Sunday, June 4, 2017

Did I Mention it was Free? . . . . . . .

I love my Newsletter Subscribers.  They send me such lovely notes wishing me a speedy recovery on my recent surgery, showing their appreciation for the Free Block of the Month I offer every month, and for the bonus blocks I give to my subscribers just as a small thank you gift for hanging out with me. 

Occasionally I get a note from someone who had trouble getting the free blocks.  Over the years I have tried lots of ways to make this easier for my subscribers.  
  1. First I used (free) until it became very glitchy.  
  2. Then I got, ($$) which worked really well for most people but some people had trouble with it.  I pay $100/year to upgrade Dropbox to the Pro version to be sure that my free pattern files get priority access when requested by my subscribers.  I want you to have an easy and pleasant experience when you go to get your free block. Still I got a lot of complaints. At the same time I had a new website developed ($$$) for Word Press to upgrade my look and improve the reliability of my shopping cart.
  3. In January, I went to a whole new website Host and Software system ($$$$) to make my website easier to navigate, make my shopping cart more problem free, and to insure I had a trouble free file download service to make sure those free blocks got to you without any problems.  I thought I had finally found a goof proof delivery system after 8 years of supplying free BOM patterns. In an attempt at full disclosure, I pay A LOT more for this new website!  In addition to several thousands dollars set up fee I now also pay a monthly fee, nearly as much as Dropbox cost me for a year! (Ok, do I have you feeling all sympathetic and oooey goooey yet?)

Despite the trouble and cost involved, I occasionally get a subscriber who either can't get the block, or, as in the case below, can't open the block.  I have sent literally hundreds of emails to subscribers to help them troubleshoot the problem and get that FREE block delivered. 

The problem is, this takes time.  And I don't have much of that left after I design the BOM blocks, write patterns for each of them, upload the FREE block patterns to my website, and write out a newsletter which delivers links to those FREE block patterns twice each month to over 3,500 subscribers!  WOW  

Oddly, I spend the rest of my time writing patterns, designing, yes, and occasionally I get to sew!  So in an attempt at reducing my problem-solving time, and increasing my revenue-producing time,  I offer the following advice if you are having trouble getting the FREE block each month.  (Did I mention it was free?)
Since two people this week mentioned they could not open the pdf files, here is what I suggested they do.  I am sharing it with all of you and hope it helps.

1.     Download and save the file to your computer first.  Then open and print the file.

2.     The files are big (2 mg) and may take longer to download than you are giving them.

3.     Use a different browser.  Not all browsers like PDF files equally.

4.     If you are on a mobile device, wait until you have access to a computer and then try to download the files again.  (see items 1, 2, and 3 above).

5.     Monthly blocks can also be downloaded from my blog and my website.  The link is in the block description on my website, and on the 2017 BOM tab on my blog.  

Unfortunately the bonus blocks can only be accessed from the newsletter. That is how I keep those blocks exclusively for subscribers.

6.  Call your spouse, son, daughter, grandson, great granddaughter, neighbor, milk man, UPS driver, or other tech savvy individual to help you.
7.  Kick something.  It never helps but I usually feel better after 1-6 don’t work.

Before you give up and call or email me,  try 1-7 again. 

If you still have a problem please be aware that . . . .it is possible. . . not in your case of course,. . . . but for others. . . . . .that it could possibly be. . . . .dare I say it. . . . .USER ERROR?????  

When you can unconditionally rule that out. . . .then consider that you could always purchase the block and the bonus block on my website.  


I know, I know, you want to get it for free, you need to get it for free, you deserve to get it for free,  you count on getting it free every month, you got all the other ones for free so you should be able to get this one too!  Yes, and I also know that you are on a fixed income, receiving disability, under collections and chapter 11, just lost your dog and your best friend, your computer crashed and you lost all your free blocks, you are undergoing treatment for an unpronounceable disease and look forward to your free block as your only solace in an otherwise bleak world.
So if everything else fails and you decide to call me

or shoot me an email,  just remember,  I like chocolate. 😎

(and I might be in the tub.)



