could give some away, but it's not embedded in our culture here the way it is in the US and I'm always a bit worried people won't 'get' it, or will only accept out of politeness. You have prompted me, though, to think about this a bit more.

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  47. I'm happy I found your post today! What caught my eye was the Random Sampler. (I've made three kitchen sink quilts and, judging from my orphan blocks boxes, there are more in my future.) What kept me reading were your observations about giving quilts. I make quilts because otherwise I would drown in fabrics. There are only two beds in our house and both have quilts. We put quilted placemats on the dining table (note to self: make a new set or two). But that leaves a lot of fabric and a lot of quilts. So I make quilts for gifts. I contribute quilts to fundraisers. I give quilts to emergency relief. I sell quilts and unquilted tops. (I don't make a profit on either category, but I figure it this way: I don't make any money if I give them away, and if I have a willing buyer, why not?) As for the quality--I do good work. Not Paducah-entry-level, but enough that the recipient or purchaser will be pleased and will use the it. I do have a stack of quilts ready to donate (or sell)--I went to it this week to get a quilt for a silent auction at the women's club bunco party this evening. Stashes are handy! P.S. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  48. I love gifting quilts! I only got back into quilting a few years ago after becoming an "empty nester". I am still in the process of making quilts for my family members and closest friends. To me I try to make each quilt a representation of what I see in the personality of that person. My hope is that they will enjoy and cherish that quilt as something made especially for them, and that they will remember each time they use it
    that they are a beloved and precious person who is never forgotten.

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  49. Loved your post and, of course, the eagle quilt in the hoop. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments as well. There are quilts that are special to me and I keep them. There are quilts that I make specifically for immediate family members. Anytime I give a quilt away, I already have in my mind that I'm giving them away so I'm okay with it, charity, for sale, etc. I do have some older quilts that I made many years ago that I have been wrestling with as to what to do with them. I appreciated your thought that others may enjoy them, so maybe I need to pass them on. It's given me food for thought. Thanks. I also get the modern quiltmania so no need to include my name.

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  50. I make quilts to donate, and quilts which I keep, but have only given a couple to my family. I seldom make bed-sized quilts, and they probably don't need wall quilts. When I make a donation quilt, its fate is decided before I even begin, even though it may become hard to give up as it progresses.

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  51. I prefer to makes quilts for worthy causes. Children that are in transition or children of parent in jail. I find that family takes for granted what I do at least mine does. I found...TO my HORROR my sister recently boiled a quilt i made because she thought her kids had lice. I find family just doesn't seem to appreciate the work you put in and I feel more satisfaction given to someone I know will love an appreciate my work

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  52. I love this post so much as I have had similar thoughts over the 20 years I have been quilting. I started quilting with a purpose in mind for the finished quilt as I love giving a handmade gift to someone. I made two wedding quilts for my sons weddings and then I did something unusual. I taught my fifth graders how to sew and each one made a quilt square that I made into a giveaway quilt for one of the students. The winner was a child of immigrant parents from Russia and she adored it! Then over the years I have made numerous quilts for family members. I also have made many quilts to give to children who are sick or dying in our local area. One of my last quilts went to a man in a nursing home who loved hunting and going to church. I make 5-10 quilts a year now and have recently started accumulating a stack of my own, but I want them donated at my demise rather than sold with my estate. I give to friends and family as I please and save some for donating when I wish to give them away. They are labors of love and I know my family realizes my time and effort in making them a quilt. So you do what you want with your quilts as you are the only one who really appreciates the time, effort, and love that went into each stitch.

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  53. Wow ... loved reading This! I've only recently started gifting a lot - 17 quilts gifted in 2017. Thank you for the validation ... it's ok to gift an "already snuggled" quilt.

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  54. I do not gift quilts except the occasional made for new baby quilt, and then with tredidation and in the plainest neutral colors I can stand. No one I know wants my quilts and I can't stand the rejection, so I keep them,lol. My quilts must be very awful, I even had a quilt given back to me bec the recipient said ''it isn't my style''. This was a girl going away to college, I thought she d love a quilt to remember home. Friends recently married made sure to tell me waaay in advance NOT to make them a quilt [tho cash for their honeymoon to BoraBora would be useful.] I have decided that I quilt for my own pleasure. I don't need to try to share them and to then have to absorb the hurt.
    I'd love to make that Leaves quilt on the mag cover, so pls put in my name.

    lizzy at gone to the beach lizzzz.d@gmail.com

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  55. I've returned to your blog several times this week to read your post. It's extremely hard for me to part with my quilted projects. But this last week, I made a decision to give a special hanging hand embroidered, pieced and hand quilted to a friend on her 70th birthday. I found it easy to give because of her reaction when she saw my quilting. I know she will take great care of the gift for she appreciates the art and will treasure it!

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  56. Lots of fun stuff in this post. Thank you.

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  57. What a great post! I would like to know more about how people pick and choose what they give. Like a lot of quilters, I give many quilts each year. Most of what I give is planned, ie. veteran's quilt or baby for the hospital or police cars, etc. But, when some says I need a quilt today for a family in need, I panic! What do I choose? ALL of the quilts I keep for a reason - I love them. So, last year I did start making some random quilts to "hand out" in a crisis. I do not feel selfish for keeping the ones I love. After all, I wouldn't give away one of my children. Well... maybe someday I will let some of these go, but in the meantime - enjoy your wonderful treasures!

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  58. I am a slow quilter so not as many finishes. I have given away some big and small quilts to loved ones. I really need to make a quilt for my husband, just can’t decide exactly what. Thinking about it is fun though.

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  60. I thought a lot about your great post last days. I have only two quilts left made in the 90th. I started quilting again 7 years ago and every quilt was made as a gift for somebody. Sure the babyquilts were given away with a lot of love. The big ones too but Audrey I never made a quilt just for me. Strange. I have to think about that a bit more. Giving is something special but keeping too.

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  61. So many interesting themes in this thought provoking post. I have the same dilemmas as a prolific quilter. Thank you sharing your ideas which will help me as I continue to sort out my thoughts.

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  62. I love your article. You see, I have gifted many hand made items and got the awakening of a lifetime one Christmas. I had made hand stitched Christmas tree ornaments as gift tags for our family and friends' gifts. We had the celebration at a family member's home. As we started clean up, I realized that most had not noticed the hand stitched ornaments and into the trash they were going! I quietly pointed this out to the hostess and she SHRUGGED and continued to clean up.

    Yup.

    Those ornaments that I had so lovingly made went into the trash right in front of my eyes.

    I am now very particular about who I give hand made gifts to.

    Also, when someone asks me, "Who is that quilt for?", I have no qualms saying, "It's for me."

    I do give many of my quilts/handmade projects as gifts. I also sew and crochet for charity. But I have also learned my worth - and it's more that what's put into a trash can.

    Thank you for sharing and for your thoughtful article.

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