Mini Maker Case Sew Along Schedule and Details

It’s T-minus two days ’til we kick of the Mini Maker Case Sew Along and today I want to share a few more details, as well as the sew along schedule.

There are at least 2200 friends sewing along over the next couple weeks and many of them have never participated in a sew along, so I first want to cover all the specifics of how this sew along will work.

A sew along is essentially just what the name implies, a group of people sewing through a specific pattern “together” virtually over a set time period. Sometimes a SAL is very structured with a set schedule and specific prompts for sharing your work on social media etc, and sometimes a SAL is very loose with nothing shared along the way but what others choose to share as they work their own project. Sew alongs are typically most active on social media, such as Instagram, where people share photos of their progress using specified hashtags so everyone participating can view each other’s work, answer questions, share tips & inspiration and more. The best part about a sew along is that it often gives someone the motivation to start or stick with a project and it’s also a fabulous opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends!

If you haven’t yet joined the email list for this sew along, please do so by clicking here. I will be sharing information through this email list and will also have posts here on my blog and on my Instagram account here.

For this SAL, I will be following a casual schedule which you can see posted above. On each day specified on the schedule, I will share information about the parts of the pattern we will be working on via the sew along email list and through social media. This will include some basics from the pattern as well as additional tips, photos, video tutorials and more. Everyone then sews at their own pace through these steps, sharing progress photos as they go. I will also share some prizes that will be up for grabs and how to be eligible for a chance to win them!

This is not a live event or class, all information if sent via email on the mornings of the dates posted above and everyone works at their own pace until the next steps.

SCHEDULE

Sept 14: We will cut all our pieces and begin preparing the handle and top & bottom of the case. I will be sharing some tips on fussy cutting!

Sept 17: We will begin piecing the main body panel with the zipper and the back panel. Don’t fear the zipper, we’ll help you through!

Sept 21: We will begin assembling the case. I will share some video tutorials on these steps.

Sept 24: Sew inside binding

Sept 28: Share your finished case and be eligible to win a Mini Oliso Iron!

If you haven’t yet downloaded the pattern, you can find it here and start pulling your supplies, then stay tuned for our kick off email on Monday, September 14!

What’s the Best That Could Happen?

Well, we made it halfway through 2020. Barely? Hardly? With all the grace of a newborn horse on ice? Where are you today on a scale of one to “went bag-o-cats crazy three months ago”?

This post will be short, but I want to share six important words with you today. I know so many of us have been feeling stuck in neutral, waiting for the other shoe to drop, thinking about the what if’s and worst case scenarios. But what if you shifted your perspective and instead ran full speed into this dumpster fire of a year?

Ask yourself, what’s the best that could happen? Stop living for the “what if’s?” and start living for the “WHAT IF’S!”  A year from now, do you want to be thinking about the should have’s? Sure, you may fall, but what if you fly?

Take all the discomfort, distress and agony of this year and let it light the fire under your ass that forces you to move. Take a chance, make a change, set a goal. Have a difficult conversation, smile through your mask, say hello to a stranger…

Open your eyes and your heart and let all of it in. Approach each new day, each new face, each new opportunity as if it’s the one that may change your life. What’s the best that could happen?

Maybe 2020 is the year that’s been waiting for you.

Mini Maker Case Sew Along!

It’s time for the Mini Maker Case Sew Along! We’ll kick things off on September 14 and it will run through September 28. You can download the free Mini Maker Case pattern here.

Whether you’re a Sew Along fanatic or have never participated in one before, I hope you’ll join in! It’s great motivation to complete a project or try something new and there’s always oodles of help and inspiration along the way – not to mention new friends and fun prizes!

This little case is designed specifically to store and transport the Oliso Mini Project Iron with padded sides and a reinforced top and bottom, but it’s perfect for so many other things too, from notions or a small project to cosmetics, toys, and most importantly, snacks!

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SEW ALONG SIGN UP

I’m going to try something new with this SAL and have an email sign-up so it’s easier to communicate with everyone. Emails will only be sent during the sew along and the list will be deleted after it’s over. Please click here to join in! I will select three winners at random from the email list on Monday to receive an interfacing kit for making their case.

I will be following a schedule, but you are welcome to join in at anytime and sew at your own pace. During the first week of the sew along, we will work on preparing all the pieces of the case and the second week we will work on assembly. The pattern contains all the information you need to complete the project, but throughout the SAL I will be sharing additional tips, tutorials and videos to help.

