FSF–iPad Cover

Okay, this was me this week.  Lost in a fog.  I even forgot to post on WIP Wednesday, which is usually like a religion to me.  Suspected sinus infection.  Exhaustion.  Suffering from What-Day-Is-It-itis.  Verified Foggy Brain condition.  But today, the sun it out, the day is pleasant and I have a mani-pedi scheduled in an hour.  All’s good.

And I finished up my iPad cover.  Somehow.  A blue ikat with a little happy surprise inside.  Front.

Front, with flap open and shy little orange bird looking all coy.  Like an idiot,  I cut it too close (there were some alterations after I had it quilted–double rats!!) and the other birds are peering out from underneath the bias edge binding.  But I love them all anyway.  Velcro sticky dots, which ruined a needle (you’re warned).

And the treasures peeking out: the iPad and a stylus.  Okay, I’m enjoying my iPad, but I love my laptop.  I’m sure it’s like anything–takes a while to figure it out and get it under your techno skin.

Here’s how, in a few easy steps:

Whack off a piece of fabric (I pieced the back for a little “interest” as shown here) about 3″ larger on all sides than your iPad. The piece on the left is row-quilted in varying widths. The piece on the right is trimmed up.

I flipped over the trimmed up piece so you could see that I am lining this with some birdy fabric on the upper edge and using Minky down below.

I thought I should lay them out to show you what my final dimensions were before I sewed them together (yep, I’ve already started with the binding).

The back, which includes the extra for the flap is 13 1/2 ” tall and 8 3/4″ wide.  The stylus case is 6″ by 1 3/4″ and the front is 11″ tall by 8 3/4″ wide.  I think the “body” pieces could be cut to 8 1/2″ wide if you want a bit snugger fit.  The way it is now, there’s some skootch room (the one I made for my husband is skin tight, but he says it’s fine).

Make your binding by cutting a bias piece of fabric 1 1/2″ wide.  I seamed a bunch of strips together to make one long piece  (add up the dimensions if you must have an accurate length–I’m guessing mine was in the 45-50″ length).  Take it to your ironing board and press all seams OPEN, then press it in half along the length.  Now press both raw edges in to the ironed fold, making double-fold bias tape.  I offset the folded edges slightly, so that when I laid it against the raw edge of my quilted piece, the back would be slightly longer.

Bind the upper edge of your shorter body piece.  Bind around the stylus case.  I left those edges square.  That was a nutso thing to do, so on the back body piece, I wised up and placed  a spool of thread to mark a rounded edge.

Sew on the stylus case on the front, centering it.  Stitch around three side, leaving the side open.  I realized I would be slipping this case in and out of my school bag/church bag/whatever purse when I put it into use, so I tried to incorporate the stylus case where it would be out of the way, yet accessible.

Now line up your front, shorter piece on top of the longer, back body piece WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, leaving the extra on top (where my birds are) as the flap.  Stitch down one side, using a 1/4″ seam allowance, then across the bottom, then up the other side, stopping where the front body piece ends.

I know a lot of sewists (sewists?  can you get used to that word–I can’t! I still like “sewers”) make a “lined sack” sort of arrangement for their cases (yes, I Googled “iPad Cover Tutorial” and there are a lot), but I wanted a quilted body and a smooth interior which would be fuzz-less for the iPad.  [Once we had to make a little trip to Apple when the pocket fuzz from my husband’s pockets clogged up the earbud port.  Apparently this happens a lot.]

Begin stitching on the binding about 2″ down from the fold of the flap.  Here I’m going around the flap outer corner, and that sweet yellow bird is keeping an eye on me.  The bias binding really goes smoothly around corners.

After sewing on the bias, turn it over and try not to curse when you notice all the places that didn’t get caught in your sewing.  Re-stitch those, which is another reason why I chose a colorful fabric for my bias binding.  It hides mistakes.

