Category Archives: Business

Low Volume Bundle Giveaway Winner!

I think my favorite part of hosting giveaways is reading all of your thoughtful answers to the questions I pose. There are so many wonderful things that you love about your local quilt shop (LQS), or that you look for in a quilt shop. The top characteristics sought after in a LQS seemed to be:

-friendly and helpful staff who are willing to share ideas and tips
-good selection of fabric that fits your style
-friendly atmosphere
-sales section

and for online shops, add:

-a great selection of fabric
-reasonable and quick shipping
-great customer service and response

I completely agree, and am SO happy that all of these characteristics are found in Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, my most local quilt shop. What keeps me coming back again and again is the excitement the staff shares about my current projects, and how helpful they are when I’m trying to work through design conundrums. Not to mention the gorgeous aesthetic and friendly, open space filled to the brim with potential creations.

But now, it’s time to announce the winner of the low volume bundle I curated for Fiddlehead Artisan Supply as a kickoff for their sponsorship of Night Quilter.

fiddlehead sponsorship introduction and low volume bundle giveaway fabric

This bundle will be going to commenter number 70, as chosen by mr. random.

random number generator

random number generator winner

Congratulations to Mary (@true2beeme)!! Check your email and let me know your address so that I can get this low volume bundle into your creative hands. I can’t wait to see what you create!

For those of you who didn’t win, you can still purchase this bundle from Fiddlehead, HERE, while they last.  Use the code nightquilter15% to take 15% off your entire order through June 21st!

Sponsor Introduction {& Giveaway}: Fiddlehead Artisan Supply

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my very first sponsor, my local quilt shop located in Belfast, Maine–Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is a family-owned sewing, quilting, and craft-supply shop in beautiful midcoast Maine. In addition to a great selection of modern quilting cottons, patterns, thread, and notions, Fiddlehead offers a wide range of other craft supplies all within one of the most aesthetically pleasing shops I’ve visited. It’s a haven for makers. Just for my readers, Fiddlehead is offering 15% off anything in their online shop with the code nightquilter15%.

fiddlehead sponsor introduction and giveaway low volume bundle fabric

To kick-off our partnership, Abby at Fiddlehead invited me to curate a bundle of low volume fabrics, AND is offering a bundle as a giveaway to one of my readers. I love low volume fabrics, since they are so versatile in quilting and just about anything. There’s nothing like a scrappy low volume background to help colors pop.

fiddlehead sponsorship introduction and low volume bundle giveaway fabric

This bundle of eight (8) fat quarters includes (clockwise from top):

– XOXO Cotton + Steel basics by Rashida Coleman Hale
– Dotti’s Cousin in Natural, Mochi by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cotton + Steel
– Prisma in Honeycomb, Minimalista by Art Gallery Fabrics
– Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics
– Cotton + Steel basics by Alexia Marcelle Abegg
– Passport Parchment Paris Map by 3 Sisters for Moda
– Music in Neutral by Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements
– Passport Charcoal Etchings by 3 Sisters for Moda

 

Just for fun, and since I have a baby shower to attend this weekend, I decided to whip up a quick project using this bundle. I made a one hour basket (free pattern by Kelby Sews) using the fabrics from this bundle and some scraps of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints Grove.

low volume one hour basket
Side 1
low volume one hour basket
Side 2
low volume one hour basket detail
I love these low volumes!

The recipient of this basket hasn’t found out the gender of her baby, so I thought the sleek low volumes and pops of color were the perfect combination.

low volume one hour basketThe basket is the perfect size to hold diapers and wipes, or just about any other newborn essentials.

