The worth of handwork

34 comments
This is a really wordy post. But I feel like there are things I've wanted to talk about for a while. Read or skim.

I wanted to touch on a subject that is bounced around blogs from time to time and that is the value of handwork and hand made items. For me, if I'm going to give a gift to someone or purchase something for myself I first think Etsy.com and like to shop there. I would rather spend money for things made by a person in their home than go to the mall (anyday). I find most things on Etsy are made well and I just really like the idea of supporting other designers or crafters. I do find that people outside the sewing arena don't understand the value of time, fabric, materials and know-how. Sometimes when people find out what goes into making a quilt, for example, they rush to Target. And I've purchased Target quilts, don't get me wrong. They have their place. But when something is handmade or hand designed, don't expect bargain prices.
Recently I purchased some new aprons for myself. I wear an apron at home almost all the time. Not only do I cook in them but I sew in them. They keep me from looking like a walking thread collector. I like a nice, well made apron. And an apron, like a quilt can be purchased from many places. I've found so many aprons are made too tiny for me, with cheap fabric, bad stitching and they curl up into a ball when laundered.
I purchased these aprons at Stitch Thru Time. They are made by a woman in Utah and are beautifully made. I'm not paid or gifted to say this. I did pay top price for the aprons. However, they are super well made, came in 3 days and I love them. I can tell they will wash and wear for years to come. Now you know I could have made these myself but I don't really like to sew clothing. And since I'm a past customer I knew these aprons would be exactly what I wanted. I like supporting a local person who sews to support her family and does a great job. Besides, I'd rather make a quilt than make an apron. Weird, huh.Shelbie made me a new shawl that I've worn the past few days. Nice for me she made this for free. Thanks Shelbie. Shelbie uses good quality yarn. This is my 3rd shawl and I hope to have more in the future. This one is Eagles Green (go Philly) and I plan on using it during every game this fall. I really like shawls because they are warm but not confining. I have so many purchased sweaters that I can wear for one season and they pill or I can't wash them so I really value nice yarn and Shelbie's talent.
I don't want to make this into an Eliza blog but i do want to give you updates on my little pixie now and then, if that is ok. Eliza is still in NBICU at Primary Children's Medical Center. She is off all medication, all needles and tubes are out except this little tiny feeding tube. Before Eliza can go home she has to be able to take 100 cc every 3 hours or some such feeding schedule. I was really hopeful she would come home this week but it is very doubtful. We have to be patient and let her put on weight and learn to suck and swallow at a greater rate. I realize this will help Whitney make it easier to take care of Eliza once she is released. You can see she is a beautiful baby. My daughter and husband met with a genetic counselor. They are the 1 in 800 to have a Down syndrome baby. It happens. She is very healthy and has mild Down's markers. It would seem we have every reason to hope for high function and a happy life for her.

Thanks so much to everyone for the continued comments of encouragement, help and information. Friends and family help you do anything and everything.

-nanette
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34 comments

Nedra said...

Eliza is a beauty! Thank you for sharing pictures and the latest updates. I was praying she would be well enough to go home this last weekend, but hopefully soon!

Annette said...

She is so precious. I love her name...my granddaughter is Eliza too. I hope she comes home soon.

Kelli said...

She is so beautiful, Nanette! Continued prayers for progress. :) Love the aprons, I have shopped on Etsy and loved it. My most favorite red polka dot ironing board cover was an Etsy purchase a few years ago, and it's still in great shape and makes me happy to iron. Shelbie does gorgeous work!!

AnnieO said...

I never wear an apron, but if I did, I'd want it to be homemade :) I agree with supporting other crafters and yes it does cost more!

Good good news about your darling Eliza girl. I hope she will be vigorous and spunky like my niece who has Down syndrome.

Muddling Through said...

I like your aprons. That style looks a lot more comfortable than some I've seen. I hadn't really thought about wearing an apron to sew in, but you make a very valid case for it - I DO walk around like a thread catcher a lot of the time.

Eliza is a beautiful baby. And you know miracles still happen. I'm believing for one for her. But she is precious no matter what!

Janet said...

That's wonderful news with Eliza. She is a very cute poppet. Love the aprons, I went into a store on holiday that had the most gorgeous hand made ones but alas, I don't wear them very often. Hand made is the best!

Josie Passell said...

Thank you very much for the update on your beautiful grand daughter. She is gorgeous and I'm sure it won't be long before she's home.

Suzan said...

She is darling! I know how unsettling it is when they are born so small. My grandson was born nearly 3 months early and today is a happy, healthy, running around like crazy 2 year old!I am sure that she will get past that swallowing/breathing issue out of the way and be home before you know it.

Dotty Dolly said...

What a great post. I love the aprons. My friend collects them, and all her favourite ones come from the States. I absolutely agree about handmade, but like you say some people don`t understand the time or effort that goes into making and creating.

Eliza is beautiful, and I hope she is home some

Jackie said...

Hi Nanette, Just went back and read your post on Eliza, my prayers go out to her and your family. I know exactly what that is like, my son was born 17 years ago with a hole in his heart and a rare heart condition that left him with virtually no tricuspid valve. We were not sure when he would need open heart surgery. Fortunately, we were able to wait until he was 5 when we flew him to San Fran for the surgery. As you can see, he has grown into a fabulous 17 year old with virtually little problem with his heart. So I am hoping for nothing but the best for Eliza for a long and healthy life!

CuteStuffInside said...

Eliza is beautiful. God bless her. I'm sure He has great plans for you and your family.

Lily Boot said...

Nanette - totally concur on the value of handmade goods. Your aprons are darling and Shelbie is a dear - your shawl is beautiful and I agree - they are so much more comfy to wear! As for wee Eliza - what a lovely little babe. Newborns just melt my heart - I want to cuddle them all day. She and Whitney are in my prayers - I know that you will be a marvellous support for them and that Eliza will have a wonderful life with your family's love surrounding her.

