Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Begining of the End

I started quilting my lovely linen quilt last night.... its slow going - I'm trying to be extra careful so that I don't have any wrinkles in the backing.  I currently dont' have a quilting frame to stretch and baste my quilts on, so I duct tape them to the floor and do the best that I can.  Last night I got about an eighth done, and it looks gorgeous!


As I'm still a beginner (albeit on the high end - this will be my 7th quilt) I'm just using the  stitch-in-the-ditch method - even if I felt comfortable trying a pattern I think I would still use this method though.  It lends itself towards the feeling of simplicity that I am going for.

E's bed and cranes.  You can read more about them here
Another reason progress is slow is the fact that my daughters share a room, and my 21 month old isn't in a crib anymore.  we took a side rail off to try and keep her from just climbing out like the little monkey she thinks she is.  Why does this matter you ask?  Bedtime is now mayhem and madness, short from tying them both down to their bed I'm totally out of ideas of how to keep them in their room and preferably in their beds. 

Every night, we do the routine - we read books, say prayers, turn out the lights and chat for a bit so they can tell me about their day.  I kiss them goodnight and walk out of the room.  And then the fun begins.  For the next two hours I either have to hold their door closed, or like last night, sit down to my sewing machine (I need to give that thing a name) just to get up every five minutes because I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet and giggles.  Inevitably Mommy turns into an ogre, there are tears (from all parties involved) and the girls fall asleep in a bedroom that looks like a tornado ripped through it since I put them to bed - on beds with no covers... you get the picture.  It drives me batty, it makes me sad, it makes mornings less than fun and it cuts into my precious, creative, "me" time.  Call me selfish if you will, but trust me - I'm a much happier person (and mom) if I get that time.

But, despite the obstacles I was able to spend a blissful two hours last night, working on my creation and listening to Peony in Love by Lisa See on my Kindle.  If you haven't read her books I highly recomend them - I've read, and loved them all.  As I sit there and work, listening to something so emotionally charged it led me to understand something about my work - and that I've read about in articles about pricing your work.  I pour so much emotion into my work - and this quilt hasn't been any exception, that I have grown to love it.  Before I put it away in its basket last night I wrapped it around me (getting stuck by a safety pin in my side in the process) and felt the comfort that quilts offer.  But I felt even more than usual (and no, it wasn't pain or the blood dripping down my side), I felt all the love I've poured into it - linen is more difficult than cotton to work with so it has taken more time than any other quilt I've made.  I felt the added wieght that the linen offers, and the odd (but wonderful) sensation it gives.  It is cool, warm, smooth and rough all at the same time.  As I am begining to finish this quilt I am excited to see the finished product, but I am also sad because it hopefully will be going to a new home.  And yet I secretly hope that it won't.  That no one will want it - because of the attachment I feel to it now.

I used to feel guilt and some doubt when I considered the price I would charge for this quilt.  But after last night, reflecting on how much time I spent into searching out used and discarded linen clothing with life still in it, cutting out the pieces, piecing it together, the endless ironing at every stage, etc... combined with the attachment I've developed - I don't feel guilty at all.

I saw a quote a while ago "quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten".  I want this quilt to go to someone who is willing to pay my price because I want them to value it like I do.  People talk every day about finding the best bargin, but I wonder if they value items that they get for the lowest price or if they just subconsciously think it doesn't matter if they don't care for it because it won't cost them so much to replace it.

here is a treasury with a smattering of one of a kind items
on etsy.  To see more click here.
 My work - and the work of  others on Etsy is one of a kind.  Nothing is mass produced, it should be valued for the individual attention it has been given and the soul that has been poured into it.  All of this said and considered though, the artists on Etsy are probably all underpaid if you look at the hours they spend on a product and what they end up getting paid for it.  I could ramble on and on about this subject but I'll rein myself in (today anyway).  But just consider this thought for a moment.  If I paid myself hourly for this quilt, factored in the cost of materials and then wanted to make a 20% profit I would have to charge somewhere around $1,200.  I'm only going to charge about a quarter of that - so really it is a bargin.  Just chew on that thought for a bit next time you are looking for a bargin on Etsy.

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