Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spill the (Jelly) Beans Sunday

Well, next week is Easter! Wow, where does the time go? I spent a WONDERFUL day and a half out at Regina's on Friday and Saturday and I must say it was very productive. I finished an ENTIRE quilt top (except the borders since I need more fabric, oh darn) and most of a second top, isn't that amazing!? Have any of you ever heard of Tip Nut? It is an AWESOME website and I get daily e-mails with all sorts of links to great tips. Yesterday's was a crafty roundup of various spring, Easter, bunny, and chicky crafts! They called it Easter Extravaganza. I find that their links are a great way to find new crafty blogs (as if I need more to read). But I've also used one of their links to plans for an outside planter for a salad garden, I sent the link to my dad (who is in love with his new table saw) and he made one for me by the next weekend! Oh, and they had some suggestions for cleaning out your microwave and it actually inspired me to do it and it worked and now my microwave is CLEAN! I just printed out this template for a bunny applique which I'm planning to use on a couple of onesies. I love that it includes a flower and an egg shape. The printed shape was actually a bit smaller than I wanted to so I enlarged it by 150% on my printer. Alright, that's the weekend update, ready for Spill the (Jelly) Beans Sunday?

Just one question this week (because if I keep asking 6 questions I'll run out of ideas!):

In the comments below, please answer the following question, then add your blog to the McLinky.

Are you working on any Spring or Easter-ish crafts in your household? Please do tell!
If you aren't, please tell us what you ARE working on at the moment.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Have fun on the Bloggy Bunny Hop!

Happy Stitches,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fabulous Friday

This post is going to be full of LOTS of different things so please bear with me, OK?
Friday Linky Parties:
You can see the badges in the right sidebar, but part of the reason I LOVE Friday is all the fun linky parties around Blogland! I've linked to Friday Follow at One 2 Try, Follow Me Friday at Trendy Treehouse and New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative! Friday is a great day to make new bloggy friends!! Also a new one for this week, Spring has Sprung at It's FUN to Craft.
Finish It Friday:
I managed to finish a couple of really easy and rather fun to make tote bags and I finished them on MONDAY! Don't ask me why I waited until today to post about them. Well, actually, I was going to wait until April for a surprise but just wanted to share today before I give them away. The first one, I made with Mill House Inn fabrics that my mom purchased. She wanted a tote that was small and had pockets for her cell phone and car key. I just LOVE this pattern for the Desk Deli Tote. It's supposed to be a reusable lunch bag but I found that the size and pockets make it perfect for a carryall bag and I use mine as a purse. We don't have the pattern yet because it's super popular and actually on backorder with our distributor! We will be ordering it soon though. This bag is so easy because it's made with mostly fat quarters! OK, enough rambling I'm sure you want to see pictures, right?

This is the one I made for my mom with Mill House Inn FQs
I made this one for my friend Lynda who looves shoes.
Can you tell that the batik fabric has flip flops on it? She also LOOOVES pink!

I think the fun thing about these totes is the way the pockets are made. You can customize them to the size that you want for your cell phone, car keys, pens, etc. There are some skinny pockets that were intended to use for utensils (since it's supposed to be a lunch tote) but I use them for my pens! The larger center pocket was intended for an ice pack, but that's where I stash my cell phone. Well, I'll be sure to announce when we get this pattern in and you can bet we'll list some kits to go with it!

Store Update:

Guess what!? If you are subscribed to our newsletter then you should already know this AWESOME news! (If not, visit the teal box in the right sidebar to sign up. hint: You'll get coupons!) The great news? BUTTONS! We have some wonderful and super cute buttons in our shop! Have you ever seen buttons with POLKA DOTS!? I hadn't until now and we have them! I just LOVE the red ones with white dots!

Click the image to view item in shop.

I suppose that's it for now. Thanks for reading all the way to this point! Please do sign up for the newsletter because there are A LOT of great things in store for the shop (including the Fab Shop Hop in JULY!) and I am sure you want to be the FIRST to find out about them!

Happy Stitches,

P.S. I just watched Julie and Julia last night and LOVED it! How cute! Didn't really inspire me to cook though, just to blog and sew more.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do you do this?

