Modern Tulips Quilt

A modern twin sized tulip quilt

A quilt finish to show! Hooray! This is the Modern Tulips Quilt. This quilt was pieced by Daydreams of Quilts and professionally long arm quilted by Geeky Bobbin.

 

A modern twin sized tulip quilt
Modern Tulips Quilt pieced by Daydreams of Quilts. Quilted by Geeky Bobbin.

This quilt was made with “Sweet Orchard” fabrics by Sedef Imer of Down Grapevine Lane on the tulip flowers. The base of the flower heads is a Kona green solid. The stems and leaves are Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch fabric in green. The background is Kona Nautical.

Sweet Orchard fabric in tulips
A close up of the Sweet Orchard fabrics in the tulip flowers and Geeky Bobbin’s quilting.

This was a fun quilt to make because other than the tulip flowers and leaves it was improvised. Bobbie from Geeky Bobbin said she had a lot of fun quilting it too. She has hidden a butterfly, a snail and a dragonfly in the quilting. The bottom edge of the quilt has ferns and grass quilted in green thread.

The tulip pattern was from the Fat Quarter Shop 2011 Block of the Month for the tulip heads and leaves.

Machine Quilting Details:

Butterfly machine quilting
The butterfly hidden in the quilting.
Machine Quilted Flowers
Some of the details of the quilting in green thread along the bottom edge.

The quilt is backed with wideback of Carolyn Friedlander’s Crosshatch fabric in grass green.

Crosshatch Wideback Quilt back
Wideback crosshatch fabric quilt backing in grass green.

I am so happy with the custom work Bobbie did on this quilt! This is only my second time sending a quilt to a long arm quilter and I see more travelling to Bobbie in Toronto in the future.

The Modern Tulips Quilt will be in our booth this weekend at the Etsy Made in Canada Pop-Up in Edmonton.

This quilt can also be found on our website.

Greenhouse Quilt Quilt Along is Coming Soon and one more too!

Hi! Exciting news! Several of you have requested that I host quilt alongs and I am now taking the plunge and hosting not one but two! The first one to start is the Greenhouse Quilt Along. That one is starting in three weeks on May 30, 2018. We will be sewing the large Greenhouse Quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman. The main page for that quilt along can be found by clicking here. The posts for this quilt along will post on Wednesdays and I will add links to the main page. Our hashtag is #GreenhouseQAL on social media.

 

The second quilt along coming up starts on June 11th and is the Canadian Summer Quilt Along. This one will have posts on Mondays with bonus blocks on some Thursdays. You do not have to be a Canadian to participate. You can get a sneak peek at what this one is about on the main Canadian Summer Quilt Along page.

I hope you will be able to join me for one, or both, because I am doing this for all of you! Let’s have fun and be social! (But only if you want to of course. I am a proud introvert and I get it. LOL!) Leave me a comment and let me know if you think you will join in.

Lastly, I am a newbie at WordPress and I tried to add a bit of Pinterest code to my site and I think something might have gone wrong with that and prevented me from showing up on Bloglovin. I have reinstalled my blog from a backup of the day before I tried the coding thing so I may or may not have fixed the issue. I lost two blog posts but I hope I now show up on Bloglovin. In case I do not please subscribe to my newsletter or subscribe via RSS email so you don’t miss any posts. Those links can be found on my blog sidebar. Sorry if my little screw up was annoying. Thank you for being here.

Kinder Crayon Quilt and Free Pattern Hack

I woke up this morning not knowing what I was going to work on but after a bit of web surfing I found this adorable free Crayon Box Mini quilt pattern by Riley Blake and decided to write a free pattern hack for a  Kinder Crayon Quilt Pattern . I created this quilt with the Kinder Fabric we currently have in the shop in less than a morning.

Crayon Baby Quilt
Kinder Crayon Quilt made with a free pattern hack.

Quilt Kits with the free pattern download are available in our shop.

Finished Quilt for Broncos

My finished #quiltsforbroncos quilt went out in the mail to Humboldt Saskatchewan on Monday. This was a really fast quilt to make.

Quilt for Humboldt Broncos comfort quilt
Quilt for Broncos quilt using “Take 5” block pieced and quilted by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts.

This quilt was made with the suggested block from Haus of Stitches in Humboldt, SK as outlined on the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild website. Any blocks can be used but this is a quick block to make. I had this quilt pieced, borders on and basted in less than a morning.

Back of Quilt for Broncos Quilt.
The back of the Quilts for Broncos Quilt with two colours of Petit Henna Garden.

