Thanks everyone for playing along and for all of the sweet notes on my 4th Anniversary giveaway. I loved reading all of the comments. If you have a minute go back and read them. What a fun group of people you all are! Can you believe I didn’t mention anything sewing or quilting related when I was talking about the significance of the number 4?? Fat quarters, four patch blocks, four sides to a square? How did I skip over that??
Anyway, winners have been picked. Congrats to Susan S, Jinger, Cedarfork Sarah, and Janna. I have emailed each of you so if you haven’t already, please send me your mailing info. Bundles will go out next week.
Also wanted to let you all know that all fat quarter and 1/2 yard bundles in the shop are on sale today and tomorrow only, for 20% off! Woohoo!! Organic bundles are included and bargain/clearance bundles are excluded. If by chance you want one of the floral bundles, shown in the giveaway post, email me or leave a comment and I am happy to cut you one – I don’t have them listed individually in the shop.
Have a great weekend everyone. You’re the best!
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Wasn’t that a wild Super Bowl game yesterday? I think that is what all the cool kids are saying today, so I am joining in. Truth be told, just a few days ago, I had to google who was going to be playing. We are not a football family. Like, not at all. Somehow though, Ray and Julia have developed a tradition of watching the game together. They each pick a team, based on scientific evidence, such as the color of their uniforms or the mascot on their helmet. The fighting begins just as soon as one team has scored. Let’s just say Julia was very cocky for the majority of the game, lording the success of her team over that of her father’s. The tables unexpectedly turned during the dramatic ending of the game. Ray was merciless this morning and will surely fit this into any conversation, as much as possible, over the next few days. As for me, once the nachos were gone, I was in the other room playing on my iPad.
Last night I spent quite a bit of time on-line meeting a new group of quilters. (Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?) Last week I received an email stating I was selected to be one of the ambassadors for Island Batik. Island Batik has been in business since 1997 and is located in Southern California. Their product is made in Bali. I am very impressed by the philosophy held at Island Batik. They diligently strive to enrich the community their employees live in. I can tell from the amount of communication and direction I have received from their Marketing department that this is going to be a good experience. She is so organized, very creative, and responsive. Ask a question and she is back with an answer within an hour or two.
Each year Island Batik accepts applications for their ambassador program. Once they make their selections (of about 30 quilt bloggers), a closed Facebook group is created so we can all work together on Island Batik promotions and blog hops. I felt like it was the first day of school. Would I know anyone? Would I make new friends? But everyone seems so nice and there were several names of bloggers I am very familiar with. I am really looking forward to the arrival of our box of supplies. It should be here this week.
This picture was posted on Facebook the other day – doesn’t that just run a chill down your spine? So much possibility is contained in that cardboard box. You can expect to see some fun projects, blog hops and giveaways as a result of that magical box that is headed my way.
On to other business. The name has been picked for the giveaway of the I Love Precut Quilts book. I used Random Number Generator this time because my amazing name-drawing daughter is at school this morning. Random Number Generator picked number 2!! So, Wendy of Piecefulthoughts.com, it is your lucky day! A copy of the book will be sent off to Wendy soon. Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. Looks like I am not the only person hoarding charm squares and fat quarter bundles!
Time to go. I have a binding to make – I finished quilting my Knock Knock quilt the other day. I am volunteering in the See’s Candy Shop for Julia’s 4-H group this afternoon. It is pouring rain today which will likely keep the shoppers at home. Since I don’t expect to be terribly busy selling Valentine candy, I want to take some hand sewing with me. Hope to have a finish to share with you later this week.
Thank you to all who took a few minutes to give me some feedback on your experiences with on-line shopping. Having my own shop is like a dream come true. I am hoping to tailor it to the needs of my customers. With your input, it will be a bit easier to do so.
Above you will note an extremely accurate graph, based on my findings.
Other than the scientifically precise data graphed in my chart, here are a few key things I found out:
There are only a very few of us who do not shop on-line at some time or other.
