Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Keyka Lou Pattern Winner

Congrats to April at Sewing Novice, you have won 2 patterns from Keyka Lou patterns! Although, from looking at your blog, I hardly think you are a novice! Readers of Crafty Girls Workshop, you should REALLY stop by April's blog, she takes great pictures and makes awesome stuff!

Happy Stitches,


P.S. I just returned from an AWESOME surface design retreat on Sunday and have loads to share so stay tuned!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Make a Case for for a Good Cause

Did you know that Monday, April 4 is National Pillow Fight day? Wow!? How could I have ever missed that!? Well, in honor of that day this year, I am hosting a Pillowcase Challenge Party at my studio!! What the heck is a pillowcase challenge party? Read on to find out....

American Patchwork and Quilting (owned by Better Homes and Gardens or Meredith Publishing) is hosting a 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. They have challenged quilt shop ALL over the country to host events just like the Pillowcase Challenge Party, make pillowcases and donate them to a LOCAL charity. Then, the shop can go to the APQ website and enter the number of pillowcases donated. They will tally them all up and hopefully we'll reach 1 Million donated! That's a LOT of pillowcases!

Well, this works out great because the VERY first class I usually teach anyone about how to sew or how to use their machine is a Pillowcase Class. So now I have a few people who know how to make them and can come by the shop on the day of the PARTY!

But what if YOU want to come by but you've never sewn a stitch in your life? NO PROBLEM! This is such an easy project that I can show you want to do in just a few minutes and get you stitching in no time! The shop will have slightly extended hours 10am-4pm on Sunday April 3 for the day of the Pillowcase Challenge Party.

There is only a small $10 registration fee to cover the supplies you'll need to make ONE pillowcase. You can choose to keep it or donate it, or keep it and make another one to donate!

I've already found the PERFECT place to donate the pillowcases. It's call the Angel Cover Ministry. They make quilts for children in need and they are working to make 30 quilts to donate to children with cancer. They would LOVE to have pillowcases to donate along with the quilts at the end of April right around Easter.

They are all ready to accept our donation, so all we need is the pillowcases! So, what are you waiting for? You should definitely hop over to the shop and sign up RIGHT NOW for this pillowcase challenge party.

If you aren't local to San Antonio, there are a couple of options. You can make a pillowcase on the day of the party and let me know, via e-mail, or Facebook or whatever. Then you can either send me the pillowcase or donate it to a local charity in your town. OR why not register for the party and have someone make a pillowcase FOR YOU? Just specify that when you order. I will happily make a pillowcase for you on that day. I'll even post a picture of it on our Facebook page when it's finished.

I'm going to have door prizes and FOOD so it will be a SUPER fun day!

I hope you'll be able to come on by.

Happy Stitches,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday, on Thursday

Made this at MY Laptop Cover class on Sunday (decided the shop needed a sample!) It just needs topstitching, I love those little birdies!

Here's a sample that one my best customer's and newest friends is working on. We used a charm pack of City Weekend. I'm calling it Nine Patch Baby! There's an outside white border too. If you like it and would like me to do a SEW ALONG of this pattern, please vote by commenting on this post!

This is the Sugar Pop version of my Oh How Charming! pattern (designed by little ol' me!) which I teach duing my Gotcha Covered Beginning Quilt Class. It just needs a binding and then it's DONE!!! It will be great to finally have a sample of my quilt with fabric I have in the shop!

And here's the Moving Violations quilt from the Rule Breaking Quilts book club (you can join any time!) I'm planning to add a border in that robin's egg blue and a wide border in the Potpourri fabric, which has all the colors of the quilt. Then of course it will need to be quilted and have the binding put on it (oh fun!)
So a lot of works in progress going on over here at Crafty Girls Workshop! Maybe I'll be able to post some progress on them next week.

What are YOU working on?

Happy Stitches,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another March Madness Giveaway!!

I am soo excited to post ANOTHER giveaway for you, my wonderful readers.
(A BIG welcome to all the NEW readers from GenXQuilters!)

I am especially excited to share this giveaway with you. Michelle Webster, the BRAINS behind Keyka Lou patterns has generously offered to give TWO of her FABULOUS PDF patterns away! She has an AMAZING blog where she posts great tips and beautiful pictures of great fabrics. Michelle and I have been friends/business associates for a long time and her patterns are so great for a beginner to intermediate sewist(a) that I use the reusable tote pattern AND the laptop sleeve pattern in my classes! I am just so thrilled that now I can be an affiliate and the added bonus for doing what I would already do anyway is a little commission every time you buy something using the link from my blog!!

So, if you'd like to WIN WIN two of her FABULOUS and EASY-to-follow patterns, here is whatcha gotta do:

1) Visit the Keyka Lou Shop and pick out your TWO favorite patterns (I know this will be difficult, but do try) then come back here and leave a comment telling me which ones you want.

