23 Sep 2011

Katy's Wisdom

Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey posted a great blog entry on how recipients of quilts just do not appreciate the crafter's time and skill not to speak of the cost of the material that went into a quilt.

And right she is.

We live in a time when you get everything cheap, mass produced in China and we have lost the understanding of handmade value. Most people just don't "get" handmade. Sad but true.

I have given hand sewn doublesided quilts as gifts many times, never to see them again. They now live hidden in some closet and I spent up to £100 pounds in material and several months of my time handsewing the quilt. Just makes me sad.

and angry.



Katy's post was a reaction to a post by the girls at Ink & Spindle about THE FORMULA on how to price handmade work. You can find that post here: http://inkandspindle.blogspot.com/2011/09/formula-how-to-price-your-wares.html

If I did the maths for let's say a large double sided hand sewn quilt like this one or this one 'the formula' would mean I'd have to ask loads for it.

Let's do the maths for the Sand and Sea Quilt:

Fabric: 2 Jelly Rolls, binding = £50
Wadding: = £30
electricity, sewing machine, thread, etc.: estimate =£20

= £100 materials

Time: well, I can't remember exactly but probably about:
2 hours cutting
2 hours design
15 hours hand piecing
2 hours basting
5 hours hand quilting
4 hours hand binding.

= ca. 30 hours at let's say £10 hour = £300

Cost (time + materials) = £400
Wholesale price
(Cost x 2) = £800
Retail price (Wholesale x 2) = £1600

So according to the Formula I should ask £1600 for this doublesided hand sewn quilt. Sound right to you?

Is anyone willing to pay that? NO. Is anyone willing to pay half that? NO. Is anyone even paying LESS than a quarter of that (less than the COST as in time and materials)? Not yet. But maybe one day?


  1. I read Katys post yesterday. Its so frustrating when people don't value handmade. Over 20 years ago I made a christening shawl for my nephew, the wool alone cost around £50 never mind my time and love. When his little sister was christened some years later did it appear? Did it heck as like. God only knows where it was and what state it was in.
    I realised then to be very selective who I give my handmade gifts to. Unfortunately very few people I know really get them. They can have store bought or boring money.

  2. I think in general people don't understand the work involved in handmade things. I have made my sister things, only to see them in her yard sales the very next year. It makes me wonder why I bother. I guess that in reality, we do these things because we love to do them...not because of anything anyone else says about it.

  3. My co-workers always seem confused when I reply to their request for me to make them a quilt with "I'm sorry, but you could never afford it."


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