Why I Make Quilts

While enjoying my coffee this morning, I came across this video on the Internet:
This got me thinking about the question that I am often asked by others, “Do you sell your quilts?”  I then started looking at other bloggers’ posts regarding this subject.  I came across this post from another blogger:
The author was discussing the selling of quilts.  Usually when the subject of selling a quilt comes up in a conversation, the person asking me if I sell my quilts doesn’t have the faintest idea how much the materials to make a quilt cost, let alone the value of my time and skill in making a one of kind quilt.  Once you educate the person as to what the materials to make a quilt cost, the next comment you usually get is, “Wow, you should sell your quilts!”  Remember, this comment is coming from the same person that had no idea what a quilt was worth and quite likely was not prepared to give me what a quilt is worth let alone enough to cover the cost of the materials to make the quilt.  What makes this person think that someone else would give me the kind of money that they aren’t prepared to give me?  So you see, I can totally agree with the author of the article, “I would rather give a quilt away than sell it for a price that offends me.”
I then came across another post:
This blog writer has calculated the cost of a quilt–up to $19,260.  Now obviously no one will pay you that kind of money for one of your quilts.  Does this mean that the quilts we make as quilters do not have worth?  On the contrary.  The author states that, “We who quilt all have worth. When we are motivated by showing love, concern and comfort to others, what does it cost? Our talents are gifts and we make treasures. Made with love and consideration…. OUR QUILTS ARE PRICELESS!! Not enough money in the entire world can buy a quilt of THAT kind. QUILTERS DO HAVE WORTH!”
So why do I quilt?  It obviously isn’t for the money because I am not selling my quilts.  I quilt for the pleasure and relaxation it brings me personally and the opportunity to explore and develop my creative side, but also for those special moments when my quilts can touch and impact the lives of others that I love and care for.  This year, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with inoperable cancer on June 27.  He was given 2 weeks to a couple of months to live.  When I heard the news, I immediately went to my stack of finished quilts and with the assistance of my husband, we picked out a quilt that we tought would be suitable for sharing with my brother-in-law.  After delivering the quilt to my brother-in-law, I received this e-mail from my sister-in-law:

Rick wants to say ‘Thank You’ for the quilt. His exact words were, “That was nice of her to do.” It hasn’t left the couch since you gave it to him but he did have to fold it down for a while because he was actually warm, and that hasn’t happened in a long time.

It is words like this that bring tears to my eyes and remind me of why I truly continue to make quilts.  I make quilts to touch lives.

Rick passed away September 2, 2012. Rest in peace, Rick.  You were loved and will be missed.

Made with love

And blessed with prayer

Especially for you

From someone who cares. 

Raising Funds for Community Services

My husband asked me if I had a finished quilt that I would donate to the silent auction that they are having at his place of work. Proceeds from the sale of the items at the silent auction will go to our local Community Services. We live in a very small town and Community Services doubles as the Food Bank amongst other helping and supporting services for members of our community.

I was planning to make a Christmas quilt, but it seems that lately I have more plans than time to carry them out. Time to move to Plan B. I dug through the trunk that holds some of my finished quilts and found this one. This quilt pre-dates the purchase of my long arm and so it was quilted on my DSM.

This quilt is 40.5″ x 62″ and is made from flannel scraps.

The quilt holder in this picture is my DH. He was careful to hold the quilt over his face. He said it was better that you see just his feet! LOL

The backing on the quilt depicts pictures of antique toys. I wanted a picture of this….
…but I made the mistake of saying, “show me the back” to my DH. Being the funny guy that he is, he did this:

I took advantage of the opportunity and quickly snapped a picture. I don’t think he thought I would be that quick on the shutter.

Quilting With Friends

On March 1st, A total of 29 quilters came together to make donation quilts for our guild’s We Care program.

We quilted from 9:30 to 3:30. The We Care Committee was extremely organized–as always. When we arrived, tables and chairs were already set up for us. Once we picked our spot, we proceeded to the front of the room where there was a table with our names already printed out on tags. We picked up our name tag and our hostess checked us in on her list. We were able to choose one of two quilt patterns ahead of time and then the committee put together the corresponding number of kits.

