Working Through It

It’s been one of my (many) mantras this year, work through it. Just keep making. At some point, it will feel different again. The plus with making quilts the way I do is that there are tasks that can be divided up and finished in shorter periods of time. If something is long and difficult, this is how you get through it, one chunk at a time. So when I’m sitting there stabbing needles into that one place on my right middle finger that gets a callous when I’m doing a lot of hand-stitching, I know that it is not an endless, Dante’s-Inferno-of-Stabbing-Pain, but a task that will end, and if it is supremely heinous, then there will be a new and different task to follow it.

I finished three more bindings yesterday. It was difficult, but Endeavour Morse helped me survive it. I never watched the Inspector Morse series, but I like the prequels.

This is Bird 4…they have names now too. I have a hard time remembering the numbers.

Jul 26 14 003 crop med

Also known as Diving Bird. Obv.

In pricing them, I’ve really only looked at the time. Quilters Newsletter Magazine recently had an article on pricing your work, and I do usually use a combination of time and size, looking at both calculations and arriving somewhere in the middle.

This is Bird 5

Jul 26 14 004 crop med


aka HeyBird. The article was interesting in that it touched on two points: those who underprice and undervalue their time are hurting the rest of us…and it gave actual pricing info from some quilters, including Luke Haynes and Caryl Bryer Fallert, both more famous in the quilt world than I am, but I was able to compare my prices for my work with what they would charge for something similar…

This is Bird 6

Jul 26 14 005 crop med

aka Curvy Bird or maybe Falling Bird. I haven’t decided. And I found that my pricing formulas do actually make sense. You are paying for my 25 years of experience, my drawing ability, my quilting ability, and for the rarity that is a small Kathy piece without boobs in it (as my daughter would say). Because honestly, this opportunity may never arise again. I find these little quilts a pain in the ass to make, and they don’t give me any satisfaction to make…except when I see them in a pile. That’s kind of cool…a pile of birds. Until the cat tries to sit on them, and then I have to hide them again. And my prices are significantly lower than Fallert’s (as they should be).

Updated: I had to add this after a conversation with the boychild. Minimum wage in California is $9/hour at the moment. If I sell these birds in a gallery, I can lose up to 50% of the price to the gallery (understood, by the way…I’m not arguing against that), so I have to consider the pricing with that in mind. The smallest one, right now, is the only one priced under $100, and if it sold in a gallery, I would get just over minimum wage. Sigh. But these weren’t complicated and I didn’t draw NEW birds…these are existing birds from drawings and quilts that are already done. Plus I think most if not all of them will sell outside of a gallery, so I’m OK with the pricing.

Four more to go, but I already set up the sewing machine last night to start quilting Mammogram. I want to get on with it. Next week is really the last WHOLE week I have free from school stuff until December (oh my god, that is so depressing). I need to use it wisely. This is why as the summer goes on, I become more and more hermitlike. In the early days, I leave the house for lots of errands and fun stuff and lunch with friends (not really), but by the time August 1 rolls around, I’m in lockdown mode. School looms towards me, swinging claws towards my free time and my sanity, and Fall is notoriously bad with soccer slamming me as well. Although this year, there will only be one kid around…one kid who has taken on coaching her OWN team (am I required to go watch that? I feel like I should go at least once.).

And I am exercising and meditating every day. Another way to work through it. One chunk at a time.

“Keep mindfulness alive even in the darkest moments, reminding yourself that the awareness is not part of the darkness or the pain; it holds the pain, and knows it, so it has to be more fundamental, and closer to what is healthy and strong and golden within you.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

One Response to Working Through It

  1. Rebecca says:

    “You are paying for my 25 years of experience,…” I always think this when someone asks “How long did it take?”

    Looks like I have a reason to look up QNM.

    I was often distressed by a local guild’s auction…sometimes they didn’t cover the cost of materials! I think they have given up that particular fund-raiser.


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