I had just enough green and yellow Petit Henna Garden left from backing Canadian flag quilts to back this quilt and luckily the colours were perfect. I tried to match the pattern up on the seam.

Quilting on Quilt for Broncos
The quilt top was quilted with stipple quilting and the borders were quilted with feathers in green Aurifil thread “grass” colour.

I hope this quilt brings comfort to whomever receives it. It is an honour to be able to make a quilt and participate in #quiltsforbroncos.

Canadian Flag Pixelated Heart Quilt of Valour

We had such a fun evening on Saturday! We traveled two and a half hours down the highway to attend a retirement party for our friend who has just retired from the Canadian Armed Forces. We are so happy for him and his family that they are entering the next stage of their lives. I took this quilt along as our retirement gift to him.

Canada Quilt Pixel Heart
A Canadian Flag Pixelated Heart Quilt of Valour. All fabrics are by Northcott except the border.

The pattern for this quilt is available in our shop and on Etsy.

All the fabrics for the flag and heart were in my stash from previous quilt of valour. The background fabrics were given to me by Northcott Fabrics after I submitted a Quilt of Valour to their Canada 150 challenge last year. The border is not a Northcott fabric. It is called Brushline but I am forgetting the manufacturer at the moment.

newsprint quilt backing
Newsprint Spackle Wideback by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics also available in our shop.

I used the Windham Fabrics Newsprint Spackle Wideback available in our shop for the back of the quilt. The sayings in the newsprint are so perfect for this quilt.

Canadian flag in a quilt
Canadian Flag with appliqued maple leaf.

I appliqued the maple leaf using Heat n Bond Lite and then blanket stitched around the edges with matching thread.

The quilt was very well received. I am so happy to be able to share my time and talent in this way to thank a veteran for his service to our country. It was wonderful to see our friends that we haven’t seen in years and I hope we have many more visits.

Quilts for Humboldt Broncos

Hello quilting friends.

I’m sure everyone has heard about the terrible bus accident on the highway in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. The loss of life and serious injuries to the passengers is tragic. The effects of the accident are far reaching and the hearts of the entire country have been touched as well as those of friends beyond our borders.

A quilt drive and blocks drive has been organized. Please visit this post on Clinton Modern Creative’s website to find out how you can help. https://www.clintonmoderncreative.com/pages/quilts-for-broncos

I plan to sew at least one quilt and am getting started cutting fabrics this morning.

The Broncos team logo and team colours with hashtag quilts for broncos
The Humboldt Broncos team logo and the Instagram hashtag for #quiltsforbroncos from Clinton Modern’s Instagram.

Top 12 Tips for Selling Handmade on Consignment

Hello! I have gained some more experience that I am sharing with you today. This time I am talking about selling handmade items on consignment in a local shop. And once again I will start off by telling you that this particular experience was not a success but I have learned quite a few things so that is the positive side.

Here is the backstory. This shop was opened in my town and my husband and I are acquaintances of the owners so when they approached us about putting my handmade items in their shop on consignment we thought we would give it a try. I was feeling a bit trepidatious because they are a new shop and they didn’t seem to have much sales experience behind them but it doesn’t hurt to try.

They stated clearly up front that they would be taking a 20% commission on anything that sold and that was fine with me. In fact, I wouldn’t be willing to go much more than that as that would cause me to have to raise my prices out of the range that local people would be willing to pay. They also stated that if anything was stolen or damaged that they would still pay me my 80% for the item. None of this was put in writing and even though nothing went wrong, in hindsight I think we should have had a written contract and I would advise you to do that.

The shop owners asked me to provide my own display so I used a quilt ladder that we had offered for sale but that didn’t sell and I just strung some small ropes with clothes pins to hold smaller items and larger items were in baskets tied to the quilt ladder. This was something that was already built by my husband and on hand so that is why I went with that. (The ladder was also for sale.)

From October to March (this month) I made about $100.00 so as you can imagine I do not feel that this was worth it. Here are some of the things that frustrated me so you know what to watch out for.

The need for display. That kind of threw me because this opportunity came out of the blue and I wasn’t prepared to invest in a professional retail display. Plus, there was a small space (about two square feet floor space) allotted to me and I didn’t want to impose by asking for more space. Because of this I don’t think that my products were displayed to their best advantage. I acknowledge that is is partly my own fault.

The ladder I used for display.

