As I was driving along the other day I started to wonder about crafting and how much it costs. I think it was the product of some of the spending I've been doing recently on bits and bobs I deem necessary for whatever I'm doing - thread, invisible zipper foot (I'm going to conquer my fear of the invisible zipper shortly!), fabric, ribbon, little bag frames... Ok, so only some of it is necessary! But jeez, even decent Guterman thread is fairly pricey when you add it all up. And then at the stitch 'n bitch night on Tuesday the conversation passed over the amount people will spend on wool or fabric and how that shocks other people who don't know how much a lovely skein or a metre of designer fabric goes for. There was also a comment on a beautiful wreath at Martha Stewart about the price of the components that got me thinking.
So what I was thinking was whether this new crafting resurgence is essentially a middle-class thing? When it's cheaper to buy most of your clothing than make it, and buy a quilt than make it - and pretty much everything else - is it just an indulgence to make it yourself at twice the price and think yourself clever? It's sort of like when I was first at University and some of my classmates were exploring being modern versions of hippies and living alternative lifestyles and striving to look and be different and non-consumerist it was pretty obvious that the only reason they wanted to live like that was because they didn't have to - their parents were able to subsidise them. Anyone who was truly poor was trying desperately NOT to live like that.
When I look at some of the lovely quilting sites where the most gorgeous things are made from beautiful designer fabrics hot off the presses I often wonder at the money that goes into making them - definitely out of reach of many people, especially these days. These are the quilts and blogs of the affluent and educated. I don't actually have an issue with that, it just makes me think about whether there is a divide in the crafting world between the haves and the have-nots just as there is in the real world (for lack of a better term!).
I suppose this is a bit of an unfocused ramble because I was also negotiating roundabouts and intersections and other drivers at the time, but I'd love to hear anyone else's thoughts on this - even if it's just to tell me I'm delusional!