Friday, February 17, 2012

I think I have a hoarding problem.

Do y'all ever watch that show Hoarders? It has become my netflix show. Thank goodness smellovision is not invented yet.   The house I grew up in burned down with a lot of my stuff still in it so my ability to attach to most material possessions was a little damaged...and that's a good thing. I like to throw away or donate anything that I don't feel is serving a purpose. The ONLY item I hoard is quilts.

When I first started quilting, I was pretty generous with my finished products. The problem came when I started finding quilts in the thrift stores or hearing about baby quilts I made that languished in a closet.  I made a few for a charity and when I went in the charity to help organize their attic and supply closet I noticed they shoved the handmade gifts in a hole in the top of the closet. I can't donate to them anymore because of all the beautiful knits and quilts that were treated like second class merchandise.  I also made 2 quilts for Quilts For Kids and I received a letter asking me why I never mailed them back.  The problem was that I had.  Apparently they were LOST IN THE MAIL!  Bad experiences with gifting quilts here...

Here are the quilts currently in my house...and I'm definitely missing some (ok, like 10 or more):

You can't get rid of a baby quilt for YOUR baby...
I don't like this one much anymore but it took me soooo long to collect the fabrics and the flea market fancy on back is so soft.  By the time I made peace with giving this to a friend I felt it was "used" and I didn't give it to them because I felt rude giving away a quilt I had in my living room for a year.

This one breaks out of the closet at Christmas.

My husband did not fully appreciate the awesomeness of the Dukes of Hazzard quilt...another one I spent wayyyy too long collecting fabrics for.  Still, it's his and I can't do anything with it.

Someone said they wanted this if I got tired of it (and I have) but it was my first (and only!) applique quilt and I am a lil embarrassed by it.

This is my favorite and it's too soft and perfect to get rid of.

 This is my youngest son's bed quilt.

 This was in the Moda booth at IQF (left one) so I can't get rid of it.

 This one is on my middle son's bed.

 I gave this to my youngest son.

 This won the project monochrome but the backing is ugly so I don't feel right giving it away to a friend.  Plus I like to look at it.

 This is on my bed.  My husband likes straight line quilted quilts.  This one is also on my bed because I like stippling...and I'm a cover hog.

 This one I can't get rid of because the vintage fabric was given to me by a friend and it's one of my favorites because of the simplicity.

 This one creeps me out but I didn't do the binding perfectly and I don't like the batting so I can't get rid of it.

 I made this for a baby then kept it because I didn't like the white thread on the orange backing.  I made the baby another quilt.  Yup, I'm a sicko.

I would totally get rid of this but my kids love it too much...

So you've learned:
1) I'm selfish.
2) My kids enable me.

And you know the sick, sad part???  I'm making a free motion sampler right now and you guessed it...I NEED IT. 

Y'all, I gotta do something about this.  I need to either stop quilting (yeah right) or find a better way to deal with it.  I think I've counted at least 22 quilts in rotation (I still have every moda bake shop quilt I've done, too).  I start quilts to play with an idea usually, not to give to a specific person.  Unfortunately when you quilt just to play with an idea you get too attached because you see it as belonging to you and not for a recipient.  What do you guys do with your quilts?  Please tell me I'm somewhat normal here.  I keep telling myself when they are all divided up between a few grandkids it won't seem so excessive, but then again I'm only 33 right now!


  1. We could start a club. Quilt Hoarders Annonomous.

    Personally, I hang them on walls and drape them over chairs and leave them in stacks around the house. Then I laugh uproarously when one of the kids tells me they are cold.

  2. I feel you pain. My house is exploding with quilts. My hubby had the nerve to ask a year ago if we were going to have a garage sale for them all!!! A mistake he won't ever make again. LOL!!

    On the flip side. My quilting sister is a hoarders show fanatic and cleans out her sewing room after ever show. I like to be first in line for her leftovers. I have to laugh, because she gets rid of stuff then has to run out and buy more!

    It really is a sickness isn't it! hahahahaha

  3. I haven't kept one quilt yet but I've only been sewing for 1.5 years and have only made about 10.

    That being said - I have made 4 quilt tops for myself or my home -I just never finish ones for myself because I am always working on presents or swap. Getting 2 of these 4 long arm quilted this spring so I will FINALLY have my own quilts to snuggle!

    If someone loves a quilt you have, and you don't want, you should gift it to that friend - they will cherish it and not notice the things you worry about at all - it is a better life for that quilt other than being shunned on your shelf. Just saying ;-) The first quilts I ever made went to friends and I'm sure I would be embarassed by them now to see all my mistakes but I don't have to see them and they are loved and used and everyone is happy :)

  4. THANK YOU! It was so nice to read this. I quilt with friends who give give quilts as gifts regularly and I feel like a Scrooge, but I have given quilts that ended up as dog beds, and my last one was for a little boy that I gave to his father who threw it in the back of his construction truck to take home to him. I now have quilts all over my house and just keep it a little cooler so I can can offer you a quilt to keep warm with ;) but there is going to have to be some writing on the wall for me to give a quilt away again.

  5. LOL! I am also a quilt hoarder. I have given away quite a few, but some that I have given are not used be the receivers. I made the cutest baby quilt for a new nephew, and my sister in law wrote me a thank you note saying she put it away in a safe place. I almost took it back.

