I make lots of things just to see if I can. I make things so I have an excuse to buy more thread, extra shuttles, beads, buttons, findings, and do-dads. I make things to create beauty in the world, even if the world doesn't know it.
What happens to all the stuff I make?
I use some of it. I have two lanyards that are used for either my name tag, or with a findings change, as a keeper for my sunglasses when I go on vacation. I like to have them available and I don't like to carry the case around. I have a beaded string (just like the lanyards) attached to my phone which is also attached to a stylus. My ears can be decorated for days and days using just tatted earrings. A couple of edgings and a motif with a button center decorate some of my t-shirts. We decorate our Christmas tree in tatting (and ornaments of sentimental value). I am considering making a bit of tatting in a covered bangle to hang in my car. That's just in the thinking stage, though.
Lots of my tatting ends up in a drawer in an antique dresser that belonged to my grandmother. That drawer is full of prototypes and series of pieces which were tweaked, redone, tweaked, done again, and finally ended up as final patterns. It has pieces which ARE my patterns until I can get them diagrammed or written down on paper (some of them probably never will). It also has all the stuff I've made that hasn't been given away -- yet. Some of it might never go anywhere but the drawer until after my time.
Some of it gets given away as gifts. I'm not interested in selling my stuff because I make it for entertainment. I have a job and I don't want another one. Turning a hobby into a job is a good way to ruin its entertainment value for me. That said, I have, occasionally, sold some of my work -- when I could find someone willing to pay for my time.
I have to laugh because you understand doilies and jewelry. I understand jewelry. However, even though I make them and enjoy them, I don't understand doilies. They are the queens of my tatting drawer.
So -- what do the rest of you do with all that stuff you tat?