Thursday, November 09, 2017

Gifting Quilts Dilemma

Since reading recent thought-provoking blog posts by quilters Audrey and Julie, I have been really thinking a lot about quilt gifting.
To give or not to give a quilt ... that is the dilemma. 
I no longer care if the quilt will be liked by the new owner, if it matches their home decor, or will be put into "deep storage" as something they either don't like or like so much that they want to "save it"/not use it. I give it because of the joy of giving away something special that I have made. 
All quilters know how long it takes to make a quilt. To select a pattern/design, to find the right colours and fabrics, to cut and sew the quilt top, to purchase the correct type and size batting, to complete the machine or hand quilting, and then finish the whole thing with a binding. It's a large investment of my finances, my energy and my time.


And if I gift that investment to a person or organization, I do so because either I want to donate to a worthy cause or because I love someone enough to want them to have quilt I have made, to provide comfort and warmth, and to be a tangible reminder of how special they are to me and much I love them.



However, having said all that, I'm going to bravely talk about my dilemma of giving quilts to a certain person in my family. In the past I have given quilts to my children because of course the children of a quilter should be surrounded by quilts! 
But here's the problem - my sweet 4 year old Granddog Max loves quilts too. I have written about him before (read it here). More specifically he loves to cuddle up in and consume quilts. It really is his favourite thing to do. 
Here is the most recent casualty. Can you see all the holes in this quilt where the sun can shine right through?!?

"Mom can you fix this?"
What should I say/do?
There are a few other quilts at my house that Max has chewed holes in, and I have repaired them and then placed them out of his reach. But this one was at his house. 
Binding edges!
I guess I either have to be fine with having holey quilts, or not give any quilts to stay at Max's house. 
Should I put the time and effort into fixing this one? And then let it go back to his house for further ravaging?


Max's quilt... long gone!



In case you are wondering, I did make Max his very own baby quilt. And he chewed on it until it was just a pile of threads. I thought he would outgrow that when he outgrew his puppy stage, but that didn't happen.

Ideas are most welcome!!

34 comments:

julieQ said...

OH wow! Gosh...I have no words of wisdom about your quilt chewing baby...but on the gift giving of quilts, lately...I tried to give my kids more quilts and they said, "no thanks!" They are really minimalize and I think that THEY think they have enough!! LOL!!

Quilting Babcia said...

I know the dilemma, all our kids except for one are pet owners, and one in particular with 3 cats and a large dog, I almost dread making new quilts for. Thankfully her pets do not chew, but their claws invariably will put little 3-corner tears in her quilts. Just a few months ago I rebound and patched an older quilt for her. She loves getting new quilts and happily takes any I want to gift to her though, so that is gratifying. I guess it's just a fact of life that pets will do damage, and the only way to avoid that is to not have the quilts within their reach. Not something we can control for sure!

Kate said...

I'm not so good at making quilts that I'd consider giving one away but I make other stuff and no one wants it - I have one friend who really likes anything handmade but that's it - the ladies of the house inform me that they have good taste and are particular about their decor.
As for the dog damaged quilt, Kathy, I'd say use 'tough love' - if the dog owner isn't going to train the dog to leave them alone or put the quilts out of reach why should you mend them. It's a dilemma for you for sure.

Jo said...

Oh my.. I wouldn't be making and giving a quilt that was anywhere near this animal... sad but true...

piecefulwendy said...

Boy, I don't know if I'd spend the time repairing it if the dog is just going to chew it up again. I do understand your dilemma, though.

SandraC said...

This is a tough one, I think we've all been there at some point. Honestly, I don't understand why they would leave quilts where Max can have at them. After all the effort, time, money and love you have put into the quilts, the least they can do is take care of them. Sorry, this may seem like a harsh comment....but like I said....been there and felt your pain. :(

Sarah Aldrich said...