2) Visit my shop and tell me which FABRICS you would use to make those beautiful patterns

3) And for an added little bonus, why not stop by Michelle's blog and just drop her a little "hi!" comment, you can tell her that Crafty Girls Workshop sent you, or not, I think she'll get a pleasant surprise out of that.

Of course, be sure to leave at least one comment telling me you did the above items (you can leave one for each or one telling me what you did.)

MAKE SURE you are NOT a No Reply Blogger!! If I can't reply to your comment, and you DON"T leave me your e-mail in your comment, then you CAN NOT win this giveaway! And that's not any fun, right?
One more thing, all the Keyka Lou patterns are PDF so this is open to ANYONE ANYWHERE!! Yippee! Save trees and include international folks. I love it when things work out like that.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 29th!!

Happy Stitches,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Color Inspiration: Fresh Modern Quilts on Flickr

Watch the above slideshow for some beautiful modern quilting inspiration.

Happy Stitches,

Check back because I'll be posting my NEXT March Madness Giveaway SOON!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sew You Want to Learn to Sew?

Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

If you've been thinking about getting a new machine, because yours is too hard to work with, too old, too complicated, not complicated enough, I'd highly recommend the machine linked above (yes I get a tiny commission if you purchase one, no obligation though).

First off, you should consider why you want the machine, do you plan to sew, quilt, embroider, make garments, make tote bags?  If you answered yes, then here are a few features you'll probably want:

1) A thread cutter, yes some machines are SO basic, they don't have that nifty little thread cutter on the side of the machine, it's handier than grabbing the scissors all the time.

2) The needle stops in the UP position. Again, the most basic machines will usually be sort of "lazy" and when they stop sewing, the needle stops wherever it was when it was sewing, which is sometimes still down in the machine. When you need to sew items quickly, it's ideal for the needle to stop UP.

2a) *Super nice to have feature Needle Down button* On the flip side, it is handy to have the ability to tell the machine to put the needle DOWN (and even better if you can set it to ALWAYS put the needle down, but that's usually a feature in higher end machines) because any time you need to turn a corner, you'll want to put the needle down so that you can maneuver the fabric without messing up the stitches. If you don't have a needle DOWN button, you can always turn the flywheel toward you and put the needle down.

3) Variety of presser feet. Check to see which feet your machine comes with, ideally you'll want a button hole foot, zipper foot, darning foot (has a circle) and basic straight stitch foot, If you plan to do any quilting, check to make sure the machine has either a 1/4 inch foot (when you line the fabric up to the side of the foot, you get a 1/4 inch seam) OR the ability to move the needle OVER to make it a 1/4 inch seam and not change the foot. Also for quilting you'll want the ability to purchase a walking foot at some time.

4) A nice to have option is a needle threader attached to the machine. These usually take some practice to get comfortable using but they are very nice for threading that tiny needle.

5) Drop in Bobbin I'd recommend a drop in bobbin for a beginner. From my experience using various machines in my own store, the drop in bobbin is a good option for several reasons. First of all, you can very easily see when it is running low or out of thread. Second, the access to the bobbin is so much easier when it's on the top (obviously) but that makes life less frustrating when you have to change out the bobbin. Personally, on my mid line Bernina, it's a front loading bobbin made of metal, and while I love the feel of the quality of it, sometimes the idea of having to hunt down a shop that carries the bobbins that cost $2 is sort of annoying.

A caution about plastic bobbins, they are NOT all the same. Some bobbins have a slight curve to them and won't work in other machines. Be sure that you buy bobbins for your machine and perhaps even mark them somehow to ensure they stay with your machine.

*Nice to have feature* If you're interested in spending a little more on a machine, you might look into one that has a knee lift lever the KNL allows you to just swing your leg over to the right and push a lever that will actually raise the presser foot on your machine. That's handy if you need to maneuver fabric quickly. I never knew what that was until I learned to sew at a shop when I was learning the features of the Berninas I was going to sell. The shop owner required us to learn to use the KNL and I'm glad she did because it's very, very useful.

So, that's my (not so)short two cents on what to look for in a sewing machine. The mid-range machine will last a long time and give you many years of sewing success. I have a Janome Sew Precise in my shop (no longer in production) and it does well, even over three layers of fabric, including batting. If there are any other features you can't live without on your machine, please feel free to post here and share! I'm not a huge expert on sewing machines, I'm just sharing what I have experienced working with several different models of machines. I am asked at least three times a week what to look for in a machine and this is the result of those discussions.

Happy Stitches,

P.S. Another reason I recommend that machine from Amazon, besides my affiliate commission is that they offer FREE shipping and it's cheaper than what you'll find on other websites. Even in a large city like San Antonio, TX, it's difficult find a decent machine locally without having to pay more than a couple hundred dollars.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rule Breaking Quilts Book Club: Moving Violations

I'm having so much fun in my own book club for this book Rule Breaking Quilts! (you can still join)

                                                                 Rule-Breaking Quilts 

I've already started on the first quilt and amazingly I'm ready to piece the entire top together, and I only started cutting pieces for it yesterday! Here's where I was yesterday:
This, in itself was thrilling, until I got to the next step, which was MORE cutting! And I ended up with this!