To enter the giveaway today, simply share what you love about your local quilt shop. If you don’t have a local quilt shop that fits your style, tell me what you look for in a fabric shop. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Like Fiddlehead Artisan Supply on Facebook or subscribe to their newsletter and tell me how you followed them for a third entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until 8pm Wednesday 5/27 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck! Note: This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Mary!

low volume bundle from fiddlehead artisan supply

If you just can’t wait to get your hands on this low volume bundle, it can be purchased HERE. And, if you’re like me and like to support family run small businesses, feel free to take a virtual vacation to midcoast Maine and visit Fiddlehead Artisan Supply’s online shop: Fiddlehead is offering 15% off for all of my readers through June 21st–use code nightquilter15%.  Of course a vacation in person is preferred–if you do that, let me know and I’ll meet you for coffee and fabric shopping in Belfast!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, since I’ve got this adorable one hour basket finish ready for the baby shower this weekend. Many thanks to Fiddlehead Artisan Supply!

Thoughts on Sponsorship

Blog sponsorship, where a company or shop compensates a blogger for promoting them, is an idea that I’ve been wrestling with for a while. For some reason, the thought of seeking sponsorship for my blog initially dredged up uncertainty. My number one goal with this blog is to share excitement, inspiration, and project ideas, as well as to create community among us like-minded quilters. I value the relationships and conversations that happen here greatly, and do not want to compromise that in any way. There are a lot of great reasons why quilty bloggers choose not to accept sponsors or participate in affiliate marketing, but after reading them and reflecting on myself as a quilty blogger, I’ve decided that seeking sponsorship was the way I want to go. Who wouldn’t want to get paid for doing what they love to do? Here’s a great reflection on why one crafter chose not to do affiliate marketing and her reflections on choosing not to accept sponsorship, and here’s a post on why affiliate marketing is not as scary as some people think.

night quilter accepting new sponsors

I am confident that as I partner with new sponsors, I will NOT lose my authenticity. In fact, having sponsorship will help me devote more time toward participating in the quilting community. I’m not a salesperson. I’m an excited and eager quilter who loves to share helpful tips, ideas, and reactions to new tools, products, and fabrics that I find exceptional. I will not compromise my dedication to being true to myself and honest with you. If I love a product or shop, I want to share that with you. And if that product or shop wants to compensate me in some small way for doing so, then that’s okay with me.

Personally, when I’m trying to decide what brand or style of product to buy, I ask my friends and family for recommendations, especially those who I know have used the product or who have similar taste. One thing I can promise to you, as I head into this next phase of my quilting and blogging, is that when I say a product or fabric is awesome, I mean it’s AWESOME. I will have put the product or service to the test, and decided that it is good enough to recommend to my readers & friends. My opinions and ideas are my own, and they cannot be bought. At the same time, if I can help pay for groceries by sharing my honest opinions with you, I’m there.

What kinds of products and services do you want to hear about?  Do you enjoy reading product reviews on the tools I find key to my quilting? Giveaways from awesome fabric shops and companies? Coupon codes?

++++++++++++++++

If you are interested in being a sponsor of Night Quilter, contact me at thenightquilter(at)gmail(dot)com for rates and more information. Selection is made with great consideration to this site’s content and focus in mind.

2014 in Review & VATmess Transition

{I’m still on vacation until mid-January! This is just a quick pop-in with some fun 2014 analytics and some important info on my pattern shop transition due to the new VAT tax laws. Happy New Year, and see you in a couple of weeks!}

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. It’s pretty fun to read since this was my first year of blogging. I think it went well, and I know I sure enjoyed the ride!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

In other news, I’m shutting down my Craftsy pattern shop for now due to the new VAT tax laws coming into effect January 1st. I’m slowly transitioning my patterns to Payhip, which takes care of the VAT tax for its sellers (SCORE!). I’m only just finding my way around it, but I’m excited at the prospect of having a selling platform that allows me to continue to sell digital download patterns to customers all over the world. I’m still on vacation for a couple more weeks (lucky me!), so the full transition won’t occur until mid to late January, but I’ve got a start!

I love the range of selling options on Payhip so far. They allow sellers to create coupon codes, set up systems where buyers can get discounts by sharing the pattern link on social media sites, and even create shop affiliates. For now, I’m offering 10% off any patterns up on Payhip with the coupon code “vatmess”. This sale will run through January 15, 2015. I get vacation, and you get a sale! Here are the patterns up so far (click the photo/link to go to the selling page or click HERE for the main page):

14195766085_90bc4ff5f5_hBuy Lupine Pattern

IMG_5304Buy Fish Rainbow Row Pattern

Please spread the word, and have a wonderful, happy, healthy new year! 2015 is going to be a great year! All my best, and see you in a couple of weeks!

