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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Appreciating Homemade Handmade

by Eilleen

Hello everyone,

I wrote this blog post some time ago in my personal blog and thought I'd share here...


Sometime ago on the net, I remember reading in a crafting/sewing site someone saying "there's a huge difference between a handmade and a homemade quilt!" The inference being that handmade was better and homemade was inferior.

You know, I sort of get that comment. After all, there are so many gorgeous quilts out there. I went to my local sewing shop a few months ago and asked for general advice on how to make a patchwork quilt and was shown kits of brand new fabrics already cut out for me. A search on the net pretty much revealed an overwhelming number of sites advocating the use of brand new fabrics to create particular types of patchwork quilt.

It was for this reason that I too, a newbie sewer, took on the attitude that "homemade patchwork" - ie one that uses real scraps from old clothes and other craft projects - should be limited to small applique type work or for things that are not to be displayed (eg - sew scraps together to make a decent sized rag).

So it was a huge eye opener for me last week when I found this at St Vinnies:

It is a single-bed size quilt that was celebrating "homemade handmade" instead of handmade!! ...and I thought it was just gorgeous (and promptly bought it). The stitching at the back reveals it to be truly homemade. Its not truly perfect like many handmade quilts. The person who made this used different types of fabrics too - from synthetics, to t-shirt fabrics, to "normal" cotton (smooth cotton fabric).

But there's something endearing about this quilt. Its...warm and homey.. and not warm and homey in an artist/designer sort of way - its warm and homey.

So, today, in honour of appreciating the "homemade handmade", I made this patchwork pillowcase.

Like the person who made the quilt, I used a combination of t-shirt fabric and "smooth" cotton (is that cotton percale?). The fabrics used were real scraps that I had at home.

And this one, I'll definitely be displaying.

I hope you all had a good day.

P.S. This is not to say I don't appreciate the many beautiful and artistic handmade patchwork stuff out there. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is room for both.


Do you have any homemade handmade crafts? Would you like to share?


Myrnie said...

Love this! My great grandma made quilts out of whatever was handy- she handstitched everything, and I treasure what she left for us to enjoy.

Lisa said...

I do both too, using new and reworked materials and both give a real sense of satisfaction. That said making something gorgeous from scrap brings a whole other level to feeling good about a project.

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

I do much prefer the idea of using old fabric but I read somewhere recently that it's more difficult for people to learn quilting using reclaimed fabrics, particularly a mix of different reclaimed fabrics, because they behave in different ways (eg, different amounts of stretch). Just something to consider.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Its a choice thing. Since I don't sew at all I cannot imagine how hard it is to make a quilt either way but because I love family and history and hard woek I choose to spend my money on quilts made from old scraps.

Maybe cause I am quickly turning into an old scrap myself.

Ellice said...

I use old, unwanted jeans to make handbags & shoulder bags for grandchildren & myself. I am also in the process of formulating a pattern to make a quilt using old denim clothing

Gwen said...

Your pillowcase turned out beautifully! I'm also one who uses "scraps", remnants, and old clothes to make new things... I don't understand why it gets such a bad rap.