If you’re new to sewing and wondering if you can complete this project, the answer is yes! I am always happy to give additional help where needed and you’ll find a great community amongst the participants who also love to help through blog post comments and on social media. We will have a SAL hashtag and share our progress photos along the way, as well as our finished pieces at the end.

Everyone who completes their case by the end of the Sew Along will be eligible to win a pink Mini Oliso Iron! I will select one winner at random from all finished project photos posted on social media or sent to me via email. I’ll share more specifics on that later and I’ll also have a few more surprises along the way, too!

Alright, gang… sign up on the email list above, download the pattern, start your fabric pull and stay tuned for more information!

Say Hello to Jett!

Say hello to Jett! She’s the long lost sister of Lita, Siouxsie, & Viv, the Moth Charm Blocks. Everyone knows a Jett – always last to show up and last to leave, but no party is complete without her!

Whenever I design a new pattern, or especially a set of patterns, I have a lot of ideas that don’t always come to fruition. I originally decided to stick with three moth charm blocks since I had three butterfly charm blocks, but I stumbled upon Jett last week and realized she was just too cute not to share.

Though she’s technically a moth, she can also be a butterfly. There are tons of ways to customize this pattern and I’ll have more samples – along with the specifics on how I modified the pattern – soon. Below are a few examples I’ve been playing with. Can you recognize what real life counterpart their mimicking?

In the meantime, you can download Jett and her sisters here, and find all my free patterns here. I hope you enjoy! Please remember to tag me on social media @lillyellastitchery and use the hashtags on the patterns so I can see all of your creations. I love getting emails, too!

Happy Stitching!
~ nicole

The Best & the Worst of Quarantine Life

A few days ago, I asked my Instagram friends for the best and the worst parts of quarantine life. I decided to spend a somewhat crazy amount of time typing up some of your answers here for a couple reasons… first, they’re awesome. They’re real and they’re heartfelt and they’re funny and they’re sad, but they’re REAL, and we don’t get that enough from social. Second, to let you know YOU’RE NOT ALONE. No matter what you’re feeling or doing or not doing, many other people are feeling and doing and not doing the exact same thing. Be proud of what you can accomplish now, even if that is managing to brush your teeth twice a day, and do not beat yourself up over one single thing you aren’t accomplishing.

Can you guess what people miss most right now? HUGS! It’s surprising, but also not surprising. Perhaps one of those things I take for granted. The physical connection and feeling that you get from it that you don’t even realize the importance of in day to day life.

You know what else was common across the board – EVERYONE is tired of cooking and also confused on how there can possibly be SO. MANY. DISHES. ALL. DAY. LONG. Where are they coming from? And how does cooking one more full meal per day (lunch) create SO much more work?

Many people are feeling alone while many people are missing their usual alone time. Some people have more freedom to do things they love and some people have less. Some people HAVE to work and wish they didn’t while others can’t work and wish they could. Most people are one loud breath away from strangling their significant other or putting their children up for adoption while others are so thankful to have all their kids back home. Many people are thrilled to go braless and without makeup for the longest stretch ever and some people miss the routine of getting clean and dressed everyday.

Something else I found interesting was how many people are feeling an insanely relieving lack of pressure – not having to attend social engagements, not having to feel like you must go out to have fun, not having to feel guilty staying home and sewing. Many are also enjoying the slower pace. I truly hope that we remember all the “lessons” that are coming out of this and perhaps change our perspective on how we live and spend our time, but that’s a post for another day 🙂

Now I’m going to share some of your specific answers, starting with the worst parts and ending on a high note with the best. There were a lot of the same answers like the things mentioned above, so this isn’t all, but a handful! I hope you enjoy, and feel less alone.

The Worst parts of Quarantine Life

No money coming in

I miss restaurants and date night

Anxiety over it all

Staying home with my kid all day

Can’t find toilet paper!

My son not being able to see his friends

It feels unsafe, I take boiling showers and I don’t feel clean enough

I’m not quarantined, I still have to work. I want to say home and SEW

What to eat?!

Having to really stop and think before I walk out the door to run to the grocery store

Trying not to strangle my husband

Being scared to go to the store and having to wash everything

I can’t stop eating

Being in a different state than my 20 year old kids

Virtual hugs. They suck. I miss real ones.

A lot less alone time.

