Digital Product Mastermind Group

This is for you if you’re thinking of creating or marketing a digital product (eBook, PDF, pattern, music, video, tutorial or online course…) but don’t quite know how to get started.

Last summer I participated in the Small Product Lab (see my review of my lab experience), organised by Gumroad. What I learned about taking a product from idea to launch was ever so helpful, and the community was supportive, encouraging, uplifting…just amazing!

Now previous participants have got together and are organising the Digital Product Mastermind Group on facebook – start is in two days, 18th April 2016, so you can still join.

This time the challenge is how to develop a product idea and take it all the way to launch in two weeks.

Obviously the short time span allows only for the creation of a small product (unless you’ve got something all ready to go), but if you’ve been procrastinating with publishing or launching it, this event might just give you the kick you’ve been waiting for. πŸ˜‰

Maybe see you there?

Maria β™₯

Photo by Alex Markovich, Free images for poets

Blocks of the Month and Creative Limitations

Quilting Oneness Block of the Month

I love the variety of Blocks of the Month (BOM) available over the internet. They are great for learning techniques in manageable portions, with results that are beautiful and useful – something to show off, not test pieces to keep in a drawer… My approach to BOM’s is essentially the same – with a slight difference: I want to encourage you to create your own designs. Therefore I will center my posts around questions of design and techniques – from idea to final product:

  • how you can translate your inspiration into fabric
  • design techniques
  • workability and technical challenges
  • improvisation (or: what can you do when it goes wrong?)

On this page: ♣ Creative Limitations … why? ♣ Creative Limitations and step-by-step decisions ♣ What to do with all those blocks?? ♣ Theme and Block for December ♣ Grab a button for the Block of the Month Continue reading

Design Process (1) – Brainstorming the Take Your Time Pattern

In this post I’ll try and describe the beginning of my design process. Usually this happens more or less without me being aware of it, but this time I stopped myself every so often in order to reflect on what I’ve been thinking and to break it down into steps.

I hope you’ll find this useful – even if it’s just so you become aware of how you are doing things πŸ˜‰ Perhaps it also gives you some ideas of how you can tackle your Block of the Month, as different as it may be.

If you haven’t done so already, download the free printable for December – 16 pages: the guidelines from the previous post, plus “Take Your Time” in several fonts.

On this page:
♣ Having or getting an idea
♣ A closer look at what I’ve got
♣ Thoughts while tracing the pattern
♣ Checking for purpose, workability & fun – up to this point Continue reading

Block of the Month – December 2014

Block of the Month December 2014

I’ve finally come up with a flexible format that will allow me to offer a special project for each Theme of the Month: A Block of the Month (pretty obvious, really…)

Another point of focus this month are letters or writing, be they pieced letters, applique, or quilted, or embroidered, or…, as long as they are made using a textile technique – no paints or markers this month.

Download the free printable for December – 16 pages, including guidelines and many inspiring fonts!

Theme: The Gift of Your Time

Block of the Month December 2014
Block of the Month December 2014

or: Take your time before someone else does πŸ˜‰

β€œBlock of the Month” does not mean that the block has to become part of a quilt, although it can of course. Alternatives are for instance Continue reading

Ways to join Double-faced Hexies

This is the last post of the Double-Faced Hexie Hexalong – for more please see the Overview.

For a start I’ll share with you 3 ways to join the hexies, but there are a few more ways of doing so. I will add them to this post as I happen to do them.

On this page:
♣ A note on joining Double-faced Hexies
♣ Joining with reversed Whip Stitch “Plus”
♣ Joining with Ladder Stitch “Plus”
♣ “Troubleshooting”

Click on images for larger view

For these examples I used contrasting thread and rather large stitches to emphasise the differences. What looks “sloppy” here will hardly show when you use matching thread and make smaller stitches.

I’ve sewn the hexies from the top, that is “wrong” sides together; you’ll get a slightly different result when you sew from the back – test what you prefer.

A note on joining Double-faced Hexies

The great advantage of Double-Faced Hexies is that you can grow your quilt piece by piece, and when it’s done it’s done – no batting, lining, border or additional quilting necessary (although of course you can add any of those).

The batting or lining or border, however, also adds stability to the quilt, especially to wearable quilts and throws.

The Double-faced Hexies are only held together by stitches, that means that when you make a quilt that will be worn, stretched, washed, serve as a play tent,… or items like bags which may need to hold some weight, it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to the seams.

The “Plus” is a small Backstitch I make every 3 or 4 or 5 stitches, depending on how strong the joint needs to be. Before making this Backstitch, pull the thread tight, but not so tight that the fabric scrunches up.

For sewing “heavy duty” items, use smooth and strong high quality threads. Apart from special quilting thread and thread for sewing jeans you can use … thin cotton crochet yarn (No. 80), the type you’d use for lace around handkerchiefs. It’s a bit thicker than normal thread but it comes in many colours, is a joy to stitch with and very sturdy.

And of course – if you like larger and very visible stitches – you can use embroidery thread like stranded or pearl cotton or smooth linen thread for lace-making.

Joining with reversed Whip Stitch “Plus”

One way of joining hexies which I won’t describe here in detail is the normal Whip Stitch which we used for securing the edge of the ribbons we made.

The way I learned to do EPP = English Paper Piecing was with Reversed Whip Stitch, that is the longer bit of the stitch is hidden in the fabric (my name for it – if you know a different expression please say so).

Joining with Ladder Stitch “Plus”

The Ladder Stitch is slightly looser than the Whip Stitch – be sure to pull the thread tight before you make Backstitches.

“Troubleshooting”

Well, I hope there won’t be much trouble, but there are two issues you might be confronted with.

The open side of a Plain or Half Hexie is a bit too short. Remedy: Roll/push the seam a bit inside, then the opening will become wider. Finger-press the new edge fold. – If you basted with glue stick, you might need to loosen the flaps first.

Adjust opening of Plain Hexie.
Adjust opening of Plain Hexie.

The corner of a hexie has “disappeared” or moved (happens when the crease was not sharp enough or the hexie has been handled a lot). Remedy: Move = roll the fabric in place and crease again.

In addition, especially with fabric that in general does not hold creases well, it can help to secure the corner point with a small horizontal stitch.

Adjust corner of Flower Hexie.
Adjust corner of Flower Hexie.
Pinch in place.
Pinch in place.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed this Hexalong – have a good week πŸ™‚

Maria

Review November and Preview December

Since my posts about the Process Pledge and Sustainable Balance I’ve been thinking about a way that will allow me to show you more of what I do as I’m doing it – that is in bits and pieces as they come, and certainly not only hexies πŸ˜‰ – but at the same time present these snippets in an organised manner so you can easily find what you are looking for.

Today for instance I’ll share with you 3 ways to join the hexies, but there are a few more possibilities. I will add those to that post as I happen to do them and inform you of the addition with a quick link.

Until I find a good way to organise the snippets, I might be shuffling things around a bit. If you happen to click a link that doesn’t work, please say so.

The Monthly Theme for December is “The Gift of Your Time”, which I hope will allow for a variety of topics, not just technique as with last month’s hexalong/workshop.

I welcome questions – I never believed the myth of a “stupid” question πŸ˜‰ Please post them in the comments below.

Happy December to you!

Maria