Tag Archives: marketing

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?

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Custom? Yes Please.

I’m so glad I did the sales booth! It was on Thursday at the Santa Clarita Valley Quilt Guild’s meeting. Baby bibs were the biggest seller and these cute tree ornaments got some interest too. tree ornaments I didn’t make many dollars that day, which was a little disappointing. What was successful was the connections made. People asked about my crumb piecing. I’ll be pitching that class to guilds and shops for the new year! My November 7th class was postponed. I’ll let you guys know when it’s been rescheduled. pink crumb placemats

Quilters asked if I’m interested in doing projects they’d been asked to do but had no interest in. Yes! I loooove custom work. I’ll gladly make a quilt out of uniforms or grandma’s linens. Right now I’m making baby quilts for two girls. Next in line is pillow shams that match the bedding in a new family’s master bedroom.

I’m still unpacking and reorganizing things. When I figure out which pile the camera is under I’ll show you guys some photographs of my booth setup.

My etsy shop was on vacation mode but is now back up and running. I’m revamping some listings and adding new items so it’ll be filling up over the next few days. Expect to see the tree ornaments, crumbs place mats, and this cute chevron quilt in the shop soon.

chevron kids quilt

There’s still time to get a custom order in to be completed before the holidays! First come, first made. Let’s talk. mrs.megan.null @ gmail.com

Head of Marketing and The Rainbow Bridge

I’m not unemployed, I’m self-employed. I’m the owner and artist-in-residence for QUILTArtbymegan. There. I said it. And I’m terrified. Why? Because, even with all the resources and cheerleaders I have, it’s really up to me. I’m the CEO, CFO, and head of marketing.

Marketing, ho boy. This means I not only need to promote my work, but myself. That gets difficult sometimes when I fear I’m made up entirely of unrealized potential locked away in self-doubts. This week’s blog post by Les Kertay addresses this problem head-on. It’s good to be scared… and to take the leap anyway. Oh crap, I’m human. Go read the blog post. Really. It’s intensely vulnerable and inspiring all at once.

I had a chance to talk with an amazing business woman in last November. She took her art from painting in her home studio to being wildly successful internationally. She spent some time to mentor me, tell me some things that helped her get where she is. As a shy artist who preferred to work alone, as so many of us introverted emotional artistic types are, she has a trick for marketing her work. She pretends that she’s selling someone else’s awesome stuff. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently and think it’s a great tool to get out of my own way. So, in that spirit, here’s some of the cool stuff that’s available to you from QUILTArtbymegan and its amazing artist-in-residence.

Portrait quilts are unique, beautiful, fiber heirlooms. They’re great to celebrate any occasion, including memorializing the death of a loved one. This piece was a gift to someone who had recently lost her companion. Anyone who has ever loved a pet can understand the effect that their passing can have… especially since they were a part of your daily life for so long. This is a great way to honor that connection. Here’s the photograph that inspired the piece.

dog photo for PaulaHere’s the 12×12 art inspired by the above photograph. My customer asked for a top only, not a quilted piece so she could make this into a pillow.
Final Dog Sample

 

Here’s the final product, after it was given to the woman in the photograph, who’s mourning her friend. I’m so honored to be a part of this memory piece. The embroidery around the edges is from the book “The Little Prince”  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and reads, “But if you tame me then we shall need each other… to me, you will be unique in all the world,.. to you, I shall be unique in all the world.” My customer also did the beautiful quilting before making the piece into a pillow.

Paula5

 

I am working out the details for another memory piece. This time, it’s a T-shirt quilt. The shirts are team shirts from college, which will be turned into a bed quilt. I enjoy every project but these memory pieces are extra-special to me.

2014 will be a great year for QUILTArtbymegan

Here’s a bit of a preview of what’s coming this year. First of all, I’ll be doing a bunch of portrait quilts. You know, those are the ones inspired by a photograph and then rendered into fabric. Coming up are twins, a dog, a snowy landscape, and more. Here’s a tracing of one I’m working on now which has holding hands and wedding rings showing. It’s in pencil so it doesn’t photograph beautifully just yet.

hands tracing

Also, one of my sample quilts this year has to feature my niece Mary. ‘Cause I love her and she’s flipping adorable. So here’s a photo from Halloween that I’ll be using as inspiration.

Panda Mary

Alright, on to the second category of quilts you can expect from me in 2014. I’ll be making more things with crumbs! Here are two quilts-in-progress that use crumb blocks in their design. (One is a super-close up because the whole quilt hasn’t yet been revealed to the receiver.) Crumbs heart crumbs with black

I’m also working on making my crumbs customize-able. I think they’re in the top two cool things I do with my quilting and hadn’t figured out a way to make them in a cost-effective way. Worth my time to make the stuff and worth your money to buy them. Enter the letter pillows! Soon these will be available to order in my etsy store. You can buy them individually or as a group to spell out names, holidays, important dates (numbers will be available, too), and more. I’m also working on a way to stretch these across canvas for an on-the-wall look rather than the pillows’ on-the-shelf thing.

letter pillow sample

Another thing I’ll be playing around with (and hopefully making beautiful wear-ables out of) is old wool, cashmere, and silk items. I’m experimenting with up-cycling in the style of the artist Katwise.

What else? Tons, I’m sure! I’m learning new things all of the time. I think as an artist it’s important to explore new things and learn from other artists. Plus just play around and see what happens. That’s what I did with this doll quilt piece that was entered into the Project Quilting Challenge this week. It’s made of strings, which are skinny long strips. I’m not in love with the final quilt but it was fun to experiment and stretch myself. There are bunch of quilts finished in this challenge that are gorgeous! See and vote for your favorites here. 

pinked dolls

I took the “Twisted Sisters” class from Ami Simms on Saturday. It was so much fun! I initially wasn’t thrilled with the quilt design but learned how I can make it my own and am sure I’ll love the thing once it’s all put together. I also learned a bunch of tiny tips and tricks that make all the difference when you’re sewing. For example, if your selvage strips have been cut off the way you find the straight of grain (which is parallel to the selvage) is to stretch a tiny section of the fabric with your fingers. The direction that has the least stretch is the straight of grain. Twisted sister

I predict this’ll be a great year for me personally and QUILTArtbymegan as well. Stay tuned! You won’t want to miss any of it.