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!
This quilt was for a friend as a surprise at her baby shower. I knew we wanted to tie in to her overall theme of woodland creatures, and I did several searches for different images. In the end, I went with the images on her actual shower invitation. (She loves sloths, so we snuck in one of those as well!)
I traced the images onto basic copy paper and then retraced them backwards onto fusible interfacing.
From there, the layering process began. I had to trace each layer backwards onto the fusible interfacing as well and then iron them on top of one another. I’ll admit there were several times here where I thought of different ways to simplify, but in the end it just wouldn’t do. The fox was simplified accidentally, but that was about it.
From there, I ironed them into place and used a large mushroom top to hide their bottoms behind because the original images were cropped as well. It look some rearranging before I finally hit this layout.
Going back and adding in the white “light spots” on the eyes was one of the best moves I did. Before that, they looked cute but kind of flat. They had a deadpan look that kept them lifeless. The sloth, especially, looked somewhat stoned.
And one again, I added a close-set zigzag stitch to finish off the applique elements.
The reason everything was right at the bottom was because we intended for people to be able to sign the quilt with well-wishes for the new family.
Here’s a video of the sweet soon-to-be parents receiving their surprise!
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.
My sister is very good at getting me out of my comfort zone when it comes to quilt designs. She’s not a quilter herself, but she has a great eye for detail and can think up some really fun ideas. So when she asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend that was Flash-themed, I knew it was going to be fun.
I looked around online and found a few ideas. Some of them were gorgeous, but I didn’t have the time to devote to them. And then I found this minimalist poster from Andres Romero. He’s done a bunch of them, and the simplicity was promising.
We decided that this image was perfect, and we would add in some type of full-bodied image at the bottom, maybe with the running motion.
The actual face was easy because I just appliqued the shapes on.
After that, I did the same for the running figure. We played around with the idea of having gray gradient figures spaced out behind him, but time constraints prevented that. So I decided that I would use a quilting design echoing behind him to get the same effect. I like how it turned out.
Flash quilt detail
I quilted over the whole thing with an homage to the lightening shown behind Flash in comics while he’s running. It does look a bit like a heartbeat, though. Oh well.
My sister picked out a Super Friends themed fabric for the backing.
With so many angles, I decided to soften it a bit by curving the edges. I like the overall effect!