Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why Should You Buy a Handmade Quilt?

This topic has been rambling through my head a lot lately. With budgets being tight and people trying to get the most for their money I am frequently asked this question. Of course, when I am put on the spot I can't come up with the articulate reasons that I can after a day or two of deep thinking, Winnie the Pooh style!

Reason No.. 1: Because you LOVE it! To me, this is one of the best reasons, though there is no quantifying or qualifying it. It's like meeting the man of your dreams, or finding a Bosom Friend - you just know it. Something in that quilt touches something in your soul and you have to have it.

Reason No. 2: A handmade quilt is one of a kind, and you will never find another just like it. At least in the case of the quilts I have made, you are highly unlikely to find one just like it. Two quilters can use the same pattern and the same fabric and come up with two very different quilts! Some of my quilts are made as shop samples, and if I have made it with the fabrics it was made for you may be able to find another one, but for the most case they are one of a kind quilts. I work a lot from my stash, so there may be fabrics used together that you won't find anywhere else.

Reason No. 3: A handmade quilt will endure. I have made each of my children a bed sized quilt for their first big bed - at the age of 2. With one exception every one of these quilts endured throughout their childhood all the way through high school. The exception was a quilt I made with 99 cent a yard fabric, and it wore out much faster. Each of these quilts were used daily, washed when needed (and you know how it is with kids!) and generally treated with little respect. When two of my daughters were in high school they wanted to buy one of those bed in a bag sets you can get for less than $100. Neither one of these lasted more than a year.

I have a quilt that I made 18 years ago for my bed. It is a special quilt, hand quilted and has lots of hours of labor in it. I have used it regurlarly for about 4 months out of the year, washing it at the end of each use. It still looks almost new, and I know that eventually I will be able to hand it down to one of my girls as an heirloom. Yes, you can buy a quilt for around $100.00 at any department store. But how long will it last? I can tell you that I have made a good amount of money repairing these inexpensive quilts, and they are no bargain - you will get a year or two out of them and a few washings, but that's about it.

Reason No. 4: You are supporting an artist, not a factory. By buying handmade, your money actually goes to the person who is doing the work, not a CEO or the Chairmen, or a bunch of stock-holders. You are helping someone support their family and a way of life that is getting lost in this busy world. A quilt takes time and thought. It comes from the heart and imagination of the quilter. There is love in this process, and the world needs more love!

Reason No. 5: Quilts keep you warm! There is nothing better than snuggling under a warm quilt with a hot cup of tea and a book on a chilly day - and you can turn the heat down and save a little money on your heating bill, too.

Reason No. 6: Quilts are wonderful decorating accents. Ask an Interior Designer - a beautiful quilt can make a room! Whether it's hung on a wall as art, or draped over a chair as an accent piece, the right quilt can make your room a beautiful place to live.

I can probably come up with a lot more, but these are the ones that come to my mind right now. I don't think any home is complete without a quilt or two (or a dozen!) but of course, that's my passion. I do know that the expense of a handmade quilt is small for the value you will receive when buying it. There are times when buying on the cheap is good, but just like in clothing, if you spend a little more on quality, you will get a lot more for your money in the long run!


FabricFascination said...

I love this Pam. Please put it on the quiltsy blog (that is if you don't mind sharing it). I think it answers the question honestly and completely. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Pam this is wonderful & inspiration for my Fiber Friday post!

Manderly-Rose said...

I love your blog! I just started working at a quilt shop/machine center, and I just made my first quilt top for a store sample. They picked one that would not show my goofs too much (thank goodness!) I have a little more to do. SO many little piece! I'm more of a garment/accessory/home dec sewer, so this is new. But, I can see the attraction, I may be hooked...