A few weeks ago the final class of the final Beginners Course of 2018 took place at Purple Stitches. As the class tutor I always make a fresh version of the class quilt along with the participants. We ended the course with a session all about binding. Well… I machine stitched the binding to the front of my quilt and then it hung around as a hand stitching project for quite some time…
Finally I can declare this little quilt a finish 🙂 It joins six other versions of the Beginners Quilt that I have made over the past two years.
This finish also marks the end of an era as Viv of Purple Stitches has designed a new pattern for up-coming beginners courses. I’ve made a sample quilt top and will let you know when the big reveal of the new quilt design takes place 🙂
So, I have in my possession five of said Beginners Quilts. Here are three of the five, each measuring 45″ square.
All are now listed in my Etsy Shop, ‘AllisonsPatchworks’. It would be lovely to see them going to new owners, hopefully to be loved and well used rather than joining a rather overwhelming stack of quilts on my spare bed 🙁 See what happened to the stack when I needed a quilt from the bottom of the pile 😀
(For anyone considering the purchase of one of my quilts or runners, I promise that I do store them all flat and free of folds on the spare bed in a well aired room, out of direct sunlight – NOT in the heap you see in this photograph!).
I haven’t mentioned selling craft for some time. What I’ve learned is; it’s not in the least bit easy – down right discouraging at times – but can lead to unexpected opportunities – like teaching at local quilt shops or developing pattern writing skills. Sharing the ups and downs of selling craft with other makers I have met has made me much more aware of the existence of independent crafters in the retail market. Here in the UK a movement called ‘Just a Card‘ has really gained momentum. Started by Sarah Hamilton to make shoppers aware of the significance of each purchase made from an independent maker/retailer.
The campaign came about when Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open” by store keepers who’d recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers and independent shops and galleries need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore.
The campaign includes those of us who don’t operate through ‘bricks and mortar’ stores but do still incur retail costs (Etsy charges a small listing fee for each item in a shop and takes a percentage of each sale; to take part in a craft fair there is the stand fee plus the need to have public liability insurance as well as travel and other costs…) I’m not writing this to make you feel sorry for independent crafter/retailers but rather to do my bit for the Just a Card campaign and others who are raising awareness of the difference even the smallest of purchases can make to the survival of the ‘little guys’. Look out for the ‘Just a Card’ hashtag online and the ‘Just a Card’ stickers in shop windows.
I’d add to the above the importance of NOT copying bought patterns for your friends or, heaven forbid, for a whole class or a quilt group. The pattern writer has spent a lot of time and money in producing the pattern and will generally receive less than half the retail price of each copy sold. To stay in business that pattern writer needs you and me to be purchasing patterns. Include a purchased pattern for each individual in the cost of a class (and if you are taking part in a class make sure there is no breach of copyright to the pattern or instructions being used). Maybe you’ll be able to negotiate a bulk purchase/wholesale price directly with the writer – and remind the group NOT to be tempted to copy the pattern instructions for friends who couldn’t get to the class!
Time to hop off my soap box 🙂
Progress is being made on my down-sized version of the MSQCs Christmas Tree Chevron Quilt. I’ve made a start on free motion quilting the background after echo quilting around the star. I used yellow and orange thread to emphasize the star and give the impression that it is radiating light. The FMQ design is a mass of curly meandering with a few holly leaves mixed in. I did have grand ideas of quilting some feather designs but a duo of fears – namely, stitching a mess and using such a bold design as feathers detracting from the simplicity of the patchwork tree – led me to the stitching I’m repeating throughout the background.
Linking with Connie for Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River.