We all remember the headlines—major toy companies like Fisher-Price and Mattel recalled a bunch of their popular children’s toys made in China when it was discovered that paint used to make these products was contaminated with lead. The US government reacted to all of this with a sweeping new law that requires product safety testing for all products manufactured for children under the age of 12.
Okay—that was the good news—now here’s the bad news. Typical of most legislation, good intentions can sometimes run amok. The new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) requires manufacturers of all children’s products to safety test everything they make. This includes toys, child care items, clothing, bedding—and dare I say it—quilts. And because CPSIA defines “manufacturers” as everyone from big companies like the Mattels of this world down to individual quilters and crafts who donate handmade quilts to hospitals and charities—or make and sell stuff for craft fairs, school fundraisers and Etsy—the impact could have been devastating.
But—and here’s a good but—the crafter community pushed back! Last month the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a Stay of Enforcement of Testing for one year while they define a new set of rules. We can breath a (temporary) sigh of relief.
Quilters are pretty generous people—sentimentalists at heart. Sure, we like to make things, but often the best part of making a quilt is the giving it away part. Case in point—these fun little baby quilts. (I just love it when I get pictures!)
Susan from Cincinnati visited the shop over Thanksgiving weekend and picked up a couple of the Park Slope fat quarter bundles. And just look at what she did with them—popping color against a white setting fabric! Susan made this quilt as a gift for her friend Amy’s brand new baby. He or she is bound to love the color play.
And here’s another one—Debra’s sweet little quilt for Elayne. You gotta love the Urban Amish quilt pattern. 6 fat quarters = one baby quilt. It doesn’t get any better than that!
So keep on sewing and keep on giving my friends—it’s good for the soul! And don’t worry—the CPS commission will figure this all out. In the meantime, if you want to contact the CSP Commission and/or your local Congressmen, here’s a site with lots of good contact info and a sample letter to use-- http://dannythorpe.com/2009/01/09/new-consumer-product-safety-testing-law-set-to-destroy-home-crafts-industry/