Knowing that everything is closed. Kind of a national mood of fear and sadness

Trying to get groceries safely

Too many people in my house

Homeschooling (insert crazy face emoji)

Cant hug my friends

Having all my kids home, including college aged

Being scared for my Dad

Cant see and hug my grandkids

The uncertainty

I miss my nieces and nephews!

Not being able to spend time with friends.

Not getting to hug my mom.

Im busier than ever

Being stuck at home with the kiddos 24/7

Nowhere to cry alone

Being alone

Not getting to eat out, missing local restaurants

Being an essential worker and not getting time to sew like my friends

Being alone 24/7

Not being able to hug family and friends

Fear of how the virus will affect us all

Not being able to buy the sh*t I want, like toilet paper

Impending dread of we are so not at the worst of this

extra dishes to wash

Not seeing family and friends

Grocery shopping

Unable to visit family

cant shop for fabric in persdon

My husband still has to go to work

Not hugging my adult children

Having to cook every night

ALL THE DISHES

Having to feed everyone three meals a day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

No hugs from friends

Being afraid to go anywhere

everything!

I wish my kids would be quiet and entertain themselves

Not going to the gym

too much husband

hmm, depends on the day

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THE BEST PARTS OF QUARANTINE LIFE

Lots of sewing time!

Staying home with my kid all day

Zero pressure to attend social engagements

Spending everyday in the garden

Not feeling guilty for staying home and sewing

Seeing people come together

No appointments to drive to

Family is together and healthy

Being with my family

Relaxing. doing art, sleeping enough. Never thought I’d ever have a “break” again

My husband did walk with my yesterday!

Getting to spend family time at home without the pressure of feeling you should go out

Sewing, sewing, and more sewing!

Getting things done that I’ve put off for too long

Actually not strangling my husband!

Doing whatever I want

The kids and husband are home to help me garden

The slow pace of the day

More quilting time

All the awesome things people are doing online to entertain us

Sleeping in

Having someone to binge watch late night Netflix with when I can sleep since hours are flexible

Doing quiet things just for fun: family time, embroidery, reading, baking

I can go for says without washing my hair!

Nesting, cooking, sewing, painting!

no commute!

cooking more and enjoying it

Having all my kids home

Connecting to family

My house is SO CLEAN!

Getting stuff done

Being stuck at home with the kids

Working from home and spending all day with my dog

More sewing time!

No traffic

That I have enough and am OK and my friends and family are too

No need to make excuses for being reclusive

Already getting a tan

Still working

No bra for weeks on end!

Making the most of my time off work with my children

Sitting on the deck for hours

Chillin at the lake every weekend with my kids

Having my traveling husband home

no makeup!

More crafting time

Realizing how very insane my 4 kids are and seeing how very much they love each other

Having almost everything I need to stay put

Getting all the things done

I have an excuse to get groceries WITHOUT three kids!

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Stay safe and healthy, don’t forget to brush your teeth and change your clothes … occasionally!

An Apology From Fox Chapel Publishing

You can read my original post about the Fox Chapel situation here and the previous update here.

I spoke with Fox Chapel President and COO, David Miller, at his request this morning. The company has issued a public statement and apology which you can read here (I’ll also include it at the end of this post).

I want to thank you all so incredibly much for reaching out, sharing this story, letting it spread far and wide. I can’t even begin to tell you how overwhelmed and flooded with messages I have been, and Fox Chapel has been. Your collective voices were heard and it made a difference!

I was thankful that David reached out when I thought that this was over. I do believe that they understand the severity of the mistake that was made, and more importantly, the errors in how it was handled, and I truly believe that it will not happen again. I know it was a hard call for David to make and I could hear it in his voice. As I said before, everyone makes mistakes and we all fall short. It’s never too late to realize the error of your ways, to apologize, and to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes again. It’s how we learn and how we grow.

I’m disappointed that it all played out as it did and I hated having to be the one to cause such anguish for many people associated with this company, but it was extremely important that everyone know and understand this situation. I cannot stress enough how the passion and power of our community is what made all the difference here. It is so important for us to continue to support each other, to pay attention, to SLOW down on social media and see what’s going on, to read some blog posts, to share  stories, to educate and empower each other. We may feel small on our own at times, but together, we can do anything. Holy cow, am I cheesy or what? Am I writing motivational posters now? It’s true though, right? Or is it just my period hormones?

