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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cardinals and Crafts

I've been whipping up small projects from scraps and stash, in the hopes of using them as gifts and/or selling them.  I'd been saving this cardinal scrap fabric for years - I loved it too much to cut it.  But I DID finally fussy cut some birds and came up with this.  Here's the backing fabric:
I pieced it so the barns are right side up, no matter which end of the runner you look at it from.  Doesn't this fabric make you want to pick apples and take a hay ride in the warm autumn sun?
I worked another craft fair yesterday.  I sold the large cardinal quilt pictured, along with a few smaller items.  Enough to make the effort, but not as much as I'd have liked.  But there was more to gain than money.  With each of the three fairs I've done, I've learned things.

I can now say with certainty that doing a LOT of craft fairs is not my "thing."  The people who really make money are those who have a limited line of products, buy all their material in bulk on sale, then mass produce so that they can crank out maximum number of product in minimum time.   The vendor next to me turns out 70 cat beds in 4 hours - and she has over 1,000 beds in inventory!

I, on the other hand, use the fairs to cover the cost of a one time project - usually made to learn a new technique or to just for fun.  I'm neither cost effective in my purchasing methods, nor efficient with my time.   And I'm not sure I want to be.  Currently, I sell just enough to help support my quilting habit.  And maybe that's OK!

One vendor suggested that I might do better at an art fair, versus a craft fair.  It's something to think about.  I HAD intended try Etsy in 2012.  But after attending an Etsy lecture at the quilt expo, I discovered that there too, the secret to success seemed to be mass production - which to me sucks all the relaxation and creativity right out of it!  So for 2012, I dabbled with the craft fairs instead.

Heck, maybe Etsy or Craig's List would be a better fit for me.  I'll continue to experiment until I find the right outlet for my goods.  I craft and sew for the pure joy of being creative - and I don't intend to stop any time soon!  :)

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