Showing posts with label crazy quilt art world. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crazy quilt art world. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2016

What about those Scissors?

I'd like to believe, that scissors can be found, in every home around the world! They are a tool that's believed to have been created in ancient Mesopatamia 3-4 thousand years ago. Can you imagine the wonder and sensation, this handy tool created for people? Shall we explore the world of scissors?

Cutting tools have been a constant for every culture around the world throughout the ages. They've been needed for cutting up meat (vs traditional tearing with your hands and teeth), found in use, for agriculture, textiles, shearing coats of livestock, food, and hair.

Practically, every industry can be found having a use for scissors, again, around the world. They were once, only available to those in Guilds and merchant circles.

Superstitions were created around scissors. Usually recommending and/or advising placing scissors under your pillow, or gifting scissors with money in return, to be wary and avoid scissors that could 'cut in half' friendships, pain, joy, luck and prosperity. These beliefs in the omens about scissors, were probably more to spread messages of, respect this tool. Do you notice how we, or others, take scissors for granted?

Where Scissors began?

The construction of scissors began, by connecting two blades with a flexible metal loop, that required hand strength, to perform a cut, called 'spring scissors'. This would be the basic design, for many years. It's believed that scissors had traveled through trade, exploration and with the Romans. 
The Roman iron workers would eventually build upon, and re-design this tool, two crossed blades with a fulcrum but did not close. Even the doomed city of Pompeii, has been found to have had iron blades that were riveted to a bronze spring. In Finland, Fiskars would open an iron forging smithy, in 1649, manufacturing scissors, another company in Hangzhou, China made scissors since 1663 plus William Whitely and Sons (Sheffield) Ltd., would make scissors in 1760. 
Today's modern pivoted design, is believed to have started in 1761, by Robert Hinchliffe, in London, and manufactured in larger numbers. They are still in business and considered one of the oldest scissor manufacturing company, in the West though there may be some disagreement. Scissors are still that one seriously awesome tool, that is greatly appreciated and worth owning.

Let's fuss about our Scissors

Ownership of scissors shows us two blades, made of steel. We also know, that steel can rust, and! through long time use, the blades will dull. As we have learned in life, all good things must come to an end, including our beloved scissors but! we can extend the life of our scissors with learning how to care for them. For this case, I will stick to fabric scissors aka fabric shears since I'm one of many, sewing enthusiasts. It's important to take care of our fabric scissors and/or shears, and recommended as follows:
  • Avoid water and moisture to help prevent rust. Rust spots can accumulate around the 'pivot' point (that little center screw), so use a steel wool brush, to clean it up.
  • Sticky with some sort of residue (glue from self-adhesive something or other?) then use a little water to wipe it off and dry thoroughly.
  • Wipe the blades regularly especially if cutting through brittle types of man-made fabrics. Pieces of fabric lint can build up around the pivot.
  • Keep blades sharp. A few various recommendations such as, cut through folded sandpaper, foil, or my favorite, use a diamond file, your friendly neighborhood professional sharpener or purchase scissor sharpener tool. Check to see what works best for you.
  • Store in a dry container.
  • Do not use fabric scissors for anything else other than fabric.
  • Keep extra scissors nearby for specific cutting of threads, paper, cardboard.
  • Pay attention to that pivot screw. It may need tightening or loosening but be careful since blade alignment may be set off.
  • Oil the pivot screw with 1-2-3 or sewing machine oil.
A few simple steps can help us preserve the life of our beloved scissors. My own sons, one day, heard a banshee, for the first time when I seen them cutting thick plastic packaging with my fabric shears, just because they looked big enough to handle the job. Has somebody in your family heard a Banshee too? 

Learning with Video


Extra Reading

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your thoughts, and Share with others who may be interested. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today or to say, Hello! Visit the Galleries! I hope you visit again.
Article (C) 2014, all rights reserved. Gin G. creates and posts articles online about Crazy Quilts, business development, second income idea's. Gin G. Is a graduate in business development, Nursing, and passionate about arts and crafts.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Crazy Quilt and Applique are like Sisters!

The beauty of a crazy quilt can be quite breath taking and examining the details will reveal the amount of work that's gone into that quilt. There are some truly fantastic crazy quilts out there too as every artist is a unique individual. As I have said before about sewing, it can be quite therapeutic. It fills that downtime for those days when not in the mood to go visiting, or out. Just put on some music or the radio and work on your latest upcoming creation. So, how is sewing like a family?

A family as we know is a group of people that care for each other and don't have to necessarily be blood related, as adoptions and guardianships do take place also. In the world of sewing, we can find many 'relations' such as quilts, clothes, bags and totes, accessories, home decor, to name a few. These are all assembled together with fabric of all sorts and thread, either by machine or hand, en masse or by piece.

