Saturday, January 24

Is it a failure or a lesson learned?

In April of 08 a friend and I decided we would try to sell our quilting on line. We opened a shop on Etsy and watched it every day for sales. We got the treasured hearts which told us folks were looking at our work and liked it. That was a boost to our moral but no sales came. Then finally we sold something. It was very exciting. Our first sale was to a lady in Paris, so we were introduced to shipping out of the US. We continued to sell items, but not enough to make it worth while. We learned a lot threw this experience, but sadly we decided last week to close our shop. With the these hard times this just wasn't the time to try to sell our work. 
At first I felt like I'd failed, but after giving it some thought I felt differently. I went out on a limb and did something I might not have done only several years before. I took a chance. I also know how much I learned doing this. I am grateful for this experience. One of the best lesson I learned during this time is what I really love to make. I think large quilts are beautiful and really admire people who make them, but my true love is for wall hangings. I love the freedom of designing my own patterns and mixing in my other loves of painting and drawing. I had no idea when I first started making quilts that my creations would ever end up in this direction. It's a wonderful way for me to express myself. So all in all I've learned a lot and would have to say it's been a success. Now moving forward I am going to finish up several larger projects I'd let sit (UFO). After these are completed I plan on making not what I think will sell, but what my heart sings to create. I look forward to this next part of my quilting experience with excitement, and a fresh outlook. 

Thursday, January 15

Good Deeds Do Have Rewards

Last week I got an email from a local craft group and they were letting all the crafters in the area know about a fund raiser for cancer. I didn't have time to have a booth at the fund raiser but wanted to donate something. So the day I dropped the art off I had to park in the parking lot across the street, which was the art gallery for one of our beautiful local parks. Me being the wimp I am I felt I should go in and check out the gallery since I parked in their lot. They had just taken down the most recent student display of art, so I asked about their classes. The front desk person was out on medical leave and the quilt teacher was sitting at the desk. Well about an hour later I left and had joined there group that hooks up every Tuesday. Everyone brings what ever they are working on and they just enjoy each other's company and have one heck of a good lunch (pot luck).  I'd never been in that little gallery and was so glad I did. There are so many different types of quilters in this group, and not only are they talented quilters, but like I said boy can they cook.

Tuesday, January 6

Quilting For Sister's Kitchen

Quilting Kitchen Accessories

This is my sister's dinning area in her beautiful home. 
  She made the window treatments a little while back and had some fabric left over and wanted some place mats for her table. The ones she could find in stores were rectangular and overlapped on her round table, so she asked if I could come up with something that would fit her table.
  I'd never made place mats before and wasn't sure where to start. I asked her for a sheet of freezer paper and I put it on the table and traced the edge of the table to get the rounded edge and then drew in the general shape. I cut out 4 of these shapes to make sure they would fit the table and we even set one of her plates on it to make sure it was big enough. The shape seemed to be fine so I refined this into the finished pattern. One side of the place mats is pieced and the other side one fabric. I made little napkins from the matching fabric also.

The Wall Art

To follow the coffee cup theme in the curtains I wanted to make a mixed media wall hanging for the kitchen with a cafe feel.  I searched on line for Paris Cafe style art and came across a link for some of the more famous cafes and thought I'd use one of there address to put on the piece to give it a poster feel, as if it were an advertisement for the cafe. This became the look I wanted, a poster. So I created the top element from chipboard and scrap booking papers. I couldn't find the chipboard lettering like I wanted so I made mine from scratch. 

Then I drew out the quilted portion of the "poster" using fabric markers and fabric inks, then did the quilting. Below is a close up of the steaming cup. I'm learning that drawing and painting on fabric is very different from canvas or paper. Lots of little scraps of fabric were used to test each pen, marker and brush stroke. Blending colors really took some getting used to.

All in all I was very happy with the results.