I had seen posts from people saying that they found it very difficult to make a quilt if they did not pick out the fabric and pattern. I would nod my head and say "yes, I can see why that is." Now I KNOW why that is...
My in-laws moved to assisted living this past June and my sister-in-law came to me with a box. Inside the box were 32 quilt blocks that my MIL had made about 30 years ago, along with some fabric. She asked me to finish it, and I knew she was stressed, so I said I would. It would be an educational experience.
One of the fabrics was very...pink. Like a salmon-y old pink. I hate pink. I think the only piece of fabric I currently own that could be characterized as "pink" is a batik. One of the fabrics was a mishmash of packed blue outlines of flowers and the other was navy with little pink flowers scattered over it (there's that word again). I had to make 4 more blocks to make it 6x6 and then sash/back/quilt it.
The first problem was the sashing fabric she had in the box was pretty see-through and I just didn't trust it. So I went to the LQS and bought some. The bigger problem was that I had the worst time motivating myself to do anything with the blocks because I really DID NOT LIKE the fabric. Finally in October I made myself finish the four blocks and sash the quilt. Now I needed borders.
There was not enough of the supplied fabric to make borders (for which I was very grateful, actually) so again I went to the LQS, where I stood for literally an hour with different bolts next to the fabrics. The pink was throwing a huge monkey wrench into things because I swear there are no colors made now that would really go with it. Finally I settled on a color that was near the navy fabric though a little purplier.
Finally, I needed to get it finished by Christmas. I had to buy backing and batting and get it quilted. They asked me if I wanted them to do the binding, but I said no because I was already spending a lot of money (just imagine, 98x98 quilt backing and batting and the quilting for that size quilt). They got it back to me in about two weeks but then I was faced with putting the binding on, including handsewing to the back.
Four hours of handsewing later (gag), I beheld the finished product and astonishingly, the rather distressing amount of hostility I had been harboring towards it mostly disappeared. Once it was done, I actually thought it was OK. The quilting made a HUGE difference.
Here it is in action on my MIL's bed:
So...it really IS harder to make a quilt of someone else's colors/fabrics, no matter who it is you are making the quilt for, but in the end you will probably like it - or at least not hate it so much. :-)