Free Quilting Tips and Tricks

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Defining Your Artistic Quilting Style

As you set out to create a business from your craft or to better yourself as a quilter, you may decide it’s time to define an artistic style or personality for your work.  Many artists are instantly recognized and identified by their body of work. Defining your style can be much easier said then done.  Most often your style will evolve over time and grow from your interests and passions.  Sometimes it can be difficult to move beyond recreating patterns from other artists and begin to see yourself as a creative artist with unique ideas. Here are a few suggestions to begin finding your personal style: Take a standard pattern...

Find the best venue to sell your crafts

After you decided to start your craft business, the next step is to figure out where to sell it for the best profit.  Your options are broader than they once were, with unlimited venues on the internet.  However, is that the best market for a handmade item? Points to consider: Who are the clientele that may be interested in your product? Local access to customers – Do you live in a highly populated area? Is your creation a low cost craft, or high priced art piece? Does your product photograph well or is it best viewed in person? Are you comfortable in dealing with the public? Are you interested in...

Pricing your craft for the street fair market

Once you’ve chosen the product or collection of products that you plan to sell, the next step is to figure out how much it will cost you to produce it and how you should price your product.  There is often a fine line between pricing yourself out of the market and working for nothing!   As a general rule of thumb, the more unique and one of a kind your item is, the more liberty you will be able to take in pricing it.  If you are planning to sew an item that is more widely available at low cost, the less you will be able to play with the pricing....

Starting your sewing crafts business

So you have your product idea and you’re ready to get started sewing!  Here are a few thoughts on what you should have in place before you get to work. Get your state business license: This is an easy process but often a scary step for new entreprenuers.  It involves choosing your business name, your business structure and paying the fee of approx. $25.  For this you will be registered to do business in your state and receive a UBI number that you will be able to use to buy your supplies wholesale and tax free. Get your city business license:  The rules vary from city to city, so you will need to check...

Turn your sewing to profit – finding your niche

So you’re ready to start!  Now what?  An important step to talking that big leap into starting your own business, whether it is a home based crafts business or any other, is to research your market.  Questions to ask yourself when researching your niche: How do you plan to sell your product (crafts fair, store, online, etc.)? Is your idea unique?  If not, how can you differentiate your product? Who is your competition (everywhere)? Is your product an item that is already mass produced and available at low cost? How much would it cost in materials to product your product? How long would each item take to produce? Would you...

Sewing and Quilting for Profit

Wouldn’t everyone like to make money at something they truly love doing?  While my kids were growing up, I was a stay at home mom who did just that!  I wanted to be there for them and still make some money.  My kids are now 17 and 21 and I’ve moved into a more full time online career, but for those earlier years quilting was perfect!  Check out my street fair booth in Seattle . My business began with making windsocks and selling them at local bazaars and smaller venues.  I evolved into an art quilter, selling my work at local art fairs, summer street fairs and a local quilt shop. ...

Machine Quilting to elegantly finish your Quilt

At the 2008 Spring Quilt Market in Portland this year, I came upon this stunning quilt that really brought home to me the importance of the quilting stitches and lines that you choose.  Here’s an example of a quilt that looks as good from the back as it does from the front!  (If anyone knows the name of the maker, please let me know so I can give them the credit they deserve). Here’s the front of the quilt: Here’s the back of the quilt: Beautiful quilting to aspire to!...

Clueless with Angelina fiber?

If you were like me (until recently), you’d likely have no idea what to do with the ultrafine fiber called Angelina. Much less know the difference between crimped cut and straight, hot fix or not! I thought it was about time to find out more about this fun fiber and took a crash course on how to use Angelina. First a couple of basics: Crimped cut is as it sounds, crinkled, and it’s shinier than straight cut A tiny bit of Angelina goes a long way 1/2 oz will create a 36″ square sheet of Angelina (when bound with heat) It only bonds to itself (not your iron, you, fabric,...

Connecting with your crafting passion

In these busy times, it’s easy to let your hobbies slide for more “important” things. With the stress of daily life, the economy, and so on, often our own personal passions are set aside. Your personal time is important to you as a human being – for your state of mind and your well being. So how do you make time in the day to keep up on your quilting, knitting or needlework? Here are a few ideas to keep your “crafting pleasures” in your life: 1. Keep a small project in a bag packed “to go” – for work breaks and bus rides 2. Dedicate 1/2 hr. a day...

Choosing Great Fabrics for your Projects

As a beginner, it can be scary to venture out of your comfort zone when choosing fabric. Here are a few tips to help you break through your personal barriers to color, texture and scale. Choose an assortment of fabrics for each color value If your pattern calls for three to five fabrics, choose a color family for each of those fabrics rather than a single fabric. You quilt will come to life if you move towards a less planned approach. For the “red” in your quilt, you could have 5 or 6 similar value reds that will all “read” as the same color, but will keep your eye interested....