Friday, October 31, 2008

eBay loses its mind again...

So 15% fees was not enough...

Now they tell us HOW we can get paid...

I am speechless... no, disgusted....

seems that if their hand is not in our pocket at every step, they aren't happy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post #100!!! And its another stalker's treasury!

I have been stressing all week about how I would commemorate my 100th blog post. Just so happens, it all worked out....


I saw this & had to share...TOO AMAZING

I stumbled across this talented & OH SO PATIENT etsian today. Her shop is empty, but I just can't imagine how much time it took to save up all the materials used in her creations!

Check her out

They are just stunning! To think how much we have thrown away!

Honor to be nominated

I was included in another quiltsy team treasury today! I just love this baby set too! Maybe I need to make a quilt & complete the set?!

Click & comment if you have a sec! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breast Cancer Charity Rag Quilt Auction IS LIVE!

The members of my eBay group, Quilter's Corner, have participated in putting together a quilt to benefit Susan G. Komen. The auction is now running!

If you have an eBay account, will you do us a favor and go to this listing & click "watch this item"? Of course, we would love it if you could bid & support a great cause, but eBay will help promote auctions that have a ton of interest, that's where views & "watchers" helps us.

Thanks for helping us raise money to find a cure!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quilting Green

Here's an unusal post for with controversy! Now let me first say...I try to live as green as I can feasibly afford. I recycle, compost, organically garden, reuse, repurpose (see my Fiber Friday post from 10/17) and conserve. We keep our heat in the winter in our house at 59 & bundle up.....what I am saying is that we are not the frivilous kind.

I think my annoyance is the marketing world's affect on folks.

I have been chatting with the Quiltsy Team about cotton batting and that it is of late being seen as not being "green". This just floors me. It is an annually renewable resource (quicker than bamboo reproduces) and creates tons of jobs in the US. From the farmer, ginner, spinner, weaver and the companies that produce all the equipment that makes those activities possible...not to mention the USDA that certifies the cotton into grades for usage....who knows who else I am forgetting in that revenue/job stream..? BUT my point is how is cotton not a green alternative?

The only answer so far is chemicals used to culitvate the cotton to increase yeild. I suppose my best argument to that is corn. Corn is the GREEN fuel, right? Corn producers are using the comparable pesticides and genetically engineered seed to increase production. So maybe the definition of green is the alternatives....corn is greener than oil, so it is green, no matter what chemicals are used to harvest the maximum is still greener than the alternative. HMMM...maybe I can buy that as an answer.... plastic bottle batting is greener than cotton and that makes it green & cotton not green....maybe....(but it makes me wonder about the footprint of each alternative's processing...)

But I digress...cotton batting is not from a man made resource, and it is available in "organic" form for those that so choose.

I do not dislike any of the "greenER" alternatives, but I DO believe they are deceptive. There is a new batting being unveiled this week at market made from recycled plastic bottles. I immediately said YAY! I decided to check it out. I went to their website on the product.

it says (note the quotes): "Each pound of Dream Green Batting keeps 10 plastic bottles out of our landfills." comes the marketing part. KEEPS??? Are the makers of the batting dumpster diving to keep the plastic bottles out of the landfills? Or are they using the bottles already separated by consumers to be recycled into something? Isn't it misleading and possibly irresponsible to say they are keeping bottles out of the landfill if they are using consumer separated bottles....those bottles would have been made into something anyway.

NOW, don't get me wrong...I am ecstatic they have found a way to use bottles and soybeans and bamboo to make usable quality batting. I just am not proud of the way they make cotton out to be....well, polyester. Also, if you read the description of the Dream Green, that's what this batting is...polyester.

I am rambling, I know. But I think that we as consumers really should THINK about what the marketers tell us and process that information through a filter. It's just wonderful to have recycled products to choose from, it would be wonderful if they could be promoted with integrity.

I think this is mental backlash from the political process *wink*. but dont get me started on that....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sewing Sunday!

Yesterday was a busy day in the brick & mortar has actually been a very good week :). I did get some sewing done on my custom order and can see the light at the end of the tunnel with that project. I hope my customer likes it...he wants to be surprised...I just hope he is pleasantly surprised, if you know what I mean.

