Here are some recent quilt finishes and the stories behind them:
1. The UFO who finally found a landing:
Last year when I started my quilting journey I just started making quilt tops till I found my quilting voice. As such I created this Jelly Roll quilt and realized, as I don’t like square quilts and had no idea what I wanted to do with this quilt top so I just put it to my UFO pile. Anyway caught up with an old work colleague who knew I quilted and asked how long would it take to make a baby quilt and I said a little while cause I have some other quilts I needed to complete. On the drive home I was thinking about her request and then remembered this UFO so got home took some pictures and asked if she wanted me to finish it for her and she loved. It was nice to have this UFO find its home.
The secondary story with this quilt is I have been trying to improve my binding skills and this time I tried using a Fat Quarter and the continuous binding trick and I hated it mostly because the bias made the binding very wobbly so I wont be doing that again.
Fabric: From spotlight unable to recall the name of the jelly roll
Quilting style: Straight line
2. The quilt that hurts
So this quilt has been a hard finish, a family member has asked me for a quilt and this is the pattern we agreed upon. Since they have asked for the quilt I have found out they are going to give the quilt to their dogs. For some reason this has been hugely upsetting for me and so I decided to start tracking how long it took me to make this quilt and I it took me about 15 hours to make this quilt including cutting, sewing, ironing and quilting. My big lesson with this quilt is not to make a quilt for someone who asks for it.
This quilt also has a secondary story, unfortunately I am not a pre washer and so with all this blue colour- the quilt has turned grey, I gave it a few baths in some soothing bubbles and this is as good as I could get it. So yes this quilt hurts on some many levels.
Fabric: Fat quarters from Spotlight
Pattern: Ensemble Quilt from Maywood Studio- Free Pattern (https://d1nvdmt0osh3cv.cloudfront.net/media/stash-item/file/k/s/kss_encorequiltpattern_web.pdf)
Quilting style: Straight line
3. The one with no story
This was just a fun easy sew and has no story. Its a baby shower present for a friend having her second baby, and her first girl she wanted something pink and girly. So went with this love heart pattern the heart is rainbows and the backing is pink and daisy not sure I can think of anything more girly then that.
Pattern: Simple Heart Block from Cluck Cluck Sew (Simple Heart Quilt -)
Quilting style: Straight line
I think all of these are lovely! Even a “rough” quilt can find a home. Each one has a piece of you and each on has a story.
I have never done the binding of a quilt with bias binding. Always straight, for the reason you experienced…it is too stretchy!
I also rarely prewash quilting fabrics, except for reds…and now, not even those because I wash the quilt before giving and use a color catcher. The blue one looks fine a little “gray”…
The first quilt is my favorite…so full of pattern and the colors go so well together…I am sure it will be loved …
Thanks for sharing your projects and your stories!
These are all beautiful! And their stories are interesting, too. I love that middle one, no matter who may be using it!
Your quilts are lovely!
But, it was like a dagger to my heart when I read:
they are going to give the quilt to their dogs
They can’t have any idea of the work involved. My first reaction was to ‘demand’ they reimburse you! (Let’s see, 15 hours @ $50 hr = $750 + materials.) Let 'em put that in their pipe & smoke it! (Or some such phrase - I’m sure there’s a even more suitable Aussie expression!)
They are lovely, my favourite is the one that is destined for the dogs. Personally if I knew it was going into a dog bed, I would never part with it. That is just too painful, I’m with @SewCrafty I would let them know exactly how much it cost in time and materials to make it.
I’m so angry on your behalf.
These are wonderful and I enjoyed each story (or lack there of). I’m partial to the first one as well. Beautiful colors and love the backing fabric.
Beautiful work! I especially love the baby blanket.
They are all lovely. And yes, @AIMR’s suggestion of a Color Catcher is so important! I don’t pre-wash fabrics either, because good quality quilting cottons are made to not need it, because they are color-fast. If you’re using less expensive fabrics, or if you aren’t sure of the quality, OR, if you’re making a quilt with a light/white background and seriously dark colors like burgundy or navy, definitely use a Color Catcher. I pick them up in the grocery store, and even though I wash a quilt before sending it on, I usually give a couple extra Color Catcher sheets to whomever is receiving a quilt from me, and let them know to use them for the first few washes.
