Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Turning your Quilting Passion into Profit

Did you know it costs between $50,000 and $100,000 to start a quilt shop?

Did you know a long arm machine can run anywhere from $7,500 - $10,000 for a basic model and for a fancier model, between $30,000 and $40,000?

These were all things I learned in the Quilting Passion for Profit Class taught by Morna McEver Golletz, Publisher and Editor of The Professional Quilter Magazine. This class was awesome. I learned so much about copyrighting, taxes, zoning, and small businesses in general.

Here’s some things I wrote down that you might be interested in if you are thinking about starting a sewing or quilting business.

*On average, for every one hour of design or work time, you should figure there is at least two hours of administrative time that should be put into your business. The design time includes things like creating patterns, sewing, quilting, etc. The administrative side could include things like figuring prices, advertising, marketing, taxes, billing, etc.

* If you open a business and later decide to close it, there is a lot of red tape to go through if you have registered as an LLC. It may be better to go as a sole proprietor instead.

* Be sure to check zoning requirements before you start a business.

* Do you know how to get into quilt market? It takes a business card and a bill from a supplier or a letter from your banker. They look to make sure you actually have a business, since it’s an industry only event.
I also learned a few things about how to price an item.

*One way to figure a price is to charge 2.5 times the amount spent on supplies.

*Another way to figure it is to find your overhead cost. This includes utilities, rent, equipment, and other general expenses. Then you need to figure an hourly rate for yourself. Next, decide how much of a profit you want out of the item. Be sure to factor in your materials used; this includes needles, threads, fabric, glue, etc. So, now that you’ve figured all those numbers:

~Say your overhead is roughly $12,000 per year. If you work 40 hours a week for 48 weeks of the year that is 1,920 work hours. $12,000 ÷ 1,920 hours = $6.25 per hour. That is how much you need to add into your price for overhead.

~Let’s say you pay yourself $20 per hour for labor.

~For this example, let’s spend $30 on materials.

~Let’s go with a 20% profit.

~Now let’s work out the example for a project that took us 3 hours to make.
(3 hrs x $6.25/hr + 3 hrs x $20/hr + $30) x 20% = $138

This was a really interesting class. If you ever get the chance to take it, I recommend it. Morna really knows her stuff!

Monday, April 27, 2009

International Quilt Festival in Chicago - Vendors

Here's a few fun photos of the vendor section of the Quilt Festival. Jason took most of these photographs since I was in shopping mode.

Jason started calling the fat quarters "fatties". Kind of fun, eh?

There was all sorts of thread for sale.

And lots and lots of fabric.

And lots and lots of people.

We were so tuckered out. This is a photo of Jason after our snack break. He loves when I post photos of him (not really). :D

International Quilt Festival in Chicago - Quilts on Display

These were some of my favorite quilts that were on display at the Quilt Festival.

Fleur des Etoiles by Sandy Doubek, quilted by Christy Marnell

Fleur des Etoiles en noire by Sandy Doubek, quilted by Christy Marnell

Meet me at the Fair by Faith Wescom

Dancing Trees by Tina Curran

A Detail Shot of Dancing Trees by Tina Curran

The Kiss: An Homage to Gustav Klimt by Mary Barry

Left view of Quilts: A World of Beauty by Sandy Gregg, Pat Smith, Lynne Conover, Janet Duncan Dignan, Graciela Piccolo, Janet Dye, Betty Crowell, Joan Randall, Penny Myles, Bobbie Sullivan (the Coastal Quilt Artists)

Right view of Quilts: A World of Beauty by Sandy Gregg, Pat Smith, Lynne Conover, Janet Duncan Dignan, Graciela Piccolo, Janet Dye, Betty Crowell, Joan Randall, Penny Myles, Bobbie Sullivan (the Coastal Quilt Artists)

Hospital Rising by Ginny Eckley

Christmas Chickadee by David Taylor

Little S'Tinker by David Taylor

Journal Quilt Project II: Elements - Earth, Water, Air and Fire by Leigh Elking

Journal Quilt Project II: Elements - Earth, Water, Air and Fire by Jenny Williams

*Each tile or strip of Quilts: A World of Beauty by Sandy Gregg, Pat Smith, Lynne Conover, Janet Duncan Dignan, Graciela Piccolo, Janet Dye, Betty Crowell, Joan Randall, Penny Myles, Bobbie Sullivan (the Coastal Quilt Artists) can be found on my flickr.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Checking in...

Jason and I made it back safely from Chicago. It was about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning before we walked through the door.

I was hoping to really write a blog last night, but it just didn't happen. My to-do list is so full that I didn't want to do any of it. Thus, I read all night and fell asleep on the couch somewhere around 10. I woke up at 3 a.m. and the light was still on and my book was flipped to the wrong page.

So, Chicago was awesome; we had a blast. I have a whole bunch of pictures and great information to share, but those will have to wait for another day. I'm still pretty sleepy, so I'm heading to bed. Don't fret; the photos from our trip will be up soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In honor of my attending the Quilt Festival in Chicago this weeekend, all of my favorites this week are quilts.

