Having Second Thoughts on Quilt Donation....

love2sewJuly 6, 2007

I was asked to do a quilt for the "Common Room" at our new habit hostel. I made a country style quilt....lots of work and money. When I took it over to show the CEO of this place, it was a cool response...no "oh it's nice or thank you". I also got a tour of the facility. What she calls the "Common Rooom" is merly a tiny waiting room when you walk in which will have 1 sofa, 1 chair & a rocker. She is going to drape the quilt over the rocker. There will be no staff on at night.

1) I feel what I made is too large for this area.
2) I have a concern about security and opportunities for theft.
3) I don't want this quilt to become a chair pad for a rocker.
4) I don't feel this CEO has an ounce of appreciation for handmade quilts.

I have made 2 cushions to go with the quilt. Now it is time to turn it over to them and all of a sudden I feel very reluctant....what can I do....in my heart I do not want to give the quilt to them....I have never felt this way before on any charity item I have made.

Can someone help me sort out my mixed up feelings? All opinions and suggestions welcomed.

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It is really discouraging to have a lukewarm response like that on a quilt. Some people don't get it or don't really care. What I would do is make a smaller, simpler, and easier one that will fit on the rocker. If you have less time into it, it will help. Another thought is (gasp) buy one at a store. Sounds like he won't know the difference! But I feel for you-this has happened to me, too.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 12:08PM
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I had a similiar experience only mine was not a Donation....
I made a quilt for a quilt show for a guild. Well I also worked to promote the show donated things for the show.
The quilts were to be turned in 1 week before the show...
Well they put my quilt wallhanging on the cover of the brochure. I wanted to give it to them ahead of time but they didn't want to take it earlier....Well they called me 20 minutes yes 20 minutes before they were to leave the location to have me bring in my quilt for display....
I told them why would you wait all day till almost the time you are ready to leave the location to ask me to bring my wallhanging why would you not call me earlier as you did when you needed donations....I was hot so I told them I am sorry but I will not be bring the wallhanging...and I didn't I also didn't attend the show and I also don't go to that guild anymore....go with your gut feeling if people are that inconsiderate they don't need others to help....

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 12:14PM
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You should not give this quilt to this use. Make a smaller one and give that and the cushions and feel really good about that. Oh, and learn from this experience.

You are a good person with good intentions and you do have the right to change your mind once you see what the real need is and understand the possibility of theft and under-appreciation. All that you have to say is that the first quilt was not the right size for the purpose.

And....good for you, Red!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 12:49PM
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You certainly don't have to donate the quilt if you don't feel right about it, but I think since you already expressed interest in helping out, at least donate a quilt and you'll feel good about helping out in some way (do you have something smaller already made or that you can make up fast). Don't worry about the CEO, that's not the person who will be in the waiting room, and someone else will really appreciate a "homey" environment. And as far as someone stealing it, just think of it this way, it would be going to someone who really appreciates it (and probably really needs it to keep warm). It's hard when you want to do something nice and it's not appreciated, but I have a feeling whatever you donate will be appreciated by someone sitting in the waiting room. --Amy

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 12:55PM
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Thankyou everyone for your thoughts.....I am feeling so crappy about this...however...you confirm my gut feeling and the $200 quilt will not go but I will donate the cushions and offer to make a smaller lap throw....but I can't do this today as I am feeling too upset about it. It is also disappointing as the room was described as large...roomy and I thought a beautiful quilt would be a warm touch...and I was invited to do this...so I was proud to be part of it...and now what was described is not!
Your support will help me come to terms with my decision. Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 1:21PM
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I think you should say something about the information you were given. You can tell them what you told us at least items 1-3. I don't think I'd bring up 4 - those who don't get it just don't get it.

Be sure to let them know how many hours were put into making it. Any management types would be able to put a paycheck to it real fast. Your quilts usually sell for $$$$ and don't hold back on the amount.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Jean, I think you have made the right decision. You are also right to not start on a replacement until you've had some time to cool down and reflect! Amy is so right - the people in the waiting room will be the ones enjoying your work, not the CEO of the organization. Take a breather, then make a lap-size quilt (maybe from your stash, so you don't have to spend any more $), and give it to them proudly!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 1:45PM
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I certainly agree with above. You can make "charity" quilts that are just four inch squares tied off and they'd be happy. I remember once a lady carefully making a quilt for each son to be treasured and handed down. She visited one and found it in the garage thrown over a motorcycle. You can't always gauge the level of interest of recipient. I seldom make quilts for friends that want one because I know they'd be just as happy with a factory made one on sale at the store. Yet, I treasure any I find at a thrift store or estate sale because I know the love and care that went into it - even when I don't know the maker.

