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This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Clarification, a shop or two, and other things

Normally I do a random post on Mondays, but tomorrow belongs to Ricky so Sunday evening will have to do!

To clarify, Linda and I (and maybe Jill) will be starting Ricky Tims Convergence tomorrow. Of course--more on that bright and early in the morning!

On July 21st Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts and I will be hosting the Quilters Campfire. Next Saturday I will devote an entire post of things that you can do during the campfire. Join us and have some fun! And of course eat a S'more.


My husband noted at the table a few days ago that I'm much happier now that I'm not on the computer so much. I dropped a TON of stress. I still worry that I don't visit blogs enough. I feel that visiting is an important thing to do. You all are my friends. I need to find that balance and I will.


Jerry and I had quite a discussion yesterday. I was working on my convergence quilt and was just SO excited. Jerry asked me if I like art quilts so much, then WHY do I insist on making these other quilts that cause me to pull out my hair (or his--well never mind, he's bald), or why do I moan about having to work on them. (Like the 20 plus dog quilts for that dud of a craft show.) (Or the memory quilts that I try to make and advertise).

 I explained to my husband that a certain other family member (whom I won't mention because I adore her anyway) told me that my art quilts will never sell and I always figured that if I am going to take time to sew I need to either work on gifts or items to sell. I mean I just opened up 3 etsy shops for goodness sake! I am trying to help out our family here. After we discussed it a bit and he practically shook me to get me to see things the right way, he forbade me to ever make another quilt except an art quilt. All of this was in fun, of course. But his point was, if I like the art quilts and am so excited about them, then why not make them and TRY to sell them. I never really have TRIED. I just have always tried to think up things that I figure would sell better. ( I don't really enjoy making memory quilts. Sometimes the public is a pain to deal with about photos or fabric, etc etc. Trust me...I've made at least 20 and there is always some kind of problem or other.)

So, with that in mind...I have no idea what to do about my etsy shops. Let me share them each with you because you are so good about giving feedback. Any and all is appreciated!


Before we get going on my shops I need to say that my artsy quilts are not really the modern style. They are just more art work-ish. I just realized that the one that I am making now is the ONLY one that I've made since Jerry's known me. Wow, it is certainly time to re-visit my first quilting love. I guess if I take the time to return to that first love, then you will know what in the world I am talking about!


Ok, the shops:

Shop number one is my Hillbilly Handiworks shop. You can find it RIGHT HERE.

I have several runners and placemats to still list.(Finished but hate taking time to take the photos of them to get them listed.) IF I were to start selling art type quilts, then this is the place where I would list them. I am considering taking down the made to order memory quilt and the baby least I am considering it after the discussion Jerry and I had yesterday. I enjoyed making the baby quilt and would make more...but not made to order ones.

Shop number two is Upcycled Indigo. You can find it Right here.

This shop I do like the concept of, but really have my doubts that these items will sell well. I just make them to sell them. On the other hand, I have about 20 more dog quilts, 30 aprons and 20 jean bags finished but not listed yet. (anyone want to adopt them?). In my free time I don't want to list these items. I want to sew! Plus I don't know if this shop is worth all the time it would take to list the items. They were up there in the past, and they didn't sell. What do you think? I don't know...I go back and forth on this shop. Phooey.

Shop number three is not live on etsy yet but its called Itty Bitty Quilts. I do think I'll like making these in between other quilts. I have practiced on a couple and just loved how they turned out. This site is for doll quilts and smaller. Like barbie quilts and quilts for miniature houses. I think sewing in miniature is kind of a fun challenge, so I think this shop will be a cute/good one once I get items made to fill it. (Lesson learned from the upcycled indigo shop--list them as soon as they are completed because I won't want to list a bunch at once!) Do you think itty bitty quilts would sell? Is it worth the time?


Angie said...

So you know I'm not a quilter (I am a great shopper though :) )

My advise, for what it's worth is -make what you love.
If the others drive you nuts, then quite making them.

Hard to know which to chose I know!

Belinda said...

Could you combine the shops and use what you have already, but not make any more of what makes you crazy? Is there a need to list everything you have ready? I mean, can you show a few of what you have and just let folks know there are more where that came from, and add them as you sell them to replace what's gone? Am I making any sense at all?? I can't tell. *grin*

My two cents: Do some art quilts, list them and see what kind of response you get. What do you have to lose?? You will enjoy the making of them, and you will be stepping out on faith that they will sell. Right? And the best part, you will be happier!! If Mama ain't happy....well, you know.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I would certainly kill the custom items - I only do two commission pieces a year and that is a set limit! Combine your shops posting one item of it's kind, when sold , list another. Denim is a fad item, don't get deep into it. Small items are better - baby blankets, , lap quilts, mini quilts, art quilts, bags and purses - keep it limited.

beaquilter said...

I heard the opposite about quilts, that ART quilts sell, bed quilts- not so much.
There's a local art gallery that I went into in may and they had art and a few art quilts for sale and they asked me if I do art quilts.. If so, they'd be happy to show some. I think it's all about the Venue.... an art gallery want art quilts, a craft show wants cheap craft things etc. you'll figure it out- I haven't yet, but that's just my hunch about all this. I'd love to see some of your ART quilts! cute stores! have you tried I haven't had any luck on etsy, but started putting up patterns on craftsy and have sold a few already. every bit helps :-)

Samantha said...

I've had much the same experience as you. I want to make what I want to make but I feel like I need to make things to sell.

Finally my husband told me to be quiet about selling things and just make what I want to make and if I decide to sell something once it is done then sell it, if not then don't.

Sometimes his solutions are so simple and make me think "duh!". :D

Colleen said...

Simplify. You dont need three etsy shops. You can have categories of items within your shop and feature something from each on your shops home page. I would take pictures of all the items for sale and save them to an etsy shop folder. Then create one listing for each type. You can include multiple photos per listing. Show 4 different versions of the item labeled with a letter or number on each photo and have purchasers pick which one they want in the memo when they add it to the cart. KIS-price them the same, you can relist the listing without having to create a whole new on. Just change out bought photos for ones not yet sold. Dont do multiple listing for similar items as it adds up. You can even include others are available and to convo you if they need more. And yes delete custom listings for things you dont like to make. You will be happier.

Sunnybec said...

I agree with everyone else. Making to order is stressful, just make something you want to do, enjoy it, then if you want to sell it do so. Hugs x

Dorian said...

Lots of good advice here Tonya.. the most important thing.. make what you love! They will come out better and you will feel better. Art quilts have as much chance of selling as anything else you make. They all have their following. Good luck!

QuiltSue said...

I would try combining everything in one shop to start with. Also, maybe don't show everything at once. After all, every shop has to have some stock in the store room!

Also, if you don't like doing commissions, then don't! You could always put in the small print somewhere that you would consider them occasionally.

By having 3 shops I wonder if you're diluting yourself too much, if you see what I mean?

Then make some art quilts, and maybe see if there's a local show/gallery where you could have a little exhibition and offer them for sale at those.

Full of opinions me, aren't I?

Pat said...

Yahoo! Tonya making art quilts, her first and best love!
Don't divert from it again.
Bung everything else in one shop til it sells and then close it - and have one undiluted ART shop...

I love your art quilts!!!

elliek said...

Make what you love... go with your heart. Think that is the opinion of us all.Don't make things too hard for yourself either.

Carla said...

LOL I have to. Everyone is asking the same question "Why 3 shops" Why not just one? That would drive me crazy trying to locate which shop you have which item.
Did you ask for our opinion? LOL
Oops you got it. Now you have to explain yourself ;o)