Friday, February 23, 2024


 It is odd that sometimes you see the same topic come up in different places and from different sources, all on the same week. In the past week, the topic I keep seeing is placing a fair value on handmade items. There was a YouTube video, where the price of a hand made queen sized quilt was broken down. Then I saw a blog post on whether pattern testers, who provide their own supplies, and their time, should be paid to test a pattern that the designer intends to sell. Then I saw a post about the undervaluing of traditional women's arts. 

After reading and watching all this, I was asked the other day how much I would charge for something. My response was "This is my hobby, I love to buy nice yarn and pretty fabric, and make things from it. I enjoy giving my things away, to people that I know will appreciate them. I don't want to make this a business, where I have deadlines and and someone else decides what I will use to make something."  

When I was in high school, I took some knitting commissions. I was terrible at putting a value on my work and was happy to take what ever they were willing to pay me, as long as they provided the supplies. Now I am not an improvised student and I can do what I like. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.

So, what have I been doing lately? I knitted in the dentist's waiting room (while everyone else played on their phones). I also did some sewing, and some bag planning.

The "Shawl that never ends" finally got its ends sewn in and I got it blocked.

I tried it on and it is huge (that is a queen sized bed). I have sent it on its way to someone who thinks it is perfect.

I started a new shawl.

It has progressed a bit from when I took this picture.

I finished my first sock and started the second. 

I made a quick flannel blanket for a friends who are Ottawa Senators fans. It took longer to thread the serger that to hem the blanket.

I have also finished clue 1 and 2 of the Saturday Sampler bag for February.

A tiny bit more to finish on clue 3, that is for today.


  1. Agree with every word. I have made quilts as gifts - I don't mind doing that, but if asked to make one my answer would be "you can't afford it".

  2. I have only ever made one quilt on commission and I was given the fabrics and some trimmings to use. It was challenging but I was happy with the result however the commissioner was not so happy with my charge which I had cut drastically to what I thought she might pay! Well it paid for my very expensive walking foot. Never again.
    The shawl looks beautiful and I am sure will be loved. xx

  3. So very true, when people discover how much it cost for a quilt they quickly decide it is too expensive. Instead you explain to them how many hours it takes, then you ask them how much they charge per hour for what they do? Like you said, they can not afford it. Giving is so much more rewarding!

  4. In the interest of keeping as much of my stash out of the landfill as possible, I do indeed give a lot away. For example, I'm just finishing yet another series of 3 comfort quilts that will end up with Ukrainian refugees near Edmonton, along with another couple of knitted hats. I also donate to the occasional fund-raising auction. That said, I *have* done commissions (especially for my daughter, who doesn't knit or quilt, so she can give special gifts to friends), and for other friends and acquaintances. For small knit items (like a hat or pair of socks or mittens), the person who commissons me pays for twice the cost of the materials (give or take), and that often (but not always) includes shipping. I have a 'family discount' so my family's requests are not as expensive as non-family ones. If it's an art piece, I charge what I'd charge at the local art show -- those prices I've figured out long ago and they're firm. I also charge shipping -- but no GST. And yes; I give the commissoner a quote before I even start on his/her request. That way, we're on the same page right from the beginning and there's no argument later!