This quilt is a remnants bin challenge result. I found some cute fox fabric in the JoAnn’s remnants bin and used what I had at the house to build a quilt around it – gray, black, and two orange hues. I was happy with the result, especially since I finally found a use for the orange and black hounds tooth flannel I bought last Black Friday.
I do wish I’d arranged the colors differently, though. My original goal was to have a gradient effect. I’ve grown to like it, though, and I added a few little foxes around the other blocks to create an interesting focal point.
Alrighty, so I’m all finished with my craft fairs as of last weekend. I decided that no one was going to buy quilts during the spring, so I shifted all my focus to fall shows, undertaking four shows in six weeks. This wouldn’t sound like much to someone who does shows all the time, but as a teacher with two small kids – it’s a lot. My kids were begging me not to go by the 3rd show.
I’ve placed any quilts that haven’t sold up on my Etsy store, so feel free to take a look.
Here’s what I learned as a seller of quilts at shows.
You can tell within the first two hours what kind of a day you’re going to have. Plenty of people will stop and “oooh” and “ahhh”, but if they aren’t actually looking at the price tags then don’t get your hopes up.
Gender-neutral or “boy” quilts sell faster. Not sure why. Maybe because many quilts look decidedly “girly”?
When you sell one quilt the entire show, it’ll be both good and bad. You’ll think, “Yay, I made my booth fee back and then some!” You’ll also realize, “Well, after my booth fee I basically made $40. I sat there for 8+ hours for $40?”
Commissions are a delayed gratification for doing these shows. So while you may not sell the ready-made stuff, the commissions later on do add up and make it worthwhile.
People love to share stories of how their family members were also quilters. They’ll tell you all about them while standing in the middle of your booth, blocking other people from seeing in.
Be sweet to your booth neighbor, especially if you’re in your booth alone. You may need that person to stand between booths so you can run to the bathroom.
Outside craft fairs are havoc for crafts that involve fabric. I was downwind from a BBQ vendor one show. My quilts smelled like BBQ afterwards. This could be cool for a bit, but in the end it involved me tumbling them in the dryer with dryer sheets in an attempt to get rid of the smell. I’ve heard of other vendors experiencing the same thing with kettle corn booths nearby as well.
There was also the issue of smokers at outdoor shows. I had folks smoke near my stuff, and one cigarette came within an inch of my personal t-shirt quilt that I use at shows. I panicked. I also had one show begin a fire pit a few feet from my booth, and I finally agreed to move my booth mid-show to another spot. It still didn’t work, and I had to, once again, air out and tumble my product in an attempt to get the smell out.
Some people can be quite passive aggressive about prices, and it isn’t cute.
It’s a special feeling when you meet someone who has the same sense of humor and/or interest as you. I loved talking about Dr. Who and Star Wars with folks.
People seem more inclined to come in and shop around if you’re reading a magazine or book. Maybe there’s less pressure? They don’t feel like they’re being scrutinized?
There is such a feeling of accomplishment when someone says your quilt is “perfect” for someone they know as they buy it. Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
There was also the issue of my role as vendor vs artist, but that’s for another post. Stay tuned.
Sorry for the silence on the blog part of this website. It’s craft fair season here, and I’m in full swing. My Facebook page and Instagram haven’t been quiet, though. I’ll post more once things calm down here.
A friend from church approached me about making a quilt for the church retreat in October. When I heard that the theme was “Connecting Through Stories”, I just knew which quilt design I wanted to do. I’d had my eye on a bookcase quilt for ages and wanted to give it a try, so I used this as an opportunity to finally make one.
I started by cutting my scraps into various strips of width and length. I did stick to fabrics that I felt someone would be able to write on and be easily visible. Of course, every once in a while I threw in a darker color for balance.
Then I sewed those scraps into large pieces of white muslin and trimmed them all to be about 12.5″ long. From there, I sewed the “books” into blocks of roughly 12.5″ square.
I also used some of the particularly smaller “books” to make stacks.
The hard part came when I knew I needed to make about four books that leaned. I did this by attaching white fabric all the way around and then using my grid to skew the cut, making sure to leave .25″ of white at the corners so that my book didn’t look like it was sinking into the shelf.
From there I made my “shelf”.
I did find a nice wood grain fabric at JoAnn’s, and I used it for the shelf. The wood grain fabric was pretty pricey, though, so I went with a more cost-effective brown fabric for the back since it would be in a wall anyway.
I decided to only quilt on the wood grain fabric since the shelves and books needed to be open for signatures, but I do think I’ll go back and quilt those sections at least a little before all is said and done.
I did have one large brown block in the center of the shelves. This actually isn’t a book but rather a frame. My idea was to take a group picture of everyone at the retreat, print it on fabric, and then make it look like a photograph on the shelf.
The last step was to add a hanging sleeve. I can’t wait for everyone to see it at the retreat!
The name comes from those times when you’re in the middle of a project and your bobbin runs out. You have to pause what you’re doing and reload. While you do that, you have a moment to just sit and reflect. This is a collection of musings and reflections on life’s moments. Some are quilting related, and some are not. This entry was featured on a previous blog of mine years ago.
So I grew up in the South, deep South, and one of the core understandings of Southern culture is to wave, nod, or otherwise gesture when passing someone or making eye contact. I had the pleasure of living briefly in Alexandria, VA. While I adored it there, there was no small amount of culture shock that I discovered the hard way.
