Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crafty Girls Blog has a NEW HOME!

Please jump over to my new blog home Hopefully the address will point there at some point (it supposedly takes 24 hours to refresh and I'm not sure when that will kick in.) Please update your readers if you have it that way and over there you can sign up to get my newest posts directly in your e-mail inbox (which is really the only way I read blogs anymore).

ALL new posts will be posted over there.

And don't forget about the $5 SALE on SALE FABRIC!!

Happy Stitches,
 See ya on the Wordpress Side!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011




Better get it now while it lasts!

Happy Shopping,

Psst, shop first, THEN tell your friends!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ambitious is Good: Retreat Update

I guess taking 4 projects is a good thing. I finished 2 quilt tops and 1 entire quilt, pieced, quilted it and put on the binding!! I guess I was afraid of the quilt police (NOT!)

Here's my finished baby quilt called Squared Up. I can't believe this was a UFO for SO long! It probably took me all of 5 hours from start to finish.

Close up, LOVE that binding!

Here is a wonky log cabin and Robot quilt. It started with just a panel of robots and some extra cogs in yellow and black. I mixed in some of my Moda Marbles from a jelly roll and it was PERFECT! I LOVE wonky log cabin quilts! My shirt says "What happens at quilt retreat stays at quilt retreat" Until, of course I blog about it on Monday. Haha.

 Here is the Paris Birds quilt I took with me. I need to add two borders but it was the first top I finished on Friday. (The blocks were already pieced, I just put them together into the top)

There was a fourth project I took with me that didn't get started, it was from the BRAND NEW Quilts and More, which I just got on Thursday. I'll post more about that later. So what did YOU finish this weekend??

Also, I think wearing the shirt Failure is NOT an Option helped when we played Left, Right, Center on Friday night because I WON! Yep, 40 random fat quarters! Hmm, wonder what I'll do with those?

Happy Stitches,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Order Delay for a Few Days

Since I'll be on a quilt retreat this weekend, any orders will be packed and shipped out on Monday. I appologize for the delay (usually it's a one day turn around) but a girl's gotta quilt! In the meanwhile, here's a coupon code for use to SHOP,  THIS WEEKEND ONLY!

Use the code:

10% off
your order!

Hmm, was a no-brainer? Also, since tomorrow is TAX DAY! 10% off is like getting a TAX break on your order! (And if you're out of Texas and don't pay sales tax on this order, it's an added bonus!!)

This code is good through Sunday, April 17th at midnight, at which point it will turn into a pumpkin. Also, it will only work on orders of $10 or more, but shipping gets the discount too!!

Happy Shopping!!


Packing for Quilt Retreat

Besides ALL those projects I'm taking with me to the Quilt Retreat (QR) this weekend. I'm making sure that the shirts I take to wear during the QR are appropriate. Here are the sayings on each shirt I am taking along:

"Failure is NOT an option" (Actually from the Johnson Space center in Houston but I usually wear it shopping and thought it would be fun to wear during the QR)

"What happens at Quilt Retreat stays at Quilt Retreat" (This was the t-shirt from the Alamo Heritage Quilt Guild QR several years ago, and it's still appropriate)

"Quilt Police" on the back, "Captain Luna" on the front (I made this one myself as a joke at a QR I organized a few years ago. Strangely, it didn't quite get the reation I was looking for.

"Who cares?" With a big picture of the grumpy/cloudy Care Bear. I LOVE this because I'm NOT a morning person until I've had coffee. Plus I always loved the Care Bears.

I think that's all the shirts I'm taking, it's only three days but it's good to have a backup or two. If you could create a t-shirt to wear on a retreat, what would it say?

Happy Stitches,


Monday, April 11, 2011

A Little Bit Ambitious

This weekend (starting on Friday) is the first retreat for the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild. I am so excited to be able to spend 3 and a half days sewing! (yes, I know I own a sewing studio and yes, I can sew whenever I want but I don't have to worry about meals or my puppy all weekend!)

Here are the projects I'm bringing with me to work on (sorry for the icky pictures, hopefully I'll have finished stuff to show after the retreat.) Do you think I'm too ambitious?

for my best friend's youngest son (and my Godson)

Paris, Birds, Pink and Brown how can I go wrong?

for the friend's oldest son (those are Robots)

Just for fun (and I've had it cut for over two years)

Something I started just a few days ago, a wonky boyish fabrics log cabin

I don't think it's too ambitious because I'll just be happy if I finish one or two. Hopefully I'll have lots to report on Monday!

Any big plans for this weekend now that tax time is over? (OK< did I just post about the weekend on a Monday?)

