Friday, October 15, 2010

SOLD! The Money Is In The Bank This Time!

Crazy Quilt With Grandmother's Fans
Made from 1992 - 1996

2 metres square, minus a smidge. Only handstitching by myself.
Cenrtal horse panel worked on 10 stitches to the inch linen.

WELL, after much patience, much stubbornness and many years, the Crazy Quilt With Grandmother's Fans that I completed in 1996 is SOLD. $70,000 is in the bank! No kidding at all! There are more photo's over here (as well as people's work from my classes).

(I want someone to contract me to write a book of patterns and blether about the quilt or my style of doing things... somehow. Got any suggestions?)

P.S. The money's gone straight into the mortgage.

MUCH LATER..............
I thought, perhaps, that I ought to say more. So, in reply to a forum discussion, I wrote this:

"It's true!I'd post a photo of the cheque but that would just be silly (I admit that I took a photo of it)!

The quilt took me 3,000 hours, at a conservative guess. I worked on it furiously over four years and tried and developed many techniques over the time. It's been displayed around Melbourne over the years and I taught the various stitches and design skills I had accumulated, using it as my prop, from when it was a babe in pieces.

I first displayed it at a show in 1996, just after it was finished, and the manager insisted that I name a price. Of course, fresh off the needle, I had no intention of ever selling it, but I arrived at a price that, with very modest wages for the day, reflected the time involved. In fact I originally had a tag of $80,000.

I wanted people who saw it to look again and maybe understand what they were looking at in terms of committment and effort etc. The show was primarily a woodworking show, with an arts and crafts section. I ended up planning and organising that section and so could push my own agenda, which was to bring needlework to the general public (blokey wookworking types and tourists who may never go to a craft show).

The buyer has been interested since about 2001 or therabouts and I have taught her in her home over many years, on and off. She has the money and I would rather keep it than give away my heart and soul. It would have been soul destroying to give it away cheaply and I couldn't do it. Her father was one of Australia's major art collectors and Melbourne's Modern Art Gallery at Federation Squaure now houses his donated collection as a permanent gift to the state (The Ian Potter Gallery). The Joseph Brown Collection.

I really did put a lot of effort into it and have always been an advocate for asking a realistic price for our work. WE know how much we put in and how many generations of women (usually women) have made their homes beautiful and warm and developed amazing art and skill, without recognition from the wider community. We deserve it.

I did a visual art course in 1998 and taught in the evenings (once or twice a week). NO-ONE in the art world knew anything about how BIG and HUGE the craft industry was and saw it all as doileys and knitted coat-hangers, and I say I LOVE knitted coat hangers and add that generations have grown up being influenced, by osmosis, in homes surrounded with these domestic, creative, joyous touches.

I'd better stop. I sound like a fanatic!

It's amazing to find a buyer, it's true. But she has phoned me almost daily to express her delight and belief that it was worth the money. In turn it has alleviated my stress about my mortgage and now I can see a futute where I get to retire! Or work part-time at SOME stage in the not too distant future!Thanks for all of you good wishes too. I feel like it's a flag for all of us.

Oh, and no-one at art school really looked down their noses at all, but neither did they realise how big and excellent our stitchy world is."

Cherub is worked on some old linen interfacing from my Grandmother's overcoat.


pen said...

and on a bottle of very expensive champagne
too i hope!!

MafiosaGrrl said...

Pen's right, nothing like celebrating with a fancy bottle of bubbly!

Congrats- that quilt is beyond gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I am so excited for you. This quilt is truly a work of art. Please let us know if it goes on display or is published. Celebrate! Oh yeah!!!

victoria said...

My husband and I are very very pleased for you!!!!!!!!
Looking forward to seeing house renos in progress over the next few years.
Ye ha!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! And hopefully the sale will bring more good fortune and further sales or other paid creative projects.

Anonymous said...

Félicitations ! This is a most beautiful work of art. I am very happy for you. Good luck for further projects.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news!! Congratulations on the sale and may there be many more xo
Wendy (a new reader of your blog)

Jody Pearl said...

Congratulations! It is absolutely stunning - I can tell the photo doesn't do it justice.
Do you know where it will end up - on a bed or in a museum and have you worked out how many you can knock out in a year?!

