Meet the Hackers: Con Bravo

Friday is the start of Con Bravo in Hamilton, Ontario.

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From the ConBravo site:

ConBravo! is a three-day festival of YouTube, gaming, music, anime, and just about everything else your geeky heart desires. The festival is dedicated to fandom, equipped with consoles, arcades, LAN parties, panels, workshops, concerts, guest appearances, and a whole lot more.

Most of all, we’re focused on independent and community creators; people who bring fandom to life. It’s what makes us different from any other show out there, and promises an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

I will be there! Megan from Absynthetika will also be joining me at table M01 in the Artist Alley.

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I will have my special NES Sampler quilt and the Lap sized Tardis quilt with their patterns available.  I will also be on two panels.

Copyright Basics for Crafters and Artists
Webster A
9:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Copyright must be considered when creating art. Learn what you can and can’t do based upon copyrighted images. Non copyrighted items are also covered.

Artist Alley 101
Webster C
8:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Ready to hawk your handmade wares at cons, but have no clue where to start? Come get the low-down on all the basics of artist alley participation!

So if you are in the Hamilton area, swing by and say hi!

 

A Brand New Pattern!

Today is a very exciting day for me.  A little over a month ago, Nicole and I launched the pattern inspired by the Tardis.

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Today we are launching a new pattern in our series that is inspired by Totoro.

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Not only am I excited about the new pattern in our line, I am also excited about our brand new pattern store on Craftsy!! Craftsy is a site I have always loved for it’s patterns, tutorials, and community of crafters.  After the launch of the Tardis pattern last month I did a lot of research into the best way to bring you our patterns digitally and Craftsy came out on top.  You can even follow our shop to see when we add new patterns! 

The coolest thing about Craftsy is you can upload your finished projects and tag them through the patterns!  This allows everyone looking at the pattern to see your finished quilt and appreciate it.  I have uploaded the quilts I made when designing the patterns and can’t wait to see the quilts you make!

Can’t quilt but want to learn?  These are both beginner patterns.  If you know how to use a rotary cutter and straight edge and can sew a 1/4″ seam, you can make these patterns.

The next two weekends I will be at Con Bravo and GenCon.  The finished Totoro pattern won’t be ready for ConBravo, but we will have it ready for GenCon!  If you are going to GenCon, swing by.  We would love to show you the patterns.

Time for Teaching

The blog is a day late today because I spent yesterday teaching a throw pillow class at my local Family Centre.  The Family Centre has been super generous to me allowing me to use their room to pin my quilts.  In return I offered to teach sewing classes.

It was the first class I taught with my new bank of sewing machines.  I wanted to teach basic sewing skills, but a lot of people that want to take those classes don’t have sewing machines.  I managed to find a group of Brother machines at a great price so I can now teach basic skills even if you don’t have a machine of your own!

I found some cool fall fabrics when I was in Lancaster last month and LOVED the amazing pillows everyone made.

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Every single person was able to use the machines (I had a lot of people that have never used one before) and finish their pillows on their own!  I can’t wait to teach more classes at GenCon in three weeks.  I will be bringing the machines with me.  If you are going to GenCon and want to sign up for a throw pillow or dice bag class, you can see them here.

If you would like me to teach at your local family centre, library, quilt store, or sewing store, here are the workshops I currently offer (I can always add more).

Sew a Throw Pillow 1.5 hours – 2 hours (Machines provided if needed)
                  Use a sewing machine to create a 14” throw pillow. Learn how to use a sewing machine, sew a semi-invisible zipper, & use a ¼” foot.

Sew a Dice Bag 1.5 hours (Machines provided if needed)
                  Use a sewing machine to create a 4×6” character themed drawstring bag. Learn how to use a sewing machine & an overlock vertical foot.

Copyright Basics for Arists and Crafters 1 hour (lecture)
Copyright is something artists and crafters have to consider when they create their art. Learn about what you can and can’t do based upon copyrighted images. We also take a look at basing art off of non copyrighted images.

Make your own pixel patterns 3 hours (lecture)
Learn how to create a pixelated image, turn it into a quilt pattern, and how to pick the right fabrics for your image.

