Beeswax Food Wraps – My Experience Making Them

I quit cling film food wrap cold turkey. When the last roll ran out months ago I did not buy more and I will not be buying more in the future unless the companies get with the program and produce bio degradable food wraps. Even then, I think I’m settled in with my solutions so why waste money?

I also haven’t bought paper towels in about 20 years. It was just one of those things that seemed like such a huge waste of money for me and a waste of natural resources for the world.

And when I stopped buying these things did my world come crashing to a halt? No. I just kept on going like I always do and I adapted. Humans are very capable of adapting to many different things as proven by evolution. So we can adapt to creating less waste just as well.

How do I clean my house without paper towels? I use reusable cloths. I clean both bathrooms in the same time slot and wash all the cloths immediately afterwards on their own load and all is well. I try to get the dusting and floor mopping done too if I can and those cloths go in the same wash load as well.

How do I store my food without cling film? In Tupperware containers. Yes, they are plastic but I’ve had them for over twenty years and probably will have them for twenty more. And if they do break they are more easily recycled than cling film plastic.

Sometimes though, you do want to just quickly wrap something up and that’s where the beeswax food wraps come in.

My son and I spent an enjoyable afternoon in July making beeswax food wraps. He just wandered into the kitchen, saw what I was doing and jumped in to help. We used 10 fat quarters and made many wraps in several sizes. It was a great mother/son afternoon and we are proud of our work. We made way more than we needed so we sent some to family members. (Handmade gift idea for you!)

Beeswax fabric food wraps made by Daydreams of Quilts and Son.

I used a Martha Steward scalloped rotary cutter to cut the edges. You can also use pinking shears. I used locally sourced beeswax from Beary Berry Honey in Alberta. We grated the beeswax on a cheese grater and sprinkled it over the pieces of fabric on a cookie sheet and then melted the wax in the oven.

I used this YouTube tutorial for my wraps:

This was a helpful video and works well for personal use. If you wish to sell your wraps (and for future wraps that I make) I suggest this blog post and recipe that I found on Google.

I also found this post very interesting reading on this topic as well. She goes through her experiences with trying several different methods of food wraps.

My advice:

All that being said, this does make quite a mess in your kitchen. (At least the method I used did – see YouTube video above.) And it is difficult to clean up beeswax. Plus, once it’s melted it can splatter and get everywhere. Wear old clothes because it doesn’t just wash out. Use kitchen tools you have designated specifically for this task if you intend to do it often. We still have some beeswax on our cheese grater almost a month later and I’m not even bothering to try to get it off the cookie sheet which is now designated to craft projects.

Our wraps are working well for us and when they no longer work (in three to six months) they can be put in the compost as they are biodegradable.

Originally I thought I would add these as a product in my Environmentally Friendly Section but I think you really need a designated work area for these and I don’t have room or time for that. I will leave it to the makers who are making these exclusively to supply all the wonderful people who care about reducing plastic waste. I found Goldilocks Wraps and plan to order from then when my wraps get worn out.

So have fun making if you make them and if not please order some and support other makers and our planet. Definitely quit the plastic wrap addiction. It’s not as hard as you might think.

Quilt As You Go Block Joining Technique

One of my customers wrote to me this past week to ask for a video tutorial for my “In the Meadow Quilt As You Go” pattern. She said she is a visual learner and would prefer a video.

In the Meadow Quilt As You Go Quilt by Daydreams of Quilts.

Quilt As You Go Tutorial Video:

I made a quick tutorial video and I’m sharing it on my social media for everyone to learn. This is a great technique, especially if you enjoy hand sewing binding! I took my quilt on a road trip and worked on all the hand sewing while I was away from my machine.

This pattern is currently 20% off for the beginning of August along with all my other patterns and all ready-to-ship stock in our Etsy shop!

A Minecraft Quilt Friday Finish

Minecraft Quilt with sixteen Minecraft character blocks.

