|My last fabric order from Craftsy/Bluprint...|
We all loved Craftsy.
On the other hand, many of us disliked what transformed into Bluprint.
But the fact of the matter is that the sewing/quilting community has lost a huge resource with the abrupt shutdown of this company. (While the latest is that "certain assets" of Bluprint — most notably the courses that had been promised to be available forever to purchasers — will be taken over by a firm called TN Marketing, it's unlikely that the whole of what Craftsy/Bluprint was, will be retained.)
In my case, it immediately occurred to me how much I had relied on it for my supply of fabric. Apart from buying my own designs through Spoonflower — and one early purchase via Etsy — all of my online fabric purchases have come from Craftsy/Bluprint.
On May 18, Bluprint affiliates received an email for the first time in many weeks, announcing that their ecommerce site was re-opening after a COVID-19 shutdown. (Speaking of being an affiliate, the company that runs Bluprint's affiliate program — Shareasale — only pays out when a threshold amount of $50 is reached. By an extreme stroke of luck, I just passed that magical mark on May 31 and was therefore paid in full by the end of June.)
I took a look around and noticed that the home page had been revamped slightly, with a link to a pattern marketplace. I had a brief thought that they were on the road to re-opening that functionality to us independent designers, but what I saw there were patterns created by internal Bluprint personnel.
That aside, they were offering an enticing discount of 60% on supplies, so I purchased this Lily and Loom Red Sky collection of twenty half yard cuts for $47.26 CDN (shipping & taxes not included), marked down from $118.14.
|Image courtesy of Bluprint...|
Who would have figured that mere days later, news of their imminent closure would leak?
After the end was confirmed, Bluprint announced that the last day to fulfill orders from their just recently re-opened ecommerce site would be May 31. Apparently they received a flurry of sales activity that resulted in the site closing early, leaving people caught in mid-transaction and for many weeks afterwards, being very upset that their money had been taken, but receiving no shipping confirmations. One person reported having an order go missing after being shipped and then not being able to reach anyone at customer service.
In short, it's been pretty much an unmitigated gong show.
I'm so glad that I placed my order on May 18. It shipped four days later and I received it on June 3... two years and four months after my last order.
I'm also sad that this ended up being my final order from Craftsy/Bluprint. As someone who has little experience shopping in traditional fabric stores, this destination was a stress-free place for me to browse. From all indications, they carried quality products with decent prices. While I now have sufficient fabric to last me at least another couple of years, I'll eventually have to find a new online source.
The first thing that I'm going to be making with my new fabric collection is my second pandemic challenge project: a quilted "work in progress" project bag with a clear vinyl front and a zippered top.
It'll be based on this idea from the Fat Quarter Shop:
|image courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop...|
It qualifies as a pandemic challenge project because it's not something I would ordinarily make. After all, a WIP can simply be tossed into a large zip lock bag. I'm usually hesitant to use a substantial amount of fabric to make something that has negligible value.
On the other hand, it seemed a fitting way to mark the end of my Craftsy/Bluprint "relationship". Every time I use the bag to store a new creation, it'll be a reminder of how this company — at least when it was just Craftsy — helped me through a truly significant part of my sewing journey.
|Bias binding made...|
The bag will have bound sides, so I've already taken care of my first task: making some continuous bias binding using the "take a square of fabric and sew two lines" method. I chose to make it out of this brick print because once cut on the bias, the pattern runs on the diagonal and creates a different look.
The other fabrics that I'll be using are these two:
|Lily & Loom selections for my project bag...|
The Fat Quarter Shop project can be found as a video tutorial online if you're interested (just search for fat quarter shop wip project bag). I actually first saw it featured on Sew4Home last summer.
I'll show you my version — smaller, constructed differently, and less costly to make — in a couple of weeks.