Regardless, I’m not forgetting this and I’m not done helping others and trying to prevent it from happening again, but I am ready to redirect my energy into new and positive creative pursuits! Thank you again, friends, from the bottom of my crafty little heart.

~ Nicole

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A NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

On behalf of Fox Chapel Publishing, I felt it important to address an issue with 101 Quilting Tips & Tricks Pocket Guide. We read your comments on social media over the past few days. We hear you and we apologize to Nicole Young, Penny Haren, and the crafting community.We completely honor that we made a mistake and did not fix it quick enough. We will do better next time. We are always looking to be a better company and be better people.

I’d like to offer an explanation of what happened and assure the community that we are working toward a solution.

Fox Chapel made an error by placing an image on the cover of 101 Quilting Tips & Tricks Pocket Guide that was not approved by the artist of the image. The image was used internally very early in the concept stage for internal mock-up purposes, and it was never meant to be published on the printed pieces and it irresponsibly slipped by us.

No question, this was an unacceptable and embarrassing mistake by Fox. My continued apologies to Nicole Young for this error and the author Penny Haren. I’d also like to apologize that our initial resolution to Ms. Young was not ideal. We respect her and are working toward a better solution.

We feel it’s very important to understand that the author, Penny Haren, had no awareness that the image did not have the appropriate approvals. As the publisher, it is our responsibility to obtain all permissions for use of images not supplied by the author. We failed to do so in this case. Our sincerest apologies to Penny, as well as many other authors who have received negative messages from people on social media as a result of this mistake.

Moving forward, we will ensure this does not happen again. From mock-ups to line editing, to design and production, our team will make certain that the photographs used in our books are fairly acquired and credited. We are working, step by step, to do the right thing in this situation and have learned a lot through the process.

At Fox Chapel Publishing, we have a great passion for what we do and truly admire and respect our authors, artists, and customers. We are working hard to regain your trust, and I want to thank you for voicing your concerns and helping us do better.

With utmost respect,
David Miller, President, COO

The Resolution

Here’s a final update to my situation with Fox Chapel Publishing. You can read the full story first here.

The Fox Chapel COO wrote me this morning stating they will be reprinting 101 Quilting Tips and Tricks with a new cover. The end. No further apology, no new compensation offer, no old compensation offer, nothing about all the books already sold and currently distributed around the world – not that I was expecting any of those things. They will let the author solely pay for the mistake and they will move on to try and continue profiting from the work (read about my conversation with the author, Penny, here).

This part is important – this means they will scrap all the existing stock they have left and print a new book. I will say with a high amount of certainty that this will cost them far more than what they offered me.

And instead of stepping up, making amends, making me a new offer that would still cost them less than the route they chose, they will pay more and waste a great deal of material and resources to make a point of not letting us win in all of this.

This is what they decided was the best way to handle this situation and it speaks volumes. I personally just can’t agree that they care about the artists they claim to respect or about the customers who purchase their books.

I also want to point out that this is not them honoring the fact that I do not want my image on the cover of this book, because they are not offering to recall the stock currently distributed around the world. This is not righting their wrong in any way or this message would have come with another apology at the very least, or a different compensation offer for the stock already distributed.

I want to share one more thing before I go. If you missed it on social media, I discovered some very intentional photoshop work a couple days ago that I missed initially. Remember, Fox Chapel stated that my image was pulled for an internal initial mockup and never changed out before printing, an accident. It’s very clear that the background of the image was edited to look like a window, which I can almost explain away to a mockup, however, someone took the time to edit out only the cotton + steel logo on one fabric selvedge. I know it’s a bit blurry in that top photo, but click to enlarge and you’ll see. What would be the purpose of doing this solely for a mockup?

I appreciate the many offers to crowd source funds to continue pursuing this. I know this type of behavior has to stop, but I can’t fight it. I simply don’t have the time, energy or resources and frankly I prefer to pour my heart into creating new and awesome things and I would much rather we all spend our hard earned pennies on copyrights to protect out work.

But, rest assured, I am not done with this, and I hope you aren’t either. I will continue to share my story in articles, podcasts, and any way I can. If you do the same and we don’t let these things be forgotten, it will make a difference. I think we’ve all seen the power of our community.  I will also do another blog post soon with more specifics on how these things happen and how we can continue to protect ourselves.

In the meantime, you can continue to share your feelings and opinions with Fox Chapel and decide if they are a company you want to support. Thank you so much, friends!

