Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Frankensteins Fabrics

What do you love about running your own hand-made business?
The one thing I love most about running my own hand-made business is seeing what customers make from the supplies they purchase from me Whether its adding a tiny piece to a doll's dress or making a whole quilt from scratch I love seeing my customer's creativity. It inspires me and gives me insight into the styles and themes that they are after - enabling me to purchase with more focus for future fabric ranges.
Piece of Cake - magazine commission

What is your favourite product to make?
Lap quilts are by far my favourite item to make - either for magazine commissions or as custom orders. They are the perfect size to design as the maths needed is fairly straightforward (always a plus!) and they are a good size to teach as well. I love lap quilts because they are a staple item in my house now. There's always one on the lounge in case someone gets cold - in winter especially. I saved money last year on my electricity bill by having a lap quilt on the lounge as we didn't need to have the heater on much at all. 
How did you learn your craft?
I mainly taught myself, learned a few techniques here and there from friends, classes and online tutorials. I am always striving to add to my skill set, always pushing the boundaries with my designs and how to achieve them. I don't consider myself a 'modern quilter ' or a 'traditional quilter', I just quilt what I like, when I like. I do follow the rules however to achieve the accuracy that is needed in this craft.
Little Red Riding Hood - magazine commission
What handy hints do you have for people who are starting up a hand-made business?
Have a plan, some goals and set yourself some schedules. Organising your time is key but also learn to take advantage of your feelings and motivations - I am a night owl and work better between 8pm and 3am - so even though I work during the day I use those times to do things that require my best thinking - website updates, writing and designing. Sewing quilts is like breathing to me - second nature - so piecing something doesn't take much of my mental capacity. 
What plans do you have for your business in the next year?
Blue Winterfly - custom order
I'd like to see more quilts go to good homes this year and next. I will undertake more training (have to keep some of it secret until it's done!) and I will be expanding more into custom quilt work - currently I'm only doing edge-2-edge quilting with pantographs. Custom quilting will allow me more creativity in my designs and be able to bring more texture to customer's quilts. I'll be looking more at teaching - whether it's in a physical or virtual classroom I'm not sure yet and I'll also be working on more of my patterns with the goal of eventually writing my own book. 
Whats one thing you cannot live without in your hand-made biz?
Besides my crafting tools, mail order stuff and stock it would have to be a 
notepad and pen. I am always writing notes, jotting down ideas, drawing sketches and taking orders. I write lists like mad and always have at least 3 going at one time. 

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