Today I am sewing up a charity quilt to list on eBay...If I am lucky, I will be able to list tonight. Actually, luck has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of focus. This rag throw quilt will be made from squares sent to me from my eBay quilting group, Quilter's Corner. Each lady sent me what they could. I have several embroidered squares to encorporate into the project as well. I am going to sew it up & get it listed to benefit Susan G. Komen in honor of our group's co-leader's mother who lost her battle a few years ago. I will be back to post a link to that auction so any of you who would like to support a fantastic cause can do so.

I also have a rag purse custom order to make by Tuesday for a local customer. She has picked a great color combo of Moda & mixing in some corduroy. It will be a fall stunner for sure!

That said...I guess it's time to focus focus focus!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fiber Friday~International Quilt Market

Hard to believe it's happening, given the recent hurricane, but the international quilt market trade show starts tomorrow in Houston.

The trade show is not open to the general public and runs from the 25-27th at the George R. Brown Convention Center. BUT this is followed by a quilt festival that is open to the public. The festival runs from 10/30-11/2. So if you find yourself in Houston next week, you are sure to find all kinds of fun & craziness in the realm of fiber art!

The spring trade show will be in Pittsburg May 15-17th. I am seriously considering this instead of Paducah's Quilt Show next year (unfortunately, I DO have to choose).

For more info on all these shows & events,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature~MoranArtandQuilts

This week's artist is

This week's artist is one of the most creative art quilters I think I have had the pleasure to know. She has a great eye for color as well as shape. Check out this modern/mod style quilt!

Using similar color sheme in the next piece, she achieved a totally different look. This artist can truly create for any taste or decor. Her wallhangings are exquisitely quilted and completed entirely by the artist.

I personally love the deep purple in this quilt and the applique is just flawless!

Click on any of the pics to view the listings & visit the Etsy store!

Now, let's get to know her!

What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?

I chose my name in honor of my father who worked very hard to put me through art school only to pass away one year before I graduated. I had no brothers to carry on the Moran name so I've kept it for my artwork and quilts.

Of the items you create, do you have a favorite?

For example, medium, color, item, customer?I love making the art quilts and just being creative. I recently taught myself how to free motion machine quilt so that's been fun to experiment with. Watercolor painting is also near and dear to me and I've painted house and pet portraits for over 25 years now. Quilting didn't come along until 2004.

How did you learn your craft?

I've always loved painting and drawing and, so, attended an art college. I went on to better my craft with just lots of practice. Then I decided to pursue my interest in quilting and bought a beginning book to teach myself.

Do you belong to etsy teams?

Yes, the Quiltsy Team!

Do you have a favorite etsy seller?

I have so many, it would be hard to choose but here are two artists I really like:ArtbyWendy and MyBusyFingers

Anything else to share?

I've been married for 26 years and have two great kids; a 20 year old son who's an auto tech and a 17 year old daughter who will graduate this year and plans on attending a dog training school next fall. I love being around them; they've turned into wonderful people. I also want to thank you for being so kind and featuring me in your blog!

Other sites:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fiber Friday~Upcycling

So, this is an opinion post for Fiber Friday.

I have heard various opinions on recycling fabrics. One school of thought is that it is gross to turn no longer worn clothes into a new usable item. Another is that it is cool (I suppose those are the most blunt words)

Well, I guess am in the non-gross, cool to reuse group.

I have saved countless jeans (and I mean in the hundreds of pairs) from the landfill. Cutting them up & making usable quilt squares and rag quilts. I have made true friends from my denim square customers from eBay. So the value of the act is more than just the newly reclaimed fabric.

I also incorporate fabric from flannel shirts, khaki pants, tablecloths, chenille bedspreads, upholstery and even old T-Shirts into new fiber works of art. To me it is anyway. It can be a way to show rememberance, incorporating a loved ones items into a quilt, like your child's t-shirts into a quilt for college.

see the pocket?

This one is khakis on the back

I have also used old antique quilt tops & quilts to make new items. I used a quilt top that was rows of diamonds, pieced into large triangles. I used each row to make quilted window valances. I have a good friend that uses old cutter quilts to make primitive looking Santas (gorgeous-I have to get a picture for you all).

So I am a firm believer of not throwing things away. and if you saw my eclectic stash, you would believe me. I try to pass on the recycle/upcycle to those that embrace it. I have already exhausted all my denim stash from summer yard sales. BUT I will continue to offer my crazy pieced denim blocks forever (most likely, since I have such a collection of scraps). Here's the back of a rag quilt I made using them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Silly fears

So, have you ever avoided doing something because you just don't know if it will work like you want it to? I have to say, that I have avoided adding zippers to my purses because I was not certain that the extra work involved would be returned with a corresponding increase in price.

