Calicozy Questions

comments: 42

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Aw, thank you for all of your comments on the tantrum post. Andy and I laughed so hard at some of them. I love all of these stories so much. Already our seems funny and the stuff of family legend. I know I'll never forget it, and will tell her about it someday. We spent several days sort of acting out how our next play-yard departure was going to go, occasionally reversing roles where she was the mom and I was the kid. When she told me it was time to go (and always with the calmest, most patient voice, which cracked me up) I pitched a whopper fit, stomping and howling and yelling, "No! I WON'T! Wahhhhh! I don't want to!!!!!" which made her laugh sheepishly and left her standing helplessly with her hand out, unable to find a way to convince me. But then I scratched my head thoughtfully, remembered out loud about my "privileges" I would be so sad to lose, and happily took her hand and skipped over to the "car." She sputtered. I asked her if she wanted to praise my good decision. "Oh! What a good decision, little kid!" Ahhhhh, I love four-year-olds. Many moments of reason spiced with a few moments of utter irrationality to keep things interesting. Next week it will be something else, I'm sure, but I'm happy to report that all of our leave-takings since Epic Melt have been peaceful, and even one has included her patting another melting-down kid on the head and saying, knowingly, "I hope you feel better." Pfffft! Oh, love.

I am crocheting myself a sweater. It is very exciting. Such is the life of a crocheter — these are our excitements: four skeins of O-Wool finger-weight washable wool and a very nice pattern! Hurrah!

Quilt-kit bundles are being assembled, so let's talk about this. . . .

It looks like this batch will have enough fabric for 120 toddler quilt kits. That means we will have between 15-25 toddler kits in each of 6 colorways. Each toddler kit has 15 print strips and 7 solid strips. Last time I offered these, I took the total number of cut strips I had for each colorway and split them up between sizes. So if there were 20 toddler kits available for the Meadowsweet colorway, for example, that was 300 total strips I had for that colorway. Then I split those and offered some in each size, going all the way up to king size. I think that, in my mind, the sale would happen at a leisurely pace, and I would be able to sit there and recalculate the total number of strips left as things sold and add more into inventory as necessary, all while drinking some coffee. But in reality it didn't go like that at all; things went in a whoosh, and some things got sold out from under people who had them in their carts but were slower to enter their ordering information than others, or were shopping for other things, too, or . . .

I seriously, honestly can understand how frustrating that must have been. I tried to write to a few people who were upset but my emails to them bounced. (If you think you might have been one of those people, please feel free to write me again, maybe with a different email address, and I'll try to respond again.) Unfortunately, there just isn't a shopping cart system in existence that can pull an item out of inventory when it is only in your cart, and hasn't yet been paid for. Even though it's in your cart, it could also be in someone else's cart, and if they pay faster, they get it. . . . I really do hate that there has to be this frantic element to buying something that has been created in so much relative peace. But, short of auctioning them or maintaining some kind of private preview/purchase system (I'll never be able to manage that), this is the sales channel I have. But I really do want to respond to your feedback and make it a better experience if I can.

So, here are some questions I have for you if you have time to answer.

  • The algorithm I have means that it doesn't matter to me what size kits sell. It's all the same amount of fabric, the same amount of work, and the same relative amount of money for you and me no matter how it shakes out. That said, would you rather have more toddler-sized kits available to purchase, and then supplement with your own fabric if you would like to make a bigger size? Or would you rather have fewer total kits available in general if it meant that you could have the chance to purchase a throw, twin, full/queen, and king-sized kit?
  • I have generally started sales at the time that it is most convenient for me, personally — around 9 or 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. When we have much greater quantities of stuff like embroidery kits or, in the past, animal kits or ornament kits, the time the sale starts hasn't mattered so much, as we generally don't sell out of stuff so quickly. But with these limited quantities, timing can be frustrating. I could split the offerings in half, and offer them at two different times. So, question for you: What other time?
  • Lastly, and this isn't really a question but more of a statement, I do plan on continuing to do these, even after this next round. I have fabric coming in constantly now, and it is always different and always quite wonderful. So, really, if it doesn't work out this time for you, there will be more coming.

