Tis the season!…for Quilt Scams on Facebook

Over the last few days, I’ve seen a lot, and I mean A LOT, of targeted advertisements for commercial quilts.  It made sense.  I’m a quilter, and I am probably in one of the top ten hits from any targeted ad involving quilts.  No surprise there.

I’ll admit I was taken in by the beauty of these advertisements at first, but as I had no intention of buying them I didn’t look all too closely.  It wasn’t until a sweet person in one of my quilting groups asked about the fabric in one that I learned the truth.  Another person posted the link to a news segment about the scam.  They used the name of a store that was only slightly off, and that poor store had received numerous calls from scam victims asking when their quilt would arrive.  Over and over again, that lady had to break the news to them that they’d been scammed.  I was surprised when I recognized the image of the scam as similar to ones that had been on my news feed pretty constantly.  Some of my other friends had also taken notice, and I believe they tried to buy them.

Here’s what a few minutes of poking around amounted to.   Here’s the original image that probably came across your news feed.  It’ll be this quilt or any variation therein.

Quilt image

 

If you click on the link, you’ll find a legit spot where you can buy it.  It has all sorts of useful information on payments, customer reviews, shipping, etc.

buying

If you need to contact them, there is either a form, like on this page, or some type of email address. This one was the first I’d seen with a full address.  The others either didn’t have an address or it was partial.  The lack of a phone number, or at least a working one, is a dead giveaway.

contact us

I looked up the address, and this was what I found on the street view. The house to one side is 2030, and the house to the other side is 2060.  There is NO 2055 Hazel Ave at this location or across the street.

street view

Ok, so the next step would be to try to email address.  This isn’t the first one to do this.  Another one I tried had a space in between the front of the email and the “@” symbol.  I closed that gap so it would work correctly, but I never did hear back.  This particular email address bounced back within a minute.

bounced email

So no phone number, no correct address, and no email.  Yeah, this isn’t a legit product at all.  I went back in and looked at the merchandise itself since that was the original draw.  I’m not sure where the images for the quilts/blankets themselves came from, but they are most certainly photo shopped.

In this set, it’s pretty cool how, in the red circle, you can see the quilt is placed in the exact same spot of the display.  I’m good at set ups, but I’m never that good.  It also has the same fold up top.  And in the yellow circle, you can see that the editor got sloppy and didn’t change the red binding color or navy blue backing in that spot – even if the front of the quilt had no such binding or colors.

Photoshop set 1

In the second set, you can see the same issues. The leaves fall gracefully over the quilt in the exact same way.  The same fold can be seen in the blue circle, and even the smaller creases in the yellow circle are duplicated.

Photoshop set 2

So what happens now?  For a good while, I reported as many to Facebook as I could find.  When given the option, I specifically reported it was “misleading or scam”.  I remembered the news segment saying that Facebook was actively trying to take down the scam, but it was going strong on my feed despite the news segment being four days old now.

Here’s what I have received so far in regards to my reports.  Long story short – the advertisement itself is fine and goes with their standards.  I suppose they are washing their hands clean of the fact that they know it’s an active scam.

Facebook feedback

Funny enough, I tried to find a link where I could email them directly and explain why the ads were scam.  However, just like the websites I investigated, I couldn’t find an actual email or message section.  Funny how that works, right?

Long story short – please don’t be taken in by these ads that seem too good to be true.  They are.  Please share and reshare to spread awareness since Facebook seems uninterested in taking them down.

Pet Picture Pillows

My family has two cats and a dog.  Our orange cat, Jordan, has a personality for days!  He’s hysterical, talkative, and a first-class spooning partner.

Most Interesting Cat in the World
The Most Interesting Cat in the World

My brother was over helping me with a project one afternoon when Jordan plopped down right in the middle of our picture set up.  My brother smiled and muttered, “I love that cat”.  Then he snapped a quick picture that was included along with all of the other ones from that day.

Fast forward to around Christmas time – I’m looking for something funny to make for my husband.  It was right about then I came across the picture from that day that my brother took.  Then I had an idea.  The image was so clean and clear that I could use it as a base and draw all sorts of stuff on him.  From there, I made a series of pictures using Microsoft Paint.  No, it wasn’t supposed to look “professional”.  It was meant to look cheesy and goofy. Mission accomplished!

Jordan pillow

I had a blast making this, and I tee-heed the whole time!  Well a few years later, my husband hinted that another pillow of our girl cat, Eleanor, would be a good match.  The issue?  Well Eleanor is…well…a typical cat. Grumpy. Judgy. A curmudgeon. Doing the same image for her wouldn’t work.

But Eleanor is very good at TWO things: blocking your view and putting her butt in your face.  So I decided to go that route.

Can I even begin to explain to you how humiliating it is to chase your cat around a bathroom trying to get a good picture of her butt?  Can I also convey how awkward it is to send that picture to your ever-patient brother, asking him to isolate the cat image from the rest of the picture?  Well, for love and goofiness, I did both.  It isn’t the cleanest image by far, but it’s the best I could get all things considered.

Eleanor
Eleanor Butt

From there, I picked out four images of settings my husband (and most people) would recognize.  And I let Eleanor do what she does best – block your view.

