Tag Archives: QUILTArtbymegan

Goal: Have a Sales Booth in 2014

I made some new year’s resolutions in January this year. Usually I don’t bother but mine in 2013 really helped keep me focused. It was two things: be my own advocate and focus on the good. For 2014 I had some specific things in mind for my business. One was to have a sales booth for my quilting items sometime this year. Well, it’s happening!

I’m get to have a sales table during a quilt guild meeting on Thursday night. This is for my old quilt guild where I used to live, about an hour away. Due to some kinks in the new laws about non-profits, among other factors, the guild’s a little low on funds this year. So my proposal was simple: please let me help you by running a fundraiser. I love when opportunities turn out to be win-win.

So here’s the deal. Most craft fairs run for 1-2 days at six-eight hours not including setup. Depending on the size of your spot and how popular the fair is the fees to have a table can be upwards of $100. What I worked out with the guild is that they will get 50% of the sales from my card holders. Then they’ll also get 25% of all other sales. No money up front from me. If all goes well they’ll get more than the traditional $100 booth fee. No risk on either side of a loss… and an opportunity for both the guild I love and myself to make some moneys.

Sometimes it pays to be creative! I suspect that if I just asked to have a booth flat out the answer would have been no. What’s in it for them? Now there’s plenty in it for both of us. booth card holders

As you can see, I made a LOT of card holders! 108 to be exact. There’s actually another layer underneath the ones photographed. They’ll be on sale for $6 each and have been pulled from my etsy shop. I’ll get the leftovers back up on there after my sale. booth box 2 booth box 1 I’m busy organizing my inventory and adding price tags to everything. Above are two of the boxes-in-progress.

If I have time, I have five small tree skirts, 11 baby bibs, three baby quilts, two table runners, and four pincushions in various stages of sewn-up-ness. They’ll be added to the inventory as I finish them. If they’re not completed (and they can’t ALL be) by Thursday night no biggie. They’ll go up in my etsy shop for you guys just the same.

 

The December holidays are coming! Birthdays too. Let’s collaborate on the perfect gifts for your loved ones. I specialize in custom work. mrs.megan.null @ gmail.com Let’s talk.

Red and White Challenge – Crumbs Pillow

Look what I made! This fun heart-shaped pillow is crumb-pieced from scraps of fabrics with only reds and whites. No pinks or browns, only shades of reds and whites. It was made for my friend Kim’s Project Quilting Challenge for this month. Of course, I got it finished in the nick of time.

heartonchair

When crumb quilting, I usually piece all my bits together regardless of color. Limiting it to only two was a creative stretch and I’m pleased with the final product. We’re not a pretty pillow household, so it’s in my etsy shop for someone to adopt and love.

Special pricing today only! The 25% off all made items ends with August. This pillow’s $42 but you can have it for only $31.50 if you act quickly. https://www.etsy.com/listing/201798075/pieced-heart-pillow-red-and-white-12×12?

heartback

Do you want to learn this technique? I’m teaching a class at SLO Creative Studio in San Luis Obispo, CA on November 7th. Sign up at http://www.slo-creative.com

Two Babies, Two Unique Quilts

Quilting-land at my house has been taken over by babies at my house. Just the way I like it. 🙂 The first baby quilt is for a little boy, newly arrived. I decided to do large disappearing nine-patch blocks. The first photo is what it looked like before the nine-patches were cut apart and rearranged.

big block 9 patches

Here it is, all together. It’s a little wrinkly, fresh from the dryer. I wash all of the baby quilts I make before mailing them out. Why? Because I spray baste, which leaves a bit of the glue residue inside the quilt until the first wash. I wouldn’t want a baby sucking on that.

Celeste front

Lastly, the fold-over shot. Isn’t this backing super cute? It’s a flannel, so it’s super-soft.

Celeste foldoverThe second quilt is for a baby who isn’t here yet. We don’t know if this baby is a he or a she, so my customer asked for a gender-neutral animal quilt. She pictured mom and baby looking at the quilt and talking about animal sounds.

I piled up the animal fabrics and started designing. I ended up going with my third or fourth idea for this quilt. See, I could piece all these animal fabrics together and come up with a big zoo for the kiddo to explore. But I kept coming back to the customer’s vision that included animal sounds. I had 34 animals which included rabbits, hedgehogs, penguins, and crocodiles. Pared down to the ones that make recognizable, kid-friendly noises, I was left with 17 blocks.

I decided to make this quilt have a lot of negative space between the blocks. A subtle fabric, lots of space to breathe, not too busy. Rather than piecing the top, I sandwiched and quilted it whole cloth. I marked the quilting lines with a Frixion pen, which comes right out in the wash along with the spray baste.

AnimalQuilt Marking

Then I added the animals to the quilt. First I framed each in black fabric, then I sewed each down to the quilt. So instead of being appliqued to the background fabric, they are actually quilted on top of everything.
AnimalQuilt AppliqueHere’s what the blocks look like all laid out and pinned in place. It’s a little bit like a photograph wall. 
AnimalQuiltPinnedI bound this one in the background fabric and sent it on its way… before getting the all-important fold-over shot. Luckily, my customer sent me this picture when the quilt arrived safely at her house. Red fabric with chicks on it for the backing!

Animals Foldover

Now for a bit of hand-applique. This will be the final border on a round-robin piece for my quilt guild next week. I’m excited to show you guys what my quilt looks like! I haven’t seen it for a few months as other quilters have been passing it around and working on it.
RR Applique

 

Lovey Beanbags for Mary’s First Birthday

My niece, Mary Constance, is a year old this month. I remember waiting by the phone on the day she was born, and being so excited to meet her in November. I even got to give her a quilt in person during that trip. I wasn’t able to be at her first birthday party, but several of her extended family members were so I’m grateful for that. Everyone should be surrounded by people they love on their birthday.

