Made with Moxie: What does handmade mean to you?

September 24, 2012

What does handmade mean to you?

Etsy has a question the ask every featured shop owner in an interview and it is this:

"What does handmade mean to you?"

I joke that handmade means unmatched quilt square seams because if you wanted something perfect you should just buy a blanket from a store. There are children in sweat shops with skill levels higher than I (currently) possess. I say, if you can't tell it is handmade, who are you trying to fool?

In January of this year I participated in my first charm swap. It was organized by Lorelei at Mermaid Sews and we swapped fabrics for an I Spy quilt. This past week, nine months later, I finally finished it.

The front is two sets of charms and the back is pieced flannels from JoAnn's. I used Pellon's Fusible Thermolam for the batting and hand made the binding as well. I have to say I was very pleased with my binding's mitered corners. It just goes to show you that if you keep working at something, you can eventually get it right.
For all of my new sewing friends, please take a good look at this above picture, so you can see some fabulous matched up charm square corners and the quilting. That's right. They aren't. Making quilts isn't always about matching corners. It's about making something for someone you love.
We're often our harshest critics. It is always not good enough, not pretty enough, not straight enough, not prefect enough. We forget to remember to see our gifts through the eyes of the receiver. Even the littlest of creatures remind us of that joy.
I put my kids down on their new quilt to take their pictures and they immediately started searching the squares and pointing and laughing. No one had to explain to them what an I Spy quilt was for.
To me, handmade means I poured love, and sweat, and probably tears (and maybe a little blood) into it. It means I took the time to craft fabric into something made just for you. It means I love you with all of my heart.