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So how much is too much?

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  • So how much is too much?

    Was at a flea market last weekend and one of the vendors had a huge amount of kitchen items, pot holders, hotpads, towels, etc. Her prices were good for what the items were and I could tell she used quality fabrics. I almost bought something because I liked the fabric and I also wanted to support her efforts. The only problem I saw was the quality of work. An example: she used a long wide zigzag stitch through the horizontal and vertical center as "quilting" in the rectangle and square items. No binding, just sewn tgr and turned right side out. With batting, of course. It seems that this is acceptable to people. Am I just too old school to put something like that on a table to sell. I admit to having an attitude about short cutting the process to save time and money but I really don't understand why people want to buy this sort of thing. Is it just because it is a utility item and so it doesn't matter? Two years ago I tried to sell at a craft show and was very disappointed that folks think you should cut the prices to less than what it costs to make the items. Dollar stores and even Joanns are hard competitors now a days. I finally told my sister....why not just pink the edges of a piece of fabric and call it a table runner or place mat and they can throw it away after using it ??? She just laughs at me and shakes her head. BTW...this might be a really good idea for a huge party if some stabilizer was added to the back of the fabric (purchased for a song of course) and cut with a rotary pinking blade! Wala...now I'm catching on.

  • #2
    Re: So how much is too much?

    That is the problem, competing with things made in countries where the average daily wage is $1. If you are going to use it for a while and then change your color scheme then why pay lots. She was probably not trying to make heirlooms, just make a buck or two.

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    • #3
      Re: So how much is too much?

      I like to make totes but I don't sell them. Several people have tried to get me to sell them and I told them people don't want to even give you enough to cover the costs. The only way to make a profit is if I got all the fabrics for free. I'm developing arthritis in my hands so sewing binding on by hand is a royal pain. My tote bag for me took two hours of TV time to sew on the binding and that's after sewing it down on one side with my machine. How do I get reimbursed for that?
      Vonnie

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      • #4
        Re: So how much is too much?

        Same here. I usually don't sell my stuff, because people would never pay the amount of work I put into it. I like a nice, clean finish as well which really isn't conducive for mass production by hand!

        I'm also picky with things I actually gift to people. I always want it to be perfect (impossible I know!), and I'm not very happy if I can't live up to what I expect from myself. For example, I made placemats for my mom and used the scraps of the fabric as backing she gave to me to make a couple of easy table runners. I wasn't happy at all how the binding of these turned out (first - and as of yet last! - 100% machine bound). I only gave it to her for mother's day because I used all her fabric on the back. I told them not to look too closely because it was so uneven. (Though when I told them last time not to look too closely because I wasn't happy with how it looked, my dad basically told me to shut up, that nobody except me saw that!)

        So yes, I understand your frustration with sloppy work!

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        • #5
          Re: So how much is too much?

          It amazes me all the time what some people charge for the things they make...and get it! While I work diligently and work hard to make it just right and perfect etc...and can't sell a single thing..and my prices are often a little cheaper! I finally just stopped. I would love to sell my wares... I make good stuff! But..out of 12 months on Etsy and selling only 6 pillowcases out of all the many things I had...I give up. I tired with my scrapbooking stuff to..only was able to sell enough to pay for the online store fee (i.e. $10 a month!). Then look on Ebay and see things fliying off the shelf at higher prices than mine, and the items don't look near as good or nice or well assembled as mine did! I don't get it but that is the way it is!
          Cheri

          www.fabricandmemories.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Re: So how much is too much?

            I think it's a little unfair to say that a zig-zag isn't quilting. And to turn it inside out too. I just came out of the pot holder swap and a member did that with a border and everyone was "that's not binding?" We were saying really? It was really cool looking.

            If people are making some extra money where they can and people are buying it, who cares. Good for her.
            Last edited by Hulamoon; July 11th, 2014, 05:46 PM.
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            Lorie

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            • #7
              Re: So how much is too much?

              Originally posted by Hulamoon View Post
              I think it's a little unfair to say that a zig-zag isn't quilting. And to turn it inside out too. I just came out of the pot holder swap and a member did that with a border and everyone was "that's not binding?" We were saying really? It was really cool looking.

              If people are making some extra money where they can and people are buying it, who cares. Good for her.
              And all of us that put binding on those potholders know what a PITA it can be doing it on a small item!

              As for the woman selling her items, as long as she prices her stuff according to the amount of work that went in to the project, I wouldn't judge it. If she is over-pricing for the work that is done, I doubt she sells much, especially to another crafter.
              K is for Karen .....................Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.

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              • #8
                Re: So how much is too much?

