Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Blessed Day

I am seriously blessed today!  I sold two quilts before 10am!  Wow!  My Child of the 80s and I ♥ Rainbows quilts are about to have new homes!  Hooray!  It somehow feels even more satisfying (validating?) to sell something to a perfect stranger.  Don't get me wrong, it feels great when my friends and family like what I make, but when someone you don't know loves it too.....it's fantastic! 

Speaking of selling quilts, I read a recent post on Flickr about how some people can't bear to sell their quilts or can't bear to sell them for "reduced" prices.  It's true that if you counted the hours put into each quilt and only charge minimum wage plus the cost of materials, the quilt price would seem astronomical to people unfamiliar with the work that goes into it.  I agree with these people that the "art" should be appreciated more, but I don't agree with their resentment/anger toward those of us who sell our quilts for a bit less.  I think it's a personal choice what you do with your quilts.  I usually add up what I think the quilt has cost me and then add a "fee" for my time based on the size of the quilt--not an hourly wage.  From my browsing on etsy, my quilts are slightly less than average for their size, but that doesn't bother me.  I'm not trying to run a business, just recoop a little of what I put into a project. 

For me, it's the creativity and enjoyment of the process that I love.  I have no desire to keep every quilt I make, just the opposite in fact.  It makes me sad to see a huge pile of unused quilts.  I saw a blog post recently where the blogger took pictures of her cabinet full of quilts.  This makes me shudder!  All those pretty quilts going unused and unloved!  However, to each her own!  If that makes her happy to stack all those quilt prettily in a cabinet, great, but I don't want anyone to make me feel guilty for selling my own work at prices I feel are adequate.  No one can force you to sell your work, nor force you to sell it at a price that seems unreasonable to you.  I posted something similar on the Flickr discussion, but then removed it for fear of being attacked.  Those quilt ladies are feisty! :)

Sorry for the rant, but it's been on my mind.  Do you guys have any thoughts about this?

Oh, and just so I don't have a post without a picture
Roarke got put in time out the other day and he got really quiet (not the usually crying/kicking/screaming).  When the timer went off, I checked on him to find he had fallen asleep on the stairs!  I guess he needed a nap, not a time out!

14 comments:

ellesquare said...

congrats, Kelly! They were/are both STUNNING quilts, and I know the new homes will love them.

Anne at Film and Thread said...

Congratulations on your sales! I give away any of my quilts that we don't have a use for because I still have a list of people I'd love to give to. Once they are gone, I don't give them a second thought. Like you, the creative part is the fun part.

Regarding pricing - if you are satisfied with what you sell for, that is all that should matter. It doesn't mean the people who buy your quilts will value them any less. It is just that there is a limit to how many people can afford astronomical prices for things and you are making the world of beautiful quilts available to more people!

Angela said...

congrats Kelly! What a lovely way to start the morning!

I think that just like fabric, there will always be a quilt that seems like a "deal". If that is all you need to sell it for then that's up to you. You could sell it for $5 and people wouldn't squawk. It's when the price is somewhat close to their own that people get touchy. And think of all the amazing artists on Etsy who sells prints of their work for what seems like a reasonable price to me, but I'm sure if vastly underselling the market. It doesn't make me appreciate the higher priced pieces less.

And you should post over on flickr...feisty quilty ladies or no. No one voice should dominate too much.

~Michelle~ said...

I like your philosophy - it would be quite difficult if you were using the quilts as a much-needed source of income, since you would have to price them quite high to make it a reasonable "job." And I, too, hope to not get to the point where I had a bunch of quilts not being used - what's the point of not being able to see them every day? All of mine are used currently, even if it's by the cats, in an attempt to keep the actual furniture as fur-free as possible!

BaileyGirl5 said...

I give most of my quilts away to my family and friends. I think if I ran out of "giftees" I'd donate them somewhere. I love the creative journey a quilt takes me on and am always anxious to try something new. I like having a few around the house though!

Cherie said...

Seeing you list those two beautiful quilts made me re-examine why I hoard so many quilts. I think I saw the same blog post with all the quilts stacked up, and while it was a gorgeous stack, it made me sad, too. Really, long after I am gone, are my kids really going to want a dozen quilts each?!?! I am also at the point where I have FQ sets of a few lines that really don't strike me anymore, so I'd like to use those up before buying more fabric, and if I can recoup the cost of fabric, I'm just fine with that :) Thanks, Kelly, for the inspiration!

traceyjay said...

I make way less than minimum wage when I sell a quilt too, but I think it's important that we get reimbursed for our time. I think the reason that quilters give so many quilts away, is because you'd have to charge way too much to get anything out of it...

Darn fabric is just too expensive! ;)

Congratulations on the sales though! They feel good!

(This is why I've decided to start making bed-sized quilts or baby quilts... they're harder indeed, but I know they'll get used!) :)

traceyjay said...

(and Roarke cracks me up there... I'm cranky when I need a nap too... which I think I'm going to go take one!). :)

Katie B. said...

Congrats on the sales! That's very exciting. And you should sell the quilts for what you think they're worth, regardless what other people say! It's your time and money. I understand selling quilts because you like to make them and not to make gobs of money. And I agree--you can only keep so many quilts before it starts getting a little silly. (I'm well aware that I'm getting close to that limit.)


Love the picture of your napping boy.

Cherry Red Quilter said...

Oh please....it is your time and your money and your business. I hardly think that the volume you are selling is going to affect the bottom line of other sellers. If I were making enough quilts to sell I would probably price in a similar fashion to you. Happy stitching!

Kelly said...

i just think it's amazing that you make quilts that aren't for other people! i'm still in the phase where if i hear someone's having a baby, then, oh! i better make them a quilt! getting married? they need a quilt, too! i'm starting to get burnt out on that, so maybe after i get all of the quilts done that i HAVE to do, i'll make some quilts to sell. there is a part of me that thinks it's hard to give (or sell) a quilt that you've put so much time and effort into making to someone that might not appreciate it as much as you do.

AllieKatMom said...

Im with you girl. I think you are doing the thing that I "want" to do. I love to create and make things but I feel that I will just have a big stack of unused quilts laying around the house. Which I would love looking at each and every one of them, do I need all of them....NO!
I think the prices you are selling them for is the right way to go. When people sell quilts for hundreds of dollars I think that they are being greedy, which I understand that they are trying to make a living, I just think of love and warmth when I think of a quilt and not highway robbery.

Congrats on the sales, maybe one day I will be brave enough to sell mine, I just fear rejection I think. LOL

Roarke is so cute, I remember those times where Aliya would do that.

Stephanie said...

I can't believe how successful my bestie has become in the sewing world! Don't forget us little people when ya hit it big! Congrats on selling TWO quilts in one day! :-)

Ali said...

I'm not at the point where I'm ready to sell my quilts, but I agree. I would rather sell them for less and have money to make more quilts. I enjoy the process of coming up with designs and playing with new fabrics.

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