One of the dilemmas of making creative projects as gifts is that sometimes you have to ship them, and it just drives the maker crazy to think that her precious creation might be lost in the mail or damaged in any way. I’ve thought about this before but never really came up with a plan to deal with it.
I remember one of the first baby quilts I made as a present for a newborn – I wrapped that thing up as tiny as possible and smashed it into a cardboard box made to transport about 3 books. Needless to say I had second thoughts after leaving the post office that day. What if the recipient opened the package with a knife or blade, not realizing there was quilted fabric right next to the box’s edge? I panicked somewhat but it turned out fine.
Another issue of course is that packages do occasionally disappear. I typically use the regular postal service for most mail and small packages, but perhaps mailing a homemade quilt is a good time to upgrade to UPS. The lure of the tracking number beckons. I think that’s what I’ll use for J’s quilt.
I found a great article from Quilter’s Home magazine featuring ideas from Maria Elkins about this very topic. Some of the suggestions could be viewed as, well, a bit paranoid for your average baby quilt. Most people don’t pack boxes inside boxes, and I usually do not include address labels or business cards inside my gift packages. However, if you’re dealing with an art quilt or a show entry, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, you cannot be too careful. The suggestion to take photos of your quilt is a must; intriguing that she also says to save your fabric and materials receipts in case you need to prove its value. Now I wonder if I really should make my package distinctive with stickers or colors — to make it memorable in case it’s misplaced. On the other hand, if it stands out TOO much, isn’t that an invitation to take a peek inside, or even to take it home?