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Thread: Homemade (handcrafted) vs department stores?

  1. #1
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I have noticed too many times, how beautiful things are in the store. I noticed a beautiful baby blanket with embrodiery in the store yesterday, just adorable. I thought perhaps I am wasting my time, although everyone seems to be appreciative when they receive these gifts. The cost of the machines, thread, material, tools and my time are not cheap. My cost vs the dept store cost. Anyone else feel like this?I did read where more people are going back to making gifts to save money! Is it really saving? I know I make gifts because I want too, but how smart is it I wonder at times.

  2. #2
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I LOVE HM gifts! I dont think you are wasting your time at all!

  3. #3
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    You are only wasting your time if there is no enjoyment in what you are creating. You can buy anything in a store. But the caring and passion cannot be purchased. If your motives are True then you create MasterPieces!! That cannot be bought anywhere!!!

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    back in the early 70's quilting really died off ... all sewing did, making clothes was no longer cost effective. patterns and fabric prices sky-rocketed and large department stores started popping up everywhere, we became (lazy) and my thoughts were...why should i put 10 hours into making my little girl this sundress, (and $10) when i can go to k-mart and buy it for $4...
    as the 70's-80's moved on people began to realize that maybe sewing isn't a lost art...we can make items much better; better workmanship, better materials, higher quality finished item than any we can buy already made. and you do not have to 'settle' with those colors, or 'that' design, you can make it YOU! and the absolute best way to have clothes that actually fit-you...make your own...worth every cent.

  5. #5
    Super Member sunflower126's Avatar
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    I personally prefer to give homemade gifts. When we were young and raising kids and I didn't work outside the home, I made all of my Christmas gifts. There is something out there for everyone. I think most people enjoy getting a homemade gift.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BRenea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    back in the early 70's quilting really died off ... all sewing did, making clothes was no longer cost effective. patterns and fabric prices sky-rocketed and large department stores started popping up everywhere, we became (lazy) and my thoughts were...why should i put 10 hours into making my little girl this sundress, (and $10) when i can go to k-mart and buy it for $4...
    as the 70's-80's moved on people began to realize that maybe sewing isn't a lost art...we can make items much better; better workmanship, better materials, higher quality finished item than any we can buy already made. and you do not have to 'settle' with those colors, or 'that' design, you can make it YOU! and the absolute best way to have clothes that actually fit-you...make your own...worth every cent.
    I was born in the early 70's, and as I was growing up very few of my friends' moms sewed. My mom did, and she made me beautiful, unique clothes...and she insisted that I learn how to sew, too. I'm very thankful for that!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    For me making gifts is not only a pleasure, but a lot less money for nicer gifts. I recycle found and free items whenever I can. This year I have made quilts for my mother and mother in law from 100% cotton upholstery sample fabrics. By basting well I used some soft knit fabric (someone elses unwanted fabric) for the back and purchased just batting and thread. They turned out so nice that even my quilting group was impressed. I made handbags for my sisters and sister in-laws (8 total) also from the sample fabric. Total cost for 10 very nice gifts under $40. I believe with a little creativity you can save a lot of money making your own gifts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by deedum
    I have noticed too many times, how beautiful things are in the store. I noticed a beautiful baby blanket with embrodiery in the store yesterday, just adorable. I thought perhaps I am wasting my time, although everyone seems to be appreciative when they receive these gifts. The cost of the machines, thread, material, tools and my time are not cheap. My cost vs the dept store cost. Anyone else feel like this?I did read where more people are going back to making gifts to save money! Is it really saving? I know I make gifts because I want too, but how smart is it I wonder at times.
    Sometimes I wonder, too, about the cost effectiveness.

  9. #9
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I think it can be pretty frugal too! If you make scrappy quilts, you can spend alot less....those are my favorites!

  10. #10
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I have a large stash...so making gifts helps me use what I have. I am doing tablerunners this year...have 9 done and 1 to go. I prefer to give homemade gifts...but only if I know the recipients are going to enjoy them....and they all will.

  11. #11
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I will admit sewing/quilting is getting to be expensive. I got to thinking instead of making it myself just buy it instead. But all of that thinking went out the window when I went to visit my nephew and his family.

