Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I don't like it

When I make anything I don't always like it, in fact I have 2 quilts that were changed either before they were posted on ETSY or after.  Yeah, I just couldn't decide but when I do it has to be changed. 

My Ocean Quilt first had a white border which matched perfectly with the pieces -white on white dots.  As I started to quilt it the overall project bugged me.  I didn't like the white boarder and the meander quilting was taking away from the fabric print.   I really loved the fabrics with all the colors and summer theme, first the quilting had to be removed and then the white stripe.  Once I took it off I loved it, I found the perfect stripe for the boarder.  Now to simplify the quilting, I had just reviewed several quilts posted by Jacke Gering's  when she visited a local shop for a seminar.  This is when I decided to do the straight lined.  I did a few, loved it and the quilt was on its way to completion.

 The next one I changed was the blue and white patchwork.  I had it up for a week before I decided I didn't like it, so I changed it to a gold border like I did for my daughter's patchwork quilt.  This meant deactivating it on line and taking it apart.  I figured since I had it off the site I would change the threads from poly to cotton as feedback questioned it.  I don't understand that, poly is stronger than cotton and the darker colors are better in poly because they will stay the color they were intended to be.  (I had a few ETSY convo's sent to me asking why it wasn't cotton like so many others use)

It took some time to change it as the edges were already cut to size, I also had to rewrite the posting- colors, size, overall wording.  I also removed the patchwork on the back, with the stripes suddenly I found it distracting.

I love it now and reposted it on Sunday, the same day my biggest fan posted it on her facebook page with her 200+ friends - thank you my world traveler! Site received 25 hits in 2 hours...

I loved her new FB photo from vacation in Morocco, silly camel wanted her camera

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fabric First

Last week I opened my ETSY store and sold my first item, a Bali Pop quilt on Thursday! I knew it would be the first item to sell; it's a pattern I love and really like it best with batiks. I add diamonds to focus in on the individual blocks instead of having it just look like patches of color. I keep the quilting stitches simple to enhance the blocks and not cover up any of the pretty fabrics. After all they are hand dyed in layers using wax to make the prints, it is a long process you shouldn't cover up, that is my opinion anyway.

When I decide on my next project it always starts with the fabric first. I subscribe to only 2 quilt magazines but love pattern books, YouTube and that special one that I just have to buy so I have plenty of patterns in my head. When I see a fabric instantly I know what pattern I would use. Some materials you want to be able to make out the print once it's cut up and some are just color.

Quilts are beautiful pieces of usable art that should last a lifetime with proper care and be passed down to your children. Since there were no other quilters in my family tree that I knew of I will be the one to pass them on. I do have a beautiful niece who works with Disney in the costume department, she has done some gorgeous work and her fiancĂ© made an amazing quilt- I wish they lived closer. (Kisses* Krystle and Jeremy)

For my next quilt again it was a Bali pop because when I chose the first one I also picked up 2 others. This time it is Rum Raisin- I don’t know where Hoffman gets the names from but I loved the purples, greens and black. When you select a quilt you only see the finished product so I photographed the steps while making this one- forgive me, several steps I didn’t photograph including ironing because it is done after EVERY SEAM SEWN and I am not exaggerating. To get the best results you have to set each seam and press it to one side every time! There are several hours where I move the iron right next to me at the sewing machine with my "Steady Betty"

Bali pops come pre-cut in 2 1/2" strips in an assortment of 40 pieces selected by the designer that coordinate with each other.

I group them into 3's this one I did dark, medium and light. I don’t start a quilt until I purchase the backing because I always add a strip of the backing fabric to the blocks to tie them together. Once I do this I pick out the batik I want to use for the diamonds and binding.

I need 20 blocks of 4 for each quilt top leaving a few remaining I put on the back, when the quilt is complete I only have 3" strips of each piece leftover which will become a future project.

The hardest part and a step I wouldn’t omit is in-setting the diamonds, I love them. After doing several quilts this way I have my own tricks to make them line up but it’s a secret, shhhhhh

Once each 12 1/2" block is complete I trim them down to 12" to square them up. I then move to the large table top to arrange them the way I want to put them together. Once complete its time to make a sandwich with the backing, batting and top, add the quilting and bind.

