Monday, April 4, 2016

Re Introducing Myself, and What I've Been Up To....

Hi! If you've just found me, welcome! It's been a very long while since I've blogged here or anywhere, and I am determined to make quilt blogging a part of my day-to-day life again. I'm busier than ever, and sewing more than ever, and itching to talk about it somewhere....!

My last post was nearly a year ago, which is scary and sad. I've done a lot since then! The projects mentioned in that last post are further along (some still in the UFO stage, unfortunately....), other projects were started and finished in between then and now, and still more are waiting in the wings to be finished, or even started.

I'll likely go back and fill in with posts, back-dated to when they were appropriate, but for now....well, Now.

I've just had my very first Commission, my very first quilt done for a customer, for pay. Exciting and nerve-wracking!  I've done one other quilt that was requested by someone outside my immediate family, and was given a lovely gift for doing so, but it was not strictly for pay. This one was different, and a friend messaged me to ask "Do you make baby quilts?"

The finished quilt, per the customer's design

Well, of course I make baby quilts. Would I sell one......? Oye. Nerve-wracking. So many thoughts -- I've researched how to properly price my quilts, so that I'm not giving away my time and effort, so I had that more or less figured out. Would my friend run in horror at the price? Would my quilting be worth that price?? Did I want the stress of living up to "for pay" standards??

top corner detail
I'm not a precision piecer or quilter. My ideas and thoughts and attempts often outpace my skills. On quilts I make for myself, to be thrown on a couch and sat on, crumpled up, spilled on, left on the floor for the dog to sleep on.....quilts I make to be used, worn, loved.....imperfections do not matter as long as the quilt holds together in the wash.

bottom corner detail, hearts in the border corner

On gifts, likewise made to be used, I do try harder to be more precise, but still I know that it's a gift, and no one is going to say "oh, the horrors! this line is not 100% straight!!"

outline quilting around the butterflies

But for charge someone what my time is worth, there is pressure there, to deliver a product that reflects a worthiness of such a price tag. Gulp. Am I really ready for that?

close up of border heart detail
free motion quilting, no marking, domestic machine

I decided, yes. I could do it. I stressed and sweated and loved every minute of it, until time to deliver the finished quilt, when I mostly just stressed and sweated. Would she like it? Would every tiny imperfection leap out at her, as they do to me? Would she recoil in horror, appalled that I charged her *that*, for *this*?!
baby's last initial (first name is a secret), fused applique with blanket stitch
outline quilting around the C
free motion (unmarked) hearts in the corners

She didn't. I knew she wouldn't, though my mind tried to doubt. Relief, and then joy....pure, excited, amazed, joy. She loved it! I just sold my first quilt!!!! For a real, honest, not giving it away price!!!

It was a fun detour from my current big project, a graduation quilt for my oldest son. Then I did a mini wall-hanging triptych this weekend, just for me. Today is my busiest "out of the house" day, and tomorrow.....back to the graduation quilt. With only 5 weeks until graduation, and currently the quilt is just a stack of blocks yet to be assembled into rows, and pieced borders not even cut yet.....gulp. Lots to do. Starting tomorrow.

Today, basking in the still glowing glory of selling my first quilt.

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