Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Three - August... and some thoughts

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It's the first week of the month!  
That means, time to check in, report, and link up!

traceyjay quilts

If you're new, here's how it works --
1) Pick three quilty-type goals for the month.  OF COURSE you can do more than three things, and there is no gestapo to come check in on you if you decide to alter your course, it's really just meant to be fun, and maybe give a little direction/report.

2) Blog about it!  Reflect and report on the previous month, and then set course with what's coming.

3) Come link up during the first week of the month, and please link back here in your post. :)  (There's a button over on the side margin)

P.S. The winner from last month's custom charm pack giveaway is lucky #13 -- Alidiza!
P.P.S I read all the links -- but sometimes am nursing or holding a little girlie, and don't have a free hand to type comments!


Report/Reflect - 

Last month's goals:

1) Get Penny Candy done!  (You can go enter to win a free copy of the pattern here)

Pattern is done!  Sadly, quilt top still isn't quilted.  I think I'm going to have to be brave and just do it myself!

2) Finish curtains for kiddos' rooms, and a couple other pretty little projects.  
Scarlet's patchwork panel curtains are done and up hanging in her room!
I have the fabric for Steiger's, but they're not done yet.

3) Make something amazing...

I designed and made a new block that I love, and I made great progress on my chubby stars!


August's "Just Three" --

1) Make some baby quilts (and crib skirts)

I've got this one I want to finish, the triangle one (it's really close), and these ones too.  Maybe I'll come up with one more, just for fun.

for baby Soren WIP

quick little project

2) Make something amazing that I plan to write the pattern for.

I'm thinking either the glassy quilt, or my new idea.

3)  Make the Treasure Boxes quilt (for the Treasure Boxes quilt along!)

Treasure Boxes Quilt Along button

(Can I tell you that I won't be able to enter my paypal info fast enough when Out to Sea is released?)


OK, now some questions I've wanted to ask, and some thoughts I've just wanted to say out loud (and hear your thoughts)

First -- thoughts on sneak peeks of patterns?  Do you like to see the WIP/progress shots?  Is it annoying and would you rather I just wait until it's all done?

For me, the reality is that sometimes it's a long time between having the idea, and getting the pattern published.  We only have one computer, and my husband likes to use it in the evenings (when we have more free time).  And if I didn't show the progress shots, my blog would be even more quiet than it is.

What do you guys think?  I blog because I like to connect with kindred spirits... so it seems kind of sad not to show progress shots, but it seems like that's what people do... hmmm...

Also, Jolene brought it up yesterday, but I've been wanting to share some thoughts on patterns anyway.  Just because I suppose.

How I see quilt patterns, copyright, and all that jazz...

When I buy a pattern, I see it as thinking the design is great, and not wanting to take the time to figure it out myself.  Most patterns I CAN figure out, but don't necessarily want to spend the time it would take to to do so.  So I buy the pattern.  Even if I never make the quilt, I read the pattern, and have learned something about block construction, patterns, and different techniques.

I appreciate free patterns and tutorials, and definitely share some around here, but because I don't have a sponsored blog, and don't feel that I generate enough material (let's be real here -- I also don't want the pressure of being paid to blog -- this is my FUN TIME!  Do I love free fabric?  Unequivocally, but I want this space to be mine... and I just don't have the time to do enough blogging and the like to be sponsored -- It would feel like pressure!)  Tutorials take a lot of time, and time is something I'm kind of short on these days.

Anyway -- 
I am not under any delusion that a design in a quilt is "mine" or even new and original.  There's nothing new in quilting really.  When I was researching copyrights on quilt patterns, I found that you actually only copyright the pattern (directions, etc.) when you publish a quilt pattern, and not the design of the quilt.  I feel really comfortable with that.  I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to claim a design as my own, but the math and the directions and the figuring -- those I did.  

So I basically see buying a quilt pattern as paying someone for their time to figure it up (and also saving a bunch of mine).  

We all know that quilting is an expensive habit.  Writing and selling patterns is my attempt to help fund that hobby... because as cute as these little people are, they don't pay very well... at least not in the kind of currency that allows me to buy more fabric. :)  

(I'll try not to spend your college tuition in fabric... ♥)

Linking to Lee's!  (which is hosted by my friend Katie this week!  Yea Katie!)
And Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day! 
OK -- enough blabbing!  Link up! (and comment)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced  

Lily's Quilts


Julie said...

