Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ideas for Quilt Categories on Etsy

Hello fellow team members,

I have been in contact with an Etsy employee regarding the quilt categories. A few months back, I had written a convo to an Etsy admin with some quilt info and I had mentioned that the categories were in need of restructuring. For example, there did not need to be a category for patch and trim. Etsy has since hired someone to clean up the categories and she contacted me for information and ideas about restructuring the category. I, of course, gave her my opinion and told her that I could post an article on our blog where any of the quiltsy team members, who had ideas or thoughts, could express them in the comments section. She thought that was a great idea.

I have forwarded the quiltsy blog address to her, so that she may read your comments and hopefully be able to make some wonderful and much needed changes to the category. So….feel free to add comments, if you have any ideas.
Tiffany (warmnfuzzies)


LoveBug Studios said...

Cool that we get to leave feedback! Once the category is cleaned up, it would be great to give people guidelines like the handbag category has. For example, a blanket is not a quilt. (As a matter of fact, one of the featured "quilts" now is in fact a blanket.) But I digress.

It seems like there are 3 "themes" running through the quilt categories... size, style, and technique.

For Size I think we should include:
Child Sized (new)
Lap/Throw (new)
Bed Sized (rename or separate to Twin Full Queen King)
Wall Hanging

For Technique:
Pieced (new)
Miniature (this isn't a size - rather it is a technique of reproducing a full-scale quilt in miniature - like "dollhouse vs. a real house"... not "cape cod vs. mansion.")
Redwork/Embroidery (new)
Dimensional (new - for 3-D quilts or those incorporating origami)
Printed/Panel (new - give folks that use panels or print to fabric a place to showcase)
Rag (new)

For Style:
Country (new)
Modern (new)
Replica (new)

Personally, I think we should get rid of:
* Pillow - although it can be quilted, a pillow is not a quilt, should go in housewares

* Table Runner - although this can be quilted, I think this should also go in housewares. (Where does it end? We'd have to start adding placemats, and chair pads, and all other such things just because they could be quilted.)

* Trim - no idea what this was meant for

* Baby - now covered by "Child Sized"

* Mini - because I think the intent is really "miniature" not mini

* Patch and Patchwork - replaced by "Pieced" which should cover it

* Fabric Postcard - I think this should be a subcategory of paper goods IMHO

Once the categories are cleaned up, can there be some tagging police to help people put things in the right place?

PonderosaQuilter said...

I agree, there should be categories for Throw, Wall Hanging, all the bed sizes. I'd also like to see categories for Quilt Tops, Cathedral Windows, and Summer Quilts.
Should tied or knotted patchwork go under quilts? If not, where?

Jackie said...

I think that there are some great ideas in the first comment that go a long way. I will definitely sit on this one and give it some thought for input.

sojournquilts said...

I'm all for cleaning up the quilts category and agree with many of the suggestions already made.

I would like admin to give consideration to what category or categories fit best for fabric art that uses machine- and hand-stitched quilting techniques. This would include contemporary art quilts (or even some older forms, such as molas), as well as fabric collages, postcards, and ACEOs or small format fabric art (like inchies). Quilters say these are art or paper, not quilts. Paper makers says these are fiber/quilts or art and not paper. Artist says these are quilts and not art. It'd be nice to have a "legitimate" home for pieces that are not traditional quilts, but do incorporate traditional quilting techniques.

Thanks for your consideration!

Sojourn Quilts
"A Resting Place Along Life's Journey"

Tiffany said...

I have already given my opinion, but will state some of them here. Less is better, so that there is less mistagging. Most buyers only, don't know the differences in styles, as quilters do, so it isn't necessary. I think it should be categorized by size: baby, toddler, twin, full, queen and king and wallhanging. Once the buyer knows the size, they can look under that category for an appropriate quilt. Since the category is quilts, I don't feel that pillows, tablerunner, coasters, bags, potholders and etc. belong there, because they have other categories more appropriate. One category that should not be by size is Art. They need a category for themselves under quilts, just because there is no other place for them and the artists who paint have a fit over anything else in their category. Sub categories of main categories can be rag, pieced, appliqued, machine quilted, and hand quilted.

Tiffany said...

I forgot. There should also be a category for "true miniature" and I believe that it should be worded that way. Making a block and binding it is not a true miniature. When I tried to find a true miniature on Etsy a few months ago, I could only find 3 that really qualified, yet search brought up a ton.

Nancy said...

I too am in agreement with most of the comments already listed. I would like to see an art quilt sub- category.
The main problem I see with quilts and several other categories is a lack of policing by admin. I put in "quilts" and went through almost 8 pages before I found 1 quilt. There should be some kind of filtering system to keep the wrong items out. A lot of people put their items under several categories for extra exposure and it takes for ever(if ever) to get admin to remove them.

