Friday, April 17, 2015

No pics only hot air

Not long ago, I posted that most blogs are content and no pictures. I fall into this category today, as I am up to my ears in calving season and can't do pictures. 

A few blogs ago I blogged ( hot air ) about buying fabric online.  The questions asked when ordering fabric  boggle the mind. Maybe there has been a run on the fabric you like , for instance  they only have 3/4 of a yard and you ordered 10 . Maybe you would be happy to add that 3/4ths to your fabric pile. Maybe not. 

Now we come to the hard part.  English is a hard language to learn to speak both for native Americans as well as naturalized.  Then try communicating in a box that allows a limited number of characters. Some web pages , like Intown Quilters in Decatur Ga, have done it right , not leaving it up to chance. They have choices, in a drop down menu , of send what you have , cancel , or contact. I love as well. They're fast and courteous if the order is changed. 

Below is a comment and reply from that piece <So what did you mean, when you said "i will take what you have of the others"? Sounds like your instructions were only to cancel the Mickey fabric, but that you wanted the others sent. I think you may have confused them by adding the last sentence.> Answer  to the instruction from the web page that I didn't put in this article. The context was ,what will you take of any fabric you order? The sentences were written in order , in the same box. I really thought my first sentence "If you are out of Mickey fabric cancel the entire order was clear''. I invite you to read my next installment of this story if you would like.> 

So buyer beware , and shop owners , be courteous
 I was rewarded with a credit to my mastercard , and in case you don't already know, it was the principal of the matter not the $ that mattered. 

Dear Amanda,
Your credit card has been refunded in toto for $7.72.
Sauder's Fabrics

Sew something gorgeous today! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

How much for that quilt in the window ?

How do we determine worth ?  We put a price tag on it and see if anyone bites. I don't look at Ebay to see what quilts are going for , I look up Amish quilt web pages and scroll through the quilts. Lots of people ask  how long does it take to make a quilt. Like any of us who quilt obsessively want to know. 
Quilt store quality fabric is going up again,  to $13-$14 dollars a yard. An average sized quilt , 60" x 80" is going to take 5 yards of fabric. I just found a nice quilt calculator at . The calculator doesn't have a place for borders and sashing etc so I added 2 yards to it's estimate. Then there is the back of my fictitious quilt. It will require  2 cuts of 88" of 42" wide fabric, so 5 yards. 10 yards , total. Now of course there are always sales but lets just say say I won the lotto and get to throw caution to the wind. Ka ching, $140 big ones and I still need batting , $25 , thread $7. and a new rotary cutting blade $5. $177 and I have a pile a fabric, not a quilt. Given that a brain needs something to do while sewing I have calculated that a simple quilt block requires an hour and a half to be cut out sewn and quilted, again in a simple pattern. So my quilt will take about 45 hours of my time if all goes well. Even at $10 an hour , and I know construction laborers who make that , that is $450, plus cost of fabric. 
Calculating worth of quilts has interested me since I saw a crib sized quilt sell for $100 about 15 years ago. The quilter viewed the fabric as extra as it was made from leftovers from a bigger quilt. While she was quite happy with her $100 , I was struck by the thought that it was kind of like having your neighbors under price their home , sell it , thus reducing the value of yours. 
I stumbled upon the web page of Sam Hunter , who grapples with this subject in her ongoing  blog series " What's it worth"   With the advent of folks having their quilts quilted out we have more concrete  evidence of worth of the quilting side of the work , if not the piecing. 
The quilt picture above is a small table quilt , about 14''x 26'' that I donated for a raffle  for my alma mater. I won't donate to silent auctions. People are out for bargains and often the people running them have no clue as to value of handmade items. This is a one of a kind quilt with an unusual edge. I estimated it took 10 hours to make. I wouldn't work for less than $20 an hour so that piece is valued at $250. I emailed the people in charge of the raffle ,suggesting the tickets be $5 and if they can't have the raffle long enough to raise over $250 , 
they could return the quilt to me. I give away  lots of quilts, 
but I won't sell one for less than it is worth.   
Just for fun , use one of Sam's calculations to determine the cost of one of you quilts. I bet once you do , you will never let your children use one of your creations as a soft landing at the bottom of the slide no matter how much you love your grandkids. 
Sew something wonderful this week ! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Monday Madness Strikes again.

