How often do you get guilted into a project?

karpetMay 29, 2012

I just hung up the phone and had to share - only fellow quilters would understand this one! I have a friend that I've had a rocky past with, but we are on better grounds here recently. She made an agreement with another friend that she would make 2 t-shirt quilts for the friend and the friend would do senior pics for her in exchange. She told me about this deal in Jan. The quilts were to have been Christmas presents but had only been started in Jan. My friend kind of hinted that my machine would probably do a better job than hers and she was already late in completing these quilts. I listened, offered advice and that was all. She came back in Feb. and said they had to be done for Valentine's Day (less than a week away) told me she had the tops done but would I quilt them on my 'special machine' over the weekend? I told her 'No'. I told her my machine is a home sewing machine - not a long-arm machine. Hers would work and showed her what an even-feed foot was. She came back in March saying she could not find an even-feed foot, so I looked it up on Joann's site, showed it to her, and gave her a coupon and a gift card. She gave me the gift card back in April and said she found one on Amazon. She hit me up after church this weekend with her woes of how one of the quilts has to be done by Thur. I kind of smiled and said she was really procrastinating on these. She said she wasn't -she had been working really hard. And then she said she almost talked the friend into taking over the quilting part. (I thought she was trying to manipulate someone into it!) As I came out to the parking lot, she had her daughter out there and they held up the quilt top that has to be finished this week. She said the friend said expense was not the issue so I gave her the name of a local quilt shop that does long-arm quilting. Well, she just called me and said they have a 5-6 week wait list. She said again how her machine would just not do this. She asked if another lady in the church had a long-arm machine, I said I didn't think so. She said she was thinking of buying one just to finish these t-shirt quilts. I told her that they are very expensive. She said she really needed two people to get these quilted. Through all of it, I did not budge, I encouraged her, gave her advice and information, but I am not taking on these quilts to finish for her! I have to give it to her - she has been persistent! The last thing I could tell her was if it really was too much for her, she should hand the quilt tops over to the friend and explain that it would be better if the friend found a long-arm quilter to do the quilting.

Have you ever had someone persistently try to get you to take on their project and finish it? (I also told another guy at church that I do not do zippers - I'm getting down right cantankerous as I get older!)


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I'm so proud of you. I have given in a couple of times and been sorry in the long run because the non-quilters always wanted me to do it their way, which wasn't appropriate.

The last time I was contacted, I said that I just didn't have time for that anymore. I think people will take advantage of you if you let them. I won't and you didn't and you should be proud of yourself.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:47AM
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I'm getting down right cantankerous as I get older!
I have been saying the exact same thing about myself for the past few years!!!
I was raised in the South when women were valued for their looks - not their opinions - if someone asked you to do something (regardless what the request is) it is rude to say no. But you are allowed to bad mouth the person behind their back lol!!!!

I am tired of being manipulated! I just read a book written by the Biggest Loser winner about finding your voice. I can relate to it so well!

I was at the gym a month ago and a lady asked me about helping her make a photo quilt. I explained what she needed. Next week she isn't sure how to make the quilt and will I take it over. No thanks!

It's a small town and people know I make charity quilts. The same lady is telling me about the $200,000+ renovations they are making on their home.

She stops asking about the photo quilt and the next week she asks me if I would make a quilt for her new bedroom. Incredibily, she tells me she doesn't have the money to pay much for it!!!

I told her I don't make quilts that size. She hasn't given up - I have changed my time going to the gym - each time I tell her no she tries to guilt me into it - she is having surgeries blah, blah, blah............

Now don't get me wrong, I will go out of my way to help BUT I am so tired of people asking me to do things for free that they can well afford to pay for. People I barely know!

My neighbor was driving me nuts with the sewing projects she was asking me to finish and she makes her young daughters clothes!!!

My nephew's girlfriend saw the bible cover I made for my sister's bday and she wanted me to make 10 for the employees she works with - when I told her I didn't have the time she told them how rude I was. I was not rude to her, I politely said NO!

I'm with Linda, PROUD OF YA GIRLFRIEND!! I wish I had learned to stand up for myself many years ago.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Good for you, you have established "boundaries". There is a wonderful book by that name by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. My daughter recommended it to me and you have reminded me I need to finish it. I wish I had read it years ago! Once you are aware of how some people manipulate and others can't say no, you become aware of it in many situations and the damage it does on so many levels.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:05PM
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Have to admit I laughed when I saw the title of this post. I thought you meant you quilted your sleeve or something into the project. There's that quilted/guilted issue again. LOL

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Gee, Karlene, if she had spent as much time quilting as she has trying to talk you into it, she would be done by now! :) But you're right - she's persistent.

I almost always say no to a specific project. A few times I've been asked to make quilts for the UMW bazaar and I don't mind that. The ladies are always very appreciative and they ooh and aah over the quilts.

