Sunday 26 July 2015

Summer Sale

Sewmotion on Folksy is having a 15% off sale, running from Sunday 26th July to Wednesday 29thJuly (ends midnight). If you are one of those super organised people who have started thinking about Christmas already, or if there’s a special birthday on the horizon – this is a great opportunity to pick up something pretty. Simply enter the code SUMMER15 at checkout to get your discount.

One reason for me holding this sale is as a kind of apology… due to work commitments, as in the Festival of Quilts (!) followed by a much needed holiday, I’ve decided to close my Folksy shop for the month of August. While this probably isn’t great business sense, as I don’t have anyone to look after the shop, and I really can’t see me traipsing around Europe with my boxes of purses in hand, I think this is the sensible thing to do. So my Folksy shop will be closed from 1st – 31st August – I will be processing orders again on the 1st September.

However, my PDF patterns will be still be available for instant download in my Etsy shop – so if you are looking for a summer project, maybe something to do with the kids, why not teach them - or learn together - the wonderful craft of patchwork and quilting. 
You could start with my free Beginner’s Quilt – this online tutorial takes you through the whole quilting process, from choosing and cutting fabric, and piecing your shapes, to quilting and attaching the binding. 

Based on simple squares, this quilt will teach you all the basics for you to then develop with my other free quilt tutorialsAll Squared Up, Fox in the Nine Patch and Novelty Nine Patch.  

I will hopefully be blogging from the Festival of Quilts with lots of photos - probably taken on mad dashes to the loo. Even though it is a crazy week of hard work, I'm looking forward to being surrounded by gorgeous fabric, stunning quilts, and some wonderful people, if you are going and happen to be passing one of Doughty's stands, come and say hello - chocolate is always welcome!

Saturday 18 July 2015

Selling online is not as easy as it looks!

I love to quilt, I love reading, writing and eating everything quilty… well, maybe not eating… but you get the general idea. Sometimes however, I feel the need to set aside large quilting projects and pattern writing, and instead work on smaller items – not only do these come together quickly, but they’re also much more manageable in this muggy heat we’re currently enduring!

One of the greatest things about patchwork and quilting is that there are always new techniques to learn, new fabrics to use and new patterns to collect. It’s these techniques and fabrics that inspire me to create my handmade gift items – purses, glasses cases, cosmetic pouches, cushions and so on, many of which I sell through my Folksy and Etsy shops.

I have been a seller on Folksy since its Beta years and I have watched it grow
while selling the odd item now and again. However, it’s only recently that I’ve started  making an effort to learn more about selling online through marketplaces such as these, and let me tell you, there is a lot to learn!

There are many out there (I was one of them) that think selling through these outlets is simple - you just create a page, upload a few items, add a brief product description and a couple of photos, then sit back and wait for the orders to come flooding in! Well, I assure you, it’s not that easy at all!

Not only do you have to make quality products that people will want to buy, (let’s face it, not everyone is as obsessed with hexies as I am!) but you then have to think creatively about how to photograph it, how to describe it to make it attractive to a passing visitor, what tags to use to help buyers find you - and that’s after you’ve decided on an eye-grabbing name and the sensible price of the thing! (And don’t get me talking about pricing, that’s for another blog, let me just say – there is a HUGE difference between hobbyists just wanting to cover their costs to designers and crafters needing to make a living!)

Anyway, back to this blog… I have also recently opened an Etsy shop, mainly because I wanted to sell PDF patterns for instant downloads which Folksy doesn’t currently offer, but also to tap into the US market - quilting is so big over there. I have sold one item so far, with no marketing at all on my part, so we’ll see how that goes. I do have a lot of reading and learning still to do, and thankfully both Etsy and the lovely people at Folksy have amazing databases of useful articles and guides on everything, from taking great product photos (I'm getting the hang of cutouts now!), writing descriptions and using tags, and how to use blogs and social media to share your creations with the world. I’m not by any means intending to take over the world, but reaching more of it and spreading my obsession love of quilting would do nicely.

