Pat belongs to my Etsy Team Quiltsy. She has many spectacular art quilts in her shop, The Butterfly Quilter. I was looking for something amazing, and I found it in her work! Such artistry! Her detailed quilting really enhances her quilts. So, I was curious, what makes someone like her tick? Find out for yourself.
What originally gave you the idea to create such an interesting Etsy shop?
Living in Maine we didn’t have high speed internet till Oct. 2011. Yup it was that late for us in this part of Maine. One of my friends told me about the site and then my husband found it and said, “I think you should sell on Etsy”. I had a hard enough time having people tell me my quilts are beautiful so this was a big step. I made a decision to put on the site quilts that I would want for myself and not just to make to sell. So far it is working out for me. I have to force myself not to just make to sell but to make them as if they were for me and really like them.
Ideas are often so hard to implement– tell us a bit about how you started and what were your first steps in creating you niche in the Etsy and handmade community?
I am one of those people that just go for it once my mind is made up. Like creating a quilt. Sometimes I have to think outside the box. Etsy was way outside the box for me. For the first months I was on the site reading and listening to the labs and working the forums. I am talking about 4 to 6 hours a day. My quilting was on hold at this time just to get my shop up and running. I am not computer savvy at all so this was something so foreign to me. So I tackled it like a quilt, once piece at a time.
What is your main hurdle in running your Etsy site to date?
Time is my greatest enemy and a major hurdle for me. I get up first thing in the morning and check in and comment in the forums and teams. Then do some work on my tags. Then I check in at lunch and one more time at night. I can tell when I slack off a little my stats go down. So time management is big since it takes away from my craft. Not enough hours in a day.
How do you promote your business? Facebook, Twitter, blogging or other?
LOL I don’t have anytime to do any of the above. My husband just got facebook. I don’t Twitter or blog. All of my promotion in on Etsy alone. My friends pass on the word thru their facebook page when I download a new quilt. I do pass out my business cards when I am out and about though.
Describe the process of creating one of your handmade items.
Nature is a part of the process for me. If I am blank and can’t come up with a design my HB and I go hiking. Things just start happening from there. He is a photographer and he has his camera with him so I have him taking photos of certain things. Then I save them in a file just for me. I dream a lot about design so as soon as I get up I write it down and keep it in a file. When I have time I will look thru them and come up with something.
An example my earth texture quilt. I wanted to incorporate macro photos on a background of the earth, like a sand feel. I start with a ruff sketch then from there transferred it to a more definite sketch onto muslin. Then cut out hundreds of pieces of different tone on tones with heat and bond to adhere to the muslin that I drew the design on. Then printed my macro photos onto fabric with my computer and heat set them onto my piece. Never pieced a quilt this way before. Did my layer of batting then back and quilted it all over to hold everything in place with a tone on tone variegated thread. Once done I new I needed to add beading of wood and abalone beads. Then I thought it needed definition around the edges of the photos so I used helm to finish the piece off. So my quilting just keep progressing sometimes.
What do you love most about making your products?
Seeing if what I image it will look like comes out the way I thought it would. Most of the time my designs go in a different direction once I start and always for the better. My quilt tops speak to me and tell me what they need.
List three adjectives that describe you.
Adventurous, generous, and energetic. According to my husband. LOL
Favorite Food: Too many to count. Scallops, cantaloupe, popcorn
If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why?
Probably an Elephant. Ok they can be stubborn, but I am working on that. I am loyal and dependable. People always seem to come to me when they need something and know that I will always be there for them. Elephants seem to wander so it no wonder I do not stay in one place long. An Elephant never forgets, this is so true for me also. Once I learn something I seem to retain that knowledge, hopefully to use some day when it is needed. The Elephant is also patient and my students when I was teaching quilting too always said I would always answer questions and be patient till they understood what I was trying to get across.
I certainly can understand the time issue! I never have enough. I dare you to take the time today to look at Pat's Etsy shop... you won't be disappointed!