Wednesday, April 24, 2013

 l am here in Nantes. Its been fun so far, and more fun to come.
This was the sight this afternoon when l left the building. Ladies have been busy all day
 decorating anything and everything with knitted items. Very pretty and colorful!! 
The crowds of ladies waiting patiently to enter in the morning will enjoy looking for sure!!

l have a class on Thursday morning between  10.30am and  1.30pm. 

So for the rest of the time, l will be wandering the halls. 
 l have a pink name tag with my name, so please say hello!!
l know some of you have written to say you will be there, 
but Internet connection has been difficult while travelling. 
So l certainly hope that we meet in the halls wandering and shopping!!

Till then, thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pour LÁmour Du Fil 2013

 l am packing again to head to Europe  tonight.
You know what that means!
Getting on another plane!!
l will be in France for the Pour LÁmour Du Fil show in Nantes.

Are you going to the show?
l will be there most days.
Let me know if you are going and we will try and arrange a meeting.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Our weekend in Tasmania.

l know l promised you lots of photos!!
 But my mind is having trouble settling on one thing.
We could not have asked for a better weekend filled with wonderful things to see,
 fabulous food to eat, amazing sights to see, fantastic friends to hang out with,
 and a shared experience that has left my friends and myself slightly muddled.
You see, on our flight home last night, we had an aborted take off at the very
 last second before we left the ground.
It was a very frightening experience. Yes, we survived!
And finally made it home 4 hours later than expected, thankfully in a different plane.
But today some have sore necks and shoulders.
 l have had a day of being lightheaded and mild dizziness.
( l think low blood pressure)
So l have a few photos. Not as many as l would like. 
l just can't settle to any one task today.
Here are the highlights of our weekend.
A visit to The Drill Hall Emporium in New Norfolk.
 l have enough photos from this amazing place to fill 2 blog posts.
Watch for them in the future.
A wonderful but short tour of Runnymede, an Historic home in New Town.
A fabulous workshop with Bonnie Sullivan.
(turn sideways! )
Dinner with Leonie,  Deirdre and some other workshop attendees.
A delightful wander around Salamanca market,
 where they had more varieties of apples than you could poke a stick at!
A surprise birth watched from the side of the road.
A stroll around Richmond.
A visit to Oak Lodge, an historic home in Richmond.
A wander through several ancient ( By Australian standard) cemetery's.
A visit to 3 interesting country towns.
 Bothwell, with its stunning autumn color,
 and Oatlands.
A quick but sweet visit to Deirdre Crows nest.
And finally, an  eventful evening at Hobart Airport!!
 ( most photos supplied by our travelling photographer Anne, with grateful thanks! )
l hope you enjoyed sharing our weekend with us.

Thanks for visiting.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crow Central in Hobart here we come!!

Bags are packed. The other girls have arrived, and we are about
 to head out the door for fun and adventures in Hobart with the Quilted Crow girls.
Our main reason for the visit?
To take a class with Bonnie Sullivan.
We also plan to visit a few local attractions, including Salamanca Market.
Be back next week with loads of photos!!
Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stash busted!!!!

My friend sent me this tonight, and l thought l would share it with you all.
Hmmm!! Was she talking about my stash or hers???
Must be hers, because she doesn't have a mobile phone!!
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My sewing table!

This is my current sewing space, here on my kitchen table.

Because this is how my sewing room looks at the moment.
Far from inspiring.
Its currently undergoing phase 1 of its makeover,
 so the benches are covered in table clothes, and

the paint smell is unbearable!!
l am getting rid of the pale blue paint and going for a very neutral cream,
which will show off my quilts better.
And plantation shutters are being installed on those windows next week.
l am super excited about that. Means l can control the light more easily,
and stop the sun from shining directly on fabric stored in tubs. Win, win!!
The bookcase will also go eventually, when l have bookshelves installed
 in that corner nook where there is just 2 shelves and a small desk.
That might be some time away yet, as l have not ordered the shelves to be built yet!!
Its very much a work in progress.
And then that whole wall will be used as a rotating small quilt gallery,
 which l will be able to see through the door, all the way back in my kitchen area.

l have been busy out at the kitchen table though. Here are 2 of the mini quilts 
 l have made in my red, green and yellow series.
Others l can't show as they are gifts for friends that read the blog,
and l don't want to give a way the surprise!!