Lesley said...

Just found my way here by blog-surfing, having read a very excited mention on a blog by a friend in the UK.
I really do congratulate you — how brilliant!
What a triumph for you, especially, but also for craft — for so long the fine arty types have put craft down as simply not academic enough, women's work, merely hobbies, etc etc yawn yawn.
I think you've been paid a very fair price for your beautiful artwork.
It's also wonderful to think there are people out there who feel the same way and are prepared to pay for it.

Marcie said...

Congratulations, glad you got the price it deserved, I used to drool over it in the window of Lazy Daisy years ago, it's so beautiful, and has been an inspiration to me. I'm so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

you go girl!!

(earlier comment seems to have been eaten)
if not i just appear a nut
who overly comments

consider me extremely excited for you.

Linda said...

How wonderful. Congratulations. I am writing now to The Age, demanding they cover it in the arts section.

Nancilyn (Fiberdabbler) said...

Kudos on your accomplishment on an extraordinary work of art.

Mary-Frances said...

That is FANTASTIC! Congrats! It is fabulous!

Willa said...

Unbelievably gorgeous and deserving of every penny. A true work of art!

Thearica said...

This is an incredible masterpiece! I congratulate you on the sale and will say, YES!, it needs to be publishhed somewhere!! It also needs to hang in a museum!

I started crazy quilting 2 years ago and I am no where near your capabilities yet...but I am persevering!!

kerrykatiecakes2 said...

A hundred million congratulations for this! You rock! Not only did you make an exquisite piece of art, but you managed to bring down a huge amount of your mortgage and do the art of cq a world of good in getting recognized! I want to help you shout this success from the rooftop - can I blog about it and post a pic or two of the quilt?

NickiLee said...

Happy Days are here for you! CONGRATULATIONS! How wonderful for you and your Master Piece. Love every stitch and am so excited for you. As Kerry asked, so would I like to blog about it on my blog if it is okay with you. Love it!

Nicki Lee

fabriquefantastique said...

I'm so glad that fiber arts are being recognized and bringing the prises they deserve.

Gina E. said...

I've been seeing your quilt popping up on many blogs, and want to add my congratulations to you for selling it for such a wonderful price! Worth every cent, but not usually appreciated by the general public :-(
I'm going to put a link on my blog too, so more textile-craft lovers can see it, and be encouraged to push their boundaries. I've just won some prizes in the Whittlesea Show (you'll know where that is!) for small cross stitch items, and a CQ block, which took me a year or so to complete to my satisfaction. What a buzz!

Linens and Royals said...

Congratulations, I am visiting from Gina's blog, your quilt is a masterpiece not sure I could part with it if I had done something so beautiful but $70,000 would I think tempt me.

Michele said...

C&T Publishing is obviously the big name in the quilt publishing business:
(Judith Baker Montano's publisher)

Also, AQS

I don't have the links handy, but The Patchwork Place is another publisher.

I think those are the main big ones in the US.

There are smaller publishers in the US and abroad - Krause, Kodansha America (?) did Susan Briscoe's books and they are GORGEOUS.

Your quilt is stunning and deserving of every cent.
Best of luck.

Fran C said...

Congratulations on the sale of your quilt and what a wonderful boost for our art/craft.
Fran C

Julia said...

Congratulations...OMG, that is amazing...I'm so happy for you..
I once entered a CQ quilt in our guild show, and was told it was too busy!
Julia ♥

Sue said...

I'm so thrilled for you. An amazing achievement to encourage quilters all over the world.
Woohoo...go girl....

Ann Ferguson said...

Fantastic! Fantastic quilt and result. Well done for waiting for the right person to appreciate and love your wonderful creative work. Ann :)

Munaiba said...

Well done! What a stunning quilt.

Cherie said...

Congratulations, Three Cheers and all that celebratory joy! I've posted a shout out on my blog, such fabulous news, Well Done;)

Erica Spinks said...

Hi Robyne, I would like to get in touch with you about a magazine article about your quilt. Can you please email me (

Erica Spinks said...

Sorry, Robyne, I forgot to leave my name on my last comment! Looking forward to hearing from you. Erica Spinks.

