Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Custom Order Part I

I am currently hard at work on several custom orders, but the most challenging (and exciting) one right now is shown here. The beginning of it, anyway. I love to get a request for something I have never done before, and this is one of those for sure.

Last week I was contacted and commissioned to make a 24" (that's right, 24" = TWO FEET) rag rug style table coaster. My customer wants this to be the focal point of her round, antique oak table. I have some table coasters in my shop that are 8", but this is substantially bigger. You might be thinking, "Yes, Jennie, it is 3 times larger". Ah, but you would be mistaken.

Enter my techie husband, with his larger than life math skills. As I was laboring over determining a price quote for this creation, he showed me that it was a *simple* matter of algebra. Let me say that for me, the words 'simple' and 'algebra' don't belong in the same room, let alone the same sentence. So, what he thought would be a five minute conversation took most of the night. But, in the end, I understood that a 24" table coaster is actually 9 times larger than an 8" one.

The color scheme is to be pink, white, aqua, "funky green", and red. As usual, my first step was to gather fabrics. As it happened, I had all of these colors on hand- perhaps because they are some of my personal favorites. My customer approved the fabrics I showed her, and has given me lots of freedom with the design; her main desire is to have aqua with red and green with aqua. The rest can be worked in however I see fit.

I sent her this picture and two others this morning. As it turns out, she was out most of the day, and did not reply for several hours. I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe much during those hours; as anyone who does custom work, I just felt anxious and hoped that my vision would match hers. It does!! She loves it!!

This is about 10" across so far. The challenge in this coaster, besides color placement, is alternating my added stitches variably so that the coaster stays round versus multi-sided. I've got it figured out, though, and can't wait to add more colors. Stay tuned for Part II!


RunsWithScissors said...

Oh My Gosh, Jennie! I can't stop looking at this and can see why you are so excited about it! Your customer came up with a fantastic idea and I know it will be wonderful when you finish it! I can't wait to see it!

chloe said...

Jennie, this is going to be stunning. IT IS already stunning. What a great commission (must have been a little scary to start with).
Looking forward to see it.

juliaa said...

wow! that's an exciting project, and lots to do. it's going to turn out great!

i hope you take lots of time on your customers' orders, *and* take some time to breathe, before you even think about those little bowls.

don't forget the breathing. :)

Schar Freeman said...

Jennie this is great news and wonderful to have a nice challenge to go along with it. Keeps those creative juices flowing!!! Your work is incrediable!
Loving you Playlist...I listened to the entire list!!!

Bridget said...

It's coming out beautifully, I'm looking forward to part II. Does the math have anything to do with the diameter of a circle? My curious mind wants to know...
Congrats on a fabulous commission project.

Jennie said...

Thank you all for your comments!

Bridget, exactly!, yes, it has to do with dividing the new diameter by the original diameter and squaring the result. Hubs was able to give me a way to calculate a reasonable price for every size coaster known to man, and he can apparently do the same thing for bowls by adding another factor to the equation.

Math has NEVER been my strong suit, and this is going to be sooo helpful to me. I strongly recommend that everyone do the math before giving out price quotes- it seems like a *given*, but I know I have always kind of guesstimated in the past, and have apparently lost lots of $$ in the process.

Linda said...

Excellent work and although maths is not my strength either, the area is considerable. How many stitches will you do!