Follow your gut feeling. It's seldom wrong.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Loves2sew/Jean-I wholeheartedly agree with all. Do not sent this one, make a smaller one now that you know all of the facts!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 3:43PM
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I would have written the same thing as the others, and you needn't feel guilty for not donating the original quilt that you spent so much time and money on. For more than one reason, it isn't the right quilt for that place, and you didn't have all the information you needed before making it.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 3:59PM
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I agree with everyone and it sounds like you have decided you do too. I had a similar experience in that I made a quilt for a baby gift. But it was to a friend of DH's, not mine, who we never see anymore. I was new to quilting and by the time I was done with it I realized how much work it was -- DH said you are NOT giving her that! I said You're Right! It now graces our sofa.

In your case I would do a 9 patch or similar instead that you can feel good about giving but is not so much work.

And don't forget -- just 'cause the lady you spoke with didn't show enthusiasm -- others will probably see it and appreciate it. (Of course others will spill their drinks all over it and put cigarette burns in it....) SO -- "nice simple quilt" YES. "Labor of Love?" NEGATORY!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 4:00PM
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I have to agree with everyone else.

Don't give that particular quilt. If they were hanging it on the wall as a work of art, that's one thing. But to just toss it over a rocker - that calls for a utilitarian style quilt. a scappy string quilt or a simple nine-patch, or just squares from a stash will do wonderfully well.

Just as comforting to the people waiting, but they need comfort, not a work of art.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 5:15PM
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I agree with the others. Keep this quilt for someone special & make them a fleece throw.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 6:07PM
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Thank you again for your support and suggestions for an alternative quilt. Gee...they phoned me today and want to put my name in the paper for the quilt & cushion donation...I stuttered around and said...we'll talk about the quilt!

Mary, I think this quilt would look awesome hanging at the end of one of the long hallways and I am going to bring up....are you doing anything in the halls as far as pictures, ect. and just feel the waters. I made it especially for them and if it will be used to enhance the place, I will gladly give it to them and it's certainly not "I don't like your attitude so you don't get it" thing.

I am feeling so much better about the whole thing now I have made a decision on the quilt. I will be delivering the cushions and have a discussion with the CEO on the quilt on Monday. Jean

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 7:44PM
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I'd also ask for a letter about your donation for your taxes.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 7:50PM
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I know you are upset and you have a right to be! the lady is not very informed about quilts, she does not know the value, and you feel hurt and guilty at the same time. You need to inform her that the place and handling of the quilt is not acceptable, that you will replace it with a "throw" and the quilt is worth $1500. you have underpriced you work. IMHO Rene

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 10:49AM
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I wouldnt donate it either!!! But hey,,,we wanna see a picture!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Your quilt, your donation. Don't donate it if you don't want to. As my DH says, life is too short to shovel s**t.

Marti in Mexico

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:02PM
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Here's another voice for not giving them the quilt. Make a smaller one from your stash and save the big one for someone who will appreciate it. And don't feel guilty.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 3:12PM
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Having the large quilt hung up in a corridor sounds like a great idea. Everyone could enjoy it, if they are so minded, and it would be hard to walk away with.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 3:24PM
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Please let us know what ends up happening and what they say!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 12:56AM
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I am a bit behind here, but I also agree with everyone's opinion not to give donate the quilt. There are lots of easy and quick quilts that you can make so you will feel better about giving it.

When you are not a quilter, most people do not realize the amount of work or money that goes into a quilt. I am in the process of making a quilt to be auctioned off at our local school for Holiday Children's Wish. Although my heart is in the right place, I am afraid that it will not take in enough money for the amount of fabric or work. So, instead, I am making a lovely string quilt using my scraps. I felt a little sheepish about it at first, but this thread has me feeling a lot better about it now.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:20AM
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Jean, your idea of hanging the quilt in the hallway sounds like the perfect compromise. Everybody wins. Definitely worth suggesting it to them tomorrow. You could offer to make a smaller, more functional piece for the common room when you have time if they feel something there is still necessary (and if you want to). This has to be really hard for you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Not having read everyone else's responses yet ... I think you should just make some nondescript "chair pads" and leave it at that.