Let me know what you think about these things and I will come back on Monday with a preview of new kits, and some information for you based on the feedback I receive from you. Thank you, as always, for your interest and enthusiasm. It means so much to me and I appreciate it more than I can say. XO

*** For some backstory on these quilt kits, see the beginnings of them, my inspiration for them, this info post, this preview post, and this sale post, and Picking Patchwork.

42 comments

I LOVE the fabrics you've picked. Most of them remind me of my great grandmothers apron! I like the idea of toddler size with the instructions to add to make a bigger one. I would probably make a throw size since our house is freezing in the winter. But I may also just buy the pattern and use my own fabric. But I can't wait to see what you've got this week!

Thank you so much for trying so hard to accommodate so many! I have no interest in a toddler size and would definitely not want to add with my own fabrics. Pre-order would suit me fine! I so look forward to each of your posts....your photography and creativity is inspiring. Thank you again!

I agree with what Nicki said above! That is what I also think!! I don't want to add my own fabric. It wouldn't feel like that is from you. I would like to pre-order it. I don't mind having to wait a bit. I am just learning to quilt so I feel brava enough now a days. Bravo for crochet sweaters!!!Thanks for the info about the yarn used on that. I looove flower shots and yours are awesome!! Wishing you a happy weekend!

If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I'm not sure how it would actually work or if there would be a ton more work involved, pre ordering would be lovely for us buyers. Because it was so frustrating to us all who were not able to puchase the kits. But really, it was so absolutely wonderful for you :)

Hi Alicia....
You have been so kind and genuinely thoughtful in trying to please as many of your customers and fans who simply adore what you have created and have reawakened the creativity in all of us. Please just continue to do what you do best and try not to get caught up in the pressures and logistics of selling these kits....there seems to be a feeling of anxiety and stress just reading over the how's and what's and when's....it seems totally opposite of the feelings evoked when I come to visit your site and when you share with us your favourite things.....thank you for bringing so much inspiration to us all:)

So nice of you to ask for comments -- and to explain about the "shopping cart" as that quite surprised me last time. The amount of work you have done with these quilts, and explaining it all, is inspiring. I would prefer the mostly toddler quilt size and then possibly supplementing or buying more than one. I like the time you are using for the sale, but then I am on the West Coast. It was convenient. I would also second the idea of pre-orders and a wait list as a way of making everything more manageable, and perhaps less stressful for you.

Elizabeth says: April 22, 2017 at 04:32 PM

I cannot imagine the amount of work that goes into making these kits, preparing the sale, and getting them off to their new homes. For you to be so concerned with everyone's feelings on top of that is so kind-hearted! But I also worry that over time it could take the joy out of the process. I am excited to think you might make these kits for a while yet to come, and I am a little horrified by people who express their disappointment and frustration to you when they don't get what they want.

It sounds like I am in the minority here, but I do not think pre-orders are a good idea. These are vintage fabrics and therefore there is no reliable source for any given print or yardage of certain colors. It also seems to make things more complicated and rigid - keeping track of who ordered what, who has paid, how many of each colorway/fabric are needed, etc. It changes the feel of the whole (creative) process.

Personally, I would rather not fill in with my own fabrics and would appreciate the option to buy a larger kit. You, Alicia, have such a distinct and beautiful sense of color and that is part of what draws me to wanting one these kits in the first place. Your blog is a true comfort to me and a quilt that has that same unique style holds that comfort in a way a quilt with some of my own fabrics would not.

But all of this is just my own opinion. What matters most is that the entire process works for you. I appreciate your blog so much, and how much work you have put into these kits. I hope that you do this for as long as it continues to bring you joy and in a way that makes sense for you above anyone else. It is clear that you will have customers regardless. There will always be people who feel like they've been treated unfairly, which is unfortunate but also so clearly not your fault. Thank you for everything you do, Alicia! Your words and pictures bring such peace and comfort into my life.

