Thomas Knauer's piece critiques current understandings of “handmade” within consumer culture.  He observes that mass-produced consumer goods that "look handmade" have become "signifiers for being a responsible and ethcial human being."  A UPC code for a mass-produced Martha Stewart quilt was Knauer's starting point: “The ubiquitous bar code becomes a place for color and play, for injecting individuality and personality in lieu of the homogeneity of the factory-made. The rigid perfection of the bar code stripes gives way to the subtle variation of the handicraft, reflecting the texture of a lived life rather than a simple purchase.”

Knauer intends to provoke discussions about how consumers (and quilters) value handcrafted objects. Listen to his “Go Tell It at the Quilt Show!interview recorded by the Quilt Alliance at The Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon in 2013. Photo by Christine Polomsky. Image courtesy of Thomas Knauer, from his book Modern Quilt Perspectives.

In Defense of Handmade
Designed and pieced by Thomas Knauer and quilted by Lisa Sipes
Made in
New York
United States