Blog whatever way makes you happy. We will keep reading because we love you, and we don't want all blogs to do it the same way that would be boring :)

Heidi Grohs said...

1) I love your blog 2) I love your blog 3)I love WIP photos. I think it so fun to watch something in progress. 4) I especially like your WIPS when kiddos are involved...just sayin' 5) I agree, you are doing ALL the work for the pattern. Yes. Anyone can come along and figure it out. Sometimes I am that way and want a challenge...but sometimes it is just plain easier to follow someone else's directions!! Picking out the fabric can be stressful enough!!! 6) You. are. awesome!

Jennie {Clover and Violet} said...

I love WIP photos, and I'm the same way, lots of times there is a HUGE gap between starting and finishing something (sometimes I regret showing a photo because six months have passed an there still isn't a pattern published!), but that is just how it goes.

As far as tutorial vs. pattern, I feel like tutorials are great for showing something that is small/simple enough that I don't really feel the need to write out a pattern for (like a pillow case or four patch quilt), but patterns are for the more difficult things my mom and I design. And sure, someone could figure it out, I have done that before, but I also the community of support is great, and I like not having to figure it out!

Oh, and I'm with you on the sponsored blogging too...!

I think that might be a blog post in reply to your post, but just keep making pretty things! We all just like to look on and see your creativity!

Katy Cameron said...

Hee hee, I had to laugh at the last caption!

Anywho, every Wednesday the world and his wife shows off their WIPs, and I often sneak in 'secret project' previews because I love teasing my readers (okay, that just made me sound really mean lol)

As for the pattern issue, I've only ever bought 1 individual quilt pattern, for the Retro Flowers, and I've recently been given another one for a blog hop. I have nothing against patterns though, and I have quite a few books, but for quilts I came to the conclusion that the whole precision thing, especially with HSTs, stressed me out, and I sew to relax, not to stress! So now I'm making things up as I go for my own stuff. If I see something that's really different though, like the Retro Flowers, I'd probably buy it to save me having to try and work out the quilty maths (I may have a maths and computer science degree, but ya know what, I also have a full time job, I'm happy to pay someone else to make the effort there ;o) )

Angela said...

I love to be teased by you! Sneak peaks! Love 'em!

Steph Jacobson said...

I like the progress pictures. I know if I didn't show progress pictures I'd never have anything to blog about. :) And I love the quilt blocks in the second baby quilt.

Amanda said...

I like progress pictures...and I often feel the same way with my own quilts. I've started to try and do some more interesting shots to make up for the fact that I'm showing the same thing over and over. For me, it's a nice compromise.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and love seeing progress shots of your patterns. But in the end it is *YOUR* blog and you can post what you like, if you want to post progress shots then go for it! And if you don't then that's OK too.

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

Your blog is great! I like to see progress photos! I also like to see sneak peeks. If you're just doing it all for fun, have fun with it! I agree with you about buying patterns. I can't always figure it out, but I am totally willing to pay for a pattern and I do even if it's something kind of easy to figure out. I want people to stay in business and keep creating:)

Ginette said...

I love WIP photos. I find it inspiring.
I agree with what Jewel said as well: Blog about what makes you happy. I, like you, blog for fun and to share my passion with others. I don't have a sponsored blog and don't want that pressure. So to me, blogging is like quilting, I do it because I want to and because it makes me happy!
Looking forward to seeing more of your WIPs!

Sarah Craig said...

Please show us progress shots!! I love seeing what you are working on - and those cute kids!! And I agree with you on the pattern/copyright issue, although my hubby tells me that technically I'm not right (he works with a lot of copyrights in his job). We've agreed to disagree....

Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

I agree - I love WIP photos as a kind of teaser of what's to come! Plus seeing people's progress and growth is always interesting!
And interesting about the copyright... I guess that makes sense as really, I think just about everything under the sun has been created, lol! Thanks for sharing that.

Books_Bound said...

I love that monograph baby quilt! So simple, but striking and fun. A kid would totally love that!

