Sew On The Go is authored by Michelle Renee Hiatt, who is the designer for her own pattern line Sew On The Go as well as Modern 180, a modern pattern division of Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design. Additionally, Michelle is a certified Studio 180 Design Instructor, as well as a certified Professional Process Expert (LSSMBB); she uses her process improvement techniques and applies them to her quilting and teaching others how to simplify their piecing while improving the quality of their quilt making. Michelle Renee is known for her humor, enthusiasm and encouragement! Michelle can be reached on her website @www.Sewonthego.netor her

Monday, October 31, 2011

Are the rising prices of Quilt Fabric impacting your fabric purchasing?

Wow, I'm not sure how many of you have noticed, given all the "Hayloft" deals, but fabric prices have really soared in recent months.  I'm talking $11.00+ a yard is becoming the norm.  No lie.

Most of the brick and mortar storefront and online shops, that have the "new" fabric, are pricing it at $10-12 a yards.   I surfed the web, to check out the "recently received" (tried not to pick on any one shop), and found that, in my mini-research,is the only store that has "new" fabric under $10.00 a yard.  For "new", I used fabric that I know arrived in the last two weeks.


What are your thoughts?  To be fair, I think the quilt manufacturers kept quilting fabric at the $4.50-$4.90 range for quite a few years. Which at the 100% mark-up (standard for most quilt shops) put the retail prices at $9.00-$9.80 a yard.  Some shops add their shipping costs (from Manufacturer to their store) in addition to that 100% mark up.   Others, absorb it into their 100% mark up.  Now, it seems cotton prices have increased, along with the cost of manufacturing (so they say), causing the Manufacturers to raise their wholesale prices to $6.00 a yard (batik or not).  The quilt shops I've spoken to are trying their best to keep their prices under the $12.00 a yard, by taking less than their "normal" mark-up.  However, given the increasing shipping prices, that is getting harder and harder to do.  Plus, the brick and mortar stores have physical store fronts to pay for... etc.

So, are the increasing prices impacting your shopping?  Are you buying less?  Are you raiding those stash (aka fabric futures-couldn't be more true)?  Are you being more conservative/particular when purchasing fabric - only those must haves?  Or, are you only purchasing "sale" fabric?  Or, are you buying just as you were a few months back?

What's your story?

Monday, October 17, 2011

2012 Project Box List

Ok, so we've all heard of a "Bucket List", the 2012 Quilting Project Box List is similar, but to strive to complete in 2012 instead of before your die.

I read a study that states those that set a goal for a passion or career, meet that goal 78% of the time. I thought that was pretty good and got to thinking that maybe I need to gather a quilt goal list, that maybe it would force me to be more productive.  Plus, I love lists.

Anyway, what do you think? Would you be interested in putting a 2012 Quilting Project Box List together and tracking your progress? No min, no max, just how are you doing.

I'm going to do it.  While at Camp (which I LOVED), I thought of a few of those 2012 goals:
  • Complete a hand applique wall hanging or small quilt.
  • Complete Christmas quilt for my bed (which we all know is KING).
  • Complete a Judy Niemeyer Quilt (not sure it will be Amazon)
  • Complete my YoYo Quilt
So that is 4, I think they are a good combination.  A wide variety and quilt skills.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quilts on High - Burlington, NJ

I've been meaning to post these pics all week.  The Quilt Gods helped hold off the rain in Burlington, NJ last Saturday for the "Quilts on High" event.  However, it gave enough of a scare that Olde City Quilt Shop had local merchants host some of the quilts indoor.  They were afraid if the sky opened up that they couldn't get them all down in time.  It is a shame, because the quilts outdoor really, really looked stunning...    This was  the first year, that I'm aware of, for this event.
I thought I'd share a few pictures.  I couldn't pick just a few, so I hope you don't mind all the photos:

You can see those outside really are stunning.  The NY Beauty below was my FAV.

I love a good Rooster and Snowman Quilt

This Barn quilt was really something, but unfortunately, it was one of the ones indoors and the picture doesn't really do it justice.
Then, the 3D Spider Quilt 
Last but not least, the World Trade Center 911 Quilt.  Shortly after 911, the quilter downloaded over 1000 photos of the victims of WTC 911 and used over 600 in this quilts.  It is a very gray and hazy but the quilter stated it was appropriate since that is how she felt and how NY looked on the days following. 

First hand, this quilt really hits you.

I tried to capture a close up so you could see some of the faces.

That's my review of "Quilts on High".  I wish the weather was so unsteady and that all the quilts could have been outside.   I guess there is next year.

