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I took a charity quilt home a couple of weeks ago. I knew it was pin basted, won't do that again. OK, I took it out yesterday, fingers yelling the whole time while removing at least 100 pins. Got it apart. Top had lots of fullness, used to that. Batting pieced it different directions, have to do some trimming there. Backing, here is my real issue. First, it is pieced, no problem except the muslin strips on both sides is serged. Someone could surf on it. Then while ironing seams down, iron began to stick to middle fabric, must be a cotton blend. I could deal with all this except the large area of back fabric is stained and dirty! What are some people thinking. What would someone who is in some kind of life crisis think about getting a quilt that is stained and dirty. It seems that you would want to do the best you could do and afford for someone who is in distress. I'm trying to give the person who made this the benefit of the doubt. I guess more education is needed. Sorry this is so long. Just needed to vent I guess. BYW, I'll be replacing the back. K

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I agree, someone who is receiving this gift of labor should expect it to be clean. However, maybe this was all this woman had to work with? Or maybe she is just cleaning out her stash? Who knows...but I would definately use this opportunity to let her know how she could improve on her quilt fabric and construction choices for the next quilt. Afterall she put lots of time into the construction of the top and into having it professionally quilted...


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Oh no, don't apologize, we are here to support each other. I had one like that early on...the backing was a sheet with what looked like car grease on it so I turned it so the grease was on the inside so it wouldn't get on my machine or leaders. The top was skulls and crossbones, not my cup of tea, but I never did see or hear from her again after she picked up the quilt. Maybe you'll be that lucky too! :)


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Reminds me of a quilt a friend received - a T-shirt quilt - all Harley's and it smelled like not one of the T-shirts had ever been washed - old and totally stinky!!! She hung the top in the garage for several days before bringing it in the house to quilt.

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I find this a lot in charity quilts. Old, ugly fabric...some of it used. I doubt its "all they had"...its just that the mind set of some people is that its "good enough" for "those" people. And, they have done their part to feel righteous. Most people do care enough to use quality fabric and make an attractive quilt...but there are those others. The stinky T-shirt quilt is a whole other issue!! People!


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Guest Linda S

I agree with you. I don't really like pieced backings to begin with. Many quilters figure they can just willy-nilly throw large pieces of their stash together without giving it much thought. I have so many people still leave the selvedges on, and the vertical seams can be a problem if there are too many. I do have one piecer who makes the most marvelous pieced backings. She's very meticulous and does a wonderful job. She is, however, a rare gem!

I am often distressed when I get charity quilts that are made of really cheesy fabrics. Especially for babies or Quilts of Valor. I think the recipients really deserve so much better.

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I've probably voiced this opinion before.

I hate it when I hear someone say, "it's good enough for a charity.

If it isn't better fabric, my best job of piecing and best job of quilting,

then it is NOT good enough for charity.. These people have lost most

everything they own, or don't own to start with. Why give them less

than the best, and have them think less of the community? They would be

so thankful for anything, but isn't best, better for them as well as for

us???

Education is needed, yes, people just don't know or don't think.

Maybe it would help to suggest she launder the fabrics.

RitaR

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I try really hard not to "judge" charity work. First I feel you should give your very best to others, no matter who they are. Second your best may be very different from from my best. That said when I'm handed one of these quilts to quilt, I try to do my best, even if it is replacing a back. I tell the maker I had this on hand and thought it would be a better choice because of the colors or that there would be no seams ect. and hope you don't mind that I used it instead. So far no one has been upset. Just my two cents. good luck everyone on helping others.


Dell 2016 Millie Frannie Ann Jr. with Bliss & she is Quiltaziod and Circle Lord Equipped with lots of Quilting Toys and now has Quilt Path!

 

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I agree with you guys about a charity works being done like we would want ours to be done. While my first husband and I were going through a painful divorce he was accidently killed and I was left with some massive farming debt (think back to the 1980's farm crisis). I had very little with four kids. That first Christmas a large box was left on my porch, and inside were five beautiful quilts, one for each of us. I have NEVER forgotten that and I have no idea who it was who left them. They wouldn't have needed to have been done half as nice to have been as appreciated, but that someone cared enough to give us the best has never escaped me.