Radka said...

What a beauty! Congratulations!!!It is good to know that you can get a fair price for your work:))

Rebecca said...

Congratulations!!! What a BEAUTIFUL quilt. What amazing work! I just couldn't quilt looking at the pictures. I just had to post the quilt in the forum for all the girls to see your amazing work.
Again Congratulations!


Rebecca said...

Congratulations on such an amazing beautiful quilt. I love looking at all the detail...just amazing!!

Honey Pot Quilter said...

There is one buyer in the world for everything. Congratulations on finding her! That is the price that every quilt should receive... the time, effort, stress and design hours that go into one of these quilts. Good luck with finding a publisher..

Sharon said...

Sound like a fanatic? I think NOT. You sound like an artist with a value on her work. Kudos to you. I agree, I will give my quilts away rather than sell them for a cheap price. I refuse to work for someone and be paid $1/hour. This is a fantastic quilt. Have you contacted Martingale? APQ? That Patchwork Place? about authoring a book? That's where I would start that journey. Best wishes.

Mary Kate said...

Hi Robyne,
I am an editor with an American quilt publication and we'd like to hear more about your quilt. Can you please contact me at mkarr [at] creativecraftsgroup [dot] com if you're interested? Thanks!

JustGail said...

Just wandered over from Pin Tangle.

Congratulations not only on the sale, but also on having the fortitude to not sell your time, talent and materials cheap! It's a lovely quilt, and I love the fans in the border!

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Wow, I would be working on another one already for that amount of money!!!

Anonymous said...

Your quilt is stunning. So many wonderful hand stitches, fabrics, memories. Forgive me for asking, but is that $70,000 in Aussie dollars or around $69,100 US dollars?
The buyer was/is one smart lady to have purchased such a lovely work of art. Well done.

Virginia said...

Needed to come over and add my voice to the chorus of Congratulations! I also wanted to say thank you for placing a reasonable value on your hand labor. I have a friend who is an internationally famous wildlife painter. His big oils start around $50,000 and he puts no where near the number of hours in his works as you did in your quilt. To insist that your time is of equal value of more traditional artists and other non-arts experts was a bold and brave thing. Your buyer was wise and generous to recognize that. Yay!

Lorraine said...

This is a stunning creation Bobby! It must be so satisfying to find a buyer that appreciates the time and creativity in this piece. I've found your blog through SuzyQ.

Mishka said...

Congratulations on the sale. Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous.

Debi R said...

This gorgeous Object D'Art spent took approximate 3,000 hours to create. A recent FB discussion centered on measuring the "worth" of your time. Imho, the price justifies the value of the piece of art as reflected from the buyers' interests and not always by the time involved in the making of the item. If you had, instead, spent 6,000 hours on its creation, your cost of labor would have been half the amount per hour, but the price of the item would not change. Neither your excellent "workmanship," nor the value, is any less, nor is it more, because of the time involved. It is what it is. Imo, we may not, therefore, place an emphasis only, or even too strongly, in setting an industry standard of setting the sale price of an item at cost of materials and supplies X 3. Just as in real estate, that type of formula does not leave much room for equity pricing, nor does it allow for the inevitable price increases in "bidding wars" when two clients are interested in one property. Such is life at auctions, as well. I used to advise my clients that the value of a piece of property, (real property or otherwise,) is based on what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Period. I'm thinking the likes of Renoir and Van Gogh might agree, n'est pas?

Given all that, Wow! What a gorgeous quilt! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

How beautiful and all that stitching. I know how much time goes into a regular quilt. I am glad you got what it was worth because, that person obviously appreciates the time and talent it took to achieve this fantastic quilt.

Lilyweeds at Augusta Kent Studio said...

spectacular and congratulations on your sale. Such a labor of love will only increase in value. beautiful handwork. :)

suziqu's thread works said...

