To make hand-crafted things is to be the target of blunt questions and statements that disparage what it takes to make art, and leave you smarting a bit. I’m not always fast on the draw with my snappy comebacks, but over the years I’ve amassed a few good ones.
You don’t have to answer questions! You’re allowed to Pass or Sass!
Take note, and rehearse a few with your sewing pals to have them at the ready! I usually deliver the lines with sone light sass, perhaps a slightly patient and patronizing air (awww… they don’t get it… bless their hearts!) and always with a sense of humor 🙂
And please add yours to the comments so that we are all armed the next time someone says “I could make that.”
“My grandma could make that.”
So could mine, but it wouldn’t have the same unique character to it.
“Art is easy.”
Tell that to Michelangelo!
“Everybody can sew.”
You mean like everybody can cook?
“It’s easy to sew… why should I pay for that?”
It’s easy to cook too, but you still eat at restaurants, yes?
“How long did that take?”
A few months, and about 30 years to know how to make it in a few months.
“I could buy one at Target.”
You could buy other bedding at Target, but it will have been made with cheaper materials by someone who wasn’t paid fairly, and it won’t be a one of a kind thing.
“My sister/mother/auntie/bestie quilts too.”
How cool! Then you KNOW what kind of time and skill it takes to make a quilt.
“How do you make this?”
I’m happy to give you private lessons. I charge $100 an hour. Let me get you my card…
“No really, just tell me how you do this so I can go make one.”
No really, I’ve invested a lot in my mastery… you should invest in yours.
“My kid could make that.”
Chuckle… we parents always think our kids are prodigies, don’t we?
“Can I get a deal if I buy two?”
No, it doesn’t take any less of my resources to make the second one.
“Can I get a quilt as a donation? It will be great exposure for you.”
Did you know you can die of exposure?
“Can you sew this project for me? It will be great exposure for you.”
If only my landlord accepted exposure in lieu of rent!
“Can I have it for a really super low price because I’m doing it for Amazing Worthy Cause?”
How great that Amazing Worthy Cause has your support! If you like my product that much, I would be honored to have your support too!
“People who sew charge too much.”
It’s a specialized skill, just like carpentry or fixing cars, and you pay way more for those.
“Quilting isn’t a necessity, like plumbing is when you’re toilet isn’t working.”
But you hire a plumber at full price when you’re doing a snazzy remodel, which isn’t a necessity either.
“But I’m on a fixed income.”
I don’t know a person who is not… we all get to make choices with our budgets.
“There’s no way I’d pay that.”
Then you’re not my customer. Have a great day!
Go here for more info about We Are $ew Worth It
Loved them all! I’ll do really minor fixes (hand sewing) for free. I get such a lot of comments from people about grandmothers and such. I usually turn that in to an opportunity for them to talk. I’ve learned some interesting things. Other people think I’m crazy, have way too much free time (because sewing is a hobby, not an art form), and requests for “gifts.” I already gift a lot of the stuff I make. If you haven’t got a gift yet, I’m working on it, have it planned, or just don’t like you enough to spend that much time and money on something for you.
Priceless! “or just don’t like you enough to spend that much time and money on something for you”
The fun part is saying the entire sentence and leaving them wondering which category they fit in to.
I meant the whole thing about currently making it, or planning it. Sorry, I noticed you only quoted that little but and just wanted to be clear.
Nope, I get it. 🙂
Even when we mostly quilt as gifts rather than for pay, our work is undervalued. I’ve had my work volunteered, as in, “Melanie will make one for you.” NO, Melanie will not. Melanie makes quilts as she chooses, for whom she chooses. YOU (saying that) have NO IDEA the value of my gift, that you would volunteer my work that way. My response to that has been, “Yes, I could do that. If I did that on commission for you, for X size, I would charge you approximately Y. Would you like to talk about that?” Of course Y is unimaginably big (for their imaginations, though fair in my estimation based on materials and overhead and my time), and they don’t want to. This is best done with the volunteering party available to get that response, too. ugh…
Puts on Maleificent headpiece, smiles sweetly and says “did you know you can die from exposure?”. I died laughing. You are the Badass Queen! All Hail!
Awesome comebacks! I’m saving this so I can refer back to it!!
I always hear “I can make that!” My response, and one that usually generates a sale of the item, is, “Yes, you could. But, WILL you?”
In response to “I could buy that at (insert big box store name)” I like to reply with ” there is no love in that blanket.” Every quilt I work on has a little love inside. I love what I do after all.
Great list! I think I have heard all of these when I was doing markets selling quilts and soft toys! I wish I had used some of those comebacks. Luckily there were always the excellent customers who knew the skill and time invested and would happily pay the price without commenting. I found most of those were fellow sewers or crafters..
Love these! I made a raffle quilt for a non-profit that is dear to my heart. The quilt design was very personal, myself and filled with meaning for the group. I spent months on the design and half a fortune on the fabric and embroidery on it. It made good money (Thanks to Rachel’s salesmanship and strong arming!) I had so many compliments on it and so many offers of “I really need one of those for my friends birthday next week” and “It’s beautiful! Why, I’d give you a $300. commission to make one for me.” My reply to the commission offer was “That would make a nice down-payment towards the cost of the fabric.”
At Halloween I am frequently asked to make costumes either for adults or their children. Luckily now I can say I don’t have time. But back in the “day” I would bow out by saying “Costuming for a fee would make it like a job and I already have one of those.”
I know these are a little late for this post but thought they might be ok for the comment readers.
You charge too much for a homemade quilt.
Homemade is when you do it yourself. My work is custom made.
I can’t afford your machine quilting prices can I get a discount?
It’s not my job to make your hobby affordable. OR Making your hobby affordable could make me homeless. Do you want that?
This quilt is for so n so who could die at any moment. Would you quilt it for me right away so I can give it to them before they die?
Umm…. no. (This is also a very old trick to get ahead of other quilts on a waiting list without paying a “rush” fee.)