Last winter I offered, to a group doing charity quilts, to do basic meandering long arm quilting for them free of charge. I thought this would free up time to be able to do more of them. After they discussed it, my contact called and politely declined my offer of quilting 'because the board together decided they really didn't want the quilts to be too nice, because then a recipient would probably just sell it to get money'...... I said ok, hung up, and just sat there pondering that in all directions........ I don't believe, in my heart, that it would have mattered if I quilted them or they tied them off, I think this group caught the cynical bug. How sad is that, or is that true?


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2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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Marci, God blessed you and the giver of those quilts. What a great story and so close to Christmas. I thank you.


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Serendipity: The discovery of something wonderful quite by accident while looking for something quite different.

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K: When you return it to the piecer, tell her that she needs to wash it after she binds it. If you're stuck with finishing it, do the same thing. Launder it befor you give it away. I've see all sorts of things, and this isn't all that unusual. This would be a good one to give to the local fire dept, or police dept for emergency. Those quilts are just utility and probably don't get much care after they are received. Jim

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I really think, with the dirty area and grease, I would have asked them if they would clean the top and backing, so you don't get dirt in the machine, or grease smeared on parts of the machine, and ruin some one elses quilt.

if that upsets them, then they have no respect for anyone else nor of themselves.

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The only thing I can think is maybe it is to go to a homeless shelter as the charity. I was told by the lady in charge not to make it "too nice" because then it could be stolen from the recipient. I guess in a weird way that makes sense. But it sure would be nice to give something great instead of something so-so.


kat in indiana

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Hi folks, I guess I should clarify that the quilt is from a guild. I thought I could get involved by doing what I do. I really don't know who made it. I did however make a muslin backer for it. The thought of giving someone a dirty stained quilt is just wrong. I folded the original backer to return with the quilt and will talk about the situation to see how we can educated people without hurting feelings. Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. K

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Charity quilting is a touchy subject and everyone I have talked to has been either burned by piecers or concerned about the quality of the offerings.

You can put on blinders and quilt away, while holding a warmth in your heart for the eventual recipient. You can try to educate the masses by opening eyes and hearts at your organization--do a talk about charity quilts. We've found quilts donated by my Guild at the local Value Village and some thrift stores. We securely sew a label on and those labels are still on the quilts. They could have been sold to the thrift stores by the recipient or stolen from them and then sold. In either case it's sad to see.

After it's out of your hands--well, it's out of your hands!

The tops we get from our guild members for charity may be UFOs, built from stash with a purpose to go to charity, or built from our stash of donated fabric that belongs to the guild. We've found that simpler is better, that it will somehow impact someone, and that it makes us all feel good to do good.


Linda Rech

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This last year I decided that I wanted to make charity quilts for my local community. I set out the year with the goal of making 12 bed size quilts for the local Domestic Abuse Center.

I have a GREAT and GENEROUS group of friends that wanted to help. My husband now believes that my friends are now actively assisting in a conspiracy to help me get the add on to my house. People keep cleaning out their stashes and donating fabric to me.... many times the fabric can be decades old. I have actually asked people to stop donating for a while or donate to another organization. But i do get the oddest of fabric.... including sheer fabric... but that is okay to because I tell people up front what cant be used in quilts will be used in dog beds or mats for the dog local shelter.

The Domestic Shelter did ask that I keep the quilts simple....for fear that they might be sold. I have also had people donate their UFO's that they just don't want. All were accepted, but sometimes I might find a different home for one. I have had two that were just beautiful, that were donated to groups to be raffled as a fun raiser. Most of the quilts were designed to be utility quilts, but they were always clean.

I'm happy to say that by the end of the year, my local community will have received 67 quilts going to several organizations. And I agree with Linda, once I deliver them I have to trust that they are used for what I had hoped and move on. (but I do purposely stay away from the large sales... it would break my heart to see one for sale).


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Everyday is a good day when you get to play with fabric!

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I once did a quilt for a wedding present. The front was made of pre-printed pillow squares (polyester). The batting was THICK stiff polyester, and the back? A sheet that, when retired from the bed, hung as a shower curtain, and was now being used as the backing for the wedding quilt!

:wub: Cathy Miller http://www.singingquilter.com/ wrote a song about it, and other longarmer challenges in a song called "You Can Quilt That Out". It's on the 2004 CD "A Quilter's World". I love the stories she tells through her music.


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