Giveaways and Sales

Two words everyone loves to hear, right? I recently released three new foundation paper piecing patterns and had some great pattern testers help me along the way. I offered my blogging testers the opportunity to host a giveaway on their blogs, so now you have a chance to win a free copy of one of my new patterns. Check out these two great giveaways:

foundation paper piecing pattern giveaway leaf

Visit Shayna’s blog Wife, Mom, Creator for a chance to win a copy of my leaf paper piecing pattern.

Pattern tested by Sarah Pitchard

Sarah of Pitcher Family Adventures offered to test both my Leaf pattern AND my original Fishies pattern, so on her blog you have a chance to win your choice of either pattern.

Be sure to take a minute to stop by both blogs to enter to win! While these giveaways are going on, I’m extending the sale in my Craftsy store. Both Fish patterns and the Leaf pattern will be on sale for $3.50 for one more week.

Each of these patterns will be on sale for one more week!
Each of these patterns will be on sale for one more week!

I try to outweigh “check out my pattern store” posts with more project-focused, photo-heavy, quilting inspiration and progress posts, but sometimes there just needs to be a little self promotion (right?). In this case, it’s win win–you have a good chance of winning a free paper piecing pattern, and I’m helping spread the word for my awesome pattern testers.

Work in Progress: Pink & Grey Baby Plus Quilt

This week I’m focusing on finishing my pink & grey baby plus quilt, made with an assortment of Michael Miller It’s a Girl Thing pink & grey prints. I’m so very close to completing the top, with only four more long strips to sew together.

pink and gray baby plus quiltThis is my first quilt to be listed for sale in our Late Night Baby Etsy shop, which is primarily run by Michelle & Stephanie, my Late Night Quilter soul sisters. I bought a Michael Miller pink & grey fat quarter bundle over a year ago, since I am totally in love with the color combination. I love grey in general and am typically not a huge pink fan, but together it works so well. When Stephanie, Michelle, and I started talking about opening an Etsy shop in which to sell baby quilts and other sewn items, I was immediately excited to finally make a quilt from this bundle. I added a tiny splash of Moda solids, and if I were to make this quilt again, I think I would add more solids, but overall I’m very happy with how this quilt is turning out.

pink and grey baby plus quilt

pink and grey baby plus quilt
I love the guitar prints!

pink and grey baby plus quilt

I’m doubly excited because once this top is finished, I will be sending it to Stephanie for longarm quilting.

In case you haven’t heard, Stephanie and Michelle recently joined forces at Late Night Quilter to kick off their longarm quilting and pattern design business. They also released a new, free pattern as part of their kick-off, so go check it out, especially if you love triangles. Visit their post to see some closer details of Stephanie’s awesome quilting. I love the shadow triangles the most, I think, but the movement created by the quilting is awesome and unexpected. I’m definitely excited to send my quilt top off to Stephanie so that she can work her magic. They are offering free batting to all customers in the month of September, too, so if you have some tops you’ve been sitting on, now might be a great chance to get them quilted!

late night quilter love triangle pattern and longarm intro

Do you send your quilts to a longarmer, or do you quilt them yourself? So far I’ve quilted all of mine, but I’m silly excited to have my first longarm experience. I’m trying to decide how I want Stephanie to quilt this Plus Baby Quilt. Their design gallery has some great options. What design would you choose? I think I’m leaning toward Retro Revolution… 

I’m linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

Dusting off the Old Canon

Up until this point, all of the photographs on my blog have been taken with my iPhone camera. *hangs head* Yes, even the ones in the post Beauteous, Bountiful, Botanical Blue! There, I admitted it. It’s time, though, for me to dust off my old Canon Rebel XT and start taking REAL camera photos.

