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After years of working in the quilting industry & serving the die-cutting community, I'm launching my own line of dies!
After years of working in the quilting industry & serving the die-cutting community, I'm launching my own line of dies!
227 backers pledged $29,537 to help bring this project to life.

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$29,537

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NEW! Stretch Goal to $25,000!!

Why not? We've got 6 days left and setting goals that scare me is something I do quite well.

You know what else is scary? Uncollected pledges and taxes. It's so unsexy and not fun to talk about, but it's a reality for all projects.

First, I've seen projects lose about 10% of their funding or more due to failed pledges. That has been sobering, and a stretch to a higher goal will help protect the remaining funds raised. So half of this amount - $2,500 - will insulate us from the impact of uncollectibles.

And taxes! Yes! I have to pay taxes on the funds raised. I don't know the actual amount, as I will be able to offset a good portion of funds due to the expenses incurred, but being able to set aside some funds to cover the coming tax bill will help create a buffer between me and the IRS.

If we reach this stretch target by the end of the campaign, I'm happy to add a reward to everyone who already has a shippable reward coming.  What is it, you ask?

It's a beautiful glossy booklet of 90 blocks you can make using only 8 shapes! I'll be debuting this concept at Market next week, and if we hit this goal, I'll stick a copy of this booklet in your shipment.

Doing it this way will only cost about $300 to print booklets, and they won't add enough weight to shipments to cause costs to increase there. This also won't delay rewards, as the booklet already exists, and I'll only need to account for printing time if I don't have enough booklets left from the show.

Booklet front cover. 90 blocks, 8 shapes, 5 block sizes!!!
Booklet front cover. 90 blocks, 8 shapes, 5 block sizes!!!

And the best, best, best news? Orange Peel and Sunburst can be combined and/or substituted in some of the shapes in these blocks to give you even more block variety!!! (Yes, I know I need to work on another booklet for that; one thing at a time!)

What happens if you aren't at a shippable reward level and you still want the booklet? Well, in reality, you need to bump up your pledge by $10.  I know that sounds like a lot, but I now have to cover the cost of the booklet, the envelope, the postage, AND actually have money left to use toward the campaign goal.  If you're willing to do that, I'm happy to send you a booklet too!

MET! Stretch Goal to $20,000!

We did it! It's always so wonderful to see a campaign fund early, especially when it's been a nail-biter early on.  Now we can focus on our first stretch goal!

If we can raise an additional $3,000 above the original goal, it will allow me to place a bulk order for Big Shot Plus machines and get a better price. We are close to hitting a price break point, and any money I can save just helps me do more.

If we can hit this stretch target, I'll add an additional PDF pattern to every backer at the $10 level or above. We all rise together!

The Basics

I'm launching a line of fabric cutting dies with three shapes: Orange Peel (with arch), Key West (a more intricate Kaleidoscope block), and Sunburst (adds interest to plain blocks.) These dies are exclusive to me and will not be available anywhere else for now.

The dies will be compatible with machines that can accept 5/8" tall dies (there's a full list below in the "Die Format & Machine Compatibility" section.) If you don't own a compatible machine, I can recommend one, and there's a backer level that includes it.

I'm laying the foundation for more dies to expand on these and help you use other dies that may already be in your collection. Help me add our voices to the quilting industry and show them what we want!

Hi! I'm Ebony!

I've been a maker and a dreamer probably my whole life, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to be someone who dreams about doing a thing and gets the opportunity to bring it to life, with a little help from my friends. :)

Hi! I'm Ebony.
Hi! I'm Ebony.

 

I'm proud to say that the quilt community I serve literally helped launch my professional quilt career 5 years ago - right here on Kickstarter. I had a dream about writing a book about fabric die cutting, to help educate people on using these amazing tools, and I reached out to ask people to help me get it published. I asked, and you delivered in spades!

The books that came out of our last campaign!
The books that came out of our last campaign!

 

 So many wonderful things flowed from that initial effort; one book won an Independent Publishing Award; it established me as an expert in this field; got me booked for teaching & lecture gigs; raised my profile to get featured in magazines, internet shows, and television (yay for PBS!); and introduced me to a fantastic community of people who love making things.

The Ultimate Dream

I have to be honest with you: that book wasn't the end of the dream; it was the beginning. Would you like to hear the rest?

I remember vividly, visiting Cozy Quilts Shop in California (owned by Daniela Stout) and seeing an amazing wall of patterns, tools, and books - all with the Cozy Quilts brand on it. And during that visit, I started to dream about one day having a wall like that, in a place of my own, where people would come to learn and gather and make. 

I wanted to make it possible for someone to fall in love with a project - and be able to make that project from start to finish, with me helping them along the way. I wanted to share my knowledge and skills with the world, helping to foster this love of making along with the confidence to do it successfully.