1. White w color quilt detail, one of my grandma's quilts, 2. Wedding Quilt, made by Jason's grandma for our wedding, 3. Jess - Wedding Lap, made by Jason's grandma for me, 4. Bridal Detail Shot, made by my mom for me, 5. Jess + Black quilt, my favorite of my grandma's quilts, 6. Blue quilt whole, one of my grandma's collection, 7. Miscellaneous Quilt, a quilt by Jason's grandma, 8. Sisters Full, one of 3 I made for my 2 girlfriends and I, 9. Star and hexagon quilt, another of Grandma's collection.

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Live from Chicago

The trip has been awesome so far. I've learned a lot, walked a lot, and had a blast. So far, I've taken a class called Creative Thinking for your Studio and a class called Turning your Quilting Passion into Profit. Both were really awesome and I learned a lot and got a lot of great ideas forSewbot's Laboratory.

Yesterday, Jason and I walked through the exhibits. This show is even bigger than what I had imagined! We didn't even make it all the way through in 4 hours. I've picked up some fun fabrics for the Row Robin Swap that I'll have to share when we get home. I also picked up a few fun things for me. I bought a few tools I had been wanting to get. And most importantly, I got a bunch of bobbins for Meredith, my new Babylock.

Today I'm taking a class called something like Selling your Patterns for Profit. The woman teaching it is the same woman I took yesterday's Passion for Profit class from, so hopefully it will be equally as good.

Anyway, I'll be home sometime on Monday, so hopefully I'm up for writing a blog that night. If not it will be probably Tuesday night before I am. Tomorrow's favorite things has a theme, so be sure to stop in!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Iowa Quilt Barns

Sac County Iowa Barn Quilts started in 2005. There are quite a few barns in Sac County, Iowa that are displaying 8 foot wooden squares painted like quilt blocks.

While in the car on our way to my grandparents' for Easter, we tried to photograph all the quilt barns we passed.

Here's a few pictures we took.
We passed a few more, but were going to fast at the wrong angle to actually get a decent photograph.

If you're ever in this part of Iowa, you should look for these. They are pretty neat.

*Sorry the photos are a little blurry; we were driving while shooting them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We're off on another adventure!

Jason and I are travelers. We love to go, go, go. We have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe just for this reason. A few weeks ago we decided to head to Chicago for the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. Today, after work, we will be hopping into Hugo, the Vibe, and cruising down the highway.

We're both totally stoked to take a road trip. We haven't done one in a while. The last one was to Arkansas for the weekend in October. Before that, our last good trip was probably last July when we went up to Minnesota!

I have a posts set up for Friday and Sunday, so check back for those. I might be able to squeeze in a few others from Chicago, but if not, have a great week and I'm sure I'll be back on Monday or Tuesday with lots of fun stuff!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grandma's quilts

For Easter weekend this year, Jason and I went to my grandparents' house. We had an awesome time. We spent a lot of time flipping through old photos of my family (I learned a few things I didn't know before) and we got to chat with my grandma about her quilt collection.

My grandma has this rack of quilts in her living room.

This is a quilt my grandma has. I can't remember who exactly made it. Maybe her mom or grandma?

This quilt was made by my grandma's grandma (which would be my great-great grandma) and her sister-in-law. Isn't that cool that these things are still around and still in such great condition?

This is a close up shot of the scrappy quilt. Isn't it amazing how much hand quilting they did back then? My grandma thought this quilt was probably at least a hundred years old.

I can't remember when or who made this quilt. My grandma's plan is to cut it up (since it's in pretty bad shape) and make pillows for each of her sisters.

This is a quilt from my grandma's Aunt Marge (who would be my great-great aunt I suppose). My grandma thinks this is one that Marge made, but wasn't positive on that.

Here's a closer view of Aunt Marge's blue quilt.

This is my favorite of my grandma's quilts. I love how silky this one is. I love how the black makes the different fabrics pop. This quilt is also probably at least a hundred years old and is thought to have been made by my great-great grandmother and her sister-in-law.

I wish I knew what these fabrics were from.

Isn't the quilting on this one neat?

Jason took this picture of me talking about the quilt to my grandma who didn't happen to make it into the photo.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A little of my Easter history?

Happy Easter, everyone!

I wanted to share a little bit of my past with you today.

Note: If your kids are around, don't let them read this. It might ruin the magic.

I was the Easter Bunny one year when I was in college. Yes folks, this photo is of me. I was stationed under the escalators at the Crossroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.

Have a great Easter!

Sincerely yours,
The Retired Easter Bunny a.k.a. the Sewbot

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Since this Sunday is Easter and I have a special blog ready to post tomorrow, I'm doing this week's Favorite Things a day early. Enjoy!

1. In the grass, 2. New Phone, an LG VU, 3. Jess dyeing, easter eggs, 4. Farm Fresh Large Eggs, our dyed eggs, 5. Starburst Jellybeans, world's best jellybeans, 6. Beard, 7. Fabric, for a dress I'll make soon, 8. Shoe, one of Jason's creations, 9. Scissors, best scissors I've ever had!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Eggstravaganza

Jason and I have had fun brainstorming different Easter activities and blog ideas for this week. This is something Jason came across that looked like fun for me to make.

Yes, they are more Easter eggs. These are fabric eggs. I used the pattern on Retro Mama's Blog.

Best part? All the fabric used was from my stash! :D

How awesome is it that the grass is this green? Enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fun with Food Coloring

Jason and I dyed Easter Eggs last night. It was a lot of fun and there's still evidence that we did it left on my hands.

Here's a few photos for you to enjoy.

Hope your Easter eggs were as fun to do as ours!