I won’t forget my second day there when I made eye contact with someone, an older man at that, and before I even realized what I’d done, I’d given him a nod – otherwise known as the “Howdo?” nod. It’s a small thing, but the idea behind it is that you’re acknowledging that person. And that man, who back home would have smiled and maybe even chatted, scowled – actually scowled – at me. Well, that put my “Howdo?s” in check pretty fast. I remember feeling so awkward when I would pass someone who seemed, at least to me, to be going out of his/her way to ignore me.
So I returned after a year to see a friend after having moved back to the homeland, and I found myself being reminded of my roots while walking. I was alone on the sidewalk when I spied a man walking towards me a good ways off. Again, where I come from, it’s considered polite to make eye contact and smile or nod. Jeebus, do something to acknowledge that someone is taking up mass in the same vicinity as you! Anyhow, as I watched, the man seemed stiff, and his neck was so rigid that it left no doubt that he knew I was there, walking in his space, breathing in his air. And yet…and yet he was going out of his way to not look at me. It was clearly much more uncomfortable to him than me as I gazed at the scenario, amused. At least I waited until he passed before laughing out loud. Imagine, going through all that just to not look at me. It has gone down as one of the silliest moments I can remember from up there.
How often do we go out of our way to avoid the obvious?
The name comes from those times when you’re in the middle of a project and your bobbin runs out. You have to pause what you’re doing and reload. While you do that, you have a moment to just sit and reflect. This little commentary that follows was from my old blog and details a trip to DragonCon in 2014 when my daughter was 3, almost 4.
I’ve gone to DragonCon on and off over the years. I love it when I go, but I find I can tolerate crowds less and less as I get older. I just don’t want to deal with it much anymore unless I simply have to. If I go to DragonCon at all, it’s now on Sunday. That being said, this year my family is sitting it out, but many of my friends are going. It’s a blast to see what all they’re up to!
One year I met Nichelle Nichols!
Bruce Davidson was super nice.
Of course, the best part of DragonCon, or any Con, is the people-watching, and boy did it not disappoint. One of the first costumes I saw was a lady with a sizable Toothless the Dragon draped across her shoulder, her arm carefully hidden in the neck and operating the head. She was very nice and patient, too, as I held my 3 year old close. Toothless tried to nuzzle my girl, but she was having none of that; she was quite content admiring from afar. She’s her mother’s child after all. And this Toothless-wielding lady wasn’t the only person who took special time with my kid.
It’s easy to relegate cosplayers into a group of people vying for attention, usually in Anime getups, and on one level you’d be right. They do dress to get attention. But on another level you’d be completely wrong. They dress for attention not so much for themselves as for their craft, the costume. And in that craft, they act more like a model for their pride and joy – those costumes they spent weeks, and sometimes months, making and crafting, paying attention to minute details only a select few will truly appreciate. (I have a lot of friends who are in to cosplay, and sometimes I forget I’m not actually part of that subculture. I’m just privy to it.)
Back to my daughter. She didn’t appreciate the Tinkerbell cosplayer’s sewing, makeup, or hair. Her appreciation was of a much more sincere type, and the Tinkerbell cosplayer was worth every ounce of admiration. You see, my daughter didn’t see someone dressed as Tinkerbell. She saw the One, the Actual, The Tinkerbell. And that Tinkerbell was amazing. She squatted down to my daughter’s level, something dangerous considering how many people were rushing past, and spoke with her as Tinkerbell would. My daughter informed her of her own pink wings, and Tinkerbell, without missing a beat, says, “Of, course! Because you’re a flower fairy. I’m a tinker fairy….” My daughter was totally in the know of the world of Pixie Hollow, so she was just enthralled. And me? I was so happy that this lady understood how important this moment was for my daughter. She could have just paused for a quick picture and gone on with her day, and my daughter would have been happy at that. But no, she took the time to talk and make the moment real for a child she didn’t know. I don’t know how many times I mouthed “thank you” to her as she chatted, but I still think it wasn’t quite enough.
And most of the cosplayers my daughter was brave enough to approach were just like this. Even a younger girl, around 8 years old I guess, dressed as Princess Unikitty, was patient and returned the hug my daughter gave her. A group recreating the Pixie Hollow fairies actually came back to their spot when they saw my daughter standing timidly at the edge of the crowd, too shy to walk up. They waited and waved to her, and she finally drafted another friend of mine to take her to them. (What? Mom’s too lame to go with you to Pixie Hollow?) They all took their roles seriously in that they knew how much it would mean to the little ones there, wading through thousands of people, to see them.
So in a way, I suppose this is a thank you letter to the wonderful cosplayers at DragonCon. Thank you for your craft, thank you for your patience, and thank you for making my daughter’s favorite characters come to life for her.
Hey everyone, I’ve been busy on my other pages, but this one has been still for a bit because I haven’t finished any projects. That doesn’t mean I’m not working on them because…boy oh boy…I am swamped!
I was able to finish my t-shirt quilt commission and baby Flash quilt commission right when school started. Now, I’m on to another undisclosed project, a bookshelf quilt for a church retreat, a Star Wars quilt (or two) for the upcoming craft fairs, finishing my comic book quilt and second guitar quilt. I also have a partially begun other undisclosed project as well as a promised project that hasn’t even been started. Oh, and there’s another t-shirt quilt waiting to be started, but the timeline is very generous, so it’ll be a while before I start it.