Ok, we’re stitchers, we quilt, we make gifts. But sometimes we overdo – and get behind – right? We just run out of time to make everything we want to. That’s why I’ve asked my dear friend Cathe from GloryQuilts to guest blog today – she is a trusted etsy seller, a quilter extraordinaire – if you can’t give handmade by you, then handmade by an expert is best!
(At the end of the post is the link to her gorgeous give-away, you won’t want to miss this!)
I met Cathe on a homeschooling website, eons ago, and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s an amazing quilter, teacher, and author – I know you’ll love her! I’ve asked her to write a guest post, so you can get to know her and her beautiful work. (And isn't she pretty???!!!)
Hi Allie! It was indeed eons ago that we met online, at least in “internet years.” I believe it was 1999. We were living in the
Peninsula at that time, and the long winters gave me plenty of
time to sew when I wasn’t homeschooling and corralling my boys. That was a
life-changing time for me, because it was my first exposure to the World Wide
My husband was in the military when we married, so we moved frequently. I started quilting in 1986, when I was pregnant with our second son. We lived in
then, and I didn’t know
anyone else who sewed or quilted. When we returned to the Unites States,
everywhere we went, I met ladies who quilted or wanted to learn to quilt. I’ve
always been a “club junkie”, from Girl Scouts on, and I organized quilt guilds
in several different places. I had a husband, three sons and a male dog by
then, so I reveled in the company of like-minded women! Germany
In 1992, I was asked to teach a class at a local quilt shop. I discovered that even more than quilting, I liked teaching others how to do it - especially at weekend retreats and workshops. I eventually became concerned about copyright issues relating to the use of commercial patterns in teaching classes, so I started creating and drafting my own patterns. I liked that, too. (Math was my favorite homeschooling subject.)
And then, in 1998, I found the Internet. Now I could connect with other Christian women, dressmakers, quilters, gardeners, and homeschoolers from the comfort of my own home! We could establish networks that lead to in-real-life opportunities. I was invited to teach at workshops further from home, including Florida and California one fall, bouncing back and forth from Wisconsin to the Mojave Desert, back home to Wisconsin, then to orange groves and Sanibel Island, and then back to snowy Wisconsin!
Cathe's BOM students
Ebay was my first online marketplace. I sold over-the-top, frou-frou little girls’ outfits there as well as quilts. The clothing was fun and more profitable, but by then I had a surplus of quilts from years of class samples and pattern prototypes. Many of my quilt customers came back to me with special orders, and soon I had a small but steady income from the quilts.
The handmade industry eventually shifted to Etsy. There weren’t as many customers there, but it was a specialized, niche market. Our offerings didn’t get lost in a crowd of cheap, mass-produced quilts. As Etsy grew, more people became interested in shopping for art and handmade items online. I think shoppers started to appreciate the value of unique things, more than when they were limited to local venues. They saw that crocheted hats and quilts weren’t just crafty things that grandma made in her spare time.
I shop on Etsy! I buy patterns, handspun yarns, and hand-dyed fabrics. I love giving one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for birthdays and at Christmas, and it makes me feel good to know that I am supporting independent designers and crafters like myself.
I still teach and design patterns, but I now create more unique items specifically for the handmade market. It gives me an income from doing what I love. I’ve started writing fiction, drawing on a lifetime of sharing life with women who enjoy creating for their own pleasure or professionally. I’m very blessed and very grateful for the opportunities I have and the connections I have made online. As you know, Allie, some of our best friends are those we haven’t even met in person!
Thanks Cathe, I hope someday we CAN meet in person, especially since we don’t live all that far away! And now dear readers, are you ready for a give-away? LOOK at this……a gorgeous gift basket!!!!
How awesome is that? [From Cathe’s blog:] Just in time for Christmas, I’m giving away this awesome gift basket featuring a GloryQuilts Mug Rug! It also has a fun coffee mug, Mountain High coffee, Bigelow French Vanilla tea, Godiva French Vanilla coffee, Alpine spiced apple cider mix, and some of those fancy dark chocolate rolled wafers! Yum! Keep it for yourself or give it as a Christmas gift.
Sign up for her newsletter when you enter, and you’ll get her Chevron Quilt pattern free! [Give-away is for US residents only – shipping is outrageous, as we all know, unfortunately!]
Cathe has lots of goodies to browse in her etsy shop, click >>HERE<< to see! And don’t forget to follow her blog >>HERE<<, you can follow by email and get notified of every gorgeous post. One of my favorite posts by her is her list of 15 Things To Look For When Buying A NewSewing Machine – excellent list! You can find that post by clicking >>HERE<<.
I hope you enjoyed meeting my precious friend Cathe, and seeing her beautiful work. Good luck in the give-away [but my fingers are crossed that I win! Well, wouldn't yours be?]