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.

Springy Granny Squares

We have had some wonderful weather in Indianapolis the last week or so.  Flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding, and my allergies are starting to flair up.  Spring is coming.  To celebrate I wanted to create a baby quilt using small florals.  The fabric was part of a mystery box I bought a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t in love with the fabric at first.  Once I chopped it into 2.5″ squares, it became more my style.

Dipping into my solid scraps I found some coordinating colors with the small florals.  The background is a white on white circle print from JoAnn’s.  I usually keep 1-2 yards on hand for backgrounds if needed.  Last week I paired everything up to make 20 blocks while watching TV.  Everyday I sewed a few blocks and by Sunday they were finished.

I was able to sneak in some early morning sewing while everyone was still asleep.  Remember all that natural light in my sewing room from this post?  The sun was just peering from behind the clouds and the room was flooded with sunshine.  It’s my favorite time of day to work in there.

 

After finishing all 20 blocks I wanted to start on a layout.  Obligatory quilter’s feet in photo coming right up.

 

Do you like how my socks tell me which feet to put them on?  Makes me giggle.

I should have thrown in some other prints, there are many yellow and blue blocks.  Egh, we will call it a design element.  The binding will be a minty small polka dot.

 

This week I hope to piece the top and start auditioning backings.  There are a few options:

  • Pieced backing with coordinating fabrics
  • Vintage sheet
  • Solid color backing (mint or yellow)

Look on Facebook or Instagram for options later this week.


Linking up with:

Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation

Fabric Budget UPDATE

As we wind down February, the budget is still in place. There are been a few purchases for my stash which leave my budget pretty low on funds at the moment.

One of my friends was purging her Lotta Jansdotter Echo stash. Ummm, yes please, all of it. Got an amazing deal on one of my all time favorite fabric lines.

A quilt shop near me is restructuring. Not going out of business, just changing things up. They have been doing an inventory reduction sale. I ventured out on the first night, wading through the crowd, and finding just a few items to add. I’m tempted to go back now that the entire store is 50% off. I’m very conflicted. Honestly, there is nothing that I NEED. Is there really anything I WANT? Doubtful.

Okay, I went after writing the above. I did find some fabrics to use. They were down to $3/yard. How could I resist?

All this for $37

The $100 fabric budget did wonders for changing my whole thought process on fabric buying. Old me would have probably spent too much money at that sale and sit on the fabric for four years. Instead I truly looked for things that I will use. That blue fabric will be backings for boy baby quilts. Black and white polka dot could go with anything. The floral prints are for pillow for the living room. Need to brighten that up this spring.

IMQG hosted their February meeting at The Sewing Speakeasy.  These charm packs called out to me with their saturated colors. An idea is already in mind for what to make. I’m going old school and creating a disappearing nine patch. If you are new to my blog, it used to be my go to pattern for a baby quilt. I haven’t made one in almost three years.

I envision something fun and bright once the top is created. Grey thread in FMQ. Maybe a vintage sheet on the back too. Speaking of vintage sheets, I was able to pass some on to another quilter at the meeting. Felt good to get rid of some sheets that I have had for a while. My husband was confused at first.

“You love vintage sheets,” he stated. “Yes, hubby I do. If I really wanted to do something with these, I would have by now,” was my reply. “Fair,” he responded.

Scrappy Solids String Quilt

 Solids Scrappy String Quilt by quiltytherapy #stringquilt #solidsquilt #scrapquilt #babyquilt
Last winter I had the wonderful idea to make 100 8 inch string blocks with my solid scraps.  Totally feasible and a great way to use up my cloth grocery bag bursting at the seams of scraps.  In reality I made 42 and am happy with that.  That large bag stuffed with solid scraps.  Still overflowing, but slightly more manageable.
That bag of scraps has so many colors and shades hiding in it.  By block 35 I was getting worried the blocks started to look too much alike.  I was gravitating towards certain colors.  This is supposed to be random and scrappy.  42 was the right number to stop at and make a baby quilt to have on hand.
With a string quilt, turn your stitch length way down.  No, a little lower.  When you rip the paper off it can loosen stitches and even pull some.  UGH, it did happen with this quilt.  My hope after washing and drying the quilt is that everything will shrink a bit and those stitches will tighten.
For quilting, I wanted something a bit dense to help adjust for some errors.  Straight lines criss cross over the quilt gives texture and hides most flaws in the crinkles.  At the retreat I machine bound this quilt but wasn’t happy with the overall look.  Last week I ripped out the stitches and hand sewed the binding to the back.  Now I’m much more pleased with the finished quilt.
I tend to wash quilts by themselves to help avoid colors running onto other items.  With this quilt I tossed it in with some towels and fleece blankets.  I really wanted this to tumble in the dryer.  Look at that crinkle?
The backing was pulled from my box of destash fabrics.  There was just enough to make the back between the two.  This older WIP used up scraps and some fabrics on the back I was ready to part with.
After trimming the quilt of all the little strings, I like this quilt more.  During the retreat there were some not so nice words while quilting.  What do you think?

