Learning from failure- craft fair

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The craft fair I’ve been talking about lately was on Thursday. This was my first craft fair, and my first experience to try to sell any of my sewing in a retail setting.

Let’s just say that by any standard, it was a failure.

I was there four hours. I did not sell a single item. Granted, it was my first craft fair, but I did a lot of research. Let’s break this down into things I did right and things that went poorly.

  1. Signage- I used a good amount of signage. I made all prices clear.
  2. Pricing- I think I had fair pricing and good pricing on most items, although I think I priced my quilts too low, because several people commented on that.
  3. Preparation- I had plenty of change, I ordered a Square (which I highly recommend- super cool and allows you to take credit cards), I had my display prepared and ready.
  4. Unique items- There was one item that people always stopped and talked to me about- mug rugs. The Oklahoma mug rugs- although none sold- were very attention grabbing. I also had another one (I don’t have a pic, oddly) that was quilted like a piece of notebook paper and had embroidered in script- “You are my sunshine”. People loved that! Standing out is good.

Here were the blog posts I found most helpful.
How much cash do I need for a craft show?
Your First Craft Show: Selling at Craft Shows Made Easy

Here are some things that were problematic for me

  1. Introvert! I am not a chatter. There is a reason I work in web marketing. Since I was there alone, there was no one to talk to, so I think customers felt a little odd if they browsed while I sat there 2 feet away. I tried reading my kindle to alleviate some of that tension, but I think it made me seem aloof. Next time (?) I will take some embroidery or something to work on, so it seems like I am engaged with my craft, but not staring down anyone who comes up. I also can’t do a sales pitch for my own stuff. Too introverted.
  2. Height- My booth needed more height. That is one thing I knew intellectually, but just didn’t get done in time for this show. I need a better way to display table wares. Maybe a 2nd rack like I used for my aprons.
  3. Specialize (?) if i were to to another craft show, I might do something like a booth that was just kitchen goods (aprons, pot holders, etc). Maybe just a booth of mug rugs and gifts like that. I think it’d be better from a marketing perspective.

So there ya go. I cried a river of tears after the show on Thursday, but now I’m feeling better. You live and learn. I’m glad I tried. I don’t know when I’ll feel like doing another craft show, but I think online sales may be the way to go for me.

Finished- Aqua, brown, white stripes

Here’s the third quilt that I finished. There’s a little story behind it.

This is another quilt where I solicited the pattern from Facebook. Again, I don’t think I went with the crowd suggestions, but it was fun. 🙂

That was about… 4 months ago. At the time I finished half of it, then got sick of it and put it away. Fast forward to this past weekend…

In honor of the impending craft fair, I decided to pull it out and finished it. Here are some notes.

One… I did not have notes on the size of HST’s I used in the original piece. Dumb. I knew I had the fabric of the blue, but I matched the white and brown as best as I could. (I think the white is a little off- OOF)

Two… I have greatly, greatly improved as a sewer in the past 4 months. It was a bit painful to work with poorly sewn quilt tops. You can even see below how uneven the top is compared to the bottom. Kind of frustrating, but I still like colors and design.

A note about this pattern- I didn’t realize how much it would highlight imperfections!

Well, you sew and you learn! I still like it!
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I need to rename the Pink Quilt of Doom

It’s done and washed. And as I hoped, the final product turned out far better than the process to get there. 🙂 But I learned a lot, and that’s what counts, right?

This is my first quilt to back with a vintage sheet, and I really like it. It brings nice contrast to the monochrome of the pinks on the front.

All the little holes where I ripped seams went away in the wash, hallelujah. I hope this quilt finds a happy home.

What should I rename it?

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Ombre waves quilt- finished

Hooray hooray! This delightful quilt is done. I don’t have a washer/dryer in my apartment, so I usually have to wait til I have a batch of quilts ready to wash when they’re done. Here is one of three I just finished.

I was inspired by this quilting on this lovely, oceanic quilt on Sew while he sleeps.

I really like how this turned out. I won’t be heartbroken if it ends up on my bed. Or guest bedroom. 🙂

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Quilts for Boston: Help Spread the Word!

What a great project.

Greenleaf Goods

Quilts for Boston

Hi Friends! I’ve been working with my fellow Boston Modern Quilt Guild members to pull together a plan to make quilts for those affected by the bombing in Boston this past week. We’ve published our plan on the BMQG blog, and have a tab there where we will keep all info up to date!

I also thought I’d share the details here– this is cross posted over on the BMQG blog.

Quilts for Boston Color Scheme

One week ago today, the usual flurry of activity in our city came to a halt and we watched with sadness and disbelief as people who came to celebrate the 117th running of the Boston marathon were injured and killed by bombs set off near the race finish line. In response to the events of the past week, the Boston Modern Quilt Guild wants to find a way to help those in our community that have been directly affected…

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Working with remnants- cross body bags

I like working with remnants. If you’re like me, and looking at walls of beautiful fabric is kind of overwhelming, it’s much easier to go to the remnant area and find something that stands out for me to play around with.

Also, at Joann’s, the remnants are 50% off, so that’s nice to and lets me play with some more expensive fabrics that I wouldn’t normally want to spend that much on.

I made this tote out of outdoor fabric remnant. It gives it some nice definition and makes it waterproof, plus it’s a great fun pattern.

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For these bags, all you really need is about 2 fat quarters (for exterior- lining requires same amount, plus strap).

For the next bags, I have stumbled on to a fun find at Joann’s that might often be overlooked. In the home decorating fabric section, there is a large area of samples for different upholstery style fabrics, both indoor and outdoor. Most of them are about fat quarter sized- a little larger- and at Joann’s, they sell the samples for $2 once they’re out of print. This weekend I was at Joann’s and they were on sale for only $1. I picked up a couple and make this cute little black and crimson tote bag with a faux suede feel.

 

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 Don’t overlook your friendly remnant section! #quiltingonthecheap

Quilt squares to tote- making ugly things better

On my Sooner Centric post, I shared two quilt squares I had made to start a crimson and cream quilt.

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After letting the quilt blocks sit and stew for a while, I decided to take these blocks and make a quilted tote bag out of them. I figure it would be perfect for game days in Norman!

I loosely followed the Friendship Bag tutorial from ps i quilt. I mostly used it to see how to incorporate the batting into the bag.

It went pretty easily, and I’m quite pleased with the result! I is much cuter as a bag than as quilt blocks.

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Also, the craft fair is less than a week away now! I feel pretty good about my inventory and am ready to see how it goes.