You've probably figured out by now that Regina and I really love to sew. Lately I've made myself stop using the computer around 12 noon and go into my sewing room to actually work on some projects. Yesterday I finished TWO really cute tote bags, one for my mom and the other for a dear friend (pictures of those in a couple of weeks.) I also realized I have a TON of fabrics cut and divided into little baggies that are ready to be made into quilts! That's because I went through a kit buying phase and after I had done that, I went through a "I'll just cut these and make them ready to sew" phase. Now I'm going through the "I really want to make these things" phase. Maybe it's the spring weather or something.
Do you ever do that? Go through certain phases and then get super productive and make a lot of stuff?
Here's the other thing. I have a mini laptop (since main computer is in another room) and I've set it up so I can actually WATCH stuff on it while I'm sewing! I love to have music playing or my new favorite is either a show on hulu or Netflix. Hulu is a neat website I found where I can watch previous episodes of fairly new TV shows. My recent favorite has been Fringe, which was written by the same people who wrote the Lost series. I've just gotten caught up on the last five episodes of the second season over the last few days. Also, Netflix, if you have an account with them, will allow you to stream movies or TV shows on your computer for no additional cost! I was able to watch all of Seasons 1 and 2 of the BBC TV show Robin Hood (so sad that was only a three season series!) And soon I'm going to hook up an external drive so I can watch DVDs on my mini laptop too. My latest discovery is books on CD. This was sort of one of those V8 moments. I LOVE to read. I have NO problem listening to books on tape or imagining what's going on, I've done this several times when I used to have a LOOONG commute to my previous job. So why not listen to books while I sew? While I was at a thrift store yesterday, I found a copy of John Grisham's The Brethren on CD for $2.99. Gee, for that little how could I go wrong? Well, I found out, it's not just a 4 CD set, it must have more than that but all that was in the case was 4 CDs! I just finished listening to the 4th CD and now I'm hanging!! I plan to take it back to the store tomorrow. But wait, I'm not finished!! I just stopped by my local library today and picked out THREE more books on CD today! And one of them is even about a quilter who solves mysteries (my other favorite sort of novel is mysteries). So I can listen to a book on CD about a quilter while I work on a quilt! I also checked out three books but those will be hard to read while I sew. :-)
Does this sound familiar? Do you like to listen to books on tape or watch TV or movies while you work on a quilt? Or do you prefer to listen to music or have complete quiet?
I'm just curious because I felt so much better when I asked around and found out I'm not the only one who sews without shoes on (the better to feel the pedal, right?) Can't wait to hear your replies.
Happy Stitches!
P.S. Don't forget to join the CGW Sew and Show group on flickr! I'm anxiously waiting to see what creations you've all come up with!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spill the Beans Sunday

NOTE: If you were sweet enough to comment with your opinion about the option of offering advertising on this blog a week or two ago, please e-mail me and I'll send you a FREE pattern for a quick quilt made with a jelly roll!

Now it's YOUR turn to spill the beans (and I don't mean coffee because it's past 1:00pm). Please take a moment to answer the following questions. I had SEW much fun reading about how people learned to sew and where you are from. If you answer this post with a comment, PLEASE make sure to include your e-mail and I'll send you a FREE pattern too! Last thing, I've decided to add McLinky at the bottom. SO, if you answer these questions here in a comment, link up your blog (main page is OK) and we can visit each other and make some new bloggy friends!

1) Name
2) Favorite hobby (sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, cooking, etc.)
3) What sort of patterns/designers/colors do you like? (i.e. bright and funky, soft and floral, Amy Butler, anything by 3 Sisters, Basic Grey, Sweetwater, etc.)
4) What patterns would you like to make? (i.e. tote bags, quilts, baby clothes, stuffed animals or softies, adult garments, home stuff like aprons or pillows, etc.)
5) Of the previous list, is there anything that you'd like to make more of?
6) Who do you sew/craft for most? (kids, family, friends, neighbors, customers, yourself!, etc)
7) Anything else you'd like to share?
8) Now add a link to your blog on McLinky!

OK, me first.
1) Anna
2) Sew and quilting although I think I have Crafters A.D.D. because I can't seem to focus very long on one project and have started making paper cards and even made a calendar with scrapbook paper!
3) I love bright and funky fabrics and have recently purchased 12 different fabrics with a lime green and turquoise blue color scheme for a new quilt! (Forgot I already had a set of FQs at home in that same color line!) I totally love Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, and I really like the Basic Grey fabrics most of the time. I know a lot of fabric designers are also designing for scrapbook paper companies and visa versa now. Basic Grey and Sweetwater are good examples of that.
4) I have plans to make lots of quilts (bought the kits for them!) but I also have lots of patterns for totes. I just saw a TON of cute patterns to make stuffed animals and I think that would be interesting but I don't know who I would give them to. I also like to make pillows, like I said, Crafter's A.D.D.
5) Pretty much more of EVERYTHING! I need to get myself OFF the computer so that I can actually SEW! In fact, I've started trying to make two things at a time since I seem to have so little time to spend sewing!
6) At the moment I'm sewing a tote bag for my mom and another one for my close friend as a gift. I also have plans to sew for our shop for samples and sale. I'm looking forward to seeing what people add to our flickr pool so I can get some more inspiration!
7) Hope this is fun and not too redundant with the previous meme (I'm calling it that because it's easier than anything else.)