My Sis IL keeps saying she's working on a T shirt quilt with her daughter's school theater shirts, and when she gets it done she wants to "borrow" my quilting set-up. I keep giving non-committal answers. For one thing, she's not a quilter - she's only made a couple of small projects and quilted them on her sewing machine, so she has no experience with a frame set up. Secondly, I'm not hauling it to her house so she'd have to be in my house for however long it took, and thirdly I'm sure she'd end up wanting me to do it, probably while she watched. Ain't gonna happen! Of course, this supposed quilt has been in progress for about 5 years now. :D


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:12PM
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My sister works at a Family Shelter in a very hard hit blue collar city in the midwest. She asked me last week if I would make a quilt for them for a fundraiser and I agreed. I have a few quilt tops made but she asked for a specific quilt like one I made last year that she wanted me to give is on my bed! I would have to make the one for her bigger because the pattern makes it 78" square which is not really even big enough for my double bed. I may just quilt one of the tops I already have. I have a few commitments to complete first so it depends on how much time I have. She wants it by the first weekend in August.
I have had people ask me to finish quilts they have started but found that it is much harder to do than making one from the start so will not agree to do that anymore.
Good for you ladies for having the word "NO" in your vocabulary. For such a small word it is often very hard to say!!


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 2:46PM
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I think many of us have been man-handled by the type of person that just won't take NO! for an answer. I'm so proud of you, Karlene, that you stood your ground.

For a number of years I have steadfastly refused to do alterations for anyone other than family - that is close family, sons, sisters, parents. People do not know how much is involved in making repairs or alterations to clothing.

I once had a friend who came to my house, after 9 p.m. (I had already put on my nightgown), to ask me to shorten a pair of dress pants for her fiance so he could wear them at their wedding --- the very next day! I did the easy alteration, but I swore.... never again!

"People will only take advantage of you if you let them." Someone said this somewhere, sometime. I'll bet it was a woman!


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:21PM
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I am applauding you, Karlene! Good for you!

One of my co-workers has been more than hinting for me to make a purse for her. She's even mentioned several times that I failed to give her a birthday present this year. It's true, but I cut her off because she never gave me one and rarely even invites me to lunch! In a fit of pure ugliness, I made a purse in her favorite color and posted it on etsy. The last time she mentioned it I directed her to the etsy store! I'm happy to share with true friends or people in need, but I will not be bullied. Emotional terrorism is the worst!


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:49PM
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KUDOES TO YOU LADIES FOR STICKING IT OUT AND SAYING "NO"! Y'all make me darn proud of you all!
I've never allowed myself to be guilted into a sewing project for someone else, but I've been asked, repeatedly, over the years. After quilting for awhile, I went ahead and, beginning with my parents, I made almost everyone in my immediate family a quilt. I say "almost" because I didn't make one for my older brother. (Long story short, we just don't get along.) One of my nephews wanted a quilt for himself and his wife, so he asked me what it would take to get an "Uncle Dan" quilt. He didn't want to start anything which would lead to the other nephews and nieces saying "where's mine?", so he gave me some pictures of quilts that they liked, money for the fabric, and told me to be as creative as I liked and to take the time I needed. That boy sure knew how to get what he! A couple of other nephews got wind of me making a quilt for Jeremy, but I didn't have to say a word! He told them that he'd paid $200 plus materials to get his quilt, and they'd have to do the same. I loved it! Not only did I get to make him something he and his wife still use and appreciate, but he took care of everything and made sure no one else would try to take advantage of me! When I finished their quilt, they took me out to a nice dinner, and that was that.
Since then, other family members have hinted that they'd like a quilt too, so I've told them that joanns is usually having a sale of some sort, and they could learn a new hobby just like I did more than 25 years ago.
I've made quilts for plenty of friends, usually when they were having a baby, but they've all come to know that, if I have the time and inclination, I'll offer. If I don't, I won't, and it'll do them more harm than good to ask.

Stick to your guns ladies and don't let someone make your hobby into a chore. The people who really appreciate you will be kind and courteous. As for the others, you don't really need them in your lives bringing you down anyway.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Since I posted this, I have had another phone call from her - it is almost getting to the point where I get the giggles! It is not that I don't help people, I've made over 80 full size or bigger quilts and I only have one on my bed and one on the sofa - all the others have been given to others. But I hate being manipulated. The fact that I quilt does not obligate me into starting/finishing a quilt for anyone who is looking for the finished project w/o putting anything into it. She did keep saying how much work this is! Yep! And how long it was taking. Yep! She still hasn't caught on that it would take me the same amount of time and work.