Clevelandgirlie said...

ART QUILTS. I would love to see a category for art quilts, as they are such a unique form of fiber art and get lost in the categories of "art" and "quilts."

LoveBug had some great suggestions as did many of the other gals.

Great job for calling this to ETSY's attention and getting QUILTSY the opportunity to provide input.


It would be wonderful to have the Quilt Category cleaned up. I agree that pillows, framed YoYos, Totes etc, although quilted are not Quilts.

I too would like to see the size renamed to Child, Lap and Bed Quilts as well as Wall Hanging and Art Quilt. I suggest to leave the Bed size just like that, as some twins are big enough to be full, queens big enough to cover king, etc. One can always add a separate tag to clarify.

Remove Trim as a Tag. like others I have never figured out what purpose it served and add Wholecloth instead.

I am sure I will come up with more throughout the day. I would like to see a better response to flagging, as there are consistent violations by the same people and usually on weekends or evenings.


One more thought. Many of us offer a "professional longarm machine quilting service", it would be nice to see that incorporated somewhere other than under Quilts where mist now post for lack of a better place.

krissybizz said...

I agree with most of the previous comments. I think simpler is better...We should just have sizes as the first tags. Baby - Lap/Throw - Bed - Wall - Art - Miniature. Then maybe secondary tags to choose - applique, embroidery, wholecloth, hand pieced, machine pieced, hand quilted, machine quilted, tied, embellished, rag, crazy. Yes, pillows, hot pads, tablerunners, bags & purses, blankets, etc. should NOT be in the quilt category. (Definition of quilt - A warm covering made of two layers of cloth filled with a material with loft and stitched together in lines or patterns.)

SFOQuilter said...

This is long overdue. I think the single biggest consideration in buying a quilt is size - so I believe we only really need size categories. I am willing to bet that 99% of the quilt buyers on Etsy don't know anything about all the different types of quilts we make. I say let them browse by size and find the colors and styles that appeal to them.

Also agree very strongly that the Quilts category should be for quilts ONLY. Pillows, tablerunners, fabric, coasters, blankets etc should go in housewares or supplies.

sojournquilts said...

When admin chose "Quilts" as a main category, did they really mean just "Quilts" (blankets or wall-hangings) or did they mean "all things quilted?" There's a difference.

I think even within the quilting community there are debates about what exactly is a quilt--some people are traditionalists and some people are on the other end pushing the boundaries of this art form. (I'd guess most of us are somewhere in the middle). Clarifying this issue would, I think, help people determine the best use of tags.

It sounds like, along with clarifying the specific categories for Quilts, there is also a need for clarifying where to put quilted products (pillows, table runners, dolls, ornaments, bags, etc.) that are not bed or lap quilts, wall-hangings or quilted art.

My understanding of the tagging procedure, as it stands, is that it does allow for putting in the technique a person uses to make their products--and this, I think, is where some of the confusion comes in. People just want a way to better define their products for their customers. For example, a quilted table runner is different than a woven one. A patchwork doll is different than a paper one. A quilted pillow is different than a block printed one.

BTW--I'm playing a bit of a devil's advocate here. This is not at all meant to be critical of the group, the comments here or this process--my intent is just to raise awareness of some of the issues. I'm not tied to any one answer.

In large part, I agree with what's being said. Since I do both quilts and aceos, though, I've had some interesting experiences and comments from people about what I do and it's from those experiences I'm basing my comments. They're just my opinions.

Whatever direction admin goes in with categories, I do hope it clarifies the process and makes the shopping experience easier for our customers.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss tags and for this wonderful Quiltsy team!

Sojourn Quilts
"A Resting Place Along Life's Journey"

Amy said...

Hi Quiltsy Team --

Just want to let you know that all of your feedback is really appreciated. I was hired on as Etsy's taxonomist. I have a background in Library Sciences and experience organizing information. There is much work to be done site-wide regarding categories, and I'm a firm believer that subject specialists (in this case you all) are integral resources to making the shopping experience more intuitive. So please keep your ideas flowing. I'll be lurking. I should say that these changes won't happen overnight - there is so much back-end programming involved with making changes to categories. But we're working towards good things.

If you have questions or want to contact me directly, please Convo me: amydec.

All the best,

Sewinggranny - Mona said...

Hi I am not a member but I agree we need the category cleaned up as I went to look for a quilt and could not find one for pages as well.

Great blog ladies!

Tiffany said...

