Friday, October 10, 2008

New Hand Embroidery Fetish Strikes!

My latest projects have all included hand embroidery - and I have been having a lot of fun with it too! Usually I free motion machine quilt my wool felt bags but I had been wondering how they would look if I just free style embroidered them instead. That has now become a favored technique for making the bags. My goal is to have some stock on hand in order to be able to sell through Etsy. I have also been wondering , however, if , rather than have lots of bags on hand,it would work to sell custom bags instead- post photos of some of my bags and suggest that I can make one especially for the person- colors they prefer etc. ,but maybe that would get too complicated. What do you think?

This little bag is from a new piece of felt I made last weekend. I have been using some of my stash of old kimono pieces (thanks to Ah! Kimono) for the linings. Hand stitching the linings in (as the first photo above shows). The kimono piece in the photo is actually a bit more dark violet (and less dark blue) than the photo shows. The photo below is the whole felt strip laid out. You can double click for a closer look too !


Below is an 8.5"X11" piece that I am working on for a Fast Fabric Friday Challenge (FFFC) project. The theme this year is "working in a series "- and my series theme is circles. This first of the series is meant to be done in a complimentary color scheme. Now if I can only get to the largish amount of embropidery it will take to finish !! What fun though - and I think I will really like it when it is done. I have not worked in a series before and think that this will be awonderful way to get the hang of it and decide if I like doing it. The group is tremendously talented and I am so pleased that they decided to accept some new people!
The next bag to be is here - another new piece of felt. I am actually going to use the reverse side to embroider - I just love it... though the right side is okay too - all turquoise and lime green -- and richer than the photo indicates at that. I just think that the reverse side is a bit more 'mysterious' or somthing. I have enough fabric that I am going to one reverse and one right side - so it will all equal out in the end - and it will be interesting to see how the embroidery works on both! So ther you have it - part of what I will be doing this weekend.

I really qould appreciate any comments you might have about the best way to market the bags on Etsy - if you think taking custom orders would work - rather than having a lot of stock on hand - things like that.

It's a glorious Fall day here - who knows what the weather God's have lanned for the weekedn - I should go watch the news I guess - though some of it during the election years just seems endless. ALmost time for my jaunt to Houston. I am SO ready for a vacation and SO ready to go to Quilt Festival and see friends ! Blessings and wishes for a happy weekend to you all.

11 comments:

Vicki W said...

Your embroidery is beautiful! Wh not offer both. Make some bags that are ready for sale but also offer to make custom bags too.

Jeannie said...

Beautiful bag and I really like the fabric for your challenge. As to the question about custom work/Etsy, why not do both? Display the ones you have made up and then as an aside say that you will do custom work. I have done this and it worked well. The other thing you have to think about is how to handle a request you feel uncomfortable doing and will that take you away from a direction you prefer. Have a beautiful weekend. Cheers.

imquilternity said...

You're bags are really stunning!! Can't wait to see what you put in your etsy shop.

Judy said...

I LOVE the first piece. The colors are stunning and my favorite shape is circles.

StegArt said...

I do love the addition of hand stitching on most pieces and yours is no exception. Keep going!

Sandy said...

Your felt is so wonderful. Custom bags would ensure that they sell, but some people will want to buy your samples. I like the hand stitching.

Exuberant Color said...

Just remember that the bags you are making now are straight from your heart and your own vision. Custom made ones will be the customer's vision and your worry whether you can please them. I would offer both; you will know soon enough whether you like custom work.

Georgia said...

Gorgeous! And inspiring me to do hand embroidery again ... which I really do love (so why haven't I been doing it??). From my experience selling my bags, offering custom color combinations works well depending on season and my schedule. At other times it works best to have an inventory of "this is what I am offering". If custom,you do need to be prepared to say "thank you but no thanks" ... someone else touched on that and I agree. Hope that helps! -Georgia

Georgia said...

Beautiful! And inspires me to return to hand embroidery, which I love (so why haven't I been doing it??). As for your question, based on how I make & sell my bags (custom color combinations vs. making up a bunch & saying here's what I have just now) ... it depends on time of year, other projects, and so forth. And as someone else alluded to, be prepared to say, "thank you, but I don't make those" (when there's something you don't want to make). I can't sew with fabric I don't like, so that's part of my consideration. Hope that helps! -Georgia

Gunnels blog said...

I love this Marie! I saw first at flickr, and get a comment, and then suddenly, I think it was YOU !!
I always thought that needlefelted things get an extra dimension, texture with the handembroidery!
About etsy, try both. If you like to do costums work ?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Marie, your embroidered bags are a great idea and wonderful to look at. These are each original works of art. When you start doing custom orders, you lose a bit of the personal creativity that makes your work so uniquely yours. However, if you go the custom order route, you might take requests for color options only so you can have fun with the hand embroidery designs. That's my 2¢ worth. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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