Welcome to Sew in the Snow Blog

This blog is about my passions in life: family, quilting, and new adventures. Quilting is my main passion! I also love my family tirelessly and devote most of my energy to my young preschool girls and my husband. This blog will be about my creative process in quilting and some about being a Mom in this busy world. Being of Irish descent, I love a good story. So buckle in, here we go!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Featured Artist: Monika from Quiltlovers

 I am enjoying this interview with Monika from Etsy's Quiltlovers shop today as my Friday Featured Artist. She is an exceptional quilter.  Her work is beautiful, fresh, and fun. I was first drawn to her work when I was participating in a Quiltsy team discussion.  I saw a picture of her Ice Tea Batik Lap Quilt and I loved the earth-tones and the simple pattern which allowed the fabric to really sing.  She is also a warm and friendly person that is easy to chat with. 


What originally gave you the idea to create such an interesting Etsy shop?
Drop Dead Gorgeous
After retiring from long haul truck driving in 2006 I decided to pursue my quilting hobby more diligently and get myself a longarm quilting machine with the intend of quilting for others.  I purchased my APQS FREEDOM after considerable research and while waiting for it to arrive, I made quilt tops of every size so I would have something to practice on when my baby arrived. Well, it turned out that the Quilt tops became real nice Quilts and I had no idea what to do with them at that point. A friend suggested I open a Store on Etsy, and the rest is history.

Oriental Elegance
Ideas are often so hard to implement—tell us a bit about how you started and what were your first steps in creating your niche in the Etsy and handmade community.
I prefer to make simple Quilts, the “million piecers” as I call them, have never been my strength. So I started out with 5” Charm Squares, lap Quilts right up to king size and everyone sold. By making the Quilts simple, but using name brand fabrics, and machine quilting all myself, I am able to offer a good product at an   
affordable price.

Quiltlovers Patchwork
Could you share some tips on how someone would go about growing an Etsy shop or online presence?
Being successful on Etsy is all about being seen. You can’t just open a store, list something and sit back and wait for the customer. Competition is fierce, therefore you have to be in your buyers face all the time. Visibility is the key and if you are running a business, you need to list, renew, relist 24/7. Good Customer Service is imperative. I have branded my Shop name, my banner appears on my business cards, my stationary, my Etsy Shop address is my signature on everything I sent via the internet and hard copy. I have decals on the back windows of our Pick Up Trucks with my logo and shop address, my husband and I leave business cards everywhere we go. I made the business card into a mailing label and it is on every package I sent out, after all, postal workers are customers too. Visibility is key for a small business like me.

What is your main hurdle in running your Etsy site to date?
My main hurdle is getting my fabrics at prices on par with my US counterparts.
After the Rain
Being Canadian, I have to go through Representatives for various Manufacturers and Designers and that drives the price of a yard of fabric up considerably.

What are some of the most interesting forums you’ve seen develop on the Etsy site or your personal website.
I don’t have time to spend on the general forum. I subscribe to the Etsy newsletter, which keeps me informed as to what is new and changing. I belong to several Teams and I am very active on the Quiltsy Team, where I have been a member since it started in 2007.

Iced Tea
What is the structure behind the scenes—how many people do you have working on your shop at the moment?
My shop is operated by me, myself and I. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to be successful and when I am not making Quilts, I am quilting someones Quilt or marketing and promoting.

How do you promote your business? Facebook, Twitter, blogging, or other?
I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Blog, a longarm machine quilting website. I am on Pinterest, Stumble upon, LinkedIn, and I am sure somewhere else. Too much and I really can’t keep up with it all.

Describe the process of creating one of your handmade items.
The process to make my patchwork Quilts is really very simple. I purchase fat quarter collections, cut them all up, sew them back together again, border and quilt them. I have a line of “Drop Dead Gorgeous Quilts”, named so by my Husband, backed with minky, which can be found all over the world.

Fun Facts:

List 3 adjectives that describe you.
determined, dedicated, fun-loving

What is your favorite food?
New York Cheesecake, fresh caught Walleye, baked Potato

If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why?
There are several Animals I can identify with, but my favorite at the moment is the Siberian Husky. We are determined, hard working, dependable, protective, kind, love to snuggle and we are very good looking!

Wow! Thanks Monika for sharing your insights with us!  What an interesting and unique story.  From truck driver to professional quilter.  She is a successful Etsian and quilter, which I find inspirational!  I'm sure you're all very curious about her shop!  Check it out on Etsy: Quiltlover


  1. Thank you Colleen for the wonderful interview and consequent exposure. it was fun to answer your questions and gave me an opportunity to think about me and where i am going with my work. your words are very kind and i am glad you like my work.

  2. Your welcome. It's so much fun to learn about the process for other quilters. It's so unique to each person, that the story is always fun to hear. Thanks for your time.


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