  1. LOL ☺ That was a fantastic post!!! Love the pictures with each point you made...very descriptive!! Thank you for all the time and energy you put into sharing your creativity with anyone/everyone! ♥♥♥

    1. Thanks, I gotta tell you I had not planned this to be this long a post. I was just going to list a few suggestions for those who may have trouble opening the PDF files. Well then I started looking for photos, and it just took off! LOL I have to say I was a little worried that some might be offended by the bathtub picture at the end, but i just couldn't resist. It was a wild hair. LOL

    2. Great post. You should make it a permanent item on your website.

  2. Wow ! :D Thanks a lot for those long lines... Explications and lot of fun !

  3. Very fun your explications!!!
    I have never had problems downloading your PDF files. I say this to you in case it serves you some relaxation.
    Thank you for your generosity.

  4. Love you, Reeze. (Your beautiful blocks, too, of course--which is why I keep buying the extra ones...) Glad you're doing better after surgery. I know how much time online maintenance can take; thank you for spending it on us.

  5. Love this entry, Reeze! and all the cute fotos, ever more you´ve invested... many thanks always, keep on keeping on and more hugs from Bobbi in Germany!

  6. I hope you feel better after venting! I always makes me feel better....I remember someone told me to write things down in a letter and get all those feelings out! It helps! I particularly like #6 above. After dealing with my 82 year old Mom and her computer "problems" I believe it is mostly user error and people need to ask for help from their tech savvy loved ones. I particularly liked the Dropbox format since I could download into Dropbox for safekeeping and then download a copy onto my computer....I also have no problem with your new format, just sad it is costing you more $$$! I hope you continue to get better every day and I love your designs! My Mom bought all of your Deco Garden blocks, or at least the ones she could not download for free! (She loves appliqué, me, not so much!) And I bought your Seminole Sampler...the ones I forgot to download! Both patterns are absolutely gorgeous!!! Thank you so much for your beautiful patterns!

  7. I have never had any trouble with getting your block patterns but wanted to thank you for this very creative and cute explanation for those that do. Thank you too for your beautiful blocks.

    1. Thanks Kathy, I love to share my work and help other quilters, so I appreciate the atta girl. Reeze

  8. Thanks so much for the update, You are so creative not only with your patterns but with you Blog. Thanks Elizabeth

  9. I love love LOVE this post... I get all this too and it does become frustrating. Most problems actually occur because people are using either ipads or mobile devices to download these files with and then find they can't unzip or open them. With zip files (I know you don't use them) they often will say the file is corrupt.

    I for one have never had a single issue downloading the botm files or the bonus blocks, yep, I've missed months for the bonus blocks by just not getting the newsletter, but I would never complain about this, I am just waiting till I catch a sale then will buy them.

    Great post Reeze and I do hope you are doing better, Thank you always for the the great Block of the Month files, I always look forward to your block of the month each year because it is always fun, challenging and a beautiful project. You are truly talented.

    Many Hugs!!!

  10. Oh btw.. I hate that your having to pay so much for your web hosting and service that your using... Consider going back to wordpress, I am happy to help you out with it if you need it... and it doesn't cost you anything but the cost of your webhosting.. I can even recommend a good host. Love you!!

    1. Thanks Marian, I may take you up on that. Your blog and site always look so good. You are a real talented web mavin. Thanks for the offer.

  11. You and Bonnie Hunter ought to commiserate. She also designs and makes free patterns available besides her business side and some people still blast her. Thank you for all you do for the quilting community.

  12. Bellissimo post.....sei grande.....Silvana

  13. ok, so what kind of chocolate exactly and where do we send it to???? :) Many thanks for the free patterns. There are changes ongoing in the internet world and that awful windows 10 making our pc's and laptops cough up hairballs!!! Even our ISP has been doing something different. Ohhhhhh now I want some yum yummy chocolate cake! Sigh.........

  14. For some reason, I had never read this before. Funny stuff! You are so generous to do the free patterns in the first place, but dare I suggest that you had hurricanes to the list of possible dilemmas? You covered almost everything else! Thanks for the laugh--seriously!


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