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

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

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 :)!

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!

Mini Maker Station SAL 2019 Part 2

Hey, Gang! How are your Maker Stations coming along? This is Part 2 of the Mini Maker Station SAL and if you missed the kick off, you can find Part 1 here.

This week we’re moving on to the pin cushion and fabric basket and today I’m going to share some helpful tips for keeping your basket nice and crisp, and just a note, these same tips apply to making any size or shape of my free sturdy fabric basket pattern.

Below I’m sharing some IMPORTANT tips on how to create a crisp basket that keeps its shape! I have made a video tutorial of these steps and am not able to post it here, but you can find it in my Instagram stories here. It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to watch and follow these steps closely! There are also additional notes below that are not in the videos about adding the magnets, so be sure to also read through this post.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I don’t recommend substituting the Peltex 71F interfacing used in the basket, because it’s what gives the basket it’s stiffness and shape.

Once your Peltex piece is cut to shape according to the diagrams on page 5 of the pattern, you will first score along the dashed lines on the non-fusible side as indicated on the diagram. The fusible side will feel a bit textured, while the non fusible side will be smooth.

My favorite tool for scoring is a herra marker, but you can also use a scoring tool, a bone folder, or the back edge of a butter knife.

Use a ruler edge as a guide and press with firm pressure, running the tool back and forth a few times to make a deep crease. Repeat for all the fold lines indicated on the diagram.

Once you’ve created all the score lines, working one at a time, fold along each score and rub a more blunt tool (such as the other end of your herra marker or the handle of your scissors) along each fold, pressing hard to really accentuate the fold.

The last step is to fold everything up on itself and place the folded Peltex piece under something heavy, such as a stack of books or under your sewing machine, for a few hours or preferably overnight.

After your piece has been pressed you will see all the edges are nice and crisp and the basket holds its shape. Any little “give” that it has left will be held together by the fabric body of the basket which you will see in a few more steps.

Moving onto the magnets used in the basket, when securing them under the SF101 interfacing, I first press both short edges and one long edge of the interfacing to the inside bottom of my main basket fabric. I then slip the magnets through the open side and hold two in place at a time using my thumb and forefinger while pressing around them with the iron in my other hand.

Work slowly and use steam, but be careful to not burn yourself. Be sure all areas of the interfacing around the magnets are pressed well and secure. Your magnets may move around under the interfacing a bit, but just be sure they cannot slip out any sides or slide toward each other.

Now you can place your Peltex basket form into your main body fabric and you’ll see that it holds the peltex together nice and tight and perfectly in place.

For the last step, I have just one tip about preparing the basket lining. After cutting my basket lining piece to size according to the pattern diagram, I prefer to press the first fold  of the folder edge before sewing the lining to shape. I find it easier to measure and press while the piece is flat. I mark a line twice the size of my fold, so in this case the fold is 3/8″ and I mark my line at 3/4″. I can then fold the raw edge to the marked line and press.

I do this on both long edges of the lining piece and then I sew it to shape, place it inside my basket and fold the top edge over. Ta da! A beautiful, sturdy basket ready to hold your notions!

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

The last piece of your Mini Maker Station is the totally adorable little pincushion that you’ll want to make a dozen of! You can make them with the magnet and stick them to any metal surface, such as a work table or metal sewing machine, or you can make them without to simply use as a pinnie anywhere or give as gifts!

I don’t have any extra tips for you about making the pin cushion as the pattern is very detailed, but if you have questions at any time though, you’re always welcome to email me here or contact me on social media.

The Sew Along will officially wrap up on October 4 and I can’t wait to see your finished pieces! Remember to share your progress photos on social media with the hashtags #minimakerstationSAL2019 and #minimakerstation!

Mini Maker Station SAL Part 2

Hey gang! How are your Maker Stations coming along? This week we’re moving on to the pin cushion and fabric basket and today I’m going to share some helpful tips for keeping your basket nice and crisp, and just a note, these same tips apply to making any size or shape of my sturdy fabric basket pattern.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I don’t recommend substituting the Peltex 71F interfacing used in the basket, because it’s what gives the basket it’s stiffness and shape. I’ll also be posting some videos of the steps below in my instagram stories.

Once your Peltex piece is cut to shape according to the diagrams on page 5 of the pattern, you will first score along the dashed lines on the non-fusible side as indicated on the diagram. The fusible side will feel a bit textured, while the non fusible side will be smooth.

