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The Emotional Quilt Ordeal that was a Blessing in Disguise

I just don't know where to start with my latest sewing/quilting experience.  My emotions and self esteem were crushed, then I got angry, then I vented to my Facebook group and fellow quilters, then I accepted it for what it was, learned from the experience and moved on.

Disappearing 9 Patch                                      Sunset                                          Magic Diamonds

What happened?
  • I sold the above Queen Size Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt top for $125 to a local church quilting guild for them to quilt and auction at their annual picnic.  It would be one of many - its a thing around here.  Since they liked it, they asked me to call when I had other tops completed.  
  • I called them when I had the above Queen Size Sunset Quilt completed and one of the quilters picked it up for $125.  
  • I called them when I had the above Queen Size Magic Diamonds top done.  The quilting lady stated that one of the quilters didn't like the bright colors on the Sunset top and wanted to know if they could exchange it for the Magic Diamonds top so I said sure.
  • When they come to exchange the Sunsut Quilt for the Magic Diamonds Quilt, they asked where I bought my fabric.  I told them that I buy my fabric mostly from JoAnns and my scrap quilts come from my stash which could be from anywhere.  They informed me that they buy their fabric at a local specialty quilt shop.  I told them if I bought specialty fabric I wouldn't be making a top for $125 because it would cost me that in fabric.  
  • It ended up with me refunding them the $125 for the Sunset Quilt and them not taking the Magic Diamond quilt because they didn't like the fabric quality and they went on to say they didn't think the Sunset Quilt would bring much at the Auction.  At this point I was crushed.  They made me feel like my quilts were not worthy.  I specifically bought the Sunset pattern which I never buy patterns and usually just figure the pattern out, but I thought the quilt was so pretty I just had to have it.  I almost hesitated selling it, but figured I could make myself another one at a later date.
  • Insult on top of injury, they then showed me some of their specialty fabric and asked if I would make a Trip Around The World Quilt for them out of their fabric which cost $111 and they wanted to know how much I would charge to sew together the top.  It was all I could do to hold my tongue at this point.  I'm sure I had about that much invested in fabric in the Disappearing 9 Patch and the Sunset Quilt and didn't they realize I was practically donating the tops to them for their picnic quilt auction.  I told them, I'd want at least $10 to $15 per hour to cut and sew the top and that they probably couldn't afford my price and I politely turned them down.  I was thinking there is no way I could please these quilters and didn't want my heart broken again.  I don't think I will be doing business with them again!
What did I learn?
  • I learned to love my new cutting tool.
  • I learned I can't make a quilt top without my design wall.
  • The heart is a fragile thing and words can hurt and people can be rude - but then again, I guess I've always known this.
  • Not everyone likes the same quilts.  Some people like old fashioned quilts, some like embroidery quilts, some like applique quilts, some like scrap quilts, some people like quilts with expensive fabric and then there are others that like modern quilts.  I personally like them all because they are made with love and they all look beautiful to me!!!  I have quilts from my grandma, great-grandma, mother-in-law and my daughter that are invaluable to me and I will treasure them always - they are my favorite quilts!!!  I always cry when someone gives me a quilt because even though I make quilt tops, I've never made one for myself and am over the moon then someone gifts one to me that they made because I know how much work goes into them!!!
What was the Blessing in Disguise?
  • Thanks to my Facebook Quilting Group, I now have self confidence in the quality of my sewing skills, quilt pattern choices and color selections.  I got passed the crushed feeling and the anger and hold no ill will to the quilters who rejected my quilts - chips on shoulders just weigh you down.  I try to keep myself surrounded with positive people and thoughts.  You all are so Awesome!!!
  • It ended up that someone from my Facebook Quilting group liked my Sunset quilt top enough to offer to purchase it for more than the $125 I was charging the local quilting ladies and I also got an offer to make another Sunset top for a Facebook friend that saw my post in England.  Therefore, financially I'm coming out ahead and learned that I'm not charging enough for my tops and that my time is precious and valuable and not to sell myself short!
  • I learned that I should trust people more that there are still good people in this world.  I couldn't believe someone would just send me a PayPal payments and trust me to mail the quilt top to them.  I had never done a PayPal payment and shipped a quilt top so that was a 1st for me and opened up all sorts of future possibilities for me.  

Have a great day and keep on keeping on.  You and your work are beautiful!!!

