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Monthly Craft Question: Quantity vs. Quality

These days everyone seems to be in a hurry, especially around the holidays when gift-giving (and sometimes stress) is at its peak.  Every year I try my best to make as many homemade gifts as possible, but I usually run out of time.  It’s challenging finding the time and energy to craft everyone on your list a present, even if you really want to.  This begs the question of crafters:  When it comes to crafting, which is better: quality or quantity?   Similarly if you sell your creations, this long-time battle is something you face on a personal and professional level.

As usual, we asked our fabulous blogger and designer friends to weigh in on the topic.  Here’s what they had to say:


Quantity vs. Quality

Jen Goode from Jen Goode Designs
Quality is always better than quantity. Ideally, high quality in quantity can be the best option, but it depends on what we are talking about. Offering a wide variety for buyers is great, but only in a high quality. I’d love it if I could wipe out piles of fantastic creations, but quality always takes priority and usually that limits the time to make a bunch.


Henrietta from A Hen’s Nest
I believe that quality is definitely better than quantity when it comes to most things, including crafting. When I make an item, whether for myself, as a gift or to donate, I want the recipient to feel that I’ve put my heart and soul into it. I want them to know that the piece meant something to me, even it was something as simple as a crocheted hat. Put yourself in your work, and you will achieve a greater sense of accomplishment when you are finished.


Susan Barker from Susan Being Snippy
What an interesting question!  The next question is, who decides quality over quantity?  As for me I like that you have a large number of links and suggestions.  I don’t try them all and most of the time I don’t even go to all the links you suggest.  But I like that I can choose, because my choice of ‘quality’ may be very much different than the next person’s choice.  So I am thanking you for the many suggestions and for letting me choose which one(s) I like for myself.


Margot Potter from The Impatient Crafter
Quality.  Always and without question!  What good comes creating a lot of mediocrity?  I am a big believer in coloring outside of the lines and I am The Impatient Crafter, but I deeply believe in the importance of quality construction and good technique. 


Barbara Moore from Mo(o)re Whimsies!
I believe quality is much more important than quantity. I was always taught that no matter what you do, that you should do it to the best of your ability. I would much rather see a well done project as opposed to something with mistakes because I got in a hurry to finish and make more.


Lisa M. Pace from LisaPace.com
When it comes to crafting I feel quality is always best. Seeing items that have been put together quickly for mass production saddens me. You can always see little areas here and there that show adhesive, are not placed correctly or when painted run over into other areas of the design. If I need to create a lot of one project I allow myself enough time to complete the projects so the quality that I demand of myself when creating remains on each item. In the end taking your time to create a top notch project is far more rewarding.


Amy Anderson from ModPodgeRocks!
It depends on the craft! Sometimes you need to whip out something quick and it it doesn’t need to be detail oriented; other times it is very important that it’s high quality. I’m talking about this for my personal crafting (take blogging out of it). 


Sharon Reinhart from S.M.R. Designs
I believe that quality outweighs quantity, however it is possible to achieve both by possibly simplifying your design. Such is often the case for example with assembly line Christmas cards.  I have seen many beautiful cards created in this fashion and in large quantities.


Pat Sloan from Pat Sloan’s Blog
I have to say I’m a “Quantity” type of gal.. the more the better!


Eileen Hull from EileenHull.blogspot.com
I would have to say quality is more important to me when I am creating. Even when I am making lots of the same thing, I still try to make them well. Now doing laundry, cooking or cleaning I am not nearly as particular about because there is no end to it and as long as it gets done, it’s OK with me. 🙂


Alyice Edrich from The Dabbling Mum
When it comes to crafting, I think it depends on quality. It’s not how much you craft, but how much you enjoy crafting and the outcome.  One thing I’ve learned when it comes to creating crafts… if you push too hard to create an abundance of crafts, you make sub-par crafts.  If you create because it feels right, because you enjoy it, because you want to try new things, then you create better quality crafts.  But one thing to keep in mind is that you won’t always create great crafts, especially when you are learning a new technique or trying a new idea, but you will always have fun and enjoy the process if you slow down enough to do your best.