Super Sponsor Sunday!

Today I'm featuring a guest post from one of our sponsors, Jill from Women Who Do It All.

Hello readers of the Crafty Girls Workshop! I am so excited to be guest blogging here today! Love their products! Well first a little introduction to me and my blog :) I am Jill from Women Who Do It All. I have a sweet little guy, Sam, who is three months old. I started my blog because I wanted to make a kind of community where women who "do it all" (and let's be honest, that's all of us) could share ideas and build friendships. I keep my blog hopping with fun craft ideas and motivating health and fitness tips. I also love to share great recipes and have lots of fun giveaways (the best part of blogging, right?) I've got two great giveaways going on right now.
One for a Cricut (shown in the picture) [EDIT: The Cricut giveaway has concluded but Jilll still wants to give one away when she reaches 2500 followers, head over and help her out!] and one for a $50 gift certificate for the JC Penny Portrait Studio. These end in just a couple days so head on over and check them out :)

I had a hard time choosing just one post to feature here, but I ended up settling on my tutorial for an adorable baby mobile just because it's fun and could save you lots of money not having to buy one from the store, plus my son LOVES it!
Head on over to Women Who Do It All for a tutorial for how to make one yourself!
Thanks for the guest post Jill. We will be stopping by soon!
Happy Stitches to all,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

CGW Sew and Show on Flickr!

Edit: The badge is now available! It's over there in the sidebar with the nifty code thingy that you can just copy and paste! If you have any questions about that, please e-mail me. Click the link below to visit the flickr pool and join in! Thanks!!

Thanks sew much to Amy from Positively Splendid who has offered to help me with designing a badge for the NEW flickr group! When we get that finished you can bet it will be the next post, but until it's ready, PLEASE do stop by the CGW Sew and Show flickr pool and join in and post your pictures! I've already put in a few pictures of things that Regina or I have made and I hope they will inspire you too! The idea is to show what we've made using our fabrics or patterns (or both) and we'd love to see what you've made! Don't worry, we aren't checking receipts to see if you purchased it from us. That's OK if you didn't but the exciting thing about flickr is that it's all about pictures and you can add a description to your pics. So you can tell us about the item, why you made, and where you got the inspiration. If you used fabric or patterns from our shop, well, GREAT! If you have a pattern that you've used and think we should carry, let us know in the discussion portion of the group. Well, happy stitching to you!


Friday, March 19, 2010

We have a Flickr Group!

This is going to be short and sweet. I've just started a new flickr group for anyone who wants to join us and show off the projects they've made with patterns or fabrics from our shop. OR if you didn't buy them from us but you have projects using patterns or fabrics that we sell, come show what you sewed in our group! I'm calling it the CGW Sew and Show group.

But I have a teensy little problem:
I REALLY want an uber cool badge to help promote our new group! You can put this cool badge on your blog and proudly tell the world that you're a member of the CGW Sew and Show group!

Can anyone out there help me out with creating a badge? If you would like to help out, I'd be willing work out some sort of swap, such as your design skills for hmm, maybe a yard of fabric or something. Please e-mail me if you think you could help. Thanks sew much!

Happy Stitches,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Patterns Available!

We just received a GIANT order of patterns and I finally got them ALL listed in our shop! Go check them out and while you're there, consider one of those pillowcase kits. We've also restocked some patterns that SOLD OUT such as the Britches and Bloomers and the Reversible Pleated Top. Spring is the time to sew and we've got the patterns and fabrics to make some CUTE stuff!

A few of my personal favorites:

FUNked Out Peasant Blouse

It's a Wrap Pillow Sleeves

Just click the pictures or the name below to go straight to the shop and order! I hope you have fun shopping!

Happy Stitches to You,


Pillowcase Tutorial!!

