Thursday, October 31, 2013

You are worth more than sofa crumbs.

I think this happens to every quilter—hell, to every person who makes stuff, especially if the stuff is not considered fine art. Somebody in your little world gets wind that you like to make stuff and says, "Huh. I would like to buy a thing that is made by you. That you obviously do in your spare time. With materials that pop into existence when you close your eyes and wish really hard. Here is some change from my sofa. No, no! Please take it. It would be my honor to give you a small token of—oh, wait. Those are Cheerios covered in cat hair."

And the thing is, lots of us just go ahead and accept the cat-hair Cheerios, because—hey—it was more than we had in our pockets yesterday. We look on Etsy and see seller after seller offering quilts for barely what the materials would cost, and we figure we have no basis for asking for more ourselves. Add in the fact that no one who isn't a quilter or who doesn't sleep with one has any real idea of just what goes into making a quilt. Until you step in my shoes, and spend countless hours debating whether to buy the Tula Pink FQ bundle that is going to be out of print soon until it is in fact out of print and there is therefore no more reason to go on living, you cannot know the true psychological cost of my "little hobby."

My friend Sam Hunter, of Hunter's Design Studio, is a woman on a mission. She wants to see the value of our quilts go up, both concretely—in terms of pricing, as well as abstractly—in the value we and society place upon the work that comes from our hands. Please go here and read what she has to say about how you can start to calculate the worth of the things you make. Then go here and read what she has to say about where this devaluing of ourselves and our products comes from. And then go here to see the tools she is offering you to start doing something about it. Seriously—go read all this stuff. Sam is far more eloquent about all this than I could ever be, and her passion for this mission shines through every word. If you don't come away from all of that invigorated and inspired, you are the walking dead and you should look out because I have my shotgun trained on your skull right now.

Sam has titled her campaign We Are $ew Worth It. And we are. It's time we let the world know it.

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