Friday, October 2, 2009

A Sucky Day

For the last several days, I have been working my ass off to finish the Ikea quilt in time for its recipient's second birthday party, which was this evening. This would be the first quilt I have done completely from start to finish.

On Monday, I taped the backing to the floor, spread out the batting and laid the quilt top over that, pinning it all together with about 7 million safety pins. It was hard work, but worth it because it was a gift for a friend's child.

The rest of the week, I stitched in the ditch, the first time I have ever tried to quilt anything. I had a hell of a time with the thread tension, an issue which is still not totally resolved, and my lines aren't exactly always in the ditch. Wrestling the quilt through the machine and rolling and unrolling it over and over was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it because it was a gift for a friend's child.

The only part I couldn't finish was the binding. I trimmed the quilt and wrapped it up and brought it to the party. My friend helped her child open it, pulled the folded quilt out of the bag, never unfolded it to see the business side, so only saw the backing, put it back in the bag and never said another word about it. She had more to say about a toy cash register another person gave her daughter than about a handmade quilt.

I am so sad right now, I cannot even tell you. I put so much into that quilt, so much labor and so much love. And now, it sits here, waiting to be bound and I feel like I may just not even bother.

Have you ever made someone a quilt, only to wish later that you hadn't?

34 comments:

Pokey said...

Sorry, yes it happens. Even the best of friends can be insensitive.
My friend's son got married, and at the family reception they were given a beautifully pieced, queen size quilt- that was pulled out of the bag, flashed at the crowd, and promptly returned to the bag. It now resides in a hall closet. Beth and I scheme a break-in to steal it away, we would enjoy it!
The quilt and the break-in!!

Joy said...

Some people simply have no idea what goes into making a quilt. The time, the effort, the cost .... not to mention the love!!! Perhaps a quiet word to your friend might be in order. Me, I think you're a sweetheart for making that for a dear little 2 year old. Bless you :o)!!
Hugs,
Joy :o)

Candied Fabrics said...

I'll bet every quilter has a similar tale of woe to tell in this regard, I know I do. What I've learned is to do my best to figure out how the gift would be received, and make (or not make) a quilt that matches the reception.

In my experience, the times when the quilt is the hit of the shower and cherished forever outweigh the sad times...and make giving quilts worthwhile.

Vicki W said...

Yes I have. You just have to move on from it and focus on the people who appreciate them. Never make anyone in that family a quilt ever again. For any reason. Period.

P. said...

Man, that blows. I'm sure my day is coming. Seems almost inevitable that not everyone will appreciate your efforts. Get it bound and back to her, and maybe the second time she sees it, she will have time to appreciate it in a different setting.

Ruthie said...

I'm so sorry that all your hard work wasn't appreciated. I believe it happens to most of us at one time or another....sometimes more than once. Both of my step-sons received quilts from me when they were teenagers and now in their 20s, they have moved so many times that neither one of them has their quilt.

Dayna said...

there are those who appreciate the work that goes into making a quilt and there are those who think of it as "just a blanket". And obviously she won't be setting a very good example for her child.

Donna said...

That really hurts, and it's happened to me also. Try to put your hurt feelings aside and finish the quilt. You could even ask your friend (nicely) if she would prefer another gift. Your thoughtful quilt deserves a home where it will be used and appreciated.
Don't let this experience dampen your enjoyment of quilting...some people just don't get it, but many do. If your friend doesn't recognize the time and effort you put into your quilt, then give or donate it to someone else who will.
Cheer yourself up...go buy some new fabric for your next project!

Mary said...

Man, I bet your stomach just sunk. I know mine did for you. That so totally sucks.
I have found that kids do not always appreciate a handmade gift on opening it cause the toys are always so much fun at the time. Hopefully the mom will be enthusiastic when you get the finished quilt to them and by then the toys will have probably faded from favor.
Do not let this stop you from making quilts as gifts. Most people appreciate them.

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

I never make a quilt for someone unless they know about it and are interested.. wait that is completely not true. Im currently making quilts for my step kids... super easy quilts that I'm not invested in. I view the process of the making and the doing as a gift for me. My husband is pleased and touched that I am sewing for his kids. What they think about it is out of our control.
any chance you can tell them you noticed they didn't care for it and you love to give them "a useless piece of plastic crap"(insert name of toy) in exchange? I agree with Vicky "never again"

soggybottomflats said...

Geez, my heart goes out to you. Like you and the other ladies, I have experienced that crappy reception. I think I would probably wait a week or two, ask mommie if the kid would rather have something different, slowly finish the binding and wait @ 6 months before delivering the quilt! I know, kinda bitchy, but that's me. Last year I gave my step daughter a $45. king size quilt for Christmas...because I knew she wouldn't appreciate it. I have never heard if she did or not, lol, go figure.
My heart goes out to you Megan, it shouldn't but it does happen. Then the one time you don't put much thought or love into a quilt, the recipient cries over the cherished gift and it all comes back. Good luck with this one and let us know how it works out, Elaine

Quinta da Quilter said...

