Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sewing Report Sunday Week 2

I am happy to say goodbye to Week 2 of 2019. I spent most of the week sleeping or in my rocker, though I still managed to get some stitching in each day. Friday, I finally began to feel normal and yesterday Hubby finally quit following me around with a can of Lysol. If it weren't for Buddy The Cat begging to get into my lap, I would have felt like Typhoid Mary. And all I had was a cold. I'm still a little congested, but no lingering cough with this one, for which I am very grateful. So onward and upward and I am looking forward to this week. Stay well everyone!

Last week, I worked on putting together my Depression Blocks, RSC January RED blocks, the Pond Lily block, fabric baskets, and ugh, mending. I pulled a little from my stash for the basket lining and mending, but can't really pinpoint where it all went.

I am glad I was able to get some sewing time every day, even though some days it was just barely fifteen minutes. I hope to have more to show for it in the next report.

After the sheetrockers finished downstairs, there were several sheets of sheetrock left. Yesterday, Hubby hauled them up the stairs (I have no idea how he did that by himself - he rocks!) and hung them so I can have a real design wall. So what's on the wall now? My design wall!

That piece of flannel worked fine in my last house, hooked to command strips, especially when my sewing room was in the living room and I had to convert the room from sewing room

back to living room, within minutes.

My sewing space in this barndominium will be a double duty space also, but for the most part, it's just going to be for sewing. At least it's not in the front room of the house. Eventually, I want to cover a couple of foam insulation panels with flannel and mount them to the wall. While using the foam as my temporary design wall, I found I really like being able to pin the heavier pieces so they can't fall off.

Linking to:
15 Minutes to Stitch at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A Bright, Red, Scrappy Saturday

This week I finished the red Pond Lily block (which I am not going to continue as a RSC, another True Lovers Knot block, and a Snowball Blossom block. The more Snowball Blossom blocks I make, the more I remember why I quit making them last year, but I'm determined to finish that quilt this year.

Here is my revised plan for the Snowball Blossom blocks. I need twenty-five blocks which means I'll be making two or three of each color I use.  It will be a good size for a baby quilt or throw, so I'll probably aim for the brighter colors.

And this is my plan for the True Lovers Knot block. I am enjoying this block so far but have discovered that it needs a scant 1/4 inch seam.

Linking to:
ScrapHappy Saturday #2 at soscrappy
Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Thursday, January 10, 2019

First Quarter Finish-a-Long

Last year I only made it through one quarter of the 2018 Finish-a-Long. This year, I'd like to complete every quarter. If you haven't heard of it before, it is kind of like an accountability group that encourages each other to finish projects. At the beginning of the quarter, like now, a group of hosts post the starting linkup, and everyone who joins writes a blog post naming the projects they want to finish in the next three months. Then, at the end of the quarter, there will be a finish up post where everyone links up their finished projects.

1. Since finishing the Depression Blocks quilt is my OMG for January and February, of course it will be here too. I haven't decided whether I am going to try to quilt this or send it out for quilting.

2. I want to finish this blue&green scrap basket and make a red one too.

3. I need to make three more of these Pond Lily blocks in three different colors. This block tried my patience and I seriously considered stopping with this one and making it a medallion quilt instead. But my plan was to make four of them, and by the time I finished this one, I think I was beginning to get the hang of it. I wish I hadn't used batik though. It doesn't make the curve as well as regular cotton fabrics. So, like taking bad tasting medicine, I need to make myself finish these.

4. I need to do something with this black and white star block. My goal was to make a wall hanging but after I got to this point, I didn't have a clear idea what to do next, so I set it aside. So my goal is to completely finish it this quarter. If you have any ideas - borders, etc, I'd love to hear it. I don't have any more of the black and white fabric, but I have a little more of the black on black.

Linking up to the Finish-A-Long at Studio Sew of Course

Monday, January 7, 2019

Craftsy Dropped Thousands of Stores, How Can Bloggers Help Former Store Owners?

Sometime in the last month, I read a blog post about these changes, and the blogger was a store owner who had not been dropped. I would name the blog so you could read the article, but I have no idea which blog it was. She wrote that while it was bad for store owners who had such short notice to open another store somewhere, it had been a nice ride while it lasted because Craftsy didn't charge transaction fees. Craftsy didn't have to let people open stores on their site, and there are a lot of people who have become well-known because of their Craftsy exposure, so it's not all bad.

There was talk in quilting discussion forums about the reasons behind this change, which all boiled down to money. Craftsy, after all, was building a site so they could make money. In 2017, NBC bought Craftsy and began to restructure then, changing to a subscription service in 2018, but the big change came in December 2018 when they dropped so many stores. Their official response was that (paraphrased) Craftsy had gotten too big to oversee quality and copyright in the stores. You can read another post about that here. Several other store owners mentioned in the comments that they have opened stores at Shopify and Wordpress.

I didn't buy a subscription because I would rather not be charged a monthly fee and not get to keep anything if I stopped the subscription. I loved their vidoes. They were well made, and I usually watched the video over and over for several months before mastering a technique. I don't think I could have made pants that fit without that Craftsy video.