Over the years, I've been working to turn that dream into a reality, and it's getting so very close! The one thing that's been elusive for so long is having my own line of dies from which to teach and design.

Finally... a Line of Dies!

I have tried (and failed) many times to produce a line of dies based on my ideas for quilts and projects. You might be surprised at how many manufacturers I've approached - both here in the US and abroad - to produce dies under my own brand. I've heard the same story over and over: I don't have enough commercial appeal; my social media reach isn't big enough; my ideas aren't worth pursuing.

I'm the type of person who reacts pretty stubbornly to being told I am not good enough. I'm not inclined to listen to that or take it to heart, and I do everything I can to prove them wrong.

When I published my book, I was told it couldn't be done; but we did it! Let's do the same thing with these dies. Vote with your dollar and show the world that these dies are worth having.

My initial launch is planned with three die designs: Orange Peel, Key West, and Sunburst.

The first three dies in my collection
The first three dies in my collection

Each of these dies are great for not only dozens of different design ideas on their own, but also lays a foundation for future dies to expand on. I have wanted so much to start filling in gaps I see in the die catalogs, and bring to life some amazing blocks that are too time consuming to cut by hand or with templates.

The quilt projects that appear inside the die packaging
The quilt projects that appear inside the die packaging

About the Orange Peel Die

A simple shape in theory, but existing dies on the market fall short, in my opinion. My goal with this die is to produce an orange peel that people want to make over and over!

The first thing to address is the size: this orange peel fits a 6" finished block, along the diagonal.

The second thing to address is the arch: you have the option to applique the orange peel, or piece it with a matching arch!

There are so many possibilities with this die. My planned die layout will have two arches and one melon on a single die board, oriented to waste the least amount of fabric and produce accurate cuts.

Some examples of what can be done with the Orange Peel Die
Some examples of what can be done with the Orange Peel Die

 

You can piece these, do raw-edge applique (with a 7" square), use mock-needle-turn applique with fusible interfacing; You can also strip-piece fabric before cutting to make more complex shapes, cut & twist them after sewing, place them on-point, and do many variations. I love that it's 6" finished to produce a 12" finished circular block - so much potential to mix & match with other 6" & 12" blocks!

About the Key West Die

I love the kaleidoscope shape, but I've been frustrated by the limited options for variation as well as the sizes available in the current catalogs. 

I learned through this process that there's a tradeoff with using a particular size, and I opted to go with a size that would work with other dies you likely already own. That reduces the number of shapes needed and keeps the die to a smaller board.

I'm introducing this die with three complementary shapes to make a new block traditionally known as Key West. It uses a basic large triangle that I'm sure you recognize, along with a smaller triangle and diamond that you can piece together to make a more complex block.

Some examples of what can be done with the Key West die
Some examples of what can be done with the Key West die

 

The Key West die works beautifully with a 1-1/2" finished half square triangle or a 3" finished half square triangle, depending on the final look you want to achieve, to make a 10-1/2" finished block. You can also use the triangles and diamonds by themselves to create Thousand Pyramids or Lemoyne Star blocks.

The Key West die has one large triangle, 3 small triangles, and 2 diamonds, all arranged to give you on-grain cuts and make efficient use of fabric.

About the Sunburst Die

I love, love, love combining shapes to make new blocks! One thing I've been missing: the Sunburst shape.

I sized this shape to be used in a 4-, 9-, or 16-patch setting to add interest and variation to existing quilt blocks. I chose a 4" finished format because I've been advocating for years that people build their initial collection of dies around a common size, and this die fits in perfectly.

Some examples of what can be done with the Sunburst die
Some examples of what can be done with the Sunburst die

 

I have gotten a kick so far out of combining this shape with drunkard's path and fan blade, as well as swapping out simple squares in traditional blocks to make more interesting finished blocks. I've also been doing string piecing on 8" and 6" finished half square triangles - this makes a great spider web block!

This die layout will have two of the center wedges and two of the half rectangles. It's efficiently arranged to make the best use of 5" wide strips.

Die Format & Compatible Machines

In searching for a way to produce these dies, I had to make some early choices about the die format and what machines would be compatible.

The first question I know you have is: will these dies be compatible with any of the AccuQuilt GO! machines?

The answer to that question sadly, is no.

As you may be aware, the GO! line is a proprietary system, and it was cost-prohibitive for me to pursue die production by reverse-engineering their die setup and ordering custom steel-rule blades. 

Instead, I've chosen to use the industry-standard die profile of 5/8", which made die production a lot easier to source with more options.

