Quilting Made Easy: Quick Baby Minky Blankets

Welcoming a new baby is a joyous experience, whether the baby is your own or that of a loved one. One of the greatest ways to show your love and excitement for the new little one is by creating beautiful, handmade baby minky blankets for him or her. Taking the time to make your own baby minky blankets shows how much you truly care, and your gift will be remembered and treasured for years to come. Quilting minky can be quite difficult, and without the proper machine or skills, you may not feel you have the skills to do it on your own. However, there is a way to create a quilted minky blanket with just a regular sewing machine. Here is a how-to guide for quilting your own baby minky blankets.

The first thing you will need to do is purchase your materials. Decide how large you would like your blanket to be. Minky fabric is usually sold in 45-inch width, and you will be purchasing it by the yard. For this particular quilt method, you will want to purchase three to five different types and colors of minky that coordinate. You will also want to purchase a coordinating fabric for the back of your quilt. Don’t forget to purchase matching thread. Trim is not necessary, but it can add a nice touch. If you want trim around your quilt, purchase that as well. Make sure you have enough to go completely around all sides.

Next, cut your fabric into equal-sized squares. Don’t make them too large or too small–six inches square is about right. If possible, use a quilting rotary cutter, ruler, and mat to cut your squares. This will ensure that they are all exactly the same size and help your quilt rows stay even. Lay out your squares in your desired pattern. You can make a repeating pattern with your squares, or you can place them randomly. Once you have them all laid out, start sewing them together. Sew them into rows first and then connect the rows together. Make sure you sew the right sides together so that the seams will be on the inside of the quilt. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance and be as precise as possible so that all of your squares will line up evenly.

Once you have sewn all of your squares together to form the top of the quilt, press all of your seams so that the quilt lays flat. Measure the quilt top and cut the backing out of your coordinating fabric to fit. Pin the two layers together all around the edges of the quilt, making sure to put right sides together and leaving a small opening to turn your quilt right-side-out. Sew along the edge using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Turn the quilt right-side-out through the opening and sew it closed. Press all around the edges of your quilt so that they lay flat and then top-stitch all the way around.

If you purchased trim for your blanket, add that as the final step. You will now have a beautiful baby minky blanket that can be folded and wrapped up for the new baby or placed in your baby’s room. Quilted baby minky blankets make the perfect gift for a new baby, but they can be difficult to make for those who are not experienced quilters. If you are looking for an easy way to make quilted baby minky blankets, follow this how-to guide. These blankets can be made easily with nothing but a sewing machine and take only an hour or two to complete. Your baby will love the beautiful blanket and cherish it for years to come.

Turning your Quilting Hobby Into Money

Are you a hobbyist quilter or a part-time quilter looking to make money from your quilting passion? Are you having a difficult time selling your work? If the answer is yes, then check this out.

Study the market before you begin

If you are serious about turning your quilts into money, it’s very important that you research the market before you begin trying to sell. Studying the market helps you find what types of quilts are currently in high demand in your area. Once you know this, you may think about making those quilts which are in high demand in your area. This makes it easy to sell your quilts while getting a good enough price for your quilts.

Those who take quilting only as their hobby don’t need to spend much time researching the market as the results from the research might end up in a conclusion that the demand for their favorite type of quilts is very low. If your choices are flexible or if you are ready to produce any quilt that the customers might want then there shouldn’t be any problems for you to generate a good amount of money from your hobby.

Setting the price for quilts

Determining a price for a quilt consists of a few steps, the first one being market research which you should have already done prior to sewing quilts.

Keeping track of the time spent

The second step in pricing should be performed during the creation of the quilt, which is “keeping track of your time”. You should write down or keep a record of the time spent on the quilt; this includes the total time you spent on the quilt (from choosing a design to finishing the quilt).

First, find out the total time you spent on different steps in quilting (preparing the paper pattern, piecing, basting, quilting, binding, putting your studio back in order after the quilt is completed etc.), then estimate the total time it takes on all these steps and divide it by the size (in sq.ft) of your quilt. Now you have calculated the time it takes to produce one square foot of a quilt in that particular style.

Determine how much your time is worth to you

The next step in pricing is finding out the price of your time, or deciding how much the time you sped on making a quilt is worth.

If you are a beginner or if you are doing an unskilled job then the minimum wage can be between $6.00 and $7.00 per hour. If you are a seasoned quilter or doing difficult tasks, your time is worth more than that. Something on the range of $10-$15 per hour should be reasonable rate in this scenario. Nevertheless, it’s up to you to decide how much your time is worth. The market research you should have done can help you in making a decision about that. You may also contact other quilters in your area and talk with them about this and reach a conclusion.

Quilt appraisal

An appraisal is a formally written document about the price and other attributes of a quilt. Things which should be included in a quilt appraisal are, a description of the quilt, a defined price, system used in determining the price, the reason for the appraisal (sale or resale, insurance purposes, IRS requirements, equitable division of property etc.) and the signature of the appraiser.

Selling quilts

After your quilt is done, you would likely want to sell or market it so that you can generate money for the time and effort you had put in crafting your quilt. Small scale quilters, new quilters, part-time quilters, or someone doing quilting as a hobby usually find that the promotion of their quilts is tougher than the stitching part. So let’s list a few quilt promotion methods which will be very helpful for the above mentioned group.

Quilting brokers and shops

It’s difficult for amateur quilters and part-timers to open their on quilt shops and sell their pieces there. For these types of quilters it will be useful to look for other ways of promoting their work. There are quilt brokers and handicraft shops who would be glad to sell your pieces upon paying a cut. It should be easy for you to find such brokers and stores in your area and offer your products through them. Once your quilts become popular and when the demand for your quilts increases you might want to step up to larger scale or full time quilt work and think about directly marketing your products to customers.

Selling your pieces at online auction sites

Another option available for amateur or part-time quilters is to display their work on online auction sites. There are many of them available on the internet. Online auctions make it possible for a quilter to find a way to sell the quilts at maximum price. Some of these websites even give you options to sell your quilts at a fixed price instead of listing them for auctions. It’s up to you to figure out whether you want consumers to bid for you quilt or just buy it at a price you fixed.

Some websites might even allows you to specify a “Minimum Bid” so that you can prevent your work from being purchased at a lower price than you see fit. This is a really efficient way for part-time or hobby quilters to sell their work.

Other quilting related income avenues

There are many other ways to generate cash from quilting related things. Next you’ll find two of such ways which require a certain amount of expertise.

Teaching quilt lessons

If you are an expert in quilting and have very little time (just a couple of hours a day or less) to spend on quilting, you might wish to choose this option. You could find some schools offering quilting lessons and contact them offering to teach a quilting class for beginner quilters. If you have a unique quilting technique about which you can give classes, it would be easier for you to get a contract as a quilting instructor. Another option is to offer quilting lessons at your own place. You might use your spare time like this and you should be able to earn good enough money from this.

Designing brand new quilt patterns

If you are good at making new and unique quilt patters, you can easily make lots of money selling them to other quilters as demand for fresh patterns will always be high. For marketing quilt patterns you design, you could use the same methods described above for marketing quilts.

Like in any business, if you use your time and resources in the most effective manner it’s not hard to make a good quilting career or generate good income from quilting.

Kirsten Stone is an avid quilt instructor. You can find some of her insights at http://www.quiltingboard.com/forums/show/270/1.page

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