Crazy quilts, done traditionally, are sewn onto a foundation as are appliques and both are done for design and color. Appliques goes one step further and doubles as artistic embellishments. These can be added by purchasing a pre-made applique piece or from creating your own. They are available in a huge variety of designs too. We can find embroidered pieces, bejewelled with beads or sequins, in lacey designs, children and adult designs, or created with use of fabrics and in many colors.

Appliques can be ironed on or sewn down onto a piece whether it's clothing or, in my case, a crazy quilt, to add a decorative embellishment. A theme can be created with appliques to tell a story for children and/or adults with use of current or past, favorite trends. An embellishment adds decorative beauty along with creating a conversation with friends and family. What sort of theme do you think your family member would enjoy?

Inspiration for creating an applique can be found all around us. It can be based on themes from television, movies, music, holidays, emotions and over all likes and/or dislikes. One can draw their own designs, add an extra 1/4” edge, sew this raw edge under, by hand, then sew it onto your foundation. If purchased, you can sew it directly onto the foundation without worrying about raw edges. Another method is to use a satin stitch on your machine to edge your applique to hide the raw edges. Design ideas are limitless.

Extra Reading Resources

Make and Use Applique Templates

Buy an Applique

Machine Applique

The Applique Society

Learning in Motion


The world of a seamstress is full of art and color, love of the trade and hardly a dull moment. For the non-sewing persons, you do have the option to ASK for the services of the seamstress and yes, for a price, since it is labor and time that's required. Once you purchase the service, deliver your assigned task (i.e., sew an applique), then you just wait till your seamstress calls for pick up. Take a look in your local paper and telephone book to check for seamstress services and call for a quote. Contacting your local seamstress can provide an alternative to updating your clothes vs purchase of new ones and may prove cost saving.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own observations. Visit my galleries for inspiration. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today.  

Article(C)2011 GG9909, all rights reserved.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Who is my Customer? Learn Types of Shoppers

A business at home or working a brick and mortar shop selling to the public, requires one to know the customer. They are the consumers of your products and learning about their motives and reasons to shop, can increase your own sales.  Offering the opportunity for conversation or listening in on one, can open the door to learn more about your customer. Can you identify the various type of shoppers?

Planning a strategy for effective selling requires us to know our customer needs and how we can present the benefits of our products, to make sales.  Learning about the customer can start with your own shopping experience and observe the answers, to some of the following questions that arise, prior to purchase ;

What do I need?
Where do I find it?
Price and quality?
Price and quantity?
Why do I need it?
Do I need help to find it?
Who offers extra specials?
How long is the store open?
How far is the store?
Do I need delivery?
Is there a sale?
Charge it or cash?

The process in thinking of buying goes fairly quickly through our minds. We have a good idea of the needs and where, when, what, who, and how to buy the product. We go to a particular business that can usually offer the best item at the most comfortable price. Our customers will also share the same process of thinking to arrive at their own decision whether to buy or not. It will be our responsibility to attract and convince the customer, to buy from us.

Designing our own selling strategies should vary, to appeal to the different customers that arrive plus answer their needs. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine which possible buyer is the real consumer and attempting to satisfy the entire market is overwhelming but catering to a particular group of people (market segment) is attainable. Again, knowing your customer is of great importance.

Providing service to the customers available to us can be sorted into various ‘shopping’ types and they will consume, according to their income and needs.  A few customer profiles that arrive may be the following types :

Low Interest - shopper has a low interest in shopping and little concern in price, service or product selection.  Discerns for  best price and quick service.

Active - high interest in shopping. Enjoys many activities including browsing. Price, quality, fashion and selection are important.

Service - usually found in middle class with dependents. Friendly, helpful service and prompt attention is important. Time constraints may be in place.

Traditional - enjoys outdoors activities. Shopping is not interesting, they aren’t demanding and not too concerned with price. May be loyal to brand quality.

Impulse - usually DIY personality and characteristics. Most likely to try new products, not into brand loyalty, rely on print media. Low interest in radio or television advertising.

Price Sensitive - usually found in older, married or single, middle-class shoppers. They go out of their way to find a bargain. Rely heavily on all forms of advertising to find the best prices.

Repeat - depends on your price, quality and service. Returns regularly for ongoing needs. Important to place high value on these shoppers.

Customers will not have these specific characteristics but may exhibit a mix of them. Learning to identify the basic shopping behaviors will help you develop your own business marketing strategies to create sales and repeat buyers. Identifying the benefits of your products to match the needs with the type of customer you require, is of great importance to your business success.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share this article with friends who may also be interested. Read related –> here.

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