A big thank you to everyone who commented on the last post.
 Its been an interesting subject that has inspired many interesting comments.
Seems we all value our work, just not the non quilters of the world!!
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How much for that quilt in the window???

Do you ever give a thought to the true worth of a quilt you
 have made when someone casually asks you to make one for them.
 l have been asked many times and my standard answer
 is l make them  for special O birthdays and weddings.
That seems to stop most of them in their tracks.
l do make them for special friends and family for special birthdays,
weddings, and now great nieces and nephews. And l am happy to
as long as l know they will be treasured and appreciated.
 l found this great article about said subject this afternoon while buzzing
around the Internet. Its not a blog l have seen before, but thought the
post worth sharing here, as its what we all know to be the truth
of the matter. It will prepare you with a true and honest answer
 next time someone asks you "Can you whip up a quilt for me? "
l have posted the story here in its full entirety. These are not my words,
 but the words of another quilter, Sam Hunter,
 who's blog can be found here.
 Its going to take some reading, so a cuppa would not go a stray.

And just because l know you can't have a blog without pictures,
l am adding just a few here to keep you going!!
And there are a few more at the end as your reward for getting there!!
All quilts are from my collection of photos stored on my computer,
 not quilts that l have made or own.

Words below by Sam Hunter.

This morning I caught a post on a quilting Facebook feed… a member posted a picture of a delightful baby quilt and asked what she should charge the neighbor that just asked to buy it from her. She mentioned that the quilt was made from a panel with pieced borders, and that the quilting was done in threads to match the fabric colors (oh, the thread changes!). She mentioned she was thinking $85. A fellow poster thought $100 was better. Another said it depends on the closeness of the friendship.
First of all… I’m not naming names here because I don’t want this person to feel pilloried – far from it, I absolutely appreciate her question and have one heck of an opinion about how it should be answered… a rather, ahem, shall we say passionate opinion – you are warned! Her question, which I hear dozens of times a year, is absolutely legitimate. How does one price a handmade piece of work?
And to note – there is a difference between what it’s WORTH, and what you can ACTUALLY GET for it. So keep that in mind and I’ll address this difference at the end after I show you how I calculate the WORTH part of it:
1. Determine the cost of the goods involved. Fabric is averaging $12 a yard, and even if you bought the fabric years ago, it will still cost you $12 (plus sales tax) a yard to replenish what you used. Same goes for if it came out of your scraps. You still bought the original yardage that the scraps came from… they didn’t give you a 25% discount assuming that a quarter of it would head to your scrap basket! If you got it on sale, wonderful! The savings are for YOU. You hunted it down. And it’s probably the only “freebie” your going get out of this process so take it and run.
2. If you don’t want to count out the yardage of all the little pieces, instead calculate the total area of the quilt top (let’s say it’s 48″ x 60 for a generous lap quilt), and then multiply it by 3 for a simple quilt, and 4 or more for a more complex one – then divide it by 1440, the area of a yard of 40″ fabric. Why these numbers? The fabric it takes to make the top of a simple quilt is about double the surface area because of all the fabric lurking in the seam allowances – and don’t forget the binding! The other “one” is the backing. And use 5 if you paper pieced most of it (because there are way more seams and you have to cut bigger for paper piecing). So for this simple lap quit: 48 x 60 = 2880, 2880 x 3 = 8640, and 8640 / 1440 = 6. So 6 yards at $12 a yard is $72 for materials.
3. Do you wash and iron your fabric before you use it? Add 25% for the time and water and electricity and wear and tear on your (probably expensive) iron and your Netflix subscription for the movies you watch while you iron. Ladies… it’s 2012 and in 2012 we do not iron for free.
