Friday, September 18, 2009

Work in Progress

I am so glad you decided to join me today. Whether you are returning for a second visit or are new to this blog – welcome! It was very exciting to publish my first blog, but not nearly as exciting as finding out someone actually read it. Thank your for the nice comment, Michelle.

A large part of this morning was spent “unsewing” what I sewed by hand last night. I knew I wasn’t happy with it when I went to bed, and when I woke up bothered around 2:30 a.m. I knew I had to redo it. As a result, the end product is a much higher quality. If I have something worrying me, I can usually work to a resolution (or at least a solution) in my sleep. This skill came in very handy in college. I don’t know how many term papers I wrote in my sleep. The true art is remembering when you wake up. Here is the finished product.






I retired two years ago and we moved from New Jersey to North Carolina. I took a beginning quilting class from the local needlecraft club as a way to meet people since we were new to the area. I did not once dream that it would become such an important part of my life. Not only did I meet some wonderful friends, I discovered an entirely new part of me. Before deciding to pursue Hummingbird Treasures, I gave everything I made to family and friends. (I was running out of people to give things.)



I want to show you some of my early work when Hummingbird Treasures was created. This is a picture of the first baby quilt I made to sell. I found these precious Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit prints in a local quilt fabric shop already cut into charm size squares. This was also my first time using prairie points as the border for a quilt. Not bad for the first time. This has become one of my two favorite quilts. Its smaller size is perfect for a wall hanging or small enough for a newborn.

My original plan was to make and sell baby quilts combining quilting and machine embroidery. It was not long, however, before I started venturing into other areas. I enjoy taking something and making something unexpected out of it. (Photo of Jean tote bag) This tote bag was made from a pair of my grandson’s jeans. I like the outside pockets front and back. (The rest of that pair of jeans went into several baby bibs coordinated with the baby quilts.) I showed this bag at a book club meeting and I now have at least 10 pairs of jeans ready to be repurposed.

Since these early items, I have expanded the Hummingbird Treasures line to include tote bags, diaper bags, and home d├ęcor items. I’m currently working on holiday and seasonal items, the first of which is posted on
www.hummingbirdtreasures.etsy.com.


I started work on this last night and finished it up this morning. It was fun because I was working from a dream and not a pattern. I like the boldness of it. Even Big T commented that he really likes this one. I would never have put these colors together even a few months back. Who knew there was this part of me?

Meanwhile, stick with me while I continue to expand my knowledge of the internet tool set available to me. Please share your comments and feedback. I promise to read every one.



Marie

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Introduction to Hummingbird Treasures



Welcome to the world of Hummingbird Treasures. I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay and return quite often. Introductions are in order - my name is Marie and I live in a small rural community in central North Carolina. Hummingbird Treasures is the name of my shop that combines my newfound passions for the arts of quilting and machine embroidery. Please stop by and visit my shop at http://www.hummingbirdtreasures.etsy.com/.



I am new to the world of arts and crafts. BR (before retirement) there never seemed to be time in my day to spend on things that were fun. Fortunately, I have found that Hummingbird Treasures lets me combine work and play and, in fact, may someday prove to be profitable as well.




This is a typical scene in my home studio. At least two projects going at all times. Well, maybe not typical – it is a little neater in the picture than usual. I just couldn’t let myself take the picture the way it looked just a few minutes before.


My main supporters in these efforts are my family, my book club and the local needlecraft club. Their support has been fabulous from the very first thought of turning my new-found hobby into something just a little bit more. My dear friends in the “You Don’t Have To Read the Book” book club have been not only supportive but have allowed me to showcase the Hummingbird Treasures’ items with them at our meetings. They were also the first to buy my finished goods and custom services.




These are the first internet sales for Hummingbird Treasures. An embroidered lace Christmas ornament was attached to each package as a special thank you. Thank you to JoAnn in Illinois.






Selling over the internet has proved to be more challenging than learning to quilt or do machine embroidery. All the rules of marketing, business ventures, and exposure have all changed. I thought making the products to sell would be the hard part, but I am having to learn a whole new way of doing business. I hope you will all stick with me while I learn the arts of blogging, forums, groups, facebook and everything else that’s needed. Meanwhile, I read this morning (in a blog of course) that someone actually adds 5 new items every day to Etsy.com. I think I have a ways to go.

Marie