crafting family solidarity

design, family, general crafts


Countless numbers of people have expressed astonishment at the fact that Bill and I have run a business together for 10 years and spend almost every waking hour together. “I’d end up killing him,” is the comment I’ve heard often. Although we have our moments like any other couple, I have long thought that working together at FunQuilts has made our marriage stronger.

At last research is bearing out what I’ve been saying. The 2009 State of Our Unions, report issued by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Institute for American Values has released a list of five factors that correlate to marital bliss. Number One is “Make Your Own Homemade Goods.” Seriously?

Researchers claim that making things together results in partners having “a sense of solidarity.” Partners can garden together, cook together, share a craft or engage in some other aspect of the home economy. The strengthening of the bonds by making homemade goods also applies between parents and children, according to the research. “In short, the family that makes together stays together,” claims the report. As a family whose 1996 Honda wagon just hit 100,000 miles, I was heartened to read that research shows that thrifty couples are generally the happiest.

If you think about it this would also explain the strong social bonds among people in knitting circles, quilting guilds and other craft-centered social groups.

The other factors on the list are also interesting: having the woman take control of the family’s financial decisions (women make less risky financial decisions than men, according to the researchers), having a college education, paying off credit card debt and having the male work as many or more hours than the female. (Hey, I’m just reporting the research.)

Do you make things with your spouse, significant other or kids? Or is your making time “your” time? What effect do you think making things together has on a relationship?

8 thoughts on “crafting family solidarity

  1. My husband and I do some things together (yardwork and hanging out by the pool come to mind) but we have drastically different working styles. He’s a very methodical person and I’m…well….am not. Combing his anal tendencies with my free spirit has led to some rather testy joint projects.

    What we have learned to do instead is to work near each other but on different projects. And then we oooooh and ahhhhhh on each other’s work.

  2. Are those your tools of the trade? (Rotary Cutters?) I was suprised not to see an ergonmic cutter. I am sure that I make far fewer cuts & that style bothers me… (Also I am one of those idiots that needs the automatic closure.)

  3. Amy,
    Yes those are the rotary cutters we use and we have no problem with them. We reflexively close the blade after every cut and find the automatic closing ones actually harder to use. It may also be that because we do a lot of weight training that our hands and upper bodies are strong. The real key I think is changing the blades often.

  4. My husband and I cook together a lot. Usually someone “takes charge” for the cooking but the other person always helps. We switch who is in charge constantly. I think it makes us closer–we always feel like the other person is helping us out, even in the small things.

  5. Weeks, Thank you for your blog spot. We also have a 96 honda wagon, it’s going on 170,00 miles though. Unlike you and Bill my husband and I have dissimilar interests, computer geek engineer and art school grad crafter. We do both like to eat, and started cooking together about a year ago, until then neither of us looked forward to making the dinner, now that we do it together its enjoyable.Another thing we did was designate a room in our house for ourselves, there is a large table with a computer on one side and a sewing machine on the other. Now we can work side by side. G

  6. Well, even though my Hubby has made a quilt with me in the past, it is definitely my endeavour. That being said, I value his design eye and problem solving skills. So I do bring him in now at then. Otherwise we stick to home renos and parenting as our version of working together.

  7. Hi, I’d really love to find that mentioned in those reports to share with my husband, but I can’t find the reference. Could you point me to it? Thanks!

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