“How would you like to donate a quilt??” NOT!


For years a former friend of mine tried to get me to donate a quilt to a group she was active in. She wanted to use my donated quilt as a fundraiser. I always refused. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why we’re no longer friends.

My thinking was this: my quilts aren’t exactly typical. So I suspected there would not be a huge amount of raffle tickets sold. Which I would hear about for a loooooong time.

And it takes me a long time, in fact, generally several years, to complete a quilt. Which my friend didn’t seem to understand. She “just” wanted me to “whip one up” for her. I don’t do that. The fastest I’ve ever made a quilt was for granddaughter Adela and that was a very simple quilt to make.

Also I don’t want a “whipped up” version of my work on display anywhere. It would lessen my other quilts, all of which I spend a lot of time on. It would diminish them and people would say, “ah yes, she can whip them out in a day.” So why would anyone want a quilt that I’d “whipped out” in a day? The workmanship alone would be suspect, I’d think. But the point is, I spend endless (and happy) hours picking out the fabric before I even get to a quilt. I DON’T want to make them in a day. I can’t even choose the fabrics in a day.

I was irked that my friend refused to understand what it takes me to make a quilt. In fact, once I started creating quilts in earnest, she started indeed “whipping out” one-patch quilts for her godchildren. She timed how long it took her and she’d report the time to me. It always was a rebuke for how I was taking way too long to create something.

She quickly got bored by her quilt-making and stopped, but it apparently sealed her conviction that quilts are something we quilters just do in our sleep. I would have loved to have worked with her and shared my enthusiasm for this incredible art with her but she didn’t want to. I’d start to explain the process that goes into one of my quilts, and her eyes would gaze over. She was happier feeling that I shouldn’t be taking the time I was, “simply to make a quilt.”

So I was really peeved by her lack of respect for what I’m trying to do. (No kidding!) And eventually our friendship went away.

I know my quilts cause raised eyebrows among some viewers. And some people love them. Which is delicious. So I think I need to continue to make sure they are displayed only where they would be respected. They’re not for everyone. Unlike raffle quilts which need to appeal to a broad audience. That’s fine with me. I will continue to practice saying no, I don’t “whip up” quilts.