An update regarding the book author

Hey, friends! I have a quick update to share with you all about my image theft sitatuon that you can read about here.

First, I have not heard from Fox Chapel and do not expect to, but your messages to them and posts about the situation are SO immensely helpful so please keep that up!

Second, I just had a great conversation on the phone with the book author, Penny Haren. She was sincere in her apology and about her disgust with the situation and I felt very good about our discussion. I do believe everything she told me about not knowing the source of the cover image or even paying attention to it. That being said, was this irresponsible on her part? Yes, and she admits this. She reached out to Fox Chapel months ago for them to take care of the situation and assumed they did. Should she have contacted me anyway? Yes. Should she have followed up to make sure it was resolved? Yes. But, as my daily #spiritualAF message said a few days ago, “Thou shalt not judge, because thou has f*$%ed up before, too”.

We all make mistakes, we all let things slide, we all fall short, and we all need a little grace at times. The important thing is that Penny was able apologize and do what she can to make it right and is offering to transfer all her book royalties to me. We both agree that this changes nothing about the way Fox Chapel is handling this and wish we could do more (she is no longer with them, BTW). Also, if Fox Chapel lets this happen instead of owning it themselves, how much deeper can they dog their hole?!

Penny sounds like a hard working woman who has done a lot of great things for the industry. I feel that this unfortunately sourced new relationship is one that may be a good thing moving forward. All along I have felt that something else was going to come of this, because of this, and I think that something else will be many, many things. New friends, new relationships, lessons learned, helping others prevent this, perhaps saving myself from a bigger theft later, new doors opening.

The best think we can ALWAYS do is find the beauty in the broken. More soon, I really need a shower :)!

Bad business, a cautionary tale or a sad reality? You decide.

Today I have an unfortunate story to share with you. It’s one that happens too often and many times without fair resolve. And frankly, it’s bullshit. I’m sharing this story now because I was not able to come to a fair agreement with the party involved and have exhausted the options I’m willing to pursue. My hope in sharing this is that you can be a more educated consumer and also to help prevent this same thing from happening to you or someone you know.

Here are the facts and nothing but the facts. I’ll let you make up your own mind on what’s “right”, “wrong” or “fair”, but I’d love to hear your thoughts here and on social media.

A couple months back, a friend sent me a link to the book above, 101 Quilting Tips and Tricks by Penny Haren published by Laundauer/Fox Chapel Publishing. Yes, that’s MY photo of MY Undercover Maker Mat pattern on the COVER, and no, they did not ask for my permission to use it.

I tried to contact the author via several platforms with no response and also promptly called the publisher, Laundauer, who is now under Fox Chapel Publishing. No one could help me aside from giving me an email address, so I wrote and waited, and waited. I finally received a response from the COO of Fox Chapel. He explained that my image was pulled from Pinterest to use on an internal mockup and was never changed out. He offered to replace the image on a potential second printing in approximately one year and offered me an insulting amount of money, $200. At the time of writing this, I have not heard from the author, though I do know she is aware of the situation. Perhaps she was advised not to contact me, but I will say if this was my book, I would be sending a hefty apology regardless of what actually happened internally.

Now, I have to interject a few things before we continue. First, I have worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years. I have worked on extremely large projects with large clients (The Cleveland Indians, for example), I have worked on books, I have been IN books, I know how every step of the process works. I cannot say that the scenario Fox Chapel explained isn’t true, but it’s just hard for me to believe (and really, what “nationally know speaker, columnist, consultant and author” uses someone else’s image on the cover of their book without even know where it came from?). Second, I have been paid more to use my image with full credit inside of a book, so you can see how ridiculous the offer from Fox Chapel was.

I’m updating this post here by adding in that word ridiculous is simply MY OPINION and the opinion of those I consulted with. Everyone’s idea of FAIR compensation is different, and we’re all entitled to our opinions. If Fox Chapel believes that what they are offering is fair, then that is their opinion and we are all free to decide how we feel about it I clearly disagree and am sharing the facts here for you to decide if you agree.

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Honestly, I felt like I was being treated like some naive girl with a sewing machine and and a smart phone rather than a mature woman and artist who was worked her ass off to build a business for herself.

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Not only was the book being sold numerous places online and distributed through major distributors to shops across the world, but the book cover was (and still is at the time of writing this) being used as a marketing tool for the company on two Facebook banners, on their catalog, etc – despite requests to remove it. I guess I should take this as flattery?

