‘Tis the Quilt Giving Season

tree-for-blogChristmas is coming,

My stash is getting fat,

I’m giving five quilts and ten placemats,

If I don’t receive a thank you, a hug or nod will do

If you don’t take care of my quilts, it’s the end of you!

‘Tis the season quilters live for- gift-giving time, i.e. quilt giving time. Giving a quilt is risky business. Some obvious ones:

  • Your sister thinks a “homemade” gift is something you do to save money.
  • Your uncle “loves” it so much he lets his dog sleep on it.
  • Your son washes and dries it with his work out clothes.

My story?

A few years back, I gave a masterpiece to my sister. A table topper made from a whole cloth, hand-dyed fabric, machine quilted in such detail that the 18″ x 18″ topper took 60 hours to quilt (à la Diane Gaudynski.) At the same time, I gave her a small vase that matched her china (found on a close out rack.)

Seeing the topper….”Oh, that’s nice.” Seeing the vase…”Thank you. It matches my dishes. Where did you find it?…gush, gush gush.”

She didn’t get it.

The happy ending is that when my mother (a quilter) saw it, she explained things to my sister. The sad part is, my sister over-corrected. She had a table made with a glass compartment to house the topper. It is beautifully displayed and never gets used at all.

Telling this story to a very experienced quilt-giver, I learned  and that she gives three things with every quilt she gives:

  1. Laundering instructions and a color-catcher
  2. An “appraisal for insurance purposes”
  3. Lots of love.

I’ve adopted this practice. (You can find laundering instructions for quilts in the Tips, Reference & Tools Library in Community.) For my “appraisal” add up the actual cost of all my materials- including thread, and I add what it would cost to send the object out for quilting and binding. If the quilt is going to a non-quilter and cost is more that $300 or $400, I generally include the “appraisal” with the gift. Finally, I wrap as much love in as I can and don’t look back. As much as it hurts to see Fido cleaning his nails on my quilt, it feels better keeping the strings to myself.

Live well. Quilt well.






Lisa Berentsen

Founder and President of Quilter’s Thread

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