Organizing Your Sewing Area

This contributor post is written by Donna of donnaslavendernest.


 

Hi y’all.
I am donna from It is so much fun to be back here at Clover and Violet. Jenny and Clara are just the 2 sweetest people and I am so grateful they are having me on there blog.

Today I wanted to give you some ideas of how to organize around your sewing machine. Now I am just saying, it is not always this clean around my machine. LOL!

sewing area

My very clever hubby made me a desk so that my machine would fit in it. So far it has been the best thing ever. I stumbled upon this sweet milk glass bowl at a resale shop super cheap and decided it could be used for my thread nest as I am sewing.

sewing area 2

This is a tin a watch came in a long time ago. It is perfect for holding all the things you need while sewing. When I go on retreat I just put the lid on and pack it with the other goodies going along for a sewing trip.

sewing area 3

The drawer that attaches to my sewing machine just didn’t work anymore or fit the new dest. So I found this sweet bowl at Goodwill to hold the different feet that go with my sewing machine, sewing machine oil and needles. It works perfectly and everything is very handy.

Hope I was able to give you a few ideas of how you can organize around your sewing machine and keep it looking cute.

Thank you so much Jennie and Clara for having me. You are the best.

Hugs
donna

Simple Scrappy Sampler {Week 5}

Shoo-FlyI’ve been absent from my sampler quilt for too long {see the rest of the posts here!}, but I’m determined not to let this one slip by the wayside. So, I’ve made up two more blocks in hopes of getting back in the swing of things. I am still dreaming of having this quilt on my bed someday, so I chose two easy blocks {they’re essentially the same, just the half-square-triangles are rearranged!} for my first week back. Here they are:

Friendship-StarI’m honestly still undecided if I’m going to use the navy. There are so many navy prints that I love though, so I decided to try it with a couple blocks and see how I feel about it. For now this one stands out a lot! I had also intended the star to be the lighter aqua, but accidentally cut the pieces backwards, and now I’m glad I did!

Block 9 and 10Here’s the cutting layout for the blocks. Alternately, PDF version can be downloaded here. This time my notes on block construction is easy, for both blocks I cut my larger squares to 3 3/4″ and then sewed and trimmed them to 3 1/8″. I’ve heard that there’s a ruler that will trim the blocks before pressing…I need to check into this!

Ten-BlocksAnd here’s the 10 I have so far. See, the navy really stands out…but I’m hoping if I add some more, it will be okay, thoughts? If you hate it…please tell me! I’d rather remake this one than have to remake a bunch!

As usual, if you’re sewing along, please share in the Flickr group or on Instagram with the tag #simplescrappysamplerqal. I’m already looking forward to next week’s blocks!

A Guide to Selling at Craft Fairs – Part 2

This contributor post is written by Erika of Midwest Family Life.


Hi! It’s Erika from Midwest Family Life again to talk about selling at craft fairs. If you didn’t catch Part 1, you can click here to read about the top five things you need to know before you start selling.

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This second part will dive more into what I’ve learned from doing craft fairs and some personal tips for success.

What I learned from doing craft fairs.

I was super excited about craft fairs when I started my business. Personally, I could walk around them all day long, especially the really great ones we have outdoors in autumn. I’m a people person and also enjoyed designing my booth space. Each time I set up and took down my booth it got a little better, a little faster. Having done so many fairs in one year I got a little burned out and will be backing away from doing them. Trying to balance family and work can be challenging. When I do a craft fair, I’m gone from almost 7am-6pm which means my hubby is home with all three girls. In general, the profit (after time and expense) ended up not being worth it to me.

Five tips to keep you headed in the right direction.

1. Really make sure you are going to a fair that hits your target market, otherwise you’ll have wasted your time and money– big time. This is the main reason I’m personally backing away. I’m realizing that my product isn’t meant for craft fairs. In general, folks are looking for a deal and that’s not me or my products. If you are paying $40 or less for the booth rental, you probably don’t have a high-paying crowd. Get a feel for the city you will be selling in and talk to the person in charge of running the craft fair. Ask questions about attendance and get a copy of the past vendor list. Was it mostly direct sale vendors or were there a lot of crafty folks selling? Really try your best to know that customer.  The one fair I did really well at was a Fall Fest, cost $150/booth and had 300 vendor booths and an attendance of over 90,000 people. Big difference, right?