Check out my Holiday Samples

On top of my Corporate America job, I do some freelance work for a local quilt shop. 

However, this year, given the new full time Corporate American job, I never thought I would finish my Holiday Samples on time for a local quilt shop's Open House.  On top of dealing with everything else, I've been sick with a virus the last few days.  However, for once I didn't procrastinate too much.  I was waiting on Green and Pink rick rack forever, for the baby quilt sample, which left that to be the last thing to be put together and then quilted and bound.  I made it though... And I was pretty happy with the quality. 

Here is the Baby's Quilt:

I quilted it myself.  I will admit, I've only been renting a local long arm for about a year now and I was freaking out a bit....  But I got through it, not sure how.  I couldn't very well use a pantograph which meant I need to free motion quilt it and not hit the rick rack, applique, etc..  A few tense moments but I made it through.  And the binding... well it still took me 4 hours, but my wrists didn't hurt.

The Merry Pillow, the local quilt shop's kit actually lets you make two:

Then the Mistletoe Pillow.  I had my reservations on this one, but I have to tell you I ended up loving it.

Now, I just have to wait to get them back.  I hope the kits sell out.  Isn't that a funny, I feel like I should take it personally if the sample I make doesn't sell out.

This week's Blog Poll - Do you purchase a Quilt Calendar?

So, tell.  Do you purchase a Quilt Calendar?

Who know there we so many.  At first I was going to list the 4-5 quilt calendar producers, I figured there were maybe 4 or 5 quilt calendars produced each year.  Try 45 and that is what I found with a simple google search.  If I really tried,  I bet I could find 60.
If you do purchase one, do you always buy the same one?

I have purchase (or been given one as a gift) for the last 6 years (yes, I know where they are..)  For the last 4 years I've purchased the American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar (2007-2011).  Prior to that, I have 2 years (2005 -2006) from Quilts (Avalance Publishing).Both come with the patterns for each of the quilts.    I like the AP&Q because the instructions are in color too.  Plus, the quilts are doable.... not that I have.

 So, ladies; what about you... do you purchase them?  Have you ever made a quilt that was featured in a calendar?  Do you hang it at home?  The office?   If you don't buy them, why not?  Are you ashamed to show your quilt love?

Would you like one as a gift?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What do you think about the Pdf Quilt Patterns?

I'm not sure if anyone else has seen them, but there seems to be a surge of Online PDF patterns for sale.   I have mixed feelings about them and was wondering what you thought.
I think those who can design and sell patterns are great.  I often think I'd like to give it a try, love the math and all... but do I have the talent for design.. hmmm.   Anyway back to my original question.  For the most part Pattern designing is low risk:
  • Most patterns sell between $8-12.  Why some are $12, I'm not sure, but they better be giving you a lot.  LOL.  Anyway, you figure you design it once, you have the initial fabric cost, time, re-dos, etc.  (aka front research/start-up cost). 
  • You need to write it up and package it.  Which by the way, I think there are designers that really do a great job there and then others, not so much.  Both in photos and directons.
  • Then you determine how much you want invest to sell the pattersn.  Tradionally, your efforts will pay off in volume sold.  You could start off with local shops - just printing a few, marketing them on Etsy (which is where I believe  the downloading originate) - produce a PDF, or try and sell it to a pattern company or start your own pattern company.  The later two probably have you making more samples, getting a booth at market plus having more than one pattern to market....
So, again depending on the volume and such something that cost you $1-3 dollars to produce after the initial investment, you could see wholesale for $4-6 and/or see to the consumer for $8-12....   Decent profit, but you have to have that "wow".

Anyway, so a few years ago, we started seeing the "mom and pops" of pattern designers sell you their patterns online from their personal website.  Often charging a lower fee and no postage if you "download" it.  Which I can understand and appreciate.  They are starting out, and this gives them a way to get a foot in the door without the overhead.

However, now we are starting to see the more "mainstream" (for a lack of a better word) pattern designers and quilt shops selling them online for the same price as the printed patterns.    So, I have mixed thoughts.  I guess it is still a good deal.  One, I guess I like the fact that I don't have to wait for it to be shipped and that I don't have to pay shipping but do I "value"the pattern the same.  I've always thought of "downloading" patterns as free.  I collect them like fabric, since they don't cost anything, but rarely have used a free pattern.  I could probably count on one hand how many times I've made something with a free pattern.

So, if you had the option, do you pay $9 for a printed pattern or $8 for a PDF.

Me, for now, I want the printed pattern.

What about you.