Make your own pixel patterns 12 hours
In the 12 hour workshop we do everything in the 3 hour lecture and then create our quilt tops.  Learn how to strip piece to create your quilt in the most efficient way possible.  Also learn how to line up your seams to have crisp points in your finished quilt.

Have them get in touch!

 

2016 Row by Row

June 21st started one of my favorite times of year for Quilting with Row by Row.

What is Row by Row?

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All 50 States and Canada, too!

How about this… it’s like a shop hop, but it’s not… no fees, no cards to stamp, and all summer to play! Simply visit any of the participating shops and receive a free pattern for a row in a quilt. Combine your rows in any way to create a unique quilt that represents the fun you had traveling throughout the summer. Travel with friends, discover new quilt shops and have fun collecting rows!

Prizes and collectibles!

Create a quilt using at least 8 different 2016 rows from 8 different 2016 participating RxR shops and be the first to bring it into a participating shop to win a stack of 25 fat quarters (6-1/4 yards of fabric!). Use that shop’s row in your quilt and win a bonus prize! Click here for more details.

Exclusive Fabric Plates™ by Zebra Patterns will be available in many Row by Row quilt shops. Each one is unique! Collect a bunch to create fun projects, sewing studio wall art or even a fun backing for your quilt.

Be watching for pins, t-shirts, caps and even more Row by Row licensed items featuring the Row by Row Home Sweet Home logo.

Each area has it’s own Facebook page. Like the page from the areas you visit to see pics of the rows, shop displays, winning quilts and fabric plate projects. Click here to find your Row by Row area!

So I need your help!  Starting this Saturday on Craft Hackers I am going to feature stores that are participating in Row by Row with theirs rows, fabric plates, and any other goodies they are doing.  I can only travel so far and collect so much, so I need you to do it for me!  Take pictures of your favorite quilt store or stores, their row by row, and their fabric plates and send them to me!  Want me to promote your blog, site, quilts, or anything sewing related as well?  Make sure to include it!  You can include yourself, family or friends in the picture, or just send me pictures of the store and goodies.

This will be a multi week event and will happen every Saturday for as long as I have pictures and stores to share (or the hop ends on Sept 6, whichever comes first).  I will share the pictures and stores in the order I receive them, so get on it!

You can send me a message through my Facebook, tweet it at me, or send me an email to tnitnetny@yahoo.com.

Have fun hopping!

Attend a Class!

After we release our GenCon schedule of classes I was asked if I would teach any classes other places.  I have good news if you are in the London, Ontario area!  I will be teaching a throw pillow class in two weeks on Wednesday July 13th at 5pm.

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You read that right, it is only $5!!  There are only a few seats available, so register right away if you would like to take the class.

Our classes at GenCon are also filling up fast.  Make sure you check out the classes and register!

If you would like me to teach at your local quilt store or quilt guild, have them contact me.  You can see the classes I offer on my website.

 

Too Many Games

Friday is the start of Too Many Games in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

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TooManyGames is for anyone interested in video games, board games, CCG’s, and tabletop gaming. The event will be held on June 24-26, 2016. TooManyGames has been known for its video game music concerts, chiptunes, industry panels, panels by famous YouTubers, and brand new game releases for old consoles.

We will be there!  I am so happy to have Nicole back with me.  I felt strange two weeks ago knowing she was at a convention and I wasn’t with her.  You can find us at booth B40.

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I received my new Tardis pattern in the mail yesterday!

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I will have them for the first time at Too Many Games.  If you would like to see the new pattern, swing by!

 

Patterns are now available!

Over the past six years I have been contacted many times asking if I could sell my patterns. My answer has always been no and there were 3 major factors as to why I couldn’t.

  • I was afraid of infringing on copyrights.
  • I was afraid of people making my patterns and selling the quilts.
  • I was afraid no one could understand my patterns. I quilt in a different way than most people.

I am happy to say that I am no longer afraid.

After talking to a few lawyers I believe that I understand copyright law as much as possible outside of studying law (it is a subject that has never been simply black and white). The short of it for my situation is that as long as the patterns are either based on public use images or are completely unique designs that do not use trademarks, then I can sell my patterns. Even knowing this I still had my other fears to contend with and filed the idea under ‘someday maybe, but not right now’.

