Canadian Summer QAL Week 11 Canada Goose Cabin Block

Canada Goose Quilt block

Welcome to week 11 of the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! This week we have a Canada Goose Cabin Block designed by Tish Leupen that combines traditional piecing and appliqué.

Canada Goose Quilt block
Goose Cabin Block, designed by Tish Leupen, made by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts. Quilted by Dara of Stitched Quilting Co.

Above is my version of the Goose Cabin Block beautifully quilted by Dara Tomasson of Stitched Quilting Co. I love this block so much! And with fall coming soon I will be watching the skies for these birds flying over and I will feel a tinge of sadness as I do every year. But I know they will come back in the spring and that always brings happy excitement.

Tish is here to guest post today about her block. So without further ado here is Tish!

Finally, it is my turn to present my block for the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! I am thrilled to be part of the design team for this beautiful quilt. This week’s block should be pretty easy for everyone to put together. No paper piecing involved! This is the second last block, which means we can start sewing our quilts together and finish them in time to snuggle under this fall.

My inspiration for this block, is the iconic Canada Goose that most Canadians have a love/hate relationship with. We all know they are not the brightest birds in the world. They inundate our parks all summer and leave behind plenty of their waste. They lose their flight feathers for a short time and become earthbound, not the least bit alarmed by the cars and bikes hurtling towards them.

When autumn arrives and the days are shorter and colder though, they answer an ancient ingrained call to head south to warmer climates. Much as the Canada Geese annoy us , we can’t help but look up when we hear their flight call as huge flocks of geese are once again in their V formations flying away.

My block had to have Flying Geese in it. I was inspired by the heavy woolen socks we wear when summer ends for my colour scheme. I used grey for the main part of the block and the top suggests the traditional cream and red strip of cabin socks. It makes me sad to think that summer is coming to an end soon. School will start again in a couple weeks, and we will be have our summer memories to keep us warm in the coming months. Sigh!

I’m looking forward to seeing your colour choices for this block. Be sure to post them on Facebook or Instagram with #canadiansummerqal. There are great prizes to be won for your finished quilt tops. Check Anita’s blog @daydreamsofquilts for the dates to keep in mind.

A huge thank you, Anita, for organizing this great Canadian quilt along. I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it!

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Thank you so much Tish for your guest post and for designing this fun block of an iconic Canadian symbol. Click the link below to download the free pattern for Tish’s block.

Thank you for visiting the Daydreams of Quilts blog today. Visit the main Canadian Summer Quilt Along page for links to all the previously released blocks and for photos and sponsors of the grand prize package being drawn on Labour Day!

Canadian Summer QAL Week 10 Seasons Block

Foundation Paper Pieced Maple Leaf Block

Welcome to week 10 of the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! This week we have the Seasons Block by Mary-Kay Colman of the blog Quilting Junkie.

Foundation Paper Pieced Maple Leaf Block
Seasons Quilt Block designed by Mary-Kay Colman and family. Pieced by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts.

I was really excited when I saw this block because, of course, the Maple Leaf fits in perfectly with the Canadian Theme but also because I had never seen it done exactly this way before. This was something new!

I was also very proud of my achievement in piecing this block because Foundation Paper Piecing has been my arch nemesis in quilting until now.

Foundation Paper Pieced Maple Leaf Quilt Block
One quarter of the Seasons Block.

Tips: I used fabric colours just as Mary-Kay had them in the pattern graphic because I get easily confused when Foundation Paper piecing. I also coloured the pattern sections with scribbles in pencil crayon in the colours that they would be sewn to to further clarify things for myself.

Please head over to Mary-Kay’s blog to read her post about her block and download her pattern. Have fun sewing this week!

Visit the main Canadian Summer Quilt Along page for the schedule, links to already released blocks and the list of prizes in the grand prize package that one lucky winner will win! Only a few weeks to the draw date!

Giveaway: Post your Seasons block in the hashtag #canadiansummerqal on Instagram before next week’s block comes out for a chance to win a copy of my newest PDF pattern “Hidden Zig Zag”.

Happy Quilting! 

Greenhouse Quilt Finish

Greenhouse Quilt

I did it! Goal achieved! Huge thanks to Lisa and Diane for keeping me motivated to finish my Greenhouse quilt and any other phantom quilt alongers out there.

Greenhouse Quilt
Greenhouse Quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman. Pieced and quilted by Anita LaHay of Daydreams of Quilts.