The other products in the store. The main premise of this shop is locally grown and produced vegetables and foods. So quilts, pillows and Christmas stockings did not really fit in with that. I sold a couple of coffee sleeves, a Christmas stocking and a couple of pillows before Christmas. The pillows were discounted and then I received 80% of that so really didn’t make much profit after you account for the cost of supplies.

Special requests for me to make things. After Christmas the shop owner seemed in a hurry to get the Christmas themed items out so I picked all of them up during Boxing week (the week between Christmas and New Years). There was no attempt at a Boxing Day sale or anything like that. Then the shop owner asked me to make baby themed items and dog bandanas because those were selling fairly well. I complied by making baby bibs, dog bandanas and kitchen aprons which I though would sell since it was a food store. These are not things that I normally offer for sale in my online shops or at craft shows. The quilt ladder also came home with me and there was a request to bring in bags and a display for them.

Buffalo Plaid Deer pillow
One of the Buffalo Plaid Deer Pillows that sold. Originally I wanted $30 for these pillows. I wound up putting them on sale for 20% off making them $24.00 and then only received 80% of that after consignment. I was not happy with that price in the end.

So now I had my husband building me a sort of a coat rack hanging display which took him a week to get finished. I hung the bags and aprons on the coat rack display which again took up only about two square feet of floor space. None of them sold. Two dog bandanas and two baby bibs sold between Christmas and now for a total income after commission of about $26.00.

This was so not worth all that work!

Shop owners competing with me and other vendors. Another things that really annoyed me was that the shop owners were bringing in all these different handmade items on consignment and then they were attempting to create their own versions of these items thus competing with their own vendors. Granted, these versions were not as well done but they were priced quite a bit lower which was not cool in my opinion.

Not working for their commission. The shop owners seem to have no sales or merchandising training. They basically expect the products to sell themselves. I mean, literally, they just stand behind their counter and wait for the customers to approach them to buy. When I worked in retail sales positions this was an absolute no-no. You should only be behind the counter when someone is actually paying you for their products. Otherwise a shop owner should be walking around the shop interacting with the customers and sharing the features and benefits of the products. This also helps to prevent theft.

I really do appreciate having been invited into their shop and having had the opportunity. However, I think you can hear the tone of frustration in my blog post with this experience. In the spirit of saving others from the same and also preserving this for future reference for myself my tips follow below.

My 12 Tips for you for selling handmade on consignment:

  1. Ensure the shop wants to sell what you want to make and that your items are a good fit with their customer base. If they are asking you to make things that you don’t normally sell don’t enter into that (unless you actually want to start making and selling those things.)
  2. Ensure you have a contract with all agreements in writing.
  3. Check into what is expected of you regarding displays before getting into a contract. Or, if you already have a display that works well for your products is the shop open to having that display in their store?
  4. Ensure that the commission amount is acceptable to you. Are you able to raise your prices to cover the commission and still sell your items?
  5. Find out what kind of sales history and merchandising experience the shop owners have. Will they be actively working to sell your products? Or will they just stick your items on a shelf and expect them to sell themselves?
  6. Will they be advertising and marketing your product? Or what exactly are they doing to earn their commission?
  7. Start out with a two or three month trial basis and have this stipulated in the contract in case things are not working out.
  8. Do you need to pay rent for the space in their store that you are using? I would be cautious of that plus paying commission as you could wind up making very little money or even losing money. But if they really do sell a lot of your product this could be worth it.
  9. Make sure that you have an accurate inventory and that the shop has a reliable way of keeping track of what has sold so everything is transparent and easy to understand for both yourself and the shop owner. When you are dropping products off have an inventory list ready to provide to the shop owner and ask them to confirm that the list is accurate.
  10. When you receive a payout ask the shop owner for a list of what sold so you can keep your inventory updated and also know which items are selling well.
  11. Make sure to create price tags for your items with your logo, your website information and other small bits of information about you or the product. (ie. handmade in “town name”, organic cotton, makes a great baby gift etc.).
  12. Before you approach the shop research them by visiting a few times and seeing what else they are offering. Are your products a good fit for their shop? Be prepared as you would be for a job interview if you are approaching the shop. (In my case the shop approached me and I was pretty sure it was not the best fit but decided to try it anyway.)

Kinder by Heather Ross is in Our Shop

It was an exciting day yesterday here at Daydreams of Quilts because the entire line of Kinder arrived at our door despite a crazy spring snowstorm. The courier had to wade through heavy wet snow withe heavy boxes of fabric. Hooray for couriers! I wasn’t expecting him until Monday and hadn’t been outside to shovel yet.