                Quilting is 2 pieces of fabric and batting joined together by stitching through all 3 layers. There's no rules that say it can't be a zigzag stitch. To each their own.

                And many people "birth" their quilts the same way. Again, no rules.
                "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

                "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

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                • #9
                  Re: So how much is too much?

                  For me personally, I am just not going to buy something I can make myself. If her methods sells, and makes her a little money, good for her.
                  Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love

                  Marilyn......
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                  • #10
                    Re: So how much is too much?

                    My daughter sent me pictures of purses that are priced at $200 in the mall in Lubbock, TX that are handmade. They are made from ducking, upholstery fabric, have fringe around the edge and a big flower from Hobby Lobby on the front. She asked if I would make her one. She was shocked when she shopped for the materials needed to make one. In her mind, you should be able to make one for $10. Those who don't understand the cost of materials think you can just whip something up for nothing. That is not the case in today's world. I have sold lots of different items that I have made. Most of the time I didn't make much profit for my efforts. I never have been a person to just throw something together. I have always taken my time and try to do a neat job. Many times I would spend say $15 for materials and by the time I finished the item I would sell it for $25 getting only $10 for my labor that took me two or more hours. Not worth it. A person can flip burgers and make more than that. Outsourcing to foreign countries has totally changed the US.

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                    • #11
                      Re: So how much is too much?

                      My point was you have to make cheap low quality stuff if you want to sell anything. It wasn't really about the seller but rather about the buyers.

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                      • #12
                        Re: So how much is too much?

                        The money makers are the folks who sell products to the crafters. I've mentioned this before. Marianne Fons says she learned pretty quickly that there's no money in the selling of quilts so she doesn't sell her quilts. I imagine she's a millionaire, maybe many times over. She makes her money on folks like you and me. I wonder how much money she does earn? Hmmm. I tried googling to see how much she makes but no luck. I'm very curious.
                        Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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                        • #13
                          Re: So how much is too much?

                          One of my quilting friends makes really good money by making T-shirt quilts. She charges $20 per hour and gets it. She also does long arm quilting to supplement her income. She keeps telling me I need to become a longer armer myself.

                          I've sold some things, but not much. It's usually because I would make something and put it on Facebook then get orders from that. So, not really trying too much, but still have done it and cool small items too.

                          It seems to me the only people who has made a killing on quilted handbags, totes and items as such is Vera Bradley and her stuff is made in China. I bought a nice purse from another quilter, who was selling at a craft show, just last month. I knew I could make it myself, but I liked the one she made and felt she did a good job. I paid her $45 for the purse and thought nothing of it because I liked what I bought and supported another maker.
                          Last edited by Sew Perfect; July 12th, 2014, 08:13 AM.
                          sigpicMISA
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                          • #14
                            Re: So how much is too much?

                            I'm all in when things are well made and reasonably priced (and something I can't guess how it is made just by looking at it! ).

                            But a few weeks ago I was wandering around our local handycraft market and I saw a booth where they sold infinity scarves. They were made with about half a yard of fabric, some trim, 3 seams, maybe two or three inches of handsewing. Overall, I guesstimate about 20min of work (less if you do it as a kind of assembly line type of work). Now, would you like to put a price tag on that?

                            Believe it or not, they sold them for $99-109! I had to go back and check again, because I simply couldn't believe it! The saddest thing though were all the women standing around and trying them on, probably even buying them. I was that close to telling them they could make the same with the fabrics they want for a fraction of that price with minimal sewing skills...

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                            • #15
                              Re: So how much is too much?

                              Originally posted by Cat77 View Post
                              I'm all in when things are well made and reasonably priced (and something I can't guess how it is made just by looking at it! ).

                              But a few weeks ago I was wandering around our local handycraft market and I saw a booth where they sold infinity scarves. They were made with about half a yard of fabric, some trim, 3 seams, maybe two or three inches of handsewing. Overall, I guesstimate about 20min of work (less if you do it as a kind of assembly line type of work). Now, would you like to put a price tag on that?

                              Believe it or not, they sold them for $99-109! I had to go back and check again, because I simply couldn't believe it! The saddest thing though were all the women standing around and trying them on, probably even buying them. I was that close to telling them they could make the same with the fabrics they want for a fraction of that price with minimal sewing skills...
                              I was wondering how she got to that price point and wandered over to etsy
                              https://www.etsy.com/search?q=infini...o=ZZ&ref=auto4
                              Not to bad on the pricing. What kind of fabric did she use? If it was hand painted silk maybe, but wow that is a high price!
                              sigpic


                              Lorie

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