I always wash the quilt once it’s done on warm/cold gentle and dry low. This gives it that much desired pucker, softens the fabric and removes the starch. Cotton quilts get softer with every wash so don’t be afraid to use them.

All done, ta-da! 

The back with the added blocks

Close up

At this publishing I have already started my next quilt, a Batik Rainbow that will be a fence rail with double diamonds in two sizes of different colors.  I could not wait to get started and am working out the quilting in my head as I put it together. Stay tuned

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Flags for Boston

Such a busy week.

I planted some of my garden, strawberries, spinach, green beans, herbs and with rain all weekend I already have sprouts!  Frost put them under plastic or moved into the house- everything is safe.

As a member of the Western New York Modern Quilt Guild (WNYMQG)  we are joining the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild making flags for a very special Memorial Day event to be displayed.  They are calling it Love for Boston with Peace, Love and Hope

They wanted as many flags as possible for an impressive impact~ 

with Quilt Guilds all over the world who better to ask?

I made mine in pink and since I love green I had to add some.  I seamed all the colors I wanted together then appliqued it in the shape of a heart, added a peace sign and fringing the edges making it 3D.  I stitched Buffalo and Boston on the front in a matching pink so it would not stand out but blend in as part of the background my name on the back.

Lots of sewing this week with the opening of my ETSY store I took Monday off to catch up around the house. Check out my store SewingWilde on ETSY

Mothers Day on Sunday I do hope you had a wonderful day.  I think of my Mom, May is Mothers Day and was also my Mom and MIL's birthdays.  Miss you both.

My Mom - Happy Birthday on May 17

My MIL - Happy Birthday on May 7

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Whats an ETSY?

Good question.  Until last year, when my daughter explained where she got so many cute items from, I didn't know either.  "Better than EBay" is how it was first explained because ETSY is not a bidding process and all the items need to be handmade, vintage or able to be used to create such items.  I was intrigued, this is right up my alley.  As a crafter I've done many craft shows in my day and also given to friends and family afterwards - I like that make me one!  This didn't add to my wallet or cover my cost but they are friends and family and therefore - gifts.

I wanted to do this and I did my research to do it right.  I reviewed the website for helpful hints,  watched several videos and bought the ETSY for Dummies.  Often a silly series it was very informative and I have used many of the tips to get started. 

Deciding what to put into my store was easy.  Quilts, of course, selecting from my favorite magazines.  Place mats, because I use them everyday on my kitchen table, outside on the deck and keep them in our cars for lunch at the river or visit to the ice cream stand.. (Public picnic tables are disgusting and you cant really wash them adequately)  I also wanted something small.  I picked the "in the hoop" zipper cases and plush toys from my favorite digital shop Embroidery Garden,  I have made many for myself and use the cases for coins, my tea bags /sugar holder and a larger one for coupons (This way they don't become a crinkled mess!). 

Before opening the store I needed to create a name, I wanted it to contain Wilde but not be just focused on quilts, thus Sewing Wilde.  My daughter has Wilde in the Kitchen and could see my son doing a blog on Wilde Shots or something like that- he is into paintball and his new camera.

It is suggested you do not open your store until you have at least 8 items to sell, this keeps you from having an empty store as things sell.  The best way to get noticed on ETSY is great pictures taken in natural light.  For this I talked with my daughter the photographer, whose pictures on her blog get rave reviews.  I first took pictures with my nice little SONY and then borrowed my sons Canon T3i- much better.  I needed to add a clothes line to my back yard, which I have never used personally but surprisingly do own clothes pins.  The quilts look much better on the line than over the railing or tossed on a chair, but that's my opinion.

What takes me the longest is the written words for each item.  I want to get in all the particulars, size, color, how it was made, materials, and uses without is sounding like a catalog entry.  I will keep working on it.

I look forwards to my first sale, follower and to be on someones list of favorites.  What I love most is I can do this on my schedule, my time frame and not worry about making my numbers goal for a company or the politics of an office which I hated most.