I think when you make a quilt you have to let it go. I made my daughter a king size quilt which had about 250 fussy cut patches. It was beautiful. Then she had a child who pooped, peed and threw up a lot. Then she had a second. That quilt has worn out so fast!! Her next quilt, which is in process is a simple design which will be simply quilted so she can where it out. I don't do repairs. In this case I would say, I'm sorry, I don't do repairs. I would also tell her that until the dog learns manners or the family keeps the dog away from the quilts she should buy cheap blankets!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Teach Max's mom to quilt so she understands the amount of work involved. Even just one day of helping you do some piecing might do the trick. She obviously doesn't get it that this is a huge amount of work. Max needs to be taught to chew only on his toys, but it might be a bit late for that.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I'm surprised Max has not gotten ill - threads don't digest and can get things twisted inside. We don't mend quilts damaged by dogs - we know it will happen again, the danger to the animal, and the person gifted just isn't responsible enough to deserve.

Deanna W said...

I think Max needs a teething ring or a large chew toy. Quilts are for cuddling in Max not eating!!

Karen said...

I would not repair it....just let the dog have it as is and gift the dog owner a new quilt. I don't like repairing things.

I love gifting quilts and have never had anyone refuse one. I do have a bit of a problem with people who don't understand the costs involved but that is another story.

Linda M @ Pieceful Kingdom said...

I agree with Karen - I wouldn't repair it. I have been pretty good at giving quilts and letting them go. I really love when a quilt I make gets used to pieces, literally. Any "art" quilts I make are small and hang on the wall. All others are to be used until they can't be used any more. I have some that have become pet beds because they are just so worn, and I have no desire to try to repair them. My daughter still has a simple quilt I made about 10 years ago that comes home once or twice a year with seams splitting or old fabric wearing out, which are all repaired and patched. Then she takes it back and uses it more. Fortunately those aren't holes to repair. As far as people not appreciating or wanting a quilt - a friend has decided to send photos of quilts she has at home to family members asking who wants which quilt. If they are quilts she no longer uses she will send it to them now. If they are some of her award winning quilts that she wants to hang on to, she plans to bequeath them to that person when she passes. Hopefully Max's mom will keep quilts that she cherishes out of his reach in the future.

Janet O. said...

If I was in your shoes, I would not do the repairs, and I wouldn't send more quilts to that home unless they had the dog trained NOT to chew on just anything he wanted to chew. You could tell your daughter you are not in the doggy toy business, and that you only make a quilt once. :)
I understand that when you give a quilt you cannot control what happens to it afterward. But when you know it will be ill treated, it doesn't mean you have to keep sending more to that fate.
I have a quilt my Mom made that I have promised to my oldest daughter. But she has a destructive little dog, too. She knows that I will be the caretaker for the quilt until the dog learns manners, or is no longer in her home. Her younger sister already has her "grandma quilt", but she does not have a dog.

pattik299 said...

Absolutely agree with Janet O. It seems the quilts might not have special meaning for her. After seeing what happened to the pup quilt, it would seem obvious it would happen to any other quilt. ~Patti

Mary said...

Sad to see the Holey Quilt. I would say No Repairs. I have a quilt that some of the fabrics have disinagrated through no fault of the owner. It needs repair, but I feel it would be easier to re-make the quilt than to patch all the worn fabrics. My Quilts are being saved for when I am done with them mostly. My children can 'fight' over them. Dogs belong OUTSIDE Imho, not around Quilts.

MissPat said...

Since you did ask for comments, I would say that you should not repair the quilt. If Max's human cannot be bothered to either train Max or keep gifted quilts away from him, she/he should suffer the logical consequences of not receiving more quilts to be consumed. Surely your children know the time, money and talent that goes into your quilting efforts. Don't be a softie. As some else commented, it's time for some tough love. Besides you have too many UFOs and WIFs to spend your precious quilting time on repairs.
Pat

Deb A said...

I agree with MissPat. Enjoy pulling out another UFO (or starting a new mystery.....) instead!

