On Selling Quilts

When I made this Flying Geese Quilt, I saved the little strips left over from cutting.  I had an idea for a mini project that I wanted to make with them.

Today I had a few minutes in the sewing room, so I sat down and stitched them together in rows.  As I was sewing them, I started thinking about the original quilt.

Because I sold it.

I didn't list it in my shop for awhile, but then I did, for the same reason I sell most of my quilts.  Secretly almost hoping it wouldn't sell.  And then it did, within a week.  Figures!! I think I gave it an extra pet or two as I packaged it up, but then I knew that the person who bought it would give it more love than I could, so I'm no longer sad:)

Anyways, as I was sewing these little strips together and thinking about this quilt, I was thinking about selling quilts in general.  It seems to me that I have a different viewpoint than a lot of other quilting bloggers, at least the ones who have mentioned this topic.

I think the #1 problem most quilters face is that people do not want to pay what the quilt is worth to the maker.  This worth includes the actual material costs, time spent, and the emotional attachment which one just can't help investing in a quilt.  (the actual pricing of quilts is another topic for another day!)

Amy Butler Vintage Quilt

(Pictured above is the first quilt I sold on Etsy in December 2009)

So here's a couple of reasons why I sell a majority of my quilts.

* If someone buys a quilt from me, I know they really want it.  I'm not selling them for bargain basement prices (some might disagree) but rather try to find a fair price that compensates me for the cost of materials and time but is also a realistic amount that the market can bear.

For example, the Flying Geese quilt that I just sold.  I really like that quilt, and spent a fair bit of time putting it together.  I would have gladly given it to someone I know if they had shown a genuine crazy love for it!  But when someone chooses to buy it, this also makes me very happy because I know that people don't throw $$$ at something they don't love.  I feel like the people that buy a quilt like this obviously understand the value of a hand made quilt.

* The feeling of making something with my hands and then putting it in my little store, together with selling it and sending it off to a new home fills that one little spot in me that being a wife and mom at home doesn't quite fill.

* It 'sort of' justifies me in buying more fabric!  (this can be taken waaay too far though!!)

The fact is, in the fall of 2009, I decided to try selling a few quilts on Etsy.  (This was a couple of months after my daughter was born, and my son was 2 1/2 yrs.  I have no idea....)

I still remember the feeling of that first quilt sale.  And I've been doing it ever since! 

As a small disclaimer, I want to add that I'm so thankful that this has been a mildly successful venture for me, but I know that it hasn't worked out for all who've tried it.  There can be so many reasons for this, and selling crafts online has changed vastly in the last 5 years.

One thing I can say though, is that it didn't happen on it's own.  I have spent countless hours struggling to get photos that look good, tweaking my shop's appearance and working on customer service. 

Modern Elephants Baby Quilt

(another one of my early quilts I made to sell on Etsy)

There have been many moments where I've told myself that there would be so many easier ways to make a profit out of this hobby, like writing pdf patterns, but in the end I always come back to selling my quilts.  I dream of having a large inventory with many styles and sizes, maybe some customizable options...  these all may happen some day, but for now it just makes me happy to sell a few of my hodge podge creations:)

as always, thanks for reading!!  those of you who have read my blog through the years, left a comment, or bought a quilt from me, just... Thanks!  I hope you are rewarded for supporting and being a part of this community of creating.

Quilting Update

Not a lot of sewing has been done, since we were camping last week,  but here's a bit of progress!  I hope to do a lot more quilting this week...

Firstly a little quilt top that's now basted, just not quite sure yet how I'll quilt it.

And then a few more stars for my son's quilt.  I think I need to add a few more solids in there, since it's looking pretty crazy. 

I'll have more to show you in a few days!

Oh yes, and it's time to pick the winner of the Kona color charts today.  Winners should be hearing from me soon!

Filling the Shelves

Yup, there's been a bit of fabric coming in lately.. oops!  But in my defence, most of this bundle was to finish a project and then I just had to throw in a few more fabrics to make it worthwhile;)

This stack comes from Mad About Patchwork, if you've read my blog much you know they're a long time favorite of mine.  If I'm needing a fabric, I'll always check their website first to see if they have it!

So I'm going to break apart this order here, mainly for my own sake, but maybe you'll find something you must have too!

First off, see that shiny little bag on top of the pile?  It says Snow Charms.  I just discovered this option recently, but Pam will cut you Custom Charm Squares in any Kona Cotton color!!  They come in packs of 40, which is absolutely perfect for pairing with Moda Charm packs.  I've bought a few of those Moda charm packs recently and hope to make up some simple baby quilts.  I thought I'd try one of these Kona solids packs to go with one of the Moda charm packs, maybe for half square triangles?