My bee group that meets on Mondays is a fun group. Some have BEEn meeting for a very long time. Judy and Shirley were part of the Baltimore Album Group and I joined them in 1996 when the names shortened to BAGs, and they no longer did applique. ( I don't do hand applique)  I gravitate to the quirky , forward thinking , outspoken and loudest laughing broads. I so regret  not being able to join Ladies Of the Evening when they met on Wed. nights. The Monday group is a day version and lest you think we are mad , let me assure you , we are. Crazy, mad women who meet to practice their craft (s) . Friday a week ago , Judy and I met to cut out the quilt pictured here. On Friday the 27th we delivered. That's how we roll for one of our own. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ou la la ( not )


I am going off the usual topic fare here , as I usually post about quilting and such. The topic today is ordering fabric online. Lucky for me I have a dear friend who opens her expansive stash to not only me but all of Monday Madness Bee members. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any Mickey Mouse fabric.
I found some fabric featuring the mouse and ordered.  I realised that I could add in a bit more for the same shipping . I am building a stash of fabric featuring writing . Oh! One was this cute fabric with French words , oh wait, I digress. When I went to the checkout stand I was met with the following.
If we do not have the full amount of something you ordered please:
Send what you have - I'm stash building.
Cancel that item on my order.
Depends on which one - see instructions below.
Special Instructions & Comments
This is what I typed:  If the Mickey fabric is less than ordered cancel entire order. I will take what you have of the others . 

I got notice that Mickey was sold out  , popular little rat that he is and  assumed they wouldn't be sending anything else. Got notice of shipment. So, I called. As soon as I said I had issue with my order , the person on the other end of the phone went silent then I got a  curt " the internet person isn't here " 
received an email message with my instructions but they bolded the 2nd sentence. 
My response was to send back only the 1st sentence , "If the Mickey fabric is less than ordered cancel entire order." 

I also went to their Facebook and made a comment there. Nothing rude, just a comment about how I felt after calling. As someone who has worked in retail I know that the customer is always right .  I have navigated some very sticky situations when a customer was seriously angry and wrong. That's a story in itself.
We all make mistakes. I myself am fond of finding new ways to make mistakes everyday. In our present culture of texting , emailing and instant messaging , we seem to have forgotten how to read. My husband said in addition to not only punctuating properly he leaves an extra space in hopes the next sentence will make it into the brain.  All I can say is beware when ordering fabric online and think seriously of returning to sender when they get it wrong. No lesson is learned if you keep the 2 half yards of cute fabric which in my case really did speak to me , in French no less. Quel dommage
Off to a quilt store in hopes of finding Mickey and any fabric that speaks.
And I am happy to report at the end of the day , I came home with Mickey and words . Perfect !  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


 It took longer to finish for many reasons , mostly because I was getting quilts ready for 2 shows. 
It's hard to see the writing on the quilt but it is there! 

 I learned a lot exploring a new approach adding messages in my quilting.
 I also learned a lot about the University of Ohio. Not the least of which is that they have "The best damn band in the land " and they sing "Hang on Sloopy" . 
Usually when the quilting includes messages on the quilt , I add it as I come to the spot designated for the chosen words. This time I actually planned out where and what would go in each place and wrote it out on tissue paper and left it pinned to the quilt as it was loaded on the frame. I discovered that string quilts defy being loaded in the traditional manner , one end of the quilt rolled up neatly, one layer on top of the other, and the other end was all over the place. I usually can fix this as I roll but since a string quilt is made up of small units sewn onto background squares, I couldn't just pull on it . Not a problem , I  laid the quilt  on the frame and basted it at the top as usual then used pins to secure it to the other roll bar. The only issue I had with the quilt piecing was that not all the fabric stings were well pressed so there were places where a lip of fabric kept making my thread break. Once that happens a few times I got a little gun shy and the thread broke because of me. When that happens a coffee break is the only way to go!   All in all I am pleased as punch with this quilt. Next time I won't put the tissue paper on the quilt , I will use safety pins to mark where the words will go.   This quilt was charged out at $175. 
       I am happy to say this quilt, 2 CAts in the Yard ,  was accepted into the Juried Art Show at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens.

Monday, February 2, 2015

This is Kathie's quilt,  for her daughter who graduated from Ohio State. Usually I just totally wing it, writing as I stitch. Call it a New Years resolution , something I should have always done , or just a darn good idea , but this time I decided to plan out the placement of the words . 

 Usually, I stop and write out each word I choose on scrap paper , holding my pen like a stylus , not a pencil. This most emulates the way the machine does the stitching.  This time I will have an idea of where the words can go and will trace the outline with a pencil to get it into my mind .

This is the practice piece , perfecting tension and practicing the words. This is where I use up bobbins with short runs of thread. 

 I plan to share this whole process , including the price. I asked a fellow quilter to share a ballpark figure charged for custom quilting and never received a reply. No big surprise and certainly a prerogative. This blog series is my way of saying it was OK to ask. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finally back to quilting , yeah !

is turning 40 this year !
 The following  quilts are up for consideration in their juried show, there is a 3rd but alas it's photo was not available at press time.   
 2 Cats in the yard

I will have 3 quilts in the  Cotton Patch Quilt Guilds bi-annual show in Watkinsville . 

Be there aloha!