Monday, November 26, 2012

Well that went well

crochet pebble stone doily
crochet stones.  I thought this trend had peaked, but apparently it hasn't even made it to my neck of the woods.
I had (half) a table at a craft fair on Saturday and it was a complete flop.  I should have known.  The demographics of my area... the aesthetic... it's not an artsy town... my style's not a good fit.  But I'd hoped - maybe in hindsight deluded myself - that people would see something fresh and think of their kids or grandkids or just their own desire for a pop of colour.

pink baby quilt squares granny
too pink?
It didn't happen.  I sold 4 things. A set of 3 tea towels, the other a box pouch to my table mate.  I think she was feeling a bit sorry for me.

vintage modern box pouch
patchwork box pouch pattern orange pink

boxed pouch from a terrabyte farm tutorial
But as Russell Howard says, it's not all doom and gloom.  I did have a great time chatting with customers and other members of my quilt guild.  Um, and now I have handmade christmas presents for some of the people on my list!

bird christmas ornaments
bird ornaments

And none of the ornaments I made sold, so if I decide to have a christmas tree this year (I'm still hemming and hawing, I guess it will depend on the weather - I don't feel like cutting down a tree in the rain) I'll have some ornaments to hang on it.  The four birds I sewed should bring us up to, oh, about 20.  We're not a very christmassy couple.

blue orange baby quilt
blue orange yellow plus cross baby quilt
the "boy" baby quilt
The baby quilts I might donate to the guild's charity quilt drive, though if anyone is looking for a baby quilt - or purse or pouch, etc. - I'm also amenable to offers.

noodlehead 241 tote bag quilt as you go
3 noodlehead 241 totes, the brown one will go to my mum
So yeah, a little bummed to start the week.  It's not so much that I was hoping to make some cash (though extra in the kitty is always welcome).  It's more that I loved each and every one of the things I made.  And I felt that they were rejected.  I was told that my art wasn't good enough.

fabric sewn patchwork quilted dog leash
quilted leashes
I'm not going to extend that to me not being good enough.  I'm old enough and wise enough that I won't go there, though the giant pimple I woke up to Sunday morning is pushing me that way.  I know that given a different venue things would have gone differently.  So today I'm letting myself be disappointed.  Tomorrow I'm going to get over myself and move on to new projects... and all the cleaning I kind of neglected while I was sewing up a storm!


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  1. Heck the people of your town have no taste/style/appreciation of great work. Your stuff looks gorgeous, take a deep breath and move on. I'm saying this because I'm doing my one and only event of the season this Saturday and know from previous experience how you feel! And rejoice in a stash of gorgeous goods that can be gifted!

  2. Oh, man, I'm sorry to hear that Chelsea. You definitely did make beautiful things. It's all about location! Those scrappy purses are totally fab.

  3. Hey, your art is just great! Whenever I've tried craft fairs around Christmas, I have always done so with a view to the unsold items being Christmas gifts for friends and family, so you can't lose! It is one of the mysteries of life that people will spend more on a coffee and cake that's gone in a second than they will on a beautiful handcrafted item...

  4. I'm sorry to hear that, Chelsea. Craft fairs are funny things -- sometimes wildly successful, but many times not. Your projects are beautiful. I agree with Amy, put them on Etsy, especially those baby quilts. I think you'll have much more success and there.

  5. What a bummer! I've heard this from a few other fabulous modern quilters whose stuff didn't sell well at craft fairs --you're not alone! Don't let it get ya down. Everything you made is beyond fabulous :)

  6. Chelsea, if I have learnt anything, it is that in general, people are really stupid!
    Your makes are all beautiful, the locals are all no doubt living in homes and dressing on clothes we would avoid like the plague. Don't be disheartened - get them on Etsy, them move State!!!

  7. your bags are all beyond terrific! i wish i had extra cash to spend on me! Ive sworn off all craft shows. Ive rarely ever even broke even. boo hiss.

  8. I agree: it's all locationlocationlocation. This was the WRONG crowd -- your stitching is super!

  9. I'm a newish reader, and have to thank you for writing about your experiences (even if they were negative). Obviously, this goes without saying, your things are totally gorgeous. That baby boy plus quilt! Get outta here. Don't for a second be discouraged.

  10. Blerg - that sucks. I think all the items you made are totally gorgeous, so don't be so hard on yourself. I think the suggestions to try selling on Etsy are a great idea. I have signed up for a stall at a big fair (not craft specific though) next year, and I have to say, my goal is only to break even on the stall fee, but to hand out lots of cards with the address for an Etsy store. I hope this experience doesn't put you off selling at fairs forever.

  11. Just adding to the consensus that the location was wrong - your work is gorgeous. I'd want to keep all of it to myself if I'd made them :)

  12. Aw, sorry the show was a bust! I had the same thing happen at a show I did earlier this year. I only sold three things: one to the show organizer and two to a fellow vendor who I think took pity on me. I think the crowd can totally make or break a show. Hopefully your next show will be much more successful!

  13. I canNOT believe your things didn't sell. I thought Qualicum Beach was a bit of a younger crowd now ( than when I lived there) so sorry for you but what lovely gifts they would make ; )

  14. It just was not the venue or the demographic. That is all. Your makes are just lovely

  15. Beautiful things you made!!! Love the boxed pouch and the cross quilt! Great d for christmas gifts!

  16. Not good enough!!! What a dreadful thing to say!!! Your art is beautiful! Don't let it get you down!

    1. Oh that's terrible Chelsea! I know it feels horrible when it happens, although what I was trying to sell wasn't my own creations. That would be much worse I know. I think your things are lovely. I particularly like the granny square quilt. Maybe an etsy store would be more successful if you still want to sell things.

  17. Oh Chelsea, don't be disappointed please and don't feel rejected.
    I LOVE all that I can see on this page here. I love the bags, quilt, crochet stones, but most of all the cute little bird ornaments.

    Not selling a lot does not mean that the things you make are not beautiful, it just says that people at this craft fair have a different taste!! I am sure that you could sell a lot of things in a differnt setup. It was the wrong crowd for what you were offering. try to sell on etsy or in other places where your beautiful art is appreciated and people like your style. don't-ever-let-that-get-you-down-please! ;-) XOX

  18. Don't let it get you down! It may actually be a bigger compliment that you didn't sell much, especially if the style of the other items that were selling isn't what you aspire to. Etsy is less work than a craft show (you don't even have to get dressed!) ;) so maybe give that a shot if you like. I personally think all of your items here are gorgeous and deserve good homes!

  19. Hi. I would be interested in purchasing a leash (for a boy dog) and one of the box pouches. Just let me know how much, please. Thanks. (

  20. Ugh, I managed to do 5 bear fairs in a row and not sell a single one, so you're doing better than me, marginally ;o) Honestly, there's so many variables to these things that it's hard to tell what would hit the mark without compromising yourself entirely!

  21. Love your cross quilt! I did one too awhile back, but I just haven't had time to get the back done. You made some lovely items! Don't get down!

  22. i have only one thing to say... fucking idiots! the end!

  23. I know thus happened a while ago but... Wow, that quilt is gorgeous !