2. You really need to accept credit cards. There are so many missed opportunities if you don’t do this. Sure there is a fee per sale, but it’s worth it! Square.com and PayPal both have free readers. Many big banks have their own as well. Practice with your smart phone, you need to have Internet access in order to use it. Inputting the numbers by hand carries a larger fee. Additionally, make sure you have a sign displayed in your booth that states what you accept. Customers don’t want to ask.

3. Make sure you have a lot of product for people to choose from and expect them to touch it all. I’ve played around a lot with packaging or no packaging and displaying my items. Each item will be different so make sure you research what will work for you. Put a clear pricing sheet out, I stick mine in a picture frame, or better yet, have pricing on each item. Again, customers don’t want to ask you what it costs, it makes them feel uncomfortable.

4. Set up will take you longer than you think, especially if you are putting up a tent. It’s stressful to be rushing. Give yourself lots of extra time and know where you are going. Look at directions ahead of time. Most of the big 10×10′ tents take at least two people to set up. Ask for help if you need it.

5. Look like a legit business. Hang your banner or signage where people can see it. Have your business cards out, have bags for people to take their product home in and be organized.  Be a brand, think about little things like matching table cloths and not having the legs of your table show. A little goes a long way. If you want to BE a business, act like one.

This is the information I can offer you right now. After a year of various fairs I’ve decided that they aren’t for my business. I’m going to focus on wholesale and direct selling. I still love fairs and fests and regularly attend them but selling at them won’t be at the top of my list. It’s just too much time commitment for not enough payout. But maybe your product is perfect for craft fairs! Give it a good effort, follow the tips above, really research your market, design a great booth and you’ll probably have awesome success.

Good luck and remember to have fun! After all, you started this business because of your passion. Live it and love it.

Quilty Fun 1st Birthday Celebration!!

Happy 1 year Birthday to “Quilty Fun”, Lori Holt’s adorable book!!

Quilty-Cake

This is the block that she designed for the celebration, such a fun idea. It is the cutest, as is everything she makes!!

Birthday-Celebration

If you would like to make your own birthday block you can go here for the cutting directions. And if you would like to purchase Lori’s book go here!! This book is filled with many adorable projects and you can learn so much from her. I never thought I would be able to sew such tiny things until I started sewing using her method!! Here is the link for party central!!

Have a great day!  I have a little secret for choosing these colors, my granddaughter  will be celebrating her 1st birthday in just a couple of weeks and this is going to be for her birthday celebration. Lori helped make Lydia’s birthday just a little bit cuter!! Thank you!!

Mini’s & Swaps

As the holiday’s approach it seems like gifts are on more on our minds. All through the summer there were many swaps going on.  I have put together some of the swaps I have been involved in, these are from instagram swaps.

enchanted-forest-mug-rug-swap

This is the most recent swap I was involved in on instagram. It was called the #enchantedforestmugrugswap. This cutie is what I received in the mail Saturday from Courtney, she is super talented and made this for me. She did beautiful paper piecing on the front of it.

mini-back

This is the back, no less cute than the front. All that very special fabric, that I had never even seen some of before. I am going to hang it in a special place in my new sewing room. I am still transitioning, hope it is finished soon!!

strawberry-swap

Next is this little mini that was made for me by Carmen. Isn’t it adorable? She made it using paper piecing also. This is hanging in my kitchen. It was part of the #strawberryswap.

strawberry-mini

I made this for my partner and sent it off to her this summer. I really enjoyed the paper piecing. It was so much fun being involved in all of these swaps. Since not everyone is on instagram I thought I would share here so you don’t miss out. I know there are a lot of swaps going on all the time.

books

My purpose for showing these mini quilts was for two reasons, to share them with you and to give you ideas for gift making. I have these three books that I love browsing through. I plan on making a few gifts from them soon. I am currently working on one already. I will show it when I am finished.

I hope you are enjoying the fall, it is a great time for sewing and stitching inside!! My instagram name is @cloverandviolet2 if you are on instagram and want to follow. It’s a great addition to blogging!!