Midnight Bite SAL – Piecing Sections

Today we’re going to dive into piecing our sections! I know many of you are experienced paper piecers so some of this won’t apply to you, but I still encourage you to read through and watch my videos as you may find some new techniques to try and some helpful tips!

If you are completely new to Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP), let’s start with the basics! I will not be sharing my own complete step-by-step tutorial here today, but will guide you to a variety of options for learning how to FPP.

First, you can check out my Take Wing Mini pattern. It is designed for beginners with step-by-step photos and directions on how to FPP from beginning to end. Alternatively, there are several tutorials online you can refer to. I often direct people to this video by Connecting threads. The method is not exact to how I piece, but it is close. You can also refer to my previous post about how I prepare my pattern and then apply the basic piecing steps from the video tutorial.

Another tutorial you can check it out is this one by Cassandra Madge. It is a two-part post on how to FPP using my Butterfly Charm Block pattern. I once again recommend watching my videos or pattern prep and fabric cutting regardless of what method you follow.

You can also do a search for FPP tutorials and find many more out there. You can check out a few and see what suits your working style.

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Piecing tips, tricks and more

Now let’s get into some specific tips and techniques that I always use when paper piecing. I love to chain piece for efficiency whenever possible, and while many people do this with traditional quilt block piecing, they don’t often with FPP simply because of the nature of the beast. If you follow my previously outlined steps for pattern prep and fabric cutting, chain piecing your FPP project is a breeze! Below is a short video showing my setup and explaining how I chain piece FPP. I will do a more in-depth tutorial on this in the future, also. 

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My next video highlights the benefits of the pattern prep and fabric precutting steps I covered in the first sew along post, showing how I use the traced pattern lines as a reference and how I place my fabric pieces for foolproof placement and piecing.

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In my next post, I will talk about joining sections and the methods I use to ensure accurate alignment of pattern elements for a flawless finished piece! It’s nothing fancy or complicated, it just takes a little time and patience, but is well worth the effort.

I have one more important topic to cover before we wrap up today, and that is trimming sections after piecing before joining them together. Below is a quick video explaining when and how I trim.

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I hope you have found these tips helpful! They’re all just a small peek at my process which I cover in great detail during in-person workshops and classes,  that hopefully we can get back to one day soon! I do also have plans to offer more online class options in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

Please continue to share your progress photos on social media with the hashtag #MidnightBiteSAL and watch for my final post on October 26!

Midnight Bite SAL – Pattern prep and cutting

It’s time to kick off the Midnight Bite Sew Along! I’m so excited to jump into this one with over 400 of you and see all the amazing bats & spiders you create! If you’re just joining in, you can find the all sew along details, sign-up, schedule and Sal Facebook Group here.

Today I’m going to walk you through the process of how I plan a project, prepare my pattern pieces and precut my fabric, as well as what the benefits are to these steps.

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All of my patterns include a coloring page which is helpful for planning your project. I often start by using colored pencils to get some rough ideas of the direction I’d like to go, then I pull fabric and create a mini mockup by gluing little fabric snippets onto the page. Below is a video talking a little more about this.

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When it comes to foundation paper piecing, PAPER MATTERS! Ok, not *technically*, but it does to me. Not only for ease of sewing, but for ease of clean up. I always print my pattern pages on a lightweight newsprint paper. You can find paper marketed as foundation paper piecing paper and it is essentially just basic newsprint, so I purchase mine in bulk from DickBlick.com. You can get 500 sheets for about $5. I run it through my laser printer with no trouble and have also used an inkjet without any problem.

The next thing I do everytime I paper piece is to trace the pattern lines onto the back of the printed pattern pages. I do this using a lightbox, but you can use an iPad, a lightbar under your extension table or just a window! Below is a video showing this process and touching on the benefits.

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Next, I use the traced side of my pattern to precut all of my fabric for the entire project. This is beneficial in many ways. First, it allows you to fussy cut and use directional fabric with precision, which is something I do with just about every FPP I make. Second, it eliminates waste and takes out all room for error in cutting pieces the wrong size or shape. I talk more about this in the video below. Last, it prepares us for easy and efficient piecing and allows for chain piecing. You can simply place all your precut fabric for each section in piles with the pattern piece and move down a like sewing one step from each pattern section in a chain and then repeating.  

