Update: Facebook-Ad Quilt Scams

In July I posted about Facebook ads providing links to buy “quilt blankets” and other quilt-like products for unbelievably low prices. Many of the photos showed famous (and not-famous) designer quilts, often intricate and beautiful designs. At the time I questioned whether this was a case of design theft or outright fraud. As it turns out, it’s both.

Scammers are using stolen photos of designer quilts as the bait. Would-be buyers enter their orders in good faith, with payment information. Comments on my previous post show that a few people report receiving product of terrible quality. Most people say they don’t receive anything at all, and can’t get response from the party they ordered from. However, the company now has their name, address, payment information, etc.

Cheryl Sleboda at muppin.com provides information on reporting these scams to Facebook. She also provides a link to a Facebook post from Cindy Santa Anna, who is keeping a running list of the scamming companies. There is a discouragingly large number of them. Please see Cindy’s list, hit like to show her your appreciation, and share the list in your groups.

To all of you who are reading this post because you’ve been scammed, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Let’s get these ads shut down by reporting the ones you see to Facebook. Let them know, as Cheryl Sleboda recommends, that both the ad and the facebook page it springs from are scams.

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I LOVE to Talk About Quilts and Quilting!

If you love to talk and love to quilt, there are few things more fun than talking about quilting. Count me in!

GUILD PRESENTATIONS

This year I’ve had a chance to share my quilts and thoughts on quilting a number of times. Guild presentations are the best! Here are some photos from my talk with the guild in Waverly, IA. Click any photo to open the gallery and see them bigger.

I have presentations on medallion quilts, the Mill Girls, and the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. The latter two are very appropriate for historical societies or other groups, as well as quilt guilds. Besides my classes on medallion design and construction, I’m currently developing a couple more workshops. Check my page on presentations and classes, and please contact me if you’d like to know more.

PODCASTS

Besides guild presentations, I had a whole lot of fun talking with Elizabeth Townsend Gard, head of research on the Just Wanna Quilt project. I have two podcast interviews in the can and am scheduled to speak with her again soon.

I wrote about the project and linked my first podcast here. Click on this link to find the recording. It’s 52 minutes, on the long side. We talk about how and why I started quilting, what medallion quilts are, how I see green quilting and our responsibility as quilters to make the Earth a better place, and more. The second podcast is shorter and can be found here.

MY QUILT IN HOUSTON! 

The last fun thing I want to share with you is that I had a quilt at the Houston International Quilt Festival in November! Okay, full disclosure: it was in Houston at Quilt Festival, but it was in a booth, not on exhibit. The Just Wanna Quilt project had a non-profit booth, to reach more quilters and investigate the dynamics of a large quilt show. My quilt Dizzy helped decorate the booth.

Sharing about quilts and quilting, not much better than that!

Class Projects in 2018

My guild has had some terrific workshops in the last few years. In 2018, I participated in three of them and added to my tool kit of skills. I share a bit about them below, in the order I took them.

Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams
Kim Lapacek brings a joy and enthusiasm to her work, and her workshop, that I’ve rarely experienced.

Kim led a workshop in the style of her Project Quilting challenges. Nine guild members spent the day inspired by her take-no-prisoners style of quilt-making. She goes ALL OUT, with techniques, embellishments, color, and pattern. As our challenge, she provided fat-quarters of base fabric as well as two more fabric pieces to each of us. We were to create and FINISH a quilt top in the six-hour time slot, using those two printed fabrics and NO straight-edge ruler. In addition, we were given a limit on how much fabric we could bring — only the amount that fits in a brown paper lunch sack. Also the fabric pieces we brought were supposed to be scraps, less than a fat quarter. While that lays a lot of constraints down, the subject or direction of our individual projects was completely up to each of us.

Influenced partly by her own “amazing technicolor dream heart quilt” and partly by a project I’d been wanting to make, I decided to use a rainbow color scheme to recognize LGBTQ rights as basic human and civil rights. It might be a poor shorthand, but it is eye-catching.

The verbal message is plain in black letters.

This project is like nothing I ever did before. It hangs behind my ironing station, and every time I stand there, it buoys me a bit.

Cathy Geier
Cathy Geier is an art quilter focused on landscapes. Her style would probably be called “collage appliqué,” though she incorporates piecing, especially into the backgrounds. She’s also quite fond of amending her fabrics with paint and markers, allowing some subtleties not available from the fabric alone.

In our workshop with her, we learned some basics of creating a landscape quilt of a forest scene. With commercially-available fabric, we cut tree trunks and glued them to a base background fabric. Diluted white craft paint helped turn the birch trees a paler grey, and silver Sharpie markers applied to one side of the trunks gave a sense of dimension. Flowers and shrubs came next, and then leaves. Leaves were mostly adhered using a fusible web rather than glue, but either would do.

At home I added a border and did the quilting. This was my first “collage” quilt and I’m very happy with the result, and with what I learned. The part that makes me less happy (and I know this wouldn’t bother many people) is that it doesn’t feel like my quilt. I can’t display it because I didn’t design it, and likewise it’s hard to give as a gift. Maybe that’s just weird of me to feel this way… But maybe because of that, I like the back that shows the quilting as much as the front.

The gallery below shows a squared-off photo. Click either image to see bigger and with right proportions.

Toby Lischko
Toby Lischko specializes in using mirrors to create fabric design symmetry, and in curved piecing, especially in New York Beauty blocks. My guild was treated to the first topic for an evening presentation, and to the second topic in Toby’s workshop.