That said, here is a great tutorial on incorporating zippers into any project. Thanks to Hoosierquilter for the tip!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stat Geek

Thanks to AndrusGardensQuilts for posting the link in the Quiltsy team chat forum today!

This gives you really cool stats on your etsy shop in a few very easy clicks!

have fun!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature~ ForQuiltsSake

This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to ForQuiltsSake. This artist has the most amazing eye for color & composition! Click the pic to go to the individual listing for that quilt.

She doesn't mention it herself, but I have to show you her own unique version of mixed media!

(click the pic to go to the listing!)

What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?

I wanted a name that was unique and was available as a website name. I kept trying different combinations of words with quilts and not only was available, when I Googled the words without quotes, there were only 3 things that came up. I also liked the connotation that since I’m driven to create quilts, I am doing this for the sake of the quilts.

Of the items you create, do you have a favorite? For example, medium, color, item, customer?

I really enjoy making my fabric mosaics and post cards because they’re small and fun and I can try out new techniques and color combinations without being committed to a whole quilt. I’ve recently started painting my own fabric and that’s also fun.

How did you learn your craft?

I never liked sewing but I loved fabric so I took a class on how to piece and quilt by hand. I loved the final result but it took too much time, so I taught myself how to use the sewing machine and I’m pretty much self-taught from books and just trying things.

Do you belong to etsy teams?

The fabulous Quiltsy Team.

Do you have a favorite etsy seller?

This is a hard questions. Of course I love all my Quiltsy sisters! If you looked through my favorites you’d find a lot of stained glass, glass beads, silver jewelry and of course, quilts. If I had to pick one, I’d probably pick NutmegDesigns because she makes fabulous mosaics and stained glass using quilt patterns. I haven’t bought from her yet, but she’s in my favorites so maybe someone will buy me one as a gift!

Do you have a favorite blog?

I love reading the blogs that my Quiltsy sisters write because it helps me feel like I know them. It’s fun to see what they’re up to, and sometimes I even learn a new technique.

Anything else to share?

My website is

My Flickr site is

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fiber Friday

I saw this forum thread in Etsy today and it got me to thinking about how I could incorporate that into a weekly feature on the blog.

SO.... I think I will start by giving info on new & exciting things in the quilting world...well new & exciting to me anyway!

I got this info today from my Robert Kaufman rep:

Please take a moment to view the following blog sites which feature a lot of information regarding our Designers- We have 2 new designers debuting their collections in Houston.- Patty Young and Paula Prass. They will both have booths at Quilt Market. Sandi Henderson will also have a booth as she has some new patterns.

Patty Young- Andalucia Collection
Paula Prass- Flights of Fancy Collection
Sandi Henderson

Any ideas for upcoming Fiber Friday's...just email or convo me!

Etsy Teams Rock! Ok...Quiltsy Rocks...I don't really know about any other ones!

I was included in a couple treasuries today

Anyone feel like giving a little treasury love AND seeing some beautiful fiber art!?

Also, treasuries made by the Quiltsy team are always posted on the team blog. Just in case you are ever looking for your next treasure!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's great to be loved! It's exciting to be hearted!

I started selling on Etsy less than 9 months ago and honestly wasn't "working it" until late summer. I checked on my hearts just now & tipped the scale at 101! I hovered at 99 for the last couple weeks & am stoked to thank those that pushed me over the milestone, BlissCandles and BeautyBeadsnMore.

Of COURSE...Thanks to all of you that have hearted me along the way. I hope that I can meet a future need for fabrics, notions, patterns or quilted treasures in the future!

Visit me soon for supplies & for quilted goodies!

How about some Treasury Love?

I created these today. All clicks, views & comments are greatly appreciated!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Today is a Birthday!

Oh no, not me....

Today I gave some life to a new shop on Etsy!

I decided that due to the way the shops on etsy are set up, it was hard to really have a cohesive look selling both fabrics AND quilted items.


I have begun to list my new quilted items to a new store...FabricsAndQuilts

I figure that with the name being similar, keeping the avatar & banner the same, it will be good to cross promote.

Come on over & check out my new purses & aprons!

ALSO, I have been getting more fabric listed. Check out the dozens of new listings at fabricsnquilts!

