Tag Archives: Giving quilts away

Where Do You Keep All Your Quilts?

If you’re a quilter like me, and haven’t managed to sell or give away all the quilts you’ve made, there’s a stockpile somewhere in your home. Where do you keep your quilts?

There are quilts on my walls and my floors,
On beds and tucked into drawers.
Still I will make them
Though my offspring won’t take them.
They already have quilts galore!

About a month ago I asked my children if anyone wanted a Christmas quilt, not this year, but next year. Crickets. No one even answered. Well, okay, I guess the answer is “no.” Each of the grandchildren has at least two quilts, and for various reasons, some have more than that. The grown-ups apparently have as many as they want, too, including some table runners and other decorative small items. Christmas stockings? Those are all made, at least until the new baby is born next year.

So I store quilts. I have a bunch on walls, some favorites of Jim’s and mine. Most of the rest are laid flat on a bed downstairs. Of course, when someone comes to stay the night, the quilts all get folded up and moved! It’s quite the process and feels like moving so many dead bodies from one room to another.

There is one quilt I’m about to send off to a long-time friend. Long-time, 25 years since we met, and though we haven’t lived in the same community for most of that time, we’ve stayed in touch.

He grew up in New Mexico, and after time in both Iowa and North Carolina, he and his wife recently moved back to New Mexico. I made this quilt in 2014, prior to visiting the state for the first time. It’s called “Southwestern Sun.” It’s about 60″ square.

With bars, flying geese, and hourglasses, the construction was very simple. Even the center block is just a fancy nine-patch. The apparent complexity is from the use of color and value. For example, alternating light orange and dark rusty orange in the final border gives a sense of three-dimensionality. The geese in multiple directions provide a sense of movement.

In some of my medallions all the corners are different and only relate to their respective borders. In this one they are patterned, drawing the eye outward with the repetition, alternating plain rust squares and two other, more complex blocks. Repeating with alternating designs creates a rhythm.

Another thing to note is the use of multiple fabrics of the same colors. There are several of each light orange, rusty orange, dark green, lighter green, and blue. If you use at least two of any color, you have invited another and might as well use it. When you do, you make the quilt more interesting, because there is more to look at. All of the fabrics except the back were from my stash.

At the time I felt like the colors were very strong. Since then my palette has become more saturated, so this doesn’t seem unusual to me any more.

Once this is gone, I’ll still have plenty of quilts to enjoy. At this time of year we bring Jim’s quilt up to use on the couch. Tiny whole-cloth lapquilts, made while practicing machine-quilting, are ready at our kitchen table to keep us warm there. Quilted placemats take their turns on the table.

Where do you keep your quilts? Do you use them? Do you give them away or sell them? Tell us in comments. 



Saturation Point

Why do we do this? Why do we keep making quilts, long past the point when family members and friends want them? Or past when we have “friends” we’re willing to give to?

I have a bed downstairs COVERED with quilts, lots of quilts, at least a dozen quilts right now. Jim asks, “what will you do with this quilt?” And I say, “I think I’ll put it on the bed downstairs.” This has happened enough times now that he rarely asks anymore.

My son has said he wants no more quilts. Yes, he’s in the military, subject to moving regularly, and yes, he lives in a small apartment without much storage space. Daughters and grandchildren have quilts, at least two each. They, also, don’t have storage space for more.

Charity/love/donation quilts? I could make those. I do make those. I’ve made dozens of those. And yet, there are two things I love most about quilting. One is the mental challenge, and one is the beautiful product. Frankly, charity quilts rarely satisfy either of those motivations for me.

I give quilts away. Last year I made about 20 quilts and gave about half that number. I am not un-generous, I don’t think. But I make more than I can reasonably give.

Now I am working on a quilt that no one will want. Another one. I’ve reached the saturation point and then some.

I think I’m having an existential crisis. Why do this? What is the purpose? If I’m the only one who cares, is that enough?

Your thoughts?

Making a List and Checking It Twice…

No, I’m not Santa, and I’m not making Christmas lists yet. But I am planning to give some quilts away.

Until about three years ago, I gave away almost every quilt I made. But for a variety of reasons, my pace of giving slowed substantially. Most of those reasons are still in place, so my gifts will be carefully considered. But there are several my heart is ready to release. A few of them have new owners chosen, while others will be more challenging to decide.

Jim asked for one quilt to give away. I’m not sure if he has a plan for that or not, but I look forward to watching the process unfold. One will be a baby present for neighbors, who also happen to be friends of our son. Isn’t it sweet?

Bunnies for Baby

At least one will go to my guild as a service (donation) quilt. I never did like the combination of fabrics.

And I have chosen family and friends for five of them. A few others are candidates for giving, too, but I’ll have to think a bit more about receivers.

One thing I have learned while stockpiling my work is that giving all of them away isn’t okay. Nor is keeping them all. I need a balance between the two, allowing me to celebrate the gifts of love and friendship and family, as well as those of my art and my own need for comfort.

Hourglass Top Done … AND Giving It Away

You might have noticed I’m not quilting much lately. (Plenty going on, though — I haven’t been idle.) However I did finally finish the top to my hourglass quilt. It’s big, about 94″ square, a good size for a queen bed. And it’s too big for a photo while it lies on the floor. But here are a some shots to give you an idea of how it looks.

The blocks are 8″ finish in a 10×10 layout, making the center 80″ square. The borders add another 7″ on each side. I chose a 3-layered border because the lovely rusty red print was too busy to sit next to the busy blocks. It needed separation. The innermost border is very dark green, though it might read black on your screen. The narrow middle border is orangey-gold. I have a dark green with olive print to bind it.




My sister Cathie will quilt it when I visit her in a few days. I’m looking forward to seeing it finished, and then giving it away. (I’m looking forward to see her, too. 🙂 )

In fact, I’ve sorted my quilts and picked a number of them to give away. I won’t miss them when they’re gone. Do you?