Happy Stitches,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review: Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions

Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing this sweet book by Amy Barickman called Vintage Notions. Amy is the pattern designer behind Indygo Junction of which I do have a few patterns in my shop. While I mostly carry modern style and design of fabrics and patterns, I have found that this book is very useful for the modern sewist(a).  A lot of the inspiration for this book was taken from a woman named Mary Brooks Picken who was a very real predecessor to Martha Stewart. Here is what Amy says about Mary Brooks Pickens in her introduction to the book:
"I conceived of this book, Vintage Notions, to rescue Mary Brooks Pickens from obscurity and to reintroduce the inspirational essays, clever sewing patterns, cooking basics, and beautiful illustrations from the Institute's newsletters with a fresh and modern voice."
Well, there you go! The perfect reason for me, someone who is thoroughly as modern as possible, to read a book with the word "Vintage" in the title!

Some of my favorite parts of this book include:

The "Magic Pattern" called "Men's Shirts Put to Feminine Use" on page 30

The section in each chapter called Amy B's Favorite Vintage Advice is sure to put a smile on your face.

The Department of Millinery (hats) on page 153 is great! I didn't realize there were so many hats for every occasion.

Of course, the Department of Cookery features in each chapter are very useful for me, since my oven doesn't exactly work, I'm sure I could use the advice on Cooking with Cold and Dainty Summer refreshments.

I definitely need to try this pattern for a summer purse, because Summer is approaching quickly.

I really could go on and on but I'll let you get a copy of the book for yourself to see how sweet and fun being domestic can be!

Oh, and don't forget to check out page 183 for the Department of Good Looks feature on "Charm Through Grace and Poise" and the advice on the opposite page about "Walking Like a Princess" because we should all walk like the princesses we are!

I think this book would be very useful to those who love vintage or those who love modern. Amy even includes a section at the beginning of each chapter called Modern Notions which helps relate the content in the chapter to a more contemporary context.

Thank you Amy Barickman and staff for allowing me to review a copy of this book!

A second copy of this book will be donated to the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild for the silent auction fundraiser.

Happy Stitches,

P.S. Stay tuned this week for more pattern reviews and giveaways!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lovely Patchwork Awesomeness Arrived

Yes, it's here and yes, it's TOTALLY AWESOME!! This magazine, compiled by the editors of the AMAZING Stitch magazine has 101 patchwork projects! It's all in one place, it's there at your fingertips. I can't wait to dive in and making something fun. Maybe it will be some sewing machine covers (I have 4 machines in my shop) or maybe a cute new bed for my puppy or maybe 99 other things that are shown in this magazine. I mean, geez, if I start now, I could make something every day for the rest of the year! Oh and if patchwork isn't really your thing, check out Stitch, because it has some incredible projects that involve actually making clothes! Ahh so many things to do.

Happy Stitches,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ruffle Crazy

Yeah, so I think I've gone a little ruffle, gather and ruching crazy and so has blogworld! OR maybe it's one of those things where you decide to do something that involves a new skill and suddenly it's EVERYWHERE! Just tell me that's never happened to you when you buy a new car! Well, so, long story short, I thought I'd just compile ALL the ruffle, gather, and ruche-ing tutorials all in one bloggy post and then let YOU add your links! Here's a quick list of definitions of the difference between ruffles, ruching and gathers. (As far as I can tell)

Gathers: A gather is created (one of many ways) by using a gathering stitch. What the HECK is that? Just set your stitch length to the longest it will go (also known as a basting stitch) and run a stitch down your strip of fabric. The general rule of thumb is to do this twice and fairly close together, because when you are pulling your thread, if one breaks, you have the other as a back up. Leave a long tail of thread at the end of your stitching. Gently pull the thread tail from the back of your fabric to gather the fabric along the stitching. Here is a great video showing how to do this.

A gather will have the raw edges of the fabric encased in a seam.You can make the gather as subtle or noticeable as you want, depending on how you pull the fabric.

Look at this cute gathered clutch I made using the AWESOME tutorial over on Noodlehead.

Ruffles: As far as I can tell (from my in depth research - 2 hours of blog surfing) ruffles involve a gathered piece of fabric, but one or both edges of that fabric are open to the world. Otherwise, the technique seems to be the same. Some sewing machines and sergers have a ruffler attachment which is usually very pricey and complicated. I'm sure it's very useful if you do a lot of ruffles. Here is a tutorial for a CUTE little clutch with a ruffle on the top! It's over at Just Sew Sassy, a cute new blog I found today that inspired me to write this post!

