Wednesday 28 May 2014

Fabric Cartel Mules and Fabric

So, for the past few months I've known that my parents were going down to see my sister who lives in the States. They usually drive (I know, insane, but cheaper) which means that they have the opportunity to haul stuff back. And when I say stuff, I mean fabric mostly.

(I know, you're wondering about the Kool-Aid. It's a great dye for Easter eggs and you just can't find the flavours here that you can in the States.)

Alexander Henry

Someone called it the fabric cartel, and I the lord dealer of it all, run it. Well, mostly I order fabric, send it to my sister and have my parents bring it back to me. My parents are my fabric mules.

Wee Wander by Sarah Jane

I mean, come on, no one stops old people at the border. And they drive a minivan for crying out loud. Drug dealers would love to have such people muling for them. The thought of dogs sniffing for Anna Maria Horner fat quarters makes me giggle.

Anna Maria Horner Field Study, Tula Pink Salt Water, Amy Butler Hapi

Why do I have to do such a thing? Well, you'd think that the free trade agreement NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that our country so willing signed would mean I wouldn't have to pay steep tariffs and outrageous shipping fees, but no.

Tula Pink Fox Field, Anna Maria Horner Field Study

(I also ordered some clothing from Lands End and had my parents bring it up. When they crossed at the border, customs asked where the clothing had been made. So apparently it even matters where things are made? Crazy!)

Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine

I'll admit it, I'm cheap and although I am not immune to the idea that I should have instanteous everything (like how can it take so long to load a movie Netflix!). I am willing to wait a few months to save myself hundreds of dollars in shipping fees.

And the end result is worth the wait!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

WIP and Copyright

In case you haven't noticed, I've stalled somewhat on the quilts that I already have on the go. So, of course I decided to start another. Because that makes sense. It was that or more bags, and no one needs to see more bags/pouches, especially me.

Part of my fabric haul from my parents foray to the States was a stack of  Modern Solids by Alissa Haight Carlton. They are beautiful fabrics. And the colours, oh the colours! SO lovely!

I have always admired Bargello quilts, but not the scrappiness of them, and decided to do a modern take on one. I'm using the book Bargello Quilts by Marge Eddie. I loved the look of the cover quilt and wanted to do something like it, but with more negative space and in solids.

The pattern calls for only 15 colours, but there was no way I could decide which 15 (I have decision issues). In the end (like after days- told you I had issues), I narrowed it down to a mere seventeen colours, which altered the pattern somewhat (OK, maybe a little more than somewhat). I'm pretty much on my own now.

But my inability to follow that pattern got me thinking about patterns, and the issues of ownership of a pattern. I recently joined Plum and June's New Blogger group and there has been some great discussion about copyright and intellectual property rights. When does a pattern cease to be the right of one person and start to belong to another? How much innovation or change has to happen to make it your own? And what credit should be given and to whom?

I know there has been issues with scraper sites stealing peoples' blog posts and using them without linking back to the original sites and making money off of the content without permission (it's what those sites do, well some of them- the evil ones). But I'm talking about patterns and designs here. Stealing the exact block or design of someone else is an obvious dishonest and unethical thing to do. But what about when there are changes made, or a different method employed to make the block or pattern, what then?

And it seems to me that many block designs ultimately are usually riffs of a traditional block that was created somewhere down the line. Is using your own pattern scheme enough to call the design your own? I've seen someone use a disappearing nine-square patch pattern (which I think is common enough) and sell it as their own pattern.

In the art world, there are actual laws as to how much innovation or copying can go on before it is the property of one or another. In fact, some parroting and use of other artists material is considered satirical or commentary rather than 'stealing'. I'm wondering if the same rules apply to quilting (which some could argue is an art, some argue is a craft- that's an argument for another day)

Well, whatever the case I've used enough of Marge Eddie's pattern to know the quilt I'm making is more of her design than mine (well, so far...?). Guess we'll see how it goes.

Linking up:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedSew Fresh Quilts

Friday 9 May 2014

Batman Piano Bag

I wasn't kidding when I said that I recently have been in a bag mood (quilt avoidance mechanism was the term actually).

My finish for this Friday is a bag (surprise, surprise, something to do with a superhero)! A Batman bag to hold all my son's piano books. He started piano this year and our home has been filled with the melodious sounds of Hot Crossed Buns and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ever since. And the Star Wars theme, he had to learn that of course! He really enjoys piano though and I'm hoping he sticks with it.

I also made him a couple of boxy pencil cases to go with it, and to hold the felt markers he got for Christmas (yes, I realize those are Sharpies, and yes, I realize sometimes I'm my own worst enemy! Surprisingly, he hasn't coloured anything he's not suppose to and he hoards them from the young ones so they don't get them).

To make the bag, I cobbled together a few bag tutorials that I found on the web, adjusted the size to fit his piano books and viola! I used a medium weight interfacing on the bag, but not on the pencil cases. I now wish I might have on the larger boxy pouch, it probably could have used it.

And now I swear I'm done with bags (for a little bit anyway)! And since this is a blog about creation and destruction, I'll add that three weeks after we got our brand new piano last summer, the eldest "polished" it with his geode (a crystally, sharp, pointy, hard rock).

Our piano is now graced with large (and smaller) circular scratches on the front! Dum dum dum dee de de- insert Moonlight Sonata or Pathetique No.8 here..... Or watch my son's favourite, ThePianoGuys (playing what I wish wasn't a favourite of my sons... ugh...boy bands).

Have yourselves a great weekend!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF.

Wednesday 7 May 2014


Wow, where has the week gone, seriously!
And.... still working on this.

Are your tired of seeing this, because I am. It needs to get done. I can't even take good pictures of it for crying out loud! But instead I've been doing these.

I think sewing bags may be my quilt avoidance mechanism.
A Sew Together bag for my mom and two open wide zippered pouches for a sweet girl.

In the meantime, I've been cleaning up thread. The boys emptied like half a spool dragging it all over the house pretending it was spiderwebs (while pretending to be Spiderman of course). Who says that thread just has to be for sewing I guess!

Linking up:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Sew Fresh Quilts