Friday, June 12, 2009

What Do You Think?

Michele - stipple 6

Above: My Project Improv design from the early this year.

So, I recently found some curvy wristlets at a boutique and came home and made pattern myself. One thing I loved about the store wristlets was the gorgeous, quilted, sort of shabby chic fabric. I thought of purchasing some April Cornell quilted fabric at the quilt shop but decided that would be a waste, as it is double-sided and I would want to have finished edges inside the wristlet. I just needed one-sided quilted fabric of my choice. Hello?! What does my machine do? It stipples, see below:

Michele - stipple 4

I happened to have some flowery April Cornell already, so I cut a fat quarter, pinned some batting behind, and stippled for an hour. It took a little more than two minutes to get down each row.

Stipple Project

From there, I cut out my new little curvy wristlet pattern and made up this little pretty.

Quilted Wristlet

It occurs to me that it might be a good idea to put stippled fat quarters in my shop for those who want something just like this for small projects. Kind of like a cutter-quilt idea but all new, quilt-quality fabrics. It can be a little pricey, though, so please tell me what you think. Based on $9.00/yard fabric, the fat quarter cost is $2.25, all nicely washed and dried already, too. Quality batting is about $7.00/yard, so a fat quarter would be $1.75. Thread is about $1.00, I guess (it's remarkable how much thread I went through and two bobbins to wind). Finally, an hour's wages which includes the costs of my studio at $15.00 per hour. Usually, I figure in $20.00 per hour into my work, which includes all materials and shop fees, however, I'm breaking it out here to see exactly how the costs work out, and it isn't rocket science to sit at the machine and hold the fabric straight while the Wonder Machine -- I should do that Sew Mama Sew meme about one's machine that's going around right now -- does all the work. For the quality materials, the effort, and owning the machine, the stippled fat quarter should be $20.00. It sounds high to me, but that's because I can do the work myself. Maybe $18.00, as I watched a show while guiding the fabric. On the other hand, we all pay around $8.00 or more for fat quarters of Japanese cotton/linen blends or $4.00 or $5.00 a yard for stamped twill tape with someone's special design.

So, what do you think? One could make a number of things out of a fat quarter: wristlets, the bottom halves of a tote with some linen at the top, needle cases, knitting or crochet rolls, journal covers, bibs, ornaments. I just googled "fat quarter projects," and Sew Mama Sew has a great list. I can offer ready-to-ship fat quarters of popular fabrics I pick up and also take requests. If someone wants a piece of so-and-so's fabric quilted, I can order it in.

Stippled fabric

If you've read this far and have an opinion, please let me have it! In return, I have divided up the stippled fabric above into two pieces (15.5" tall on the selvage and 10.5" wide), and I'll draw two names on Monday, 6/15/09, to receive a piece, if you like ....

7 comments:

trashalou said...

It is a nice easy option for people like me who dare not trust themselves with REAL quilting.

Stephanie said...

Interesting idea. $15 to $20 per hour? I'm really selling myself short!

~Michelle~ said...

Hmmm...I prolly wouldn't buy them, because that's a small enough size that I feel comfortable quilting it myself. But I can see the value in it - would make it easier for people to create some quick projects! I guess you can try a few out to see how well it does :)

Wendy said...

You know, I think it's a good idea. Not too much risk involved in giving it a try and see if anyone buys. I have several friends who are good seamstresses but are afraid of stippling or don't have a machine/foot to do it.

greetingarts said...

Hi Michele, I'm back! And you kind of amaze me with all the great ideas you have. Michelle's comment had me thinking that maybe larger pieces would be more appealing to more people, but then again it's more work, and higher prices... can you buy your things at a wholesale discount so you could charge a bit less, maybe? And I think custom would be the way to go, so people could get exactly what they want and you wouldn't really be taking such a gamble. Love your wristlet!

Fiona said...

Your stippling is lovely and I love april cornell fabrics.....

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I think you'll sell some and your price is reasonable. I know most of us do that ourselves but I'm always amazed by those that would rather skip a step and pay more. As for what you are worth you ARE worth that much. I hate to quibble about my prices and agonize kind of like you wrote, over what is fair and what is marketable. It is a hard thing sometimes.