Yes, it's finally time. The pictures are all ready and the instructions are written. Here is the LOOOONG awaited pillowcase tutorial, created by Regina (the rather silent Crafty Girl). At the end of this post I'll include a link to open a PDF of this tutorial so you can save and print it and keep it close to your sewing machine (mine is in a different room from my computer.) That way you'll always have a quick go-to project for fast gifts. By the way, the fabric used in the pictures is Oz by Sanae! We have a lot of it in our shop in various colors for many tastes. We also have a KIT available, just tell us your fabric choices (anything from our shop) and we'll cut it and ship it to you right away!

Easy Peasy Pillowcase Tutorial

Materials Needed:
3/4 yd for case

1/4 yd for band

1/8 yd for accent band

1-1/4 yd lace (optional)

Fold the pillowcase fabric in half and straighten the edges. Remove the selvage from the edges of all the fabrics. The selvage is the tightly woven edge that is either white with the name of the fabric or may be the same color as the fabric but has very small holes along the length of it.

Step 1: Fold the fabric for the 2 bands in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press.

Step 2a: If you are using lace, draw a line 1/4" away from the raw edge of the accent band (lengthwise).
Step 2b: Pin your lace directly below this line. The header of the lace should be touching the line. Sew in place.
Step 3: Line up the raw edges of the accent band (with lace) and outer band, pin, and sew the accent band to the outer band using 1/2" seam allowance. (picture below)
Step 4: Lay pillowcase fabric out flat, right side up. Line up the raw edges of the band piece and the pillowcase body. Accent band and optional lace will be sandwiched between. Sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance. If you have a walking foot, this is a good time to use it. Trim the seam allowance to about 1/4" and finish the edge with a zigzag stitch over the edge of the fabric (this prevents fraying).
Step 5: Fold the entire unit in half lengthwise and pin together. Take special care to match-up the seams on the band section. Sew together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
Step 6: Trim the seam and zigzag stitch over the raw edge. Turn right side out and push out the corners. Press.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You now have a pretty pillowcase for your bed!
Note: If this tutorial is unclear or you have any questions, PLEASE feel free to ask either here in the comments or by e-mail. We'd also LOVE to see if you make any of these how they turn out!
Happy Stitches!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sponsors Welcome

As you may notice, Crafty Girls Workshop blog has gotten a little bit of a Spring Makeover! I've revamped the layout just a bit so that we can have some room for sponsors and a little more room for all those cute buttons and badges I like to show in my sidebar. So, we're looking for Sponsors (sounds so much better than Advertisers, don't you think?) and here's the best part. I'm willing to just TRADE sponsor space with you! If you have a crafty blog and think that the people who read your blog would like the fabrics, patterns and kits that CGW sells, and you think that the readers of our blog would like what you make, let's work out a SWAP! If you don't offer ad space on your blog at the moment but would still like to have your badge displayed "above the fold" on CGW for the LOW introductory price of $5 a month, please e-mail me and put Sponsorship in the title. Please attach your 125x125 px ad and include the link in your e-mail as well. Then I'll send you an invoice through pay pal and you'll be good to go! I really think that anyone who has purchased fabrics or patterns from us and then made them into something to resell in their shop would be especially appealing to the CGW blog readers. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. I have 5 slots available and I'll fill them on a first come first get it basis. I hope you like the makeover so far! I still have to tweak some of the sidebar badge sizes but that shouldn't take me too long. Well, until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Survey Says...

Alright everyone, it's your turn to spill the beans, haha. Please share some info about yourself in the comments. I'd really love to hear about who reads this blog and get an idea of what I should post about in future posts. Please answer the following questions if you would:

1) Your name
2) Where are you from?
3) Which do you do more, sew or quilt?
4) Where did you learn to sew or quilt?
5) How long have you been sewing/quilting?
6) What is one thing you want to do but are afraid of? (Can be related to sewing/quilting or not)

I'll answer first:

1) Anna
2) From Iowa City, IA, but lived in San Antonio, Texas for most of my life
3) At the moment I think I sew more than I quilt but I dream about quilting. I LOVE to make tote bags and small quilts and someday might make some clothing.
4) My mother in law, Regina, (aka the OTHER Crafty Girl) taught me to make a pillowcase for my new home when I first got married. She trusted me to use her BERNINA! I was hooked and have been sewing/quilting ever since.
5) That would make it about 6 years (but I did scrapbooking and rubber stamping cards before that and I've always sort of been "crafty")
6) I want to make some clothes, and maybe even with button holes! I love the Classic Shirt pattern so I think that's where I'd like to start.

Now, will you join me in the Friday Free for All and tell about yourself? I look forward to your replies.

Happy Stitches,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to my sewing room...