Today I went down to my studio and looked at the pile of quilts waiting to be finished. This Minecraft Quilt was on the top of the pile and was more than half quilted. I decided that today was the day to finish this quilt and that it would be done before the end of the day. Mission accomplished! 🙂

A Minecraft quilt with 16 Minecraft character blocks.
Minecraft quilt pieced and quilted by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts. Tutorials for blocks written by Kelli Fannin.

I quilted each block with stipple quilting and switched out the threads to match the fabrics as best I could.

Pink pig Minecraft quilt block.
The pig block quilted in pink thread.
Steve and Creeper Minecraft quilt blocks.
Minecraft Steve and Creeper blocks.

The tutorials for all of these blocks and many, many more were written by Kelli Fannin and are available on her blog.

The Mooshroom Minecraft quilt block.
The Mooshroom (red cow) block.

I backed the quilt with the paper dolls fabric from the Heather Ross Kinder line which I thought was appropriate for my kids who are thrilled to finally be receiving this quilt.

The quilt back with paper dolls fabric.
The back of the quilt with paper dolls fabric.

I am so happy to have this quilt finished! I hope to get quite a few more WIPs through to the finish line over the summer. A huge thank you again to Kelli for all the amazing block tutorials!

Minecraft quilt with sixteen Minecraft character blocks.

Union Jack in a Pixel Heart Quilt Pattern

Quilted Union Jack Flag

This new Union Jack pattern is the latest to be released in our Etsy shop. I have been wanting to create this quilt for quite a while and finally felt that my Foundation Paper Piecing skills were up to snuff.

Union Jack in a Pixel Heart Quilt by Daydreams of quilts.

I love the Union Jack. It was the original flag of Canada until we got our Dominion of Canada flag which was then replaced by the Maple Leaf flag in 1965. As a teenager in the late 80’s / early 90’s I was a major British heavy metal band fan and attended many concerts thanks to my high school boyfriend. (Basically, every one that came through Edmonton at the time.) I saw Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Def Leppard (of course! That was my first concert) just to name a few. So the Union Jack was, and is, naturally cool by association. As an homage to my heavy metal fan days I have put Tula Pink’s Heart Eyes Skulls on the back of my quilt.

Heart Eyes Skulls by Tula Pink are on the back of my quilt. The binding is also a Tula Pink stripe.

I think too that for those of us in Commonwealth Countries like Canada that the Union Jack is like the flag of the Mother Ship if you will. I am very proud of our monarchy. HRH, The Prince of Whales is Colonel in Chief of my husband’s regiment and we see the Union Jack in several buildings around the military bases as well. We also sing “God Save the Queen” at major events such as Remembrance Day.

Foundation Paper Pieced Union Jack Flag.

I felt the best way to achieve the degree of accuracy needed for the National Flag of the United Kingdom was to foundation paper piece it so my pattern does require a knowledge of how to foundation paper piece. I have created a demonstration video for my YouTube channel but it is not a comprehensive tutorial. Check it out if you want a peek in my sewing studio.

Quilted with sippleing, half feather in the border and loops and wavy lines in the flag.

I quilted the Union Jack in a Pixel Heart quilt with stippling in the heart and background. I quilted wavy lines and loops in the flag and half feathers in the border.

Close up of some of the fabrics.

The background is almost all Lizzy House Whisper Palette fabrics with the exception of the city houses print. These have been treasured in my stash for a couple of years now and were from Studio 39 Fabrics.

So, I am very happy with how this quilt turned out and I made it within a week. 🙂

The Union Jack in a Pixel Heart Pattern is 25% off through Sunday June 16th. Newsletter subscribers will be receiving a discount code in the next newsletter for an additional 20% off. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Colour Blocked Modern Hexagon Quilt

I made this colour blocked modern hexagon quilt this week. It was finished yesterday but it was too windy and rainy for taking quilt photos. My son was my quilt holder today and he helped me get photos of this newest finish. This quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop.

A hexagon quilt with eight inch hexagons grouped in blocks of color of pink, yellow and blue.
Colour Blocked Mermaid and Ocean Themed Hexagon Quilt by Anita LaHay of Daydreams of Quilts.