Eleanor-pillow
Versailles, Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, and Fort Sumter

We have had the dog, Diana, since September, so she hasn’t gotten a pillow made in her honor yet.  Stay tuned….

Related Posts and Blogs:

The Argument About Pet Pillow

The Caregiving Cats

Lori’s Epic Cat Quilt

Kitty Cat Quilt Finished!

Mariner Compass King Quilt

Several years ago I decided somewhere that I really wanted to surprise my husband for Christmas.  In the past, he pointed at certain quilt designs and commented on how he really liked them.  Of course, it was one of the harder designs that he liked – the Mariner’s Compass.  At the time it was so far outside of my skill set that I muttered something along the lines of “keep dreaming.”  But I really wanted to give him something at Christmas that would WOW him, so I revisited the idea of the Mariner’s Compass design.

It turns out I would need to learn this technique called “paper piecing”to do it.  I looked at a couple of Youtube videos, but the best help was my best friend who had already done a paper piecing dragon quilt.  After a little tutoring session, I gave it a try.

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Slowly I gained confidence and made more and more.

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I used his favorite color combo – green and black – and I accented it with white and gold.  For better or worse, paper piecing Mariner’s Compass stars don’t look like stars until the final steps of the paper piecing process.  This would be annoying except for one important point – I could work on them in front of him.  In fact, I pieced most of the stars together right under his nose!

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Things became more difficult with I needed to add the corners and begin quilting them.  At that time, I was still only using the free motion foot on my Singer Confidence to quilt projects.  There was no way that a king-sized quilt would fit for me to quilt anything.  I looked up other techniques for how to quilt in smaller sections and then join them together.  From what I saw, it looked easy enough, so I decided to take the whole thing one block at a time – all 16 of them.  At one point, I took my machine to a friend’s house and quilted there, so I could get away from prying eyes.

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Words cannot express the joy I felt when I had successfully joined together those first two blocks!  And the relief I felt when I’d finished the whole quilt plus binding – it was beyond anything else!  I couldn’t stand it and had the hardest time waiting until Christmas.

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I think he likes it.

Vintage 9-Patch Lap Quilt

My husband’s family is large.  Some might say huge, even.  How big is it?  Well, it’s so big that at Christmas they finally started drawing names out of a hat instead of everyone going broke trying to buy for one another.  It makes complete sense, and I love it.  Sometimes it can get a little hard when I don’t know someone all that well, but I’m also lucky that they are perfectly content with gift cards.  As am I, by the way, and I love that I can pretty much count on a Target or JoAnn’s gift card from the Nashville crew each year.

A few years ago I drew my mother-in-law’s name.  Now she doesn’t mind giving gift cards, but I couldn’t remember a single time I’d ever seen her spend one.  Then I remembered one thing she and I had in common – a love of quilts.  In addition to animals, my mother-in-law likes to collect orphaned quilts.  She has them hanging over her banisters and on quilt racks all around her home.  Mostly they are older and made by some long-since-deceased relative.  I like looking at the hand-quilting on them.  It’s mostly the Baptist fan pattern.

When she looked through her own deceased mother-in-law’s cedar chest, she found some vintage 9-patch blocks that she gave over to me.  She likes collecting quilts, not making them.  I figured I’d do something with them in the distant future, but when I drew her name in the Christmas drawing I brought them out sooner along with some of the other vintage fabric she’d found and passed my way.

It was a relatively east fix. 1. Square up the original 9-patch blocks. 2. Trim the other vintage fabric she’d given me and make sashing. 3. Assemble. 4. Add borders. Voila!

 

This was also one of the first times I’d tried out a label.  It worked well, and I placed it in a lower corner.

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt

This was a Christmas present commission I received as a result of the Lilburn Daze craft fair.  The client met me and had a huge bag of baby clothes.  Then she said what I consider music to my ears, “I trust you.”  She was letting me have complete artistic freedom!  I had several ideas for baby clothes, but there were factors that helped narrow it down to this style.

For starters, some of the clothes had already been cut, and they were different sizes, so making a basic quilt with the same square shape was most likely out.  The sheer number of clothes would probably have been a factor as well.  I noticed that several of the clothes needed to feature the front or had a cute pattern, and those would need to be in a spot that featured them.  So in the end, I followed the same route as I did with the Artist’s Memory Quilt.  I divided the clothes up into differing colors or themes; there were so many of the blue and red that they made two squares.

When you have a lot of fabrics and a small space to put them, then crazy quilt style is the way to go.  I was still a big fan of the shadowbox style, and I knew it would help make the blocks look extra cool.  I somehow managed to work in all of the clothes from that huge, full bag of baby clothes.

The last request the client had was the have the phrase “You and me against the world” somewhere on the quilt.  The things is…shadowboxes are tricky, and their illusion of being 3-D relies on nothing else being around the block.  So having the words somewhere highly visible would ruin the 3-D aspect.  So I decided to have the phrase worked in via a more subtle way.  I wrote the phrase in while quilting between two of the rows.  I just wrote it in cursive, so the phrase is there and the shadowboxes are in full effect.

A simple textured blue for the backing and binding brings everything together!

Related Posts and Blogs:

Make a Baby Onesie Quilt

Baby Quilts from Daddy’s Shirts