Sadly, almost everytime I have made one and given it away . . .
it totally sucks!

Joyce said...

When I give someone a quilt they are expected to swoon or gasp with amazement and be almost too struck speechless to thank me. I have been moderately successful so far. At least they have all loved them. I do pick my recipients carefully though. Family (who want to be invited to future Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners) and close friends who know what I expect.
Maybe buy another toy for her and keep the quilt.

SewDivaDiane said...

It happens to all of us-even family does it sometimes. I would say finish it, invite the friend and kid over and try again. Maybe this time it will be different.

Cindy said...

So sorry this happened to you. No one should go through the heartache of giving a quilt that is not appreciated.
I made a queen size medallion quilt for my son and his wife. Neither one has ever said a word about the quilt - nor the hours I spent free motion quilting it on my tiny machine. Not even a thank you. my heart is still broken about that.
Give yourself a hug, and be thankful you are able to make yourself happy with your quilting and move on.

Lynne said...

So sorry it wasn't appreciated, I know the feeling well. Folks who don't craft or quilt have no idea of the love, skill and cost which goes into a handmade quilt. Nowadays I would only gift a quilt to someone who has admired my work, I can't bear to see the disappointment of someone who doesn't rate 'home made'.

Anonymous said...

Been there. I would be tempted to finish it and give it to charity or one of my pets. I know they would appreciate it.

On the other end of expectations, I once made a quilt for a deployed soldier with the belief it would be burned at the end of deployment (not a bad thing--many items get trashed in the rush to come home). It didn't burn. He really loves it and uses it at home now.

Gene Black said...

Since it was barely glanced at, why not go to WalMart and buy a $20 quilt to replace it. THEN bind the other one and keep it as a gift to yourself for being smart and talented.

I haven't had that happen with a quilt. I did have it happen with a sculpture I made. The husband commissioned it. The wife loves dragons. So I sculpted a dragon that several of my blog readers would have LOVED to have. ( I know I could have sold it.) Anyway, since they are dear friends and both have disabilities, I gave it to him to give to her for their anniversary. He was thrilled.
She has never even mentioned getting it. you just never know..

Mosquito Farms said...

That happened to me with my first quilt I ever made. It was for my nephew. He was 6 at the time. I took it back home and it sat in my sewing room for 2 years before I put the binding on it and finally gave it to him. I just didn't have the heart to work on it because I got upset every time I looked at it. I know better now!

HRH Gigi said...

It does happen and it does suck. I wish your friend had appreciated the effort that went into your precious gift. And from the comments it seems to happen more than it should. But let's also ask ourselves - do we give gifts only for the kind of thank you we get in return? Or can we focus on the joy in creating something and being able to share our talents? Yes, the insensitivity hurts, but try not to hurt back just because you were hurt. Try to focus on the feelings you had (okay, maybe focus on the good feelings you had) when creating the quilt in the first place. That is what it is all about, right? (Please say yes.)

Anonymous said...

I understand where you are coming from..the last two baby quilts I made ( both over the top adorable and crib size ) were for great niece and nephew ( different family, different states ) I never got so much as a thank you or oh bye the way the box arrived! Had it not been for the grandparents comments I would never no they were recieved.. What have I learned from this ..A. think 3 times before taking the time and effort to make a quilt for someone else, B. If you send a gift send it so the reciever must sign for it..and C. The majority of younge adults today have no , I repeat no social skills at all. Guess the TV failed to teach that...Where were their parents ? ! MKR

Laroc Originals said...

I haven't had it happen, yet. But I usually ask if the person would like a quilt or not before I start. As I have 12 grand children and 3 great children there are plenty of family members who love to receive my quilts. Put it all behind you and move on, don't let it spoil your future quilting.

Silkquilter said...

As everybody else has said... it happens. However, you never know how the 2 year old will react if she gets a chance to see/use it without the distraction of party, too many people and TOYS. Children that age love bright multicolored blankies. I made a quilt, utility style (a piece of every fabric in my dress making scrap bag) for my infant son because grandma didn't get his quilt done before he was getting cold. In my opinion, it was UGLY. However, he loved it and when it wore out he wanted another just like it. I finished that one in time for his senior year at high school. You should have seen that great big boy parade around with his "blankie" wrapped around him. lol. Son #2 got a 2nd hand quilt from my grandma that she got at a yard sale. it was bright yellow with a big duck on it is. Basically a cheater cloth quilt. Grandma did a little repair, moved the pompoms to the corners and gave it too me. I was effusive with praise because I knew her limitations. (I was dismayed privately). However, again son loved it to death. One day it got left at the daycare, 20 miles away from home. We HAD to go back and get it because no way was he going to sleep with out his duck. again, lol. Try again. :)

Sarah Star said...

