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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Class

 

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!

Cover

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!

Moose

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

Classes for GenCon are live!

This past Sunday classes went live for GenCon.  I was surprised how fast some of the classes are going.  If you would like to take a class from us while in Indianapolis, make sure you sign up soon.  One of Nicole’s classes is almost full!

Nicole is teaching one class:

Description:
Use a crochet hook & yarn to create your very own plush dinosaur egg. Learn basic crochet skills used in many amigurumi/plush crochet patterns.
I am teaching two classes:
Description:
Use a sewing machine to create a 4×6” character themed drawstring bag. Learn how to use a sewing machine & an overlock vertical foot.
Description:
Use a sewing machine to create a 14” character themed throw pillow. Learn how to use a sewing machine, sew a semi-invisible zipper, & use a ¼” foot.
I am so excited to be able to teach these classes.  GenCon is one of my favorite conventions.  If you would like to see any other types of classes, let me know!  I am always on the search for new classes and workshops to teach.
I am also on the hunt for quality testers for our new Quilt pattern line!  If you are a quilter and would like access to patterns before they are available and can commit to making the pattern within 2 weeks after receiving it, let me know.

 

Take a Class!

Are you  going to GenCon in August?  Are you considering going to GenCon and need an additional incentive?  Nicole and I are both teaching classes this year!  The GenCon classes and SPAs (activities that may or may not be game related) go live this Sunday, May 15.

Nicole is teaching one class:

Description:
Use a crochet hook & yarn to create your very own plush dinosaur egg. Learn basic crochet skills used in many amigurumi/plush crochet patterns.
I am teaching two classes:
Description:
Use a sewing machine to create a 4×6” character themed drawstring bag. Learn how to use a sewing machine & an overlock vertical foot.
Description:
Use a sewing machine to create a 14” character themed throw pillow. Learn how to use a sewing machine, sew a semi-invisible zipper, & use a ¼” foot.
We are both so excited to be able to share how we make some of the things we bring to conventions!  I don’t know how fast spots will go because this is the first time GenCon will have sewing machines.  I am bringing my army of machines to set up and teach from.  I have 20 spots available in my classes and Nicole has 10 spots available in hers.
If you would like to see what else GenCon offers, make sure to check out the website.

NES Sampler Quilt and Patterns

For those that are new to reading my blog, you may not know that I have released my first pattern with Nicole through Craft Hackers.  Together we designed and created the NES Quilt a long and started releasing it in a block of the month format.

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We are up to block 6 now for the month of May.  One of the perks of the Indiegogo campaign after my theft was the early release of all of the patterns and a special label for the back of the quilt.

NES Quilt Label

If you chose the reward you should have received a link to all of the patterns at the beginning of April and your label is in the mail!

One of the reasons Nicole and I started this quilt a long is quilters have been asking me for my patterns for years.  A lot of you know I am a different kind of quilter and am able to create a quilt in a fraction of the time it takes others.  This is because I have developed a lot of tips and tricks through the years in my patterns that allow me to move at a faster pace.  I didn’t know if other people could follow my patterns.  Now I know and am excited they can!

I am so excited to announce that starting in a few months, Nicole and I will be releasing more patterns!!  I can’t release a lot of my current patterns, especially the copyrighted images.  I am a firm believer in following the law for images to support creators and artists.  That being said, Nicole is designing new sprites that are her creations.  Together we will turn them into quilt patterns!  If you are a quilter, or want to learn to quilt, what would you like to see?  Geeky, pop culture, anything!

We will have patterns available for sale at conventions and on line.  As we roll each one out, I will make sure to let you know!

Displaying and Storing your Fabric

This was originally posted at Craft Hackers on April 22, but I thought it important enough to share again with a few changes.

I posted my spring clean for #springcleanyourstudio last Wednesday.  The biggest question I received was “how do you display your fabric like that?”

After Bookcase

There are many ways you can choose to store your fabric:

  • Plastic storage totes or drawers
  • Collapsible Bins on storage shelving
  • Folded neatly on shelves
  • Boarded onto shelves

You need to take a few things into consideration when storing your fabric:

  • Will it be in direct sunlight?
  • Do I need to easily see what I have?
  • Do I organize by color, pattern, project, fabric line, or other method?

My space is in the basement out of direct sunlight and I need to quickly see every fabric I have.  So this led me to boarding it.  There are a few methods to boarding it.  You can do it yourself with comic boards, cardboard, etc.  You can also purchase specially designed boards meant to wrap your fabric like Fabric Organizers or Polar Notions.  I have tried all of these methods for boarding my fabric and like the Polar Notions the best.

The problems I had with all other methods of boarding was the sliding of fabric down from the board or the board itself folding under the weight of the fabric.  Polar Notions has solved both of those problems.  The boards are strong and sturdy, holding the weight of all of my fabric.  They also have metal clips that when you fold the end of the bolt in and clip it, solves the problem of slippage.  It also allows the bolts to be put into and removed from the bookcase with greater ease without all of the loose fabric getting in the way.

How do I organize my fabric on the shelves?  I separate the high quality from the low quality fabric and then color code it.  It is easy for me to find and grab exactly what I need when I need it.  How do you organize your fabrics?  Let me know!