Michele said...

Love your new aprons. Your new little pixie is so sweet. I know you'll enjoy spoiling her.

Lynn said...

Like your post and the points you make about handmade items. Thanks for the link to the aprons too. They made me remember the aprons my mother had saved. Some were for only wearing when she had company, beautiful ones with organza and cutwork.
We love the grandchildren update, it's part of the hive!! And Eliza is beautiful, I'm looking forward to seeing her grow as we have with Allison.

Thimbleanna said...

Isn't she adorable? Don't you just want to scoop her up and never let go? Such pretty hair and complexion! I hope she'll continute to make progress and be home soon.

I love to wear aprons too. I wish I'd remember them more often though, as I keep ruining my clothing while I cook!

Barbara said...

She's beautiful! Hope she can get home soon. I so agree with your support of well-made goods - when they cost more, they're certainly worth it, and I'm shocked at how many times the mass-produced is much more expensive.

Cathy said...

The aprons are great love them.

and your little Eliza is a doll. My Mike was a preemie and weighed only 2 lbs. he is now 30 and a genius. So don't worry, I know how hard this time is. We paced and prayed and hoped in the end he is a sweetie. My baby had to go 10 days with out an apnea attack. We made it through and he grew up great.


I will pray for you!!

cathy

TJO said...

In the order of your post:
HANDMADE is the way to go by far and I love (and sell) on Etsy.com. So much fun!
Your shawl is beautiful, but sorry the green shade is a bit off. :P GO PACKERS!
Eliza is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Please keep the updates coming.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I love homemade but like you I do not care to sew clothes. I wish I wore aprons, they are so cute. Beautiful shawl.
Please keep us up-dated about Eliza she is so darling!

PamKittyMorning said...

Love the sweet Eliza update. I'm hoping she can come home soon, but you're right, she needs to be in tip top shape to make it easy on Whitney.

Love the aprons. I 'm always afraid of ruining my aprons. How weird and wrong is that?

Tressa said...

She's got great hair... all dark and spikey... love it. I enjoy your posts and I'm glad that the little one is doing better.

Jennie said...

Aprons are where it all started for me a few years back. I have an embarrassingly large collection. But they make me happy.

I wish more people would appreciate the value of handmade. I'd rather give handmade gifts, but I know that they won't be valued so I don't bother. It's a shame.

Darling baby girl! Glad things are going well - hope she can come home to her family soon.

sparkle jars said...

I'm glad you brought up this subject. I used to offer hand-quilting as part of my quilting business. One customer (a quilter) called several times trying to persuade me to quilt her quilt tops for a price that amounted to roughly 25 cents per hour. No, I did not do business with her, but sadly (according to her) an elderly Amish woman in Montana did the work for the price she was trying to negotiate with me. All I could say was, "It troubles me that you don't value her work."
I've learned a lot from people as I've done business over the years...most are genuinely wonderful...but some...especially with this economy...have little respect for handwork (and I have learned to pick these folks out of a crowd before ever signing a contract).

Segelfliege said...

oh I just love updates about your family. I was wondering how little Eliza was getting along. She looks much better than on the first photos you showed on your blog. With a family like yours and a big sister like Allison Eliza will be one happy girl I am sure.
I love to give away a handmade present. I know a lot of people who value handmade stuff - including my boyfriend. Although he does complain about the amount of my stash. I love the knitted socks my mom makes herself the most - as does the rest of my family, including married sister-in-laws and brothers-in-laws.
All the best to Eliza!
Take care
kleine Segelfliege

lifeinredshoes said...

Bless her beautiful little heart :)
And I fully agree when it comes to shopping! I love handmade, but only if the quality is good, which is almost always is.
I found a great Kwik Sew pattern that I've used to make aprons that I practically live in. 4 seams and plenty of room. I posted it on my blog :)

KatieQ said...

Thank you for sharing the photo of Eliza and giving us an update. blessings for her continued progress.

2e6992bc-a86b-11e0-8ce6-000bcdcb8a73 said...

She is goergeous and sleeping so peacefully. Hope you get home soon Eliza.

Funky Kim said...

I would be disappointed if you didn't post some updates on Eliza. Thanks for the cute picture as well!

And the aprons. They are exactly what I want in an apron! I shall have to dust off my etsy account come payday.

Elizabeth said...

Eliza is beautiful, and she looks so content and cozy in the photo. I can only imagine how anxious you all are to get her home. Sending many prayers and blessings your way.

Darlene said...

Eliza is such a cutie patootie!!!! With a family like yours, Nanette that baby will enjoy a very loving life.

I hope she gets to go home soon but not before the time is absolutely right.

RETRO-Fabulous Blog said...

Eliza is a beautiful baby & will be surrounded by love. Who could ask for anything more? xxHeather

PS---LOVE the new aprons, may have to fiddle with some or order a few. Off to check them out on etsy.

Sandi said...

The aprons are very nice and just because you sew, doesn't mean you have to make your own aprons. It's great to support others who do "handmade", too. I have a couple of aprons, but your post reminds me that I need more. I like aprons that don't tie at the neck so I think I need to look through my vintage patterns and find one to sew. I am so glad you give updates on Eliza. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. She looks so sweet and tiny. Oh, and the shawl that Shelby made is beautiful. Lucky you to have something she made and even better in Philly colors. LOL!

Carrie P. said...

that is very good news about Eliza. She looks like she is very strong.

Lauren said...

I hope this darling little girl is home with her family soon. All of the Down's syndrome children I have come across have such loving natures, and I'm sure she'll bring all so much joy.