My favorite tool for scoring is a herra marker, but you can also use a scoring tool, a bone folder, or the back edge of a butter knife.

Use a ruler edge as a guide and press with firm pressure, running the tool back and forth a few times to make a deep crease. Repeat for all the fold lines indicated on the diagram.

Once you’ve created all the score lines, working one at a time, fold along each score and rub a more blunt tool (such as the other end of your herra marker or the handle of your scissors) along each fold, pressing hard to really accentuate the fold.

The last step is to fold everything up on itself and place the folded Peltex piece under something heavy, such as a stack of books or under your sewing machine, for a few hours or preferably overnight.

After your piece has been pressed you will see all the edges are nice and crisp and the basket holds its shape. Any little “give” that it has left will be held together by the fabric body of the basket which you will see in a few more steps.

Moving onto the magnets used in the basket, when securing them under the SF101 interfacing, I first press both short edges and one long edge of the interfacing to the inside bottom of my main basket fabric. I then slip the magnets through the open side and hold two in place at a time using my thumb and forefinger while pressing around them with the iron in my other hand.

Work slowly and use steam, but be careful to not burn yourself. Be sure all areas of the interfacing around the magnets are pressed well and secure. Your magnets may move around under the interfacing a bit, but just be sure they cannot slip out any sides or slide toward each other.

Now you can place your Peltex basket form into your main body fabric and you’ll see that it holds the peltex together nice and tight and perfectly in place.

For the last step, I have just one tip about preparing the basket lining. After cutting my basket lining piece to size according to the pattern diagram, I prefer to press the first fold  of the folder edge before sewing the lining to shape. I find it easier to measure and press while the piece is flat. I mark a line twice the size of my fold, so in this case the fold is 3/8″ and I mark my line at 3/4″. I can then fold the raw edge to the marked line and press.

I do this on both long edges of the lining piece and then I sew it to shape, place it inside my basket and fold the top edge over. Ta da! A beautiful, sturdy basket ready to hold your notions!

We’re also working on the pincushion this week, but I don’t have any extra tips about that piece that aren’t included in the pattern. If you have questions at any time though, you’re always welcome to email me here or contact me on social media.

I’ll be officially wrapping up the sew along next Monday, February 18, and I can’t wait to see your finished pieces! Remember to share your progress photos on social media with the hashtags #minimakerstationSAL and #minimakerstation!

Oh, What Fun Blog Hop: Gift Giving Vessels

blog-hop-logo

Howdy, friends, I’m back! And I hope you’re ready to get crafty…

As I mentioned in my previous post, my (belated) stop on the Hawthorne Threads Oh, What Fun Blog Hop is all about easy-to-sew (and easy to customize!) projects that are perfect for holding holiday gifts. Ditch that wrapping paper! I’ll be talking about how modify my free Sturdy Fabric Basket pattern to create ANY SIZE finished piece and sharing an adorable fabric sack pattern that I think you’ll love.

This new in-house fabric line by Hawthorne Threads could not possibly be any cuter. I’m pretty sure I squealed a little when I first saw it. Some of the prints are perfectly holiday, but what I really love is that some of them are more neutral – winter themed, or just geometric – and can be used for a a variety of occasions, which I’ll talk about more later. So, let’s get to it!

dsc_1015-blog2

These Sturdy Fabric Baskets are one of my favorite things to make. They’re quick and easy, and useful for so many things (plus, totally adorable!). I initially created the pattern a couple years ago to make baskets for holding fat quarters, scraps, trims, and notions in my sewing room, and then made one for holding remotes in the living room, another for hair accessories in the bathroom, and one for next to the door to catch my husbands wallet, sunglasses and all the miscellaneous junk that lives in his pockets!

You can showcase a fun focal print or create any patchwork design you like (there are patchwork directions in the pattern). The original pattern size (shown above and below) finishes at 8″ wide by 5″ high and 5″ deep, and is perfect for mixed gift baskets of items such as bath & body products or edible treats, just to name a couple ideas. I love these baskets so much, I want to gift them to myself! I can do that, right? I mean, I DID make them.

