Thursday, December 11, 2008

Possibly Closing Karabu's Etsy Shop in the New Year

Due to the new regulations in the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act, there is the very high likelihood that I will be closing down my Etsy shop early next year.

I have two small children of my own, and was just as outraged as the rest of the country at the ridiculous number of toy recalls we've seen over the past year. I've had to throw away recalled Diego toys in the night to avoid tears. I'm very pro-safe toys.

The problem is that in terms of this new law, it seems that using lead free supplies isn't good enough. All toys must be tested after they are made. Testing costs $75 per component (I wrote to a certified lab to ask). One of my I-spy security blankets has 27 components (26 different fabrics plus thread). Total = $2,025.00 for testing. Plus the tested item is destroyed. That's fine when you have a run of thousands. I make runs of one.

Many small, and ever mid-sized children's product companies are going to be in trouble early next year. There are a lot of folks trying to get the details changed so that smaller manufactures have a hope of being able to comply, but the law is already passes, and this process is slow. I saw one person comment that maybe the handcrafters of the country should ask for a bailout to afford testing costs. I got the giggles from that.

I've read the 63 page law and it is very difficult to understand. My local Small Business Development Center couldn't answer my questions via e-mail but recommended my coming in for individual counseling with their fabric product specialist. I'm going to try to work that meeting into my schedule somehow just so I can at least fee more informed.

There is a lot of folks trying to get the word out and get people to write to their representatives about altering this law. If you want more information see this article on Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/handmade-childrens-items-unintended-consequences-consumer-pr-3056/

Thanks all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Making scrap quilts out of old baby clothes

I've been saving old baby clothes for years now, with the plan to turn them into a quilt someday. I decided to only save clothes that were torn or stained so I couldn't give them away for someone else to use, or if an item had a lot of sentimental value.

I now have a drawer full of clothes, so I think it's time to get serious about making that baby clothes quilt!

I've seen a lot of scrap quilts that I like the look of. The problem is that most that I like have small pieces that are all the same size. Small pieces are good for small baby clothes, but many of the clothes I saved have cute applique or other images on them that aren't all that small. I was looking for a quilt pattern that would let me use mostly small pieces, and some larger ones.

Today I found this website:
http://www.ufo-rphanage.com/scrap_quilts.shtml

So many quilt pattern sites have old, out-dated, non-functioning links that it can get very frustrating to search for quilt patterns. One or two on the UFO website were dead links, but the rest were a gold mine!

So far, this is the pattern I'm leaning toward:
http://www.ezquilt.com/patterns/oldfashioned/oldfashioned.htm

Although, I think I may make my blocks slightly bigger than this pattern calls for. I like that I can use a bigger piece (like the pictures I want to save) for the center of the blocks, and then use up all the tiny pieces from sleeves, etc. for the rest. You need to use a little imagination to picture a scrappy finished quilt in color, but the picture in my head looks cool.

If you have a favorite scrap quilt pattern, share it here! I can't seem to part with my scraps, so I'll always be looking for great scrap quilt patterns!