For a lot of my quilting career I’ve found myself answering the endless question “What’s that one for?” with “I don’t know, I just wanted to make it.” Either that or giving the questioner (i.e my husband) the evil eye.
Many of my quilts have had intended purposes from start to finish, but many more have only found their purpose after being completed. I’ve blogged before about how many quilts I’ve given away, as well as how many I’ve actually kept and use in my home.
I’m reaching a point, though, where I’m starting to wonder the same question as I look at the quilts that are either finished (and not being used) or not finished (and not being used): “What’s that one for?” And I’m starting to wish I had a different answer for some of them. How many bed quilts or lap quilts can one family have before it starts to get ridiculous? I’m sure the line of silliness is different for every person, but I think I’m starting to reach that point in my house. But. Some of the quilts that still aren’t finished aren’t ones that I would be willing to give away: I’m still too attached to them.
How silly is that?
I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I’m not looking for suggestions for places to give away quilts: I know plenty of very deserving service projects, and I’m sure that as time goes on, I’ll be looking at more of them as places to donate.
All of this is to tell you that I finished several quilts over the past few days, all of which have been around in various states of undoneness lately, and I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m going to do with any of them.
First is The Whole Box (of Crayons). Here are a couple of closeups:
Next is Lynn’s Leftovers. Again, these blocks have been around forever, but I was inspired the other day to get them sewn together, throw on the border fabric (which is a leftover from my friend Lynn), and quilt it up. The name of the pattern is Red Hot Leftovers….so the quilt name seemed obvious to me….
Oh for crying out loud. I just realized that my last blog entry (4 days ago!) was partly about this quilt. Duh. Well, you get to see the whole thing this time, so here it is anyway:
Sheesh. Sorry about that. That’s what I get for not blogging for a few days, can’t even remember what I was babbling about.
I also quilted my Lone Star. It still has some blue pen marks.
I marked the spines, and then freehanded the feathers. I’m happy with how the feathers turned out, I’m a little annoyed with the mitered border, though. Someone didn’t do a very good job of applying it, so the quilt really isn’t quite square. Have to fire my piecer, I guess.
My point in all of this: I’ve now got 3 more quilts that are finished (or close to: if the quilting’s done, it’s nearly finished in my book…) that don’t have purposes in life, yet. But I’m not ready or willing to give any of them away yet, for a number of reasons that I won’t bore you with at this time. And in rereading what I’ve already written, it seems that I’ve attempted to make that same exact point in about the same way several times. Are you bored yet?
Well, into the pile they go, while I go work on even more quilts that are partially finished — wonder what I’ll do with all of those?
I’ve got a couple of walls yet that are uncovered.
Well I think they are for you…. period. You do it because you enjoy it. And you can stack them up as high as you want without justifying it to anyone. If you ever feel the urge to give one away, you’ll have one ready to go, and you will do it because you want to….. but there is absolutely no reason to feel anything but joy when you look at them.
Love your quilts and your quilting! I saw your address on my sitemeter, looked you up, and there was my blogspot on your blogroll! It’s nice to meet you! I’ll add you to my list of faves, if you don’t mind.
Vicki W says
What Jan said…..
Exactly what Jan said! They are for YOU! to use, to look at, to LOVE! They are all beautiful – but if the lonestar ever needs a home, my address is…………….LOL
Eileen Keane says
Is it “I quilt, therefore I am” or is it “I am, therefore I quilt”?
I’m working on doing anything at all. I’ve joined Flylady so I can find my sewing table, never mind using it!! LOL
Seriously, Suzanne—how do you find the time to take care of your boys, quilt for customers, design and write books and make your own quilts?????????? Dang, I’m tired listing what YOU do, without even trying to do one quarter of it.
Tanya Brown says
My goodness your feather quilting is marvelous!
As for what to do with them or why make them, when I say that my husband tells me “not everything is curing cancer and not everything is about making money; we have to do some things we simply enjoy.”
Even if all of your walls and beds are covered, you need some extras so you can rotate them out and get a change of scene.
I don’t think there’s a right answer but for me it’s about choosing a charity that important to me personally that makes it easy to donate my quilts – and even then I like to keep them around a bit to admire first.
Since starting HeartStrings I’ve realized that charities that are important to other people aren’t to me and it’s OK if I pick and choose where to give my quilts. Another thing that surprised me was that in the past all my quilts were given to organizations but recently I’ve had several that have gone to individuals as a result of being contacted through HeartStrings. It was really nice to hear how much the quilts meant to them.
Lynn Douglass says
I know exactly how you feel, as I ask myself the same question every time I think I have to have a new pattern, book, set of fabrics, etc. I like what Tanya’s husband says. It’s about the pleasure of making them. By the way, the quilting on your lonestar is gorgeous! You inspire me, my friend!
Jane Weston says
You’re not alone…my husband asks me the same question…”who’s that for?” I make quilts because I love the process and it’s as so many have said before..that’s why so many of us do make quilts…for ourselves. I have several quilts that cycle through the house and when I make more they just get added to the rest. I do have a favourite one on my bed that I pull up under my chin and that makes me feel cosy!
I have an answer for you…..they are inspiration to others. I, for one, look forward to each and every quilt you make and show and hope that “someday” I might have a little of your abilities.
Judy in MO
I couldnt EVER part with the lonestar Suzanne:) I only ask this question of myself about patterns and fabric these days.. Seems that there arent enough hours in a day, and frankly, I cant find time to use all the things I stock up on. But someday I will!
Carl Smeigh says
Have you considered calling them tapestries and then having them hung in various castles and large houses? I like your idea of a charity. Maybe you could start one associated with, say Ronald MacDonald House where the sick kids get a donated quilt. You could have your friends is this hobby(?), line of work(?), or whatever you would call it, donated quilts too.
Cheers and keep up the good work.
I have one of Suzannes first originals on my bed and would not give it up to anyone.
Terri Watson says
I stopped asking that question. I realised a long time ago that it is the PROCESS not the PRODUCT that is important to me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my quilts. I let them hang around for quite a while then I give lots of them away or fold them up, hang them up or pile them up. It makes me feel warm inside just looking at them and knowing “I did that!” and remembering what fun it was.
Do it for you… one day you will have lots of grandbabies, DIL’s, etc to give them to later on. How special will that be?
Ditto what carla said– think how far ahead of the game you’ll be, by slotting some of these quilts for your grandchildren! Wow– you are very well organized!!
Deb Levy says
I ask myself the same question periodically and always come up with the same answer…I make them because I love the process AND the result. And I have come to terms with the fact that every quilt does not have to have a use. It’s sole purpose may be the fact that it gave me great pleasure to make it. I donate quilts to charity and give quilts away to friends and family. But there are some that I can’t part with. And those quilts are content, as I am to be a part of my creative self. And one day, when I am gone from this life, I hope they bring as much joy to whomever in my family ends up with them as they have to me.
I wonder if artists ever ask themselves if they have too many canvases lying around the house — not enough wall space to show all of them, but so what?
I’d say, enjoy them. Pet them, put them in a closet and peek in every now and then. Create a rotating gallery in your home where your work is displayed. Use them in the back of the car as tarps (ouch, but are you getting the drift here?). They are YOUR creative expressions. And while it’s an art form that ultimately is practical and has a function — it doesn’t mean they HAVE to have one!
Unless you’re brimming to the rafters and can’t store them at all. In which case, I have a nice home across the border in Illinois that could really use some more quilts :0)