I have to show you what the kits looked like. A zip lock back contained everything but the batting and label to make the quilt. Pre-cut batting and labels were available for each of us at the end of the day. Double click on the picture below to see the detailed labels that were on the pre-cut pieces in the kits. This was quilting for dummies–how could you go wrong–the borders, fabric A, fabric B, etc were all labeled with small pieces of paper pinned to the strips. The large dragon fly fabric was my backing.

There were two “model” quilts on display to help us visualize what our finished quilts would look like–this was the first one.

This was the second quilt.

Everyone was busy all day. This hall is a favorite location for our guild workshops as there is lots of light and lots of room.

We broke for lunch, but many ate their lunch and got right back to work. Everyone was enjoying themselves so much, they didn’t want to stop.

By the end of the day, most of the quilters finished their quilts to the flimsy stage and then received assistance from the committee in sandwiching their quilts. It makes it easier to finish the quilting process at home if your quilt is already sandwiched and prepared for quilting when you leave for the day.
This quilter had to leave early so she didn’t have a chance to get her borders on yet.

These are some of the other finished flimsies. The fabric combinations put together by the committee were wonderful.

What a great way to spend a Saturday–quilting with friends!

First Finish for 2008

This is my first quilted finish for 2008–Mexico Strings. I quilted this quilt on New Year’s Day and put the last hand stitch in the binding on January 9.

This quilt finished 47 1/4″ x 62 1/4″ and will be making its way to Pam for her Quilts For Mexico project. Pam will be taking the donated quilts to an orphanage in Mexico later this year. I encourage you to make a quilt and donate it to Pam’s project to help her reach her goal of 200 quilts!

The blocks for this quilt were foundation pieced onto used color catcher sheets. Once the sheets are covered with strings, I trimmed the blocks to 4″ x 9″. The sashing is cut 2″ x 9″ and cornerstones are 2″ square. The outer green border is cut 6″ wide–no special reason other than that is the width of my ruler (6″) so strips are easy to cut.

Happy New Year!

We spent New Year’s Eve at home with our kids and their friends. Tradition on New Year’s Eve in our house is to eat simple snack like foods including cold cuts, cheeses, dips, chips, etc. and to watch movies. We stay up until we watch the ball fall at midnight in Times Square and then head to bed. A quiet bunch really!

This morning, both my husband and daughter had to work and my son slept in. I was able to start the first day of the new year having my coffee with my on-line friends. We kept the communication lines open and checked with each other as we worked through our chosen projects for the day. We all spent the day quilting and working on projects that we plan to donate to our favorite charitable group(s).

This is the quilt that I worked on today. Over the last couple of days I pieced some of my Color Catcher foundation string blocks into this top. Today, I was able to get it quilted. It is now trimmed and “binding ready”.

I love the bright green border. I think that this bright green is my new favorite colour!

I am thrilled to report that everything used in this quilt was from existing stash. I even pieced the batting from 5 different strips of batting that were leftover trimmings from other projects. (Colette, the batting leftovers from your purple quilt are in this project! Thanks for leaving them behind!) I used up thread leftovers on 6 different bobbins. (It is a pain to keep changing the bobbin so often, but it is worth it to empty the bobbins of all that thread and have them ready for new projects.) The backing was made from 11 different pieces of fabric some of which was left from my garage sale find last summer.

I was concerned about the added thickness of the Color Catchers so I quilted this one with a simple pattern–The Wave. I did not need to be concerned, there were no issues at all with the extra thickness caused by the foundations so I will be a little more adventurous the next time around.

I have many of these blocks left in my box. In fact, I still cannot close the lid on the box as there are enough string blocks left in that box to make at least another 3 quilts! I can see more of these little quilts in my future!

Today could not have been more perfect. I spent the day quilting and chatting with friends. Today was the last day of my holiday and tomorrow it is back to work!