I only had one other time that someone really tried to take advantage. The women's leader at church thought it would be nice to give a baby quilt to every baby born in the church and to give away a quilt to one woman every year at the women's retreat. She turned to me and said the first baby quilt should go to the newest baby born the week before. I was stunned as I realized 'we' meant 'me'. I asked her who would be making the quilt, 'You.' I asked how the quilt would be from the group and different from the one I had already made and given to this mother. 'Well, we have donated fabric to you, haven't we?' NO! Then she said, 'well, you're still making the quilt to give away at retreat, right?' By then I was getting over being stunned and was moving into being indignant. I asked again, how this quilt would be from the group - would everyone be doing a block and I would just be assembling? She looked at me quite shocked and exclaimed that she did not even have a machine. So once it was clear that what she expected was for me to make the quilts and let her put her name on them, I said NO! I had a back log of projects I was working on and did not have time to do that, and it was being rather presumptuous of her to tell me what I would make. And she even said, 'well, you'd have a whole year to make one; that's enough time.' I think that is when my 'No' was enabled! (I even gave her an older, but in good-working-order Kenmore machine.)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:02PM
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No..........I was asked once to make a quilt, but it was the right person and the right timing and I was more than happy to do it. She is a 'giver' and this was the only thing she had ever asked of me and it was a priviledge. That being said, I 'get you' on the manipulation issue and have finally learned to spot it a mile away, and don't have a problem with heading them off at the pass. The way I figure it, is if they're that good a friend, they won't put you in a position like that. I have had a lot of it before I retired, and owned a business. The typical request was could I 'lend' them flowers for an opening/party/wedding? Then they'd act like they were doing me a service with something like "it'll be good advertising". I already had an established customer base, and did not want to venture much into retail. I wasn't staffed for it, nor did i want to monkey or mess with romancing the customer stone. You get a lot of 'friends' when you have a particular skill someone needs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I think congratulations are in order to all of you tenacious quilters ( I almost said ladies but then realized how proudly Dan fit in.) It requires strength to say no.
Mostly I don't I guess but have only had a couple experience with being used with a quilting project.
I was ask to help with an idea for making a quilt for a friends friend. They were just going to need my advice. I ended up buying the material (they were going to pay me,lol) designing the pattern, cutting it out, they did do the piecing, I did some of the assembly and all of the quilting. When it was presented it was "Look at the quilt I made!". I was never mentioned. I really can't say that it was all that important but I was a little disappointed that I was so taken forgranted.
It is just taken forgranted that I will do alterations because I "sew".
I agree you can't be taken advantage off with out your concent.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:12PM
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Karlene ~ I really like your spunk! I am here to encourage you to keep to your resolve not to let this lady win!

Like others, it has happened to me in sewing for a family in law member's acknowledgement or thank you & even with the most formal & extravagant wedding I have ever attended, the marriage lasted less then a year! Oh well. Karma.

I have always been a sewer, and it is easy for me to say "NO". In the case of the wedding, maybe I thought it would help the 'in law' relationship - what was I thinking after 20 years??? LOL

Except for the Quilt Guild and my friends here, I keep my passion for sewing and quilting private - my family just knows it is who I they are used to my sewing, and are never surprised at what I make and just accept it nonchalantly.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:30PM
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I haven't been quilting long enough to be taken advantage by anyone, but I have quite a hosta collection (175 varieties) that I've amassed during the last 6 or 7 years. I'm amazed at how many people will say, "I'll come over with a shovel some day when you 'need' to divide them." I tell them that they never 'need' to be divided and that most of them are finally reaching a point of looking really good and full, and I have no intention of splitting them. I've paid between $10 and $25 for each one, and after years of attention, they are really starting to look wonderful. Aren't people gutsy?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Wow!! I guess some people just don't realize all the work and time involved in doing quilts? Good for you for sticking to your decision!! So far, I've not been guilted into anything, but I've had a lot of hinting from people that they would like to have a quilt. The speed I go, that won't be a problem because I just don't have the time!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I don't remember ever being guilted into making a quilt for anyone. If someone wants one, I tell them the largest size I will make, ask them what colors they'd like and tell them I'll let them know when it's done.....that it could be next year. But, I love to 'give' my quilts away like for the church auction. My girls, their kids and their kids all have 1 or 2. All my nieces and nephews have one and each of their children have baby quilts. I like making quilts for family.....even though I agonize over them sometimes.

I can't imagine anyone being as brazen as the gal you're talking about, Karlene. Keep standing your ground and you'll have peace.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:21PM
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I had to laugh today, one of the pastors (I work at a church) came in and said his wife asked him to ask me if I will help her on a quilt - and then he just answered for me and said, 'of course you will.' I have no idea what this one involves! I didn't tell him that I've gotten in touch with my cantankerous side!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 6:35PM
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I was wondering what folks would say if you told them that you would help them (do the work) but you would have to charge them some enormous sum and that you wouldn't be able to get to it for several months.
The one time I remember something similar was when I was with my sister in a fabric store. She saw a particular fabric she liked and said that I could make her a quilt using that. (Not asked but told). My answer to her was to buy the fabric right then. Never got done so no quilt.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:10PM
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