I can’t believe it’s been over a week since my last posting!! Mostly that’s because I haven’t had time to work on anything lately. I finally sat down this weekend and cut the strips for the next part of my “secret Christmas” project. I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out, but I still can’t show pictures yet.
One interesting thing did happen this past week. A good friend of mine owns a catering company & she has leased some shop space in her hometown. She’s going to be running her company from the kitchen there, and she’s also going to open a small cafe & possibly a gift shop. She’s hoping to sell locally crafted items, and is wanting me to provide her with some inventory. I’m not entirely certain what to do about it. While I would love to be able to make tons of money from making & selling my quilts, I know that won’t happen. For one thing, I’ve heard it’s extremely difficult even for excellent quilters to make a living from selling their quilts. For another, I am far from an excellent quilter. I am happy making quilts for family & friends, but my current level of ability is not what I would be comfortable selling in a shop (YET). I am, however, fairly happy with the quality of my baskets. I would be okay with letting her sell some of those in her shop. But I’ve only ever made six of them in my life. I don’t know where I would find the time to make enough to sell. So far, I’ve only ever made them during instructor led classes. If I were to start making them for her shop, I guess I’d just fill my weekends with basket making. I admit that I am slightly jealous of a lot of the crafty bloggers I read, who do not have to fit a standard 40 hour work week into their schedules. I would love to be able to focus on kids & crafts all day, instead of just trying to cram them into evenings & weekends. But on the other hand, if I didn’t have my job, I couldn’t afford my craft supplies anyway. So it’s necessary. And I am fortunate enough to at least have a job I enjoy – even if I would enjoy staying home with my family more. 🙂
I suppose I could also make little stationary sets for her to sell. This one was an easy to make project, but I didn’t make the actual stationary that’s in it.
Okay, so now for a crafty question. I have made a number of quilts, and my favorite part is the piecework, rather than the actual quilting. Thus far, I have only ever used straight stitch quilting and I’ve had trouble with puckering on the backs. (That is a seriously strange looking word.) I have read that the best way to prevent that is to tape the backing to the floor, making sure it’s stretched tightly, then lay the batting & top over it…. & pin like crazy! So that is my current plan for this secret project. BUT, I’m not sure straight line stitching is appropriate in this case. I’d *really* like to branch out a little and try some designs. I can get stencils, if I decide to use someone else’s design. Or I can create my own designs. I haven’t really figured out exactly what designs I want to use for the quilting yet. But what I’m having trouble with, in my experimenting, is getting a decent look from free-motion quilting.
I figured out how to get my feed dogs lowered, so they aren’t moving the fabric along. And I purchased what I believe is a quilting foot for my machine. But when I tried to practice with it, it just didn’t seem to work very well. Is this something that you have any experience with? Do you have any suggestions, tips or tricks on how to improve my free-motion quilting? My machine is just a little Singer. It doesn’t have room to twist full size blankets around under the arm. So being able to move the fabric to follow the pattern in any direction (instead of just forward, with the walking foot) is essential if I want anything other than straight lines. I am considering an alternative, if I can’t figure out free-motion by Christmas. I have said in the past, that I don’t particularly like the look of tack & tie quilts. However, if I can’t get the free-motion quilting to work, I may search out some very thin satin-ish ribbons in the appropriate colors. Tiny satin bows would, I think, be very pretty in this case. But I would prefer to have nicely quilted patterns instead. Any ideas or suggestions?