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This process is something I teach in much greater detail when I do live workshops and class events, but I wanted to try and touch on all the basics here to share these helpful tips and techniques and see how they work for you. I’d love to hear what you think! Also, if you have any questions you can comment on this post, visit the Sew Along Facebook group, comment on my Instagram post,  or shoot me an email through my contact page.

However you plan and prepare to start piecing your project, be sure to share some photos on social media with the hashtag #MidnightBiteSAL! Also watch my Instagram feed for our next prize! 

You can work at your own pace until my next post where I’ll be sharing some FPP piecing tutorials and some of my own tips and tricks. I had this scheduled for October 12, but have had to adjust some of my road trip plans, so may need to shift this by a couple days. I’ll keep you all posted!

Mini Maker Case SAL – Inside binding

It’s the last step in the Mini Maker Case Sew Along, we’re almost done! If you’re just joining in to the sew along, please be sure to check out all the previous posts here and scroll down to the kick off.

Today we bind the inside raw edges of our cases and then revel in our masterpiece! Once again, this step is detailed in the Mini Maker Case pattern so I don’t have too much to add, but will mention a few things.

Many of you have already cut your strips, but for those who have not, I did make a quick little down and dirty video talking about how to cut bias binding, how to measure 1.625″ and why using this measurement is important versus a larger binding cut like 2″ or 2.25″ that you may use on a quilt. I also want to mention again that you DO need to use bias cut binding for this case. Straight cut binding will not bend around the curved corners.

For a more detailed tutorial on cutting bias binding, check out this post from All People Quilt. If you’re cutting a large quantity of bias binding, there are several neat tricks for doing this efficiently, so poke around on YouTube and watch some various methods.

Once you complete this step, your case is done! Take some final photos and post them by Monday September 28 on social media with the sew along hashtags #minimakercasesal2020 and #minimakercase (or email them to me if you’re not on social!). One winner will be drawn at random to win a pink Mini Oliso Iron!

Mini Maker Case SAL – Assembling the Case

Hello, friends! We are now in week two of the Mini Maker Case Sew Along and it’s time to assemble our case! Today I have one video, a couple mistakes to avoid, and a few additional tips for attaching the top and bottom to your body panel.

There are many notes and photos for this step outlined in the pattern, so please be sure to read through them thoroughly before beginning. I’ve seen a couple errors pop up in the SAL hashtag feed and I want to mention them here. Be sure to center your back panel on the back of your case. A few people have placed it on the side, so the case opens like an alligator mouth. It’s still completely functional and also could perhaps be intentional, but just a note! I’ve also seen a couple people sew the body panel upside down, so the handle ends up on the bottom of the case. Always double check your work before sewing! Lastly, remember to open your zipper before sewing on your second piece or you won’t be able to flip your case right side out.

I recommend using a denim/leather needle (100-110) for this step because of the bulk. I also like to start with the bottom of the case that is less visible to get more comfortable with the curved corners, then sew the top. Sewing bulky curves is always a little awkward no matter how you slice it, but just take it slow and use your hand wheel if needed. I also recommend practicing on scraps if you’re uncomfortable or want to check your machine settings and get a feel for it.

Many of you asked for a video specifically showing how I sew the corners, so in the video below you can see my case placement under the presser foot and how I work through the curve. I hope you find this helpful!

This step is gratifying because your case now has shape and is practically finished! The last step is sewing the inside binding and I’ll be covering that on Thursday. Several people had questions about making bias binding, the measurements needed for the bias cut, etc, so be sure to check out all the previous SAL blog posts and the Sew Along Facebook Group if you also have questions.

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I have one last thing to share before I go for today. Many of you know that creating awesome FREE patterns to share with this community is a passion of mine. It’s something I’ve always done and will continue to do. Several people who use my free patterns have asked for a way to donate to help support me in continuing to grow the free content I offer, so I have a setup a PayPal donation link and you can find it here. There is no obligation, my free patterns will always be free, and I always appreciate all of your support in any form!

Alternatively, you can purchase any of the patterns I have for sale as another way of supporting me and my work or simply share my website and patterns with your friends. Lastly, I am in the process of setting up a Patreon page where I plan to offer membership tiers with oodles of exclusive content, free patterns and more, so stay tuned for that next year!