Hi Robyne I have always admired your quilt from the day I saw it hanging which was at that Craft Exhibition Winterfest in Warburton, July 1997. You may remember that I entered a crazy patchwork quilt into that exhibition which you organized AND I won First Prize (perhaps you were the judge - I don't know!).
I still have a copy of the Entry Form and photos of my quilt.
Just a little history for you anyway as this is where I got my beginning in the world of CQ and also with your strong influence. Apart from this I just want to say that I am thrilled to bits for you
that you have finally been given the recognition that you so deserve
and hope your heart is happy with your reward.
You can check out my blog to see how my work has advanced since we last met.
All the very best to you Robyne.

Bear said...

woweee the work and the hours I can only guess at - its an amazing quilt and I am so happy for you that you asked for and received a renumeration deserving of this majestic piece of art. CONGRATULATIONS my only sadness is will never see this up close and personal.
much love n hugs Bear xoxoxoxoxxo

Quilter Kathy said...

How exciting! I'm so delighted with your news! Hope the new owner appreciates every stitch you made!

...... said...

there is beauty in each stitch you made...

i just came from bangladesh where i saw a beautiful shawl embroidered almost 60 years ago, it was pale pink, an old lady wore it at her wedding...

when i saw it i imagined all the women and men stitching the centuries.

you are one of them

there is no price too high for something that make human kind better

Anonymous said...

Fabulous quilt. Your creativity shines through. Congrats on the sale. You are an inspiration to us all!

Anonymous said...

You created a piece of art that is priceless!!! Congratulations of the same of your work, only $70,000is a mere drop in the bucket compared to what it is really worth! Amazing people do amazing things, they create works of art!
Blessings to you!

Rolla, Missouri, USA

Brenda said...

I'm just viewing this as my Quilting Club member had suggested our checking it out.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! WELL DONE on all accounts. And... congratulations to your Buyer who obviously knows an incredible piece of art, hand done, intense work and full of wonderful hours of viewing pleasure for her and hers'.
Compared to prices, a modern clump of clay without form can acquire; who in their right mind can even quibble the price you obtained?
You've no need to defend or explain your earnings or what you've used it for. Stop that now and just be darned proud of what is price paid for a quality item at a just price.
Hopefully more "women" [usually do this work] will start to raise the bar!
An admirer from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Brenda J.Moore

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you! the Quilt is stunning and I truly hope this piece of Art eventually ends up hanging in a Museum for all to view!!!!!!!

Stella in massachusetts in USA.

Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

Your story warms my heart. Well done that woman! (and well done the buyer because it was still a bargain for the amount of work and care gone into it).

Cyndylou said...

Saw your masterpiece on Facebook as a link from Keepsake Quilting. All I can say is WOW Robyne, so glad I got to see and hear about your reward for all your hard work!!!

traderslostart said...

It is magnificent! For the amount of time put into it, and the exquisite stitching, it is worth every penny it sold for! Congratulations. You are unbelievably talented!

Ketutar said...

Firstly, your story is still inspiring to me, even when it's a couple of years old by now :-D

It is wonderful that there are people in the world who see, understand and appreciate the creative work and education gathered through years of work, experimenting, studies, errors and inventions, building on the collected knowledge and experience of thousands of craftswomen and -men! Fiber crafts are really a wonderful art form and shouldn't be seen as in any way cheaper or "lesser" than "real" art, made with paintbrushes and paint in stead of thread and needles.

But I have to admit I'm really jealous :-D I wish I had friends/acquaintances who can afford to pay me a fair price for my work :-)

Also... "fair price"... in reality it's not at all a fair price. If it was an oil painting of the same size, no-one would blink an eye to the price. But it's "just women's hobby"... :-( So it makes news.

Any way, the best of luck with your further adventures and many productive, creative years to you :-)


Carli The Quilter said...

Robyne! Bravo!!
Your work and this sold crazy quilt have inspired me!
I make crazy quilts and have given them away. Silly me!
Not anymore.

Susan said...

Wow its so lovely. All those long hours you have put in. I have also done a crazy quilt. When asked if I would sell it, no its a heirloom quilt and also have family photos embroidered into it. Have always wondered what price I would get if I sold it, hehehehehe when asked I have said about half million Rand (South Africa) which is put into dollar terms would be around $14 to R1. Its 250x250 metres in size. I just love embroidery added to my quilts and this one was very special to me as I lost my Mom when I started the embroidery and worked all my loss into it. Thanks for sharing your story with me.