Jennifer said...

zoiks! i'll chime in, but looks like you have LOTS of opinions to choose from! I'm all for using a quilt, rather than storing it, but letting the dog chew multiple holes in it seems a bit excessive. how old is the dog? maybe it will die soon... then you could start making more quilts for this person. or make her some, and have them (the quilts) live at your house until the dog is gone...
I know I'd be sad, and a bit mad, if this happened repeatedly to a quilt that I gave to a certain person.
I do a "Quilt Gifting" regularly when my children are all home together (all 6) and I let them choose from a top that I've pieced, and I also generally provide backing. I do ask that they get the quilt quilted, themselves, as their budget allows. that way they have a bit of ownership in the quilt. it's worked well- this December will be our 3 "Quilt Gifting" (and still- I have too many quilts in my house!

Robin said...

There is joy in the making of a quilt and absolutely no joy in repairing it. I'd focus my time on something that's going to give me the satisfaction of creating something new. And Max's parents will just have to live with the results of their dogs passion. If you knew the repaired quilt would be kept up and away that would be one thing but chances are he'll just put new holes in it.

Nell's Quilts said...

This is tough and I know you can work miracles but I think I would just say, "No I can't fix this one." That's it. No judgement. Just a simple", "Sorry, no can do.

Mary Bolton said...

Life is too short for mending! Time for the person who allowed the dog to chew, to make the repair!

KitsyKeelSmith said...

I have been there and learned my lesson years ago. Made matching quilts for granddaughters' beds. They have four dogs, some of whom sleep on the beds. They chewed holes and chewed the corners off of pillows I gave the girls. No more quilts for that dog house. Will make their daddy, my son, a keepsake quilt but he is not to use it until he is old and cold all the time and will put it away when not in use. I love giving quilts, it just makes me feel so good when I know someone really appreciates it. My daughter, her husband and their daughter all have quilts I have made and they take good care of them. They have two dogs but theirs have not chewed on the quilts (YET.)

audrey said...

Wow, wow, wow! I'm thinking the granddog parents don't have a clue how much time and effort goes into making the simplest of quilts! I would have repaired a quilt once, but not when it continues to happen. Just too disheartening. Really enjoyed reading through your post. We really do have a wonderful hobby and it's mostly a joy to gift our efforts. Once in awhile I gift a quilt to someone whom I'm quite positive will barely appreciate the effort and love or perhaps doesn't have a clue how to take proper care of one. In that case I gift an 'experiment' quilt or one that I'm not totally thrilled with for some reason. That way if the quilt wears out quickly from misuse or ends up in a yardsale I won't cry or rage or even be very distressed. But one quilt is the limit for those sort of cases! You are obviously a better person than I am!

Kate said...

No advice about fixing the dog chewed quilt. That's a hard decision. I don't gift often (I don't finish that many quilts). My daughter loves the ones she has and the ones I gifted last year to her friends are loved. I've given some for school auctions, knowing that those aren't always appreciated. So I've adopted an attitude that I enjoyed my journey making the quilt, but when it moves on, so do I.

Millie said...

I wouldn't fix it. HOWEVER, the next time I made a quilt for that family, IF I MADE A QUILT for that family, I wouldn't put my heart and soul into it. Yeah, I know that makes me sound like a jerk, but I work hard on my quilts, and to have someone disrespect my work, nope, I am not going to reward that. Somebody needs to train their dog.

sigh.
Good luck,

the girlfriend gap said...

Fix it once accidents happen... I have told my daughter on a quilt she had received from a relative that I didn't view as an heirloom, I will fix it once but I will not fix it again so care for it accordingly to how much you love it. She doesn't sew. It is a tough call because our kids think we will fix anything we bring to them but I don't want to spend precious time always fixing things because of their carelessness. It might be a little tougher since you made the quilt and have more of an attachment to it but I agree with someone else... Invite them to a repair party ... they fix it while you supervise the process. Once they know how to fix the holes it becomes their problem. If they don't want to take time to or have the time to fix it themselves.... that's life. They might love/value their dog more than they love/value quilt to allow him to do this over and over. They can use blankets not precious time sewn quilts sewn with love. I'm a hard cookie.
janita

Miaismine said...