As for the WIP photos, ultimately, if it makes you happy to see them on your blog and gives you a little motivation to keep going, then put them up! I like seeing what people are working on, personally, and I think there are only a few blogs that overdo it on the WIP photos. In life, few things emerge fully formed and perfect, and quilts are no exception. So embrace reality, says I. :)

Lindsey said...

I think WIP pics and posts are great as fillers til there is a completed project to show.

Your post about patterns and copyrights and all of that is very timely for what I've been thinking about lately with my own blog. I see so many really popular blogs and they all have tons of tutorials and other things that seem to drive up traffic, and I was starting to wonder if I should be trying to do my tutorials (as the one quilt tutorial I have on my blog is continuously my highest viewed post). But you make a great point, they take a ton of time! I don't want to blog for money, I want to quilt, and if I can make money from that in some way to support the habit that is what I want. I like blogging to share with the world what I love making, and I do wish I had more readers, but in the end I don't like taking the time to do everything I could do get the readers.
You also made copyrights make way more sense than they ever have, so thank you for that as well.
You rock!

Elena @ Modern Olivia said...

I'm looking forward to seeing that Treasure Boxes pattern...I have a stash of fabrics that may work perfectly with it.

Also, I enjoying looking at WIP photos on blogs. I think it's always interesting to see what techniques other people use. Also, I like to know that I'm not the only person with WIP stashed away somewhere.

I'm very excited to have found your blog through Lily's Quilts and looking forward to reading more!

Marian-Lady Face said...

I love seeing all the in progress you show us. I really enjoy hearing about the process it takes to make something. I appreciate that you share that with us because not many people are willing to do that.

I also love your take on the patterns and design originality thing. I also really like that you're only copyrighting the directions. That makes a lot of good sense.

And I agree, I like to buy patterns so I don't have to do all that work figuring it out and for that I think it's worth buying, even if it's not an original idea.

I love all the pictures and projects you come up with and share with us and I'm excited to get my just 3 for August posted too!!

pinksuedeshoe said...

Love your blog, love your patterns, love seeing sneak peaks. I couldn't agree with you more about the reasoning behind buying patterns. Sometimes it's fun to figure something out just to figure it out. But other times it's SOOO much easier to just pay the $9 and start whatever it is that you want to make! Patterns take a long time to write, and so do tutorials. And I agree with you with the whole monetize the blog thing. Pressure! I don't need any more of that in my life right now. Maybe one day I'll do that, but for now, I love being able to take a month long break if I want to and post nothing but crappy phone pics if that's what I have on hand. Love your blog, and those two little people are about the cutest ever. Love seeing pictures of them together.

Cathy said...

Love wip blog posts too! Your kiddos are cuties!

Cille said...

I for one loves the sneak peaks...
and quite agree with you on the pattern issue.

It is VERY considerate of you not to spend the cute kid's college tuition on fabric. Luckily education and university is free in Denmark so I'm not obliged to do the same :0

Tamara Hampton said...

I like seeing your works in progress and it makes you a "real" person not some machine spitting out a quilt every day!

I wish more designers would put "donate" buttons on their blogs. Sometimes the inspiration i need isn't a pattern... but i would like to show love when i get it.

(i dont buy patterns because 1. i LIKE the math part... i like figuring out how to make something, 2. i dont follow directions well and 3. rarely do i like EVERYTHING about someones design I tend to take peices of it and make my creation.

but with a donate button i could "tip" people who inspire me.

alidiza said...

Yea!!! I LOVE those pink and green charms: )

I like in-progress pictures! Finished quilts are beautiful but you don't really learn anything from them and if you only post finishes it can be a loooong time between posts (at least for me;-)

Can't wait for Out to Sea, it has been my most eagerly awaited fabric line since spring market!

Katie B said...

Love the S quilt! You're so stinkin talented. I am thrilled to see in progress shots of your patterns etc.

I think buying patterns is totally worth it! The price is reasonable, and it's well worth my time to spend a few bucks and let someone else handle the math!

Poppyprint said...

Great post Tracey. I love your sneaky peeks.

Kristen said...

I love sneak peeks. Mine would be slow if it didn't as well. I like posting when I feel like and more often than not I have three cute distraction running around. I like your thoughts on what you are working on and your patterns are very clever!


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