Hey all..I’m starting a new feature here on the blog. It’s an extension of the “Ask Jo” posts you often see here. What we’ll do is take a question and propose it to all of you to answer in the comment in the comment section. I’ll chime in a give my two cents but all of you are encouraged to join in and answer the question as well.
Today’s question came from Brenda. She writes:
“Hi, Jo! I’ve been a longtime blog reader, but I can’t remember if you’ve addressed this before. If you have, I’m sorry. I piece and quilt a lot of baby quilts to give to a local organization. I’ve wondered what some of your community quilters write on the labels for the quilts they donate. Or no label? I feel funny not putting any kind of label on it. Any suggestions?“
There are some really cool quilt labels out there and you can even buy some on Etsy. Check this one out…
Just to to Etsy and type in Quilt Labels and you’ll get all sorts of fun ones.
First off don’t be afraid to ask any questions. If I have answered it before I’ll suggest a link to that blog post…if I haven’t, I’ll answer it. I have discussed this before but it’s been a long time ago…sometimes my opinions change over time…sometimes they stay the same. So let’s tackle the topic of quilt labels.
The question Brenda specifically ask is about quilts going to local organizations…our community quilts would fall into that category.
I know some of the community quilters do add labels to the quilts donate. Some of the groups they are working with require labels so I’m sure they do that in compliance with the program.
I know some are religious groups and donate quilts as part of their mission work. I know they often put labels on that might include their church or a bible passage. Being they are doing mission work including that information lets a quilt recipient know where they can go if they want more information.
I know Quilt of Valor quilts have labels that thank a veteran.
Me, I put zero labels on the quilts I give for charity. I know some of you are going to be shocked that I don’t. Over the years I have thought it out and I have reasons why I do not label charitable quilts. I am going to give my opinion. It’s likely not going to be popular. That’s okay. Remember the title of the post is community discussion. I’ve very open to hearing everyone’s opinions. PLEASE leave them in the comment section.
These are the reasons why I don’t make labels:
1-I am not offering follow-up support. I do not plan to have any other exchange from the person receiving the quilt. I prefer they don’t have my contact information.
2-I don’t have time to putz with a label. I’d rather put that time into making a second quilt.
3-I like things given with no strings attached. If someone offers me a gift and strings are attached and I’m obligated to do something in return, I’d prefer the person didn’t give me anything. Somehow to me, a label feels like strings are attached.
4-I’m past the point in life that I am not looking for a thank you or recognition. I don’t expect, need, or want any recognition for the charitable work I do. I do charitable work because it is the right thing to do. I don’t want a label because I don’t want to be recognized for making the quilt. I prefer the giving I do to be under the radar.
5-I’ve needed help in my life. I’ve gotten help in my life. The last thing I wanted was to be reminded that I needed that help. To me, the label is a reminder.
Now about labeling quilts, I make to gift for friends and family…I don’t label them. I know many people are going to think that is crazy too. I’ve thought it out… If you go back and read reasons #2 and #3 they both apply. #4 applies to only take out the words charitable. I am going to add another point to quilts I give as gifts or quilts the kids will inherit.
My hope is that there is no piece of any quilt I ever make ever left years after I die. I give quilts with the request that they are used and loved. I want the quilt to wrap them in love and support and never be put on a shelf as a museum piece. I want the people who I gift a quilt to wear it out…in that case, no label is needed. What would make me the most sad is if 100 years from now, there were quilts out in the world that were made by me and sitting on a shelf.
I’m the odd duck. I know it and am totally okay with it. I really hope you all will chime in and let Brenda know your thoughts on labels and quilts…do you have one opinion for charitable quilts and another for personal quilts? Do you treat all quilts the same? No answer is wrong. Who knows, maybe one of you will change my opinion and I’ll become a label maker…I doubt it reason #2 is so true for me..but I’m totally willing to listen.
P.S. If you have an idea for another topic for a Community Discussion, please ask away. I’d love to make this a regular feature.