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.

 

28 comments:

  1. I have a notebook with your patterns. I have severe back pain and love to just look at them and read the patterns when I am feeling bad. It make me feel better. You are appreciated and do make other peoples life better by sharing your talent. God bless.

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    1. Dear Reese, thank you for your response. I am sorry you have severe back pain, and am glad you find some relief at looking at my patterns.

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  2. We all like something for nothing, but we tend to forget that someone pays for it somewhere along the line!! You may have fewer participants if it is a subscription, but they are definitely more likely to make the pattern if they have paid for it! I say, go for it! Your time and creativity are worth the cost to the participants!

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  3. Dear Farm Quilter, thanks for your response. I agree with you that my participants would go down, but the math is a bit staggering. If 100 people pay $50 (for example) I am $5,000 ahead. If 4000 people (the number of downloads my BOM typically get) get my pattern for free I am $0 ahead. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and supporting Morning Glory Designs.

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  4. I 100% approve the idea of charging for your patterns. I haven't done any of the free ones (I purchased the Deco Gardens pattern set), but I used to give out free BOM patterns myself and got extremely frustrated by the fact that no one bothered to say thank you, but they sure did complain when they waited too long to download that month's block and missed out on it. People these days think they're entitled to free stuff and never bother even being polite about it. It's infuriating.

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  5. Reeze
    Thank you so much for all the patterns, both free and pay, that you offer. I know it takes a lot of time, and skill, to design patterns. After reading what all that entails, I appreciate all that even more, and want to say I see a lot of designers offering subscriptions and have a much clearer picture of why they are going that direction.

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  6. You do have a lot of expenses! I think a subscription is a good way to do things. Flip things around and charge for the BOM, and maybe a few times a year give away ONE pattern, not a whole quilt. I live on a limited income, so something I could pay monthly might be manageable. You are not alone in these issues. I hear it from other designers, as well, and I think it is world-wide. Additionally, you didn't mention that you don't always get credit as the designer of something someone finishes and posts or displays proudly. That isn't right, either, but if you are at least getting paid for the pattern, you are ahead, as you pointed out. Your patterns are very well done, and samples are attractive. I think I'm probably one of those guilty of not saying thank you for the button blocks. That's because I download from the newsletter link. I will be more conscious of this in the future, because I AM one who says thank you when I download from a blog post. Thank you for bringing this lack to my attention.

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  7. Reeze I wish I had time to do this beautiful little holiday BOM. Its just a perfect little Holiday size! I'm pretty sure the digital age has changed the way we absorb content... until the hard disk is full we have room. And everything looks like fun and intention is good. Maybe, some of each... more paid and a bit less free?

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    1. I love your new free BOM! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful designs with us all. I totally understand if you need to charge next year, everything in this world seems to keep going up and for you to pay out for your expenses and not get paid for your work is a hard situation. Being retired and on a fixed income I have to budget for my own fabric and pattern expenses so if you decide to charge I am hoping the charge won't be too high that I cant join in. Thanks again for your generosity over the years!

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  8. When you charge each month a small amount for a block, it won't be to expensive for most people. I think it's ok, i think you are right.

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  9. Reese, I absolutely love this Christmas Wall quilt. It is the perfect size and shape for those smaller areas we all wish to fill during the season. Your two colour choices are wonderful. I did choose the daylight colourway because I hadn’t yet seen the night setting. Lovely arrangement, and a smaller time frame for working on it is just perfect as well. Thank you for all you do for your followers.

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  10. You are a very talented lady I really do enjoy all of your patterns. I have a special file for all of the beautiful patterns. It is sad that everything cost so much and it is getting worse. Keep making those beautiful patterns they are the best.

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  11. I love your patterns and would be more than happy to pay a subscription fee. You should be paid for your creativity!

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  12. Reeze: I totally think that you should charge us! I've enjoyed your blocks for years, and I am more than willing to pay for them!

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  13. Love the work you do. I am with you on charging a monthly fee for BOM! You work so very hard putting out your patterns. Sadly in todays world people only want as much as they can get and mostly free. We will support you and your wonderful designs. You are worth every penny!

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  14. Have just found your website and love it! It makes sense to have a subscription! Just like someone else said "somebody has to pay for it". I would be happy to subscribe to it, count me in!

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  15. Thank you for the beautiful pattern!

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  16. I have purchased from you Reese a couple of times and I have talked with you and you are always most gracious and giving. Your patterns are beautiful and I am sure appreciated by many. There are always a few who complain and never satisfied even when it is free. Look at the pleasure your patterns are giving to the woman with the back problems. I thank you, Reese for all the years you have given of yourself.
    Cynthia in Connecticut

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  17. YOU HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH AND LIFE IS NOT A FREE RIDE. BY ALL MEANS, CHARGE A RESONABLE AMOUNT. If PEOPLE REALY WANT IT THEY WILL NOT BE OFFENDED

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  18. Thank you Reese for all your beautiful free patterns over the years, you will always find those few people that instead of being extremely grateful will make a fuss. This is my first time making a comment or thanking you, I don't usually comment (anywhere) as I have severe anxiety and I agonise over what to say etc. Regards Chris

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  19. Love your patterns. As long as the cost is reasonable, I'm all for it. Thanks for all you do. Judy

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  20. This new BOM is beautiful, as usually! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity

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  21. I received your email about this new block of the month and it is absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to get started. My problem is, I did not get the email with the code for the bonus blocks. I signed up again, but still can't access the bonuses.
    I appreciate the time you put in to produce these beautiful works of art, I have designed a few myself and know it takes a lot of time, sweat and tears to reach a quality product. I don[t know if I'd purchase your blocks as I am pretty picky about what I buy on-line (a lot depends on the price) but I'm pretty sure I would purchase this one. Thanks for what you've done so far and just go with what you think is right for you.

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  22. In addition to the dollar costs, there is all the time you invest in providing your beautiful patterns. Time for me to say thanks for all you do for those of us who are budget quilters.

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  23. I would absolutely support a paid subscription from you. I appreciate all that you do for us budget quilters and how much of your time and money go into these patterns. No problem here, I'll pay the subscription with a grateful smile!

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  24. Hai ragione su tutto quanto....certo come altre hanno scritto a tutti piace avere le cose gratis e forse giusto far pagare a tutte un importo molto basso almeno per partecipare alle tue spese e ogni tanto regalare qualche modello. Per quanto mi riguarda, se così sarà, cercherò per quanto possibile a seguirti ancora con un piccolo contributo.....Grazie per tutto quello che hai fatto per noi in questi anni

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  25. Oh the black version is lovely. I wish I could make pretty designs like you do. Your talent and expertise is awesome. You rant is perfectly legitimate. I have seen other designers feeling bitter about the lack of appreciation and acknowledgement. I am really sad that people can't take the time to say thank you. It is a sad world in truth.

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I'd love to know what you think! Thanks for sharing your ideas.