My dies will work in the following machines:

  • AccuCut GrandeMark (with adapter - see Project FAQ)
  • AccuQuilt Studio (with adapter - see Project FAQ)
  • Sizzix Big Kick, Big Shot, fabi (Sunburst only)
  • Sizzix Big Shot Plus
  • Sizzix Big Shot Pro
  • Spellbinders Platinum (one caveat - see Project FAQ)
  • Tattered Lace Crossover (one caveat - See Project FAQ)

If you don't have any of those machines but you want to use my dies, the Big Shot Plus is the lowest-cost machine that can use all of my dies without limitations. I have a reward level just for you if you'd like all the dies plus the machine. (FYI: the BS+ can use a lot of the GO! dies as well.)

 Other Die Features

I've worked very closely with the die manufacturer on die layouts, repeats, and die board size to produce dies that are cost effective, use fabric efficiently, and allow you to cut pieces on-grain.

We also looked at the dog ears on the triangles and other shapes; instead of blunt-cutting the dog-ears, they are angled to better aid in alignment and reduce bulk in the finished units.

Each die comes with a project inside the packaging, and a bunch of suggested layout ideas to help spark your imagination.

In the future, I'd also like to produce detailed videos to show you how to mark the dies, layout your fabric, and stitch the blocks so you get more visual instruction to build confidence.

Timeline & Budget

The bulk of the work to bring these dies to life has already been done; the prototyping, sampling, and testing is complete. All that's left is to sign the contract and write a purchase order, but it requires a minimum order and a 50% down payment.

All told, it will cost about $30,000 to do a full production run of dies. I would love to be able to raise the entire amount here, but first I want to show that I am committed to this project and am willing to use my own money to make this happen.

My initial campaign goal is to raise $17,000. This will cover about $1,500 in Kickstarter Fees, $1,500 for shipping rewards, and the remaining $14,000 to put a down payment on the production run. 

In terms of timing, from the time the purchase order is cut, it takes about 8-12 weeks to get a shipment of dies produced, shipped, and through customs. Once the dies are accepted at my supplier's warehouse, it will take about another week for them to arrive at my location. 

From there, I anticipate another 3-5 weeks to pack & ship dies depending on how many need to fulfill the rewards selected through this campaign.  I've listed the anticipated ship date within each Reward level to give you an idea of when you can expect to receive them. 

If we meet the initial goal, I'm thinking up some additional stretch goals that we can work on together. Developing new patterns, videos, and even looking toward the next die release!

Rewards & Bonuses

I've tried to set up rewards in a way that offers options for both quilters and non-quilters alike. And remember, you can always give more than the reward level or change your pledge before the campaign ends.

ADD ONS: If you are at Supporter Level or above ($25+) and you want a DVD, just add $25 to your contribution and you can select it when the survey is sent out.

SPONSOR BONUS: All Backers at the Sponsor Level or above ($60+) will receive access to one of my online classes for free (value up to $130.)  WOW! 

CHAMPION BONUS: All Backers at the Champion Level or above ($170+) will be invited to join my secret, exclusive Die Idea Squad on Facebook. In this group, you're welcome to share ideas you have for dies you'd like to see me launch, and you'll get sneak peeks of quilts in progress & upcoming releases. (You'll be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement otherwise my attorney will FREAK.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the campaign ends, you'll receive a survey asking you to confirm your reward and your shipping address. You'll also receive instructions on how to claim your free class if you are eligible. No money will be collected until the campaign ends AND we meet our initial funding goal.

Thank you!

I appreciate you taking the time to learn about my campaign!

I'm really looking forward to this great next step in my career and I can't wait to continue serving this community with new projects and fun!

Remember Kickstarter is all or nothing... so we either meet the goal or all bets are off. So I hope we can do this together.

Would you consider sharing this campaign with your friends to help me get the word out?

Music credit: "Crazy Glue (Instrumental Version)", by Josh Woodward. Used under CC/BY 3.0.

Risks and challenges

Producing a line of dies is a HUGE undertaking, and I'm not going about it in a traditional way. It was important to me to maintain a level of control over the die-making process, while still maintaining a high quality product. I did my best to partner with a supplier that is well-respected in the industry and that I trust to represent my brand.

There is of course a risk in having a single-source supplier; there aren't many fabric die-makers in the world, and this process can be so lengthy and involved that past a certain point, you have to work exclusively with the chosen company. If anything happens with this supplier, I would need to start literally back at the drawing board.

That's why I've already taken the steps to design the dies, approve the drawings, test a prototype die of each design, make adjustments, test again, and produce samples and supporting projects. All that's left is to contract the order for production.

You might also be asking... who is this manufacturer, and why haven't I said? The reason is because until I have a signed deal and place the order, something could happen and I don't want to jinx it. But I know you're a smart cookie and you can probably figure it out without my being explicit. :) I absolutely will reveal it to all the backers in the next couple of weeks.

Other risks that I am quite aware of are involved in shipping & customs delays. The bulk of the dies are coming via ocean freight, and this process can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. The great thing about the company I'm working with is they will handle all of the shipping and customs clearance. Any delay on that end may push back delivery of Rewards, but I rest easier knowing that I can count on their expertise in this area to run things as smoothly as possible.

