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Advice needed - I feel used

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Brigit-Carol Posted: Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:00 AM

This is going to be long -- sorry.  This is a new one for me, so wondered how some of you might respond.  I attend a Bible Study at a local church and took a couple of quilts I'd finished to show the folks.  The former minister's wife (he passed away 3 years ago) said she would love to have a quilt made from his ties but the ladies at the LQS said they wouldn't do one since they are so time consuming.  We have attended the Bible Study for 6 years together, so although she is not a close friend, I do consider her more than an acquaintance, and I absolutely loved her husband.  So I offered to make her a quilt top from his ties as a gift to her in memory of her husband.  I sent her a couple of photo ideas via e-mail of Dresden Plate and Chinese coin designs.  We e-mailed back and forth a couple of times about it and she decided she liked the Dresden Plate. 

I got an e-mail from her this morning titled "great idea".  She said she had more ties than she realised (25) and asked me if I would make three lap quilts from the ties for her grown daughters (who live in other states, none of whom I've met except at their father's funeral).  I was floored.  I'm not sure why I am offended, but realise I am.  Why would she think I'd make three quilts for people I don't even know? I really don't know how to respond without seeming selfish, but after practicing with some thrift store ties, you couldn't pay me enough to make even one, neverminde three. But I was willing to do one as a gift to her.   

Have any of your faced something similar where it comes to your making quilts?  I've had a couple of other friends "put their orders in", but not ask/ expect me to make a quilt for someone I don't even know. 

 

 

Brigit-Carol

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Barbara replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:08 AM

Brigit, I would very nicely explain that you are unable to make three because you have other commitments and you would be happy to do what was originally agreed to. You have no reason to feel obligated to do the other two ,if she is unhappy with this ,she can try and find someone else to do them .Do not let others make you feel this way or they will take advantage of you .

Liberty,Missouri

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Sukochi replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:11 AM

Tell her that these quilts are very difficult to make. Tell her that you will be happy, as you said, to make the one quilt for her. Tell her that you appreciate the confidence she is showing in you by asking for you to make more. Then just say, again, that you are unable to fill the request for the other quilts.

Just got a call from the son of the neighbor who fell. She was slurring her words, and could use her hand. So, Jim is on the way to the hospital with her. Her son does not have a drivers license, as he has had several too many DUI's. Thank you, Lord, for my tommy trouble, that kept us home. Never thought I would see this as a good thing.

Sukochi

 

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Patti replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:18 AM

Like the saying goes: do more than is expected of you and soon more will be expected.  She may not realize how time consuming it is to make just one quilt from the ties. 

I think I would tell her making one quilt  takes a lot of time, but that you would be glad to show her how to do it.  Have her schedule time with you to do all the prep work, preparing and cutting the ties, etc.  Have her do as much of the work as possible, including taking some home for her to work on her own.  Don't help her with the parts she can do, but wait for her to finish what she is able before going on to the next step.  After the two of you have finished one quilt, she can decide if she wants to do the others.

Who knows, you might introduce her to the world of quilting and many hours of enjoyment.

I tend to volunteer my time and skills to easily and end up not having enough time to do just work on my quilts.

Patti

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Ginny replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:35 AM

Sukochi, I too am glad you had to stay home, especially now with the symptoms she is showing.   Bless Jim for taking her to the hospital.   Actually, I was  little concerned that she had hit her head on the rock, so I am so glad you were in the right place at the right time...    Ginny

 

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Hey Brigit-Carol,

She probably just doesn't understand.  She knows that you enjoy making quilts, so she might think it would be fun for you.  Also, I find that a lot of people have NO IDEA how much work goes into a quilt.  There are all these people these days doing "crafts" they found on pinterest - that take a few hours with a glue gun and some ready-made supplies from Michael's- and I think a lot of people just have never thought about how much time and effort goes into making a quilt - especially something special like a dresden plate pattern made out of ties.  I find that for those who didn't grow up around quilting and sewing, it's easy to think that all "crafts" are essentially the same.. 

