Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Does It Matter?

Once, someone very close to me described me as a Quilt Factory.  Another time, a family member asked me how many more quilts I'd make before I was finished. Not sure how to take these comments, it has caused me to ponder, at times, why I do what I do.  This is a pile of quilts that I collected a few years ago to give away to children I've never met.....
Some of these quilts I made myself and others were lovingly created by a few other women, who, like me, enjoy giving something handmade to special people... To show them love and value... To give them comfort and encouragement. Oh, there are lots of other reasons to make quilts.... being creative; loving pretty fabric; using my hands; hanging out with like-minded people; mastering a challenging pattern; learning something new; I'm really a hoarder; it's just fun....on and on. But, on the bottom rung of all the other reasons that I quilt, is that foundation, I think: Giving.
A few weeks ago, a fellow quilter asked if anyone would like to buy an extra quilt she had. It was kind of a new thought for me, as I've never sold any of my quilts. Would I have the same love for quilting if I was making them to sell? Not sure. But this I am sure of....I love to give away things that I make. Especially to children. Some that I'll probably never meet.
My son, Drew, took several quilts with him to Nepal. This little boy has become very special to him.
 I think that quilts can matter. Do you?
It's worth pondering.

25 comments:

  1. Oh yes, it certainly does matter--I have never sold any--given only. I think those questions are strange. Do you ask an artist why he keeps on painting pictures?? Or a composer, or any other creative person? just ignore it.... Hugs, Julierose

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  2. I have never sold any either, but I give them away. It is odd in a way, as I would feel uncomfortable giving away such an expensive shop-bought gift, but that is just a quirk.
    My dilemma at the moment is that I am looking at some quilts sitting in a cupboard, unused, and I want to donate them. Obviously, I can give away anything I made, but can I give away one that my friends have made for me?

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  3. Wow! Some lovely thoughts. I've given many quilts away to charities in the past few years. It's hard to part with my work that I love so much. But once they're gone, it's such a great feeling knowing they may be making someone happy. Like you, I'll never stop. I'll just have to keep giving them away!

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  4. Well said my friend that I've never met. You've expressed the heart of quilting for so many of us.

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  5. Oh my yes yes yes . . . all those quilts you have made and given away really really do matter. They have surely warmed many a heart.

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  6. That's awesome.I've never sold any,I gifted them to family and friends who love quilts.

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  7. I think Anne summed it up too- the quilts we give away warm the heart and the body! I find that giving away my quilts adds yet another dimension to the making process- we get to enjoy the making and the giving!!!

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  8. those people have never found their passion.
    What you think and feel is important --make a wild quilt and give them something to really talk about

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  9. I knew from the start that my love of making quilts would exceed the number of family and friend recipients. So all along I have sent quilts off to flood victims, fire victims, auctions to benefit vets, children in crisis -- life events that speak to my heart. Every once in a while I'll get a letter from a recipient and it is always such a joy. I have made a few commission pieces, including baby quilts, but most folks know I have a large collection and come to me to purchase when they need a special gift (wedding, graduation, big birthday). I could no more stop quilting than stop breathing and my husband knows where to hand out any remaining quilts when I leave this good earth.

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  10. I've made over 200 quilts, never sold one, I too give them away, our local children's hospital, to the injured veterans, women's shelters and senior centers love them and to friends and family. Making quilts is good therapy and makes me happy!!! Love it that others feel the same!!!!

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  11. I can't add to the wise comments already posted, except to say that there are 2 kinds of people in the world. Some people just do not understand the drive to create and the joy of giving, of saying to the recipient, "you matter". I love to see a quilt I've given away being used, and sometimes walking into a family member's room with one of my quilts there is like seeing an old friend!
    Thanks for sharing this. Keep on creating!

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  12. I make quilts for family and friends and the next generation of friends. I also do some charity quilts - at least one in ten. Sometimes I feel that God has a hand in what I do. Months ago there was a fabric with a wildlife theme(Brambleberry Ridge?) on sale and I fell in love and bought it for a quilt for a friend of my daughter's that I had never met. The quilt was presented this week and on a day where the pregnancy went from normal to moderate risk. The friend and future dad is a coworker and my daughter had never asked about the nursery knowing that I had purchased the fabric. When she gave him the quilt he was thrilled and said the news at the doctor's had been worrisome. He looked at the quilt and was taken aback since over the weekend they had bought a stag head wall hanging for the room. The colors were perfect and he was touched that someone would take the time to hand craft something for his baby. This is why I do it and sometimes I am open to doing something I am not quite sure why I am doing. My leaps of faith have turned into my most memorable quilts. Keep up your quilting. Look around and know that hundreds maybe thousands of people yearly are touched by the quilts made by quilters who like you are often asked "Why?".

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  13. Let me just say those photos of Drew, with your quilts and those children have so touched me this morning! I have loved your blog for several years, and have seen so many quilts come to be and seen them go to charities of your heart...but never where they landed! How very special!

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  14. What a beautifully written post. It DOES matter--on so many levels. I have never sold a quilt either, although several have been auctioned off and I know people have benefited directly from the money raised by having access to clean water, etc. But I really love the pictures of Drew with recipients of your lovely handwork. Levi is currently in the local children's hospital to receive breathing treatments after a particularly bad asthma attack. When we visited him last night, he was covered with a bright quilt--orange squares alternating with some car print with flames. He has quilts at home that I have made, but it warmed my heart that he gets to take this quilt home. Since he has shown the most interest in quilting, we talked about making a quilt together to donate to the hospital for another little boy who might need it.

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  15. Most definitely, they matter! I have worked on many Quilts of Valor and presented a few of them. There is nothing like seeing the face of someone that sees that you cared enough to do this for them. I believe it brings healing to the spirit.

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  16. Amen! You said it beautifully. I get the same comments and I never seem to be able to put it into words. Well said!

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  17. Absolutely quilts matter. They are a gift of love. All the time and thought that goes into them. I love to think about the person who will get my quilt while I am sewing it. It gives me time to pray for them while I'm sewing : )

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  18. What a tender subject you've chosen to post about. Though it, you've centered on the most important part of quiltmaking... one that I've selfishly neglected. This is a sweet reminder. Bless you.

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  19. Wonderful post Carla. Yes, quilts DO matter!!! There isn't enough time to make all the quilts needed in this world. Quilts equal love, comfort, hugs and say "someone cares". If anyone doubts that, your last two pictures should put that question to rest. Hugs to you my sweet friend!

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  20. It's hard to explain to someone why we do what we do, but you said it well. People that ask that question, I'm certain do not have the creative bug! I'm a bit of a quilter, but mostly a knitter and I always have a project in my hand. I never sell anything and make everything for myself, but if my daughter or granddaughter or a friend admire it, I hand it over! I make loads of baby sweaters and give them away to babies I'll never meet. That's just the way I like it.

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  21. Jesus doesn't need quilts... yet, if you offer one to a homeless person, you'll be warming Jesus. Ya might wanna think bout that. God bless you.

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    1. And you'll be on the Daniel 12:3 payroll. Love you, dear. See you in Seventh-Heaven.

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    2. And you'll be on the Daniel 12:3 payroll. Love you, dear. See you in Seventh-Heaven.

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  22. Jesus doesn't need quilts... yet, if you offer one to a homeless person, you'll be warming Jesus. Ya might wanna think bout that. God bless you.

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