Monday, October 18, 2010

****Family Ties****

Its already after 8pm and I'm not sleeping yet.....already this week is looking better than last.  Anywho perfect timing as its DIY Sundays on Mondays.....

I think its safe to say that just about everyone's mother has a craft specialty.  Knitting, crocheting, sewing, refurbishing antique name it and some mother somewhere specializes in it.  My mother's thing just so happens to be quilt making.  Her mom did it and I do believe some of her great aunts were fond of the hobby too.  Not only that but I think our family may have a family quilt of sorts that was shown during one the last family reunion I attended (a very long time ago I might unfortunately add). Either way quilting has been pretty popular throughout my life yet, it hasn't really stuck with me.  Despite the end result being breathtakingly beautiful, its the long journey to that point that dissuades me all together.  For one, me and sewing machines have a relationship comparable to the relationship you have with the automated customer service system most companies employ.  No matter how many times you say...or account number, the damn chick on the line doesn't get it correctly.  I know the basics of using the sewing the machine but for some reason every attempt ends in some failure or me calling for my mother to come back and re-thread the stupid thing.  Another reason why the quilting stops at my mom is the shear amount of time it takes to complete one.  My mom, for example, started working on a Christmas quilt for my other grandmother in February.  FEBRUARY PEOPLE!!!!  Its already difficult enough finding time just to work on a necklace that should only take a few hours these days so I couldn't imagine having to put away that kind of time for such a project.  But a part of me really loves the patchwork design.

Well during my usual trip home this weekend, what a surprise it was to find a huge bag of fabric scraps and half finished quilts on my bed.  My mom, currently working on quilt herself, decided to gather all the random material she had and donate it to me to do whatever.  She actually thought I would make some kind of cool tote bag (when my relationship with our sewing machine was going good I used to really enjoy making bags) but I decided to make jewelry....what else right?  As I dug through the bag of organized scraps (my mom bundled solid colors, floral prints, animal prints, geometric prints and true scraps separately), I came across one of the started-but-not-completed quilt scraps.  You could really see the effort put into the separate pieces of sewn together strips and I put it aside thinking my mom accidentally threw it in the bag.  When I questioned her about it later she said it was something her mother had started many, many years ago and never finished and that yes, it was okay to go ahead and use the pieces as she had already pulled the better pieces out of the bunch to finish at some time.  So I got cozy in my bed with a cup of coffee on the night stand and the news on in the background and tried to come up with a plan of attack.  A few hours (and a small nap) later I settled on a design and after finishing it up today on my lunch break am really happy with the way it turned out.

My cat Salem watching me make jewelry.  For some reason he has taken an interest in jewelry making, especially this piece as he really enjoys playing with fabric as I am trying to work with such

I know, I know....the strawberry charm just really pushes the whole country-bumpkin theme but its really fitting considering at one point, a whole beautiful dirt road in North Carolina was home to nothing but family including my grandmother and great aunts.  Plus I am using my grandmother's quilt selections. 

Funny thing is, the whole patchwork motif is actually a trend for fall.....
Courtesy of

Courtesy of
 and Spring 2011...

Anna Sui Spring 2011 courtesy of

Anna Sui Spring 2011 courtesy of
so my piece isn't so radical it wouldn't work with what I already have, or will have, in my wardrobe. 
As I am searching my brain for a way to end this post (I've had problems with run-on essays before), I find myself remembering one of this week's topics for Boot Camp....telling your story and how your story will sell the merchandise.  After reading Johnny B. Truant's article I remembered what first brought me to Etsy.  I found the site to be completely unique.  Unique in selection which was perfect for gifts but also in the presentation.  Although the concept is vaguely similar to eBay, each seller was given the ability to separate their shop and merchandise from each other in a way that just worked.  Maybe it was the banners or the cute avatars or the just the fact that everything on the site was handmade but either way I always felt like the gifts I bought from Etsy were extremely special.  And each piece, regardless how simple, was also made unique because of the way it was described. Whether it was a quirky item description or not, something about the wording added to the desire to purchase that adorable crocheted elephant or vintage dress.  

This necklace has a unique and compelling story behind it, something the wearer would want to talk about.  And it will make the item description easier to write when I list it on Esty

And with that it is now 11:31pm and I've been working on this post for longer than I thought and I need to be up by 4am so I am saying goodnight.

See you next post....
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