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Advice needed - I feel used

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Joyce replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 7:21 PM

Brigit-Carol if your friend doesn't even sew she has no ideal how much work goes into making a quilt.  I know people have said to me they would like a quilt I just say take a # behind my kids & grandkids that I just don't get much time to work on them.  I think you are a very generous person to offer to make the one quilt.  I would guess she just got overly excited over the idea.  But then also if she had been told by professionals that they would not do them.  I hope she realizes how much kindness & love for her husband as a pastor you are willing to give of yourself.   God Bless .


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Sukochi replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 7:35 PM

Brigit-Carol, seems to me that you are now not going to make the one you originally offered. Was it because she made you feel differently about making it? You have already accepted the making of the one quilt, due to your gradificaiton of her husband, so you can't now NOT do that. The Lord has put this on your plate. And,while I definately agree,  you should not have to do four, you certainly must do the one. Maybe, I have misunderstood what it is you said. Anyway, that is so beautiful.

I think it is a great idea, for you to offer to teach her to make one ,while you make the one you offered too. You could encourage her to talk about her husband's life, while working together. Maybe, that will show her that working together is much better then just asking someone to do something for you.



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ls2116 replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 7:46 PM

Although my best intentions are meant If she wants three more I would schedule appt. for her to learn the art and time consuming job of quilting.  Good luck on this difficult situation.  

Quilting My Rainbow

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gini replied on Thu, Feb 28 2013 10:26 PM

Brigitte-carol, you have been given some good ideas for how to handle your situation.  When someone asks me to make a quilt for them, I start listing for them all the projects I have started, and all the projects I have been asked to do by others. By that time they get the idea that I have quilts lined up to keep me busy for 20 + years, they drop the request.   I have made one exception in recent years, from the DH of my best friend in life, i gave myself two years to make it.   I would do anything for her. 

gini in north idaho

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Angele replied on Fri, Mar 1 2013 7:52 AM

Brigit-Carol, this lady might not know how to sew, but she could help by removing all the stitching from the ties with you, she could iron and cut. That would give her an idea of the work involved. It just might make her want to learn...who knows you might create a new quilt addict.  One thing for sure, this is how she would understand the work involved. And maybe she could stitch the plates by hand for har daughters. I made a quilt from my friend DH shirts. I then offered to make some for her grand kids...silly me. I never thought of the time and work involved.  I now have two out of five two years. I still have to use his ties and lots of his shirts.  Good luck. Go with your heart.  I'm making the, out of love and respect for the two of them, and I know the girls, so my situation is different.  However I totally get the time factor.  I probably spent close to 100 hours so far.

Angèle  from NWO

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Thea replied on Fri, Mar 1 2013 8:16 AM

Brigit Carol - I doubt very much that the lady who is asking for such a daunting task has any idea of what she was asking for - her grief in losing her husband and wanting to share something of his with her daughters has probably out weighed the good sense she would have had in realizing what she was asking.  She probably thought that since you had volunteered to do one quilt that making 3 smaller quilts would not be that difficult to do.  You should sit down and explain to her just what is entailed in making a dresden plate from ties.  That it is time consuming and that you are just not able to make 3 - I do agree with LaJuan - the one quilt should be made since you did volunteer to do it... and for me it would be the first thing on my plate - it would help this woman with the grief of the loss of her husband to have something to wrap herself up in - his ties in a quilt.  It is really difficult to lose a spouse and I know being a quilter that I will when it happens to me - praise the Lord that it is not anytime soon or that I go before he goes - but when it does I will have the skills to take his shirts and make myself a quilt from them to wrap myself up in - to have a little piece of him with me still.

You might let this woman know that there are women out there that do make these quilts for others - there are many names in the back of magazines that she can contact and I do believe that there is a group of either menonnites or amish that take these projects on for just a small donation for their time.  

Think about the jewels for your crown in heaven while you make this quilt - and about the man that you admired and how this would help a grieving wife.


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You might be over-reacting a little.  She is grieving the loss of a wonderful man and she really has no clue what she asked you to do.  I know you're frustrated but try to take a break for a few days and leave this problem in the Lord's hands.  Put the ties you bought on a shelf, work on something else that's fun and put this problem completely out of your mind for a few days.

When you're refreshed, let yourself think about how to proceed.  Above all, remember the Lord is too loving to be unkind, and too wise to make a mistake.  He'll give you the words to use when the time comes to let her know you can't do 3.

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  [B]ut after practicing with some thrift store ties, you couldn't pay me enough to make even one, nevermind three. 

When you made a practice piece with the thrift store ties and realized it was more difficult than you anticipated you ran into unforseen circumstances.  It is perfectly acceptable to not go forward with a project due to unforseen circumstances like this.   Even if you promised to make one quilt; unforseen circumstances gives you the option not to make any at all.

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I just joined and read your post. First, that Dresden plate is beautiful. I've done tie quilts for my FIL and my dad, but I used a "spool" block and it was more time consuming and not nearly as dramatic as this one. I'll have to keep this picture for the future.

As far as the request for more quilts, I agree with the other posters that people who don't quilt have no idea how time consuming it is. When they see a full-size bed quilt on sale at Walmart for $40, they think one can be whipped up in no time.