Kathy McD says: April 22, 2017 at 04:46 PM

I agree with everything Elizabeth said! Alicia, you are providing a very generous service! Do what works for YOU and follow whatever process continues to make this fun for you. If I am lucky enough to get a kit, I will be thrilled. If I don't get one this time and there is a next time, I will happily try again! And if I never get one, I will be so thankful that I have the pattern and can create something as close to yours as I'm able.

I appreciate you and adore your blog! You bring so much happiness to so many with your beautiful posts. THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful life with us!

How about offering a presale where people could put a 50% deposit down. That would enable you to know how many people want quilts and what size they would like to purchase. You could then have the people who put down a deposit have a guaranteed purchase and after that whatever was not paid for with a prior deposit could be left for others to buy.
Thanks,
Laura

This is the public side of your workplace and you get a lot of feedback from your community. Thanks for facilitating that. I admire the work you do, the creative part and the part that is very businessy and to do with algorithms and orders and shipments. I hope you continue to enjoy sourcing and matching fabrics as much as we do looking at and reading about your work. And I hope all of the planning and any grumbling doesn't take the edge of your pleasure in balancing colours and patterns. Thank you for being such a generous blogger and designer. And thanks to Andy and Amelia for sharing you with us xx

Faith proctor says: April 23, 2017 at 12:37 PM

I just looked back at the post you linked to and saw the bunting once again. It is the loveliest of decor. Did you ever tell us about it? Half fabric. Half yard😍Oh my stars. Do tell us all about it, pretty please.

Penny Holliday says: April 23, 2017 at 06:43 PM

I was excited to read that more quilt kits will be available soon & that you will continue offering even more kits!I'm hoping to get a kit this time! I appreciate so much that you are searching out & preparing wonderful calico fabrics for quilt kits for us to purchase.I do so love your selections! I am retired & am available to order from you anytime but wonder if it would be more fair to offer or add an additional later time so that people that work would have an opportunity to order, also.

i cannot imagine the frustration of having such a delightful product everyone wants and not being able to supply everyone at once! that said, i, like several others am thinking pre-orders might work well for you. it would require probably a more general offering of color ways (light spring, mid summer, fall etc) but since everyone loves your fabric choices i seriously doubt many would complain with your choices if some fabric became unavailable and substitutions were made. it might take a bit longer to receive the quilt kit itself, but knowing one was coming would be it's own reward. plus, you could take orders for a limited time several times a year or season giving you time to fill orders for that release. just thinking of ideas that might work for future kits. i think most people agree, they want kits/choices YOU choose and design, or if not, they will just order a pattern and DIY. good luck with the next grouping! before you know it, you will be hiring quilt-kit put-together-ers!

I love your blog - such creativity and comfort. Your home is so cosy and you have such a gift when it comes to style, creativity and colors.

It saddened me to think you received a barrage of negative emails and comments from people who could not get a kit. The nature of online buying is that nothing is yours until you pay. It's exactly the same as if you were in a store and someone nabbed the last item from the shelf seconds before you got there. On the flipside, the outpouring of frustration is a clear sign of your popularity and eagerness to own a 'Posie quilt.

Do what works for you. If people can't get a quilt next round, they will live. x

I would love you to maintain the multiple size options. I don't have a toddler and am unable to have children so the larger sizes would be great for me! I'm also not experienced in quilting so the thought of having to supplement with additional fabric is very daunting to me. Hoping that you keep the size options and I can snag a kit!

I cannot stop giggling to myself about, "I hope you feel better" pat-pat! HAHAHAHA! SO CUTE.

I LOVE you blog! You are so kind and generous to share your life with us. The sweater you're crocheting for yourself is lovely. However, is there a separate pattern for the yoke of the sweater? Yours looks different from the tulips that are shown on the actual pattern, and quite honestly I like yours better.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.