I have mixed feelings about gifting quilts. On the one hand, it’s natural to want to give something of ourselves to our loved ones. On the other, people can be so damn entitled about what they should receive. There’s an entire Instagram account where makers share their woes of abuse. Wherever you stand on the issue, quilters give away a lot of quilts. And you should be doing these two things every time.
Tip 1: Wash Before Gifting
It seems weird to have this be my top tip, but I can’t tell you the number of times I hear someone devastated because they thought they ruined a quilt after they washed it. That crinkly look we love after the first wash can be unexpected for someone who doesn’t know about quilting. You can see the difference above in my Holland quilt how different it looks before and after washing. Washing it first will keep that change from being so dramatic for your recipient. Panicked calls are no fun for anyone.
Tip 2: Give Care Instructions
Most people don’t know how to properly care for a quilt. Or how easy it really is. A family member came to me embarrassed because she didn’t know how to clean her quilt. This was after having it for quite a while, so… yeah, care instructions. Take a look at the materials in your quilt and make a care card to go with it so they will know how to clean and care for their gift. I find that quilts really aren’t that special when it comes to regular use and washing, so just throwing it in the washer and dryer is generally good enough. But we really don’t give that a second thought.
I made some care cards that I can sign and throw in the gift bag that make it really clear how to care for their new quilt. I have them in postcard and business card sizes, and you can download your own copies by clicking the links.
Bonus Tip: Let it Go
How many times have you seen a post like this is your Facebook groups?
There are two realities being ignored here. First, when you give a gift, it’s no longer yours. Whatever someone decides to do with any gift they receive ceases to be your business once it’s in their hands. Yeah, some people can be really ungrateful when they receive a quilt. (See my opening paragraph!) But seriously, let it go. Second, don’t we want people to love and cherish our quilts? I was devastated when a friend told me she put a baby quilt in the closet because she didn’t want to ruin it. Luckily I was able to ease her mind, but that’s what broke my heart. If you can truly wear out a quilt I made for you, I will happily make you another. Because that means it was loved. That’s really what we’re trying to share.
I hope this helps you the next time you gift a quilt. I’d also love to hear any other tips you swear by. What do you do every time you are gifting quilts? Drop them in the comments below.