Sunday, March 30, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

The calendar says it is, but here in Michigan there's still some snow on the ground. I'm kind of nutty because I actually like winter (it is quilt weather, after all!) But I bowed to the majority today and finally took my "Christmas" quilt off the wall. As you can see from the photo, it's really more of a "Snowman" quilt, and I figure as long as there's snow on the ground I can still celebrate snowmen if I want to. (Do kids still make snowmen? I don't think I saw one in my neighborhood all winter, though there were gigantic plastic snowmen at Christmastime. There's something inherently wrong about plastic snowmen that are planted in real snow!)
But, anyway, my quilt and the matching placemats are back in the cedar chest for another year. Or, wait...only 8 months until November; that'll fly by!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Bracelet

Is this gorgeous or what? Sundaez Child designed it for me. I wanted a "Quilts With Heart" theme, in blues, and she nailed it! Notice the heart shaped links and crystals and even the clasp! (Those are probably not jewelers' terms, but you know what I mean.) I plan to wear my bracelet at shows, and I hope I can send some business Gay's way. I like it that Etsy sellers support and encourage one another; that was never my experience with my eBay store.
Anyway, I've never really worn much jewelry, but I think I may have found something new to collect! My husband will be so thrilled.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Finally, Some "Finished" Projects

If you're a non-quilter, the term "UFO" probably means something different to you. But any quilter knows it really means "unfinished objects." These are projects you start in a burst of energy and inspiration, often during a class on some new technique. For one reason or another, the project lost it's charm somewhere along the line. Maybe the new technique was not much fun. Or the colors didn't work well together. Or you just bit off more than you could chew. If the project is far enough along to make throwing it away seem wasteful, you pretend you'll just set it aside for awhile. It's kind of like those leftovers in your fridge: Deep down inside you knew when you put them in there they would eventually make it to the trash, but you just couldn't admit it to yourself.

Some UFO's are put in a box and will never see light again. But some can be magically transformed into something useful! The secret word is "downsizing." That's an ugly word here in Michigan, but I don't mean it like THAT! Let's say you start a queen size quilt that needs 80 blocks, but after 40 blocks you are sick to death of it. Presto: a twin size quilt! If even 40 is too many to face, you can shoot for a 12-block wall hanging. You have two blocks left over? Hey --- a placemat!!!

So, that explains how I was able to list two wallhangings and a twin quilt today. And if I hadn't blogged about it, you would have thought I was quite prolific!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tools Of The Trade

Friends and acquaintances always tell me when area museums have a quilt exhibit, and I feel like a traitor to my craft when I don't enjoy these. But the truth is, I vastly prefer the vibrant colors of modern quilts, even though I love traditional blocks. Quilts from the Civil War era are just ... old. And musty. And depressing.

What I do appreciate about antique quilts is the time and work invested in them. I look around my well-stocked quilting studio and try to imagine giving up my two machines, my rotary cutters and specialized rulers, my huge fabric supply. Then I factor in the lack of electricity (and indoor plumbing!) and give thanks that I am not a pioneer woman. I think I'm spoiled rotten, and I confess I like it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Must Stop This Computer Stuff!!!

Ever since I joined Etsy I have been spending waaaaaaaaaaay too much time at the computer. Every morning I promise myself I will just check my email before I start a new quilt. Then I decide I better check my Etsy convos... Oh, and I should see if I got any responses to my most recent forum entries... And I should probably see if I have any new friend invites on the "We Love Etsy" network. I DO! Great...I better respond before they think I don't want to be friends...then I'll just update the blog...

Can you see where this is going? It's going everywhere except the quilting studio! I'm addicted, and I can't afford another addiction! Help.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mini Etsy

Click on any photo below to see more photos and get detailed information on each quilt.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spreading The Word

I've been reading and posting on the Forums in hopes of picking up some marketing tips, and also to get exposure for my avatar (logo). A few days ago I learned about "Animoto" in the forums, and made my first video. I've remixed it several times now and then uploaded it to YouTube to draw more viewers.

I also learned about, and listed my shop as one of my favorite finds. (I hope that isn't bad form!) I agreed to give a "thumbs up" to other Etsy artisans, and asked them to do the same for me.

Since I joined Etsy last month I've paid for space in the Main Showcase once, and the Quilt Showcase once. I also posted a three day Treasury list. I've only sold one quilt, but I'm encouraged by the number of people who marked my shop as a favorite, and by the positive comments I've gotten from other sellers. I'm already seeing MUCH more traffic on Etsy than I ever got on eBay.

Lastly, I'm trying to figure out how to use this blog to attract customers. I have no idea how to go about that, but I'll study up!

I can't take too much time away from quiltmaking, but I recognize the need for some attention to advertsing and marketing. Locally I can rely on word of mouth and repeat business; hopefully someday that will be true online as well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

First Etsy Sale!

I sold my first quilt on, and have also gotten some nice comments on my work from other sellers. The atmosphere on Etsy is warm and welcoming, compared to my experience on eBay.

I also remixed my quilt video, adding more quilts and changing the music. (See post below.)

Now I need to stop doing bookkeeping/marketing/advertising tasks and get back to making quilts!

Art That Keeps You Warm III

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nice Quote

Laura, from "Over The Rainbow" fabric shop sent this quote in her latest newsletter:
"I wish that all the world were Quilters...we could bind our wounds, mend our differences, harmonize our colors and blend our borders." --Author Unknown

I have to say that I've never met a quilter I didn't like! They (we?) tend to be compassionate, tolerant, generous, patient, kind.... I've known quilters who don't even OWN a quilt, because they keep giving them away! It used to drive my husband nuts when I gave away my quilts. Now that I sell them, he thinks I don't charge enough. When I figure how many hours I spend on each quilt it does seem like a silly line of work! But then someone buys a quilt, and tells me how much they love it, and I'm suddenly glad to be a quilter.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My New Quilt Shop

I just opened a new shop at to sell my quilts. (Click title above to visit shop.) I hope you'll visit to see my latest creations, and/or take a moment to watch the video I just made. I think I'm becoming quite a geek for such a "mature" (old!) woman. I've spent the last few days researching marketing strategies for the new shop, and I'm ready now to get back to quiltmaking. I should have some new items listed by the end of the week.