I love to hand quilt. It takes a long time to do anything, but I find it very soothing, and I enjoy having the finished product. I make nice quilts. I don't feel any vanity about them, I just love the look and feel of really good quilts, mine or anyone else's, and I can only afford my own.
I recently had the ambition to make a quilt to donate to the annual fund-raising action at my kids' school. We receive something of a discount which is the only way we could afford to send all three to Catholic school, and I would love to do something that would raise the funds we are not able to give in tuition. And maybe I did feel a sense of pride at the thought of my work finally on display.
I mentioned it to the principal. She responded to my offer with a "Oh, that sounds very nice," then quickly went on, "Didn't you donate a blanket to the layette drive during Lent? I wanted to tell you, that really thrilled the Pregnancy Center staff when I brought our things over. They grabbed that up first, they said 'Is this really hand-made?' and they were SO thrilled. I wanted to let you know."
The blanket in question was something I crocheted in a couple weeks time, because the Layette Drive was announced just a few weeks before the contribution deadline. I learned to crochet from my late mother-in-law, and it is also a very soothing activity. It is also a lot more portable than a quilt, but the results don't impress me as much.
But the principal's remarks changed my mind. Literally - I have a new perspective on both craft activities, and while I still love to quilt, I see the crocheting as an offering, something I can do that helps others in a direct, very personal, and real way. It has become a more personally rewarding work.