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.

Modern Hexagon Pond Quilt

This is today’s quilt finish. It is made with Elizabeth Hartman’s Pond fabric line and coordinating Kona solids.

Hexagon Pond quilt pieced and quilted by Anita LaHay of Daydreams of Quilts.

I cut the hexagons from 8 1/2″ strips that I had cut from my fat quarter bundles. I used the Hex n More Ruler by Jaybird Quilts for my cutting. I didn’t really have a plan or a pattern to follow I was just winging it. 🙂

I pieced this quilt yesterday. Yes, there are Y seams but once you get used to those they are a piece of cake. Here is a tutorial I did a few years ago on piecing hexagons.

I quilted 6″ hexagons inside the 8″ hexagons.

I kept the modern clean lined look of this quilt by quilting 6″ hexagons inside the 8″ hexagons using a plastic template from a Moda Honeycombs pack as a guide.

The back of the quilt is a Tim Holtz print of old fashioned ledgers.
Daydreams of Quilts label from Dutch Label Shop.

I machine sewed the binding to the front and the back of the quilt. I love my woven quilt labels from Dutch Label Shop. I’m starting to run low but my original 150 has lasted over a year.

This quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop here.

Trinket “Things” Blocks, A Giveaway and a Discount Code

Here it is Friday already! And Good Friday at that! I hope everyone will have a wonderful Easter weekend. My son and I were on a walk yesterday and we saw a Jack Rabbit who looked just like the Easter bunny!

Things 7-10 in the Trinket Sew Along

Here are my “Things” Blocks in the Trinket Sew Along! I am surprising myself that I am enjoying foundation paper piecing! Maybe I have turned a corner now. I really like today’s block “Things 10.” I tried to make mine like an amethyst gem as my husband has bought me a few lovely ones over our relationship (usually while driving through Ontario).

Clinton Modern Creative has sponsored me in this sew along and they are having a Spring Clearance sale. Use code: EASTER15 at checkout to save 15% off the last price site-wide on all in stock merchandise this weekend.

Daydreams of Quilts is hosting a book giveaway on Instagram! Head over to my Instagram account to enter!

Book Giveaway hosted by Daydreams of Quits on Instagram.

Have a Happy Easter and a great long weekend. Don’t forget to check out the sale items that are 15% off at Daydreams of Quilts too!

Things 6 and 15% Off Discounts

It’s my week to blog my blocks in the Trinket Sew Along! Today is the Things 6 block. I love this envelope shape!

Things 6 in the Alison Glass Trinket Sew Along

The symmetrical blocks are fun because they seem to be efficient to put together to me. I’ve been doing quite well for not having to rip out seams lately. I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself by writing that!

Don’t forget, you can still use code TRINKET15 for 15% off your order of in stock merchandise at Clinton Modern Creative! They also have a BOGO event for 2018 Cotton + Steel fabrics. Clinton Modern Creative is a sponsor of the Sew Along and they also sponsored me in the sew along by providing the pattern for me.

You can also save 15% off ready-to-ship items and PDF patterns at Daydreams of Quilts! No need for a code as the sale is on Etsy. Don’t forget – Mother’s Day is coming up! Maybe you need a Mother’s Day gift like these beautiful project bags made with Alison Glass fabrics!

Project Bags made by Daydreams of Quilts with Alison Glass fabrics. (Pattern hack of the Retreat Bag pattern by Emmaline Bags.)

Spring Quilt Block Patterns by Daydreams of Quilts

I have been slowly releasing Spring Quilt Block patterns in my Etsy shop since January. Today the final block, Spring Tulips, has been released. All the Quilt Block patterns are available individually or as a digital pattern bundle. All of these blocks individually would make great Easter/Spring place mats or throw pillows. They could also be combined into table runners or table toppers or a quilt top (idea in image below.)

A Quilt Top Idea for a Spring Easter Quilt made with all the blocks.

Today’s block release is the Spring Tulips Block. Available individually here or in the pattern bundle. This is a 12″ x 12″ block.

Spring Tulips Quilt Block Pattern by Daydreams of Quilts.
The Spring Chick Quilt Block Pattern by Daydreams of Quilts was released in March.

The Spring Chick Quilt Block is also a 12″ x 12″ block. The Rabbit Quilt Block Pattern is a 12″ x 12″ block with a 6″ x 12″ carrot block and a bonus free 12″ x 12″ rainbow Easter Egg. The Easter egg is also included free in the pattern bundle.

Rabbit and Carrot blocks with bonus Rainbow Egg.
Rabbit Quilt Block pattern by Daydreams of Quilts.

The Spring Lamb Quilt Block is a 12″ x 24″ quilt block. The lambs ears are the same size as the carrot blocks.

Spring Lamb Quilt Block pattern by Daydreams of Quilts.

These quilt patterns, the pattern bundle and more can be found in the PDF Quilt Patterns section of my Etsy shop.

Now if only my tulips would come up! 🙂

My Trinket Collection So Far

I am keeping up with the Trinket Sew Along (small miracle! Ha ha!) and have my collection of Trinkets for weeks 1 and 2 to show you today.

Trinket Blocks Lines 1 to 10 for weeks one and two of the Trinket Sew Along.

Even though Foundation Paper Piecing is not my technique of choice I feel like this is going pretty well and I do love the bright vibrant colours of Alison Glass fabric. Seeing them all together like this has instilled a sense of pride and I am looking forward to seeing the whole collection of 40 blocks together at the end.

If you’re in the mood for fabric shopping (and really, who isn’t?!) visit Clinton Modern Creative who kindly provided me with the pattern for this sew along. She’s got a discount code: TRINKET15 for 15% off all in-stock merchandise in her shop. You do not have to be sewing along to take advantage of the sale. Put the coupon code in the coupon box at checkout to get the discount.

Week 2 of the Trinket SAL and a Coupon Code!

It’s week 2 of the Trinket Sew Along already! Today’s block is called Lines #6. I will be working on more blocks this afternoon while my youngest is in pre-school as I like to sew them in batches rather than one a day. These are 4″ blocks so they are pretty quick to make, even if you are challenged with foundation paper piecing like I am. 🙂

Lines #6 Block in the Trinket Sew Along.

Clinton Modern Creative is one of the sew along sponsors this week and they have a discount code for 15% off all in stock merchandise. Use code: TRINKET15 at checkout to claim your discount.

If you haven’t joined in yet but are thinking you would like to you can find all the information and sign up on the Alison Glass website.