Tag Archives: Christmas

Little Things Sale

It’s often the little moments that mean the most. It’s the first bite into the watermelon I grew in the backyard, laughing at my feminist husband’s intentionally sexist comment, a sweet card from an uncle I haven’t seen in over a decade, waking up (yay, it’s not real,) from a nightmare. It’s catching up with good friends, a new crock-pot, baby pictures, and successful garage sales.

Here are a few of the smaller items in my etsy shop that are on sale for 25% off. The holidays will be here before you know it, it’s good to stock up on some of these early…. especially since this sale ends when August does. Gift Cards Collage Whoops. This should say gift card holders. Holidays Collage Christmas and Hanukkah so far. I’ll be adding more holidays’ items soon. Mug Rugs Collage Pretty and sweet. Good for cookies and milk, tea and biscuits, coffee and whatever you coffee drinkers eat with that stuff. 🙂 They’re stuffed with 100% cotton batting so they can also be used as hot pads and trivets.Pillows and Shams Collage

Custom pillows are also available.Scarves CollageThese scarves will keep you pretty and warm… and pretty warm.

I’ll have photos and prices of some of the quilts that are on sale in the next post. In the meantime, you can see them all in my Etsy shop.

Also, some of my quilts will be in shows in Simi Valley, California and De Moines, Iowa ! More details on that soon.

 

Customer Service 101: Active Listening

 

It is so very important to listen to customers and really hear what they’re saying. I made a portrait quilt top (not quilted, so it could be hung in a frame) for a customer who wanted to give it to her husband for Christmas. She described it as he’s in the military and she wanted something beautiful and unique featuring this photograph of his squadron.

Julianna 1I heard her… until I saw the picture. Dude! That’s the mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind! The one the kids were drawing and the guy made sculptures of because the aliens would land there. How cool that this is an actual real-life landmark! I’m such a sci-fi geek. And my first pattern draft focused on how awesome the mountain is… until I realized that I wasn’t focusing on what’s really important to the customer.

It doesn’t matter what I think is important (or cool!) in a photograph. It matters what the customer wants to feature. So I scrapped my drawing of the mountain in all its glory, which hides the planes quite well… and swapped that for a plain stripped fabric which brings the focus back to her husband’s squadron. I think it’s well done.

Juliana 2

My Holiday Loot!

I usually don’t post “yay I got this” kinds of posts, but you might actually be interested this year. Especially since a lot of the gifts I got, I picked out myself. Those came from etsy sellers.

First, my Dad’s side of the family has a secret Santa gift exchange every year. I got a very thoughtful gift this year, a mason jar for pins with a pincushion on top. Oh, and these gifts have to be handmade. It even has a little saying on it with kitty paws.

pin cushion jar

 

My hubby got me my own printer, which is awesome. Now I don’t have to bug him in his garage workshop to print something out every time I need that. It even has scan and copy features. Woot. I won’t bore you with a photo of that.

I bought this beautiful photography 2014 calendar from an etsy shop. It didn’t come with those blobs of grey, I added them because I started filling in appointments before photographing it.

calendar

I also got patterns from two etsy shops. The first pattern is of a messenger bag. Here’s that shop.  The second pattern is for up-cycled sweaters and finger-less arm warmers. You can find that kooky shop here. 

I’m on the hunt things made from wool and cashmere to start making my own up-cycled items. A dear friend has offered me several wool scarves that are moth-eaten. Perfect! I’m looking for items that are stained, stretched, shrunken, ripped, or otherwise unusable to you. Please please contact me if you have anything like that you’d like to donate to my cause. I can help with shipping costs if need be.

My next blog post (on Monday) will feature a custom photo quilt that I made for a client who gave it to her husband for Christmas. I’m so excited to finally be able to show it to you! (Didn’t want to ruin the surprise.)

Happy Holidays!

Where’d You Get That Skirt?

In January my Aunt Laurie asked me to make her a custom tree skirt for this Christmas. You can read about that process here. This year another dear customer wanted one for next Christmas. Here’s the story on her tree skirt. But first, my aunt’s skirt under her tree in all its glory.

treeskirt in use

This next customer wanted a tree skirt to fit her artificial tree. So, while I was in St. Louis on vacation, we measured the base of her tree (about 1″) and calculated how large the skirt should be so it looks proportional. She was using a tablecloth wrapped around the base, but would much rather return it to the table and I was certainly the gal to help her out with that.

The second step in the process (the first being measurements) was choosing the fabric. I recommended fabric.com because I’d used them before and was impressed with their selection and customer service. She browsed through fabrics while my brother and I watched a scary movie and put her favorite Christmas prints in the shopping cart before calling me over for advice. I recommended that she choose her very favorite print and then we’ll find a coordinating one. So that’s exactly what she did! She loved the flowery fabric and the red with white polka-dots goes so nicely with it. See?

Sheri's tree skirt

Turns out, she ordered enough fabric (on my request, I usually get more than needed in case of slip-ups) that I didn’t charge her for shipping the tree skirt back to her. I made a second tree skirt out of the extra fabric. It’s up for sale in my etsy shop for $70. Here’s a photo of that one. It’s similar, just the fabrics are reversed. The red pizza slices are larger than the flowered ones.

Tree skirt for sale 70

I’d love to do a custom order for you! It can be a tree skirt, bag, quit, or whatever you can think of.