If it were me, I'd try to explain that it's really a LOT of work and, while you're willing to do one as a gift to her, that it's waaay too much work for you to do multiple.  Try to give her some specifics about how much work goes into each one.  Let her know that you'll understand if she decides she wants 3 matching quilts, but that she would need to find someone else if that's her wish.

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chocake2 replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:46 AM

Yes, it is a great idea... but one that would be far more meaningful if SHE were to exicute it. Think how special those lap quilts would be to the daughters if Mom were to do the work!!!  And if she doesn't have the time, ...well...yes. Time is valuable,and you have precious little of it yourself.

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And I love glue guns and Michael's as much as the next girl - just, well, you know what I mean, right?  ;)

Raleigh, NC

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Susan replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:53 AM

Brigit- Carol, Some people just take advantage IF you let them. I would be Floored , too !!!  She probably has no idea how much work is involved. Politely, let her know all the details involved in making this Quilt, in memory of HER, Husband .  You  will surly find out what her true colors are if she is offended by your refusal to make three instead of one.   I feel for you, and personally think, she is the selfish one. Wish you Luck,    Susan

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Thank you all for your replies.  It has helped me see that I'm really not being selfish and my feelings are not out of line.  The reason I offered to make the quilt for her is she had already been turned down by "paid professionals" and told tie quilts were too time consuming, so she does have at least some idea that tie quilts are more difficult than regular cotton pieced ones. 

I've decided to respond via e-mail, and just tell her I really don't have the time, energy or expertise to tackle something so technically demanding three-times over.  I'll suggest that since her daughters all live in urban areas they could probably find someone local to them who would make a quilt from the ties.   If she comes back and ask that I make just the one, I will do it but not very quickly.  The funny thing is I was looking forward to doing this as something special for her and now my feelings have turned into "a sense of duty" if she does ask for just the one.  But feelings can change.

As to working with her on making one -- it' a good idea, but I honestly don't have the time, and she doesn't sew at all.  I think it would be very frustrating to both of us. 

Brigit-Carol

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WeeOne replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 12:23 PM

If I read correctly, you said you tried a block and it wasn't much fun.  Quilting should be FUN.  I have got myself into projects that felt like duty not enjoyment.  If it were me, I would take the block you made and sit down with her and tell her it's more of a project than you realized, even for 1 quilt.  If your heart isn't in it, you may never get it done (I wouldn't), then she will really be upset.

Lyn

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WeeOne:

If I read correctly, you said you tried a block and it wasn't much fun.  Quilting should be FUN.  I have got myself into projects that felt like duty not enjoyment.  If it were me, I would take the block you made and sit down with her and tell her it's more of a project than you realized, even for 1 quilt.  If your heart isn't in it, you may never get it done (I wouldn't), then she will really be upset.

Lyn

I'm sorry if I was confusing in how I stated things.  No, I haven't done a block since this quilt is not in blocks.  It's a Dresden Plate using men's ties.  One large Dresden about 45" across centered in the quilt, with maybe quarter plate Dresdens in the corners from the small end of the ties.  The ties are silk and since they are on the bias have to be stabilized and are challenging to work with.  But I was looking forward to making her one as a gift in memory of her deceased husband.  Here's a pic of one found through Bing that is similar to what I was thinking of making.  It was just doing three for strangers that had me flummoxed.  

 

Brigit-Carol

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One other thought might be to suggest a pillow for each, that way you could still do the Dresden Plate, and it would mostly be less work then even making one lap quilt, yet everyone would be happy.

Just  a thought, I had liked the idea of having her help you, however if she doesn't sew at that might be more work then it's worth.

Good luck with your task.

Colleen

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Kris replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 12:55 PM

Brigit,

I agree with Patti. Show her how to make it. She can help you with the one for her then she can decide if she want to make two more for her daughters. 

If she's not a quilter she doesn't know the work involved. However, she should have some idea if professionals have turned her down citing the difficulty factor.

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Ginny replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 2:03 PM

I like the idea you found Brigit-Carol, really would be nice    Ginny

 

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