I want some input from those of you who make quilts to give as gifts. Recently I decided to make some gift quilts. Some have been small wall hangings or table runners. Others are baby-sized (40" square) or larger. Some are large twin-bed-sized or larger for throws.
Here is my dilemma. In think only twice in my quilt gift-giving has the recipient told me thank you or that they like the quilt. I have made many baby quilts and quilts for Christmas gifts over the years.
Having made some quilts for my very particular daughter this past year in preparation for her wedding, I know that some people are very picky about colors, styles, patterns, sizes, etc. My daughter proved that by "hating" some quilts I suggested and "loving" others. She loved this one. Go figure.
The problem is this. I told a friend I wanted to make him a quilt. He responded, "I love your quilts." He was here for lunch (his birthday) this past Sunday. So I took the opportunity to show him some of the recycled shirt plaid quilts I'm working on downstairs in my sewing room. I thought he could let me know if he liked one of those. I had one in mind, and oddly enough, that's the one he liked most. I could tell he wasn't really thrilled with it though. It would be a larger version of this baby quilt I just finished:
We got upstairs, and he gravitated to the quilt rack in the living room and started looking through the quilts on it. There were probably 12 full-sized quilts. He couldn't find the one he was looking for, which does not surprise me. The kids take quilts off there to their rooms, etc. He said he was looking for one that he remembered liking that had "warm colors". Then he picked the most difficult and time-consuming one I had on there and said that is the one he liked the most. Well, I'm not willing to put THAT much time into a quilt for a friend. Seriously. When I made it, I was thinking that I'd never make one again. Here it is:
My niece was here for Susie's graduation this past week. I told my sister (her mom) that I'd like to make her a quilt. I thought she'd like my recent Florabunda and was going to give her that one w/o asking for her input, as a surprise. This picture shows half of it.
Turns out she didn't like it at all. So I'm glad I did not surprise her with it. She started looking through some of my books and patterns. She found one she liked. It is hard for non-sewers to imagine a quilt pattern in colors different from the ones shown in the sample pattern. I understand that.
The challenge (and what I want your input on) is that the quilt (even if it's a small one) take up time. Some times LOTS of time. I don't want to make something if the recipient is not going to like it. But, honestly? Most people can't even tell me what kind of quilt they like. They might give a color scheme, but when confronted with it in person, realize they don't like it after all. Same with a pattern. They like it, but when they see it in "their" colors, they don't like it.
I am frustrated because I want to make people quilts. The truth is that I have gotten very little feedback from those I have given quilts to as gifts. I am assuming they
1. don't like them
2. don't care about them
3. forgot to mention it
Since making quilts is a hobby I love, and I have so much fabric here to use, I want to bless others with quilts they will like. What do YOU do??