Sunday, August 22, 2010

Handmade Pledge Revisited

Recently, a friend stopped by to visit and I was putting on the finishing touches to this Daisy quilt. She asked me how much I would sell something like this for and I told her around $45.00.

Her comment floored me...'$45 for handmade, I wouldn't buy it, I can get a blanket/quilt at WalMart for $10.' She is right, at Walmart you can purchase a blanket or quilt for probably less than $10 and it was probably made by 8 year olds in some sweatshop in China, since that is where most of WalMart's things come from lately.

I am not a famous quilter, I am not Amish, I don't have a quilt show, or write articles in magazines, I haven't published a book and there is nothing wrong with these people, matter of fact their love for quilting was my inspiration.

But, my time counts. The cost for the material I put into a quilt counts and I just don't understand why someone wouldn't rather purchase at WalMart than handmade. I am in an Alice in Wonderland apron swap and several of my tuck-ins I purchased from someone who makes handmade items. School is starting soon and the girls will have a few handmade hair ties and barrettes from a Zibbet/Etsy or Artfire shop.
I undertand the waning economy, I understand people tightening their belts, what I don't understand is how someone can put so much time and effort into making a quilt and then sell it for $20 & free shipping like some do on Ebay. I simple won't give something away for nothing, it defeats the purpose of having a handmade shop.

WalMart makes millions on its cheap junk because when the item you paid $5 or $10 falls apart and it likely will, they are counting on the fact that you are going back and buying another one. A handmade artisian is counting on the fact that they put so much time, effort and love into making their product and knowing you are happy with it, that when you come back it will be because you still have what you purchased and are thrilled with it.

So, whether you are a crafter, a quilter, a producer, a buyer....when you make your next purchase for something and you want it to be special and most likely something unique that no one else will have...check my right sidebar for a few special shops...choose handmade, I can almost guarantee you that the service and quality of your purchase will far surpass what WalMart has to offer!


Jen said...

I can't believe that person. Today there is such a huge appreciation for handmade items. A lot of people refuse to even shop at wal-mart because of the evil ills they contribute to our society. How can someone be so unappreciative is beyond me. And yes, for the last two years on my birthday, I buy myself a $40 vintage quilt from EBay in a pattern I don't yet have the confidence to tackle, like Double Wedding Ring or Dresden Plate. I like to think I'm saving these quilts from a horrible life of moving blankets or dog beds. That's what those $10 blankets were made for, people! Sorry for the rant, but that comment totally raised my hackles!

Rannyjean said...

Amen Jen & yes, saving those old vintage quilts is something we should all do....I have one, I just need to repair it, came from my moms husband! Amazing work his granny did & without a machine!

Tulsi said...

I can't believe this person either. (I'm in the AiW Swapp, too). I would have quoted her higher. Two years ago I learned to piece quilt because I think it is a lost art. I have 3 pieced quilt tops from my great grandmother and great aunt, and two that have the blocks nearly done, but not complete. I have some family upset that I have these, but I'm the only one that has taken the time to try to figure out how to complete them. I was told not to touch them until I have a trained quilt person tell me how much they are worth since they were made with cloth food sacks during the depression. I had no idea there was a trained quilt person who told you how much your things are worth. I'm not very old. 44- but feel quilting is becoming a lost art and something very important to try to keep around. I made my granddaughter's quilt and completed it. I have blocks for my bed that were pieced with many different types of blocks. One being the Dresden plate. That is one of my great grandma's blocks and the reason I took the class. The way I learned it, the Dresden plate is so easy. I could do a whole quilt with one. I quilted my granddaughters on my machine. But the one for my bed is a CalKing so won't be doing it myself. I will put it together and pay the $300.00 or so for someone to put it together and quilt it for me. It's not something I could get at Wal Mart. I do have my youngest daughter's quilt nearly done and am going to try to quilt it myself. I also bought quilting frames to do it by hand, too.

Anonymous said...

Jean, your heart is bigger than than Walmart, or it's selling practices..
time is priceless, money is soemtimes non existent, and most of all, those who have a healthy appreciation for handmade, created with the gift God gives us, is far more precious than anything your friend will, or could , or has bought at walmart or any other store.. I am appalled that something obviouslly sewn in love, is not seen as priceless..
I would have sold the quilt for about the same price, and have done so.. Do not listen to the naysayer's, sister.. you are valuable, both to those of us who know what it's like to go without, and those of us who appreciate the finer things in life - things handmade with love..
karen ( used to be Threads of Hope blog )..

Kathy said...

I feel sorry for the person who made that remark to you. Pardon my language, but what an idiot! Just had to add my 2 cents worth...

Rannyjean said...

Thank you all for the comments, I just think it is soooooooo important to support the people involved in handmade. From handmade soaps (I love), to handbags, etc. I love people who want me to share their handmade gifts.
Tulsi, the scariest quilt I ever finished was a lady who found me on Craigslist and asked if I could finish the top her grandmother started for her. I did and she proudly displays it in her living room. You do not need a professional to help you do something from the heart or tell you how much those quilts are worth, they are priceless!

Wendy B said...

I bet she wasn't a quilter or a person remotely involved in handmade, otherwise she'd know the value in it. $45 is a bargain for the quality you get...if $10 is what you pay, $10 is what you get, with shoddy workmanship and seams that come apart after the first wash. Let her go and buy cheap....she'll find it costs her dearly in the long run!
sugary hugs
XX Wendy :O)

Claudia said...

I'm sorry but your friend has absolutely no tact. How can she react that way to a one of a kind handmade quilt! Oh but I could bet my inheritance that if you had given it to her she would have taken it without any regards to the time and work and everything else that went into making that quilt and she wouldn't even thank you for it. And worse of all to use walmart and their cheap material, sweatshop labor of an poor asian girl or boy as a comparison. Shame on her!! and don't let it get to you and by the way $60.00 would be a good price.