Tag Archives: etsy

Family Weekend

Last weekend was fantastic. My sisters and I try to get together annually to spend a few days catching up. Usually we rent a place or go to my sister’s in Saratoga. However this weekend we mixed it up and they came up to my house. I live about 15 miles from my parents. With everyone here, we could have a weekend that included the whole family, or as we called it the Great Eight weekend.

If you consider it, I would bet it isn’t often that a person gets to spend time with their nuclear family. Getting back to the original family, without spouses and grandkids and great-grandkids was really fun. Not that we don’t all love our current families and kids, but it was so nice to have a time to reminisce and celebrate our “first” family. (This picture was taken in 1964 so it was before the youngest was born.  Sorry Alicia.)

family pic

We had a lot to celebrate. Both of my parents had their 80th birthdays in the last nine months. We toasted to their health and happiness. (Check out their t-shirts. My maiden name is Delgado. There is a college in Louisiana called Delgado College. We all have their shirts!)

mom and dad

Next we celebrated my sister Patti. She spent the last ten months being treated for breast cancer. She endured surgeries, a horrid four months of chemo and then several months of daily radiation. It was awful and she was amazing throughout. There are no words that describe our relief that treatments are finished and she doesn’t have to see her oncologist except for routine check-ups now. She is working hard on getting her strength back, building some muscle mass, and above all trying to be patient as her hair grows back (soooo slowly!)

We had time on Saturday with just the sisters. We took a walk but mostly that looked like this:


We had breakfast out and then came home and tried to focus on some yoga. No pictures there but it wasn’t terribly different from the walk.

Finally we got a group shot with Patti’s new license plate. She grabbed it for California and Juanita grabbed it for Colorado (hers hasn’t come in yet.) I love it!!

6 sistas

My best friends!

For a token report on action in the sewing room – I am putting sleeves on two of my three quilts that will hang next weekend in the quilt show up in Downieville.This show isn’t judged. I am easing into this whole show process. Maybe a juried show is in the future but certainly not yet!

Also working on so many items for my Etsy shop. Here is a small sampling:

etsy collage

Lots of Chemex covers, a few mats for pet water bowls, lots of clothespin bags.  Business is really picking up. I also shipped a custom order yesterday and have two more in line. This shop definitely takes a large portion of my sewing time, but in return, it pays for (most of) my fabric addiction. I think that between now and December, I will not accomplish a lot of personal quilting. I hope to get the Kaffe Fassett quilt backing today. That project will be worked in between the others. Beyond that, things will have to wait.

Hope everyone is having a great week!


Custom Work

Over the summer I opened an Etsy shop. Kind of scary because it means putting yourself out there and hoping that someone likes your work enough to buy it. So far it is going well.  I have sold a number of items, certainly not enough to make any sort of living, but enough to make it rewarding. It feels good to have someone look at an item I created and purchase it. Also for some reason, I get a kick out of knowing that I am shipping something I made to someone in another part of the country. I have sent things to South Carolina, Alaska, Oregon, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia. This week I received an Etsy email from a woman telling me that an item I made was on her sister’s Christmas List. I loved that! The same item had sold the day before I received the email. Luckily I had enough fabric to duplicate it and it was simple item. It felt great to make my customer happy.

Over the past two weeks I had two requests for custom orders. I have been making cozies for Chemex coffee pots and sold a number of them as Christmas gifts through Etsy. The first custom request I got was from a woman who wanted me to make one for her using her fabric. She had a gorgeous African Ankara fabric that she thought would work. We chatted back and forth a bit and she sent me a picture of the fabric. Seemed like a good idea so we came to an agreement and she mailed the fabric to me.

It turned out so pretty. She is gifting this to her sister for the holidays. (Excuse the horribly wrinkled sheet that was used as a backdrop! I mailed off the project before looking at this picture. Ick!)


It was a great surprise to see how the green pattern matched so well where it joins with the buttons. Totally happened by chance as I didn’t think to check that when I was cutting. I was more concerned with how to fit the most of that bold blue and purple stripe in the piece. I got lucky!

20141202_2284I had these pretty a brass buttons that added nice touch. I quilted it along the white lines that delineate the pattern. Overall, a good finish. The best thing is now I have some experience with Ankara fabric and plan to buy more. Ankara fabric actually originated  with the Dutch. It was made with the intent to be sold in Indonesia but quickly gained popularity in West Africa. It is a very dramatic use of bold colors and prints and is usually made with 100% cotton fabric. The piece that I worked with washed well and was easy to sew on.

The second custom order came around as a result of a request from a woman in Pennsylvania. She wrote me and said that she liked my work but wanting to gift a Chemex cozy to her guy, she hoped for something less feminine. This forced me to take a look at the fabric choices I have been making and yep, most are rather feminine. It is interesting because when I make a new Chemex jacket to put up on Etsy, I always post it on Instagram with various hashtags. I get a pretty good response and guess what, they are predominantly male responses. But those responses haven’t led to sales on Etsy. It follows that I might be more successful in that market with some covers that are less floral! My customer specifically asked for denim, twill or flannel. This is what I came up with.

The denim is from my husband’s massive pile of old levi’s. The flannel is actually a piece leftover from pj’s that I made for my boys about ten years ago. Talk about lucky, I didn’t even have to make a run to the store!photo denim-crop

photo 4The buttons were purchased in Lancaster, PA during my amazing fabric hunt in Amish country. (That trip was a blast and you can read about it here.)

photo 2It was a win for the customer and some new perspective for me. Question of the day: If you are selling product on Etsy, do you charge extra for a custom order? In these two instances, I did not. The items were ones that I make regularly, the customer just wanted me to use a certain fabric. However, it does mean setting aside my current project and sewing something different for each of these customers. I am not sure and would love to hear what others are doing.

As an aside, I am loving the comments I have received on my post about the giveaway for Sew Mama Sew. What a sweet group of comments. Today is the last day for the giveaway so if you want to join in, check out this post.

Enjoy your weekend!  Linking to Let’s Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts. Find these links and more, at the top of the page under Link-Ups.  (That sounds like a commercial!)