Tuesday, August 13, 2019

New Holiday Block of the Month

Holy Smokes it has been a long time since I posted  on my blog.  I need to get my act in gear!  My excuse. . . . ?  None.  I have taken most of July and August off to rest up for my busy Fall travel season and working on new designs and writing patterns.  Lonely work at times, but so often rewarding.

Today I am posting a new Block of the Month for the rest of 2019.  It is a project I have been tossing around for a while now, and finally buckled down and finalized the design.  It is a fun and challenging pieced and appliqued holiday wall hanging featuring blocks I love and a few new techniques.

It is called Season of Lights and yes, there are a few bright objects in it.  I am offering it in two colorways:  Day Lights and Night Lights.  Kits are available in both light and dark HERE.

Each month I will offer a large 12" block for free and companion bonus block (available free with a coupon code from my newsletter).  There are 4 rows beginning in August, and each month a new set will become available for free.  After 30 days the block and bonus block will be available as a set for purchase on my website.  The last month I will provide instructions for the setting and border.

The first block is a 12" finished Feather Star block.  I have always loved this block and think it is so appropriate for the holidays.  The center is 4" square and would be perfect for some hand embroidery, a small 4" friendship star, or some pretty quilting.  I leave it to you to decide what you want to put in the middle.

The pattern is paper pieced.  It does not include instructions on paper piecing, so if you are a novice I hope you will view some of the many great YouTube videos on how to paper piece before starting on this block.   It is not a difficult block, it just has a lot of sections.

You can download it for free from my Website:  www.morningglorydesigns.com

If you subscribe to my newsletter you already got the code to the bonus blocks this morning.  Not a subscriber?  Pop over to the 2019 BOM page (tab at the top of the page) and subscribe.  I send out my newsletter twice a month and my subscribers list is a private list, shared with no one!  And it is easy to unsub if you don't want to get it anymore.  One click on the bottom of the newsletter does it.

Now for a short personal rant.  I don't do this very often, but thought I would run this by you.

This is the 12th Free Block of the Month I have given away. Next year I am thinking about charging a subscription for my block of the month.  I have given away thousands of dollars worth of patterns and am now thinking perhaps I may have been too generous. I am more grateful than I can say to the wonderful quilters who write and thank me for the free patterns. I received such a nice note from Deborah L. this morning acknowledging how much work it is to write these patterns and thanking me for doing it.  I was touched and grateful, and frankly, it made my day.   

Since posting my new BOM in my newsletter at 10 am this morning, more than 300 people have downloaded more than 1000 (yup, that is 1,000+) free patterns from my website.  I received one thank you note, and 3 notes from people complaining because they had trouble finding where to put the coupon code to get the bonus blocks for free.  I write a personal note back to each person, responding to their concern with instructions, suggestions, and a thank you.  

Then I started thinking about what it costs me to give away these patterns.  All of my expenses have gone up this year.  

  • My web hosting service raised my rate by $10 more a month.  
  • My credit card processor tacked on a $25 month fee in addition to the 2.9% + .15 per transaction fee.  That is in addition to the $100 annual fee I pay every September.  
  • Pay pal costs 2.9% plus .30 per transaction, but at least they don't charge an additional monthly or annual fee.  
  • Then there is the monthly cost for my internet service (which just went up another $10 month) and
  • the printing supplies I need to print and mail out patterns which don't go out as digital downloads.  For example, I pay $75 for a box of 10 reams of high quality 24# paper for printing and $600 to replace ink in three printers (one color laser, one inkjet, and one large format) about 2-3 times a year.  I send large runs out to a commercial printer but most block of the month patterns are printed on my equipment because they are too expensive to print commercially in color.  
  • Finally, I have lost count how many times the post office has raised postage costs this year.  I just know that everyone, including me, wants free shipping, but it costs me  $3.60 to mail a regular sized pattern first class mail, and nearly $8 to mail a block of the month pattern priority flat rate.

Ok, you get the picture.  My hope is that my free stuff is an incentive to purchase patterns, and I work hard to create beautiful patterns that people will want to pay for.  So far *today* after giving away an estimated $1,740 worth of patterns I have had $10.25 in sales.

So I would deeply value your feedback on offering a subscription block of the month next year.

Thanks for listening to my rant, and your continued patronage of Morning Glory Designs.  Time to clam up.