Mini Maker Case SAL – Piecing the body panel

Hello again! If you’re just joining in to the Sew Along or looking for information about cutting and preparing all your pieces, please see my previous post here.

Today I’m going to be covering the assembly of the body panel with the zipper and back panel. This is pages four and five of the pattern. I have updated the pattern to correct a couple updates and you can download the newest file here.

In this post I’ll be sharing tips on working with zippers, a pattern hack for adding zipper tabs and a video for adding the back panel which is quite easy to do, but hard to explain in photos and words. So, let’s get started!

The below video shows FIG H from the pattern, the first step in installing your zipper.

If you’re new to sewing zippers, there are several ways to do it! You don’t necessarily need a special foot or anything fancy, though every machine is different so it’s hard to generalize these tips. In this pattern, you will need to use a 1/4″ seam allowance. I typically sew my zippers on with my standard 1/4″ piecing foot. The thing you need to account for is having enough clearance to the left of your foot so that you are not running the zipper teeth under your presser foot.

Many of you know I always sew on older machines, but many of the same principals apply. Below is a short video explaining the feet I use and how I adjust for my seam allowance.

If you have questions about your specific machine or using a specific foot on your machine, I recommend doing a google search for your machine model and “sewing a zipper”, “zipper foot” etc. There are endless tutorials and videos out there!

Also, don’t forget to visit the Sew Along Facebook group, it’s the best place to ask questions and get personalized help!

Below you can see me piecing my zipper using the setup previously explained.

You will continue through the directions on page four to finish the zippered body panel.

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Now we’re on to the back panel and the zipper tab hack!  The zipper tab is just a handy little addition that gives you something to hold onto when opening and closing your zipper. Truth be told, I intended to add this to the pattern, but was rushing and forgot. So, here it is! You can see the little tab in action in the back panel video farther down in this post.

To create the zipper tabs, cut four pieces 1.5″ wide x 1.25″ high (Note, my tabs are an extra 1/4″ wide in the photo above, but I decided they were too long and trimmed them down). Place two pieces right sides together and piece them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top, bottom and one side. This will leave one side open. Turn your piece right side out and press. Repeat with the other two pieces to create two tabs total.

The zipper tabs will be added when piecing on the back panel. The above photo shows the first step of piecing the back panel both with and without the tabs in place. This is FIG N in the pattern. If adding the tabs, place one tab with the raw edge along the left raw edge of the body panel, centering the tab across your zipper (see above right). Pin or glue in place and continue with the back panel directions for FIG N as written.

A quick note about a pattern update. The fusible fleece for the back panel lining piece had a discrepancy in the original pattern. It read 5.5″ in one place and 4.5″ in another. The pattern has been updated and the correct size is 5.5″. If your piece is cut to 5.5″ it will look like the photo below. If you cut your piece to 4.5″, you fleece will be a half inch short on the top and bottom indicated by the dashed lines below and this is no problem at all, it will not affect the finished piece!

The next step in piecing the body panel is to connect it to the other side. This step is easy, but difficult to illustrate in photos. Below is a video showing the steps from FIG O through FIG R in the pattern and I hope it helps!

This video also shows how to place the second zipper tab and how they function.

One more quick note – the fusible fleece on the lining IS intentionally 1″ shorter on either side, despite the seam allowance being 1/2″. This is to account for bulk when the 1/2″ seam allowance is folded over on itself filling the extra 1/2″ gap.

I hope these tips and videos have been helpful! You will now continue working through these steps at your own pace until next week when we will begin the final assembly! Continue to share your progress photos on social media with the sew along hashtags AND stay tuned to my feed on Instagram for some prizes!

Mini Maker Case SAL Kickoff – Cutting & Prep

Happy Monday, friends! It’s time to kick off the Mini Maker Case Sew Along 2020, so let’s jump right in!

I want to first say that I’m SO thrilled that over 2600 of you are sewing along over these next two weeks! It’s going to be a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see all your finished cases. If you’re just joining in, please take a minute to join the sew along email list here and check out the full schedule and SAL specifics here.

I will have two posts this week as we begin preparing all our case pieces. Today I will be talking about cutting, working with your interfacing, and preparing the top & bottom of the case. Thursday I will share some tips about sewing up the body panel with the zipper – don’t fear zipper newbies. We got you! We will be working through the pattern in the order it’s written, so you can follow along and work ahead at any time!

