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about mates rates/favours for friends?

(112 Posts)
Blinkybell Fri 06-Jan-17 20:53:14

A bit of background - I like sewing, knitting, etc and in recent years I've really got into quilting.

I had a load of unfinished projects floating about, so about 18 months ago I started finishing them off and sold them on Etsy, over time I've made them for friends as gifts, for friends of friends, etc and have now sold quite a few and I have a few orders on the go at the moment

I also have a full time job, kids, dog, normal family stuff

Anyway, to cut a long story short, a friend has asked me to make a quilt as a present for her mum. She texted a few days ago to ask me if I'd do her a favour and make a "little something" and she'd "provide all the material" for her mums birthday at the end of the month, I replied that it depended on what the 'little something' was as I was pretty busy at the moment. She asked if she could come over and show me.

Turns out that she wants me to make a pretty complicated double bed size quilt, from shirts that belonged to her late father. It's lovely, but there's nothing 'little' about it.

I apologised and explained that I just didn't have time, I had work and some paid for orders that had to take priority. I said she could leave it with me and I'd do it over the next few weeks, suggested some simpler designs, a smaller quilt or cushion covers maybe, but she wanted to stick with her original idea, so I had to say, sorry but no can do.

She got really huffy and passive aggressive and has been bad mouthing me to a couple of mutual friends.

I'm really pissed off with her, I'd really like to cut down my hours at work and sell more of my stuff so I feel that it have to prioritise prior, paying orders over favours.

I'm happy to make her the quilt, but it will be as and when and will go to the back of the queue whenever I get a paid for order

Fuzzypeggy Fri 06-Jan-17 20:56:46

Yanbu. I think your friend was cheeky.

EssentialHummus Fri 06-Jan-17 20:57:01

You did nothing wrong here. You don't owe her free labour. If it was that urgent/important she could just, you know, pay you like a normal person.

EastMidsMummy Fri 06-Jan-17 20:58:24

Cheeky friend. YANBU.

BIgBagofJelly Fri 06-Jan-17 20:59:27

She's effectively asking you not to do your work so you can do a favour for her instead. At least she'll only make herself look bad by bad mouthing you to mutual friends.

PidgeyfinderGeneral Fri 06-Jan-17 20:59:36

Cheeky cah. Ignore it. I wouldn't have done it either if it had been me.

DailyFail1 Fri 06-Jan-17 20:59:54

yanbu. She was being cheeky asking you to do something for nothing. Make sure you tell all the friends who tell you she's badmouthing you.

Grilledaubergines Fri 06-Jan-17 21:01:08

I know you said she'd provide the material but was she expecting the labour for free or was it just not mentioned?

LumelaMme Fri 06-Jan-17 21:01:36

YANBU. What bloody cheek on her part.

TheMysteriousJackelope Fri 06-Jan-17 21:03:27

I'd be most annoyed about the 'little something' comment, she is clearly clueless about what is involved in quilt making.

Of course your prior commitments take precedence, whether you are being paid for them or not. The other people waiting for your items may need them for presents too. You were quite in the right to tell her upfront you wouldn't be able to do it, and kind to offer other design solutions that might have made it possible. Bad mouthing you to your friends was also a nasty move on her part. What did they say to her?

I bet she didn't include borders, batting, backing, binding, and quilting thread in the materials she was planning to give you either.

Blinkybell Fri 06-Jan-17 21:15:06

She's really annoyed me.

She told our friends that 'Blinky tried to charge me a hundred and fifty quid to make a quilt, and I was providing her with all the materials'

a) I'd just showed her some quilts on Etsy to show her how much I'd lose if I sacked off the paying orders and
b) no, the materials she was going to give me did not include backing, binding, border, wadding, cotton, etc, etc.

Using the shirts would have been a nightmare - different types and weights of fabric, totally different patterns and colours so would have taken ages just to put the top together. The design she wanted was pattern piecing - I couldn't just whizz along with a rotary cutter and a ruler and cut a stack of squares. I don't mind doing it, I enjoy the doing stuff like that, but I haven't got time.

Fuzzypeggy Fri 06-Jan-17 21:19:24

She's been vvvvvv u

Limewithorange Fri 06-Jan-17 21:20:33

She is obviously embarrassed at your refusal to do what she wants. Is she really a friend or someone you hang out along with a bunch of other friends? I'd certainly correct her slagging you off and even give her a quote for the work she wants but I'd probably back off from a friendship with her.

Blinkybell Fri 06-Jan-17 21:30:14

I would have said she was a friend, more than acquaintance.

I have made stuff for friends for free/cost of materials before, so I suppose she feels it's only fair - but, this was before I was selling my stuff. It was all very much what I could fit in, how they could make it easy for me (eg, one friend asked me to make a cot quilt for her SiL who was having a baby but I had months notice, it was a small quilt and she just wanted patchwork squares)

BonnyScotland Fri 06-Jan-17 21:32:01

she's not a true friend.... close the door on her x

mimishimmi Fri 06-Jan-17 21:33:25

YANBU. It's just a sad side effect of having a talent other people want...

ChasedByBees Fri 06-Jan-17 21:33:57

I think people just don't appreciate creative endeavours. There have been similar cases on here about cakes for example. Just ignore or pull her up on it, but it sounds like you've tried that and she doesn't get it.

ChasedByBees Fri 06-Jan-17 21:36:05

See further evidence that artist work is just not valued:

0hCrepe Fri 06-Jan-17 21:36:10

Oh how kind of her to 'provide' the fabric!
£150 isn't unreasonable anyway. She's making herself look stupid.

WobblyLondoner Fri 06-Jan-17 21:36:28

I've made a double bed quilt. It took me forever! So I say with all my heart and soul what a cheeky so and so. Being charitable perhaps she doesn't realise what is involved, but it's not that hard to realise that something of that scale isn't exactly assembled in a matter of moments.

You're so not BU, but I'm sad she is being such a cow.

expatinscotland Fri 06-Jan-17 21:37:01

What a BITCH! I'd confront her. 'I really don't appreciate your bad-mouthing me to people.' And stop providing mate's rates or favours.

0hCrepe Fri 06-Jan-17 21:38:14

Dh is an artist and some people do seem to think he'll just do them paintings for the love or cheap, when it's an extremely hard way to make a living in the first place!

rollonthesummer Fri 06-Jan-17 21:40:42

Cheeky cheeky cah! Do not feel bad!!

Blinkybell Fri 06-Jan-17 21:43:49


It's the bad mouthing that's upset me. Our mutual friends did say they tried to put her straight, but they weren't convinced she really understood

(god, I've typed friend so many times, it's beginning to look like I've spelt it wrong)

I wasn't going to charge her £150, I just showed her Etsy as she seemed to think that a handmade, personal quilt was some cheap 'little something' that I could just knock up in a couple of evenings.

SleepFreeZone Fri 06-Jan-17 21:44:32

'Can you just' is the quickest way to lose yourself a friend when it comes to arts and crafts. Stick to your guns and keep saying no, she was rude and has no understanding of the time and care this requires, not does she value your time over her own selfish needs.

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