Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why Etsy? – Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival

This month for Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival we were asked several questions. “What made you open a shop on Etsy? What do you like about being a seller on Etsy? What don’t you like?” I’m going to answer these questions to the best of my ability & hopefully you’ll get a little peek into my life as a seller on Etsy.

I opened an Etsy shop as an outlet for my sewing. I love to sew & it made no sense to sew all these beautiful things & not share them with anyone. Plus my sewing room was getting a bit crowded, LOL! At first I opened an Ebay shop, at the encouragement of my husband, but the already high fees and then another fee hike caused me to shut that avenue down. I was so bummed! Ebay was not the best place for my items anyway. People who shop on Ebay are generally looking to pay the lowest they can, to make a deal, or to buy in quantity rather than quality. Trust me; my husband is addicted to Ebay. He’ll spend hours searching and looking for something (usually a vehicle part or something along those lines). After I closed my Ebay shop someone suggested I check out Etsy & try my hand there. Etsy deals mainly in handmade products. It was the perfect fit for the avenue that I needed! I enjoy making and selling things. It was slow at first but I hung in there this time. I’ve been able to buy a much needed dressform which will allow me to eventually expand my horizons and it thankfully pays for my fabric addiction. Yes, I own way too much fabric than is possibly good for me. Someday I will use everything! Etsy has been very user friendly in my book, the fees haven’t killed me yet, and all of my customers are happy with the items they bought! I’ve done fairly well & can be as active or inactive in my shop as I need to be. Christmas time was a good time for my shop but things are slow now, partially to my doing. Selling on Etsy becomes easier as I get more practice in listing, naming, and describing things. My friends on Café Etsy Moms have been a valuable source on hints and helps on everything from reviewing my shop & prices to advice on shipping overseas. Thanks CEMS!!!! I haven’t run across too many bumps in selling or buying on Etsy. The only thing I’m not sure I like is the feedback system. This can either hurt or help. I’ve not received any negative feedback but I’m still missing about 1/3 of my feedback from people who’ve never returned to do so. I’m sure one negative feedback could turn away a potential customer who would have been perfectly happy with their items if they hadn’t let the feedback influenced them. On the other hand, I do like how the customers can leave a complimentary photo of their item once they get it. I just recently had a customer special order a white chef’s hat & apron for her daughters Valentine’s photos, when she left feedback she also included a photo of her daughter. Oh so cute!!!

To sum it all up Etsy has been an excellent avenue for me as a seller. I wasn’t able to buy anything for this past Christmas but I’ve already been planning to do so for next Christmas! Etsy is a great place to find all kinds of handmade & vintage products in any price range. In my humble opinion: Etsy is awesome!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Garden Bouquet Quilt- Month 3

The Cactus

I wish you could have heard the comments when I showed my cactus block. “Well I never heard of putting cactus in a quilt”, and “haven’t you gone modern, Nancy, with your cactus?” and “I think that’s adorable”. “I want to start right away”. “What colors do I use?”

This was the gist of the conversation which Nancy reported to Peter after the sixth meeting of the Nancy Page Garden Bouquet Quilt Club.

“Of course the cactus is old, old as the hills or the desert, but it is also ‘modern’ so I decided to put it in.” The cactus like the tulip which preceded it stands upright in its urn. The pattern for this was given earlier. Most of the members had pieced a number of the urn blocks and seamed on to them the white triangle on which birds and flowers were appliquéd. So they were ready to start just so soon as they had the pattern for the new flower.

For this block Nancy suggested a soft sage or olive green for the cactus with a rather brilliant patch of red or strawberry pink for the blossom. Since this color is brilliant Nancy suggests that a figured, fast colored material be used. The spikes or prickers on the edge of the cactus are put in with fast color embroidery cotton, either a dark green or a rich brown. They do not have to follow the design exactly, but are put in about as drawn. A very fine checked material may be used for the cactus leaves but a plain color is better.

Trace the design lightly on the triangle of white as indicated in the small inset design. Then trace the pattern on to light-weight cardboard. Then paste the newspaper pattern with directions into the Nancy Page Scrap Book. If you do not have directions for making that, be sure to write to Nancy Page, care of this paper, and a copy will be sent to you. The scrapbook furnishes a splendid place for keeping all quilt patterns safely.

After the pattern has been traced on cardboard cut it out and lay it on material. In cutting material be sure to allow one-quarter inch on all sides for turning edges under. After these are turned, basted and pressed, appliqué the pieces with fine slanting invisible hemming stitches. Then with rather heavy embroidery cotton make the prickers. At any time, now, the birds may be appliquéd, if they have not already been put in. Two blocks are now finished.

Next week the pattern is for the lily of the valley.

Here is the pattern for the cactus. You can copy and save it to your computer. When you print out your pattern make sure the 1 inch square is the correct size.

Month 2- The Tulip shows you how to transfer your pattern to the fabric and The Saucy and The Meek birds go on either side of every flower as shown in the small block next to the cactus pattern.

Here is my completed Cactus block!

Do you have any Garden Bouquet Quilt blocks to show off? Leave a link to your blog post about it in the comment section or email me a photo so I can share with everyone!

I hope you are enjoying this series!


Quick Links to:

Month 1: Beginning Instructions, Urn, and Basket Instructions
Month 2, Part 1: The Tulip
Month 2, Part 2: The Saucy Bird
Month2, Part 3: The Meek Bird
Hand Appliqué
Machine Appliqué
Alternate Method of Appliqué Tutorial
Biased Binding Tutorial

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