Friday, January 30, 2009

What could be better than this?

Not only awesome news about the CPSIA - a one-year stay of enforcement from the CPSC and an announcement by Sen. Jim DeMint (R) SC, that he's introducing legislation next week to overhaul the CPSIA, including expressly allowing "component testing" but also ... my bunny hat featured along with the breaking news Storque article on etsy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I feel so quilty



Still sewing along with YCMT! I love this latest step, we've put the squares together into strips and filled in the side triangles with fabric pieces. This gave me the opportunity to add a little more brown into the quilt, which I was hoping to do. I like it!



Clementine does too. Or maybe her immediate need to sit upon it means she hates it, you never can tell with cats.

It's not too late to sew along with YCMT if you want to try making your first quilt, and while you are there, please take a moment to vote for You Can Make This as one of America’s Top Mom-Owned Businesses. I personally can't say enough great things about the site, it empowers stay/work-at-home moms (and anyone else who wants to learn to sew or expand their abilities) to create beautiful, useful items for personal use and home businesses, and as the co-author of five eBooks (and two more in the works, more on that soon!) I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my own business by teaching others to sew. Please take a minute to vote and let them know how much you value the site.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FELONY FASHION ALERT!



There is so much to say about the misguided Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that I have not known where to begin though it has not been out of my mind for a single moment. I have thought about it, brainstormed over it, wrung my hands over it, gotten angry, and yes, even cried about it (I plead pregnant on the last one).

In a nutshell, the CPSIA is a set of new consumer safety regulations that affects all items for children ages 12 and under, including clothing and accessories, books, games, toys, etc., and requires expensive third-party testing for both lead and pthalates of all such items for sale. The extensive testing that is required for items that are known to be lead-free (fabric and thread, for example) is too expensive for independent handcrafters such as me to be able to afford. This testing is mandatory beginning February 10. In August, the rules change again and destructive testing
must be done on each item by certified labs. The fines for violating this new law is $100,000 and possible jail time.

What does this mean for - for example - me? It means my business is wiped out. I can't possibly afford the testing on each "batch" of items I handcraft. It means no more fleece animal ear hats, no more tie dye tees, no handsewn twirly dresses, no more plush bunnies. It means I am stuck with hundreds, probably thousands, of dollars worth of fabrics, clothing blanks, dyes, notions, and supplies. It means my pre-paid advertising, my business cards, my hang tags and sew-in labels are all worthless, it means I have mailers and labels and tissue I will never be able to use. It means I'm out of my source of income at a time the economy stinks and I have a baby on the way.

What does this mean for you? If you create for children as I do, it means all of the above. If you like to buy children's handmade items (as I also do), if you like to shop etsy or eBay or your local craft fair or holiday bazaar, it means you are out of luck. No baby quilts, no handknit sweaters, no cuddly teddies, no floaty tutus, no clever tee shirts. It means more business for Target and Walmart, whose suppliers can afford the required testing.

Yet, handcrafters are not going gentle into this goodnight. The CPSIA is widely considered to be poorly written and in need of exceptions or an overhaul to avoid the unintended consequences I have set out above. Join me and hundreds of other children's boutique designers as we promote awareness of all that could be lost should the CPSIA go forward as written. Search "Boutique Felony" on ebay January 27 through February 3 for items created by our loving hands, and have a chance to buy them before they are "banned hazardous products". If you create, come join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=46891817335.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A few of my Favorite Things

You probably noticed I like to sew. And if you could see my sewing room, you'd know that lately, I like to sew for Baby, who is due in May. And if you've known me longer than a few minutes, you probably know I like FREE. So ... what could be better than an awesome baby gadget, a supreme online fabric store and FREE? Check out these giveaways:

This one, at Fabric Hound, celebrates a first birthday and is giving away a $100 gift certificate and other great prizes:


Lanie Jane is so generously giving away a to-die-for bundle of Patty Young's delicious Andalucia fabrics. Patty, I knew ya when!

And Bellaziza's Favorite things has two great swag prizes, a Beaba Babycook and a year's subscription to Relish:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sew far, so good



Well, my seam ripper has been my close friend, but I have finished the "pinwheel" blocks for my YCMT sew-along quilt. Geometry is not my strong point, and I wound up with a few wonky non-pinwheely blocks and one that for whatever reason was just off ... left-handed or something. Now they are ripped, re-sewn and finished and I'm ready for the next step.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sew sew sewing along ... with YCMT!

So yesterday my husband said to me "Quilting? That's great, honey, I am so glad you have another new hobby!"

OK, so I made that up. But I did start my first quilting project, via a sew-along with You Can Make This. What's a sew-along? Kind of like a book club, sewing-style. A bunch of people making the same project, step-by-step, together. Kim is leading us in making a no-stress quilt, and it's not too late to join if you don't mind doing a little catch-up. I have some catching up to do myself, I have about 2/3 of my squares cut and about half of them pieced and pressed, but am waiting for a certain fabric I already bought to come in the mail. Since I have now purchased enough Moda Sock Monkey fabrics to tent the house, I am naturally using those.



I'll be posting updates as we sew along! Come join us: YCMT Blog Sew Along

Speaking of updates, don't forget about the Bellaziza's Favorite things Babycook and Relish magazine giveaways - I have my entries in!