I finished my quilt on Saturday and when we took it out for photos after supper it was very windy. There are actually five people behind the quilt holding it against the wind – my husband, son and three neighbourhood kids who were playing nearby.

Ombré 108" Wideback Quilt Back
Ombré 108″ Wideback on the back of the Greenhouse Quilt.

I loved the backing so much that I wrapped it around to the front for binding. As you can see I quilted circular flower heads and leaves on vertical lines on the quilt. The Ombré Spectrum wideback is available in our shop.

plant themed free motion quilting
Plant themed free motion quilting on the Greenhouse Quilt. Quilted by Anita LaHay.

Prize Winner: The only other person, besides me, to post an assembled quilt top in the #greenhouseqal hashtag was Lisa Taylor so she wins $50 to spend in my shop by default. Congratulations Lisa!

I am thrilled to have my quilt finished and on my bed in time to enjoy for the remainder of the summer and beyond! Thanks for coming by to see my quilt today!

Canadian Summer QAL Week 9 West Point Lighthouse Block

lighthouse quilt block

Welcome to week 9 in the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! This week’s block is the West Point Lighthouse Block designed by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts! (That’s me!)

lighthouse quilt block
West Point Lighthouse block designed and pieced by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts. Quilted by Dara of Stitched Quilting Co.

I didn’t really think of this when I made the quilt along schedule but yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. We went to Prince Edward Island for our honeymoon and one of the places we visited was the West Point Lighthouse. So it’s a fun coincidence that I am releasing this block the day after our anniversary. PEI is one of my most favourite places on earth! I have been there three times and really hope to get back again soon.

lighthouse quilt block
An unquilted shot of the West Point Lighthouse block so you can see the prints. The sandpiper and seagull fabrics were actually purchased in PEI on our honeymoon 18 years ago! Can you believe it!? It’s true! Talk about treasured fabric stash. 🙂

Glad I could help represent the East Coast in this quilt along! Even though I’m an Albertan, I do love PEI and I lived in New Brunswick for four years too.

Click here to download the Lighthouse Block pattern – CSQAL West Point Lighthouse Block Pattern I can’t wait to see the lighthouses pop up this week. Post your lighthouse in the hashtag #canadiansummerqal on Instagram for a chance to win a selection of four fat quarters of Flourish from the Daydreams of Quilts shop.

New De La Luna and Tim Holtz Holiday Fabrics

Our much anticipated order of Tula Pink and De La Luna Fabrics have arrived! We have brought in a selection of De La Luna by Tula Pink and Tim Holtz’ Merriment and Materialize. Both are available as half yard cuts and are also bundled together for savings.

Tula Pink De La Luna and Tim Holtz
Fabric delivery days are the best days! Our newest stock for our shop is here!

All fabrics are available separately or purchase the bundles for a savings of 15%.

De La Luna by Tula Pink available at Daydreams of Quilts.

Click here to shop De La Luna.

A selection of Tim Holtz Merriment and Materialize collection.

Click here to shop Tim Holtz Merriment and Materialize fabrics.

Thank you so much for supporting our small family business as we work hard to grow.

Pixelated Skull Quilt Free PDF Pattern

Hello! Welcome to the Daydreams of Quilts Blog!

I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s only two months until Halloween! I know, we’re all still enjoying the fabulous summer weather and Halloween is far from our minds. Still, with only two months to go until the big spooky day, if you want to make this amazing Pixelated Skull Quilt you might want to start now. So I’m releasing this free pattern today!

Free Pixelated Skull Quilt Pattern

I have created this Pixelated Skull Quilt pattern based on a Perler bead craft that I saw on Pinterest. My pattern offers five quilt sizes and has a colouring page as well as the instructions to make this quilt a reality. I’m offering this pattern as a free PDF download to all my newsletter subscribers so make sure you’re signed up!

Once you complete the sign up process you will receive an email with a link to download this pattern and many more free PDF patterns! If you make the quilt I would love to see it so please tag me on Instagram or Facebook @daydreamsofquilts.



Greenhouse Quilt Along Week 10 Row 9 Plants

Welcome to week 10 of the Greenhouse Quilt Along! The last row of plants! Hooray!

It can be hard to be motivated to sew during the nice summer weather. In fact, instead of sewing my blocks I am writing this post to you while sitting outside on the deck. 🙂

Here is a bit of motivation for all of us though… look at Lisa’s gorgeous quilt!