During the Indiegogo campaign in February however, an interesting thing happened. A fellow quilter that I admire and look up to made a pledge for a reward item, even though she could probably make it herself. It was at that point I realized that even if someone else made and sold one of my patterns, it still wouldn’t be made by me with my label on it, or with my high quality standards for creation. With that second fear now conquered, Nicole and I decided to see if we could overcome my 3rd hurdle; could other quilters understand my way of quilting.

Tackling it head on, in November we launched the NES quilt a long. Each month we’ve been releasing one block at a time and fellow quilters have been making them. After several rounds of feedback and adjustments we learned that yes, people can follow my patterns!

That only left the grueling task of making the patterns themselves. Nicole and I have been working hard on designs and ideas for the last three months and we are excited to present the first pattern in our new line, the British Police Box!

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As of today, it is now available for sale! Anytime a new pattern is finished I will announce them on my social media, as well as list them on my website when they are available for purchase. Our hope is to have these patterns eventually release on a regular basis. The best thing about the first pattern we chose is you don’t have to be an experienced quilter!  As long as you know how to use a sewing machine and a rotary cutter, you can make it!

So head over to our store if you would like to purchase the first in our brand new pattern line.

The Evolution of Quiltoni at Conventions

This past weekend I set up my quilts, pillows, and dice bags in a 10×10 foot space at Wizard World Philly.  I received a lot of surprise and comments that I was able to restock so quickly after the loss in October.  It got me thinking about how my set up and business has changed through the years.  So today I am going to share my seven year journey with you.

I started out selling at conventions at Baltimore Comic Con seven years ago.

I started with 2 quilts, a few flannel baby blankets, and perler bead magnets.  I also brought a few of Nicole’s dolls with me.  I sold one of the quilts and almost all of the magnets and I was hooked on conventions.

By Baltimore Comic Con 2012 Nicole and I had our system down.  I was still selling the magnets, but had started to make embroidery pillows with the quilts.  This picture makes me a little sad because my tshirt quilt sample on the right was part of the quilts stolen last year.

The debut of Awesome Con in 2013 is one of my favorite memories.  It was the first time I sold every single quilt I brought to a convention.  I had decided to stop making perler bead things and concentrated solely on quilts and pillows.

At Awesome Con 2014 I decided to try out iron on patches.  This was also the start of our  more modern set ups.

Indiana Comic Con is where Carol made the suggestion to use quilts draped in the front to display more and make the table look better.

GenCon last year was the first time I built a large display using a lot of intricate pieces.  It was a lot of work, but worth it.

The final evolution happened at New York Comic Con, where Amanda suggested the draping of the panel quilts to show them off even more.

I bought a couple hand made wood signs for the most recent convention and I love the way they look.

It has been a long road with a lot of changes.  My set up will continually change into the future and will never look the same from show to show.  I am very happy with my progression and will hopefully be around for many more years.

Wizard World Philly

For the first time ever, Nicole and I are splitting up and attending two different conventions on the same weekend!  Tomorrow is the start of Wizard World Philly where I will be.

We aren’t doing any special panels or events at the convention which means I will be at the booth the entire time!  You can find me here:

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Nicole will be at the head of Artist Alley with a special guest addition to the Craft Hacker family, Fantastical Menagerie.  You can find both Nicole (Craftigurumi) and Fantastical Menagerie here at K1:

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I have a few special surprises in store for quilters!  Keep an eye on the Quiltoni social media this weekend or stop by Philly and say hi!

 

 

My Moose Stained Glass quilt

I originally posted this over the last 5 weeks on Craft Hackers.  I decided to rewrite it here in it’s entirety for my quilt loving followers.  Just as a warning, this post is REALLY long because it includes 5 weeks of posts detailing how I made my quilt.

I had the pleasure of meeting and taking a class from Joni Newman on April 22nd.  She is known for her stunning quilts, especially the stained glass technique.  I decided I wanted something that truly shows Canada in my quilt, so I chose her Majestic Moose pattern.