Another great feature of this basket size is that it’s perfect for holding Christmas cards, so your recipient can repurpose it after it’s emptied. You can also give a bag of potpourri along with it and it can be used a cute holiday decoration!

dsc_0977-edit-blog

I used my favorite prints from Oh, What Fun on these two. The row of faces is cut from the border panel print and was the perfect size, and then I used the center of that panel (the cute confetti) to make the lining of the other basket. The ornament print is called Baubles and I also used it to make some cute gift tags which you’ll see later in the post. I added tiny pom pom trim to the basket shown above and I love the look! I tucked it under the lining foldover and glued it in place – super easy!

dsc_1033-blog

In the pattern file, I talk about using old belts or scraps of leather for the basket handles (which are optional.) I used scraps on both of these baskets. The gold was cut from a pouch I found at the thrift shop and the black is from a leather scrap pack I found at Hobby Lobby. I used embroidery floss to stitch them in place.

Thinner, lighter weight materials work best for the handles so they can bend easily. If your leather is too thick or sturdy, it can bow the sides of the basket out. You can also use ribbon, bias tape, or fabric in place of the leather.

dsc_0992-blog

———-

CUSTOMIZING YOUR BASKET

I receive emails quite often asking if I can resize the basket pattern cutting directions to create a specific sized piece that someone wants to make, so updating the pattern on how you can do this yourself has been on my to-do list for awhile, and this seemed like the perfect time! With a little math (don’t worry, it wont hurt too bad!), you can create any size basket you wish.

I’ve updated the original Study Fabric Basket PDF pattern file to include these directions and you can download it here.

Now I’ll show you a couple different sized baskets I created to get your creative juices flowing!

dsc_1083-blog

I wanted to make a piece that was sized for kitchen utensils and accessories, because that is another favorite set of mine to gift (perfect for housewarmings and showers, too!). This basket measures 4″ wide by 4″ deep and 6″ tall and I filled it with a dish towel, pot holder, whisk, spoon, spatula, measuring spoons and cookie cutters.

I used my favorite Baubles print in the Glacier Blue colorway and the lining is from Hawthorne’s Stardust basics line, which comes in 54 colors and coordinates so nicely with Oh, What Fun because it looks like snow!

dsc_1156-blog

And let’s not forget the guys or hard-to-shop-for friends and family on our lists! This basket measures 4″ wide by 4″ deep and 3″ high and holds four shot glasses with stir sticks and two mini bottles of liquor. It would also make a fun and inexpensive secret santa gift. Plus, this small basket is a nice size for later holding keys, jewelry, sewing notions or many other things. It also fits a pillar candle or mug.

dsc_1158-edit-blog

The handles on both of these baskets were also cut from old thrift shop pouches. Both are vinyl, so they had white backings. I left the white showing on the yellow handles and for the blue handles on the short basket, I glued a piece of the dark blue stardust to the backside before trimming them down. It worked out so well! I also did this to the gold handles on the treats basket shown at the beginning of the post.

dsc_1169-blog

———-

BUTTON LUNCH BAGS & GIFT TAGS

I have one more fun pattern to share, because it’s just perfect for gifting homemade treats (or a million other things) and then your recipient also has an adorable and useful little sack! I’ve had this Button Lunch Bag pattern from Purl Soho bookmarked forever and made a few modifications to dress them up and make them quilting cotton friendly.

dsc_1199-blog

The pattern calls for a sturdy cotton (such as a canvas), uses one solid fabric, and has a rolled hem, so I made a few easy changes to make them work with my materials and the look I was going for.

I wanted my bags to have a bottom accent fabric, so I pieced together the full panel before assembling the bag and then added some cute trim along the seam line. Also, since a rolled top hem wouldn’t look as nice with a printed quilting cotton, I instead used binding around the top of the bag. I added it last after assembling the bags. I used Pellon Shapeflex (SF101) to give the bags some extra bulk and I love the feel of them. I added the interfacing after piecing my full panel, before assembling the bag.

dsc_1282-blog

The original pattern uses binding to hide the inner seams, but I just used a wide, tight zig zag stitch which was quick and easy, but gives the seams a clean look and prevents fraying. Alternatively, if using binding around the top, you could make a full lining for the bag. Simply make a second bag, but with right sides in instead of out, slide it inside your assembled outer bag, and then stitch the top binding down through both, holding them together.

For these bags, I used two of the prints from Oh, What Fun that are not holiday specific. They are definitely festive enough for holiday gifting (especially with some metallic trim!), but keep the bags neutral enough to be reused all year long.