2014-04-30 13.26.44

I am a very aesthetically-driven person, and fabulous photos are what first draw me into a blog, and then ensure that I stick around to follow future posts. Even great content, without clear or aesthetically composed photos, is less desirable to me than a blog with lots of eye candy and occasional tidbits of helpful wisdom. When a blog has BOTH fabulous photos and consistently helpful or interesting content, I’m an immediate fan and follower.

I’m trying to use my blog as a way to show the world what I am creating, and without great photographs to let my readers see the depth of beauty I see, that won’t happen. I think I take decent photos with my phone, and to honest, it has been a challenge to re-learn how to use my Canon to take great indoor photos. It’s a work in progress. Outside with perfect natural light it’s a cinch, but inside my fairly dark craft cave-loft, taking clear photographs is a lot more challenging. But I plan to try.

Tripod clamped to the back of a chair. This picture was obviously taken with my phone!
Tripod clamped to the back of a chair. This picture was obviously taken with my phone!

I bought a new camera battery charger and a clamp-on tripod for my Canon, hoping those tools will help. Next up is to figure out how to improve the lighting. Any suggestions, short of finding a different room in which to photograph?

Here are some comparison shots to see the difference between my iphone photos and Canon with tripod photos (without editing and with some editing in Picassa):

My current quilt-in-progress

iPhone photo
iPhone photo

Canon photograph with no editing

Canon photo with no editing

Canon photograph with editing
Canon photo with editing

My cutting table

iPhone photo
iPhone photo
Canon photo without editing
Canon photo with no editing
Canon photo with editing
Canon photo with editing

So what do you think? Which photos are your favorite?

If you are a craft blogger, how do you take the perfect photos?  I need some tips!

Bartering and a New Project

The Night Quilter is a fairly new blog, documenting the crafting of a new, but hopefully blossoming, business. I’ve designed two paper piecing quilt block patterns so far, both of which are for sale in my Craftsy store.

Circling gulls thumbnail
Circling Gulls
four pointed star
Four pointed star

In designing these patterns, as well as in getting this blog going, I’ve been thinking that the Night Quilter really needs a logo. Every successful business has an image, or some consistent logo to help with customer recognition, continuity between patterns, the blog, a shop, etc. As an infant business, though, growing as a stay at home mom’s creative outlet and within a teeny budget, logo design options are pretty much limited to “make it yourself”.

Enter the blogging world of pattern designers. Recently I was reading a blog with tips for getting a pattern design business started, and for the life of me I can’t remember which blog! One word stood out to me in the article, though, about delegating tasks to be more successful: barter. I decided to reach out to a local friend who happens to be a co-creator of a quickly growing new local business, Linear. Linear is a full service creative studio offering web design, graphic design, commercial photography, video production, and social media management. They do amazing work! I asked about the rate for logo design and Andrea said that a logo normally costs around $500 (only about $450 more than my budget ;)), but she also said she would be open to work something out or even barter. There’s that b-word again!

“Do you knit?” Andrea asked the next day. Done and done.

PANEM_QUAD_WITH_BR_medium2

I am going to knit a PANEM Katniss Cowl Wrap by Dahlia in Bloom (found on ravelry!) for Andrea in exchange for logo design for the Night Quilter!! I’m so excited, both for the barter and for my awesome new knitting project! This will be the coolest thing I’ve knit to date!

Andrea specified that she wants it to be soft and washable, so I decided to go with the same yarn used in the pattern: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick super bulky yarn in oatmeal. I couldn’t find enough of the yarn in local shops, so I ordered it online. It arrived yesterday afternoon, which is perfect timing since today we are driving down to New Jersey for a bit over a week, and I can’t bring my sewing machine!

20140403-205231.jpg

20140403-205250.jpg

20140403-205306.jpg

I cast on today during our epically long 11 hour car trip from Maine to New Jersey (driving with a 4 year old and 22 month old adds a few hours to the trip), and I love the project already. Pictures to come!

Have you ever bartered for something awesome?