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How to Find Good Homes for Orphan Quilt Books posted: 10/28/2003
by Patricia Littlefield Printable Page
Category: Tips Method: All
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Fat Quarters are the Coin of the Realm

Recently I was going through all the books on quilting that I've bought since I seriously took up the quilting veil. Increasingly, they were taking up a great deal of room in my small quiltery. Many of the books I had purchased when I was just beginning to quilt with no idea as to what type of quilts really appealed to me, so like many other beginners, I bought nearly every one I saw.

Flash forward to 2003: O.K., I've been at this for a number of years now, and in that time I've learned which types of quilts I like to make and which of my quilting books I use over and over. Alas, I was chagrinned to discover that they amounted to only about 1/4 of all the quilting books that I owned.

So, I decided to have a half price quilt book sale! It seemed a shame to just dispose of my unwanted books when the stalwart little group of quilters here in our village, might be interested in owning one or two.

Many of my orphan quilting books still had the original prices on them and those that did not, I checked out in the Internet, using one of the quilt book stores as a pricing guide, and then I slashed the price of each book in half.

Here comes the nifty part: rather than asking for cold, hard cash, I decreed that fat quarters were the coin of the realm. I assigned a generous $3.00 value to each fat quarter. So if a book originally retailed for $24.95, I rounded it down to $24, divided it by two, and got $12.00, which made the price for that particular book, four fat quarters. I then sent the following e-mail to all of the Sew and Sews:

One /Half Price Quilt Book Sale!
No Cash? No Problem! Fat quarters are the coin of the realm!
You will be able to pick up the following gems at these threadbare prices:

Next, I listed the book titles, authors, the original price of each book, and the current asking price in fat quarters. Everyone came to the next quilt group meeting with fat quarters clutched in their hands. To make things even more exciting, the name of everyone who bought one of my quilt books was entered into a drawing for "tasteful" door prizes, which consisted of brand new quilting gadgetry that I had picked up here and there in bursts of enthusiasm but had never even tried.

My half price quilt book sale was a huge success! Most of my orphan quilt books found good homes, my friends were thrilled to have new additions to their own quilt book collections, and I now have a nice pile of fat quarters to add to my stash and pet and play with. Who could ask for more?

This same idea could be done on a larger scale at a guild meeting where everyone brings her unwanted quilt books and a pocketful of fat quarters. All it takes is deciding which quilt books you really don't use, agreeing among the members ahead of time on how to set a price for each book and the value of a fat quarter, and then you are ready to play "Let's Make a Deal!"

2003 Patricia Littlefield

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