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Charlene

Quilter Died, what do I do?

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I have a quilt top in my shop to do custom work on.  The quilter passed away yesterday.  When this has happened to you, what did you do?

 

Should I quilt it which won't be done for a couple of weeks and then contact the family?  Or do nothing now and wait a couple of weeks and contact the family to see what they want done?

 

Thanks

 

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I am with Heidi, and I would quilt it.  I would do this knowing that if the family questioned paying for the quilting, that I would donate it to the family in memory of a fine customer of mine over the years.  You more than likely would get a lot of free advertisement from the family for your generosity to the family.  As you do this for a business, you could then write of your time/materials on your taxes a charitable donation or a business loss.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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You cannot write off your time/labor as a charitable donation, and you cannot write off donations to a person/individual. You should consider this a good will gesture. If the quilter was not a repeat customer I would wait awhile then contact the family to see if they want it quilted, if they want the level of quiting selected by the lady who pieced it, and who will be responsible for the bill. If they don't want you to proceed, return the top.

If you had a special relationship with this customer..quilt it, ask if someone in the family knows how to bind it, or if they have a friend who can do that. A quilt with no binding isn't much better than an unquilted top. Somebody in the family is going to have to go through her stuff to find the binding. I would then bind it and give it to them with my condolences on their loss. The one time I did this..the family couldn't have cared less and never even sent a note of thanks. Since I don't believe in an afterlife in which the piecer would herself appreciate this.. the only thing I got was the knowledge that I had done the right thing and the hope that somebody would do the right thing for my family someday.


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I will be the less-generous voice of reason here. You have a business. A customer had passed away leaving you with a job with perhaps some emotional attachments aside from your business relationship. If this person was a good friend, you can use your good judgement as to whether you want to either give the top back, offer the family a reduced cost or quilt it for no charge.  Looking at it logically, any other business left with a job for someone who passes away would contact the family after a decent period of time and give them the options the business and the family are comfortable with. I can't think of any business that would finish a job at no cost unless there is another emotional attachment between the parties. Quilters are generous to a fault sometimes. I've finished quilts for some of my dear customers who have passed away at no charge. I've also given back tops to the family when no one was interested in getting them finished. :(  It's your business, your connection to this customer, and your final decision to make. If you're concerned about reminding the family you have the quilt top, send a condolence note outlining your connection with the customer and letting them know you still have her quilt top. Then ask them to contact you at their convenience, where you'll have options for them to choose from. If you decide to quilt it without charge, don't contact them, finish it, wrap it as a gift, and deliver with a nice note explaining your connection. They'll be so thankful, but I'm sure would never have an expectation of that happening. It's your call and you shouldn't be afraid to follow your own judgement.

 

I want to add though, that if you opt to quilt it without charge, you will not be able to deduct the value of your time as a charitable deduction from your taxes---only the value of materials. Plus I'm not sure if it can be considered a "donation" if it's not for a recognized charitable group or institution.  Since you may volunteer to finish the quilt without compensation, it can't be considered a business loss. Consult your tax prep person for the IRS rules.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Charlene..I think you answered the question. She was a new customer. You did not know her well personally. You might pose it to the people who knew her..ask them if they or the guild would like to chip in for the quilting. Sometimes a deceased quioter's friends will do that. When our guild charter member died, the group finished the quilts she had started and I quilted the prettiest one of the lot. Otherwise contact the family...and Linda's idea of a sympathy card with a note explaining the situation and your contact information will do. Not everyone cares about these quilts made by grandma, sadly.


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I had a very good friend who was also a great customer that passed away last July.  I was quilting for her for free anyway (she had cancer) and did not get her last one finished before she passed away.  When it was finished, I sent it to a mutual friend who then put the binding on it and presented it to her husband.  He send me an email and said he was overwhelmed by what we did for her....I am sure it meant a lot to him to have her last quilt finished to cherish.


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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewmanyquiltssewlittletime/

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

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I don't quilt as a business so maybe I shouldn't be speaking up but I'm going to anyway.

 

I just returned last night from my brothers funeral.  The acts of kindness shown to my family was unbelievable.  We will never forgot the acts or the people that showed them.  

 

If I was in your situation I would quilt the quilt for free....pray over the quilt just like I would a prayer quilt...I would pray for the families peace and comfort...then I would present the quilt to the family with a nice sympathy card.  It being the last thing the person made I'm sure it would be treasured forever.  Acts of kindness always get repaid.

 

 

I'm a firm believer that God blesses those that give to others in time of need.

 

David


David

 

 

 

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I would quilt it.  Yes, it's my business but know in my heart this is what I need to do.   It is rare for this kind of circumstance.   Do it for my own satisfaction and peace of mind, knowing that there is no unfinished business for the family to take care of with this quilt.   Because there is a ton of unfinished business that they will need to plough through already.


Andrea  http://www.urbanquiltworks.com

Motha Stitcha on an apqs millennium

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I'd wait and contact the family closer to the time you would actually begin quilting.  While some of the sentiments expressed are beautiful and generous, the family may not see it that way.  For instance, what if the family is trying to clear out his/her home and the fabric and quilting supplies seem endless /hopeless /infuriating...There are so many unknowns in this situation--the Guild members and friends may be able to offer insight, solutions, and resources to the family (and you).  

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This is a really interesting stream.  How differently we all feel about this situation.  Great advice, opinions offered by all, and then like so many things in life, it all comes down to listening to your heart and doing what you feel is best for the family and for you.  After consideration, really doing what you feel is best will be the right outcome.  All the best to you in your decision.

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I don't quilt as a business so maybe I shouldn't be speaking up but I'm going to anyway.

 

I just returned last night from my brothers funeral.  The acts of kindness shown to my family was unbelievable.  We will never forgot the acts or the people that showed them.  

 

If I was in your situation I would quilt the quilt for free....pray over the quilt just like I would a prayer quilt...I would pray for the families peace and comfort...then I would present the quilt to the family with a nice sympathy card.  It being the last thing the person made I'm sure it would be treasured forever.  Acts of kindness always get repaid.

 

 

I'm a firm believer that God blesses those that give to others in time of need.

 

David

 

I am so sorry for you loss. I pray God's peace washes over you. I have lost a sibling a few years ago....hardest thing I have ever been through. I think of her every day, still.  Praying for you. 


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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David:

 

I too am sorry for your loss.  When I lost my sister, it got me into quilting, and meeting a lot of new folks.  An artistic side of me that I never really knew existed came out.  That is why I always include the saying "Guided by the spirit of many" on all my quilts.  I like to believe my sister, my sister-in-law, and bother inlay's sister (who quilted and gave me fabric when she heard I was into it) are all guiding my hands when I piece and quilt.  While painful now, hopefully something bright and cheerful will come to from this experience.  God Bless.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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