Giving | Thanks

Lately I’ve given several quilts away. Giving reinforces the sense of connection I have with those to whom I give, and the act nourishes me. Each time I give leads to a renewed sense of purpose in my art, and helps me explore more means of expressing my emotions and thoughts.

To my children:

To my friends:

To my extended family:

To my wonderful neighbors:

To our veterans:

And to you, my readers, thank you, also. There are infinite calls for your time and attention. Thanks for spending some of that with me.

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21 thoughts on “Giving | Thanks

  1. Kathy Aho in MN

    Always great to see your work! Lucky are those with whom you share it. Bravo to you for gifting it as I am always sad to hear of quilters who were burned once on gift giving and will “never again” give a quilt away. Kathy Aho in MN

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  2. denmck

    I too really enjoy giving quilts away, however there are some that I am very attached to and need to keep them near. 🙂 But there are others that are also hidden away, LOL. “Learning” quilts that I’m afraid would not be enjoyed by anyone! 🙂

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’ll admit, there are some I need to keep longer. But if I’ve made it — from the beginning — for someone in particular, it is their quilt, not mine.

      I do have a couple of quilts from my beginner days. Until last year those were the only ones I kept. Then I made one only for ME. And that was the beginning of my selfishness. 🙂

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  3. treadlemusic

    The first quilts I made were made from bits and pieces of items inherited from dear family members…..those remain with me. They have also been the quilts of my “trunk shows” for the passed 2 years. Now, I’m making new quilts for upcoming speaking events (in between clients’ quiltings!!!) and these will definitely be gifted at some future time and will be replaced with another new set. Family have already received many quilts/table toppers, etc, etc. Placing a price on any of my quilts is not possible for me but gifting them is not a problem. I guess it’s cuz I price them super high (in dollar terms) so that gifting is the only option!!! LOL!!!!!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Exactly so. I’ve had people suggest I could give them quilts… My answer is that they are so valuable in $ and time that the only people who get them are people I love dearly and people I don’t know at all. That anyone else can’t afford them. But let’s just take the quilt I just made for my son, the one with the triangles and the Air Force center. It’s about 60″ square. Materials alone are worth about $100. Then take my time. It was pretty easy to execute, which means I only put in 50 hours or so. Let’s just say my time is worth $20/hr. Then we’re talking about a couch throw valued at more than a thousand dollars. That doesn’t even price in design or uniqueness or anything else. Who would pay that much, when you can go to Kohls and spend $18? NO ONE.

      So no, you CAN’T afford my quilts! 🙂

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      1. treadlemusic

        PRECISELY!!!! And those quilts (for $39, or less) are hand made by some little gal(?) at $0.50/day maybe with materials to match that level! Each situation has to be evaluated on its own merits (or lack thereof!!!). I have to remind myself that part of this “quilt thing” is education…..of those who “have no clue” as to what really goes into QUILT/TEXTILE ART!!!!

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  4. Jim in IA

    Creative people have probably always faced this dilemma. What to do with their work? If you are a quilter, it can accumulate into large volumes if it isn’t gifted. Painters can have similar problems. Writers used to have reams of paper pile up. Today, electronic storage reduces the physical stacks. Photographers don’t have boxes and albums holding their work. It is easily shared.

    The thread running through each is how creative people feel the need to express themselves through their works and share it with just the right recipients. I like how you do it.

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  5. socialstitcher

    Like you I also enjoy making quilts and giving them away. I started my 5th baby quilt last night. I love the colours in 2nd and the 5th one in these. My friends keep saying “you could sell them” but as you say when you work out the costs and the labour time no one is going to pay enough for them. I’d rather give them with love rather than sell them and feel shortchanged.
    Lois

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  6. KerryCan

    You’re a very generous person, Melanie! I’ve had a hard time giving quilts away. Maybe it’s because I’ve only made, maybe, 5 over the years. I’ve only made bed-size quilts and worked primarily by hand and that makes for slow going. By the time I’ve finished, I feel so tied to each quilt, I can’t bear to let it get away. I probably need to get over myself! All the quilts you show here are appealing–I really like the one for your son!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I understand why you have a hard time giving them away. I’m a little too prolific to keep them all! In fact, until middle of last year, I only kept a handful.

      Thanks for the compliments. The one for Son was easy and fast — it looks far more complex than it actually is. And I like it, too! 🙂

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  7. snarkyquilter

    Your post spurred me to count up the number of quilts I’ve given away for gifts and auctions. I came up with 29, most of them wall hangings. I have given away 2 bed size quilts, but I don’t make many of them. I’m not counting coverlets made for the local children’s hospital as they’re not really quilted and were made with donated fabric. I try to make a baby quilt for each new niece or nephew, and have made at least one quilt for every close family member. Unless I’m asked, I don’t plan to give away more quilts to family members. From their perspective one is plenty.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It’s hard to know for some people if more is better. I think all of my immediate family would be glad to have another quilt, but that doesn’t mean it would be used. And I’d rather give them to be used than stored. For the next layer of family, they each have one and that’s enough. 🙂

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  8. zippyquilts

    Ooh, I like the pinwheel inside the star! ‘Tis the season to be behind on blog reading 😉. It’s nice to see a post about how good it is to give away quilts instead of on how costly they are (however true that may be).

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