Quilts, the Sewing Room, & Quilting!

Wow, I really didn't think I'd have much to write about this week, but as it turns out, I've quite a bit.  First, I got the binding sewn down on my Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt. I really liked the quilting pattern, Alfalfa, that I used on this one.  I went with a flanged binding.  It finished off around 70" x 70".  I don't have any great pictures of this one yet since I don't have any quilt holders available.  I'm planning to try to sell this quilt.  

Second, we got the design wall made and hung over the weekend.  We used two 4' x 8' sheets of 1" thick foam that we bought at Lowe's.  They are each covered with Warm & White batting.  It took three yards of by-the-yard batting, or a queen size batting, for each.  We taped the batting to the back of each board with ultra-strong tape we found at Menards.  We then affixed the sheets to the wall using Command picture hanging strips.  We used 24 pairs total, which was an entire package from Sam's Club.  So far, so good.  And maybe I should finally make the last few blocks for the quilt on there--it's been hanging out for several years. Alas, the last few blocks all have hand-stitching of some type and that's why it's been in limbo.

We also started working on the top for my ironing surface.  Unfortunately, it is not complete yet and is on top of my current work surface, so no sewing is currently happening.  We are using a butcher block countertop piece that we got on special at Menards on Black Friday.  We are wrapping it with two layers of Warm & White and two layers of silver ironing board fabric from JoAnn.  My husband tried to use his air stapler on this, but it did not work--the row of staples kept blowing out the back of the gun.  Once he switched to the regular staple gun, things moved along a bit.  We will be mounting this on one 4 x 4 Kallax shelving unit from Ikea.  It will have wheels on the bottom as well.
Once this is done, we have a new countertop that matches my other counters to put on top of my work surface.  I'm looking forward to having it all done.

I have a few customer quilts to work on.  The first one is completely hand-pieced.  I haven't tried long arm quilting a hand-pieced quilt before.  The top has all sorts of interesting fabrics.  I am doing all over loopy meandering on this one and would love to have it done by the weekend, or at least before we start working on the long arm.

Here's a super-brief glance at another one.  My friend brought this to me and she's going to let me use the robotics on it once we get it all hooked up. I can't wait!
Speaking of robotics, look what showed up today!  This box is so much bigger and heavier than I expected! And I am super excited!
 Here's what you see when you open the box.
They included a tablet with our purchase.  I might have a bit of a learning curve because I haven't used anything Windows-based in years.  Side note--I was trying to see what designs come pre-installed with the software.  You can download a free demo on the Grace website--as long as you are using Windows.  So, no go for me.  I haven't found anything online that shows the designs yet.  I may need to rectify this soon.  :)  
Under the first layer is the second layer.  It appears to be a big, heavy carriage for the machine, a power strip, and a box of parts. 

In other news, my washing machine is malfunctioning and filling the bleach container with water as the machine fills.  This in turn makes the container overflow and leak all over the floor.  We have a part coming today that will hopefully fix the issue.  

I wanted to share an odd Etsy purchasing experience with you.  I purchased a fabric layer cake from a new shop (Bee and Cloth/Stassi Armstrong/ bshzuhsns/ beeandcloth@gmail.com) on April 15.  They marked it shipped on April 18 but did not enter a tracking number.  I waited a few days and nothing arrived, so I contacted the shop to request a tracking number.  They didn't answer.  I waited a week and sent another message.  They answered by saying they had an issue with their post office and reshipped it via UPS and that it should arrive the next day.  I immediately sent them another message requesting the tracking.  No response, no package.  I had to wait until April 30 before Etsy would let me file a dispute.  

Meanwhile, all sorts of negative feedback started showing up, all pretty much with the same story as what was happening to me.  At first the seller was answering the feedback and saying they did provide tracking multiple times and that people had supposedly signed for their packages.  I figured this was a lie. First, the shop was offering free shipping and it's quite costly to add signature services to a package.  Second, you cannot send a package via USPS without having a tracking number--tracking is put on all packages now. Third, if you sign up for Informed Delivery from USPS (free, but not available in all areas), you can see what packages are coming to you the second the sender generates a shipping label.  Guess what, no tracking number was ever generated for me. 

Then I found someone on Instagram warning people against making purchases from the shop (by this point the person had made over 200 sales and continued to make sales even with all the negative feedback).  We compared some notes--she was the first person to leave negative feedback.  I was the 10th or 11th.  She really went after Etsy, and the shop was thankfully shut down on May 5.  I did get my refund, after having to escalate the dispute since the seller never responded (big surprise).  I really hope all the other 200+ people get refunds too.

What I don't really understand is why the person went to such extreme lengths on this scam.  It takes a lot of time to set up Etsy listings, and it costs $.20 per listing.  Then you incur fees when something sells. Theoretically, they would have made a minimum of $7500 in sales, but would they have actually gotten that?  I really just find the whole thing odd and I guess you really need to examine how long a shop has been in business, what is the feedback, etc. before making a purchase.  A precautionary measure might be to send them a convo before purchasing, although they could easily lie if they respond. Maybe see if they have social media too. Also, why did it take Etsy so long to shut them down?  On the plus side, this is the first time in 12 years of buying on Etsy that I've ever had that happen.  I'd like to believe most people are honest.

Well, anyway.  Here are some of the flowers that are blooming in my gardens.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  And if you've made it this far, thanks for hanging in there with me.  I appreciate every single person who takes the time to read my posts.  Say hi in the comments.  I love to hear from readers.  Totally makes my day. :)
Iris Batik
Iris Immortality
Allium--best they've ever looked.
Iris--this is one of a ton that we got for free from a lady that lives near us.  None of them were marked, so it's always interesting to see what blooms each year.  They are quite varied.  If you live near me and want some Iris or some lamb's ear or some milkweed, let me know.  I have a lot to share!

Linking with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation.

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