Thursday, October 27, 2022

Can you afford this?

So we all know the price of everything is on the rise. Interest rates, house prices, gas, food -- you name it. And let's face it -- we have an expensive hobby, and the fabric prices are on the rise, as is everything else we use. Thankfully some of us have a stash, and hopefully, we still like what's in our stash! Mine will keep me going for the rest of my quilting life! But here's something that caught my attention recently, and quite frankly -- I'm still in disbelief!

I'm sure this situation happened with other designers, but I only give you one example. 

I'm sure everyone has heard of Tula Pink? It would appear that her fabric has become a license to print money! I'm not saying that any of what I'm about to share is wrong, but we need to ensure that we are not becoming followers but choosing fabric because we LIKE it!

Toes in the Sand is a pattern by Jaybird quilts initially published 10 years ago. The fabric choices are perhaps not the best, but it's still an attractive quilt. 

The original Toes in the Sand pattern

Ten years later, the pattern gets republished in Tula Pink fabrics, and I'm sure it's exhibiting a revival. As a matter of fact, I'm teaching this class. Not because of the new coloring, as I purchased the pattern 10 years ago and still want to make it. My principal reason for choosing this pattern is the triangle shape of the blocks. It's different, and I try to change what I teach each year. 

The NEW pattern for Toes in the Sand

I will say that Julie (from Jaybird) very kindly put out a pdf (10 pages or so) for those with the original pattern of the changes in the new book, so we didn't have to buy two books! Thank you, Julie!!!!

Does anyone remember the Tula Pink Butterfly quilt? Well, that was published 10 years ago, and YES -- I have the original pattern. 

The original butterfly quilt pattern by Tula Pink

This pattern was redone with Tula's basics, so people could make it from fabric that would be readily available. If you look inside the patterns, they are pretty much the same graphics, with a few things added to the new version. Those new pages were NOT made available as a PDF (to my knowledge) for those with the original pattern. The rewrite took EONS, yet most of the inside is the same. 

The NEW Butterfly quilt pattern

Both the original quilts were very popular, so why not refresh them with new fabric to keep the sales momentum going. I'm OK with that. 

And I'm sure there are more instances where a pattern is released or rereleased with Tula Pink fabric to drive sales. Why not? Especially if you like Tula's fabrics, which are available through Free Spirit Fabrics. 

But this next situation is quite disturbing. I removed the shop's name because I believe this pattern is likely available from more than one place, and I didn't want to point fingers.  

Here's a new quilt called Queen of Diamonds. It's beautiful and, you guessed it, made from Tula Pink fabrics. 

Queen of Diamonds

When you read some of the literature, you think that it was designed by Tula Pink. NO  --- check the bottom of this screenshot to see that it is designed by Pink Door Fabrics. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that! It's pretty straightforward if you read the fine print. 

So far, so good. Now look at the size of the quilt -- it's a nice lap size at 60" by 73 1/2". Yep -that's great. 

Keep reading. This quilt was designed using EPP (English Paper Piecing) and endorsed by Tula Pink. Here's the kicker --- it used 91 (NINETY-ONE) different fabrics, with 137 fabric cuts in the kit for a total of 31.14 yards (YES --- that is NOT a typo) --- THIRTY-ONE yards or for those who like meters, that's 28.47 meters. 

WOW --- I've had a close look at the picture, and in almost all cases, you need a couple of pieces of each fabric. I don't know what the cut sizes are, but you have better like Tula Pink a LOT to buy this kit. 

Personally, I find this outrageous. I know some designers tend to add extra yardage to the requirements, but to purchase over 31 yards of fabric to make a lap-sized quilt? Who the heck are they selling to? 

Wait --- I didn't tell you the price. This is in Canadian dollars. 

If I convert that to USD, the total is $630, depending on the exchange. Did you notice the PLUS sign behind the amount? Well, there's a fabric kit, the pattern, the English paper piecing pieces, AND an acrylic template set that you can purchase, and each of them runs close to $90 CDN. 

I don't know about you, but I am very frugal with my quilting budget, and I could not / WOULD NEVER spend that kind of money on ONE quilt. I don't care how much is left over. 

I'm sure some people will purchase this kit- heck, they will also buy all the bits. I think this has gone too far and is a blatant money grab. 

And after looking at the patterns in those diamonds, guess what? If you have the Hex n More ruler from Jaybird and her Toes in the Sand book? You can make MOST of those blocks with piecing on the sewing machine. 

I think it's shocking, and we need to speak to these designers. How will they listen to us? STOP buying these outrageously priced kits. Everyone needs a stash, but you had better LOVE and worship Tula before you buy this kit. Personally, I don't think any designer deserves that much love. This is a trend/fad -- whatever you want to call it, that has gotten out of hand! Again, this is NOT a Tula Pink design, so don't yell at her! 