Do you make quilt tops? Do you have trouble getting your points to line up? Are you on a tight budget? If so, the Fiskars Rotary Cutter & Ruler Combo is a game changer and must have tool!!!

I started cutting quilt tops by using cardboard templates and a scissors (showing my age) and then advanced to a Fiskars Cutting Mat, Ruler and Rotary Cutter.  That was such a game changer and time saver for me!  But, I was recently gifted this Fiskars Rotary Cutter & Ruler Combo and have to say that I'm in love with it!!! 

                           FISKARS Rotary Cutter & Ruler Combo     FISKARS Cutting Mat

I make quite a few quilt tops per year, but just can't justify buying one of those expensive electric cutters yet.  The day might come eventually, but today I'm over the moon with my new Fiskars Rotary Cutter & Ruler Combo tool and wanted to share my excitement with others who might be on a tight to modest budget.

The things that I love about it over just the cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter:

  • It stays put on the fabric and doesn't slide around.
  • No misaligned cuts where my rotary cutter strays from the edge of the ruler.  This is a big one for me and so aggravating especially when you only bought the exact amount of fabric you needed.
  • No cutting into the ruler.
  • No chance of dropping it and cutting yourself or cutting yourself when using it.  This is also a big one for me!
  • Accurate cut time after time where fabric stays put and you just move onto next cut.
  • Can cut up to 8 fabric layers.  Note:  I personally wouldn't do any more than 6.
  • Ruler has lines for all angles (30, 45 60)
  • So easy to use.

To give you some perspective of how much I love the Fiskars Rotary Cutter & Ruler Combo and how much sewing time it saves, I thought I'd show an example.  I tried to make this Sunset Quilt pattern with just my mat, ruler and rotary cutter.  It's totally doable, but we all know if your cuts are not exact -  points just don't line up and I tend to be a perfectionist.  Therefore I couldn't stand it and I had to put sashing in-between the blocks.

I liked the top, but was determined that I could do better and wanted it to look like the pattern I had bought.  So I made another one and this time I used my new Fiskars Rotary Cutter & Ruler Combo to make sure my cuts were perfect.  GAME CHANGER!!!   The points sewed together so nicely and I didn't spend an arm and a leg on an expensive electric cutter.


I use it for all my quilt tops now!!!  It's an affordable solution for those of us on a budget!!!

Happy Cutting & Piecing!!!

The Cricut Maker was a total game changer for me to personalize sewing items vs. my embroidery machine. Which do you use and why?

If you are a sewist like myself, I bet you use an embroidery machine to personalize your sewing items.  At lease that's the way I was doing it until I got a Cricut Maker!!!  It was such a game changer for me and opened up all sorts of possibilities for me!!!

People complain that the Cricut Maker costs $400+, but what they don't know is that if you are a sewist and are use to using an embroidery machine they cost $1000+ and that's a low end machine.  I bought my machine used and although I love it, I find  hooping fabric, knowing which interfacing to use, and then the issue of thread breaking, bobbin running out, etc. to be such a pain!!!  Not to mention having to find the correct embroidery format and item I want to embroidery that my machine can handle with easy is difficult.

Therefore, I bought a Cricut Maker and have never looked back!!!  I love using my Cricut to personalize quilts, pillows, onesies, etc.  It's really so easy to use and takes less time to make than the embroidery machine!

Onesies were always so difficult on my embroidery machine because of the hooping process.  I know people use a floating method now, but I've never learned that.  I like to use the flockstrip vinyl which is soft for onesies.

I still like to applique, but now I use my Cricut Maker to cut out the applique.  It's a game changer and so accurate and crisp.  I could never get this type of a cut if I was cutting the letters out myself and the Cricut takes no time at all to cut the name out and can use any font I can find on dafont.com.  The possibilities are limitless.

My Cricut Maker also can draw so I use it to make all my quilt lables now.  My hand writing is terrible and this is way faster than embroidering the lable.

I made these stocking and used GLITTER heat transfer vinyl for the names which is something that would have been difficult with an embroidery machine because mine always has issues with metallic thread and such.

I still use my embroidery machine on some items like these burp clothes from time to time, but not so much any more.

I bet if you got a Cricut Maker, you wouldn't be using your embroidery machine so much any more.  I find it a lot easier and quicker and a lot less expensive.  I order my vinyl on-line and in bulk to cut costs and I design almost all of my SVG files from googling pics and re-creating my own.  I can honestly say I love my Crictu Maker and the possibilities it has opened for me.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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