Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spotlight on a Crocheter: Jolene’s Name Doilies

 Jolene Ortiz is a very talented crocheter, who has found a way to make some extra money doing what she loves. Jolene makes customized name doilies, as well as many other intricate and beautiful doilies, to sell. I am fortunate to have Jolene as a tester for my patterns, and I greatly appreciate her amazing crochet  skills and eye for detail!
I asked Jolene if she would share  her expertise  in crocheting and selling  crochet work, and she kindly agreed. 

Here is what she has to say:

Jolene, will you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I have been a public employee for 26 years, doing all different types of office work. I started the year I graduated from high school and have moved around to several different types of jobs.   I have been married for 21 years to my husband Jim.  I have a 19 year old daughter named Samantha, a 31 year old stepson named Joe and a 25 year old stepdaughter named Heidi.  I like to crochet and I also like to scrapbook (but haven’t done it in years – I have lots of pictures to catch up on!)  I love going to the casino and vacationing in Las Vegas!  I was married in Las Vegas at the drive through wedding chapel, that shows how much I like Las Vegas.

How (and when) did you learn to crochet? What are some of your favorite things to crochet?
I learned to crochet as a child.  I used to watch my mom crochet mittens, hats and slippers and couldn’t wait to try it out. I learned how to crochet but didn’t really do too much of it.  When I was in my 20’s I picked up a thread crochet book and some thread and have been going strong ever since.  I prefer to crochet with thread and love making doilies. I find it amazing what you can create with thread!

When did you start making the name doilies? How did you get started?
I started make name doilies about 10 years ago, I was in need of extra cash for Christmas.  I was in a crochet group and a woman in the group had so many orders at Christmas time.  I asked her about it and I bought a book and made a listing on Ebay.  I got my first order pretty quickly and was still making my “sample” name doily.  Over the years I have made hundreds of name doilies and have sold to people all over the world.  I get a kick out of the fact that items I have made are as far away as Australia!

What size thread and hook do you use for your name doilies?
I always use size 10 thread and B1 – 2.25 mm Susan Bates hook.

How many doilies do you make on average each year?
I would say on average I complete at least a few doilies per month, time permitting I would do a few a week.  My job cuts into my crochet time.   

What is the longest or most difficult doily you have ever made?
The longest doily I ever crocheted was a beautiful runner I made for my mother in laws sofa table.  I would guess it was about 4 feet long.

How do you set your prices on the items you sell?
I really have no set way of pricing items , normally I see what else is out there and price my similar to sold items.

Where do you get most of your orders from?
Most of my orders come from Ebay.

How long does it take you to make a name doily?  
Generally I can finish a name doily pretty quickly if I have time to focus on it.  But because I work it is normally a few days to complete a name doily.  If I receive multiple orders, I do them on a first come first serve basis.  I also find out if there is a particular time that the doily is needed for.  I try to accommodate special time requests as best I can.

Do you do any finishing on them (blocking or framing?)
When I finish the name doily I wash and lay out flat to dry.  I don’t normally pin my doilies, I gauge it by eye and usually will measure to make sure that things are even.  I don’t spray starch or anything on my doilies before I send them out, I figure I don’t like them starched and I will leave it up to the person purchasing it whether they want to starch it or not.

Do you make your name doilies year round or just at Christmas time? 
I make regular and name doilies all year round, but my focus on name doilies is usually from October through December.  Last year I had a name doily request the week before Christmas and I was able to get it finished and out to the buyer so they could deliver it for Christmas.

Have you ever made a mistake on a doily or had any kind of funny or interesting incident you would like to share?

I have done LOTS of frogging but nothing too interesting.

Well, I think all of Jolene's work is interesting, and lovely, too! Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jolene!
You can follow Jolene on Facebook here: Crochet By Jo

All photos used courtesy of Jolene Ortiz. 

1 comment:

Sherry said...

All of Jolene's work looks very nice. I have had a fear of Thread crochet but I belong to a yahoo group in which there are several women that thread crochet. They have been very encouraging. I will be sure to look up Jolene's FB page.