Creative Weekend Retreat at Home

That’s right, at my house.  Over Memorial Day weekend I was given the chance to just have some time at home.  My wonderful parents took P on Thursday night to the lake and I had taken Friday off work.  Earlier  in the week I had written down my to do list to help keep me focused with all my free time.  I was planning 3-4 days with no kid and hubby had some plans too.

What you don’t see on the list are some errands that I wanted to accomplish as well.  I knocked most of those out on Friday morning and needed those errands to complete some home projects.  Spray paint was necessary to make these happen.  Saturday my yard was colored robin’s egg blue and gold/bronze.

We are hitting a few big salvage sales in the area this upcoming weekend to complete some updates to our bedroom.  My husband painted the room two years ago, yep, that’s our speed for home projects.  I’m happy with how these pieces turned out.  They are going to stand out against the navy walls in my bedroom.

Saturday morning I made candles with soy wax and essential oils.  I didn’t follow a tutorial, I just started creating.  Next time I need more oils to make a stronger scent.  They are easy to make once you have the supplies.

I worked on the spray painting as a break from sewing.  My items for the Urban Home Goods Swap on Instagram (#uhgswap) needed to be finalized.  Based on my partner’s request I wanted to make an apron and a pillow cover.  Guess what I had never made before?  An apron.  Pinterest is full of tutorials and ideas and this one is awesome, click here.  My version is below.

I hope my partner doesn’t hate the butterfly print as I used it as the base fabric for most items I made her.  We shall see.  Once the adult version was complete, I whipped up a smaller version for her daughter.  Rather than a fabric waistband, I dug into my vintage lace and found the perfect piece.

After these, I needed a creative break.  I began working on the clouds for the Rainbows and Clouds quilt.

 

Thank you for your kind words on the project.  It took a lot emotionally to create it, but the overall finish was perfect.  The rainbow strips and piecing curves were a nice challenge to keep working on when I didn’t want to keep going.

Saturday night I was able to get the quilt based and ready for quilting on Sunday morning.  As I wrapped up Saturday night I turned to a collection of fabrics I pulled to create the pillow for the swap.  The first pull I made was great, but wasn’t quite right.  The next pull was just right.

I went back to my favorite flying geese tutorial and knocked out the geese in no time.  In the background I was watching new episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and dying.  If you haven’t watched the series, start because it’s hilarious.  In making this pillow, I decided I want to see this as a whole quilt.  Monday I was able to order more of the background fabric and some fabrics to coordinate from Stitch Stash Diva.  The fabrics have already arrived and I will probably start on the quilt this weekend.

Finally over the weekend I wrapped up a few projects that I had sitting around and just wanted to get done.  You will see those soon.  What I didn’t accomplish was the video tutorial just yet for a postage stamp quilt, but it’s coming.  That’s going to take an afternoon and I want to give it the proper time it will require.

Overall it was a great weekend and thankful I was able to make so much with the time I had.  I had been feeling a creative rut and not very motivated.  Having a weekend to focus on creating was what I truly needed.  Look for new quilts and items coming up.

Rainbows and Clouds Baby Quilt

When making custom baby quilts, it gives me an opportunity to connect with a family.  Their friend or family member relays their story to me and I create something especially for them.  I love watching their story come to life in a quilt.  The recipient of this quilt has been through an immense amount of heart break to welcome this new bundle.

“Without the storms there would be no rainbows,” is the quote from their Facebook announcement.  Baby #6 is on the way.   I’m not even sure how to relay the hard part to you as it’s crushing.  However, I assure you this family is elated and they have the biggest smiles on their face in their announcement.  All the babies before have either miscarried or passed shortly after birth.

Did you just get a huge lump in your throat reading that?  I did just writing it.  It breaks my heart to hear their story and work on something special for them.

If you’re reading this and have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or child, HUGS!  Know that while making this I recalled stories of my own friends and their journeys to create their family.  It’s not always sunshine and rainbows.  Sometimes it’s just a shitstorm and it’s not fair.  You’re not alone and many couples have been there.

After some discussion the rainbow idea was born.  To incorporate all the children I would include six clouds.  I put two clouds at each end of the rainbow for the parents.

Yellow was omitted from the rainbow for two reasons:

  1.  I didn’t have a big enough piece of fabric to coordinate with all the other prints.
  2.  Having six stripes of colors also is a tribute to all six children.

You can really see the clouds in the picture above.  The green grass provides a nice contrast to the gray background.  It’s not a solid gray, it’s Robert Kaufman Spot On in Silver.  I remembered there was some in my stash and thought it would be a great background.

For quilting I went with free motion loops.  It gives such a nice crinkle to the finished quilt.  Solid yellow is on the back and rounds out the colors of the rainbow.  Adding black and white binding gives the piece a frame.  Not only did I want this to be a quilt, but later on could be used as wall art.

The clouds kind of disappear and the rainbow shines bright.

One detail you can’t see unless you’re up really close (extreme close up not included) is the thread color around the clouds.  I used a very light blue as the bobbin thread and it gives each cloud a little glow.

The quilt is off to it’s new home this weekend.  I hope the parents enjoy the quilt, but mostly new baby snuggles soon.  Thoughts to them as they anxiously await the arrival of baby #6.

All fabrics are from my stash or scraps.

New Fabric Finds

I intentionally went fabric shopping this weekend and it was glorious.

Friday after sitting in an all day meeting, I had a few minutes before I had to get the kid.  Crimson Tate is on my way home and I thought why not.  I have been passing it everyday for two months and tried to keep my blinders on.  Inside Heather had some of her brand new Literary fabric There are some projects floating around in my head with these fabrics.  They are perfect for the book lover in your life.  

Literary from Windham Fabrics

Heather had some pieces cut and on her cutting table.  In her own words, “So Good!”

Some scrap packs ended up coming home with me.  I’m thinking a baby boy quilt and already have a pattern in mind.  Yesterday I got wrapped up in pulling some scraps from my bins.   Stop it, there are already too many projects pulled.

Saturday morning I met up with a couple of friends and got in a long walk.  They are joining me in the 20/30 #healthysewist posts for the month.

Our walk ended near a fabric store that was celebrating their grand reopening.  I was really intrigued to see what the new shop would look like and the overall feel.  More modern fabrics, the space is open, and very inviting.  While there were good fabrics to choose from, I only bought Heat Bond.  Much needed for an upcoming project.

Scrappy Boy’s Postage Stamp Quilt – Layout

No quilt is easy, but a postage stamp quilt is my go to when I want to just create.  While digging through some old wips (works in progress) I found some leftover blocks from this baby quilt.  There wasn’t enough to make another quilt.  I grabbed the seam ripper and started just taking them apart.  Time for a fresh start with these fabrics.

P and I were messing around in the sewing room on Sunday morning and we started going through my scrap bins.  He loves to pull out colors and mess around with them.  Why not make a scrappy boy’s postage stamp quilt with what I already had as a starting point?  We dug around in my scrap tubs for green, blue, aqua, white, cream, brown, yellow and orange.  I quickly pressed the scraps to make cutting them easier.

During a family viewing of Ghostbusters for the 10th time, I cut the scraps into 2.5″ squares.  Rob taught Porter to say, “Back off man, I’m a scientist!”  He went around the rest of the day screaming that phrase.

I hope to get these squares laid out into a quilt this week.  Would you have any interest in a video on how I chain piece a postage stamp quilt?  I’ve been throwing the idea around and this may be the project to make it happen.


Linking up with:

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

 

Help Me Pick a Backing

Time to back the Springy Granny Springs quilt from last week.  Now, what to back it in?  I have a few choices in mind.  Why not open it up to quilt by committee?

Here is the binding choice.  It’s a nice pale green.

 

All three are solid choices.  Which is your favorite?    Vote in the comments by Thursday, March 16th.

 

Excited to see which backing is the winner.  Let the voting begin.  You can vote in more than one place too.  Instagram, Facebook or the blog.

How I Price My Quilts

Discussion on quilt pricing

Pricing quilts is often talked about among quilters.  Sometimes I share and sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t price higher, so I refrain.  On a run this week I listened to two Merriweather Council’s podcast episodes. Episode 016 and 017 really hit home and got me thinking I should share how I price my quilts.

Episode 016 “OMG. Those Annoying DIY Comments,” is something that as quilters we may see.  Oh I can just make that.  You’re right, you can.  I encourage you to create one.  That’s genuine, please do not take it as snarky.  Everyone can make a quilt, it’s a wonderful skill to learn.

There are some benefits of buying a handmade quilt that you may not think of.

  • I have cultivated a fabric collection and the necessary tools to execute a lovely baby quilt in a short time frame.
  • I can shop for my supplies in an economic way and know they that my quilts will hold up.
  • You get all the accolades at the shower without the work.

If you’re new to sewing and quilting are you really going to be happy with that first quilt?  My first quilt is horrendous and lives in my parent’s closet to prevent tormenting me when I visit.  Do you really want to put the time in shopping, cutting, sewing, and quilting only to be frustrated at the end?  Probably not.

I price my baby quilts so they aren’t an impulse purchase.  Once you’ve priced DIYing one you will see that my cost is reasonable and it’s a completed finished project.  It’s ready to ship to you right now.   Yes, $75-$90 may seem low priced for a handmade baby quilt.  Maybe it truly is.

Sewing and quilting is an outlet for me to create, not have a profitable full time business.  That is way too many quilts to create annually, I have ran the numbers.  At one point to offset my full time salary I would have needed to sell 24 sets of potholders per day, everyday for a year.  Sell 24, that means I would need two to three times that in my store daily to generate that number of sales.  It was unrealistic.

I believe every baby should have a handmade baby quilt.

At my prices it is realistic.  For that special friend or family member, my target customer is going to probably spend double my price on that baby.

I also want to build a relationship that may lead to other quilts down the road.  I want to be your quilt person.

You will find more expensive quilts in my shop.  More time and costs went into the finished product.

Episode 017 touches on market saturation.  Visit Etsy and type in baby quilt.  You will see around 94,000 options.  Buyers have many options.  Look a little deeper.  Do any stand out?  Anything that made you stop and contemplate adding to your cart?

Since the quilts are handmade, no two are exactly alike if you look close enough.  Similar yes.  Some may be producing more than one of a print or options.  However, go back to comment above, they have cultivated a collection and have fabric maybe others do not.  More than likely they are purchasing fabric wholesale, giving you a more economical finished product.  New fabric lines are being released regularly.  As a shopper you should be aware that quilting cottons in a line are usually only produced in one run.  That means if the fabric is released now it will be much harder to find in 6-12 months.

There will not be an exact replica of my quilts in another shop.  I also probably can’t remake one exactly like the one you see, especially if made of scraps.  You are getting a one of a kind product at a phenomenal price point.

Each quilter is going to price their quilts where they like.  Many have thought I am underselling myself without seeing the bigger picture or my motive.  This topic will remain a topic often discussed, as it should be.

Let me be your quilt person, see my shop selection here.