Finally, I have a little announcement… patchwork and quilting specialists Doughty’s of Hereford are now stocking all six of my quilt patterns – these are the printed versions, available in the shop or over the phone at £6.95 each.

This week I'm linking up with Late Night Quilter's Tips & Tutorials Tuesdays and Let's Bee Social over on Sew Fresh Quilts - come and visit some truly inspirational quilters.

Thank you for stopping by, as always your comments are very welcome.

Monday 13 July 2015

Sunday Stash #11 – Cider & Fabric

This weekend Hereford held its annual Beer on the Wye Festival, and of course we just had to go, even though its now over 200miles away! As well as some gorgeous beers, particularly an American Pale Ale… there were over 100 ciders and Perrys, most of them made locally. I didn’t manage all of them, but I had a good try! My favourite had to be Weston’s Rhubarb cider, amazing!

Before all this drinking fun however, I indulged in a little fabric fun at Doughty’s – I’d seen these greys online a while ago, and managed to stop myself buying the lot from the website, but when I saw them in person the battle was lost and I gave in. These beauties are from the Flitsy range from John Louden (surprise surprise!) – there are more in the range which I’m sure I’ll end up buying at the Festival of Quilts next month. I’m sure Doughty’s only ask me to work for them knowing I’m going to spend most of my wages on their fabric! 

Mind you, they’re not wrong, and I have a feeling I will be adding to my next purchase quite soon. I have a new love… Riley Blake. These bicycles are so sweet, and with a whole range of co-ordinates and other super cute ranges, there’s no point in even trying to resist!

Now a quick shop update… I have released my sixth quilt pattern, Side to Side, a clever little pattern that will have your friends guessing for ages, it certainly took me a while to work it out! This design uses just two templates, a jewel and a triangle, which with clever placement, creates this zigzag pattern across the quilt. I used some fabrics in my stash from the Je Ne Sais Quoi range, but I think this quilt would also look equally as effective in solid colours.

This pattern, together with five more, is available in both PDF format (£5.95, Etsy) and in Paper format (£6.95, Folksy).

Thank you for stopping by, your comments are always welcome. If you're looking for more fun and inspiration, why not pop over to Molli Sparkles' Sunday Stash link-up? 

Sunday 5 July 2015

Sunday Stash #10 - Thread

I thought I’d talk about another kind of stash this week… thread. As sewers we all know how sometimes our collection of spools can get nearly as silly as our fabrics! But how should we store them? Like many I would love a wall of wooden pins sticking out for each reel to sit on, then I could easily find the right colour for my project. However, lack of space means I’ve had to find an alternative.

I used to have them in a wicker basket, which worked for a while, but I would have to turf them all out to find a colour, and then they soon became unwound and tied up with each other – a right mess!

On a recent visit to my mum’s, I ventured into the cellar, my late dad’s domain. Now, dad was a bit of a hoarder to say the least. Not like useless stuff no one would want, but intriguing stuff that made you wonder “where on earth did he find that?” Dad was amazing, he could turn his hand to anything, the ultimate DIYer, from re-wiring the whole house, to building a veranda, to keeping his trusty old Renault 12 going for 21 years – myth has it that there’s a ‘spare’ Renault engine in the cellar somewhere, just in case he needed it…

Anyway, I digress… on my rummaging, I came across these two large glass jars, and immediately thought “threads!!” Covered in dust and the odd spider, we gave them a good clean and they now sit on my windowsill full of my colourful gems, next to my button jars. They also remind me of my dad, which is nice… until I then remember he was a science teacher – and these large specimen jars may have held something altogether more yucky…  urgh!

How do you store your threads?

On another note, now my nephew has received his quilt (I think he liked it), I can release my latest pattern, Cross My Heart. I mentioned this quilt last week in my tutorial on speedy chain-piecing – this pattern includes fabric requirements, full colour cutting and piecing instructions and a colour layout plan. The PDF is available from my Etsy shop, while the Paper pattern is available in my Folksy shop.

For more quilting love and inspiration, pop over to Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash link-up. Or some mid-week fun, why not visit Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts.