Category Archives: The Business

Shop Small This Weekend

Hello everybody. If you’re in the USA I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. My husband and I got to host this year. We worked together to clean the house and cook turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, carrots, corn, potato casserole, and pumpkin pies. His mom brought some homemade bread which rounded out our nice spread. Yum! Here’s a picture of my brother-in-law loading his plate.

joethanks15

Now that everybody’s onto eating pie for breakfast and looking up recipes for leftover turkey it’s time to turn our attention to holiday shopping. I’d like to encourage you to shop small businesses this year. I’ll be featuring some of my favorite small businesses today through Cyber Monday on the quiltartbymegan Facebook Page. “Like” and follow me over there to learn about great entrepreneurs and to shop their deals.

Of course, there are some great deals in my etsy shop too. Everything in there is now 30% off. You don’t need a coupon code as I’ve adjusted each price individually to reflect the sale. Easy peasy!

shopsmall

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Come See Me at the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique!

Come see me this weekend at the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique! I will be shutting down the etsy shop  and opening an in-person booth on Saturday, November 7th 2015 from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Admission and parking are free at the middle school location in Ventura, CA. Bring cash or check to buy handmade art from me. Boutique benefits the local no-kill animal shelter.

RGB.PURRSNPAWS.flyer.front

Here’s the details for the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique.

  • November 7th, 2015. 8:30am-3:00pm
  • Balboa Middle School – 247 S. Hill Rd., Ventura, CA 93003
  • Benefits the Humane Society of Ventura County, a no-kill shelter
  • Meet Megan. Buy stuff with cash or check. Hugs included! 🙂
  • Over 30 other vendors.

This is sure to be a fun event. I’ve been busy the past few weeks making some new things. Here are some of them. (For sale in the shop until Friday, then whatever doesn’t sell will be relisted after this weekend.) More are available at my booth that have yet to be photographed.

handquiltedbatikfrontandback selvageheartornaments starcrumbcornamentsstarcrumbpillow

I hope to see you there!

Just Add Support

Our brand new bathroom counter cracked. I heard it from the kitchen and came running. My husband was leaning against the side of the counter while installing the hand-towel holder and it gave out.
new sink cracked

How did this happen? Can you see the gap between the counter and the wooden cabinet? That’s the problem right there. There’s no support. The store exchanged the broken bits for a whole and we started over. This time my husband cut some wood and glued/nailed it to the inside of the vanity.  It was a design flaw. The sink needed more support.
sink design flawWe all need extra support sometimes. My quilting buddies are helping me with these place mats. They’re cool, huh? The conversation’s ranged from confidence to marketing with many ideas that are new to me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

set of 6 bright crumbs placemats
Our bathroom looks much better now. The counter cracking was a bummer but I’m glad it happened when it did. We got it exchanged and added supports and can be confident it’s sturdy as well as pretty. bathroom before after
It’s kitty approved. 🙂

Velcro on sink

 

 

When the Playground’s Crowded

I went to the park today to photograph some baby quilts. I talked about using appropriate props in this post and aimed to do that. Things don’t always work out the way you think they will. The playground was crowded and I wasn’t going to ask all the kids having fun to get out of my frame. So I took the quilts back home and looked around my yard for other options.

blackwhite crumbs backMy fence is actually a pretty good backdrop. I pinned a string of fabric on the back of each quilt for hanging. The strings loop around two nails on top of the fence where we hung Christmas lights last year. I like the natural look of the wood and the contrast it adds.

blackwhite crumbs frontHere’s the front side of the above quilt. How cool is it that this crumb-pieced baby quilt is double sided?! The front has crumb blocks pieced into black, white, and red fabrics. The back has crumb blocks appliqued onto a green, red, and white floral.

raggedy ann frontHere’s a Raggedy Ann and Overall Andy quilt. I paired this sweet fabric with a solid red to merge modern and traditional. The chevron zig-zag looks a bit like a crown too.

floral baby front This one is a simple floral patchworkcharm challenge first cut
I’m working on two more baby quilts. (And I have several more in mind that haven’t yet been started!) One is for this week’s  Project Quilting challenge. It uses only 5″ charm squares of fabric. I’ll be cutting them up and piecing ’em back together. Here’s the first cut. I have one week to finish and enter it.
three more

Quilts and more are for sale in my etsy shop! Here’s a sampling of other baby-sized ones that are ready today. Want something specific you don’t see here? I specialize in custom orders. Let’s talk.

