My Image is being used in an internet scam and I tried to do something about it.

My Image is being used in an internet scam and I tried to do something about it.

My Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt image is being used in an internet scam and I tried to do something about it. sIt didn’t go well. I didn’t really expect it to, but I thought perhaps a girl who makes things as a hobby could make a difference. Perhaps I don’t need an army of lawyers or a publishing house armed with money to make a difference. Perhaps I don’t need an advanced degree in international law and copyright infringement to make a difference. Perhaps with perseverance and determination, I can stop something that simply isn’t right or OK. It won’t be the first time my Pollyanna ideas were slapped with a hard reality. I can’t do any of those things. As a matter of fact, my attempts were not only futile but weren’t even noticed. All I can offer is a cautionary tale. So what’s happening? There is a business out of Singapore. They call themselves a “marketing company”. They have discovered that people really like the look of handmade quilts and have spun up several websites and social media pages selling “blankets”. I’ve found them selling a variety of themes including book lovers, horse lovers, farm lovers, dog lovers, etc. They have multiple website URLs that come and go, but you’ll know one when see it because all the sites look the same. The pages are mostly white, they have gray text, an image of the “blanket” they are selling for around $50 claiming 50% or 60% off retail value. They use stolen images from artist’s sites to sell their “blankets”. I’ve seen 100s of images from tons...
Zelda Shoulder Bag with machine embroidery (Gabby Bag Pattern Review)

Zelda Shoulder Bag with machine embroidery (Gabby Bag Pattern Review)

So I’ve had a string a creative of mishaps and projects that just don’t seem to be coming together. It happens from time to time. When it does I look for a project that I just follow instructions and is finishable in a day or two. A little success tends to get my mojo running for other projects. I figured, why not make the April Bag of the Month in, you know, APRIL. This month’s bag is The Gabby from Janelle MacKay at Emmaline Bags. I cut into my coveted and hoarded Zelda Comic book fabric and I think it was so worth it! Look how cute this bag is from the side! Unlike some of the previous bag of the month projects (see them here and here), I didn’t make very many edits to this one at all. There were a few edits required due to adding the machine embroidery at the top of both sides of the bag. I also added an adjustable strap, but now that I see it all together, I may go back and remove that. We’ll see. Other than a wonderful customer service experience from a bag hardware order I made a few months back, I’m not very familiar with Janelle. After following her pattern, I would venture to guess that she has quite a bit of experience, possibly garment sewing? This pattern has a lot of nice touches that feel like extra steps, but really lead to a nice professional looking finish. There are absolutely tips and tricks in this pattern that I will reuse in other projects. As with most patterns...
Harry Potter Library Book Bag and Window Shopper Bag Pattern Review

Harry Potter Library Book Bag and Window Shopper Bag Pattern Review

February 2016’s Bag of the Month Club’s bag is the Window Shopper Bag Pattern from Mrs H. When I first spotted the bag, I wasn’t insanely excited about it. When I downloaded the 34 page pattern, I was overwhelmed and nearly unwilling to even try it. I mean seriously, SO MANY WORDS. After a few days settling in, I remembered the thing I hate more than anything else is when I buy a commercial pattern that attempts to put itself on a single piece of paper to save costs. It leads to tiny little fonts/pictures and tons of missing details. I thought it was possible that maybe the full pattern with all the information takes 34 pages and a zillion words and is actually something I’d prefer. After looking at the bag more, I thought it would make an awesome library bag. Once I thought about that, I knew I had to reuse some of my Harry Potter book spines from the Harry Potter quilt. The Pattern I was a little brave and started with the “text only” version of the instructions + the pattern pieces. It took about two steps for me to realize I wanted the pictures. If for nothing else but to break up all of the words and have a place for my eyes to easily land switching back and forth between working and pattern reading. The pattern is very through. The reason it is so long is that it takes nothing for granted and assumes you need hand holding for each step. As it turns out, I like hand holding! If the step was...
The Nevermore Bag (Backgammon Bag Pattern Review)

The Nevermore Bag (Backgammon Bag Pattern Review)

Finally. After several years of hording it, I have used my Michael Miller Nevermore goth bug and writing print fabrics. It was hard to start cutting into it and accept that it was going to be gone without the promise of waiting around for me to *need* it; however, now that it is used, I’m happy to have a finished thing and some space for MORE FABRIC! I decided to make this bag after seeing Terry’s (@tooheycohen) version of it on Instagram. This Backgammon Bag is Bag of the Month’s January 2016 pattern designed by Betz White. I’ve wanted to try some more structured bags with fancy hardware, zippers, pockets, and other bag makers tricks so I thought the “mystery” of the club would be a good way to introduce myself to various styles of patterns, sewing techniques, and bags in general.  I knew instantly that this particular bag had good potential to be go with fabrics already in my stash. Given I had plenty of stabilizer, batting, and few pieces of hardware lying around, I really only needed to invest about $5 in the project beyond joining the club. So I did and the Nevermore bag was born. The Finish The most important question – do I like the finish?? I, of course, have the most wishy washy answer – yes and no. I love the design of the bag. Its shape is lovely, it holds exactly the right amount of things and I really like the graphic and bold nature of the Backgammon inspired spikes. Overall, I think it is a fun to look at handbag going...
TBZ goes on a textile tour of Japan!

TBZ goes on a textile tour of Japan!

TBZ goes on a textile tour in Japan! I don’t think it will come as any surprise that I’m fascinated by Japanese handwork, silk work, and embroidery. A friend agreed to hold my scared country mouse hand in the big city of Tokyo to attend The Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival as well as a host of other textile/threadwork lovers dream excursions. If you’re interested in what it is like to be a clueless American in Japan, you’ve found the right blog series! Without further ado – here are all the posts related to TBZ in Japan! TBZ goes to Japan: Golden Pavillion, Kimonos, Indigo, Shopping, and hands on Shibori Jan 31, 2016 We spent our last two days in Kyoto touring around various shops, a shrine, and a few hands on workshops. Take a look at some of the photos! We went to Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion at the foot of Kinugasa hill. The pavilion and the grounds have a long an interesting history including arson of the Buddhist temple in the 1950s. Even in the middle of winter without all of the leaves and flowers, it is beautiful with tons of opportunities for photos. After leaving the Kinkakuji, we went to Aizenkobo Workshop. Aizenkobo Workshop is a Kyoto Indigo dyeing workshop owned and operated by third generation dyer Kenichi Utsuki and his wife Hisako Utsuki. It is located in a traditional Japanese home that is roughly 150 years old. We were invited in and Kenichi and his wife explained the process of growing and dyeing indigo. Kenichi demonstrated that Indigo doesn’t burn by burning a sample of...