This quilt is made entirely with fabrics by designer Alison Glass from her fabric line called “Diving Board.” The fabrics are mermaid and ocean themed. The quilt is backed with a blue fabric by Mia Whittemore from her Flourish line.

Blue fabric on the back of the quilt.
The backing is a blue print by Mia Whittemore from her Flourish line for Windham Fabrics.

I used the Hex n’ More Ruler by Jaybird Quilts to cut the 8″ hexagons and tried to fussy cut the mermaids whenever possible.

Blue mermaid touching her palm to the tentacle of an octopus.
The blue mermaid touching her palm to the tentacle of an octopus.
Florescent pink mermaid hexagon.
I needed just one more piece of pink in my pink block of colour so I added this florescent pink mermaid in.
Pink mermaid touching her palm to the tentacle of an octopus.
The pink mermaid touching the octopus.

This quilt is quilted a quarter inch on either side of all the vertical seams with bright pink thread.

The modern color blocked mermaid and ocean themed hexagon quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop.

How to do Counted Cross Stitch

I have been working on this Summer Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery for quite some time (like, 6 years… not continuously of course. Ha Ha!) I have actually made quite a lot of progress in the last week completing three squares. Hopefully this summer is the summer I finish! So anyway, for fun today I decided to make a YouTube video on “How to do Counted Cross Stitch.” If you’ve never tried it this might encourage you to start stitching. 🙂

May Long Weekend Sale and Check out These Adorable Pincushions

It’s the May long weekend at last! We had a fabulous weekend in Jasper in the Rocky Mountains last weekend (we always go ahead of the crowds every year). Scroll down for some photos of elk that I took on the trip.

This weekend we will be planting our vegetable garden and I will be happily sewing as always.

To celebrate the onset of happy summer days we are having a 20% off sale for our followers and subscribers. We heart all of you! Use coupon code for 20% off or just click the button below and Etsy will automatically apply the coupon.

We heart our followers! The Pixel Star in a Pixel Heart is one of the digital patterns on sale 20% off this weekend.

Newly finished and listed today are these adorable pincushions. I am having so much fun making these and picking all the different elements that go into them.

These are made with the “Deluxe Pincushion” pattern by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt from her book “Sew Organized for the Busy Girl” which I just added to my collection last month. Sew fun!

Have a wonderful May long weekend if you’re in Canada! Or a wonderful May regular weekend if you’re not. 🙂 Here are those elk photos I promised.

An elk outside our sliding glass door very early in the morning.
Four elk swimming across Lake Annette. The left a trail of shedded winter fur in their wake.
One of the four elk all wet after her swim.

What To Do if Your Small Business is Under Attack on Social Media

If you are a small handmade business owner you probably have multiple social media accounts and ways for people to contact you to inquire about your products and request custom orders. Unfortunately all these ways of being contacted can open you up to receiving nasty social media attacks. Fortunately this rarely happens but when it does it’s a shock and you may not have all your wits about you so here is a post to refer to if this ever happens to you.

I am a member of several small business Facebook groups and see posts from time-to-time of other small business owners asking for help with how to handle their business being under attack on social media. This blog post covers a few do’s and don’ts when this happens.

If you follow my blog you probably saw Monday’s post where I describe some unpleasant things that happened to me last week when I was falsely accused of copying someone’s quilt pattern. This post is kind of a “Part 2” to that post.

I received a message on Instagram early in the morning on May 9th accusing me of copying the message writer’s pattern. Shortly after that I received an email from a woman named Sara (not the original poster) who accused me again, called me a vulgar name and said she “wished me every unhappiness in life.” Then I had this same Sara request to join my Facebook Group (which I declined). Then another person requested to join my Facebook group (again I declined). The second person then signed up for my newsletter (I went into Mailchimp and unsubscribed her.) This was all in a matter of minutes. Three more messages came in on Instagram posts from Sara and a third woman! None of these people were the original person who was accusing me of copying her pattern.