4. What did the batting cost? The thread? The embellishments? Add those in. Yes, the thread – because you have to replenish it! And you are probably using a lovely, high quality, long staple cotton goody that can’t be had on sale at the big chain store so yes, you must charge for your thread. And note that there are other consumable products that you could charge for here: machine needles, blades, template plastic, fusible web, etc.
5. Now we get to TIME. How long did it take? Not just the cutting, pressing, sewing, but the “sits and thinks” part of the equation. The pondering, plotting, and extra trips to the store for one more FQ of the perfect print for that corner. The stitching of the binding. The label. All of that. I’m going to, for the sake of easy numbers, say my simple lap quilt took 15 hours – in other words, about a day to choose, cut and piece (assuming all the materials were already in my studio), and another day to layer, quilt and bind. Yes, the binding you do in front of the telly at night is still hours spent on the piece.
6. How much do you think your hourly rate should be? $10? $20? $30? You are certainly worth more than minimum wage. You are a skilled craftsperson. In my case, I’ve been quilting for 25 years and sewing for 43. This is not an insignificant statement. If you hire that depth of skill to lay tile in your house or make cabinets for your kitchen, it will cost you more than $20 an hour. My years of skill ensures the quilt is well constructed, made of quality materials (chosen with a discerning eye and years of practice), and executed with knowledge and a passion for the artistry and craft. This is WORTH a lot. So I’m going to go with $20 an hour for my simple quilt (I would go up for something more complex, and add even more if it was a commission for a pain-in-the-patootie client). Thus – $300 for my labor, and I’m rounding up to $100 for my materials (high quality cotton batting, threads from Aurifil and Isacord, etc). So my lovely little lap quilt is $400.
WORTH vs. What you can get
And I hear you laughing. No one’s gonna give you $400 for that, you say. And you are probably right. But here’s the thing… the fact that society has poo-poohed our grandmas’ prowess with a needle while celebrating their husbands’ prowess with a plow is a sad history that we need to rectify. “Women’s work” has been terribly devalued. And ONLY WE CAN CHANGE THIS. It is up to us to educate the public that what we do has WORTH. And we have to do this with confidence. We have to OWN IT.
So the way I tackle this is to state the gist of my calculations to the person that offers me a department store sale price for my work. I state the price, and then I educate them on what it takes to make a good quilt. The fabric quality. The time. The years I’ve spent honing my craft. I point out that I don’t work for minimum wage as this is much harder than “do you want fries with that?” Then I re-state the price. I own it.
Most of the time they don’t buy, but that’s OK (and if I absolutely want them to have the quilt I give it to them for free). I won’t sell it for less because I feel so very strongly that to sell low is to continue the myth that our work has little value. Either I get what I’m worth or it’s a precious gift. I’m taking a stand for the team, OUR TEAM. Every time we let hours of work out of the house for $5 an hour and free materials without the educational part of the discussion we are letting down the team.
I truly get that our original poster might only be able to squeak $100 out of this sale. And that she might have to put aside any philosophical stands to get her hands on that $100 to shore up the grocery budget (and I have absolutely done this when I needed to). But I really hope she adds the “lesson” to her invoice when she picks up the check!

l would love to hear your stories of how you handled
 the situation when some asked you to make them a quilt.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Di Ford. Primarily Quilts.

l had the chance last saturday to get my hands on a copy of Di Fords new book. '
And you might ask,
 "If the front cover is that stunning, what about the rest of the book???"
And there is only one word for it.
Pinned Image
l don't want to spoil it for you,
so l will just give you a look inside the front cover.
That's 16 quilts!!
This is a must have book.
Quiltmania have done a wonderful job, as always.
Can't wait to get me hands on my own personal, signed copy!!
Thanks for visiting.