More Moda Fabric available on Etsy

I have begun adding my moda yardage to my Etsy store. There are dozens of patterns to choose from. For the online can save $1 a yard with my by shopping Etsy & avoiding the high eBay fees!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature ~ Ashlawnfarms

This week's featured artist is another fiber artist. Ashlawnfarms is a very talented artist, a humble woman, and all around great gal!

What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?

Ashlawnfarms (one word) is the dairy farm in central Indiana that I grew up on. We had over 150 head of Jersey cattle and milked an average of 60 cows. One summer we had over 100 cows milking at once and it took forever to milk them. I was very active in 4-H and showing the cows at local, state, and national shows. The herd was dispersed in Dec of 1988 during my freshman year of college. I chose my Etsy store name due to my past. It gives me fond memories of a fun childhood that I miss every once in a while. It also lets visitors of my shop know that I am a country girl and proud of it-although I am a city dweller now. I like the farm feeling it gives too-I am a hard worker and farmers have to be hard working and responsible to make a living. So you can say it is in my blood to be a hard worker....quilter now!

Of the items you create, do you have a favorite? For example, medium, color, item, customer?

I create quilts. Traditional quilts and rag quilts are my specialty. I guess a favorite would be the lone star quilt my grandma and I made 15 years ago.
I really love homespuns too, but am starting to favor Moda lines more and more.

How did you learn your craft?

I learned sewing and quilting from Grandma Walters. I made the tops and she quilted them all. We attended many estate sales acquiring fabric stashes here and there. I still have some of the stash, but have been using it up recently. Grandma suffered from a stroke in 1997 that took her right side. She spent the next 7 years in a nursing home before she passed in Jan 2004. During that time I could not sew anything. I pretty much kept busy with my athletic training education and career. In 2006 I started itching to sew again, but was worried about the quilting part. I stumbled across rag quilting which was an answer to my prayers. I have met many online quilters as well in various groups and learned so much from them as well as made some very good friends. They all really helped me to evolve-though I am still learning all the time! I have made hundreds of rag quilt items as well as designed a rag purse pattern series that I sell online. It was meant to be I believe! I will be trying more quilting this winter. Grandma always only quilted in the winter months because she was too busy in the garden during the summer to quilt-plus it was too hot to quilt she always said!

Do you belong to etsy teams?

I do belong to Etsy teams: Quiltsy and the INCrowd which is all Indiana sellers.

Do you have a favorite etsy seller?

I have not bought anything on Etsy yet-shame on me, but I plan to. I have my eye on seller RaspberryJune though! She sells the lines of fabrics that make my mouth water! (FNQ note...I have bought from RaspberryJune! She's awesome!)

Anything else to share?

I sell my patterns on this website: . I can also custom make any rag quilt creation you need!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Quilted Kitchens

The Quiltsy Team on Etsy is featuring how quilted items are not just for the bed or sofa this October.

search Etsy for quiltsyfood to see how you can quilt up your kitchen!

Here's a treasury featuring 12 of those items

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Since Yesterday was such a kick in the pants...let's laugh!

Upcoming business mergers to watch for so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks.

1.) Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R. Grace Co. Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2.) PolyGram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3.) 3M will merge with Goodyear an d become: MMMGood.

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

And finally

9. Victoria 'S Secret and Smith &Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBang Bang

CHECKOUT Pass the Laughter for daily giggles!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Have you done the math?

Spurred on by a series of events today, I did a little eBay math....proceed with caution....this is scary!

For the types of items I sell, ebay takes, on average 15%. And that does not include paypal.

for a fixed price listing of any kind, the fee charged when the item is purchased is 12%. Add this to the price to list the item & the monthly store fee....

For an auction, it is not much better. The listing fee is between 5-10%. This, when successful, is accompanied by an 8.75% final fee. So there we are back up over 15% again.

So, just like all things that trickle down, I hope those that buy on eBay realize they are paying up to 20% more for what they want than if they shopped elsewhere, like etsy.

I raise this to 20% because you also have to understand sellers pay eBay's sister company, Paypal, another 4-5% of the TOTAL (including shipping) amount received from every buyer.

So, shop around....I will be spending more time on etsy I & promoting.

eBay's only saving grace is that it has built up a membership base through past years of marketing & promotion. eBay's problem is that it doesn't seem to realize....if the sellers leave because 20% is just TOO MUCH to give to anyone...where does that leave them. If there is nothing to buy...