They are practice pieces for skills I want to have one day. That’s why they’re not perfect. There are colors that shouldn’t be touching, and doubled stitches and tucks in the backing. There might be a red thread shadowing through behind a white block. But, those things don’t detract from your enjoyment of a quilt, or my enjoyment of the process. My quilts (now yours) are an adventure I took with colors and textures, all the while with you in mind. Sure, they were expensive sometimes and time-consuming to make, but I chose to do that. You didn’t ask me to. You have no obligations to me arising from the fact that I made it for you. To the contrary–they are my expression of appreciation to you, either for something you did, or usually more often than that, for just being you. 😃
The best way to display a quilt you’ve received as a gift, as I told a friend the other day, is over the top of someone who’s cold.
My quilts are not show quilts. So, when I give a quilt to someone, it isn’t meant to take up her entire living room wall, or a coveted position in a cedar chest somewhere. (This quilt is probably a bad example, because my bass player friend told me his wall was exactly where he planned to put it. And in that case–whoops, it’s huuuuuge….)
Mostly, these quilts are meant to snuggle up under while you’re reading a book in the easy chair, or watching fireworks from the back of your pickup. They’re meant to be picnic blankets, and pillow forts and to have on the couch when somebody comes over and your house is 65 degrees. They’re meant to wrap kids in when they come in from playing outside in the snow. Mostly, they’re washable and dryable by machine (and usually have been through that at least once already), and those layers are not coming apart. They’re made of the good stuff and should last forever, or at least as long as you do, whether you give them a head start toward their eventual inevitable demise, or not.
If you love it, I love to know that. But I don’t ever fully expect a reaction. I choose my recipients and their quilts carefully, hoping to hit the nail on the head in terms of color and design, size, and functionality. There are a lot of factors at play, so I don’t expect myself to get it absolutely perfect. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It’s definitely a thrill for me when it pops up in a photo you post on Facebook. It’s fun to see it somewhere when I come over. But I promise you, I’m not looking for it. This was a gift. At what point it left my hands to be placed in yours, its use has been up to you.