Of the on-line shoppers, some of us don’t feel comfortable, or didn’t know it was ok to, engage the shop owner in conversation. Let’s take a quick minute here. Chatting with my customers is one of my favorite parts of having an Etsy shop. I encourage shoppers to send questions to the shop owner. There is ALWAYS a contact me link on any Etsy shop. If that shop owner doesn’t respond soon (within a day at maximum) it is a red flag. You might choose to shop elsewhere. With smart phones and tablets, it is very easy for me to respond within minutes. Even if I tell them I cannot help them at the moment and will get back in touch in a few hours. That is what we would do if there was a long line in a brick and mortar shop, right? Ask for the customer’s patience and try to serve them at the next available opportunity.
Designers: Oh my gosh. There are so many and we makers are definitely fond of certain artists. Thank you for listing those that you really love. Many are designers I am familiar with (and have stocked their fabric in my shop) and others are new to me. It will be fun to look them up and see what else is out there!
As for types of fabrics, you are a very eclectic group. Nearly half are loving modern fabrics, no surprise there. Nearly half are enjoying traditional and/or repro fabrics. That is more than I would have guessed. Batiks are clearly a fabric someone loves or doesn’t like. Not a whole lot in between. I like them quite a bit. One of my favorite quilts I have made so far was with batiks. (It is shown at the top of this post.) I also think they are great in art quilts. Simulating nature with batiks works quite well.
Novelty prints have their place. Those of us making baby quilts and children’s clothing seem to like them. Holiday fabrics are fun for some makers. But of my readers, there are only a few who seem to really get a kick out of them.
Precuts? Again, this depends on the situation. My take on it was people enjoy winning them or using them for projects where they really want to incorporate the entire line. I had some definite ‘No, I don’t use them’ answers. I get that. Precuts can be limiting as the fabric is already cut to smaller pieces and there is no going back from there. As for me, I do like them. At this point, I don’t plan to carry them. I have cut some fat quarter bundles of the fabrics I have and listed those but with a limited start-up budget, I will not be stocking a lot of precuts, Down the road, maybe so. Not just yet though. I did hear from many readers that it would be fun to be able to curate a custom bundle or to buy curated fat quarter bundles. This is something I have in the works. You will hear more on that soon.
Many readers left suggestions or hints as to what they might like to see when on-line shopping. Ideas such as the following were presented:
Work on the cost of shipping. Shipping gets expensive and makes on-line shopping less appealing. I have taken a lot of time to weigh fabric and adjust my shipping schedule on Etsy to be economical. I find I can ship 1/2 yard of fabric for about $3.00. If shipping large pieces of yardage, it makes sense to use a flat rate envelope for about $6.75. Quite a bit of fabric fits in a flat rate envelope. Either way, I do try to make the shipping as economical as I can. Also, shipping overages of $1.00 or more are automatically refunded to you. This rarely happens.
Novelty flannels for making quilts and pajamas was a request. I love making my kids pj’s. Even though they are adults, it is a fun thing to do. I hope to have some choices for you this summer so you might be able to work on them before the holidays.
Describe the scale of the print. I am doing this! Currently, if there is a larger item in the print, I have included the measurements of it in the description on the listing. I am hoping this will give the shopper an idea of how the scale works. I know many shops include a ruler in the photo or put a quarter on the fabric to indicate the scale. I will continue to include this information for you.
Another reader mentioned she would like to have a description of the drape or the feel of the fabric. This is very subjective. I will try to include it in the description though. Certain manufacturers, Art Gallery Fabric comes to mind, are known for producing fabric with a lovely hand (or feel) to it. Their fabric has a wonderful silky feeling which makes it great for both quilting and garment sewing, I do have a number of bolts from Art Gallery.
A number of readers mentioned that they don’t really like fabrics with large scale prints. Or, they do like the fabric, purchase it and then don’t know what to do with it. Here are my thoughts. There are many stunning lines that have a few large scale prints (designers such as Maureen Cracknell, Bari J, Alison Glass and Katarina Roccella come to mind). I find these fabrics are wonderful for garments, tote bags, purses, pouches, and pillows. Think gorgeous throw pillows to add a pop of color to your living space. For quilting, I think a design which allows you to fussy cut the larger focal point works well. I get they are a challenge sometimes but don’t automatically write them off. The manufacturer often (almost always) has several items made from a line of fabric for the shopper to see the fabric in use. If you can’t find it, email me and I will send you the link. Art Gallery and Andover Fabric are great about providing this.
