Monday, January 16, 2006

Day 2 and still up and running!

I have to agree with Gabrielle that it is hard when people so very kindly leave comments on the blog but with no return email. I am so appreciate of any comments I get. Comments are like gold dust be savoured and cherished! And I like to reply and thank the sender and sometimes even to enter into a wee discussion or chat but without an address to reply to that isn't at all possible. Of course of late with no email facility I've not been able to thank anyone or contact anyone so I do hope you will forgive me and not give up leaving comments. With limited time it hasn't always been possible to write a reply on the comment page itself as Gabrielle has been doing. And another thing....when I was having troubles with my internet connection I couldn't always access my blog readily. But from now on I shall be on the ball and make every effort to respond! Don't let that put you off commenting now! Grin!
I have been filling in the long empty non computer hours with dyeing and quilting/designing. Today I had to press all that dyeing. I shall post a picture of some of it. Not all of it is pressed yet! It is such a tedious process but my trusty Singer press makes light work of it. I have to thank Melody Johnson for this as if I hadn't seen one on her blog I'd never have thought of it. It has certainly revolutionised my life as far as dyeing fabric is concerned. Mostly I was dyeing basic colours but there are a few exciting pieces in amongst the simple pieces. I will post pictures. The yellowy/brown one would have been ideal for sand in my sea scene. It interests me that in other parts of the world, namely America and Australia/New Zealand there seems to be a ready market for hand-dyed fabrics sold via websites, whereas over here it appears to be hit and miss. I sell hundreds of metres of fabric but mostly to face to face customers who can actually see and feel it. I admit the website needs smartening up but I don't find that it generates a lot of sales even though I now have a Pay Pal facility. Why do you think this is? Is it because fabric doesn't sell well in the UK when not actually seen? Or is the website not specific enough? Or not enough choice? Or what? I'd really like to know as when on a sales table it goes like hot cakes and my students buy an amazing amount of it! Be blunt! I have every intention now my network connections are up and running again, of giving the website a complete overhaul and any help here would be more than appreciated.
Today was a clean up the house day which not only surprised me but surprised Martin as well! Seriously I hate to work in a clutter and the clutter was starting to move steadily into the middle of the floor so something had to be done. I hoovered, tidied, dusted and organised and actually found it quite therapeutic in its own way. I expect it will all need doing again but I shall forget about it until its so far past its return date that I won't be able to ignore it! However this meant that no sewing got done. But tomorrow is another day! The many comments I had about the leaf pieces helped to firm up my own inclinations. Like the majority I found the first piece to be the most interesting and I shall go with that.
I stole this off someone else's blog but I think its brilliant! Thank you whoever you are!


  1. LOL This cranky lady really worked! I love it! Oh, and the fabrics are great too...

  2. Hi Valeri! A very nice blog and I have been checking it out and not leaving comments, so here is one for ya! I believe you and I met at the Fiber Arts Convention in 2002...if I'm not mistaken, you're the one who suggested that people could iron the printed paper bags onto muslin? A great suggestion which still lives on with us today!

    Robin (from The Linenlady)

  3. The fabric is delicious! Actually, I don't think hand-dyed fabric sells well in the US unless it is seen. My SIL has a fabric dying business and has had miserable success selling from a web site, but does incredibly at shows.

  4. OK OK here I am!! I read ...I do...I'm just you!!! Ginger

  5. I only use undyed fabric now, but when I started doing textile work I used to buy dyed fabric, but always had to see and feel.

    The only fabric I bought over the internet were some Marimekko ex samples because I knew what they would feel like and the image showed enough of what the pattern was, and I trusted the Marimekko quality. I imagine that it might be possible to sell over the internet to people who have once bought your fabric face to face.

    Judging from the behaviour of my friends and what I see at shows etc. I think a lot of people buy face to face on complete impulse, with no specific idea of what they are going to do with the purchase. Buying over the internet however is something I think one does with more of a purpose in mind. And therefore less often!

    Many years ago (late 70s)there was a survey on book selling done for the Publishers' Association of the UK. It found that over 80% of books are bought on impulse. That was the beginning of publishers' display bins and booksellers putting piles of books on tables by the doors.

    So exploit those impulse moments! I should think that if you put an example of work you have done with similar dyed fabrics as an image alongside the fabrics you want to sell on the internet it might encourage 'copycat' thoughts and therefore sales - ?

    Sorry for the long comment!

  6. I think your dyed fabric is really good value, Val, and I'm surprised it doesn't sell well online. Maybe you need to advertise in one of the quilting mags (not sure if the cost is prohibitive though...). How about promoting it through BQSwap or something like that? Or giving Ebay a try? Workshopontheweb traders section? Only suggestions... I haven't done it myself ... I would definitely buy your fabric if I didn't dye my own but I only heard of you because of your blog so maybe not enough people know you're there?

  7. Hi Valeri,

    Uh oh, I can tell you that Kiwis don't buy hand-dyed fabric over the internet either. I've taken all mine off. This year, I'm going to send actual samples of fabric to quilt shops to try to get more action - this of course means masses of dyeing on my part as most of my stock is "unnamed". Hopefully, when my retail space becomes a reality (I'm waiting for the Trust who owns the historic buildings to renovate it) I'll keep my fabric stock there. It's definitely a product that quilters prefer to buy face to face.

    Shirley in New Zealand