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 valid Retro-Teddy-Bears-Diaper-Stacker-1 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.