Weddings, graduations, baby showers, and Father’s Day are all great occasions for gifting quilts! Quilters show our love and affection to family and friends through our passion. We put tons of time, thought and money into making a quilt gift. As we stitch it together, we think loving thoughts of the recipient.  It’s sharing a small part of our soul, when we give a quilt.

I’ve heard from quite a few quilters in the last weeks about how upset they are about how their gift is being treated or how it is not being used as intended.

“I can’t believe they put in in a closet!”

“They keep it in their car!”

“It went on a picnic!”

“The dogs (cats, hamsters, lizards) lay on it!”

“They washed it in bleach (hot water, with their blue jeans)!”

The Solution

In my mind, there is only one way to remedy this situation. Tell them!

Do you want the baby quilt to get used and washed and spit up on and washed and loved and washed? Tell Them.

Is the quilt meant to be used on the couch for snuggling and movie watching and reading? Tell Them.

Did you intend the quilt to be used carefully on a guest bed or to be hung on the wall? Tell Them.

Quilts can also be heirlooms meant to be handed down through generations. No one will ever know, unless you Tell Them.

Often times the person who receives your quilt has no idea how much time, money and love went into making it. These are the people who call quilts (shudder) “blankets” and it’s up to you to educate them. They may not know the best way to care for a quilt. Include a card with instructions. The Quilting Company has put together a printable Quilt Care PDF that you can download and print. Here’s another one: (its got all of those hieroglyphics that no one knows what they mean, but will make you seem sophisticated).

On the other hand, they may know how dedicated you are and how much of your energy goes into the quilts you make and my not want to “spoil” the quilt by using it. Be sure to talk with the recipient and say something like, “Please use this quilt. I made it for baby to be loved and comforted. It is not an heirloom. Use it and wash it. Put it on the floor for baby to play. If it wears out, I can make another. ”  Here’s a cute poem (sorry I do not know the author, it’s been used by me for many years):

Your Baby Quilt

This quilt is made of cloth and thread

To place upon your little bed.

It’s not an heirloom just to keep,

But to lay upon as you count sheep.

Or perhaps the floor’s the perfect place

For a doll and teddy picnic space.

This quilt can be anything you dream

From Superman’s cape to the robe of a Queen.

Pretend it’s a raft adrift at sea,

Or just cuddle up and watch TV.

So use it up and wear it out.

I promise I won’t yell or pout.

Just tell me when it’s days are through,

And I’ll make another, just for YOU.


When gifting quilts, Tell Them or you are not allowed to complain!

How do you convey this information?  Does anyone know who wrote that poem? I would love to give credit. Tell us in the comments.

by Mary Beth Krapil, Handi Quilter National Educator