As you can imagine this was quite alarming and upsetting at first. It is important get the situation under control as much as you can as soon as possible.

Here are my tips for small businesses under attack on social media:

Tip 1 Stay Calm:

Stay calm, keep your head and do not respond to any messages. It is very tempting to tell these people exactly what you think of them but don’t do it. They can screenshot anything to write to them and post it all over the place online.

Tip 2 email:

For email: mark messages as spam and do not reply (unless it’s a death threat… see below)

Tip 3 Instagram:

For Instagram posts: Take a screenshot of their username so you can remember it. Delete their comments. Then block their account. This is important because for one of my posts I blocked a comment writer before I deleted their post and then I couldn’t see their comment to delete it but others can still see it. So I had to turn off comments on that Instagram photo all together. So remember: Delete comments first, then block the person.

If people send you private Instagram messages it’s even easier. Just decline their message and block their account right from Instagram messages.

Tip 4 Facebook:

For Facebook Posts: As above… delete comments first then ban the person from your page if you wish. To do this you must be in your Facebook pages app. Click their profile picture and an option will come up to ban from page. You can also ban from page through Facebook messenger on your page if they send you a private message.

Remember: These are your social media accounts and you control what gets posted on them. It is not your job to present an unbiased post that takes the other side into consideration. You are defending yourself under attack and now is not the time to give patient consideration to the other side of the story! Your social media accounts are for your own self promotion. Use them that way.

The only comments that I left on my social media accounts that favored the other side were comments I replied to in my own defence and I wrote my replies for future people reading them rather than to the comment writer in particular. Much in the same way that you write a response to a bad review on Etsy… you are writing to future customers more so than the customer who left the bad review.

Tip 5 Manage Follow Requests:

If you get any other odd followers, subscribers or group join requests that seem suspicious do not hesitate to decline and/or block.

Tip 6 Find the Source:

Once you have dealt with the immediate influx of hate messages get searching and find the original source as quickly as you can. Within minutes I found the Facebook business page of the woman accusing me of copying and there was a post there in which she named my business. There was a stream of hateful comments on that post and who was writing them? All the people who had sent me nasty messages! Start reporting anything that names your business or encourages other people to attack you online to Facebook for harassment right away. Even if Facebook deems it to not be harassment they will hide the posts while they look into it and that took them three days. By the time they ruled against me the whole thing had blown over (and some they did take down). I notice that after I published Monday’s post this post I am writing about here disappeared from her Facebook page.

Tip 7 Blog:

For your own blog I suggest having comment moderation turned on. If nasty or unwanted comments come through mark them as spam and/or delete. With moderating comments there is no chance a comment can be published and seen by others before you get a chance to approve it. Again, this is your blog and you decide what gets published on it. In my case, I own my blog domain and pay to have it so I definitely do not allow comments against me.

Tip 8: People who adopt a mob mentality have short attention spans.

After 12 hours things had settled down so keep this in mind: The people who insert themselves into other people’s “scandals” and jump on the mob attack mindset are also people with short attention spans who get bored very easily. They will get bored of this scandal and will be moving onto the next witch hunt that comes along very quickly so take comfort in that.

A few more things that can happen but did not happen to me:

Tip 9 Death Threats:

If you get death threats: take screenshots of everything. Do not delete emails or messages in this case. Report everything to the police. This is not something to be taken lightly and charges should be laid.

Tip 10 Facebook Reviews:

If you have Facebook reviews turned on and people start leaving fake reviews. Report all fake reviews to Facebook, request they be deleted and turn your reviews off to quell the damage.

Tip 11 Etsy Convos:

If people are sending you harassing messages through Etsy: tell them not to contact you again and report to Etsy. In many cases Etsy will close down their account.

I hope this post helps you if this unfortunate situation ever befalls you. If you are reading this and are under attack I’m sorry this is happening to you and I hope it’s over soon.