  6. ROFL, just a wee problem there ;o) The only big quilt I've made, I gave to my gran, the one that's in the line now is going to Blankets of Love, and the one after that is for my granny, so I'm okay with gifting them. I do, however, have plans for 3 or 4 that are mine, all mine!!!

  7. I only have the first one I made that I always look at and think I need to rip it out and redo it... but,,, I don't... I have given all away.. I do have a Dresden plate that needs to be finished for me and tons of fabric to make me one..

  8. OK I only just began to quilt, so I don't yet have this problem, HOWEVER... I have been crocheting for YEARS! And the number of afghans i have in my house is astronomical! I have one (that was actually a wedding gift from my Aunt) that I have had to re stitch SEVEN times! But they all mean something to me! Now you tell me I am going to have all these quilts, too! What have I gotten myself into! LOL!
    P.S. You know I LOVE the coffins LOL I just giggle when I see it! I remember your post about that one creeping you out! I have to make one! I am so obsessed with Halloween! And my creepy Husband and oldest Daughter would get a big kick out of those!!

  9. I'm very careful about who I gift quilts to. I gave one to my sister for my new nephew and know she'll appreciate it since she gets the time and work that goes into a handmade item. I gave one to my mom a few years ago for mother's day and she uses it all the time. It's sad that they're not appreciated. :(

    One thing I've discovered with mailing quilts is that you ALWAYS package it at home, always send it priority, and always get a tracking number. I always try to wrap it in tissue paper or kraft paper then a plastic bag just to avoid it being seen if the box punctures in some way. I've yet to have a quilt lost in the mail (knock on wood).

  10. I think you are pretty normal. I feel like I have given tons of quilts away, but still have at least this many in my house. If you count quilted "items" it's many times more (minis, runners, lap quilts, etc.) I think it just happens....

  11. I'm sure this tends to happen (maybe it will to me too), but wouldn't it be better to give away the quilts you see faults in? That dresden quilt is a good example - someone else has expressed interest and probably wouldn't notice what you consider imperfections!

  12. Be sure to label these. Future generations will want to know who made these and their history.

  13. I probably would keep them if I had all those quilts too :) Some people collect antiques....action figures....shot glasses....etc. You have quilts that you have made and poured yourself into. Big deal - you have a fabulous hobby turned talent turned warm and cozy love and memories :)

    And I will be more than happy to take that dresden off your hands. Seriously. And it's sort of the point that it isn't perfect......If I wanted a perfect quilt I could go to a department store and buy one of those high dollar name brand things. It would mean more to me that it was something of yours - not something that was perfect :) But I am a sentimental fool that way.

    I have only given away a couple. One was a gift for a nephew and it was loved and used. The other was for a church auction and the girl who won it has loved and used it threadbare for 2 of her girls, so that makes me happy.

    You just keep on keeping on!

  14. When I first started quilting I was making them for other people, and my husband asked when we were going to keep one! He wanted to make sure our future kids would have some. I try putting them away, but they all seem to end up in stacks all over the living room. My problem is that so many are too small for snuggling adults, more like baby sized so I could play. So I need to work on making a few bigger quilts for us. I give explicit instructions with quilts that they're made to be used, and for the most part I'm taken seriously, I think.

    I don't think other people would appreciate the fabric choices in a lot of mine!

  15. I guess you can call most of us hoarders but as far as my quilts go, I give the majority of them away.....but who says keeping them is a crime? Not me...I love yours...and will be able to do a wonderful trunk show.

  16. I just don't see a obviously love the quilts as you should. They are a beautiful showing of all your hard work. You need to keep them in the family and enjoy them.

  17. I like to watch the show Hoarders every now and again - it makes me feel so tidy. I don't hoard quilts, per se, I hoard the makings of quilts - FABRIC! Lots and lots of fabric. And patterns. I have decided I will have to live to be 125 to live long enough to make all the quilts I have saved patterns for, thinking "oh, I want to make that one!" You have a lovely collection of quilts and shouldn't feel bad about keeping any of them. Or collecting even more.

  18. If you do decide to try giving some away some day I'd suggest talking to your local social services or your DA. My quilting guild makes service quilts for these two agencies and have had very positive results. We recently heard about a 9 year old girl who'd been through some very traumatic abuse and had to testify against her family member. She never cried while talking to the police or testifying in the court, but when the DA gave her one of our quilts she finally broke down. It's nice to work with groups who appreciate our work and to give to children who have nothing and give the quilts the love that they deserve.

  19. My biggest problem is that I have a hard time getting myself to finish quilts I plan on keeping. Right now I have 3 finished quilt tops that I just don't want to baste. Basting is my least favorite part of quilting.

  20. I fall in love my quilts and don't want to give them away. I don't even particularly want to sell them, but I have no idea what to do with them all. It's easier when I make a quilt specifically to give to someone, then I don't get attached.

    This year I've set myself a goal of making more intricate quilts, so they take longer and I don't have to figure out what to do with as many quilts.

  21. I love all your quilt!!! I only have 2 in the house because I am a new quilter and I gave the other 7 away!!?

  22. Your quilts are awesome! Love the Dukes of Hazzard one!


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