I've had the same thing happen recently with a knit hat and booties set. I spent hours working on it (duckie theme), just for it to get an "aww, that's nice" (throw it to the side) reception. The fleece blankie with the crocheted edge that was thrown in last minute? Got the most attention.

It happens, and it sucks. I've contemplated making baby quilts for Christmas presents (6 babies in the family between March '09 and January '10), but if I do, they're going to be simple.

Any quilts that are not for direct family or me, I would list on Etsy. Hopefully someone who will pay for it will love it. :)

Barbara Myltschenko said...

I came across this post late, but I had to comment! That sucks! It also happened to me though the first time I gave a quilt away. I had just started quilting and made one for my niece who was just over 1 at the time. My sister-in-law opened it up and said something to the effect "oh I thought you said you were good at this, and what's with the colours, wow, I guess she might grow to like it"

NICE! I had to cry later to myself, all the work and effort and I thought it was great.

Deb C. said...

Yep. Has happened to me about 1/3 of the time. The rest of the time, it's for family who knows how much time and effort it takes to make one of these. Maybe the mom didn't care for the colors even tho she only saw the back??? But you know what--the child will just love it. Kids love quilts. May not seem like it at the time when there's toys dancing in their vision. But quilts are nice and snuggly and always THERE when you need it! I say, finish it and present it without the competition of toys, and the child with absolutely adore it!

Laurel said...

Megan, I got a similar response at my SIL's baby shower last year. I felt bad. But then during a visit to her home I found she was using the quilt on the floor for the new baby to lay on and crawl on. I'd rather it was used to death than sitting in a closet on the shelf anyday. So you never can tell if its the item itself or the occassion. I say finish it and give it back to her and the baby. Make it a private time and I'll bet you get a different response.

DangAndBlast! said...

Even from the in-laws, once, I got an, "oh, I guess you're short on cash, you couldn't buy us something" reaction. (The husband's grandmother, who lives with them, did appreciate it, and in her own quiet way makes sure I know that, though, which makes up for it a bit.) Well, at least you only do it once -- you know what people are worth spending time on, and what people aren't...

(heh -- WV: Mizer. Guess that's what they think I am with money; that's what I think they are with time.)

Whytefeather said...

I'd finish the binding as soon as I could and give it straight to the kid... "Look (baby's name) what I made special just for you!" I wouldn't worry too much about the mom's reaction since I had made it for the baby... but it's possible she was rushed during the birthday party?

I always worry that what I make isn't "good enough", even when I'm gifting it to family and close friends. On the occasions that some thing wasn't as well received as I thought it would/should be, I've tried to console myself with the thought/meaning I had put behind making that particular gift for that particular person and moved on to the next project.

sunporchquilts said...

oh yeah, been there, done that. Made a quilt for dd's teacher when he got married, who on its receipt commented that his cats might like it... You kind of just have to let it go, although its hard!

fingerthumb said...

I can totally relate. After a few gifts were received, um, undewhelmingly (I don't think that's a word, but you know what I mean, I've developed a strategy. My policy on handmade gifts, and how to avoid the heartache of ungrateful recipients is this:
1. Do not surprise people with a handmade gift. Ask if they would like a quilt/sweater/whatever, and then, only if they ENTHUSIASTICALLY say yes, go ahead and make it for them.
1.b. if it is a garment, have them pick the pattern and materials. This way you know they will like it and they will get to anticipate it too.
2. Only give handmade gifts to those who are hand makers. People who like brand-new store-bought mall crap will not appreciate a handmade quilt. This is their problem, not yours.

Mrs Moen said...

Sorry this happened to you; it does to most of us. Some friends of ours moved into a new house, and I made a quilt for them. I was rather new to quilting, and put a lot of effort in designing and piecing the top and quilting the thing. She happyly informed me later that they loved the backing fabric so much more than the top, that they used it on the wrong side. I would have preferred she did not say anything, they could have used it on any side they wanted. I have not made more quilts for them.

KateKwiltz said...

Yes, and it really pissed me off, because I'd been on the fence about giving it away. You have to be very careful, I've found, in selecting recipients who know and appreciate the kind of work that goes into your gifts, whatever they may be. Some people just don't get it. Have a drink and move on!

finger thumb said...

Hi Megan, I can totally relate!
I just wanted to let you know that this inspired me to post on my blog about this same issue, with link back to your post here.
here's where you can read my post.
http://fingerthumb.typepad.com/finger-thumb/2009/10/how-to-give-and-receive-a-handmade-gift.html
thanks!