Will there be FOMO in my house? I barely have any Tula Pink fabric as I'm not a fan, and I HATE following what everyone else is using. I want my quilts to be MINE, not a mirror of the original, but that's just me. I make mistakes with color and value ALL THE TIME. But if I didn't do that, I would never learn how to work with them. So I step outside the box, make mistakes, and relish when it happens! Thankfully, I don't make as many mistakes as I used to, but I still goof from time to time. 

The shop opening went very well -- I"ll update you tomorrow once I've done my two events today. If you stop by the shop, the entrance is around the corner on John Street. If you're in the area, stop by to see the events. Lots of samples to share with you! 

Quilting 101 event

Embroidery 101 event

Someone asked about the hiking sandals versus Tevas, and here's a picture of each so you can see the difference. 

Tevas are very comfortable sandals but don't offer much support, and the toe area is quite open. 

Teva sandals

However, with some of the steep descents, I'd be afraid that my foot would slide too forward, so this is an example of a hiking sandal, which is also open, but has a bit more solid toe area to protect the end of the toes. 
Hiking sandal

I will look at a pair of something similar and try it out on some rocky terrain around here in the spring. We have the Bruce Trail, which is not the same terrain but can be very rugged in some areas, so I'll be out for some extended hikes with running shoes, trail runners and open sandals, and my CHEAP athletic socks to see what's going to work for me. And if you don't wear socks at all, guess what? Less laundry and less stuff to carry!

I don't think it's so much about the sock, but the shoe's fit that is more important! I've walked MILES in those cheap athletic socks and only started having issues with blisters when my right foot grew, and I was in denial and didn't get a larger pair of shoes in time! That happened just about two months before I left for my trip, and I didn't clue in. So I bought larger hiking shoes, but I only went 1/2 size larger, when with the fancy socks I had bought, I needed to go a full size larger. Sigh..............

OK --- that's it for today. I've packed my samples for the two lectures today, and I have to take the girls for their walk, and then I'm ready to leave. 

See some of you at 9:30 today for the quilting lecture or at 1:00 PM for the embroidery session. 

Don't forget the Virtual Retreat this weekend. 

Saturday, October 29  (starts at 6 PM)
Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Sunday, October 30 (starts at NOON)
Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I've never been a "kit" fan. I've won a few but never purchased one. This one is beyond outrageous and I can easily afford it. But this frugal girl would never! Tula? Well, I do love the background you have shown here and bought an end of bolt that was just under 6y. But for the rest? The motifs are too big as I'm a small piece girl.

    Happy Thursday and Happy Hiking :-)

    1. Elle --- I'm behind in answering the comments. I love when you said you are a small piece girl. Me too. I'm really not a fan of those huge prints. What do you do with them???? I have bought my share of kits and wish I had not! Have a great day!!!

  2. I was very excited when I first saw the Queen of Diamonds quilt. EPP is not something I had tried before and thought this was a good opportunity, BUT when I finally saw the kit at a Canadian shop and saw the price tag. I said no WAY! I did the Nebula Quilt kit from Free Spirit and Jaybird, I think that price was the edge of cost for me, I already had all the rulers so didn't have to buy all the notions.

    1. Tammy --- so true about the Tula - Queen of Diamonds. What I love is that we are equating it to Tula, but she had NOTHING to do with the design! Amazing how that works! But I agree --- that was way too much for the kit. NO one needs that much extra fabric!

  3. Thank you so much for that information - I never thought about the toe thing. I'll check for those sandals next spring! Nina

    1. Nine --- so glad you found sandals. I've been checking online and so far, haven't found what I want. After this week, I need to get to some serious research and find a pair.

  4. I'm a new reader to your blog so I don't know if you've handled this already, but if you haven't seen your GP about your feet yet, please do so -- adult feet don't usually grow, and if they do it may be because of an issue with the pituitary gland. The same issue can also affect hands and jaw. Obviously please ignore this if it's all been investigated and dealt with.

    1. Dendaria -- thanks for the comment about my feet. I should have been more clear -- feet don't grow, but they do expand. I used to wear a size 8 and now I'm in 9 1/2 or 10. A bunion on one foot, doesn't help the situation! But I do need to get to my doctor, just for a checkup! Thanks for following the blog!!!

  5. I'm not that familiar with your blog but I hear you loud and clear on these kit costs! I saw the diamond somewhere yesterday and I was appalled.I guess there are all kinds of quilters out there and it's nice to have available all kinds of projects. But I'll just use my stash and buy only what I need and be perfectly happy with that!

    1. Sue -- so glad you found my blog and YES -- that Tula kit is outrageous. I'm tempted to make my own version and show the quilting world that we do NOT need kits to make beautiful quilts!!! I'm with you -- use that stash!!!! Happy sewing!!!