Greenhouse Quilt by Lisa Taylor quilted by Holystitch.ca
Lisa Taylor’s Greenhouse Quilt quilted by @holystitch.ca

Isn’t it fabulous? I can’t wait to have mine finished. My last two rows are cut out and I will be sewing them this week. I’m hoping to have it quilted by next Wednesday too! I have the perfect backing. (Things got a bit crazy busy here the last week of July but I will finish on time!)

Anita’s progress on rows 8 and 9. Pieces cut and labelled.

Post your finished quilt top in the hashtag #greenhouseqal on Instagram by next Wednesday, August 8, 2018 for a chance to win $50 to spend in my shop!

Canadian Summer Quilt Along Coastal Majesty Block

Coastal Majesty quilt block depicting British Columbia's majestic trees.

Hello and welcome to week 8 in the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! This week we have a beautiful foundation pieced block designed by Jean of Sophisticat Fibre Art Studio called “Coastal Majesty.”

Sophisticat Fibre Art Studio logo

Jean’s block is inspired by the beautiful trees around Vancouver in British Columbia. In her pattern she writes, “This block symbolizes the majesty of those trees growing in the mountains.”

I lived in Vancouver for four years as a child while my Mom was doing her master’s degree. The trees in and around Vancouver truly are awe inspiring. Many happy days were spent climbing trees there.

I remember one time my brother, sister and I were up in a tall cedar tree and we saw our Dad who was doing maintenance on the roof of one of the buildings at the Vancouver School of Theology (where my Mom did her masters). We were eye level with him and he was on the fifth floor. We called to him “Hey Dad!” He looked around on the ground for us but couldn’t see us. “Over here! In the tree! We’re waving a branch at you!” The look of shock on his face was funny to us at the time but as a parent I can imagine the feeling he must have had now. He stayed very calm but said sternly “You kids are up too high. You climb back down now.” Ah, good times in Vancouver.

Anyway, I digress. 🙂 Here is my version of Jean’s Coastal Majesty block. Dara of  Stitched Quilting Co. did a beautiful job of the quilting on my block.

Coastal Majesty quilt block depicting British Columbia's majestic trees.
Anita’s version of Coastal Majesty. Block designed by Sophisticat Fibre Art Studio. Quilted by Stitched Quilting Co.

Normally I find foundation paper piecing so challenging that it’s not fun for me but I really enjoyed this block and it’s very possible to achieve even if you are a beginner at this technique. Jean also suggests using “improv strata” for your trees. This is basically creating fabric pieces by sewing together small strips (or you could slash and insert strips as well). Jean has a photo of this on her Instagram post (second photo).

Trees or Mountains paper pieced quilt block
Coastal Majesty before quilting to get a better representation of the fabric colours in my block.

Jean was having some technical issues with her website so she said she would try to have a tutorial up on her Facebook page if not on her site.

You can download the free Coastal Majesty pattern on Craftsy.

Giveaway: Post your blocks on Instagram using the hashtag #canadiansummerqal for a chance to win my most popular PDF pattern the “Pixel Heart in a Pixel Heart” pattern. Jean also says if you tag her on your post @sew_catstudio by August 15th she will also be offering a prize.

Pixel Heart in a Pixel Heart Pattern

Christmas in July Sale – Sugarplum 20% off Until July 31

My husband and I took our daughters out to a beautiful lake yesterday afternoon (our son is away on a backpacking trip in the mountains). We had such a great afternoon. We even saw a rare Wolverine run across the road on our way back home! When we arrived back though I started to feel a bit sad that the summer is almost half over. So I decided to have a Christmas in July sale to feel happy again! 🙂

Sugarplum is 20% off now through July 31st.

Sugarplum on Sale 20% off thru July 31, 2018

Click here to shop the Sugarplum Christmas in July Sale!

 

I hope everyone is having a beautiful summer. Thank you for supporting our small family business. 🙂

8 Ideas to Consider When Pricing Handmade Quilts

Pricing handmade goods is not as simple as it might seem. There are a lot of things to consider. In this post I discuss:

8 ideas to consider when pricing handmade quilts

I sell both handmade and the supplies to make things handmade. Pricing supplies is certainly easier in some ways than pricing handmade but in this post I will be talking about pricing handmade quilts. This was a topic request that came in on my reader survey.

