Is It Really Handmade?

Is It Really Handmade

Every now and then I run across someone who asks if the quilts and baby-oriented items sold on this site are really “handmade” or even “homemade” if you will. Some people might be offended at those questions but they really are validicon-Retro Teddy Bears Diaper Stacker questions when comes to buying quilts and baby gift ideas over the Internet. Some of the stuff you see for sale on eBay and Etsy are nothing more than foreign made “knock-offs” of the handmade quilts produced here in America.

It’s hard to sell handmade quilts over the Internet because you can’t “feel” the material to inspect the quality of the fabric used for the quilt. This web site has good images of the handmade items I produce but they’re not as effective as running your fingers over the fabric. The colors on this site are good because they’re made with a good Canon digital camera. But the colors are held hostage by the video card and monitor of your computer.

So how does my quilts and baby gifts deserve the word “handmade” on them? Let’s go over the process for an average quilt, twin size if that makes any difference.

FABRIC

I shop for my fabric at number of stores, sometimes I can find good fabric at local flea markets. Not much for using fabric from garage sales and the like because you can’t be sure the fabric is new. Only new fabric is used on any of my items. Cotton is the mainstay of the fabric used for quilts and quilted gifts. Some of the baby gift items have terrycloth in them for absorption. There are a few of the rag quilt made where I used flannel but they were custom ordered.

Before I do anything at all to the fabric it gets washed in all® free clear liquid laundry detergent only. This insures that odors and chemicals that other laundry detergents contain will not be on anything you purchase from this web site. The fabric is then dried without dryer sheets and hung on a rack to maintain a wrinkle-free appearance.

DESIGN

Although this is second on the list it is actually the first as I don’t buy fabric unless I have a design in mind (although I will pickup fabric I find on sale).

CUTTING

Once I know the design I am working on and I have the fabric processed I begin the cutting process. This is one of the time consuming parts of quilting. The number of squares needed for a quilt are naturally determined by the size of the quilt. The bigger the quilt the more squares will be needed.

LAYOUT

In order to remain true to the design I lay it out on a bed, or on the floor if it’s too large for the bed. Then I arrange, and re-arrange, the squares until I get the right “look” to the quilt. After the layout is completed I take some pictures of it so I will know what the completed product is to look like.

SEWING

Here’s where some people think the term “handmade” should not be allowed but I submit to you that you’re not going to find many quilters who create quilts using only hand sewing. There are some out there but they are few and far in between (and you are sure to pay a great deal more for the items as well).

The quilts and baby gift items sold here are sewn using one of two different Singer sewing machines. And that is the only machine used in the creation of any of the products sold herein.

FINISH

Once the items are completed I wash them in all® free clear liquid laundry detergent and put them into the dryer without the use of dryer sheets. And that’s it, the process is a bit abbreviated on this page but it was just put up to illustrate that the items on this web site are all homemade.