Of course, photographs were taken of the cake-eating. I love how Mary is focused on sharing her cake. It’s a serious job.

Mary sharing cake

 

She allowed others to feed cake to her, too. It became a big ‘ole finger-food experience.

Mary having cake

My Dad, brother, and I wanted to give her something special. I’ve been dubbed the artist of the group, though my Dad’s a great writer and my brother’s a musician. Plus I used to work as a nanny, so I know a lot about age-appropriate toys. So here’s what I came up with.

Mary Beanbags

The beanbags, sewn by Mary’s favorite Aunt Megan (me!) are developmentally appropriate for a toddler. They’re good to squish and throw. As she grows, I’m sure she’ll learn her colors in English and Spanish and these’ll be good tools for that too as they’re primary and secondary colors.
Beanbag Qualities

Can you see the qualities embroidered on the front of each beanbag? My dad, brother, and I each chose two things we see in Mary Constance. On the back of them is the name of the person who chose that word for her. Now they’re customized specifically for her and – BONUS – they’re super gushy mushy lovey.
Beanbag Names

 

I do custom orders! These were invented for Mary’s birthday, but if you like ’em I can give you a quote and make some for your special occasion. Just email me and we’ll make it happen.  mrs.megan.null@gmail.com

ZK Wedding Pillow

ZackandKaceeWedding

My cousin Zack got married this weekend to his high school sweetheart. Doesn’t he look dapper?! Of course the bride is gorgeous. Welcome to our family, Kacee. I love you both. I wasn’t able to attend the wedding, but wanted to make something special for the couple. So here’s what I came up with. It’s a joint present with my Dad.  He paid for the materials.

ZK Pillow It’s a crumb pillow! This one measures 12×20 and has a few embroidered details as well as their initials. On the bottom is their wedding date, and before the “Z” you’ll find their first names. See?ZK Pillow1 ZK Pillow2

 

Congratulations Zack and Kacee. Happy honeymoon!

Secret Projects and One I Can Show

A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. – Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Most of the quilting and sewing projects I’m working on are secret. One’s crumby, another’s silly, and then there’s the waiting piece but I can’t talk about any of them just yet. And yes, they’re secret because they’re special and for people whom I care deeply about. When I can show you I will.

Still, I thought you guys might enjoy hearing from me so here’s a photo of a quilt that’s not a secret. It’s another crumbs quilt, a baby or lap sized, which is in the machine being quilted. It’s super-cute with the bubbles fabric and bordered in orange and red dots. It’ll be up for sale in my etsy shop once completed.

quilting bubbles

 

Expect a reveal on each of those secret projects this month!

You Can Piece the Backing and Batting Too!

Yup, it’s time for another post on frugal quilting. Here are some of my past articles on this subject. They’re mostly about scrap quilting and using up all the little bits of fabric you have.

Crumb-ing With Ami Simms

Megan Bags Courtesy of My Friends

Binding Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Did you know that you can also piece your backing fabric and the batting? I haven’t bought batting in a while but I continue to finish baby quilts. I have three tops ready to be spray basted so I can quilt them and get them into my etsy shop. (Two of them feature the crumb quilting you guys love!)

Here’s how I do it. First, I take small leftover batting scraps like these and cut them so that at least one side has a straight edge. I set two pieces side-by-side, straight edges together, and sew them together with a zig-zag stitch on my machine.

batting scraps

Continue putting two and two together and then joining those pieces until you have a big enough piece of batting to be usable. This one works for a baby quilt that’s up to 35 x 40 inches. It’s made up of 20ish scraps sewn together. Yes, it will lay flat. No, you won’t be able to tell that the batting is pieced once the quilt’s all together.

Pieced batting

 

It’s difficult to see since I used white thread on white batting, so here’s a closer look. Can you see the different pieces? When you piece batting, join like with like. I buy mostly Warm & Natural but also have some scraps of other battings friends have given me. Warm and Natural scraps go with other Warm and Natural scraps. That way everything wears and shrinks evenly… plus it has a uniform thickness and needles the same. You can piece almost anything though! I’ve even done this with fusible fleece and flannel with good results. Close-up batting

As for the backing? Yup there’s nothing wrong with piecing that too. This backing (upside down in the photo, ready for spray basting) is for a kid’s quilt. So the fun bright fabrics add some interest and make it so I don’t have to run to the store for that extra-wide backing fabric. I’d rather use up my scraps!
pieced back

 

One last tip for frugal living enthusiasts: The Dollar Store’s version of children’s liquid allergy medication works almost as well as Benadryl. So buy it there and take a tad more, for great savings! Can’t beat a buck.

 

 

Save Some Green This St. Patrick’s Day

Save some green this St. Patrick’s Day! All day Monday, March 17th shipping is free in my etsy shop. That’s right, free shipping! This includes custom orders, so if you have something special in mind let’s get started.

Email: mrs.megan.null@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuiltArtbymegan?ref=hl

Green Megan

Saint Patty’s has always been a fun holiday in my half-Irish family. Growing up we had such fun! Leprechauns would visit us. No, really! They tinted our milk green in the middle of the night.

Of course, the most fun part this holiday is the stories mom would tell. Her grandfather, Papa, would buy her a new green dress every year. He’d take her out of school to hang out at the country club with him and his buddies. When she was young, they would sing the Beatles’ song, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” together on walks. As he got older and needed help steadying himself, he’d sing it to ask for her arm.

What’s your favorite Saint Patrick’s Day memory?

Here’s a peek at an I-Spy baby quilt that I’m finishing in time for the sale tomorrow. Remember, that’s free shipping all day Monday. Spread the word!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/QUILTArtbymegan?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav

Strippy I Spy

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.

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.