And then, this flannel above is just a lucky impulse buy.  I like to keep a few flannels on hand to back baby quilts with, so decided to buy 1.5 yards of this one.  Ok, so I love it to pieces.  I'm going straight to order more because this is a print that I know I will use on the next quilt that I make to 'keep'.  Something about the colors and print are just my style!

And then a few more prints above for my Great Neutrals Hunt.  Again, that Feathers print isn't a true neutral, but I knew I'd love it as much as the yellow.  I just bought a 1/4 yard, which is so wise and prudent, but really I wish I had a half yard.  And then the music print, which is a great basic which I know I'll use.  Finally some Kona Silver which I'd never tried before and it's a nice pale gray.  A solid gray has never been my first choice for backgrounds, cause I'm more of a warm colors gal, but this one will be nice to have around.  It doesn't shine pink, or blue which is important to me.

And then a big stack of rainbow yumminess which was my whole legitimate excuse for this fabric purchase!  It's backing and binding for my Suburbs quilt!  Hope to finish that up soon!

And last of all a Kona color chart.  My old one is quite a few years old and I was getting a bit frustrated when ordering since I was missing so many new colors.  I'm getting up my courage to cut this new book up like this...   although I think I might punch holes in mine and put them on a binder ring instead, like this.

And that's all folks!

Giveaway Newsflash!!  to reward you for reading this far!! 

So I thought maybe there would be someone interested in my old Kona color card, and then while looking for it, I realized that I already had one of these new ones!! Whaaaat?!  I could be grumpy but decided to turn it into a little gift for one of you!.  So I have a new Kona color book, and an older one (it's probably about 3-4 years old)  I understand that maybe nobody wants an old one, in which case my kids will gladly adopt it!  But, if you're interested in either one, just mention it in the comments section,  (say whether you're interested in both, neither, or just one)  and I'll choose two random winners!

Star Beginnings

This has not been my lucky week for sewing time!  This group of nine star blocks is the extent of my sewing so far.  As you may have guessed, this is a tentative beginning for my son's quilt.  So it's not rainbows, but it's not mostly grays either, so we're finding a happy compromise (I think!)

Big surprise, I decided to go with wonky star blocks, because star quilts always win in my opinion.  I might mix in a few other blocks as well, or not.  These blocks finish at 9" square, so I'm planning to make 63 of them.

These 9 blocks are a good start right?  They can get a little tedious to make, but I think they're a no fail recipe! 

The Great Neutrals Hunt

That's right!  I'm on a "Great Neutrals Hunt"!  This is of course a fun hunt, because it involves fabric shopping, but since I do most of my shopping online, not every print that I buy becomes a 'Great' neutral.  Therefore I thought you might be interested in following along with me as I try to find a few more favorites to add to my stash.

So for me, the obvious start is with my sponsored shops.  (you can find the list of them under the link on my sidebar).  The photo above is a yummy stack that I picked out from Sew Fine Fabrics.  Not all of these are neutrals as I'm planning a specific quilt with them which I'll show you soon.  But I was thinking about the Great Neutral Hunt when I made my choices.  More opinions on my faves in that bunch soon!

Next here, we have an assortment that I ordered from Fabric Spark.  In full disclosure, I realize that the feather print is not really a neutral, but bear with me, I'm in love with it:)

When you look at this stack above, it illustrates how grays and creams that look so similar on a computer monitor can look so different from each other in real life.  That's why I think it's so important to have a good stash of these useful guys, cuz you need the right one for the right quilt!

So these two above have stolen my heart.  They are secretly my two most favorite of this stack that I bought.  That sailors' knot print might not work in every application because those ropes not matching up in smaller piecing just might make you crazy.  But for larger patchwork pieces?  Awesome!

And the feather print?  Well, it's not really a neutral, but I know it's never ending up in my destash pile!

Here's two more prints from my purchase.  They are both Empire by Parson Gray.  I love these as well.  They have a hand drawn imperfect look that I'm crazy about.  They're a slightly cooler gray, with a gray toned background (rather than cream or white)  That Fishnet print on top is very versatile so I know I'll be using it a lot!

(Excuse this loooong photo, guess I was  trying to include the whole ginormous stack!)  Anyways, this stack is my current choices for my son's bed quilt, and quite a few of these latest purchases will find their way into this stack since my goal is to sneak in quite a few more neutrals.  Hopefully my rainbow loving son won't notice!

And one more non-neutral fabric that you can purchase at Fabric Spark and which I also adore is Blast from Rocket Age

Even more convenient, Fabric Spark is having a large-ish sale!  25% off all orders over $50!  If you're looking for more neutrals, now's the time to stock up!

Neon Granny

A Country Quilt