You paid for all the materials and provided your labor for free. Can't this guy manage a nice smile and some polite remarks?

If asked why you aren't giving them the quilt, "It is too large for the space." If they press for more detail than that, "I changed my mind. I think this is more appropriate."

Do I sound crabby? I would be, if somebody didn't seem to have any appreciation at all for my work. Not even a thank you? I'd back out. I might even donate the quilt to someone else, so that I could get that wonderful feeling of doing something nice for someone who will love and cherish the fruits of all that labor.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 7:11PM
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I agree with everyone else,and if you want to make them another quilt after you cool down,i would make them a cheater quilt.so that you don't have to put so much work into it.JMO.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:40PM
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Things worked out well today and everybody is happy.
1. Lap size stack n wack for sitting area
2. 2 cushions for sitting area
3. Original quilt will be hung where it can be seen from 2 hallways.

The CEO was very disappointed not to having it in the sitting room but I said it was just too big. She perked right up when I said it looked real good hanging on a wall at the quilt show. Three of us found a location where it is visable from 2 directions. If I get some pictures later when the place is all together, I will post them under the Gallery.

Once again thank you for your support through all of this....oh! still not one thank you or nice comment out of a staff of 3...is having my name in the paper the same thing...no, not to me!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:43PM
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Three people on the staff and not one said anything nice at all? That is not just a case of people who know nothing about quilting and all the work that goes into it; IMO, they have never learned common courtesy.
That said, it was nice to read that the CEO was "very disappointed" she couldn't have your quilt in the sitting room, and that she "perked right up" at the idea of putting it on a wall. That could be taken as a compliment of sorts, I suppose. Glad it all worked out to your satisfaction, anyway!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:58PM
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Jean, it sounds like a good compromise and use of your creations and you will be leaving your "touch" throughout the hostel> It's a nice way for you to show you care. As far as the CEO and staff not saying thanks - they need to be whipped with a wet noodle - some people really don't have manners! --Amy

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:16PM
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I'm glad that it worked out.

What is a habitat hostel?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:25PM
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Marti8a, our community just opened a brand new regional hospital that services a large rural area...some people live 150 mi. away/

The community led by our Rotary Club has built a lodge where out of town people can stay for $10/night when they come here for medical treatment. It was built under Habitat for Humanity whereby all the materials and labor, etc. are volunteered. They asked several quilters/groups if they were interested in donating quilts to provide a warm comforting welcome.

We're proud to offer this service to out of town people. Thanks for asking!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:26AM
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You posted:
"The CEO was very disappointed not to having it in the sitting room but I said it was just too big. She perked right up when I said it looked real good hanging on a wall at the quilt show."

This is just bizarre. If they are asking for donations why wouldn't they say thank you? I mean heck, I see someone's kid's picture on their desk and I say "How cute." You'd think it would be a reflex to compliment ANYTHING like that. They obviously liked it or would not be disappointed and would not perk up at the idea of hanging it.

I guess some people just have no people skills. Well if you're going to be the CEO of a charity/volunteer type organization you need to get good at thanking people really fast of you'll suddenly find no one is offering to donate anymore!!!!

WELL GLAD you got a good solution. And I know they are grateful even if THEY don't, LOL. Can't wait to see a picture of it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 2:17AM
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I think I'd try to find some polite way to let the staff know how much a simple thank you means. They may not realize it. When I first married DH I was surprised at how he said thank you for everything not just to others but to me as well. I wasn't used to it. I couldn't understand why but now I do it as well. Never to old to learn.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:32AM
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Jean, I'm appalled that you didn't even get a thank you! This only reinforces the thought to be careful of who you give quilts to. At least others will have the joy of your quilts and your karma is straight anyway.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I hope a year later your quilt has gotten the place it deserved and you feel good about the decision and the situation now.
I can only say that people that do not sew have no idea.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:05PM
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I was surprised to see this thread reappear. The quilt hangs proudly in the hallway with a placque with my name on it. Many people who have toured the facility have personally commented on the beauty of the quilt. Staff memebers say many of the visitors comment on the quilt. I am so happy it brings pleasure to others...my original intentions. The CEO is having her jaw operated on LOL! I wonder how long it will be wired shut.

There will always be disappointments in life...it's just a matter of getting past them and enjoying the happier momments.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 12:45AM
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