3 Places for Quilty Inspiration…The Last One May Surprise You

3 Places for Quilt Inspiration by quiltytherapy

3 Places for Quilt Inspiration by quiltytherapy

Inspiration for your next quilting project can come from anywhere.  Since my phone is with me almost everywhere I can document things as they catch my attention.  I have quite the collection from the last couple of years and I want to share with you some of my favorites.  Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Murals

Whether indoors or outdoors, a mural really brightens an area.  I have stopped in my tracks on a run to grab a photo, like the one below.  A community center in San Mateo, CA has this lovely on their wall.

This mural is at Big Lug Canteen, a newish brewery in Indianapolis.  It’s bold and fresh.  It could be a quilt design.

Watercolor murals are sprinkled around the Indianapolis Airport.  The colors melting into each is my favorite part.  Interestingly, I think this looks like a slide under a microscope.  Thoughts?

If you have traveled to iconic spots in San Francisco you may have seen this mural.  It sits on the corner of Haight and Ashbury.  Stunning, yet I wonder what other murals may be painted underneath it?

A concert backdrop is another form of a mural.  The Decemberists caused quite a stir with this album cover.  It’s an interesting read on an often talked about issue with quilters.  It’s still an inspirational piece.  

Building Architecture

The Brooklyn Bridge may not look like much inspiration to most people.  I see stunning straight line quilting and creating that small swoop with the supporting cables.

Back on the west coast visit Alcatraz to find this rusty gem.  Again, I see some quilting details to work into a project, a wonky crosshatch.

In Key West this wall could be a quilt pattern.  I had almost forgotten about this picture until I was digging into some photos from my honeymoon.

Restaurants – especially the bathroom tile

Restaurants house some of my favorite inspiration.  Nada, here in Indy, is filled with color and stunning tile work.  This is a floor and I feel bad for walking across this beauty.

I was giddy when I saw this in the bathroom over the weekend.  Stunning.  It could be a quilt back that I would put together.  Yes, I took my phone to the bathroom.  I have missed out on some interesting tile work in breweries and restaurants without my phone.  It’s an overlooked area for inspiration and someone carefully put together the look of that room.

Speaking of brewery bathrooms, this is from one in Pittsburgh.  I would love to remember the name, but we visited five to seven breweries that day.  No way could I keep them all straight.  So much color goodness.

I had to stop in traffic in Cooperstown, NY to get this picture.  It’s greasy spoon diner we have been to a few times.  Everytime I’m drawn to the stained glass window.  Last trip out, I yelled from the back seat for my husband to stop and jumped out to grab the photo.  Worth it.

Where do you find your quilt inspiration?  Anywhere unusual?  Share below in the comments.

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.

March 2017 Action Items

The word goal sounds rigid.  Now I understand why people would cringe and lock up when setting goals when I was health coaching.  My goal for January wasn’t realistic.  I was still adjusting to a new job, new location and new routine.  February was about feeling the groove and making tweaks.  Now I can focus on adding more in and having action items.

Action items sound better instead of goals.  I want to turn my focus towards my health and fitness as spring begins to make it’s arrival.  Being healthy helps me be a better wife and mom.  Healthy also doesn’t have to mean weighing a certain amount.  Rather, it means being comfortable in my skin, having the ability to go run 4 miles no problem, and not feeling exhausted after a work day.  That is my definition and would love to hear yours in the comments.

It’s been roughly two months since I started my new job.  As a family we have adjusted schedules and routines to make it work.  Most mornings I’m at work by 7:30-7:45.  It’s early, but gives me time in the afternoon to exercise and still get P.  The time is there to meet my goal as well as the motivation.  Now here comes the accountability.

My goal for March is to exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

Look for #healthysewist tags on Instagram to keep up with my accountability.  There should be a minimum of 15 on there this month.  March has 5 weeks and I will start from today.  Hopefully there will be some long runs to hit this bridge on the Monon Trail.