Most of the fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush collection, but I had to add some of my NEW Bella Solid Robin's Egg blue AND some Buttercup. It really pulled everything together. If you manage to look really closely, you'll see a little bit of something weird mixed in. It's from an improv block I did that I didn't really like much, so I wacked it up and pieced it back together in some wonky triangles and now I LOVE it! This quilt project is called Moving Violations, and you have to get the book in order to understand why. But boy are the Quilt Police going to be after me!!

I'm going to have my camera at the ready tomorrow to see the looks on people's faces when they come in my studio and see this quilt on the wall. I might love it too much to ever even bother taking it down to piece it! SEW FUN!!

Happy Stitches,

P.S. Don't forget about the giveaway going on! (See previous post)

Linking up here:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Madness Continues: Whimsy Couture eBook Giveaway

The winner is commenter number 3, Lindsay! Congrats! I've sent you an e-mail about the patterns and they should be arriving shortly.

Today starts the next round of giveaways for March Madness! This week I'm featuring Denise Knapp of Whimsy Couture. (click the button to visit her cute blog)

Whimsy Couture

I have 12 of her eBooks in my shop ready for your viewing pleasure! The winner of THIS drawing with recive 3 Whimsy Couture eBooks of your choice!!

Personally, I think this is the most adorable pattern ever and perfect for warm spring weather:

Remember, the choice here is ONLY the patterns by Whimsy Couture. I now have an easy peasy way to tell which patterns are by which designer because I've added a separate category for PDF Pattern Designers AND Printed Pattern Designers!

To enter this giveaway leave me a comment with any of the following (one entry per item):

1) Visit the Whimsy Couture Designs page and choose the 3 patterns you'd like
2) Sign up for my e-newsletter (in the box on the right sidebar)
3) Post about this on YOUR blog, or FB or Twitter
4) Join the pillowcase dress sew-a-long over at Little Big Girl Studios to help Dress a Girl Around the World

BONUS: If we get to 50 comments, EVERYONE gets an extra entry!!

Be sure to make sure you ARE NOT a No Reply Blogger, if I can't reply to your comment (you can leave your e-mail) then I can't send you the patterns if you win!

Giveaway will CLOSE on Monday March 14 at Midnight.

Happy Stitches,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winner of Gingercake Patterns

Congrats to commenter number 2, Becky who said:

"I already like you on facebook and it led me to this post! yay! I love March Madness - we are huge college basketball fans here.

Make your Getaway Duffle, The Waste Free Lunch Bag and Love Your Lunchbox patterns would totally rock my world.

I believe I'll join that sew along too. I have a bunch of pillowcases to share!

Thanks for the chance to win. "

Stay tuned for the next giveaway!!
Happy Stitches,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Total March Madness! Giveaways and Celebrations!

Well, I'm not going for any slam dunks here (haha, that's a March Madness basketball joke) BUT I wanted to CELEBRATE my 700 (and now 6 more) followers!!!

I plan to do that with a GIVEAWAY EVERY WEEK in this month! Yippee!! OK, tired of all the exclamation marks and capital letters?

This week, starting now, March 1 and until Monday, March 7 if you leave a comment on this blog post you will be entered to WIN

NOTE: I guess there was some confusion, this giveaway is ONLY for the Gingercake patterns, as shown below and linked. If you visit my website and do a search for gingercake, you'll see the options. Any other patterns are not up for "grabs" at this time. I appreciate you visiting my shop and mentioning other patterns, but ONLY Gingercake's patterns are in the running this week (more to come another week in the month).

Your CHOICE of 3 electronic patterns from Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake!!!

(From the ones listed on my website, which you can see in all their glory by clicking here)

Here are the ways to enter:

1) Visit the shop and choose the three Gingercake electronic patterns that you'd like to win, then hop back here and leave me a comment telling me your choice and what you would do with them.

2) "Like" my page on Facebook (I post coupon codes on there sometimes, so it's a good deal either way) and be sure to mention it here

3) BONUS entry if you decide to participate in the sew a-long over at Little Big Girl Studio

Make sure you leave me your e-mail address or that you are NOT a no reply blogger (read the details here to check/switch your settings)

If you want to leave me ONE comment for all your entries, I'm cool with that!

You have until Midnight on Monday March 7 to enter, I'm going to announce the winner and a NEW giveaway on Tuesday March 8.

So happy visiting and blog hopping and I hope you will join in the Sew-A-Long at LBGS because it sounds like an awesome idea. (I'll post more about that tomorrow).

Happy Stitches,