I used the Baubles print that I love so much to make the little tag on the cookies. I fussy cut the ornament circles from the print and used embroidery floss to hand stitch them onto felt cut with pinking shears. I then stitched down a small, folded piece of felt onto the top to make the hanger. You can use a light print or solid cotton on the reverse side to write or stamp a name.

I had so much fun with these, I couldn’t stop! They’re going on all my gifts this year, and I think I’ll hang a few from my tree, too!

tags

———-

I truly hope you have found this post useful and inspiring! All of these projects are easy and satisfying because they sew up quick and look totally adorable when done. This year I challenge you to ditch the wrapping paper and make some “gift wrap” instead!

As always, if you have any questions about the pattern along the way, you can contact me here anytime. Please be specific, so I can best assist you.

dsc_1192-blog2

———-

 oh-what-fun-giveaway-image

TIME FOR GIVEAWAY! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED – THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!)

Who loves this Oh, What Fun fabric as much as I do? Would you like to win THREE YARDS for yourself?! To enter, please leave a comment on this post telling me what you would make with it and I will pick a winner at random on Friday! (Giveaway closed – congrats to @kgmcfall and thank you to all who entered!)

Now before you go, be sure to check out the other stops on the Blog Hop and see all the fabulous makes!

Monday 11/14 – Sew Sophie Lynn
Tuesday 11/15 – Hawthorne Threads
Wednesday 11/16 – Olivia Jane Handcrafted
Thursday 11/17 – Holly Gets Quilty
Monday 11/21 – Violette Field Threads

Happy Stitching!
~ nicole

dsc_1001-blog

Oh, What Fun Blog Hop (and the reality of life)

header

Hello and happy Friday, friends! If you have popped over from the Hawthorne Threads blog, you will have seen that today is my day on the Oh, What Fun Blog Hop, and I have to start by saying oh, what fun it has been to work with these stinkin’ adorable fabrics! #icouldntresist

This line is new to the amazing in-house collections that Hawthorne Threads designs and prints digitally. If you are not familiar with their in-house lines, for the love of fabric go check them out now! I guarantee you will be awestruck and overwhelmed. When I browse their site I go into MAKE ALL THE THINGS overload.

—–

Upon first seeing Oh, What Fun, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. When it comes to gift giving, I often keep things simple and utilitarian. I’m a big fan of food gifts and useful things such as bath and body products, and my favorite thing about giving them is making the presentation adorable. Christmas is such a visual holiday. We can’t help but feel warm, peaceful and excited all at the same time when we see lights, Christmas trees and beautifully wrapped gifts, so I find the extra time and effort that goes into presentation is totally worth it for me.

So, I decided my post would be all about easy-to-sew gift giving vessels and adorable extras to decorate them with. Alright, so where are the projects, you ask?! Well, that’s where reality comes in.

I think we all realize, though sometimes forget, that blogs and social media are merely a glimpse at the highlights of life. I, for the most part, keep my everyday life and reality separate from my sewing adventures, and am often able to do this without interruption. But, the truth is that sometimes I fail. Sometimes it is too much to balance and we have to admit defeat. I am totally beating myself up that today is my day to share and that I am not ready, but the reality is that while I am here making pretty things, my husband is away in a dangerous country fighting for our freedom. There are fire fights, there are daily attacks, there are friendly workers who one day just decide to strap on a suicide vest and blow themselves up in the middle of the base. There are injuries and there are deaths. Too many lately. And this is my everyday reality.

The last six months have been rough, the last few weeks have been especially rough, and the last seven days have been excruciating, but all that matters at this moment as I write this, is that my husband is now home. Reality shifts again, for a little while, with different struggles and different challenges for now, and then eventually we do it all over again.

—–

So, on that note, I ask you to please stay tuned and pop back next week to see my finished Oh, What Fun projects, because I promise you will love them! I will be sharing some variations of my Sturdy Fabric Basket pattern AND doing a tutorial on how you can modify the pattern to create ANY size and shape basket you like! This is something I get emails about ALL the time, so I’m excited to finally get that together for you. I’ll also be showing you a few other cute patterns and embellishment ideas AND will have an awesome giveaway where you can win three yards of Oh, What Fun for yourself!

In the meantime, go check out the other stops on the Blog Hop and see all the fabulous makes!

Monday 11/14 – Sew Sophie Lynn
Tuesday 11/15 – Hawthorne Threads
Wednesday 11/16 – Olivia Jane Handcrafted
Thursday 11/17 – Holly Gets Quilty
Friday 11/18 – Lillyella (that’s me!)
Monday 11/21 – Violette Field Threads

I hope you all have an awesome weekend, I’ll be back in a few days!
~ nicole

two

{Photos by Hawthorne Threads}

Maker Mat Sew-a-long Wrap up & Winners!