OK – if you are still with me, thank you! Let’s get to the winner. Patricia, your name was pulled by my very talented name-pulling daughter. I will contact you via email with a code to use for $25.00 off your purchase at my shop. Again, thank you for all of your comments, ideas and support. It means everything to me. Remember, if you are wanting to shop, my readers will receive 15% off their order of $5.00 or more using code NANDFREADERS15. The code doesn’t expire until February 12, 2017. Hop on over and take a look!
Just a few quick things to share with you this morning. First of all, I drew the names of the winners for the Autumn Abundance giveaway. I have to say, it was so nice to read about all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and traditions. Everyone has something special about the day, ranging from candied yams to Szechuan turkey (which I had not heard of), to mac and cheese and all sorts of pie. Traditions run strong in families and it makes the holidays that much more special. Thanks for sharing some of yours!
Here are the giveaway winners:
Kim of Lily Patch Quilts won the fat quarter bundle of Into the Woods fabric. Lucky girl!
Donna won the pair of scrappy leaf shaped pot holders.
Linda won the charm squares with a spool of Aurifil thread.
All three prizes are being mailed to the lucky winners. Thanks so much for participating in the blog hop. It was a lot of fun and I very much enjoyed looking at all of the projects made with the gorgeous fabrics that Paint Brush Studios provided, making our event possible. Thanks so much to Paint Brush Studios!!
Next, I wanted to let you know that C&T Publishers (of which Stash Books is a division) has supplied me with a wonderful coupon code for readers. Between now and Monday, November 7th, just use the code SECRET35 to receive 35% off your entire order. It’s November already – maybe time to do a little holiday shopping?
There are several new books being released in November, two of which have caught my eye.
I Love Precut Quilts has loads of ideas for projects that use charm squares, jelly rolls and layer cakes.
Another new release is Appli-Quilting. I think this book has some cool ideas about incorporating applique with an assembled quilt sandwich and sewing the applique down as a part of the quilting. Click through on the link for some interesting pictures of projects in this book.
Over the weekend I started a fun project. After reading a few posts at Crazy Mom Quilts, I decided to try and make a rag rug using scrappy strings. I have a huge tub of strings, many of which were given to me a couple of years ago by my wonderful neighbor, Reta, just before she moved. I have used this bag of strips so often, yet it seems to remain full. I think they just multiply in there when I am not looking! I am enjoying this and think it will be really sweet when I get it finished.
Today I am heading out to the long arm shop to (finally!) quilt the Harmony quilt for my nephew and his bride. I will be back to show you the results later this week. I am crossing my fingers that it quilts up nicely.
Have a wonderful week!
We have a winner! The $20 gift certificate to my lovely sponsor’s Brewstitched shop was won by Kathy E. I used the Random Number Generator to pick a number between 1 and 62. Kathy was number 1 and she’s the winner.
Here is Kathy’s winning comment:
Here in Iowa, we are just experiencing Spring and it’s finally warming up! This coming weekend, though, temps are supposed to reach into the 90’s. When it gets that warm, I do everything I can to avoid the oven. We use the grill and the crockpot often. Sometimes I even set the crockpot in the garage since that gives off heat too! I am a hanger-outer too, so will be looking up your clothespin tutorial! Oh, and Foxtail Forest is a beauty!
I have to confess something silly. I know that it is just random to be picked for a giveaway and there is no reason for any number to have greater likelihood of being picked. But here is my confession. If I am reading a blog post and there is a giveaway involved, I never (honestly, NEVER) enter if I am the first entry. My silly brain always tells me – ‘no, you’ll not win if you are the first entry!’ I know that is not based on any sort of fact. So, maybe this will change my mind. Isn’t it funny how the mind works (at least mine anyway!)
Congrats Kathy E – I know you have a tough choice ahead of you because there are sooo many gorgeous fabrics in the Brewstitched shop. In her comment, Kathy mentioned her love of Dear Stella’s Foxtail Forest which displays excellent taste! Have fun shopping Kathy!!