The general pricing formula for pricing handmade is:

(cost of supplies + time) x 2 = wholesale x 2 = retail

If you are selling jewelry, for example, and you are able to purchase or create the components for your pieces fairly inexpensively then this formula will probably work for you. You will even be able to offer a wholesale line sheet to wholesale customers and still turn a good profit.

In the case of quilts, and even bags, it is not so simple. Most of us pay retail prices for our supplies and it takes at least 20 hours to make most quilts from start to finish.

If supplies are $170 (a low estimate) and you spend about 20 hours and you are paying yourself $15/hr (also low in my opinion but that’s what I pay myself) you are looking at $470 just in time and supplies. You might be able to double that to $940 and still receive that price but doubling that again is probably well out of the realm of what most people will pay.

So what can you do?

Eight Ideas to Consider When Pricing Handmade quilts

One: Firstly, I think that wholesaling handmade quilts is pretty much out of the question. You might be able to wholesale baby quilts, table runners and smaller items like mini quilts and pillows but even that could be a stretch. If there is anyone out there who actually sells quilts wholesale to retailers at a profit (and who isn’t a factory in China) I’d be very interested to hear from you.

Two:  If you are selling handmade quilts while buying supplies at retail you are basically going to be able to charge for supplies with perhaps a small mark-up of maybe 15% and your time.

Three: If you plan to do this as your main income over a longer period of time it would be advisable to register your business, get a GST number and open wholesale accounts for purchasing your supplies. Or, wait for clearance sales on supplies. That way you can at least mark up your supplies to what you would have paid retail and make a profit there plus get paid for your time.

Four: In my experience (since 2011) you cannot make and sell quilts as your exclusive income. You need other income streams as well. Again, if anyone out there is making a full time living doing this I would be very interested to talk to you!

Five: Check what others are charging for their quilts on Etsy or other market places. Don’t undercut your pricing because that makes it hard for everyone to get a fair price and you will not be happy when you sell your quilt at that price. Price fairly, at a number you are willing to accept for your hard work.

Six: There are customers out there who do realize the value of a quality handmade quilt and they will pay a fair price. You need to provide excellent photos, great product descriptions and fantastic service in order to receive that price. You also need to be prepared to wait. My quilts always sell eventually but sometimes it can take a year or more.

A note about this: There are so many (annoying!) people who will tell you “I can get a blanket at Walmart for $50!” Understand that these people are not your customers. Try your best to ignore these comments and waste as little time as possible talking to them so you can be focused on people who ARE your customers.

Seven: Free shipping is also a good idea. When they’ve finally decided to spend a few hundred dollars on your beautiful quilt you don’t want to kill the deal by asking for another $20 or $30 for shipping at checkout. If they’re shopping on Etsy you might not even know you had a deal that you lost! Now that Etsy has abandoned cart coupons you may be able to tell how many people walked away from your shop at check-out by running that promotion on your shop but you may never know the reason why they left. So eliminate as much chance of this happening as you can by offering free shipping on higher priced items.

Eight: Keep the quilts simple so you can keep your prices low. Generally, if a quilt is super hard to make there is no way I would consider selling it anyway. Quilts under $400 sell much quicker than quilts closer to $1000. Just making back your supplies is not sustainable over the long term so keep it simple and be as efficient as possible with your time.

Edited to add: @cedarforksarah on Instagram sent me a message with another great idea! She says she uses this formula to price her quilts:

(length in inches x width in inches) x .10 cents

I tried this with my Canadian Flag quilts which are 52″ square.

52″ x 52″ = 2704″

2704 x .10 = $270.40

I charge $250.00 so I’m not far off. I am talking about Canadian dollars and I think Sarah is talking about American dollars so I may even be a bit too low on my price but the Canadian flag quilts are simple to make so I am okay with that.

Sarah says this is helpful for quoting on quilts not yet made as well. I really like this idea!

In the case of my tulip quilt, which I sent out for long arming, this formula will not work for me at .10 cents an inch as I need to recoup my long arming costs. That quilt is priced at $700 so I would need to use .14 or .15 cents in the formula. If it doesn’t sell in about a year I will probably pull it out of the shop and put it on my daughter’s bed as I am not willing to lose money on it. (Something else to keep in mind if you are considering sending your quilts out for long arming. They may wind up priced outside the range people are willing to pay.)

If you are struggling with pricing I hope this post has been helpful. Let me know if it has or if there are other issues you are struggling with that you would like me to write about. Leave a comment or send me an email.

Happy sewing! 🙂