The job change has done wonders for my stress level.  Sorry old coworkers if you’re reading this, but it’s true.  I don’t feel that I have to sew everyday as a way to cope with the pressure or to get a mental break.  My evenings and weekends are spent with the family.  Sewing has become this bonus activity to enrich my life, not balance it.  It’s a shift I didn’t anticipate.

During March I want to continue to work through some older projects and ideas that have been sitting around.  Starting in April I hope to turn my focus towards some other projects. I think you guys will like that series.

 

My Sewing Space

 

It’s cleaned up and more organized.

Welcome everyone to my sewing space.  This has been my space for the last four years.  You can read about the transitions we made here.  The tiny human kicked me out of the second bedroom that I was using when he arrived.  We have a lovely enclosed front porch with HUGE windows.  Loads of natural light flood the room when sewing during the day.  We recently added a larger light to make night time sewing easier on my eyes.

Ignore all those neglected scraps just sitting there in tubs.  It’s better than the trash bag they were in.

Add tackling these tubs to the to-do list.

Knowing that I was going to share this room publicly was a great motivator to clean and organize it a bit.  Most of the time my ironing board is up and off to the side.  My stash of yardage is tucked away in our back room in drawer system.  It’s not a perfect system.  However, it lets me focus on projects that I’m working on.

The extra side table isn’t really for cutting, rather it makes it easy to watch Netflix while I sew.  I can devour a whole series if I’m working on a big project.  #netflixandsew

That table looks a little bare.  I should grab some wine and start a project.  Thanks for joining me on the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop.  Be sure to visit everyone on the blog hop below.

 

Jen Frost, Faith and Fabric
Raylee Bielenberg, Sunflower Stitcheries & Quilting
Emily Carroll, toothpaste and orange cat
Sherry Smedley, adventures in life
Emma Wengier, Emkie Designs
Anne Beier, Hudson Valley Quilts
Cindy Pieters, Stichin At Home
Amanda Hilldore, Fabric Engineer

Ivette, Gotham Quilts 

Quilt by Committee – V&Co HST Quilt

V&Co HST offset quilt by quiltytherapy, #modernquilt, #V&co, #HSTquilt #halfsquaretriangles, #babyquilt
You either love or hate half square triangles.  I happen to fall into the love category.  They are versatile and a quick way to make a block.  Last summer I dug into my V&Co stash and decided I needed to make a quilt.  There were a number of charm packs I was hoarding that blended together perfectly.
First step was to separate out the high and low volume prints.  Also any fabrics that I felt didn’t jam with everything else.  Randomly combine high and low volume prints and bust out a ton of half square triangles.  After pressing them and admiring the colors I quickly threw them back into a basket.  That basket just sat until my recent IMQG retreat.
It was on the to do list.  Bust through this older WIP, get it done.  I had considered doing a traditional layout, but that seemed boring.
This is where quilt by committee took over.  I started laying out the blocks and the comments started flying.  A few versions were tried and no one was really feeling them.
Holly spoke up and said, “Hey, can I try something?”  Absolutely.  Rachael chimed in and these two were off.  They started a layout and I quickly started sorting the blocks by color.  Within 15-30 minutes we had a gorgeous top ready to be pieced.
Discussions on the quilting went on longer than the layout process.  Should it be free motion quilted?  Straight lines?  What will look the best?  It was decided that this strong geometric quilt should have straight lines to avoid the quilting distracting from the layout.  Simple straight lines, I can do that.
For the backing I chose a zig zag print from a coordinating line that is perfection on the back.  I had just enough in the width to make it work.  The binding in turn was 2.5 inch double fold to help cover more on the back.
This quilt turned out fabulously.  Do you like it?  Love it?  You can find it here in my Etsy shop.
V&Co HST offset quilt by quiltytherapy, #modernquilt, #V&co, #HSTquilt #halfsquaretriangles, #babyquilt

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