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I've hemmed and hawed about posting this for a few reasons, but after reading one of today's posts where a charity quilter was brought low by an insensitive comment about a quilt that was quilted for charity with the best of intentions and a generous heart, I felt I had to share this for any of you who take part in quilting for charity.  

I started quilting for a local Quilts4Kids group a couple of years ago to get some additional practice on my new Sitdown machine at the time and to also be part of something where I could give back.  I have really enjoyed it and when given a quilt with opportunities for embellishment, have put a lot of time and effort into coming up with things to quilt into it, trying to add a bit more interest for the recipient child.  Our quilts mostly go to Sick Kid's hospitals or children's wards in smaller hospitals.  I've had a few negative comments over this time about how some little kid is not going to appreciate the work I put into these quilts.  However, I have still continued with my approach as it is my feeling that perhaps something I quilt into it might bring a smile to some little one.  Plus it makes it really fun for me! ;):D

As a quilter for charity, you rarely if ever, get any direct feedback from a recipient of a quilt you've donated or been associated with thru piecing or quilting.  I'm okay with that!  I truly believe that gifts should be given with no strings attached.  So here's a little boost I want to share with those of you who ever wonder if what you're doing is worthwhile or appreciated by your intended recipient.

When I joined this forum and started sharing my pictures of quilts I was working on with my new Lenni, I was unaware that APQS may repost these photos, until one of my quilts turned up in my Instagram feed, as I follow APQS on Instagram.  More recently, it came to my attention that they do the same on their Facebook page.  I'm not a big FB user, but do frequent it so when I saw a couple of my quilts on their page, of course I had to check out the comments on my quilts.  One of the quilts was the first Olaf quilt I made to practice on, with a view to donating it to our Quilts4Kids group.  While most of the comments were very positive, there was one that stated something to the effect that some needy kid is never going to appreciate that quilt.  I'd heard it before, so didn't really get upset by it.  However, what flabbergasted me was the reply to the comment, I captured in the following screenshot and feel I need to share for any of you who wonder about the impact you may have by gifting a charity quilt.  It truly warmed my heart, and validated my work in giving to this worthwhile cause.  I hope it serves to encourage and inspires you to continue your generosity.

The pictures...the quilt, very densely quilted (for the naysayers on quilting density;):) ) and the Facebook excerpt from the recipient's mom.

Sorry for the long winded story.  

 

 

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Wow!  Your post is so encouraging and validating!  I have had 2 songs running through my head as I have been trying to decide whether on not to quit the group of volunteers providing quilts for the cancer patients:  

1. Let it Go  ... thinking about the goal of comforting cancer patients and ignoring criticism.

2. You don't know what you've got till it's gone ... thinking about being criticized and disheartened and quitting the group that does not value my efforts.

 

After reading your post, the song that is the loudest is the Let It Go!  

Many thanks!

Charmaine

 

 

 

 

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 I donate quite a few quilts to our local childrens hospital and like you said, there is no direct validation. This does not bother me as it leaves me free to believe that my efforts are indeed appreciated. And now you have validated that fact. I believe children are much more appreciative of things than many adults and you have now encouraged me to try to do even more on my donation quilts. Thank you for sharing.

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Kathy, your quilting is beautiful!!!  How wonderful to hear from the lucky recipient's mother about how much it meant to her and her daughter.  I don't understand why some people feel the need to make disparaging comments when someone else does something special for a person they don't know.  I am so glad you are not letting that stop you.

I also make quilts for Quilts for Kids, and although they are not even close to the quality of your quilting, I have always hoped that they were appreciated.  I did get personal acknowledgements from QFK twice, commenting on the special quilting I did, which meant a lot to me.  Even without that, though, I would still continue making quilts for them, because I get a lot of personal satisfaction from making these quilts.  I have been very blessed in my life, and making these quilts is one of the ways I can use the blessings I have been given.

Keep up the great work!!

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A wonderful story, and great quilting, Kathy! I believe that people who say that a child would not appreciate the quilting effort have no clue. Children might not realize how much time and effort went into it but most of them will enjoy looking at all the different designs and will trace them with their fingers and will certainly appreciate the gift. And that's what counts, so who cares if some jealous and bitter adults think it was too much effort.

About seven years ago, I received an email from a father whose preemie daughter had received one of my little quilts. He sent a few pictures and told me how well she was doing now and how much they had loved receiving the quilt and that it was always with her. I got his permission to share with the group that makes the quilts because feedback like this is always so encouraging. We are still FB friends today, and of course we don't talk much but he just sent me another picture of his now 7 year old daughter. She is doing great, and it was wonderful to still get feedback after all this time.

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Just think how much your quilt will comfort both parents and child, especially  if the the child is terminal and after she goes to heaven.  Don't stop listening to your heart and continue to do the beautiful work for others.  And while you do it as I do, say speacial prayers/intentions for the receipiant. You have inspired me to do more longarm details on the charity quilts I do.    Thank you for sharing and Many Blessings.

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Wonderful sharing. My granddaughter also received a beautiful quilt when she was at childrens hospital in dallas made by a church group from a small town Close to where i live. Words cannot describe the comfort this gave her as well as our family to see her wrapped in it. That was in 1993.. in 1999 our whole family went to that church one sunday to thank them. We took the quilt and met the ladies that made it. My granddaughter was 6 then. She will be 24 this summer. Quilters, we change lives and dont ever doubt it. 

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Kathy and Charmaine...

Both of you do exceptional quilting, your stories gave me the chills.

I am so happy to know that both of you are continuing your Love of Sharing, to provide a nice soft Warm quilt that the recipient can have to hold and hug and feel warm and content with during and after their trying times.

Thank you for what you are able do.

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