Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hand Made versus Machine Made

September 6 2011,

I recently had two quilts appraised, the Boston Bruins quilt and the quilt called "Circling".

The Bruins' quilt was all done by machine and the Circling quilt was mostly done by hand. The Bruins' quilt appraised for more than the Circling quilt mainly because of the size.

What I concluded from the result was that whether a quilt was pieced by hand and quilted by hand did not have any factor in the appraised value. Even though hand pieced / appliqued and hand quilted quilts takes a tremendously amount of time because your fingers can only stand only so much stabbing from the needle, it adds nothing to the value.

The Bruins quilt can be created in two weeks, versus the Circling quilt, ranges from 2 - 6 months.

Now, if your only goal was to make and sell quilts, machine made quilts are the way to go. But if you quilt for the joy of quilting, go ahead and go through the torture of stabbing your fingers. The other thing you get from hand piecing / appliquing / quilting is bragging rights.

These days when you go to a quilt show, almost 90% of the quilts that are shown are done by machine. Beautiful as they may be, hand done quilts have a more personal touch to them.

Quilt & Bitch


omgwtf said...

as a fellow crafty-person, I've learned that what we value and what the buying public values is not always the same... that goes for blog posts, too, hahaha :-D

p00lriah. said...

personally i value the handmade stuff more than the machined stuff. i think it just means more when someone will take the time to hand make a quilt, a piece of jewelry, a cue, an accessory, or clothing. someone has to care enough to want to sit down and pay in sweat (and blood) to create something out of nothing. hopefully, the recipient will appreciate the effort and not thrash it.

having said that, i remember reading some forum post about cuemaking somewhere. i think (don't quote me) thomas wayne commented that it doesn't make a difference whether a cue is hand lathed or machine lathed, a reaction against people who deride machined points on a cue. so i'm guessing mr. wayne may be against your opinion. :P

regardless of who says what, i still think your quilts kick a~*. btw, don't they sell those little metal finger protectors at craft shops? just wondering.

Quilt+Bitch said...

OMG - you got that right in terms of what our personal values are and what the public thinks is valuable. I think that's why I've abandoned selling anything at etsy, and for that matter trying to make something to sell. That's not saying if somebody wants something I won't make it.

Quilt+Bitch said...

p00lriah - the metal finger protectors are call thimble. They protect one hand but does not protect the other hand. When quilting, I have to make sure the needle goes through all the layers (3 usually) and I make sure of that by stabbing my left fingers with the needle. There are sticky protectors for the left fingers, but it just doesn't feel the same.

omgwtf said...

I agree -- thimbles are good, but they take away from the "feel" as you work. I have calluses from jewelry-making and needlepoint as well. Having a thimble on while you work is like having a glove on when you play pool -- some like it and some can't play at all with it.