I consulted with an invaluable colleague in the industry and worked out a VERY fair contract I know there is not much money in publishing)  to which Fox Chapel declined and offered me slightly more than the first offer (a little more than double), continually pointing out that they admitted their mistake, that sales for the book were slow and limited (I really don’t call all those sales venues shown above LIMITED, and that’s not all of them), and that they’ve made internal changes to prevent this. All fine and dandy, but also irrelevant to the situation at hand.

This is not simply an issue of an image being used without permission. I want to explain the many ways a situation like this can negatively and financially affect a small business owner and artist like myself, and maybe like you. Having this book in the marketplace hinders my ability to contract this image for other uses or even use it on a cover of MY OWN BOOK someday. It has the potential to cause confusion in the marketplace in many ways. People could come to associate the image with the author rather than myself. The book cover or image could begin to link to the book rather than myself on social media sites such as Pinterest, directly taking traffic and pattern sales away from me. Fox Chapel disagreed that either of these points were possible or relevant which BLOWS MY MIND. There are many other factors also, such as people who buy the book assuming the cover pattern is included, only to be disappointed that it’s not. I could go on and on.

I have received many messages from friends, colleagues and  shop owners across the country who have seen or stock the book, recognizing my image and seeing I was not credited. Regardless, what I was asking for in compensation was very fair for the image use on a book cover, the points mentioned above, and my time in dealing with the matter, but their second offer was the best they could do. I declined this compensation and am instead sharing this story with you.

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As a friend so perfectly put it, it feels like they’re leaving the money on the nightstand as they walk out.

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Now, I don’t know how large Fox Chapel is. I’m all for capitalism, I don’t despise big business or corporations, and I don’t believe that the size of a company always relates to their actions, so I’m not going to say that this is what you get from big business or anything like that. This situation is simply a reflection of the morals and ethics of those in charge at Fox Chapel and they’re clearly not in line with what I believe. As an author, I would be embarrassed to be associated with this company. As a consumer, I would not choose to give them my money. Does sharing this story and the book image ultimately give them exposure and marketing? Perhaps. I considered blurring out the title, but I think that seeing it all is more helpful in sharing this story. If someone sees this and decides they want the book, that’s on them.

So the big question… how can we, as artists, prevent this?

One simple, yet not foolproof, way to help prevent image theft is to watermark all of your images. Will I do that moving forward? Probably not. I don’t like the way it looks or the time it takes. I don’t think that should mean I’m left vulnerable to this happening again, but sadly it does. Also, a watermark is not a guarantee with how easy it can be to photoshopped out sometimes.

The only legal way to protect your work is to register it with the US Copyright Office which is expensive ($55 per work) and time consuming. Many of you may be thinking “but don’t we automatically have ownership of all our images?”, short answer, yes, but not what it comes to fighting a situation like this in a legal manner.

I consulted with an intellectual property lawyer who was very helpful. Technically you COULD get a lawyer involved in a situation like this without having a registered copyright, but the costs to do so would far outweigh any monetary reward, and sadly, I am not independently wealthy. In the US, all parties pay their own court costs UNLESS it is a statutory situation, such as an official copyright, that has a different legal standing in court, comes with a minimum reward amount and requires the offending party to pay your court costs. I have already started the copyright process with my most popular images and all of my pattern content to help protect myself moving forward. It’s unrealistic to be able to do this for every photo I post on Instagram or share on Pinterest, but I’ll just have to pick and choose as I move forward.

I wish I could continue to fight this, even at a loss to myself, simply out of principal, but I believe Fox Chapel is well aware of all this and taking advantage of that situation. Perhaps that’s the saddest part of this story. It shows me they simply do not care despite all the claims by the COO of respecting me as a talented artist.

In closing, I think we see that this story is all the things I questioned in the title – bad business, a cautionary tale and a sad reality. While this situation is so incredibly frustrating and angering, I do have some satisfaction in sharing with you. I know I can’t RUIN Fox Chapel, but I hope they feel some impact from all of this. Even if it is simply fielding a hundred emails about their poor business practices and maybe losing some book sales.

I would really love to hear what you think in the comments below and especially on social media. I want Fox Chapel to know how their customer base and distributors feel about this type of behavior. You can find me on Instagram here and on Facebook here, and you can find Fox Chapel on Instagram here, on Facebook here, and via email here.

UPDATES:
You can find an update after hearing from the author here, and the “resolution” to this case here.

