Monday, April 28, 2008

Sewing At The Beach

I brought all my sewing stuff with us to the beach so my sister and I could sew while we were on vacation. We got everything set up (which made eating and cooking more of a hastle), but didn't get as much sewing done as we would have liked.

But I did get to make two trips to one of my two favorite quilting stores. The other is in Perham, MN. The second trip wasn't planned but it turned out ok. I had to buy more needles for my machine because I broke my last one sewing a really cute purse made of recycled jeans. :o( But while I was there I found a fabric to match an Oriental toille that I just love, some really cute boy quilt fabric, flannels and buttons to make a puppy quilt and sewing machine needles.

the perfect match!

puppy flannels
I love these prints!

I also cut and layed out all the pieces for my Going On Twenty quilt I am making for our church Block Party this summer. It is bigger and brighter than I expected, but I think I will like it.

And since it didn't rain on Thursday, I was able to take a "perfect shot" of the shopping bag I finished but haven't posted yet.

Oh, and I got all kinds of great sewing stuff for my birthday. Like purse handles, vintage fabrics and hankies, mum fabric I couldn't get here at home anymore, and JoAnn's gift cards! I don't even know where to start...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Perfect Shot

The hardest part of the Etsy store is the pictures. I believe that a sale can be made or blown on the picture. For instance, I just saw a listing for a bag but even after seeing 5 photos of it I am still not sure what it looks like.

Staging is everything. Pictures on a plain white surface are easy to see, but are well…boring (at least for your “cover shot”) Props look good as long as they are not too distracting. Models can be good, but I sell stuff for babies and mommies and have 3 adolescent sons.
boring picture

Then there is lighting… a whole ‘nother problem.

So I am constantly thinking about the perfect places and props, or waiting for a sunny day. Would the fishbowl be a good accent or would the bamboo tray be better? I still haven’t posted a picture of this bag because I still haven’t found the “perfect shot”. (and this isn't it)

But when I do find just the right place or the cutest accent or the ideal angle, it’s lots of fun! I just wish that finding it wasn’t so hard. :o)

good picture

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Redwork Work

Well, I have 2 more squares done for my redwork quilt. I love the puppy one!

But I am still a long ways off from being done. And it doesn't help that I got distracted by the 20 fat quarters to make a Going On Twenty quilt. I got the pattern from Kari when she came to visit. Thanks again, Kari!

Oh, and I am working on designing a market bag for the upcoming Farmer's Market season. I am still not sure about the handle length on this one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday I sold two more things on our Etsy store! Yeah! And it wasn't to someone I am related to or a friend (which I like so much better). I feel safe selling to people I know. They've seen my stuff and they like it because they are so nice.

But selling stuff to strangers is scary. What if they don't like it? What if it gets lost in the mail?...

I try to package my things in cute little ways with tags and ribbons and fancy Martha Stewart twine. My sister's store has gotten comments on how nicely packaged their stuff is. (they have really cute stuff by the way at Doormouse Designs) I want people to be excited when their things come in the mail.

I actually don't feel sad saying goodbye to the things I make because that's why I love making them, to give them to others. It's what makes it fun!

So, it's off to the post office and on to the east coast for my Cute as a Bug Quilt and Flowered Denim Bag...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lessons Learned

Well, I made the bag for my friend’s belt, and we learned that maybe moms shouldn’t have bags hanging from their belt. It just didn’t look right.

The handle did hang better when attached to the back but 8 inches is a little long. One could probably have a nice bruise after a trip to the mall with their phone constantly beating against the top of their thigh.

Also, the belt loop attached to the back of the back should be horizontal rather than vertical. It needs to go through the belt loop and not your belt. The cell phone store won’t take back a phone after it has been fished out of a toilet.(they have ways of finding out) “My accessories bag accidentally slipped off my belt when I was in the ladies room at Target.”

I guess maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, or maybe it’s a potential guy bag… hmmm.

My next project is to figure out how to make an interior side pocket to hold this water bottle. It’s on my inspiration shelf (on top of my quilt squares that are still awaiting the perfect project idea) just waiting for my next bright idea, or some help from my friends.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bag Lady

I'm not sure I want that to also be the title of my newspaper obituary when I die, but it is potentially becoming a reality. I'm sure the boys feel the same way about hearing "what do you think about this fabric for a lining?" as I do about "don't you think that Link is the sweetest character on Brawl?". We all just smile and nod because we love each other a whole lot!The boys love Super Smash Brothers and I love making bags!

I made 5 bags just last week! (you can see better pictures of them at our Etsy store) And the boys are coming up on almost 120 brawls in only 4 days!

The denim bag is made of the boys' old jeans and is embellished with flowers my sister made. I added extra pockets to the outside of the messenger bag and made a second messenger bag for a friend. (I don't have a picture of it, but she picked out great fabric with the perfect button and it turned out really cute!) I am currently working on the perfect way to attach the larger binky bag to a belt as a special order for a friend of mine who wants it to carry her phone and her keys. I have one sitting on my shelf waiting for inspiration, which may have come from the ladies at Family Nite tonight. Thanks guys!

It is so much fun! I spend all kinds of time thinking about ways to change a pattern or make it better. I ponder what styles look best in what fabrics. But it's not like it's become an obession or anything. Ok, maybe I've let dinner get a little too done because I was wondering what button would look best with chartreuse houndstooth. But it's not a problem (yet). :o)
These are the stacks of fabric I have compiled so far that will soon become my new "favorite one so far".

So many ideas, so little time...