Undercover Maker Mat Sew-a-long | lillyella stitchery

Ok, can I just be cheesy for a minute and say we’re ALL winners?! Because the real joy is in creating something beautiful and functional for ourselves, or as a gift, which is equally awesome!

The best part about this sew-a-long has been hearing that you all enjoyed the motivation and being inspired by everyone else’s projects. I’m overjoyed that so many of you set aside a little time to do this for yourself after having it on your long list of things to accomplish!

My life has been insane the last few weeks, and while this is normal, it’s been exponential lately. I’ve still been trying to squeeze in time to make my own mats, since that is why I started this in the first place, but I’m not quite finished yet. I’m close though, so I’ll get there eventually!

If you’re still working on your mat, please be sure to still use the #undercovermakermatSAL and #undercovermakermat hashtags so we can all keep up with everyone’s projects! There are still many that are almost complete and I can’t wait to see them!

—–

Alright, onto business. I’ve said this before, but I have a love/hate relationship with prizes. They are so fun, but I hate that everyone can’t win. I know people get that’s just how it works, but who doesn’t love to win something?! I made the mistake of saying I would pick my three favorite finished projects, which I knew would be hard, but holy wow you guys! I seriously lost sleep over that task! I’m not just saying it to be nice, but your creativity was off the charts. So, please please please don’t hate me if I didn’t pick your mat for my favorites! Gah, the stress!

I hope you all take a minute to browse the SAL hashtag on Instagram (#undercovermakermatSAL), whether you participated or not. So much hard work and inspiration! And if you weren’t able to join in, you can download the free pattern anytime here.

prizes!

I also want to take another moment to thank the awesome sponsors who donated to this sew-a-long, Make Modern Magazine, Stash Builder Box and Stash Fabrics!

So, without further ado… here are my three favorite finished mats from the sew-a-long! And really, have I looked an hour later, or if I look again now, I might have picked three different ones. They were ALL amazing in their own unique way!

winners

My first favorite mat shown above is by Mara @acrafty_maker. Between the paper pieced words (so creative!!),  the hand quilting, and that pieced binding, her mat just blew me away!!

—–

winners2

My second top pick was by Meaghan @meaghanmacd. Aside from the fact that she used Tula (which is always my favorite), I love how she carried her theme through so well. The potion bottle and the skull and crossbones trim is the best, plus the piecing on the body of the mat is amazing! And having a precious bit of this fabric myself, I know how hard it is to use it, so I love that she was brave enough to cut into it and make something special for herself!

—–

winners3

Last, but certainly not least, is by Dori @redfeedsack. She wanted to do something creative for her mat and figured out a way to incorporate a technique she had been wanting to try. Her execution was flawless and adorable!

—–

I could gush on like this about every single mat in the hashtag, and I clearly cannot say that enough! But, since I have to go weed whack, I will now share the other winners that were drawn by random from all the posts in the sew-a-long. And yes, I did write down the name from every single post and draw them from a bowl. I think it’s the only fair way! (So if you’ve ever wondered why I’m so SLOW at everything, now you know why! 😉

winners-extra

In no particular order, the remaining winners shown above are as follows. You can click each name to see more photos of their mats in their instagram feeds!
Top row (L to R): @mywanderingpath, @robyntischner, @giedrabowser
Middle row: @mandyandydesigns, @chriscreer, @ladykquilts
Bottom row: @5kidsandacat, @adventuresofthesingingquilter, @quiltingrage

CONGRATS, everyone!! And a big huge smothering THANK YOU to everyone who participated and otherwise supported this Sew-a-long!

Now the important question is, what should we sew along next?!

—–

ADDITIONAL SEW-A-LONG POSTS:

Undercover Maker Mat Sew-a-long: All the details

PART TWO: September 6 – Kickoff, prizes and main body panel variations

PART THREE: September 8 – Accent Pocket Panels

PART FOUR: September 12 –Full Pocket Panel & Assembly

PART FIVE: September 15 – Optional Thread Catcher

PART SIX: September 16 – Sew-a-long Prizes

Who invented the hexagon, and why does bullying never end?

floor

Who invented the hexagon anyway? And are all quilters giving him or her credit? And while were at it, who invented the HST? I doubt that person is getting any royalties from all the HST pattern sales these days.