I wouldn't even go into how much time and work goes into each quilt; I'd just tell her that you have other commitments, and then give her a few links to some web sites of people who make memory quilts for a living. When she sees what they charge, she'll appreciate that you're doing even one!

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Diana replied on Thu, Apr 4 2013 6:41 AM

I know the feeling.  The secretary at the senior center called me one day and said a new member was wondering if she knew anyone who would help her make a quilt.  I have taught some quilt classes so she called me.  Now, asking if I could help, I thought she was going to need lessons of which I would have been more than willing.  She stopped for a quick 2 minutes to drop off some horribly hand sewn fans (1/4 inch length stitches or more and uneven seams as heck).  She had too many things to do to stay.  Then made a date and time for me to show her how to do her fans a bit better(not to insult her).  She said she wanted ME to make a total of 3 quilts for all of her sons with the fans she hand sewed.  She blew me off, never showed up, never called.  That was the last straw.  I called her and told her I had family obligations that had to take center stage and I just wouldn't have time to make her quilts.  I told her about the local quilt guild that has a lot of members and told her when they meet.  She could go check with them.  I felt sorry for her but to be that rude and expecting me to make a silk purse from a really bad sow's ear 3 times.  When she finally showed up to pick them up, she didn't even apologize for standing me up.  All she said was she decided to spend the day with a friend who called her that morning.  Thanks.  I was kind and not nasty but decided I would never offer to make another quilt for someone unless they are special people to me.  I would willingly teach anyone who wants to learn to do it themselves.

   I think we've all been in your shoes at one time or another.

Good Luck....Diana in East Tn. 

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zoetc49 replied on Thu, Apr 4 2013 9:00 AM

I have to agree with Patti and Angèle,  You offered to do one quilt for her. I think you can let her know that you would still enjoy doing the one but that when you practiced on the other ties that you realized that they are much harder to work with than you expected. I would ask her for her help. it might be that this is a great friendship in the early stages. Her husband fell for her and you enjoyed him, so maybe she can share with you things about him that will help you out too.

I know recently that a stray cat brought an older neighbor and I together. I was worried about a stray  cat and took food over to this neighbors home. I learned that this older man was feeding the cat and he showed me three bags of food. I started talking with him more and more and learned that he was a WW2 vet that served in Normandy. He was about the same age of my dad had he still been alive. Well recently I got to meet his older kids and we all get along very well. So maybe this gift of this quilt is really going to be away of giving you something special in return. As for the other three quilts, I think that you could offer that once you and she make the one, that you and she can teach the other girls how to make one. By that time, she might change her mind. maybe you can make scrappy Christmas stockings for them with some of the ties, I bet they would mean just as much to them . You can ask them to pick out their favorite ties and use just a little from each tie.

Keep us all posted what happened here.

I too had someone asking me to make them a quilt. I told him yesterday that I had no problem making him one, but they often cost around $300-$400. He said no to the quilt. I thought so. LOL


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tnmtgrl replied on Thu, Apr 4 2013 9:38 AM

Had an associate tell me she had some old quilt tops of her grandmother's that she would like to have completed, there were 8 full size, maybe more, I told her sure I could do it but it would be anywhere from $150 - $200 ea. and she would have to buy the backing and the batting ...she asked how much the batting and backing would be, I told her if she wanted good materials it would be around $60 ea. and I could show her where to buy for sales. She said no, I said ok....LOL....I had other things I was working on anyway...people just don't understand the price of just materials alone much less the labor involved...

newport, tennessee


"may there always be work for your hands to do"

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Well, since this thread appears to have taken on new life, let me share what I ended up doing.  I e-mailed her that there was no way I would make three quilts for her daughters whom I don't even know.  I suggested she divide up the ties between the daughters and let them take care of it if they each wanted a quilt.  I told her my offer was to make one FOR HER in memory of her husband.  She e-mailed back a couple of days later and asked if I would meet her at the quilt shop to help pick out fabric for the Dresden quilt for herself -- there was never any more mention of daughters.  I met her and she gave me 24 ties.  I've disassembled them and have affixed Steam a Seam to about half.  I hope to have the quilt done by mid-May so the quilt shop can quilt it before they go out of business. 

Thank you for all your suggestions.  I just hope I can do justice with these ties.  Her husband was a minister with a great sense of humour, and they show in this assortment of ties. Lots of pictoral ones. 

BTW, those who think she was acting out of grief or that I should do the quilt fast to comfort her, please be aware he died almost 4 years ago. 


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Lesley replied on Thu, Apr 4 2013 4:02 PM

Brigit-Carol so glad you managed to sort it all out. Wish I had kept my Dads old ties when he died last year, sadly it was the last thing on my mind and we sent them all to the charity shop! Xx


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Wendy replied on Thu, Apr 4 2013 6:43 PM


I too agree with patti,  This is what we do in our quilt group when someone asks if we can make them a quilt.  we politely tell them no, but if you would like us to go to the store with you and pick out the material and be willing to come to class on Tuesdays, we would all be glad to help you make your own.  We even let them use our machines and supplies.  It is a great way to either introduce quilting to someone new, or get them to realize the work that is put into making a quilt.


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