As for the dog quilt… I wonder if you could try talking to the person who requested it about why they want a handmade quilt for their dogs. Are the dogs very, very dear to them? Are they unwell? Then you could explain just how long and how expensive it is to make a quilt. (I know on average it takes me about 30-40 hours per quilt.) If you explain that the costs of materials, and hours is the equivelant of an average work week, they might understand how ill-informed their request was. Perhaps you two could come to a common understanding. Did they buy the supplies for this one, or is it all on you?
Maybe you could buy the dogs a nicer fleece blanket, to keep them cozy, and then either keep the quilt, or give it to that person with the understanding it would be used by humans only.
My mom (who was a quilter) once asked me if I had any ‘quilts in the works’ that I didn’t have a plan for. I said no, I plan quilts carefully. Then she said I sometimes make scrap projects, and that she could use another quilt. (She has 2 that I made her, and 1 I made my dad.) At some point in the conversation she mentioned it would need to be grey. I asked why, and she said she wanted to use one to wrap around a window air conditioner unit during the winter. We had quite the conversation about abusing my time and effort, by doing something so thoughtless with a handmade item. Dad overheard the conversation, then he went after her for such a stupid request. But after all that, she did learn something. So perhaps you could help that person to understand their mistake too.
All the quilts are lovely. I love the fabrics you used for the first one. The moths, flowers, and color combo are wonderful.
I agree with everyone else is saying no to the “dog quilt”. I am sure if they knew how much this upset you they never would have asked. Their dog must be a precious member of their home, and they thought it was a compliment. I would point out that their claws could mess it up, and a regular blanket would do better. As far as the graying, I couldn’t tell from the picture. It looks wonderful to me.
I also think it is so sweet to give a gift to the future big sis! That quilt is darling.
Excellent points…I think we do have to educate people on all handmade items…many are used to cheap products from places that do not value human time or conditions…yeah, you can get a “handmade” quilt for less than $30 at big box stores, but that is not what we make…if people value you, then you might have to let them know how valuable your time, care and effort are…I would definitely retract my offer and maybe offer a faster, cheaper solution like an nice fleece blanket
These are all beautiful. The patience and care behind quilt making always amazes me. My favourite is the second one, and I can’t see the gray in the photo. I like it very much.
all 3 quilts are gorgeous!
This has been a fascinating discussion to read.
I’ve made quilts for dogs. And I’ve made quilts for spiders. I know I currently have a quilt being used as a curtain and one that lines the trunk of a car.
I suppose the difference is when I gift a quilt. I like to know it’s being used. Even if it’s to keep spiders warm and dark at night.
But if it’s a paid quilt. And you want to use it to move furniture or line the cat box. It’s yours.
I think a paid quilt would feel different to me, since it’s a job. I can go to a tailor, get a bespoke suit, and wear it to paint the house, and that would be fine as long as I paid the bill - I paid them for their time.
But when it’s a gift, especially a gift someone asked for, and you’re making it for them out of kindness, I would be offended if someone casually gave a quilt to their dogs, or used it to line the cat box.
A quilt is a very expensive gift (both in cost of material and in time spent) and I want people to use it, but I would want them to use it in a way that doesn’t immediately destroy it. I’ve made quilts for friends’ kids, and when you make quilts for young kids and they go on their beds, you know they’re eventually going to come into contact with all sorts of disgusting body fluids. But that would still feel different to me than someone using a brand new quilt as a drop cloth for painting or something. I also wouldn’t mind if an old quilt I made eventually ended up with the dog. I suppose once it’s given away I don’t have a say in it anymore, but there are people I made one thing for, and they’re never going to get something again because of what I saw them do with my crafted items. One (former) friend used the crib quilt I made for her first baby only as a cover to prevent her more precious items getting dirty, so she didn’t get quilts for the kids she had afterwards. The quilt wasn’t the reason we ended our friendship, but her disrespecting me after she had kids and I didn’t was definitely a major factor.
I think for some people, they feel like they’re doing you a favour by taking something off of your hands. They feel the joy is in the making and the product isn’t something that’s really worth a lot. Or they just say clumsy things. Such as @MistressJennie 's mom. I think if she asked you to sew an a/c cover for her in the first place, you would probably feel different about it. You could have said yes or no, but it probably wouldn’t feel so disrespectful.
“when it’s a gift, especially a gift someone asked for”
Is it still a gift when it’s asked for?
Not in a what do you want for your birthday gift sort of way. But if someone says to me. I want you to make - this quilt for me … I’m not sure it’s still a gift. But a crafty obligation.
There’s lots of nuance in this topic. Part of the reason I love this space.