I’ve also created a Facebook Group for the Sew Along that you can find here. This will be a perfect place for posting questions and getting answers much quicker than I can provide due to the large number of participants! You can also share additional tips or tricks you use along the way and share photos of your work.

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Now let’s get started! If you haven’t yet posted one, I’d love to see a photo of your fabric pull for the case! if you are Instagram, please share it with the tags #MiniMakerCaseSAL2020 and #minimakercase. If you are not on social media, you can email me and I’ll share some in my next post.

The first step in the pattern is cutting, directions on page 2 of the pattern, and above you can see all my pieces laid out. Please pay close attention to the measurements in the pattern, as some of them may be unusual to you, such as 5/8 (.625) and 7/8 (.875). Click here for a tutorial on how to read a ruler if you have not cut these sizes before.

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I fussy cut about 99% of all the fabric that touches my fingers (which is partly why I’m sooo slow at everything, but alas…), so I made a down and dirty video with my favorite tip for fussy cutting using tape on your quilters ruler. I hope you find it helpful!

I use the same trick for fussy cutting all my pieces, such as the handle. Because I’m a visual person, I often “mock-up” things when I can’t make a decision. Below you can see I folded up a fabric scrap to help decide how to fussy cut my handle.

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The next steps are to create your handle (optional!) and the top & bottom of the case. You can find these directions on page 3 of the pattern. Before we get into that, I want to talk a little about interfacing. The notes section on page one of the pattern covers the interfacings used and talked about some substitutions. I know supplies are harder to find and aquire right now, so if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask your location store or an online seller if something you’re looking at would be a suitable substitute. I also recommend looking at the Pellon website where you can find specific details on each interfacing that may help you choose a substitution.

If you have never used interfacing or the interfacing specified in this pattern, PLEASE be sure to read the directions that come with them so you know how to properly work with them. For example, you can press directly on the non-fusible side of the Shape-Flex, but you cannot do this with the Fusible Fleece or the Peltex or it will stick to your iron. If you do happen to make a mistake, I’ll share my favorite iron tip – Faultless Hot Iron Cleaner! Once I learned of this product, I am NEVER without it! I should probably buy some stock, actually…

Since you cannot press directly on the Peltex, sometimes you have to get creative when you need a specific placement, so the short video below shows how I center my Peltex on the top and bottom case pieces.

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Now you’re ready to start your handle and the top and bottom of the case. I don’t have much to add on these steps as they are detailed in the pattern, but I do have one quick note about the handle. The size and placement of the handle is specifically crafted to best hold and distribute the weight of the iron in the case. I tried a variety of different sizes and placements and found this to be best. You are welcome to adjust the size or placement of your handle, but I wanted to point out the intention of how it’s written.

Another general tip I have that will come in handy as you begin this project is about using Frixion pens for marking. If you’ve never used one before, they’re basically like magic. You can find them online and at most office supply stores. The ink disappear with heat via rubbing (if using on paper) or with a hot iron. I use them ALL THE TIME for marking placement, measurements etc. One important thing to note though is you will want to do a test on a fabric scrap to make sure the pen doesn’t leave a residual mark after ironing it. It’s rare, but it happens. Sometimes on darker fabrics, you will see a faint light line. I often use it sparingly, in inconspicuous places and only after testing. Also, if you buy the ball-point style, you can get refill packs!

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That covers it for today! Before we go, just a few extras…

At the end of the Sew Along, I will be picking one winner to receive a pink Mini Oliso Iron! I will also have a couple other prizes along the way that I will share next week. Winners will be drawn at random from all photos posted on Instagram with #minimakercasesal2020 and #minimakercase or emailed to me if you do not use social media. You are welcome to post as many progress photos of your case as you wish and each photo counts for an entry!

I encourage everyone participating to follow the #MiniMakerCaseSAL2020 hashtag and spend some time browsing it to find new friends to follow and comment on photos to encourage everyone along (you don’t need an Instagram account to view the photos). It’s a great place to ask questions or see if others need help. You are also always welcome to leave a comment on this post or email me with any specific questions you may have, I’m always happy to help!

This Thursday I will have the next post in the Sew Along talking about the body panel and zipper, so work at your own pace until then and share your progress!

Happy stitching!
~ Nicole

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.

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!