I was especially disappointed in this new change, of course, as I enjoyed browsing the stores, and buying a pattern here and there. The best part of that for me was visiting the blogs of the pattern creator (if they have a blog) to see how they made their quilts and their overall style. It helped me decide if I could make their pattern on Craftsy before buying it. I'll really miss that. Someone else suggested downloading your patterns and I haven't done that yet, but will do it today. Currently, Craftsy now Bluprint, says that the patterns will still be there in our account.

What I didn't realize though is that these store owners have links all over the web bringing buyers to their patterns on Craftsy. Thank you to The Joyful Quilter for pointing that out. All those links are now broken. She linked to a post made by Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework and mentioned that this will affect the income of Cynthia and thousands of other designers who have been depending on their Craftsy store. Cynthia has stores at Payhip and Etsy, but some other designers haven't gotten a new shop up yet.

So what can we do to help? Pin, link, or heart the patterns or items of your favorite Craftsy store owners, or former owners that you come across. If I understand correctly (and I am not internet savvy enough to know much), the more links to something, the higher it comes up in a search. So if people follow a dead link to a Craftsy store, they should have at least a name to search for. I'm not a big fan of Pinterest, mainly because I see something on it and never can find where it came from, but I'll pin all I can if it will help these people who have just lost a chunk of their annual income.

Cynthia, of Cynthia Brunz Designs, has a pattern I never get tired of seeing. I love pinwheels, and I really love the optical illusion here. When focusing on the blue center, it really does seem to spin, especially if you have double vision like me. She has graciously allowed me to post it here. This quilt pattern, named Spin, was dropped from Craftsy, and it was one of her best sellers. Please don't pin it from my blog though; go to her blog, Quilting is More Fun than Housework to pin. She has other patterns you'll like too.

I'm going to put a box in my right sidebar for the new stores and locations for former Craftsy sellers. Feel free to do the same and if you know of someone I haven't linked there, please let me know so I can add them. If you know of another way to direct sales traffic back to these crafters and designers, please tell me and post about it.

Best wishes and a big thank you to all the designers who have generously shared their patterns for free on Craftsy too. I hope you all find a new venue so you can continue to flourish.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sewing Reports

2019 is starting out well. The weather is mild, work is progressing on the house, and I'm excited about getting things unpacked and organized although that is still a few months away. I think I found all my boxes of fabric, then sorted and counted my yardage so I can concentrate on reducing my stash this year. I'm starting off with a clean slate and hope I can make it through the year without buying more than 5 yards of fabric. My goal is to show a 15% reduction by the end of the year, and as it stands now, that is about 90 yards of fabric, so that probably isn't realistic, but I can still hope.

I had a good week in the sewing room even though the Pond Lily block nearly made me pull my hair out. Famous last words "Oh I can do that" came back to haunt me several times. It seems the printed pattern was more a suggestion of shapes than the exact sizes needed. I rough fit all the edges of the templates and redrew one at the start, but all the others seemed to match up, at least the edges did. But after cutting all the pieces for one block, I found that one of the pieces just wouldn't fit no matter how many times I ripped it apart and carefully put it back together again. So I redrew that piece, and now all is well. But it is a very fussy block and I am going to be doing well to get one done in a month's time.

Sheetrockers were here Friday and did the entire first floor working less than six hours. They are coming back Monday to tape the joints, so there isn't much for us to do right now. Hubby built a cabinet for laundry baskets, but can't install it until after the walls are done. That means more guilt-free sewing time for me!

This weeks' sewing reports:

I'm trying to make it easier to track my time and fabric usage with these reports and have simplified them this year. Hopefully, all I have to do is plug in my numbers each evening and it will calculate my numbers and percentages. I know most people just want to see how much is coming in and going out of their stash, but I want to see my overall total decrease.

I'll come back later and add my design wall photos to this post. It's probably something you've never seen on a design wall post.

I'm back with a picture I wouldn't have shown anyone a few years ago.  You might not fully appreciate the beauty of it if you haven't lived with construction for a loooong time.  But here it is, my design wall:

Ok, so you don't see my design wall, but what you do see is the wall where my design wall will be, a lovely, insulated wall keeping the cold air from the garage into the attic.   And for those of you who want to know why I sew in the attic, let me show you below:

Nothing but a lawn chair.  Nearly everything we own is in the attic until we get the house finished.  That makes for a very small and cluttered sewing space for me.  But someday....

Someone asked me before how the garage is next to the attic.  The garage is the full height of the building.  Before this insulation, the only thing separating me from the cold garage was 3/4 inch foam board.

Since I don't have a real design wall at the moment, and no floor space clean enough to put my works in progress (the house is covered with sheetrock dust at the moment), I'll have to get creative so I can take a picture of the Depression Block quilt I'm working on.

Ok, this works.  My goal last week was to have two rows completed, but I didn't make it.  Now I have a cold and I'm not sure how much I'll get done this week either.

Linking to:
15 Minutes to Stitch at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Design Wall Monday Small Quilts and Doll Quilts