Thanks, friends!
~ nicole

Hair Scrunchie How-To

Im *SO* glad that scrunchies are back in style, because I’ve never stopped wearing them since the mid 80s and there was a point in time when I was a little embarrassed about it. And even though “kids these days” would likely still make fun of me for actually using them in my hair and not just wearing them on my wrist, I’m way beyond caring :P!

Scrunchies are fun, easy and quick to make! They’re perfect for gifts this time of year and are a great scrap busting project. There are one hundred and one tutorials out there already, but I wanted to share the measurements and techniques that worked for me after some trial and error. All you need is some fabric (of any kind!), 3/8″ elastic (you can also use 1/4″, but more about this later), a safety pin, some thread and a sewing machine. Heck, you could even sew them by hand if you wanted to.

I mentioned that this project is great for scraps and I’ll get into specific measurements in a minute, but Fat quarters are also a great size, as well as Jelly Roll strips. But one thing that worked perfect from me was this… have you ever ordered from Stash Fabrics? They wrap your order in fabric remnant strips, which are totally adorable, but also PERFECT for making scrunchies!

Shown above is my latest order, as well as some wraps I had saved in my scrap bin from previous orders. Aside from these I pulled some random bits I had, as well as the Alison Glass Mariner Cloth I had from my last Undercover Maker Mat. I thought it would be just right for some FANCY scrunchies and they are my favorite of the bunch!

Ok, let’s get on to the How-To…

You will need one strip of fabric for each scrunchie. You will see a wide variety of measurements out there, but I found that a width between 2.5″ and 4″ (3″ is my ideal size) and a length of 20″ – 23″ works great for the look and feel that I want. Most of my fabric is from fat quarters or WOF cut in half, so the majority of mine average about 22″. A thinner strip (2.5″) will yield a less “poofy” scrunchie, while a wider strip will make it bulkier. You can go thinner or wider with your strip and can do some experimenting to find your own preference.

Begin by pressing one short end of your strip about 1/2″ wrong sides together.

Next, fold your strip in half along the longest dimension, right sides together, and sew the open edge with an approximate 1/4″ seam. Back stitch at the beginning and end to hold your seam while turning.

Your tube will now look like this. The next step is to turn your tube right side out. There are many tools and methods for doing this. I prefer to use a safety pin which I will detail below.

Secure the pin through one layer of fabric on either end. Turn the pin and end of your tube to the inside and begin working it down.

Continue pushing the pin through, scrunching and pulling the fabric as you go, until your tube is right side out. Remove the pin.

I prefer to use 3/8″ elastic in my scrunchies vs 1/4″ because I find it has more stretch, but also holds tighter. This is definitely a personal preference that will be dependent on your hair thickness and how you like to wear your scrunchies, so you can experiment. I have fairly thick hair and wrap my scrunchies twice around a pony tail or knot. I cut my elastic 7.5″ long. This holds tight and secure, but not to the point of discomfort.

Next you will feed the elastic through your fabric tube. You will once again use your safety pin.

Be sure to hold one end as you feed it through so that you can see the elastic on both open ends of your tube.

Overlap the ends of your elastic approximately 1″ and pin to hold in place.

Secure the elastic by sewing several times back and forth in the middle of your overlap. I keep my pin in place to help prevent shifting when placing under my presser foot, but remove before sewing.

You can also knot your elastic, but I prefer the smoother finish of sewing. If you choose to knot your elastic, you will need to cut your piece longer to account for this.

To finish your scrunchie, tuck the raw edge into the folded edge and sew a single seam close to the folded edge, backstitching at the beginning and end. You will sew through the elastic inside and it will be a little thicker in this spot, so just make sure your tension looks good.

If you prefer, you can sew this opening closed by hand with a slip stitch around also, but I find using the machine is quick, secure, and you can’t see it in the ruffles of the scrunchie anyway.

Voila, you’re done! Now you can have a scrunchie for every day of the week, to match every outfit, and to give to anyone you come across with hair, because once you start making them, trust me you won’t want to stop!

I found that an assembly line method worked really well for making these. I cut all my strips, pressed the ends, sewed the tubes, then while binging some Mrs. Maisel on the couch one night, I turned all the tubes, cut the elastic, fed it through and pinned it, then finished the sewing all at once the next day.

Here are the ones I made using the Mariner Cloth. Aren’t they amazing? So soft, too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Rock on, scrunchies!