Kinder Fabric at Daydreams of Quilts Shop

This fabric line is so fun and colourful! And of course features amazing illustrations in Heather Ross’ signature style. I love everything about it.

The is the first time we have been able to offer a whole line in our shop so we are very excited and hope this is the beginning of many great things to come!

The whole line of Kinder Fabric at Daydreams of Quilts shop.

Shop for Kinder fabric at Daydreams of Quilts shop.

Finding Time to Quilt

5 Time Saving Tips and Tricks

In my recent reader survey (which is still open for responses) many people said that time is their biggest challenge when it comes to quilting. Interestingly enough this was the biggest challenge noted in my last survey two years ago. With that in mind, and in the interest of service to you lovelies, here are my 5 tips for finding/making time to quilt.

I sew quilts to make money. This is literally how I feed and clothe my children. I currently have five quilts that have been custom ordered that I need to get sewn as quickly as possible.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Schedule it in

What does this mean? It means actually write it on a calendar, in a planner or in your phone when you are going to quilt. If you really care about it you will find the time. Now, you may work full time or have five kids or any other number of things going on so you might only have half an hour here and an hour there. Still, schedule it in and that brings me to point number two.

2. Batch your tasks

If I only have an hour I want to make the most of that hour so I will use my time efficiently. For example: two of the quilts I need to sew are of the same style so I cut all the squares for those two quilts at one time. Tomorrow I will be cutting out background squares for two other quilts that are different but have the same size background squares so I will cut those two quilts at once.

Photo of a WIP from two years ago that’s still sitting waiting. I don’t get everything done either. 🙂

Yesterday I had two quilt tops to baste and this is a bit of an ordeal because I have three kids and a dog. I have to sweep and mop my floor and keep everyone away from where I’m working while I have quilts laid out on the floor so I want to get as many done at once as I can. Two quilts basted is better than one. If you have several tops sitting around waiting for quilting take them one step further by basting several at once. And that brings me to point three.

3. Spray Basting

Basting with pins is time consuming, painful and all around annoying. If you love doing it that way than rock on with your quilty self but I find it is much faster to spray baste. I use 505 basting spray in my kitchen.

I first cut the batting to size off the roll. Then I lay it out flat on the floor. I lay the quilt top over the batting and smooth it down. Lifting one corner to the centre I spray the underside and then carefully replace that corner and smoother it out again. I continue in this way for the other three corners.

I lift the now spray basted top and batting up and lay out the freshly ironed quilt backing on the floor (face down). I lay the batting and quilt top on top and smooth it out again as before and then lift the corners to the centre as before but this time I am lifting the top and batting together (naturally because they are now stuck to each other) and spraying the underside of the batting.

One person asked me how to baste quilts in a way that prevents puckers and spray basting is how I do it. Quilting with pins I found resulted in more puckers for me plus I had to keep stopping and taking out the pins. This spray basting method is what I swear by. Truly though, you want to be in a well ventilated area and do not breathe that stuff in. Also, don’t over-do it with the spray and really get it pointed where you want it so you don’t have more clean-up afterwards.

I had those two quilts basted in an hour yesterday and was finished in time to drive my son to hockey.

4. Quilting

Actually quilting the quilts is tedious to me. I might feel quite differently if I had a long arm machine but I don’t so it’s a bit of a chore. Trying to sit and quilt a whole quilt at once is really hard on the body and not advisable so I would suggest breaking it up into hour long chunks of time with breaks in between. I can usually get a twin sized quilt quilted in four hours so an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening and then it’s finished in two days.

5. Binding

I do enjoy hand binding but I really don’t have the time for it and it’s not realistic to do on quilts that I’m selling. Hand binding can easily add four hours to a project and that brings the price up. To keep the cost down and save time I machine sew the binding. I can usually get a quilt bound in under an hour by machine binding. I will do my own video tutorial on this in the future but in the meantime Cluck Cluck Sew has written about it on her blog (that’s where I learned it from) and Amanda from A Crafty Fox has done a video tutorial on it as well.

I hope this helps jump start some ideas for you on how you can save time and get more projects finished. If I think of more I’ll write another post.

The New Blog Address for Daydreams of Quilts

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hi! I am writing this post for two reasons:

  1. to claim my new blog on Bloglovin and
  2. to let you know my blog has moved!

I am feeling proud of myself that I managed all this technical stuff without hiring anyone. Hopefully I haven’t screwed anything up badly. (Please let me know if you see something crazy wonky on my new site.)

The new blog address is: https://daydreamsofquiltsblog.com/

Whew! Now, back to quilting! 🙂