I am writing this post tonight after having an unfortunate interaction with another quilt artist that could have gone much differently.

deco hex rifle edit 1

I recently shared the above quilt I’m working on, using a pattern I drafted based on a very common floor tile design, which you can see at the beginning of this post. Julie Hirt has a similar pattern for sale called Hexie Tiles. Heck, lets even call it the same pattern. It is a common, basic shape after all.

I do not follow Julie and am not familiar with her work. Since this began it was brought to my attention that I liked a photo posted on another feed of someone making a variation of her pattern, which looks much different than my finished piece. You can see it further below in the post.

Without attempting to contact me personally or privately in any way, Julie commented on my photo and then immediately posted this accusatory and defamatory post on her instagram feed, which included my photo, and my name in the picture, and I was also tagged on the photo so people could click over to my account:

pic

I immediately began receiving negative comments, personal attacks and losing followers. I messaged her privately and as soon as I sent it, a message from her popped up to me, but she had already posted the above on Instagram BEFORE messaging me in any way.

Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. A hexagon is a basic geometric shape.
  2. I was inspired by the floor tile photos at the beginning of the post, and Julie says she was as well.
  3. I liked a photo posted on the Stash Fabrics account showing a variation of Julies pattern last December. I do not memorize every photo I see on Instagram when I’m scrolling before bed. And even if I had, the patterns look amazingly different. You can see it below and decide.
  4. If I had been privately messaged by Julie before she posted and took this public, this would not be here not.
  5. Though people don’t want to believe so, I would have been open to seeing her pattern, comparing dimensions, construction methods (such as paper piecing vs templates, Y seams vs no Y seams, etc). And if they were alike, I would have had no problem sharing her pattern.
  6. None of those things happened. I was pinned as a horrible, guilty copycat before even knowing her pattern existed. Even after Julie and I began dialogue, she refused to discuss it privately or like responsible adults. I am now the big bad, bully because I chose to defend myself, and because I have a larger following. Those things should not even be connected, but these are the slams I am getting.

My problem with all this is her behavior and the way she handled the situation. Julie is privately messaging people who commented in my favor, maybe even some of my followers. I only know from those who inform me. I don’t know what she is saying, but its a fact she has lies on her own blog post about this.

I’m simply sharing facts here, and it’s silly for anyone to think I’m wrong in doing so. Julie can continue to spin this anyway she pleases, but I just have trouble being supportive of someone who behaves this way.

Though she is saying she removed her IG post before I shared this, she did not. She refused to remove her post until I credited her pattern, still accusing me of copying.

———–

first

Here is the photo that I “liked” that was shared on the Stash Fabrics feed (not Julie’s feed last December). This is Julie’s “proof” that I copied. You can choose to believe that I liked this photo last December and then copied it seven months later and turned it into my quilt on the right.

second

Or you can believe that I saw the above photos (and more) posted on the Ihavethisthingwithfloors Instagram feed from March through June of this year and then created the quilt on the right, without copying her pattern.

All you have is my word and her word, and you can chose to believe either.

———–

She can say I am defaming her here, but there are no lies or false, slanderous comments in my words. I am simply sharing her words and her actions. I did not ignore messages or attempts to talk to me, I was not given a choice. I did not force her hand to post something rude and accusatory.  Julie has posted our entire private conversation on her blog, which I find to be distasteful, but you can read it if you’d like. I am not embarrassed by anything I said.

Does sharing all this make me the same as her? Sure. Which is why I usually avoid this kind of thing, but it sadly happens too often and it gets old and tiring. People need to be accountable for their actions and choices.

And yes, I removed my Instagram post about this topic. Not because I’m hiding or embarrassed or afraid of comments, but because I said I would after she removed hers.

I appreciate the supportive words from friends who know me, know I have no reason to copy someone, and can see this situation and my actions for what they are. For those who think I’m in the wrong here, I’m sorry you feel that way and I’m not going to spend my time personally messaging you to convince you otherwise. To me, the facts are clear.

I sew for enjoyment, or at least I used to. I make patterns to share that enjoyment with others. I’m trying not to let things like this suck the joy from me, but I’m really struggling with that at the moment. I don’t know if I will even finish this quilt. The sight of it literally makes me sick to my stomach, but I will set it aside for now and see how I feel later.