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 Fabric.com 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.
Cordially,
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 Quiltbug.com . 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 !