I've launched & successfully fulfilled a previous Kickstarter project, so I know the ins and outs of managing a project and reward fulfillment. The key to success is transparency, frequent communication, and setting realistic expectations.

Also, having been through this process once before, I want to make you aware that I plan to have a small order of dies delivered via air freight in advance of the main shipment.

These dies are primarily for me to get in the hands of reviewers, to use in classes that are already scheduled for fall, and to support a live launch at Quilt Market & Festival in November.

This doesn't mean I don't care about you; it just means that air-freighting a half-ton of dies isn't cost-effective or responsible, and I will have a short window to decide how many dies to air-freight before the main shipment leaves the dock. So if it's really important for you to get your dies early, there's a Reward level just for you.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    WELL-WISHER

    Just knowing you are thinking about me makes me happy. Let me thank you publicly on my blog & Facebook page at the end of the campaign!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    FOLLOWER

    Who doesn't love a good pattern? You'll receive a PDF version of one of my patterns and a public thank you on my blog & Facebook page.

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SUPPORTER

    Maybe you don't die cut and don't want to start anytime soon... but you still enjoy pretty things! At this level, you'll receive a public thank you, a PDF pattern, plus a bundle of (6) fat quarters from my stash!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (6) fat quarters from my stash
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    NEWBIE

    So you have no idea what this die cutting thing is about? This DVD will explain it to you. And you can get it at any level above this by adding $25 to your pledge. Sweet!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • Die Cutting DVD
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    SPONSOR

    Here is where things start to get interesting! At this level, you'll receive one of the three dies (your choice), (1) PDF pattern, and a public thank you!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (1) die of your choice
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    PROMOTER

    Want more variety in your dies? At this level, you'll receive TWO of the three dies (your choice), (2) PDF patterns, and a public thank you!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (1) die of your choice
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $170 or more About $170

    CHAMPION

    You must love these shapes as much as I do! At this level, you'll receive all THREE dies, (3) PDF patterns, and a public thank you!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (1) die of your choice
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
    • BONUS: Die Idea Squad Membership
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    EAGER CHAMPION

    Limited Reward!! Take advantage of our air freight shipment and get your dies early. We'll set your dies aside in Houston and mail them when we get back from the show.

    You must love these shapes as much as I do! At this level, you'll receive all THREE dies, (3) PDF patterns, and a public thank you!

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (1) die of your choice
    • AIR FREIGHT
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
    • BONUS: Die Idea Squad Membership
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    Reward no longer available 8 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    PEP SQUAD

    Need a new machine and just want a couple of dies? By Backer request, this new level lets you pick 2 dies and get a new machine! Plus you still get (2) PDF patterns, and a public thank you.

    The BS+ comes with a die and cutting pads, so you're ready to die cut right out of the box! I'm even throwing in a die adapter that will allow you to use the 5" & 6" GO! dies.

    Includes:
    • (1) die of your choice
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • Public Thank You
    • Sizzix Big Shot Plus with Adapter G
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
    • BONUS: Die Idea Squad Membership
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    CHEERLEADER

    Do you want these dies but don't have a compatible machine? Let me help! At this level, you'll receive all THREE dies, (3) PDF patterns, a public thank you, and a Sizzix Big Shot Plus machine.

    The BS+ comes with a die and cutting pads, so you're ready to die cut right out of the box! I'm even throwing in a die adapter that will allow you to use the 5" & 6" GO! dies.

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (1) die of your choice
    • Sizzix Big Shot Plus with Adapter G
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
    • BONUS: Die Idea Squad Membership
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    22 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ANGEL

    Whoa! You'll receive all THREE dies, (3) PDF patterns, a public thank you, and a Sizzix Big Shot Plus machine. The BS+ comes with a die and cutting pads, so you're ready to die cut right out of the box! I'm even throwing in a die adapter that will allow you to use the 5" & 6" GO! dies.

    AND AND AND! A quilt kit for each of the projects inside the packaging of the dies, so you can literally open the box and start making what's inside. (Fabric may vary from pattern but will be just as fabulous.)

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • (1) PDF pattern
    • (1) die of your choice
    • Sizzix Big Shot Plus with Adapter G
    • (1) Quilt Kit
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
    • BONUS: Die Idea Squad Membership
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    PATRON

    If you've always wanted a quilt from me, let's make it happen! This is a rare opening for commissions. You'll receive a small wall hanging made from one of my die shapes (your choice) and you can even choose the colors I use. This semi-custom quilt will be between 30-40" square.

    Includes:
    • Public Thank You
    • Wall hanging by Ebony Love
    • BONUS: Online quilt-making class
    • BONUS: Die Idea Squad Membership
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Funding period

- (30 days)