    I had made quilts for the two great nieces and one quilt for nephew and wife's bed.

    As I was visiting some friends had come over. Yvonne, niece in law, was showing friends the house. "What a gorgeous bedspread!" My niece replied, "My Aunt Debbie made that for us. Come let me show you everything she has made for the family. My Aunt Debbie is so amazing!" I had tears in my eyes because of all the pride she had in her voice. I know it was genuine because she had no idea I was anywhere close enough to hear her.

    Later, during the visit, we had all went to the dragstrip. My nephew and brother (his dad) built a racecar together. My brother is small in stature. Since he is the "pitboss" he has to carry several things with him. Once he gets everything together he suffers from "plumbers pants". I made a special vest for all his stuff. On the back of the vest I embroidered PIT BOSS and an outline of their car. At the strip, my brother put on his vest, got it all loaded up. During the races, I saw my brother talking to someone and showing them all the features of the vest. Then they came over to where I was setting. My brother put his arm around my shoulders and said, "This is my sister, the brains behind the vest." The man shook my hand and said, "I would love to have someone like you in my family." My brother said, "Nope, God only made one and I was the lucky one to get her!"

    Needless to say, now I make everything I can, and try to figure out how to make the things I can't.

  12. #12
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I so enjoy making my gifts, and much prefer to receive HM gifts. There is a lot of love invested in them. If everyone gets the same enjoyment from making gifts as I do, then even if they cost the same, it is well worth it for the giver and recipient to give/get HM gifts.

  13. #13
    Super Member Connie in CO's Avatar
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    My daughter always tells me she would rather have the things i make her for a gift than go out and but it.

  14. #14
    Super Member Lynnejean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashnquilt
    I will admit sewing/quilting is getting to be expensive. I got to thinking instead of making it myself just buy it instead. But all of that thinking went out the window when I went to visit my nephew and his family.

    I had made quilts for the two great nieces and one quilt for nephew and wife's bed.

    As I was visiting some friends had come over. Yvonne, niece in law, was showing friends the house. "What a gorgeous bedspread!" My niece replied, "My Aunt Debbie made that for us. Come let me show you everything she has made for the family. My Aunt Debbie is so amazing!" I had tears in my eyes because of all the pride she had in her voice. I know it was genuine because she had no idea I was anywhere close enough to hear her.

    Later, during the visit, we had all went to the dragstrip. My nephew and brother (his dad) built a racecar together. My brother is small in stature. Since he is the "pitboss" he has to carry several things with him. Once he gets everything together he suffers from "plumbers pants". I made a special vest for all his stuff. On the back of the vest I embroidered PIT BOSS and an outline of their car. At the strip, my brother put on his vest, got it all loaded up. During the races, I saw my brother talking to someone and showing them all the features of the vest. Then they came over to where I was setting. My brother put his arm around my shoulders and said, "This is my sister, the brains behind the vest." The man shook my hand and said, "I would love to have someone like you in my family." My brother said, "Nope, God only made one and I was the lucky one to get her!"

    Needless to say, now I make everything I can, and try to figure out how to make the things I can't.
    This story just warmed my heart! Thank you for sharing it!!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Quilting is my stress relief. I go to my room, turn the tv on and sew away. It's about the only time I don't think about other things. Yes I could buy it in the store but it wouldn't look like mine. Besides I need to work on the stash :thumbup:

  16. #16
    Cyn
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    Anyone can go out and buy a gift if they have the funds, but not everyone who can afford to buy gifts can sew for their friends and family. That's special and the recipient knows it :)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashnquilt
    I will admit sewing/quilting is getting to be expensive. I got to thinking instead of making it myself just buy it instead. But all of that thinking went out the window when I went to visit my nephew and his family.

    I had made quilts for the two great nieces and one quilt for nephew and wife's bed.

    As I was visiting some friends had come over. Yvonne, niece in law, was showing friends the house. "What a gorgeous bedspread!" My niece replied, "My Aunt Debbie made that for us. Come let me show you everything she has made for the family. My Aunt Debbie is so amazing!" I had tears in my eyes because of all the pride she had in her voice. I know it was genuine because she had no idea I was anywhere close enough to hear her.