I had not planned to put on Velcro dots, preferring instead to simply fold it over, but row-quilted fabric apparently has a mind of its own, and it’s comparable to a two-year old’s who wants the Skittles from the back of the cupboard.

So on they went, obscuring two of my favorite birds (rats!).  I ended up putting a third dot in the middle, hand-stitching it to the stylus case, but machine stitching it to the flap.

So now I can be cool with my ikat fabric cover.  And not worry so much.  I may yet get a black foldable cover but I looked at the ones in my local store and wasn’t that thrilled with them.  This is fine for now.

And I’m out of the fog!  Happy Quilting this weekend.

Something to Think About

Copyright Update

I loved reading all your comments about the issue of copyright in my blog post about Emily Cier v. Kate Spade–who does own that copyright?

A Passionate Quilter wrote:

For those of us who have been in the quilting world for more than a few years, the trend is very clear: fabric manufacturers have been marketing “designer” fabric. The emphasis is on ‘insert-designer’s-name-here’ latest line and quilts are being made, often exclusively, from that line. Fans, or devotees, can’t wait to get their hands on the latest designer’s line! Fabric manufacturer’s love and encourage this, However, does this not lead to the kind of legal questions now erupting? I think every quilter should be aware of these issues. Perhaps it is time for the quilt world to resist the lure of designer fabrics and start challenging themselves in the way they use fabric.

She makes a great point.  In a class I took once from Joen Woelfrom, she said she only bought 1/3 cuts of any one fabric as that forced her to use multiple fabrics across a quilt, visually enriching the surface.  Perhaps, as A Passionate Quilter noted, it’s time to return to this for so many reasons.

Yesterday Todd Hensley, CEO of C & T books posted on his blog the details of this copyright story.  It was interesting that things only got a bit heated when the legal profession got involved–not that I have anything against attorneys, I don’t–but I recognize that their job is to uphold the copyright law, and perhaps they push a bit harder on where the line is.

Dmdezigns wrote:

With regards to fabric, I see the designer’s point in this example, but again, it’s a slippery slope. If I have to be worried about how you’re going to react about how I’ve used your fabric, I won’t use it. . . . What does concern me is how we define publishing and whether or not that includes my blog.

I liked that she brought in the idea of blog publishing as a potential sore spot, although I try not to think about that when I’m writing.  Perhaps we quilters are just experiencing in our corner of the world the explosive change wrought by the advent of the internet.

So, to wrap it up with something quilty, here is my latest rose window block.  And yes, I noticed that I used Dena’s fabric exclusively in the fussy-cut sections of the center, but have reverted to my stash for the dark outer pieces.

(Excuse the business part of the pin wall.)

I would hope that there might be a Daddy Warbucks somewhere who could step in as a friend of the court, on the quilt industry side, and let a jury adjudicate this to its end.  I think of my Lollypop Trees quilt (a summer project) that uses Kaffe Fassett fabrics exclusively.  Or the blocks above.  Or my Christmas Star Quilt.  At this point, since I’m a not-for-profit quilter, I needn’t worry.  But if I were a published quilter, I’d for sure would think twice about using a complete line of fabrics from any one designer.

Quilt Shows · Quilts

Scrap Attack Quilt

Today, over at Stitched in Color, Rachel is having a Scrap Attack Festival of Quilts.  Here’s my entry.

It’s a mini-quilt, roughly about the size of a sheet of paper: 8 1/2″ by 11″ and it spells out the word LOVE.  You’ve seen it before, as I started this last month about the same time I started my Scrappy Stars quilt, which is still up on the pinwall.

Like any good distracted, slightly ADHD creative type, I am really good at thinking up new projects, as that proverbial red herring is dragged across my original trail and I veer off to follow that idea or thought or whatever.  This spring’s been especially bad for this, perhaps because of my twenty minutes of cancer (which somehow seems to have permanently altered my thinking) or because I am not totally immersed in my job, gazing out my window as the wisteria blossoms when I should be grading Grammar Groups.  Or maybe because I’m approaching a phase of life when I am forced to choose between my activities because of lagging energy (I can hear my parents and brothers laughing when I say this because they believe I have always had too much energy–okay, so maybe it’s just down to a more normal level) and a refocusing of aims and goals.  It’s all very complicated in my head, but I try to unscramble it occasionally.