Also, I’m completely honest about my skill set. If I’ve never done something before but am confident that I can figure it out, or it’s a new patter that I haven’t tested yet, I’ll make a sample before using your chosen fabrics to make sure there are no kinks that need to be adjusted out. If I’m not confident that I can figure it out, I’ll tell you exactly that. Usually I’ll have someone in mind to refer you to as well who can probably do it. I can do almost anything. I rarely say no, but I feel it’s important to be honest.

P.S. To whichever of my quilting friends who suggested I buy a bias tape maker tool, thank you! It has saved me soooo much time when making the binding for these tree skirts. Customers, time saved means less cost since I do charge for my time. We are sew worth it!

Small Business Saturday Deals

FourFaces CompletedIn honor of Small Business Saturday, here’s what I’m offering in my etsy shop. These deals start now and are only good this weekend.

Everyone who buys anything from my shop will get a coupon code for 5% off your next purchase. This coupon is good through June 1st, 2014.

The first five people who order a custom portrait quilt will get 10% off the entire purchase price.

The first three people who order a custom portrait quilt that is no bigger than 50″ x 50″ will have it done in time for Christmas. Plus the 10% off.

Check out the listing for details on pricing and what we need to get started. https://www.etsy.com/listing/109205494/custom-fiber-art-quilt-portrait-from?ref=shop_home_feat

Update as of midnight Sunday 12/2: These deals have expired. Prices will increase on February 1, 2014.. so it’s still great to get these orders in before then. Or after then. I’ll have another post up soon. Until then, thank you and goodnight.

The reviews are coming in!

Hello everybody. This is just a quick post to let you know about a new page on my blog. You can find it here: https://quiltartbymegan.wordpress.com/customer-feedback/

I will be adding to it periodically as more feedback comes in. These are reviews from people who have been gifted, bought, or seen my quilts. Please check out my etsy shop, too. https://www.etsy.com/shop/QUILTArtbymegan Now’s the time to get those orders in for the 2013 holiday season.

etsy banner

Expect a blog post next week about the quilts that a team of us are making for Crystal Lake Camps, where I spent many of my childhood summers. It’s a place that I hold dear to my heart and I’m honored to be coordinating three quilts for the Lodge. There’s a native american theme at the camp, so everyone’s divided into four clans: the turtles, turkeys, bears, and wolves. I’m in charge of organizing the two twin sized quilts for the turkeys room and one larger quilt for the turtles room. I also have the permission of the maker of quilts for the other two clans to show photographs of her stunning creations here.

In case you’re wondering, I’m a proud turtle. GO TURTLES!

turtle claws

Goodbye; I Want to Make Another.

Thanks to my aunt’s custom tree skirt, I’ve been tracking the costs of making one. I’ve noticed that it’s actually an affordable piece of art! Aaaand it’s something that I’d make again. So I made an etsy listing saying exactly that. You could have your very own for only $150. Plus you get to choose the fabrics! How awesome is that?! Here’s the listing.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/167519437/custom-modern-christmas-tree-skirt-your?

Goodbye pretty tree skirt. Hopefully I get to make s’more like you soon. Have a great first Christmas back east.

byeskirt
Isn’t it pretty?!

skirtfull

Even Tree Skirts are Creative Opportunities

Every project has its own unique story. For example, I just finished this custom ordered tree skirt for my Aunt. I chose some modern fabrics and ran them by her to make sure she didn’t want something more traditional…. and then, as I sometimes do… I stole them. More accurately, I used a LOT of the rusty red fabric in another project. I had it right there in my stash just waiting to be used… but it was waiting to be used for this project. Oops.

Well, that’s where creativity comes in. I had planned to make this tree skirt out of alternating print and red in 8 equal sections. Instead, I cut up the red that remained into four 1/16th wedges. I still wanted the main print to have 4 large sections. So that left room for two more 8ths which I pulled from another beautiful print. Putting them together, I inserted the red where I thought the patterns needed some rest. Guess what? That means it’s not symmetrical. And, I think it’s more modern and beautiful in its imperfection that it would have been if everything went according to plan.

I constructed and quilted this tree skirt and then put binding around the raw edges. Of course, the plan was to use the red print as the binding too… which would bring it all together nicely. Yeah, I don’t have nearly enough red print left to make binding. Another design opportunity. I’m creative; I can figure this out! Time to audition fabrics.

skirtauditions

I saw that the yellow would work nicely… and decided to go bold with the blue circles. Bold is good. It’s scary and could make the whole project wonderful. Once it was sewn on, I decided it was waaaay cooler than the yellow ever could have been. Adds some sass and whimsy.

skirtbinding

 

The backing? Yeah. That was going to be the red, too. (But that other project really needed it, honest! When I can I’ll show you the quilt I’m talking about. No other fabric would have done the job as well.) I often piece backings for my quilts, but I wanted this tree skirt to have the option of being double-sided… which called for a one-fabric back. So I pawed through my stash, hoping to find something large enough that would compliment the front. Turns out that the Asian fabric that I bought over a year ago because it was just so beautiful that I had to have it was just waiting to be used in this particular project. It’s the deep blue print in the photo below.
skirtbackopening

So here she is in all of her glory. It’s been a great ride. I’ve stretched myself and made something I’m proud of. I hope my aunt loves this skirt as much as I do. Now to throw her in the wash and send her off to New England. Safe travels, my friend. I really do love you.skirtfull

 

 

* It’s not too late to get your custom tree skirt order in for this year.