“Uh, what do I do with this?” – The perils of giving a quilt as a gift

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You spent weeks, maybe even months, sewing and quilting that beautiful quilt for your nephew’s graduation, or maybe it was a baby quilt for your co-worker’s baby shower. And when you presented it to them, you received a mild and not so warm “thank you”. It was obvious that it wasn’t their favourite gift.

Some people just don’t appreciate a beautiful handmade gift like a quilt. You shouldn’t blame them or get angry. You may be a quilt lover, and maybe your best friend is a quilt lover. But not everyone likes quilts – just like not everyone likes broccoli. There are some people for whom a quilt is not the best gift. Here are some tips to make sure your next quilty gift is appreciated!

  • Ask first. Don’t go to all the trouble if they really don’t want it.
  • If you can’t ask directly, ask their friend. Someone who knows them well will know if they really would like a quilt or quilted gift.
  • If you can’t ask (or don’t want to ask), make something simple and don’t put a lot of effort into it. That way if they put the quilt away and never use it, you won’t feel frustrated because you’ve spent a week’s salary and all your spare time working on the gift.
  • Make the gift so that it will fit with the recipient’s decor. If you like to make traditional pinwheel quilts in blue and yellow, but their decor is woodsy natural with brown and green flannel, it’s likely your quilt won’t get much use at their house!
  • Same goes for baby quilts – many young mothers today like the modern quilting look. It may mean you have to step out of your comfort zone, but good on you for doing it!
  • Make a small item that isn’t going to be the big pink elephant of the room. It’s easier to display a small table runner than a bed quilt.
  • Make a seasonal or themed quilt project – if it’s holiday themed, they’ll be more inclined to use the gift by displaying it for a few weeks instead of all year round.