Thursday, February 11, 2016


Doing a consignment is like people pleasing with fabric and thread!  That's what I consider when taking a commission.  I have four projects all of a sudden, and each one is so different, all challenging in different ways, but they also each have a lesson to teach me.

The first one is a small project, a table runner, for a charity auction.  I'm throwing in an autographed quilt book, photo, and a note, and signing the back of the quilt, but the fun thing about this one is it was consigned by a lovely fellow I've never met, but have been chatting with online for a long time, and who knows nothing about quilting.  That's kind of freeing, when the client let's you just go for it.  But we still had to talk about parameters.  

First, I asked a few pertinent questions.  What's your budget?  (That tells me how much time I can put into the overall project since I'm designing it start to finish:  picking and purchasing fabric, deciding on construction and quilt pattern, mounting it on the frame and designing the quilting stitching designs, and then squaring and binding.)  Then, what general style do you like?  Traditional, modern, folk art, art quilt?  

He said he liked some of the photos on my Facebook Quilting Page of my Batik work.

So what color or color range?  (he asked for pink since it's for a Barbie Convention)  And what shade of pink?  Lights, darks, and do you want a pop color?  (in this case, pale pinks with green)

Modern in style, out of Indonesian Batiks, and then, approximately what size for the finished runner?  (he let me pick, so I chose a standard size that would fit generously on a large dining table, or hang over each end of a smaller one.)

So off I went to the quilt shop, and found this fantastic figural Batik with birds in the stamping.  Pastels are harder to find than the bolder tones that fabric is known for, and this was indeed bright and bold, but so unique and awesome.  I sent him a picture.

He wasn't quite sure, but said it was interesting, and I promised to work more muted colors around it.

I also had in mind to make it and let him approve or not, and then was willing to make a more traditional alternative if he didn't like it.  

So I gathered the rest of the fabrics from a fat quarter bundle of Tonga Treats, and sent some progress photos on the quilter.


I found a darker pink with butterflies (very Barbie) to frame the bird print, and then pink with green to ombre fade to the lighter green he had in mind.


And then I designed the quilting.  My favorite part!  Did an overall swirl flower in the bird print, a feathered swirl in the sashing, then each end strip got a different treatment.  I decided to back it with pale pink solid to tie it together, and I will bind it with that as well.


I cut it off the quilter and sent more pics in daylight (my studio light is great for quilting, but adds warmth to true color values), and he LOVED it.  (He even capitalized 'love'.)  


So commission success, and he'll have a lovely custom package to donate to his charity.  He was generous and creative, too, finding me to make something special.  (My part is the autographs, photo and signed quilt book.)  

Lesson:  Communicate with your client!!  Show them and listen!

And now on to my next challenge:  dia de los muertos!!  Next week! 

Let's quilt something!!!  xo     Beth