    Later, during the visit, we had all went to the dragstrip. My nephew and brother (his dad) built a racecar together. My brother is small in stature. Since he is the "pitboss" he has to carry several things with him. Once he gets everything together he suffers from "plumbers pants". I made a special vest for all his stuff. On the back of the vest I embroidered PIT BOSS and an outline of their car. At the strip, my brother put on his vest, got it all loaded up. During the races, I saw my brother talking to someone and showing them all the features of the vest. Then they came over to where I was setting. My brother put his arm around my shoulders and said, "This is my sister, the brains behind the vest." The man shook my hand and said, "I would love to have someone like you in my family." My brother said, "Nope, God only made one and I was the lucky one to get her!"

    Needless to say, now I make everything I can, and try to figure out how to make the things I can't.
    This is the reason to make the gifts and not to buy! Plus I like the look I get from the recipient when they find out that I made it on a 100 year old plus sewing machine! You cant get that kinda love from a department store!!!

    Billy

  18. #18
    Super Member dotcomdtcm's Avatar
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    Specialty gifts are worth the efforts. But it doesn't make sense for me to buy flannel for pj pants when the girls are perfectly happy with the $10 ones at Old Navy!

  19. #19
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Debbie, that is such a nice story! I know store bought may be cheaper but it lacks what handmade has :)

  20. #20
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deedum
    I have noticed too many times, how beautiful things are in the store. I noticed a beautiful baby blanket with embrodiery in the store yesterday, just adorable. I thought perhaps I am wasting my time, although everyone seems to be appreciative when they receive these gifts. The cost of the machines, thread, material, tools and my time are not cheap. My cost vs the dept store cost. Anyone else feel like this?I did read where more people are going back to making gifts to save money! Is it really saving? I know I make gifts because I want too, but how smart is it I wonder at times.
    Just remember when people are buying those store bought embroidered gifts, they are usually made in a foreign country most likely in sweat shops. Yes, it costs us more in time and money to make it ourselves, but to me that is much more appreciated by the recipient. My girls love that I make them things. Whether I knit a scarf or sew a table runner, they know I put my heart and soul in it. And my grandkids love it when I make them gifts. When my grandson graduated from high school and went off to college in the fall I asked him what he wanted for a gift. He requested I make him a quilt/blanket for his dorm. I was thrilled.

  21. #21
    Super Member cherylynne's Avatar
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    I have 3 DDs. One says that she wants nothing handmade, so I make things for her sons. They like them and the older one even sews with me. Another daughter says she likes what I make for her, but she lives far away so I really can't see if she uses what I make. Maybe she just loves the idea that I spend time making something for her. The youngest will take anything I make for her and display it proudly in her house. She and her fiance like "country" and they are in their 20s.

  22. #22
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    I don't sew and quilt to save money. I do these projects because it is my hobby and I love doing them. I for one would rather have HM gifts anytime regardless of what the cost is. Most of my family and friends like the thought that I made this gift because I love them and love doing it for them!!!

  23. #23
    joan_quilts's Avatar
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    I wonder about the costs too, but store bought stuff always seems "cold" compared to what I make.

    Also, many store bought stuff falls apart after a few washings.

    I love my craft, so I will keep on making stuff with a glad heart and become frugal when it comes to buying fabric. Hey, I have a good sized stash and there are always sales! LOL

  24. #24
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Everyone else's hobby seems like an expensive waste of time. I quilt. It's expensive and time consuming, but I love it so I do it. I'd do it even if the quilts just sat in my closet.

    A friend of mine travels all over creation collecting toy tractors. He has thousands of dollars in them. It sure looks like a waste of time and money (better spent on fabric) to me, but he loves it.

    I've quit trying to justify it. I do it because I love it and I try not to comment on other hobbies that I don't understand.

  25. #25
    eaglebeak1960's Avatar
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    I too wonder about this at times then I think of all the joy I see in the faces of my family when they open a present that I have HM. yes it can be more costly to hand make. I found a person that was giving up her stash for one dollar a yard!!! BOY did I go nuts!!! try going to yard sales/tag sales/ garage sales/ estate sales I have gotten many a yard of fabric from em. also sad to say if a store is closing I haunt em... buying as much as I can afford.

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