Majestic-Moose

Step 1 – Trace the image onto a piece of black fabric

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I used a light box when doing my tracing.  I kept losing the lines of my pencil and had to keep turning it off and on.  Joni suggested doing this against a window on an overcast day.  She said it is light enough to see through and draw, but dark enough that you can see your markings.

You may have noticed I used a quilting pencil when I drew my moose onto the fabric.  I learned that this is NOT a good idea.  It may be hard to completely wash out the pencil and if the fabric being fused onto it doesn’t cover up the pencil lines, then it may be seen in the finished product.  Joni suggested using a chalk pencil instead.  The chalk will easily wash away.  It’s a good thing this Moose will probably be for me, or a gift.

Step 2 – Reverse the drawing and trace it onto your fusible web.

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I also used my light box for this step and it was a lot easier than the previous step.  I thought it was pretty straight forward and used my quilting pencil again for the drawing.  That was perfectly fine and worked, except when I was ironing them onto the fabric and cutting them out, the pencil would rub off.  Joni suggested using a fine tipped sharpie.  The paper will be removed from the fabric, so won’t be seen at all.

Step 3 – Cut apart the shapes between the lines, not on them.

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This was a pretty easy step.  It just took time.  When you are cutting your paper make sure you use paper scissors, not fabric scissors.  You don’t want to dull your good scissors!  The biggest thing to keep in mind when cutting them apart is not to lose the little pieces of paper.  Joni suggested Ziploc bags and labeling the different groups of pieces.  I thought “Oh, I can keep it straight and just keep them in piles”.  Guess who lost one of the pieces?

Step 4 – Fuse pieces to the wrong side of your fabric.

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This is where I decided what fabric I wanted to pick for each design.  I decided to go with a solid color for the moose without the shading the original has.  I bought a kit from Joni so I used a lot of the same fabrics, just made different choices.  Once the pieces were ironed on the correct fabric, I cut them out along the lines.

Step 5 – Place the cut out shapes in place (peeling off the paper) and iron in place.

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You notice that lovely area on the front leg of the moose?  I lost it somehow.  I didn’t keep track of all of my pieces and somehow it went missing.  So I pulled the pattern out again and made another one.

To prepare for step 6, I first had to decide if I was going to sew the pieces in place first, or pin it and quilt the entire thing to hold the pieces in place.  I decided to sew them first and then quilt along the black lines.

It was important to me for the thread to match the fabrics.

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Step 6: Sew, quilt, and bind the top.

At first I wanted to sew them on free hand to move a little faster.  As you see, that didn’t work out too well.  I just couldn’t seem to keep it moving along the edges.

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So I decided to just sew them on as normal applique using a rough edge straight stitch.  I actually started to get the hang of it!

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As you see, I still need some practice, but I am sure the more I make the better I will get.  Next I needed to get that 9 patch border finished.  I followed the directions exactly like Joni had them to make the 9 patches.

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After assembling them, I wasn’t sure I wanted to make it just like she had in the sample and wanted to play around with the layout.  I pulled out my brand new design wall and used a few different layouts until I got one I liked.

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Then it was just a matter of sewing the blocks together.

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I ran into a small problem at this point.  I trimmed down my moose to show the right amount of black that I wanted to show.  I didn’t read ahead in the directions that it had to be a certain size for the borders to work.  Oops!  I fixed the problem by adding on a little bit of brown to each end.

When I assemble my quilts, I tape the backing to the ground, smooth the batting over it, then place the top.  I use quilting curved safety pins to hold it in place.  I always decide how I want to quilt it before pinning it so I don’t hit the pins with my sewing needle.

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Next is the quilting.  For this quilt I decided to use black thread.  I quilted some of the black areas inside the quilt and meandered around the border.

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After removing the pins and trimming the edges, it was time to bind it.  I make all of my own binding and add it on using my machine.

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I am pretty happy with the finished product.  Even though  I made quite a few mistakes, it is hard to tell with the finished product.  I have learned when you make mistakes in your crafts, it is important not to give up and just incorporate those mistakes in the finished product.  Make it look like you did it on purpose!

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Next week I will be at Wizard World Philly!!  Make sure you swing by and say hi!