What To Do If You Think Someone May Have Copied Your Quilt Pattern

I was recently falsely accused of stealing someone’s quilt pattern and using it as my own. This person handled the situation so badly that I was actually embarrassed for her as a business woman. I thought maybe she could use some advice and perhaps there are others out there who would possibly make the same bad decisions. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. For legal advice please consult a lawyer.

Here are three simple business tips on the topic.

Tip 1:

Determine if they actually copied your pattern by downloading the pattern you think is possibly a copy. Either download their free pattern or purchase their pattern. If they have copied your pattern (images and instructions) then you have a copyright issue. Also look at their pattern image and your own. Are they actually the same? The pattern in question is my Pixelated Skull Quilt pattern which is a free download for my newsletter subscribers. In my case mine is quite obviously different from hers but she jumped to conclusions that mine was a copy without even taking a closer look.

If she had downloaded my pattern she would have been able to see that it was not a copy as I have never seen her pattern before and my written instructions would have been totally different from hers.

Tip 2:

If you have determined that the person actually did copy your pattern or is sharing your pattern file send them a private message in which you calmly and professionally state that you believe they have copied your pattern and as the copyright holder you request that they remove the pattern from all platforms and stop distributing it immediately.

Do not send a passive aggressive public comment on a social media post that says “Thanks for copying my pattern out since 2015. Not cool.” This will not get you anywhere and is very unprofessional and childish. In my case I simply deleted the post she commented on and created a new one which got way more traction than the original post did.

If the person does not comply then send a cease and desist letter yourself or hire a lawyer to do it. There are templates for this out on the internet. You can also send a take down notice to any platforms that are hosting the pattern. Again, templates for that can be found on the internet. Only do this if there was actually a copyright infringement. A design being “similar” or a “similar” idea is not a copyright infringement.

If they still do not comply then you have to ask yourself if it’s worth pursuing further. Are you actually losing enough money from this to make the expensive legal fees and hassle (and possibly bad press) worthwhile?

My design is free and I am not making money from it. Also, Pixelated skulls are a very common design. Google says there are over 2 million images when I do an image search.

In her case, she owns the copyright to her images and written words. She does not own the copyright to the idea of a Pixelated Skull quilt. Ideas and techniques cannot be copyrighted.

Tip 3:

Regardless of the outcome or whether you decide to pursue further legal action do not call the person out on social media or any public forum. This makes you look bad and is bad for your business.

This woman, let’s call her “she who must not be named,” put a public post on her Facebook business page and her personal Facebook page in which she named my business. She also encouraged her followers who said they were sending me hate emails and social media messages. You will notice that although it is tempting to publicly shame this person Daydreams of Quilts is taking the high road here and not stooping to her level.

Later that day I put out photos showing where my free quilt pattern inspiration came from and it was not even a quilt. It was a plastic perler bead craft. The nasty messages stopped pretty quickly after that! She has made herself, and her followers who publicly commented negatively, look very bad. They have all portrayed themselves as having low intelligence and being unable think critically and were quick to adopt a lynch mob mentality. This is not an image a small business owner wants to portray to current and potential customers.

I spend thousands of dollars in the sewing industry every year and often give shout outs to my suppliers on social media. She who must not be named has guaranteed that not of those thousands of dollars will ever be hitting her bank account.

Free Pixelated Skull Quilt Pattern

I woke up this lovely March morning to a rudely written message on Instagram that said, “Thanks for copying my pattern. Not cool!” on an image I had posted of this Pixelated Skull Quilt. I then received a couple of more very unkind messages from a different person who was not the original poster.

How many similar quilt patterns are there out there? Thousands! This pattern was created from scratch and was based on a photo of a perler bead creation actually. I worked on this pattern for hours mainly because I wanted to figure out how it could be made into a quilt. I always had the intention of making it a free pattern.

We have established that inspiration can be found in many places. I hope my quilting community will enjoy this free pattern. Please click the sign-up link below for a free PDF pattern download of this Pixelated Skull pattern and several other free patterns I have made available.