In regards to where to put quilted items, you have to look at it from a buyer's standpoint. In a perfect world, we would have a million categories and everyone would be happy, but we don't live in a perfect world. The quilt category is for quilts, whether a pillow or tablerunner is quilted, doesn't matter. What matters is that when the buyer comes to buy a quilt they know to click on the quilt category. When a buyer comes to buy a pillow, they are going to go to the housewares category (though that category would be better named home decor). My 2 cents only and I am sure that not all will agree. I stress, again, simple is better to prevent mistagging.

Dragonfly Stitches said...

I'm right on board with LoveBug. Nancy also has some really really good points but I think everyone is really saying the same things. Make it obvious where different items belong and filter out the non-quilted stuff. I am currently struggling with where to put a blanket I would like to list because it is quilted but does not have batting therefore it is not a quilt. I feel that just because it uses a quilt technique such as a pieced top and quilting through the top and back, as there is not filler between the layers it is not a true quilt. There is no blanket category so where does it go? If there was a blanket category in home dec or childrens it would really clean up the quilt section.

I also think that the rampid mistagging is really hurting all of us. Quilt blocks, books, magazines, precut appliques, etc. are all SUPPLIES yet they take up pages of the quilt category. Not only does this hurt quilters but it hurts the seller as well because we can't find the items we are looking for in supplies. Also quilts and supplies should be listed as what they are and not what they could be.

I would also like a clarification of long arm quilting service as something we can sell here. The current TOU says we have to have approval to list a service. I have emailed for permission, never heard back, finally went with the flow and listed for a while before guilt took over and I removed my listing. There are a lot of alchemy requests looking for a quilter and it would be much easier if those of us that long arm just had a category where we could offer our service.

Dragonfly Stitches said...

So now don't I look dumb. There is a blanket category in housewares! The misstagging is so rampid I never knew it existed and never looked because I don't look at housewares as a place to look for a blanket until I read these comments.

Lzyjo said...

I think everyone else has already summed it all up. Subcatagories by size and also a home for art quilts. (oh, this is QuiltFinger btw, sorry no idea for that yet.

Dragonfly Stitches said...

Me again LOL. Did you know there is no category for journal cover? It's not really a book or zine and it's not a paper good if it's made of fabric and quilted. Hmmmm.

Caron said...

I really would like to see a category "Art Quilt." Please put pillows, tablerunner, coasters, bags, potholders and etc. somewhere outside the category of quilts. These are not quilts. But the bigger question is, what/who determines "Art Quilt?"

Gail S. said...

Great thread! I agree that quilts should be listed by size - baby, lap/throw (definitely needs to be added), and bed size. And then Art, Miniature, Wall Hangings, Table Runners.

If quilted wall hangings go in quilts, why don't quilted table runners? Aren't they both quilts AND home decor? IMHO

About Journal Covers! Great idea! I tried to start a forum thread about this some time ago, but didn't get much interest. My fabric paperback book covers (and everyone's Journal Covers) seem to have no home! :(

Gail from QuiltSewPieceful

OliveStreetStudio said...

nothing for me to add at this point - all wonderful and comprehensive suggestions!

Kiki said...

I agree that most shoppers shop by size. I think there should be baby/child, lap/throw, twin/full, queen/king, and wallhanging.
I would also like to see an art quilt category, and as a subcategory under that I think ACEOs and fabric postcards should find a home. I know these are not 2 layers with batting, but unlike table runners and place mats, there is no other home for them, and I think they are a legitimate branch of our industry. I agree that pillows, etc. should be moved to housewares.
The biggest problem I think is having blankets in the quilt category. I wish there were definitions listed when you listed so it would be a black and white issue for sellers. A blanket is not a quilt.

Quilting Cafe said...

but a quilt is a blanket

Julie Antinucci said...

Really good ideas. I agree. If a buyer wants a quilt, he/she is going to click on quilts. If a buyer wants a pillow, she'll click on pillow. They are probably not going to know that there are quilted pillows, stamped ones, etc. So, keep those things out of "quilts"-- since it's only a technique at that point.

quiltsbylee said...

The first thing that I thought was, are you kidding me? There are people that are listing pillows, tablerunners and totes under quilts? Silly me assumed that it needed to go into the correct category and have taken great pains to make sure I do so. I mean it is stated that items put into the wrong categories will be moved or removed. We all know that eBay pulls an item if you breath wrong but the opposite is not any better. A little more policing of items put in the wrong categories would go a long way.

Oh and I agree with Tiffany about keeping things simple. Most buyers have a limited quilting vocabulary so too many categories would be confusing.

Mom N Mia Quilts said...

I agree, simple is better. Many shoppers are not going to know the quilting terms that we quilters use. I think a big one is sizes related to use:


As for the other categories I'm sure there will be a lot of debate, but most of my customers search by sizes as related to intended use.

Other categories that should be included in addition to the ones I saw mentioned above:

Picture/Memory Quilt
T-shirt Quilt