Friday, March 29, 2013

Thank You

Wow, I am in complete shock right now and feeling very blessed.  As March winds to a close I am happy to announce that we are winding down not only our best quarter in sales, but also our best quarter in website views.  I can't believe the progress that Stitch Silly has suddenly made, and I couldn't have done it without you, my loyal readers and customers so thank you!

Because of the great successes, I am actually moving up my planned fabric order, so I should have some new burp cloths and receiving blankets soon.  And thanks to your feedback last week I was able to choose at least a chevron blanket, the blue one (sorry Gina!).  I think for now I am going to hold off on the rag quilt, but it is something that I will keep in mind as I fabric search!

While I wait for my new fabric to come in, I'm giving my sewing machine a bit of a break and working on some crocheting, with plarn of course!  Especially with a long road trip ahead of us for Easter.  I am almost done with the bottom of the current bag I am crocheting so with the trip, I hope to be able to start working up the sides and make some interesting progress.  Not near the kind of progress my mom has made of late. 

She has temporarily retired (long story and she's a bit crazy - in a good way) and spent the last 5 weeks in Florida visiting family and friends.  My parents had a great time.  I laugh because they just arrived home this past weekend only to be hit with 8 inches of snow.  In her down time in the car and visiting she kept her hands busy.  She crocheted, I believe 3 if not 4, bags while she was down there to give as gifts to everyone she encountered.  There is no way I can keep up with her speed, but I will at least try this weekend. 

I'll be sure to report back next week, until then, have a Happy East and wonderful Passover!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fabric Orders

Photo courtesy: Do it yourself Divas
I've been tossing several new projects around in my head.  I haven't quite worked through the execution of any of them yet.  Because I have so many ideas floating around I foresee a potentially large fabric purchase once I decide exactly what I am going to do and then go through the painstaking task of selecting fabric for these projects.  I'm looking around for a few different quilt ideas, both personal projects - I'm not ready to try to make and sell quilts yet, but who knows, it may be on the horizon.

One project I know are definitely on the horizon are some more burp cloths.  They have become increasingly popular of late, I'm almost sold out of all my burp cloths.  Not a bad problem to have, but an unexpected one at that. In the next few weeks, my burp cloth inventory is projected to be almost completely depleted if not completely.  These are some of my favorite items to make because they are so versatile.  I can't tell you how many uses I have come up with my old burp cloths that I made for my kids.  If you're interested in some burp cloths and want to personalize them a bit, let me know and we can work together before I make the fabric order. 

The other project I'm tossing around is a rag quilt for our living room (see picture above).  We currently have two blankets we keep, mostly for me, on our couch that are starting to age.  One is a blanket from my high school alma mater, the other is a no sew blanket I made while in college before I got my sewing machine.  Both are great blankets, but I want something that is 1.) a bit more adult centric, 2.) coordinated with our color scheme in our living room, and 3.) not as tattered looking. 

Of course the other is a blanket for my youngest son in the same fashion of the chenille blanket that took me forever to sew for my oldest. This one is probably the farthest a long in the thought process.  I'm thinking of using this Riley Blake Chevron fabric to make the chenille this time.  Psst, it's striped so I won't have to worry about drawing 500million lines and then sewing each line, I can just sew a long each side of the stripes.  I can't decide which colors to use however.  I'm inclined to go with the blue one as opposed to the rainbow one.  Since I'm still brain storming, I'd love to hear your thoughts one which you like best.  Bring them on, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Left to my own devises crazy things can happen!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Accounting System Update

By far, one of my most popular posts is my accounting system description series.  It's always good to see others really getting something out of my uber nerdiness.  I've been playing around with it a little of late.  Mostly in the fact that it drives me batty that I am tied to a specific computer in order to use it.  I'm a girl of the 21st century.  If I can't somehow get to my documents no matter where I am or what system I'm on I have issues.  Between smart phones, tablets, laptops, work computers, personal computers there are so many systems we use on a daily basis, I always find comfort in having at least a few things in my life centralized and smooth.  Cloud documents is one of them.  This is probably why I'm such a huge fan of Google; not to mention their open source philosophy is right up this nerdette's ally.

If you recall in my original posting, I created my super cool accounting system, linking pages with all sorts of cool functionality together.  I had to do this in Microsoft Excel in order to get the functions to work.  Well come to find out that sometime in the last 2 years Google has done it again and implemented the needed functions in their Google Docs package.  Woot! Woot!  Let me tell you how excited I was to find this out.  If I could do a back flip I would, but alas I can't so I just did my happy dance. 

I'm still doing a dual accounting in Excel for another month or two just to make sure nothing surprises me, but so far so good.  I cannot begin to tell you how this makes my life easier.  Now when I'm out and about picking the kids up a daycare and I get asked, do you have X in stock or how much is Y, I can just pull it up on my phone and take a quick glance. 

I know I may be alone in this excitement, but I wanted to share this update with you in case it helps you as well.  Not to mention, it's been a while since I've posted anything to help my fellow small business owners out there.  It's been all about my activity of late.  Today, I wanted to give back and share with you!

Have you found and new tips and tricks worth sharing recently?  Bring them on!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thank you Snowquester

I'm so excited to announce that I finally finished the blanket for my son, that was supposed to be a Christmas present, then a birthday present, but really turned out to be a just because I love to you present. 

I was finally able to finish it because of the Snowquester "storm" that rolled through the area yesterday.  Now I understand that people west of the the DC area did get some significant snow fall.  Me however, NONE, ZILCH, NADA, NOTHING!!!!  I realize I am probably partially to blame.  In anticipation for potentially 6 - 9 inches of heavy snowfall, I dug through our hand me down pile to find a snow suit that fit and a paid of snow boots that way to big but can work in a pinch.  And I got this stuff out on Monday...Wednesday comes, yup, no snow, but it didn't stop the world from shutting down so mommy gets to stay home with the kiddos for the day.  Which meant I took full advantage and finished that blanket!  I hope you enjoy the pictures, though I took them on my phone so they aren't the best quality.
I haven't washed it yet, because how do you explain to a 3 year old that the blanket isn't done until it's washed when it looks useable right now.  I'm ok with that, it will cutiefity (yes that's my own word!) as he uses it.  I imagine it will be wash regularly as he came downstairs this morning blanket in hand dragging on the floor behind, in his Lightning McQueen PJs and snow boots (yes he found them and will wear nothing else now).  The blanket had to go to school with him and won't leave his side; a true Linus moment and I couldn't be more proud. 

Now that I've completed one, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but yes, I would completely do one again.  Now that I have a system down I can see myself doing it.  And yes, I would do one to sell as well, but after calculating my time and material cost it isn't a cheap blanket.  I did a brief comparison on Etsy and my price is well within the norm of what I found there.  So bring on the custom orders, and I promise it won't take me 5 months to complete yours!  But it is definitely not an overnight job. 

Up next will be my plarn bag for a friend and then maybe I'll start working on one for my younger son since I'm not exactly happy how his hand knit blanket turned out (it's too small for my liking.)
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