 

Linking up to Oh Scrap!

 

Fine Art Doesn’t Belong in the Nursery

My for-sale quilts (mostly) are for two kinds of customers: lovers of heirlooms and fine art; and those shopping for baby. I also have arm warmers and table runners but I’m mostly in those two categories. I’m working hard on learning marketing and merchandising and came across this great article.

craft-fair-display

 

This article includes photographs of booths whose displays enhance their products. Landscape paintings are on easels made of tree limbs and natural soap is in an antique washing machine.

big megan with photo

 

This got me thinking my photographs in this blog and the etsy shop. A future craft booth would look different depending on the audience I’m looking to reach. How much better would it be if the products were displayed more relevantly? Art quilts like the portrait quilt above should be in a minimalist, gallery-like setting. Maybe they’re hung on a black curtain with spot-lighting. Balloons and brightly colored backdrops would not be appropriate. They could be photographed above a beautiful fireplace or fancy bed.

pink d9p finished

Baby quilts, on the other hand wouldn’t make sense in that setting. Maybe they’re draped over a crib or spilling out the drawers of a changing table. A kids’ picnic table and stuffed animals would be awesome. As for photographs, why not have a baby playing on the quilts?

duckie bibs double sided

I don’t have these props yet but some of them can be found cheaply at thrift stores and yard sales. We have no other use for a crib but I’ll be on the lookout for a rocking chair… and a local friend with a baby. 🙂

 

Linking up to Show Off Saturday.

Sometimes I Need a Bit of Quiet

Sometimes I need a bit of quiet. Do you ever get that way? Life’s just so go-go-go noisy and it’s good to take a break to breathe. So that’s what I’m doing today on my 31st birthday. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and that’s really the only thing I’ve checked off my to-do list…. which is totally okay. We’ll cook together tonight and watch a RedBox movie. I’ll quilt a bit and fold a load of laundry. Maybe have a nice long soak in the tub. I’ll return those phone calls and emails later.

have to put clothes on

I’m getting real quiet and listening and learning about myself and my business. I’ve noticed that I don’t have a real clear direction and want to remedy that. One thing I have planned is to participate in a group read and discussion of The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano, a business book that many people have recommended to me.

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is to finish a UFO (unfinished object) so I’ve been working on the Turtles Quilt for my childhood summer camp. I’m up to the final border on the top. I’ll post some updated photos of that in a few days. It almost definitely won’t be finished by Sunday so I may work on a smaller project to submit. There are some great prizes that are randomly drawn this year and it always feels good to have a finish. If I don’t this week, well, I’m not going to stress about it.

turtle sees who can get home first

We’ve been doing some gardening this past week. Living in Southern California does have benefits! We loved the potatoes so much last year that we’re planting three times as many. So far we’ve weeded, pulled up some stumps, laid a brick path, transplanted the bird of paradise plants, painted some pots, and planted seeds that’ll be flowers.

tatobucket

I’ve linked an older post up to the Tuesday Archives link party. This week’s theme is nine-patch quilts. The last nine-patch that I made is in my etsy shop. It’s a disappearing nine-patch baby quilt with kids’ prints on a pink and orange background. pink d9p finished

15 Quilting-ish Goals for 2015

It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.

  1. Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
  2. Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me. learn-all-the-marketing
  3. Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps
    turtles blocks
  4. Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
  5. pink crumb placematsTry new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
  6. Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
  7. Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour. sew worth it
  8. Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
  9. Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago. BAQS exhibit large
  10. Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
  11. Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
  12. Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life. 230126_7118653765_8586_n
  13. Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
  14. Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare. stash bee
  15. Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.

 

How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?