I stopped off in my computer room and got sucked into the Blogosphere!!! And while I was there I also listed the NEW fabric that is arriving tomorrow. So, you can go and check it out on our webstore and order it tonight and the minute it arrives tomorrow, we'll cut it and ship it out to you! It's called Make Life by Sweetwater (produced by Moda). Now, this fabric sort of resembles scrapbook paper because Sweetwater has also designed images for scrapbooking. The funny thing I'm noticing lately is that people who enjoy one usually enjoy the other. They are both creative outlets and I LOVE buying those big stacks of various papers because they coordinate, and when I need to make a quick card for someone, I can just pick a couple of coordinating prints -- I mean papers and whip out a card right away. Sort of like buying a layer cake! Oh, but I digress, look at how CUTE these new fabrics are! (click picture to visit shop)

See the one down in the bottom right hand corner? I LOVE that fabric, it has such cute phrases all over it, things that you can add to the end of the phrase "Make Life..." The name of that fabric is Make Life Silly! Isn't that great!? The blue texture fabric in the middle of the bottom would be perfect made into some cool cotton tops for spring, such as the classic shirt pattern by Favorite Things.

I totally love this pattern and I don't know about where y'all live, but Spring has SPRUNG here, because it has been above 80 degrees the last two days!! Oh, and wouldn't this look cute in that solid blue with a little of the Make Life Bloom (bottom left side) on the cuff or flare of the sleeve? Oh, I think I might have to steal this pattern. Better get one before I get it! By the way, if you hop over to the webstore right now, you'll see on the front page the newly listed items and those include FREEBIRD charm packs!! Yes, they are in and they are REALLY making me anxious for our coordinating bolts arriving next month. Well, that's the shop update for today. I'm going to try to make my way back to my sewing room now. Anyone else get distracted on their way to go and sew something?

Happy Stitches to You,


Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Webstore Feature and FABRIC!

Since it's Friday, I thought it would be a great time to point out another cool feature on our webstore. On any page, you can see a group of links on the left sidebar. The top is the Shopping links, which are categories for your shopping ease. The section under that is called "about" and this is where you can find some info about the Crafty Girls. You can click on the About link and read about Regina and me and what inspired us to start up Crafty Girls. The Events link will take you to a calendar and if you live in the San Antonio, TX area, you'll see any scheduled events we have planned for a particular month. The Contact link will take you to a form where you can send us an e-mail if you have any questions about our products or anythying. The Catalog is another way to search the webstore. The last two features are pretty pretty cool, I think. We have one called Web Site Links. This is where you'll find a link to join our e-mail newsletter, participate in our Crafty Girls photo sharing group, visit the blog, or even link to the sites of some of the designers of patterns in our shop. The last link is called Guest Book, which may be self explanatory, but I think it's a neat way to let us know you visited and add some input about our webstore (it's still growing and changing). We'd love to know where our webstore visitors are coming from. It may just be the computer geek in me but I feel these are features that make our webstore more personal for our visitors and customers. Something we didn't have as much of on the Etsy shop.

Now for something you'll REALLY like, FABRIC! Yes, Spring is approaching and that means we're getting some beautiful spring color fabrics in. Have you seen the Verna fabrics we've recently listed?
Wouldn't these make into some adorable little girl dresses or cute tote bags for SPRING!? It's time to get a jump start on those spring projects. Tell Mr. Groundhog that you aren't going to accept his assessment that Spring is not here yet and make this REALLY cute vintage jumper, perfect for Easter.
I've heard really good reviews of patterns from the Favorite Things line and I think this would be a perfect beginner project. I wish I had a little girl to make it for! Well, I hope I gave you something to think about for the weekend (and maybe grab one for a future project.) You can click any of the photos above to visit the listing in our webstore or just click the link. Thanks for visiting! I'll be linking this on a couple of linky parties today.

Have a great weekend!
Happy stitches,
The Trendy Treehouse Friday Follow

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm on a Roll!

I made something again, that's two weeks in a row! This time I used a funky sheet I found at a thrift store in Houston. I thought these cats would make up into a funny and ironic toy for my hyper dog (see last post for a picture of Starbuck). I put a cat picture on each side of the toy, lined it with thick canvas for durability and stuff it with polyfil. Then I stitched it closed and top stitched the entire thing! Fast and CHEAP project! Don't those cats just look like the are daring you to play with them? I'm linking this up to Everything Etsy and any other linky party I can find today. Sew Proud of myself!

Happy Stitches,

I Made It Blog Party giveaways

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