Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Tales

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser — in case you thought optimism was dead.Robert Brault

I forgot to post two Personal Progress Totes I finished this month with the bags I posted yesterday. I was planning to put them all together in one post but forgot, so you get to hear from me two days in a row, with is an altogether uncommon occurrence around here these days. We only had one April birthday girl in our ward.

And this second one is for one of my cousin's daughters. I made one for her other daughter earlier, and casually included it into my post with the ones for February and March birthdays, hoping she wouldn't notice her daughter's name. I sent both of them to her a few weeks ago as a surprise and she was tickled to receive them.

For me, that is what it is all about — I love it when someone loves what I have made for them. I put a lot of thought into the things I make and try to use fabrics and colors that suit that person. When I first started working with the Young Women, I had each of the girls fill out a questionnaire so that I could casually find out their favorite colors for the ribbons and their embroidered names. Even though all of the totes are made with the same fabric, I wanted them to be personalized for each girl.

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by someone wondering if I would make a Gumnut Baby quilt, like the one I made for one of my Twi-Quilter friends. It was a collaboration quilt and we all made blocks for it. I did the center block, which featured the main characters, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

For the most part, I turn down requests for commissions. Honestly, it takes all of the fun out of my "me time." It makes my hobby a job. I'm torn, on this one though. I love needle-turn appliqué. And I'm very flattered that someone liked my work enough to pay me to do it. But that's the sticky part right there. I don't know how much to charge. I'm sure those Gumnut Babies took at least 20 hours. Add to that quilting time and supplies and we're looking at $500+ for a baby quilt. I don't know if I would dare ask that. Another sticky spot is that I tend to procrastinate something I perceive as a chore. Creating for money makes it a chore. The person who wants the quilt doesn't need it until Christmas, but that just means I have lots of time to put it off and then I'll end up stressing myself out trying to pull it together at the last minute. I also don't know if I saved my pattern. I don't even know where to start to look for it. I'm a fool if I threw it out, regardless of whether or not I will ever make this block again. And then there's real life; kids, husband, church stuff, job, summer vacation . . .

Do all of those "cons" outweigh the joy of creating something so individualized? I don't know, but I probably should e-mail the person back to let them know I'm still considering. That is the polite thing to do. And whether or not I make the quilt, I can be polite.

Today's post brought to you by:
My 2014 Finishes

P.S. Don't tell, but I think those Gumnut Babies are a little bit creepy.


Jenny S. said...

Love the p.s at the end! The totes are way cute! Oh to be as talented as you!

Linda B. said...

So fun to reconnect and discover your awesome blog! These totes are darling and just my kind of project:) Can't wait to make one for my niece.

Iris said...

Don't do it. You'll be miserable.

Beth said...

Either give him the honest price and stick to that (if he can't pay it, that eliminates the order) or don't do it. I understand well the detriment of the deadline. I stopped reading books (which I voraciously did all through my young years) because of the "having to" factor in high school. Things that I had WANTED to read, once they were on the testing/essay/book report list, I put off instead of being excited to be able to read them. All through high school and college an intensive schedule put me off reading for pleasure. It wasn't until I picked up Twilight with the intention of trying to read a few easy things while I was nursing my daughter, that I fell in love with reading (and writing) again.

Angie said...

I have learned since doing this for a living that you should give the price you really want for the work. If someone is willing to pay it then make it, if they are not then don't. You will happier if you don't cut yourself short.

Cat said...

give a price for what your time is actually worth. If you want i have some snugglepot and cuddlepie fabrics i can send you to make it a simpler quilt. let me know and i'll dig them up

Wanda said...

Elizabeth, that is a hard decision but i agree with Angie here. Ask for the price you want and need. Do not sell yourself short. Before I was really quilting I hired a quilter to make a quilt for one of my daughters. I paid 500 for it and it was very simple. It's not wrong to ask a price that covers your time, talent and materials. It's up to them if they accept that or not. It sounded like you know how you operate so that is a big factor too. No help I know but if you do it you must be happy about it all, the time, the price, the deadline etc.

Shay said...

Those gumnut babies are an Aussie icon! (but yes - slightly creepy)

I think you should be serious about the time and effort it takes you to make something and charge accordingly. I saw a great post on that a while back - you're charging for your creativity, design skills, materials, and skills. If the person doesnt like your price they can always decline. I think that people who dont make things often dont realise the time and effort that goes into hand crafts.