Using her method and rulers, curved piecing was a snap. I honestly was surprised at how easily and well my blocks turned out. In class I made two quarter-circles; at home I made the other two and set them in a background of orange Grunge.

I added corners in purple and designed the Lone Star-style star point. I need to take the star point apart and rebuild it so my seam allowances and sizing are better. This is a low-priority project so will carry into next year.

I am very fortunate to have opportunities like this. My guild has some great things planned for the coming few months, too, and I look forward to them, too.

My Favorite Fabric Purchase in 2018

You know those big dinner salads you can get at some restaurants? The greens cover a platter, and there are a variety of toppings, and at least two condiment containers for the dressing. You can eat and eat and eat and eat. Your dinner companions can finish their entree as you just keep eating, with little apparent progress on your meal. Using fabric stash is like that, with the added problem of the server coming ’round and putting more salad on your plate now and then.

Some people measure stash in and stash used over a period of time, a calculation that is not interesting to me. Since all my fabric collection is in a fairly small space, it’s easy to see when it’s increased or decreased. Most years in October, I do a “state of the stash” post to review it. This year I didn’t, but the text of the post would be similar: It changed! I have a bit more! or a bit less!

As I look at this quickly-passing year, I do notice how my stash has changed. It is a bit smaller than a year ago, and I didn’t buy a huge amount this year. As always, most of my projects relied heavily on stash rather than new purchases. And as always, my favorite fabric purchases are those I used right away. 

I did buy mostly new for two projects. Georgia’s graduation quilt is from white and light grey, at her request. I rarely use grey, and white is not typical, either, so this was a rather hard quilt to make. I don’t remember the size, but it covers her queen-sized bed nicely, so something like 96″ square.

Georgia’s graduation quilt. Queen-bed sized. May 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Almost all of the grey got used up in Georgia’s quilt. The leftover greys became the back of Heather’s baby quilt. Leftover white went on the front.

Another project that required new fabric was the wedding quilt for Son and his bride. To make Hands and Hearts, I needed to buy solid black Kona for the background, and a variety of batiks for the hands. The green batik in the wreath and corner Celtic knots was from stash, as were the components in the Claddagh ring and the fussy-cut hearts. The hearts actually came from something purchased in 2007, so it’s one of the older pieces in my cupboard.

Hands and Hearts. 29″ x 29″. July 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

It would be hard to pick a specific favorite fabric from 2018. Since I don’t think of myself as a fabric collector, the best fabrics are those that are most useful. Sometimes that means they’re quite ordinary. Solid white, solid black, pastel batiks, grey and white prints. None of these are exciting, but the quilts they made were gifts of love.

Year End Deadlines?

What is it about that word, “deadline?” Is there an actual line, like a race’s finish line? Do you drop dead when you cross it? If you don’t cross it in time, are you as good as dead? According to Merriam-Webster.com, the word was used during the US Civil War to signify an actual point of no return. If prisoners of war tried to cross the deadline surrounding the prison camp, they would be shot.

Regardless of how stressed the holidays can make us feel, the deadline is not as treacherous for us. But at this time of year, many people — quilters or not — are scurrying to finish projects for holiday gifts. Often, that’s me, too. Pillowcases, checkerboards, table runners, and other small projects have deadlines!

Not this year. This year I have no project in process that will be a holiday gift, and no quilty deadlines. However, like always, there are things I’m working on, and it’s great to clear things off the list before year end!

What’s on the list of projects in process?
1. Urn with flowers. The top is done, as of yesterday. I need to make a back, and get it quilted and bound.

No title yet. 45″ x 50″. Unquilted top.

2. VA Hospital quilt #4 for the year. Again, the top is done but it needs a back and quilting. If I’m finished by December 10, I’ll take it to guild meeting to donate it then. Otherwise I’ll donate it in January.

VA Hospital quilt 2018, #4. Approx 48″ x 62″. Unquilted top. Disappearing 9-patch using orphan blocks.

3. The Rooster. The top is done. However, it’s possible I’ll make minor changes before quilting. We’ll see.

4. The Mask. I’m developing a plan for this, which might include a snake wrapped around the face. Hmm, not sure where this will go. Because of the uncertainty, this won’t likely get finished by year end.

5. New York Beauty star. This is heading into 2019 as a great idea but a fairly low priority.

And then there are all the projects I want to start! I have been so inspired by our trip to Peru and would like to develop some work based on that. There are a few table runners and table toppers that could be (that old “could be”) fast finishes. A series of masks would be a great way to learn more about faces and about appliqué. My dear Green Man continues to wait for his quilt. And then there are the stories I want to tell in quilts, which I’m finally feeling ready to begin.

And projects already finished this year:
1. Fierce Little Bear
2. VA hospital quilt #1
3. VA hospital quilt #2
4. Charlotte’s Kitty
5. The Old School House
6. Georgia’s graduation quilt
7. Where Are the Birds? (landscape tree quilt)
8. ¡Fiesta!
9. Hands and Hearts
10. Shirt
Projects 11-15 are all shown here.
11. Dan’s Honor Flight Quilt
12. Sonny’s Honor Flight Quilt
13. Heather’s baby quilt
14. VA hospital quilt #3
15. Iowa map quilt, hostess gift for Peru

What’s still on your lists for the year? Do you have holiday deadlines for your projects?