Catherine Hansen Peart from Gingham Cherry
I think quality definitely outweighs quantity for finished products but, having said that, quantity helps you develop the skills for quality!


Lynn Colwell from Celebrate Green
Strangely this is a tough one for me. Quality in terms of eco-friendly paints, glues etc. is very important to me. But I admit to being a bit of a crafting hoarder too. It’s difficult for me to turn down a bag of bottle caps or corks even though I have boxes of them. Recently I did a clean out and I’ll be attending a crafting event in the spring for which I’ve prepared baggies of goodies to give away. So I’m trying to keep my addiction in check!  On the other hand, I like being forced by lack of something I think I need and don’t have, to make a creative substitute. Sometimes the piece I’m working on really benefits from my inability to force it in the direction I plan.


Chef Stephanie Petersen from Cheftessbakeresse.blogspot.com
I’d rather have a few quality crafts than a thousand crappy looking ones. Just my thoughts.


Michelle Sybert from Muffin Tin Mom
This is a tough one. There have been so many times that I have been so thankful that I have had a certain supply on hand that I kept just in case, but I am going to have to say quality. I find that I tend to use my crafting supplies more when I know they are higher quality. Also, choosing a one or two quality tools that serve different functions can help cut down on your supplies while maintaining functionality.


Carol Heppner from Heppner Studio
If I had to choose between quantity vs. quality, it’s quality.  Quality wins every time .  Quality is very important when it comes to my work.  My clients expect quality, and they get quality artwork and writing.  When deciding what types of craft products to use in my work, quality wins again.  If you use cheap-looking products, you work harder to make the project look great.  Great-looking products can still be inexpensive, so cost is relative. 


Shannon Bielke from Shaandco.net
When it comes to crafting, quality is definitely better than quantity. At least for me. I find great joy and satisfaction in my artwork, and I take pride in my creations. For me, sacrificing quality for quantity would defeat the whole purpose of creating something beautiful and useful. Sounds all intellectual and profound but it just means that with each project I focus on creating to the best of my abilities and don’t believe than more is better!  Best is better!


Carolyn Wainscott from Carolyn’s Canvas
If I must choose, I will take quality. I spend a lot of time and effort in my art [we are artists, you know] to be frustrated with substandard tools, equipment and supplies so I strive to have the best I can afford-not necessarily the most expensive. I wait for coupons and 1/2 offs to get special things I want to use. I went against my better judgment in purchasing some ginghams and was so frustrated with the whole quilt process that I will never even like the final results.


Helen Dickson from Bustle and Sew
Definitely quality.  One well thought-out, well-made piece is worth a hundred poor quality pieces, and is sure to be loved and treasured by the recipient.


Laura Bray from Katydiddys
I think quality is more important, which is why I make very small runs of anything I create!


Terri O from Terri O Super Simple Crafts
Quality and of course, super simple!


Mitzi Curi from Mitzi’s Miscellany
When it comes to crafting, I think quality is much more important than quantity, otherwise why not just go to the dollar stores and buy the junk they offer there?  I love handmade things because of the care and time that someone put into making them.  The creative process is always a labor of love!


Terry Ricioli from Terry Ricioli Designs
I find that quality is better.  I do like simple and easy crafts where you can make them up quickly and still preserve the quality.  But, I find if I don’t make it well, I end up taking it apart and making it over!


Cherish Flieder from Something To Cherish
As a lifelong student of the arts, I have come to value the role of both quality and quantity. I don’t think it is easy nor wise to simply pick between the two.  Quality is definitely my primary goal, but it can’t be achieved without creating in quantity. Both are certainly expected in my area of expertise.  When I am exploring an idea or practicing a new technique, quantity is what makes me a better artist each time. As they say, “practice makes perfect.” However, if you are seeking quality, it isn’t helpful to just keep going and going without stopping every now and then to evaluate the work and the process. This process becomes our teacher and shows us more about quality.  There is also a secret that lies underneath the power of quantity and that is there are many unexpected discoveries that will happen along the way. Artists often start out on a project with one direction or idea and may completely change direction several times as they work it out. These little discoveries are the wonderful creative sparks that lead us on to further creation and to push the envelope of possibility.



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