Saturday, June 2, 2018

rights and obligations

With the recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or Datenschutz Grundverordnung (DSGVO) and the deadline of May 25, 2018 to get everything up to speed, a lot of panic and heated discussions were on the rise, especially for little businesses such as mine. I made it through and here are my thoughts.



So what is the whole General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) all about? This is how I see it and translate it into my everyday language - it is a collection of basic EU laws requiring businesses to clearly state what personal data is collected from its customers, how the data is used and how that company safeguards their user's information as well as additional rights of the individual and obligations of the company obtaining data. These regulations not only apply to large companies with an Internet presence within the EU, but also to non-Internet companies, organizations such as dentists, non-profit communities, places of worship, etc. within the EU. Although these laws are written for the EU, they also apply to non-EU entities collecting or processing personal data of individuals from and within the EU. That means, basically every international company or entity outside the EU as well.

Why does this affect me? Because 1) I have a small business. 2) I am a consumer.

So, I have to look at both perspectives here. First of all, as a small business owner, it is my obligation to explain to my "customers and/or website readers" what information is collected, how is it used and safeguarded. I am a simple girl with simple ideas. I only collect personal data from you, when I need to contact you or when you buy a pattern from me. Then I would like to know how to get in touch with you (email address) or where to send your goods (home shipping address). I have no other reason to collect any other type of data from you and will do my best to keep it this simple in the future. I would not and have never sold your information to third parties. 

You can read my complete GDPR (in German) here. An English version will follow as well.

Blogger and Google do, however, collect more information such as your IP address and track your movements with "cookies." Please refer to their data protection policies

After rethinking this entire issue, I have also changed my website and my blog in accordance with 1) the small business owner and 2) the perspective of a customer. Some things have been deleted such as magic buttons from third parties. I was personally unaware that when you had these one your website and blog, they were potentially tracking, collecting and profiling my readers. This was never my intention. I am sorry.

I also do not put Ad Trackers onto my blog. I don't like these pesky pop-up adds when I visit other's sites and refuse to put them on my own site. I only advertise shops and products (with direct links and no tracking options) I truly endorse and stand behind like quilting shops.

All of my purchase buttons and purchasable patterns have been moved to my Etsy shop - easypatchworkSHOP. By doing this, I am unable to see payment information used by a customer such as PayPal address, credit card and bank accounts numbers customers have used. (I once had direct buy PayPal buttons for patterns on my website that were also removed.) 

I will also be deleting ALL of my CRAFTSY patterns those both free and at a low cost fee. (I intend to have new and updated copies uploaded to Etsy one day.) From their privacy policy, it is not clear to me how your data is used. So I decided, I will discontinue the use of that platform. When you download a free pattern on my website, I am not informed of the transaction. My web provider, 1&1 may, however, be collecting this data information without my knowledge. Please refer to their privacy and data collection policy.

Is there anything wrong with companies collecting and tracking your data? Not if you know it and agree it. I think this discussion came about, because no one truly knew what information was being collected and how it was being used. And information is very valuable. I certainly do not want data used to influence me into one direction or another. That's what my husband does. He likes to prep me on decisions months in advance of an actual purchase. I know his strategy and agreed long ago without a disclaimer. : )

With the new regulations, you have the right to be informed about the company's intent and to decline the service or not be tracked. You also have the right to tell the company to remove a comment or content from, or about, you. They have the responsibility to remove it. You have the right to cancel your subscriptions, and they have the obligation to remove your data from their records (as long as it complies with state, federal, EU laws).

I am embracing these new laws. I am happy and grateful for people like Viviane Reding and Jan Phillip Albrecht who highly supported this type of legislation long before I ever thought about it. Thank you!

Read all about the DSGVO in German here. or in English here.

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would really love to hear your thoughts about this. But remember, if you are logged in, you are being tracked. 

Thanks for dropping by!

P.S. {The original post was written two weeks ago and edited after some much needed reflection time. I was basically pretty upset when I found out how much information was being collected on me and my movements within the Internet. Needless to say, I deleted my Facebook account this morning.}

Thursday, March 8, 2018

busy, busy, busy

Hello everyone! It's nice to see you again! I know I have been absent. It is so hard for me to blog these days. I wanted to let you know what is going on in my life that is exciting but sometimes overwhelming too.

First of all, I made a couple of patterns, one for free and one payable. The first one is a set of foundations for a 2-Inch and 3-Inch Pineapple Block on Etsy. It includes two pages of templates. Assemble the blocks in the order given on the foundations or add more fabric on opposite sides of the block. These foundations are a great way to use up your scraps, especially HSTs from all of your favorite projects.


https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/595887381/mini-pineapples-galore-fpp-patterns?ref=shop_home_feat_3
Preview of Pineapple FPP Pattern on Etsy


I decided to make this pattern available after after Sandra @hohenbrunnerquilterin asked us, her bee mates, to sew the larger Pineapple block in the Background. I received a lot of requests to make the pattern available after they saw the blocks on IG and a friend of mine, Katrin made the block and posted on her blog. I had forgotten how much fun these were to make. I had so many "scraps" lefter over, I could make both the three inch and the two inch blocks. 



I have only made one quilt with the Pineapple block, a very special one for my mom's 60th birthday. I wanted to make her something really special, because she inspired me to start Quilting. I think she liked it, but couldn't really appreciate it the was I did. Although she quilted for a couple of year and even taught classes, she was really a traditional quilter. She wasn't impressed with the beautiful Long Arm Quilting by Brigitte Heitland.

Two things that are really special about the is quilt are 1)the Andover fabrics that my mom and I bought together in Phoenix, AZ when she lived there for a couple of years and 2)the inset corner blocks set-in on all four sides. I will never ever do that again! Brigitte took extra Special care NOT TO quilt them but to let them stand out. The quilt was kindly given back to me in 2016 when my mother died.



Another freebie is the pinwheels block I first made a couple of years ago for a pincushion. I wrote a very quick example of how it was made and posted in my Instagram feed. Allie and Me Design wrote a really awesome tutorial in GERMAN for the pincushion.



I still never wrote an official tutorial in ENGLISH, but I did write a step-by-step instruction sheet in GERMAN recently just for the pinwheels. You can download it here on the Instant Downloads page of my website. The photographs are clear and measurements are in centimeters. Enjoy.



The are good things and the bad things about writing patterns and tutorials. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other quilters and sewist to help make the entire process simpler and more enjoyable with awesome results. I still get tickled when I see someone make a pattern of mine! What I don't like is the amount of time it takes to write a thoroughly well-written pattern that goes unappreciated. I really don't expect a lot of appreciation in return, not even a thank you, but the rude tones and comments can be left aside. Everyone wants a Rolls Royce for free and there'd better be a big ribbon on it too! Sorry, this still irritates me. Coming down off my soap box now.

I have an upcoming and exciting teaching schedule including the Long Island New York Beauty in Hildesheim, Germany in just one week. If you are interested, please contact me. There are a couple of places left.


I will also be teaching at Karlsruhe two different classes in May: "Sew Smaller" and "Bindings." I generally limit the amount of participants in my classes to 12 students, but there was such an overhwhelming interest in the bindings class, we the increased the amount of participants to 20. I am really looking Forward to both of these classes!

In June, I will be teaching a "Cathedral Windows" class again in Munich at Quilt ét Textilkunst. Participants are also limited to 12. Reserve your seat, because they are going fast. Quilt ét Textilkunst is celebrating 20 years of business with a year filled of exciting courses with sewing celebs, giveaways, sew-alongs and more!

I am still designing for magazines and hope new blocks will be published for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. I love designing my own, original blocks. 

Thanks for dropping by! 
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