So, I knew that I wouldn’t finish the Scrappy Stars.  So, in order to have something to show for Rachel’s festival, I went small.  I went Do-In-A-Day.  I went easy, paper pieced.  I went to LOVE.  It now hangs above my computer.  I think at some point I may come back to it and add some embroidery stitching, maybe a button or two, but for now, it hangs there, as a testament of staying the course, albeit a mini-course.  I’ll take it.

Something to Think About

Lawsuits and Quilters

My friend Rhonda sent me news of this latest scuffle involving quilters and the law, as a follow-up to my post about Pinterest.

I’m piecing this together (no pun intended) by reading the blogs of the two women involved: Emily Cier, of Carolina Patchworks and Kate Spain.  As I understand it, Moda sent Emily some of Kate Spain’s fabric to use in a quilt, which she did, and put it in her book.

As a side light, a tote bag was made to publicize the book (shown above in a screenshot from Amazon).  This particular screen shot was right above another shot of other quilters having their own totes as well (shown below).

Emily Cier received one of those very cheerful cease and desist letters, which basically puts the fear of God into you, if you’ve ever received one.  They are very effective.  She blogged about it.

Then Kate Spain, whose fabric is shown on the tote, blogged about her side of it too.  She gave an little illustration of how copyright works, encouraged others to continue using her fabric and tried to soothe the populace.  But we live in a digital, trigger-happy world, and I must admit some of the comments made me cringe.

But others had a legitimate question: if they create using Spain’s fabrics and that fabric is shown in books and on patterns, will they be sued as well?  I read through all the comments and didn’t see a response to that, but it was made clear once one commenter provided a link to Amazon and the tote bag.

And, then Emily followed up with a response.

I see the difference between the two issues–and if I were Kate Spain, I’d probably jump around too–but then does that mean that we can only use our own fabrics if, by chance, we become well-known enough (as in Emily’s case) to publish a book and want a promotional tote made to publicize our book? Somehow I don’t think Emily meant to appropriate Spain’s fabric designs, but instead was happy to have her quilt publicized on a tote.

In both cases–the Pinterest issue that I raised earlier and this one–it seem to me that copyright laws are at the core.  Many commented that the threat of lawsuits had disrupted their “pinning” habit, and they were a bit irked. (Agreed. However I do wish there were a way for Pinterest to “poke” or ping me when one of my images was being used.  Before I had a Pinterest account, there were no notifications whatsoever.)  And like one of my commentors, I’ve been frustrated by the amount of quilt designs that I once thought were in the public domain, being licensed and appropriated for a quilter’s business.  I remember even being disgusted when another icon of the blogging age, The Pioneer Woman, claimed the recipe for Texas Sheet Cake — which has been in my recipe file for about a century — as “her” buttermilk-chocolate cake recipe.  (I kind of stopped reading her after that.)

Will we as quilters be bound by the tangle of copyright laws that seem ambiguous as best, and harmful to the creative process, at their worst?  What do you think? Do threats of cease and desist lawsuits ever cross your mind when you make up a new quilt?  Do you think that all of us quilters are scrapping for the same slice of pie?  Or is it, as one quilter charged on Spain’s blog:

This situation is, I believe, the result of a designer who sells fabric, but is not a quilter and does not understand the process of creating quilts. A quilt is not a tea towel, paper napkin or plate. The implications for every quilt book, magazine or pattern published is simply staggering. The quilting community needs to take note of this issue.

In other words, who do you think “owns” that image on the tote bag: the fabric designer, or the quilt artist?

