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Saturday, March 14, 2015

What happens to all those quilts?

By Joy Rusonis

 Wow, I was just to the Lancaster, Pennslyvania AQS show yesterday. What a  treat. I went with my sisters and we really enjoyed seeing the wide variety of quilts and hangings. I enjoyed the antique quilts and the hand quilted pieces the most.

        The question came up--what happens to all these beautiful pieces once they are no longer entered in shows? Do any of the full-sized quilts actually end up on beds, or are they too special to use? In fact, what happens to most of the quilts we make?

        I am in the process of quilting my first full sized quilt. It was a top made by my grandmother. I know there are some really fragile fabrics in it, so I will display it, rather than use it. When I am done, I want to make a queen size for my bed.

        Do you use your quilts? Collect them? Give them away?

        At quilt guild, one of the members shared her collection of quilts. Some were samples from shows that she bought "so she wouldn't have to make them." Some were quilts she'd made for others, but hadn't actually given them to the intended recipients. I was a little baffled by that train of thoughts but to each his own.

Val's farewell gift
Tony's quilt
Rei getting comfy

        I've given away a lot of the small pieces I've made. Some of the happiest gifts were baby quilts. I made this quilt for my son to take to college. It never made it there--he preferred a comforter, but he now uses it as a throw when he is watching tv so that makes me happy. I sometimes make gifts for people who are leaving at work.

        I work at a college, and have student help in the department. Some of the them are with us for four years and I get pretty attached to them. I started making them quilted objects when they graduate. I usually do a small throw or pillows. 

        One of my students sent me this picture of his beloved dog, enjoying his pillows.

Kiri's throw

I really didn't mind. I expect my gifts to be used; they are quick projects and I enjoy making them. However, I know that a lot of people have real horror stories about giving a quilt that took a lot of time and effort and seeing the quilts abused and ruined.

        I don't know if I will ever have enough time (and be a fast enough quilter) to make anyone a bed-sized quilt. If I do, I think I would make sure that they want a quilt, and then make sure that the quilt fits their taste. A bedroom is a really personal place and I wouldn't want someone else deciding what to make for my bed. And then I hope that I'd be strong enough to give the quilt and never worry about it again! Pretty tough to do!