I agree with many other commentators, no repairs and no more quilts to Max's home. I've followed you for years and your heart and soul goes into your quilts. You are a generous mom with a huge heart. True story: a relative of mine had five afghans that I crocheted for him. He went through hard times - real hard times. Living in a car, living where ever he could. And when he came home - he had all five afghans and they were all undamaged. Another true story: I sent an afghan to my nephew while he served in the Middle East. Yes, he was teased, but he was warm. And the afghan? It came home from the war zone in pristine condition. Now those are loved ones I would make a quilt for.

Hugs to you my dear, hugs to you.

swooze said...

Well....IF you decide to fix it and you KNOW he’s going to have access to it I’d probably do a quick and dirty cover up job. I’d definitely have a chat with Max’s family and ask them to try to protect the quilts a little better.

Rieann said...

I think I would applique patches over the holes and give it back - you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but tell your D that you will NOT mend it again.

D needs to buy a cheap blanket from Goodwill for the dog, and keep quilts out of dogs way if she cannot be bothered training the dog.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Oh my that's just awful :( I agree with the cheap blanket solution for him!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Over 30 years ago, I got my very first dog that was MINE (I'd moved out). It was a puppy, and chewed a few things. Each time it chewed (once was a quilt my father had bought me) I rubbed it's nose where it chewed (have to catch it quickly while they still remember what they did) then swatted it's hind end. My hubby (just a friend back then) took one of his old socks, tied a knot in it, and gave it to my puppy. The sock was ok to chew, everything else was NOT ok to chew. The dog learned quickly. I've never had another dog chew a quilt since. As for kids, I always placed a large towel on my bed before I changed them, to protect the bedspread (no quilts back then, since I hadn't learned how to quilt). I've always taken care of things like that. I stress to people who I give quilts to, to please take care of them, and tell them how to wash them. If they don't take care of things, then, they don't get more. It would be a waste of my time and $$ to keep making things that they don't appreciate enough to take care of. They need to teach the dog, and yes, it can be done. We have a 120 lb dog now, that has several kids quilts in crate. He doesn't chew on them, but, I also buy him stuffed animals at the thrift store, and he shreds those. He knows what to chew and what not to chew.

lmno said...

What a great topic. Some people are touched that you are thinking of them when you gift them a quilt. It makes you want to give them more. Some people insist on giving you a "thank you" gift" in return. This makes me think that they do not "get it".

After all of these very revealing and interesting comments I will be surprised if you choose to make repairs.

I like talking with other quilters and I am touched when someone shows even a little appreciation for the work. I have learned a lot. Please keep on making wonderful quilts and work on letting them go.

I would not make repairs in this case. Please consider the good advice of all these experienced individuals.

Ellen said...

That is a really tough one Kathy...I certainly would be torn as to whether I fixed the quilt or not but I am leaning towards not. Once we give our quilts away they do belong to the new owners and it is up to them whether they appreciate it or are careless with it. I think the real problem is that they need to train their dog.

Dogs want to please their owners and when the dog does something wrong they need to be scolded so they know what they did was wrong. They need to be taught good manners! There is a product available that is a bitter apple spray that they could spray on the dogs bedding so that it would learn not to chew fabric.

Good luck! :)

Kristin said...

Oh Max!! What a stinker!! Fannie chewed a half moon in one of my quilts when she was new to me. I was sad/shocked/upset. My fix-- she has about 10 million bones now. As long as she has yummy bones, she isn't tempted to chew quilts or other naughty things. I would probably hold off on quilts to Max's house until he is much older and not going to chew them up, You put too much effort into them for him to destroy them!