Sewing · WIP

WIP–iPad Cover

Since we had picked up iPads during our jaunt to San Francisco, any self-respecting quilter knows what’s next: make a cover.  And I knew just what I wanted to do.  Waiting for me when I got home was this sweet little gift of some bird Spoonflower fabric from Betty–we’d done an informal fabric swap (I think I got the better part–thank you Betty!) and these birds were destined to be a part of any cover I’d be making.

But I figure I would start with my husband’s, since I knew he wanted to get his own cover, so whatever I made wouldn’t be a long-term keeper.  No pressure.  But he wasn’t going to get these terrific birds!

I Googled “iPad cover tutorial” on the web, read through about 12 of what was offered (quite a range!), and dived in.  I chose a beige linen for the outside, some blue Minky for the inside, with a top band of blue ikat fabric so the minky wouldn’t show.  I wanted it to be solid, and this had to be quick, as my daughter Barbara (read about her *here*) and her grandchildren were arriving in about an hour.  I sewed on the top bank of fabric to the Minky, layered it up and started quilting narrow parallel lines in gray thread–not necessarily as a design choice, but because that’s what was in the bobbin.

Cover all quilted.  This is the outside.

And this is the inside–showing the band of fabric at the top.

I trimmed it up.  Good thing this is the guinea pig model, as the width across — of nearly 16″– is really too snug.

This is the final shaping before I begin the binding of it.  The flap is on the lower left of the photo.  I’m beginning the binding at the lower left corner proceeding all along the bottom of the shape above, then plan to fold the piece in half, and finish the binding along the joined edges.  We’ll see.

I made the binding out of 1 1/2″ wide bias-cut fabric, using the same linen as I did for the cover, then folded in half, then the raw edges pressed to the inside.

Sewing on the binding, heading around that rounded flap corner.

Here’s the inside, showing the band, plus the soft Minky fabric, which will allow the iPad to be protected from scratches.

I sewed the scratchy part of the Velcro to the cover outside, and the soft part to the flap, finishing just as the doorbell rang and my daughter and her three children arrived!  My oldest grandchild, Keagan, is holding the finished product, with the iPad slightly protruding.  Maddie, the three-year old sister and Riley, the five-year old brother hadn’t made it up the stairs yet.

And here it is closed.  I’m sure my husband is still looking for just the perfect cover, but this will get him through until he finds just what he wants.  I’ll be starting on my cover when all these little people in my life have returned home, and after I finish grading the midterms.  Spring Break ends this week–so sad to see it go, but summer is just a short 9 weeks from now.  I’m already counting down the days.

On another note, here’s a couple of pictures with my other granddaughters in them–having received their doll quilts.  They are both posing with the quilts I made for them when they were born.

Oh, yeah.  I’m one of THOSE grandmas, who’ll whip out her phone to show you pictures of her grandchildren.  Yep, any time.  Any place.

Other projects I’m working on:
Doll quilts for Keagan and her little sister Maddie and a “guy-quilt” for Riley’s Buzz Lightyear figure
Star quilt, which adorns my pin wall and I still love
Hexagon blocks, which are a nice piece of handwork when I sit down to watch a movie (not this week!)

Thanks–no, many thanks!--go to Lee of Freshly Pieced Fabrics, who is hosting this Works In Progress Wednesday.  Return to her blog to see what she, and others are working on.


Time to Go Home

When I start finding lots of images that could be turned into quilts (like the ones below), and. . .

. . . when I start buying souvenirs like the ones below. . .

. . . I know it’s time to go home and get back to quilting. So we did, driving 8 hours south through the rain. . . to more rain.

But we made a little detour first, to this place.

Where we saw a bunch of blue-shirted happy Apple employees.  And yes, Krista, we bit, which about covers our birthdays, our anniversaries, Bastille Day, St. Patrick’s Day, whatever. Check back Wednesday when I attempt to make an iPad cover in less than an hour before the grandchildren arrive for their Spring Break visit.