Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and might as well throw in Happy Easter

Yes, it's true. I've started another Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt. I've decided to go with a slightly softer color scheme than Bonnie suggests. Wish me luck! I've made about 300 blocks so far, and I'm actually behind. Great time of year to undertake a project like this, right?

In other news, Sarah is 15. She's my 'under-photographed' kitty, mostly because she usually ends up looking like a gigantic feather duster in photos, but this one does her justice, I think. She's been a total sweetheart for 12 1/2 years, since I brought her home from the shelter.

Bag making is still going on, but the etsy shop is pretty much empty, as I've delivered all of my bags to A Show of Hands, a hand-craft store in Del Ray area of Alexandria.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The bag frenzy continues…

I did a little photo shoot with my little wristlets this afternoon. The sun was pretty bright. I had been hoping for a little more overcast sky, but this will do to get the impression of how they look. Which is darn cute, right? :)

I visited Eastern Market this morning to see what kind of vendors there are and if anyone was selling things similar to mine. I did meet one woman who had about a million little zippered bags in bright, modern fabrics. She very sweetly allowed me to pick her brain, a little. She’s been selling there for 10 years I believe she said. Her set-up was very simple, boxes of zippered bags. Nothing very large. Her bags were cute but they all had black zippers without the finishing details of mine and none of them were quilted like mine.  Nobody was selling larger bags quite like mine. There were many inexpensive imported bags. Some I was even tempted to purchase, but I remained strong. I was strictly there for research. So, here’s what I learned. I do believe this would be a good place to attempt to sell my bags. There is plenty of competition, but nothing that’s too directly similar. Here’s the big take-away though: I need to make about a million more bags in order to show there. What I have could be wiped out in a brisk morning of selling. Other thoughts: I should investigate selling in shops and galleries if I want to sell this year before Christmas, I doubt much is available in terms of craft fairs and shows that I could still get into. The application for Eastern Market is due on Friday. Luckily I do have some time available this week on Tuesday to do daytime stuff, while I’m getting my crown fixed. (don’t ask, it makes me grrrrrrrrrrrrr)
Here are photos of some of some of my other bags that I’m getting ready to list on Etsy. If anyone visits the shop and has feedback, please let me know. I’m still very much in the phase of market research. I want to price my stuff appropriately, take appealing pictures, and use helpful descriptions. If you see something and you think it’s under- or over-priced, please let me know. If you want more details that I’ve omitted, ditto. If you think I need more photos or more detailed photos of certain features, I welcome your input.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

more bags

So, bag production got slowed down in a fairly drastic way this week, thanks to the maintenance crew at the apartment complex where I live. Without any notice, they came to my apartment, removed everything from the sewing room, and replaced the carpet (which, to be fair, had been soaked when there was a plumbing issue upstairs, and I had requested that they come clean and dry it). However. I wasn't prepared to come home last night and find my sewing supplies all over the apartment, including in a closet, all over my bed, dresser and yes, in the BATHTUB!! And all the furniture was put back in different places. Sigh. My sis is coming over sometime this weekend to help me get everything put back in place.
Still, I have some pictures of the bags that I'd gotten made before all the crazy happened.
Love me some Anna Maria Horner fabrics.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Today, I did what I needed to do to get my Etsy shop going again, and I've featured one of my new handbags. (above) Scary. Exciting. Before that, I took my bags with me when I went to get my new glasses from the coolest optician ever, Jackie at MacPherson's in Arlington, and her colleague Maria turned out to be my first bag customer of this new crop of bags. Yay! I'm psyched. Now to finish listing my bags and get to making some more.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Long time no write!

It’s been so long since I wrote a blog post. I’m sure since before I moved, which was a good 4 months ago. Moving was crazy, work has been crazy; I imagine I could have found some time to write, but I didn’t, so there it is.

It’s a beautiful fall day here in the DC suburbs. Cool and not humid. I took a nice walk this morning; it’s a perfect day for it. So looking forward to the cooler weather and the changing leaves. Not looking forward to losing hours of daylight, but as a friend says, “got to take the bitter with the sweet”.
Today I am feeling creatively energized.  Last evening I decided to make a new bag. I began it at 6pm and by 10pm, voila!

Pardon the bad lighting, the one on the right is truer to the colors. I just love the print fabric on the top, the charcoal and cream go so beautifully together, and I enjoy the hand-drawn images and writing.I have no idea what it says, but I like it! The bottom and strap is made of Essex linen/cotton blend and has more of a woven texture.

So today, I’m all fired up and I want to make about 10 more, (not all the same, of course) and try to sell them. I had been thinking about getting a part-time job to help with expenses but after I got back from vacation I decided that I’d give making/selling a try.  I have an Etsy shop somewhere that I can rejuvenate, plus a number of opportunities here to check into for selling things I make. Despite my love of quilts, I don’t think that I’ll make many to try to sell, simply because they take so long. If things go well with smaller items, I might try throwing some baby quilts/lap quilts into the mix.
In other news, the cats aren’t too demanding today. More like a couple of lazy lumps.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another month, another quilt I want to finish.

I started this quilt last February and it's spent a lot of time folded up, waiting for the next step. I'm finally happy with the size, and I've got the batting and backing all tacked together, so the goal this month is to quilt and bind it. I'm going to try free motion quilting on it. My first attempt on an actual quilt. I've done some little practice pieces before, and this one right before starting on the quilt:

 You can click on these to see the quilting better..

Here's the whole quilt piled up around my elderly Pfaff, who I've taken to calling Fraulein Gerta since I got a newer Pfaff. Sadly, the new Pfaff, while a very nice machine so far, isn't the greatest with the free motion quilting. She has some tension issues.

Gerta free motions like a champ. She's a sweet running machine.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The sun is shining, the birds are singing....

and lo and behold, there's a quilt out on the bench with some of the blooming flowers! I finished my March Goal !

 I'm so happy with the way this quilt turned out. Compared to my last year's Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, this one is masterfully made. (only compared to MY other quilt, not to anyone else's) The one thing I'm unhappy about with this quilt, is that I think some of that lovely rich blue from the back bled onto the quilt. If you look at the last picture, below, you can see some green triangles with what should be white dots, but they are a sort of greyish blue instead. Same with the basketweave pattern above the one on the left, it started out with white lines. Sigh.
I washed it with a color catcher and some vinegar. I may try again with another color catcher or 10.
Does anyone have any helpful words of wisdom about this?
I used to wash all my fabrics before using them in quilts, but I realized that some people did, and some didn't, most with good results. Unfortunately, this wasn't a good result, so I'm not sure if I should go through my stash and start washing all the unwashed, or maybe just wash dark fabrics? Maybe more research is needed.