Link ups!

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Scraptastic Tuesday

Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat

It was an amazing weekend full of laughs and of course some sewing thrown in.  These are my people, they get me. Many of us had been commenting how much we were looking forward to the weekend.  It did not disappoint.
In addition to our own projects, we played games and shared laughs.  So many laughs.  We played two tense rounds of Left, Right, Center for fat quarters.  Quilters are ruthless despite what some may think.  Game one was intense and Lisa walked away the winner.  Game two things got serious.  Fat quarters were quickly getting throw into center.  One of my rolls included a C going directly into my wine glass on the floor.  Of course it did.
I was out of fat quarters but some were still floating around me.   Within a couple of rolls I was back in and suddenly I won.  I won!  So many lovely fat quarters for me to enjoy.  I almost cried I was so happy and surprised.
This weekend was really a chance for me to get through some WIPs that have been lingering.  I wanted to cross some stuff off my self-inflicted to do list.
Solids String Quilt
Good thing no one took video or recorded our conversations this weekend.  Lots of cursing and general dislike for the process with this quilt.  I will dig more into it later this week.  It was the first project I tackled and felt good to get this scrappy quilt done and bound on the first night.  Scrappy string quilts are on trend right now.
Botanica Bee Quilt
Talk about an old WIP.  Back in 2011 the guild held a bee.  I picked large log cabins using this lovely Botanica fabric.  Most of the fabric I had left was destashed last year, but I kept a couple of pieces in case I ever finished this.
My big goal for the weekend was to try free motion quilting for the first time.  Without Darcie and Rachael pushing me out of comfort zone, I wouldn’t have tried it.  Being true to my word from our goals meeting in January, I decided this was the quilt.  It’s smaller and not on the bias like the string quilt.  I wanted to tackle this first thing Saturday morning.
Holy camoly.  I was a sweaty nervous mess to take my first few stitches.  After a few hiccups I got the hang of moving the quilt around and the speed of my machine that worked the best.   More practice is necessary but the overall process went well.  I have another WIP almost ready to keep up my practice.
Note:  my arms, shoulders and back were SORE from it.  Something I didn’t expect.
V&Co HST Quilt
Quilt by committee is a wonderful benefit of retreat weekend.  I had all of these HSTs but really unsure the layout I wanted.  As I started to lay it out, others jumped in with suggestions.  This wonderful layout was the winning choice.
Blush Charm Quilt
Let’s go back in time again to another overnight sewing adventure from 2011.  IMQG traveled to one a member’s house for a night of sewing and games.  I started a charm quilt with lots of white from the Moda Blush line.  It’s been a bag ever since in my WIP cabinet.  No more.  The top and back are both done.  It’s ready to be basted and quilted.
A couple of people brought their scrap bins for everyone to dig around in.  We were like vultures if I’m being honest.  It was fun to pull out scraps from their projects and envision them in your stash.  Lisa even ironed and color sorted her scraps.  Too much work for me but her scraps were to enticing like that.  I snagged a few to help round out upcoming projects.
There are about 3-4 more projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  They are newer ideas and I chose instead to focus on older items.  Look for upcoming series…Busting through old WIPs.
So many wonderful projects were worked on by everyone.  It’s invigorating to be around other like minded people for a weekend and accomplishing so much.  We sprawled our projects across the banister to get a better look at what we had done.  I am lucky to know many wonderful and talented sewists.
Does your guild host a retreat?  Have you ever gone away to just sew and hang out with friends?  I definitely recommend it.