Ruffles Table Runner Tutorial

Ruching (pronounced "rooching"): I think "ruche" might just be the French word for ruffle or gather, but I could be wrong. I think (again, from my in depth research) that ruching is the use of multiple gathers on one item. OK, I was wrong, according to Ruche is actually the French word for beehive. Go figure. The free dictionary also defined ruche as "a ruffle or pleat of lace, muslin or other fine fabric used for trimming women's garments." So, to me, that means it's almost the same as a gather or ruffle. There is an awesome tutorial over on Little Birdie Secrets for a Ruched Pillow. I think it's a really interested approach to the entire gather/ruffle thing.

Now, have YOU made anything or seen any tutorials around blogworld that include any of these fun techniques? Please link them below!

Happy Stitches,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Perfect Mother's Day Gift Help Beat Breast Cancer!

Isn't this a beautiful necklace? I just read the entire story behind this necklace over on Little Birdie Secrets. You can read the entire post here. I'm going to buy one of these, in member of all the ladies I've known who have breast cancer or have known someone who has. I want to pass on the word that we can do something more to help! And it doesn't have to wait until October for Think Pink month! I hope you'll consider purchasing one as well. I am not getting any compensation for posting this, I'm just sharing something that is beautiful and will go to a wonderful effort. Ordering information is on the Little Birdie Secrets post. Thanks.

Happy Stitches,

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

So the party has started! OK, I'm a little behind and that's probably because I don't have any sweet little ones (yet) and sadly, don't read the 5 Minutes for Mom blog. (Gasp!) BUT I do read Craft Buds (just became a sponsor actually) and THEY posted about the UBP. Apparently, this has been going on every year for the LAST 5 YEARS! Where have I been!? Well, I am participating now so PLEASE hop over there and visit some AMAZING blogs. There are 5 or 6 different categories and it truly is the ULTIMATE party because there are at least 150 blogs listed in EACH category! (Most of them have more than 300 EACH!!) Wow. There are prizes to be had as well, if you enter your blog on the list. I'm linking my blog up on the Business Blogs list, although I think it could be added to the Specialty Blog list as well. But we have to play nice and leave a little room for others to play too. So go on! Stop by and get the party started!

UPDATE: Alright, so did I miss the part of the instructions where it said I needed to introduce myself? Hmm? Well, here's a little bit about me.

I LOVE to sew and to teach and in the process have become a sewing teacher! I have a sewing studio where I teach sewing and quilting classes and I even learn something along the way too. Recently I've started teaching home school children during the day which works great for me and them. Also, I try to teach my classes in the evenings and on weekends when the regular working folks have semi-free time.

I have an online shop where I sell fabric and patterns and the occasional kit. I have all sorts of fun PDF patterns and printed patterns for making anything from Tote Bags to Kid's clothes, aprons, and even quilts. If you sign up for my e-mail newsletter (either on the right sidebar here or on the website) you'll receive all the great updates about the shop in your e-mail every month and that includes COUPON codes! I try to keep this blog limited to posts about my crafty/sewing/quilting endeavors instead of really shop focused. But I DO sew and I DO use the fabrics I have in my shop to make samples (see previous posts).

I guess that's about it about me. I hope you'll say hi and I'll send you a FREE pattern!

Happy Stiches,

P.S. And don't blame me if you get lost in blog world and completely forget you have laundry to wash, food to cook, diapers to change, THINGS TO SEW or even taxes to pay (UGH!)

P.P.S. IF you do go and visit some blogs AND if you come back HERE and leave me a comment mentioning some of the blogs you visited (make sure your e-mail works or include it in your comment), I'll send you a copy of my Pillowcase Tutorial/Pattern. FREE!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Finishing Feels Good!

I just got a LOT of this fabric in, I mean A LOT, as in 30 yards! (It's been popular in the past, I wanted to make sure I had enough to fill future orders)
 So I decided to make a sample of this cute little pattern called Notting Hill by Pink Fig Patterns. I added in some other fabrics as well and here is what I got:

It's made in size 2T for my best friend's daughter, Lily(bug). I can't wait to try it on her and snap a few pictures!!

AND since during the construction process of making this skirt I learned how to make GATHERS (yippee!) I decided to tackle THIS tutorial that I've been just DYING to do. And I used the leftovers from cutting the fabric for the skirt! Not only did I make it out of the leftovers, practice more gathers, but I ALSO tackled (re-taught myself/conquered my fear of) a ZIPPER!!! And ended up with a cute clutch, to boot.

Yippee! What a happy finishing day!

Oh and finished up TWO pillowcases for the Pillowcase Challenge Party, thanks to all who participated!

Have YOU started or finished anything this weekend?

Happy Stitches,