New adventures

I love the craft fairs and being a vendor at them.  They’re fun, and I get to meet lots of different people.  But one issue I run in to is that I don’t sell many smaller items.  Much of my inventory is higher priced, so I’m learning what shows work for me.

Lots of folks will come by and oohhh and aaaahhh, but if they aren’t bothering to look at price tags, they didn’t come prepared to shop.  And if you’re selling larger priced items, you need to find shows where people are prepared to shop.  Shows that are focused on something else and have thrown vendors in as an aside don’t often do well for larger-priced items.

So I’ve found that Spring shows haven’t done well for me in the past.  Let’s face it – quilts don’t sell well in warm weather.  I’d sworn I wasn’t going to do anymore Spring shows, but two came up that I just couldn’t resist giving a try.

One is the Riley Day event, April 27th, hosted by the fine people over at the Amanda Riley Foundation. All proceeds from that show go to support families as they deal with childhood cancer, and the more I learn about the Riley family the more I want to support them.  So I figure it’s a win no matter what, and the fact that it would reach my niche client group is a major bonus.

The other event is my biggest event yet – the Vintage Market Days of Greater Atlanta, May 31-June 2.  Vintage Market Days specializes in antiques, recycled and up-cycled art and decor, and they have shows all over the USA.  My daughter and I went on a reconnaissance visit to the Christmas one, and I thought I might do alright at it.  My daughter gave her 8 year’s wisdom and agreed that it was worth a shot.  Again, the people attending looked like they might be in my niche client group – folks who liked sentimental items, especially re-purposed ones.  So I don’t know how my ready-made items will do, but I’m thinking my t-shirt quilt commissions will fair well.

Since the big event is also inside, I’m trying something new with my booth layout, and I’ll use the Riley Day event to test it out.  So here’s hoping the new layout pays off.

So if you’re in the area, come on by and say hi!

 

New Shop!

Etsy isn’t working out for me.  Since they changed their search formula, my shop has been dead in the water.  And this past weekend they had a glitch that charged sellers some crazy, unexpected fees.  Some folks, like me, were hit with only a “small” charge like $78.  Others were hit with three, four, five, or even SIX DIGIT charges!  And though Etsy is claiming it was a “small number of sellers”, the forums I was in paint a different picture.

See here for more news on the Etsy glitch. 

Aside from that, it seems I’m paying them fees to promote my listings each month with little to no return.  Even trying the newer SEO searches hasn’t really netted any results.

So…

I made a shop page on here to see if that made a difference.

So please, feel free to poke around my new shop page and see what all is going on!

Quest Quilts Shop

Craft Fair Season Fall ’18 – done!

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.

Quest Quilts Etsy Shop

Here’s what I learned as a seller of quilts at shows.

  1. 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.
  2. Gender-neutral or “boy” quilts sell faster.  Not sure why.  Maybe because many quilts look decidedly “girly”?
  3. 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?”
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Some people can be quite passive aggressive about prices, and it isn’t cute.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.

 

Related blogs and posts:

Craft Fairs, Bookmarks, & Squirrels in my Van…

Craft Fair Season is Here!

Craft fair fun

The Craft Booth – a blog

 

Woodland Creatures Baby Quilt

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!)

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I traced the images onto basic copy paper and then retraced them backwards onto fusible interfacing.

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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!

 

 

Related Blogs and Posts

Nursery Panel Baby Quilt

Custom Designed Fabrics for a Nature Quilt

Thicket Critter Baby Quilt Pattern

A Couple Special Baby Quilts

 

 

So. Many. Projects.

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.

Whew!  Stay tuned folks.

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Flash quilt detail
Newest roll
Star Wars quilts jelly roll
Bookshelf scraps
Scraps for a bookshelf quilt
comic book quilt
comic book quilt top
Guitar quilt
guitar quilt in progress

An observation on blankets vs quilts

I was given an unusual task recently of taking a t-shirt blanket and turning it into a t-shirt quilt.  Unfortunately it involved taking the whole thing apart.  So I sat down with a movie and a seam ripper last night and got to work.  I was surprised when I finished taking that entire blanket apart right as Dazed and Confused finished up, and it got me to thinking.

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A blanket and a quilt really are two very different things.  Don’t let anyone tell you they are the same.  A blanket is one or two pieces of fabric connected at the outside edges.  A quilt is a “sandwich” with a top layer, usually pieced or highly decorative, a back, and a thin middle layer of some type of stuffing – polyester, cotton, wool, or any blend therein.  Those three layers are then quilted together with thread.  They can also be tied together using yarn or embroidery floss.  The effect is two layers of design playing off one another. The layers blend and create an overall effect.

If someone sat down with a seam ripper to pick apart a well-made quilt with appropriate quilting throughout, there is no way that they will finish picking it apart by the end of a single movie.

 

Productive day!

Well today was quiet and more productive than I’ve been in a while.  I finished two tops and added a border to one that I wasn’t quite happy with.  I also prepped backing for all three of these quilts as well.  My goal is to pin all three tonight and begin quilting them tomorrow.