A while ago, Debra broke down the cost of giving a quilt in a discussion on the about.com quilting forum. And it is expensive. Even if you do not count your time in the equation, just the supplies alone are expensive compared to other gifts you might give. Debra got a lot of flack with people saying things like, "You cannot put a price on a gift from the heart," etc. Of course, these are the same people who complain left and right about the cost of patterns, fabric, shipping and handling, etc. Quilting is an expensive hobby and not everyone can afford it. Just like a lot of things.
When looking at my Christmas list, I thought about who would get a quilt this year. I have a number of unfinished ones from a stint I did in 2004 attending a bunch of kit classes with a friend. By the time I finish them, they will cost me close to $100 each to finish, I would guess, not counting my time. (I cannot bill the same hourly rate for quilting as I do for laboratory design consulting. For one, I don't have a Ph.D. in quilting, and for another, it just isn't worth the same to the recipient.) So to whom would I give a gift that expensive?
Actually, there are quite a few people. But do these people really want one of my quilts? I am always surprised by who likes them the most. Here are a few quilts I have given as gifts.
A couple of years ago, my son joined the neighborhood swim team. The coach, a college age NCAA swimmer, really took to my son and spent a lot of time showing him how to swim correctly. To this day my son has gorgeous strokes. And, as a very little guy, can win blue ribbons in butterfly. But I digress... When Coach Joey graduated from college and moved on with his life, I made a queen sized rail fence quilt that all the swimmers signed the back of. Coach loves this quilt. He made an appearance at a swim meet this summer, and one of the first things he did was hug me and tell me he slept under that quilt every night. (He also told me I was looking good, which means a lot coming from a 25 year old athlete...) So I guess he liked it. Anyway, it is one of my favorite gifts I have ever given. (Please excuse the messy room. This was before we actually had bedroom furniture.)
Another quilt I made but was not sure about giving was to my uncle and aunt when they got married. It was also loved, and my aunt decorated her guest room around it. I don't have a picture of it anymore. It was nice.
I also made quilts for two of my son's teachers. Both had cancer. One did not make it. Here is the quilt I made her. It was a mystery quilt and I will never do one of them again. While I do like this quilt, I am more of a scrappy quilter than a 3 tone quilter...
Here is the other teacher's quilt. She is doing great, by the way, and is fully recovered at this point...
Both of those quilts were gifts from the heart and both of those women love(d) their quilts. And here's hoping that none of my son's other teachers are in need of a quilt like this again!
Anyway, the point is that quilts make excellent gifts for some people. But they do cost money and not everyone wants one. So I am careful who I give quilts to.
Actually, the point of this post was to see if I could put pictures in a post, and I think I have succeeded. I also put in links. Just trying to get the hang of it all.