The Crafty Girls Workshop Webstore is now OPEN for business!
Here it is, all in its shiny newness. You can click the image to visit the shop. This site has been a work in progress for several weeks and I’m so proud to say that our new website is up and running!! The address is:
I hope you’ll add us to your favorite, bookmark us, tweet about it, tell your facebook buddies and share the good news! I also hope you’ll like the new site and want to visit us often. Our Etsy store is still alive and well but we will be phasing out the fabrics and patterns listed on there (to avoid double listing and an inventory headache) and turn it into a place to share our shop samples that we would like to sell. One of the best things about the new web store is that through it we have the chance to offer you the opportunity to purchase as many yards as you need without having to charge extra for listing fees! We are also setting the pages up so you can easily choose a fat quarter, 1/2 or 1 yard cut of each fabric! With Etsy, we didn’t have the ability to make partial yards available but with our new store it’s easy as pie! I hope if you get a chance you’ll stop by our shop and maybe sign the guest book to say hi. I’d love to hear feedback from you too.
In other news, it’s been sort of a challenge to keep our Crafty Girls Workshop blog updated and work on this blog. As you can see, I’ve changed the theme around a little. In the process I sort of lost a lot of my widgets or at least the space for them so I’m really working on cleaning up the blog. I hope I’ll be able to post more of my personal finished projects on here and keep this blog going. I sort of miss being able to just ramble on about sewing without having to promote the shop. But I also haven’t had much time to sew since I always seem to get sucked into the bloggy vortex (case in point, I should be sewing right now!) Well, I’m off to work on a cute quilt I’m making as a sample for the shop (always working, haha) so see ya later!
Happy Stitches to You,
Amazingly, I have tomorrow off as an observed holiday for July 4th! YIppee!! So this is what I am planning to work on:
The tutorial is on Moda Bakeshop and it is so adorable! They used the fabric called Objects of Desire by Sandy Gervais which has shoes and bags and lipstick and all sorts of cute girly things. It’s a great pattern because it uses a charm pack to make it, but I don’t have a charm pack of that fabric, I do, however, have about 10 strips of a honey bun (1 1/2″ strips) in that line. It was part of a mini honey bun box I bought from Hancocks of Paducah awhile back. So, I am going to try to finagle the pattern, just a wee bit to see if I can get a similar effect from piecing together strips. I figure it will save me a little cutting at least. I also think this pouch will be super cute for more than just coupons, in fact, I think it will make a really cute wallet. And, as it turns out, a close friend of mine has already asked me to make a couple for her as well, if she buys the supplies. That’s soo cool! So this is my plan for the weekend.
Friday: Sleep as late as my dogs will allow (probably about 8:30 am), drink some coffee, eat breakfast and watch some of silly morning shows on TV, start some laundry, do the dishes and maybe vaccuum. Then, if there is any time left over, either work on above project or scan some pictures of the new products we’re going to list on Etsy very soon (it’s a surprise though.) Try to go back to the project again. Go to sleep and get some rest for July 4th.
Saturday: Sleep as late as I can. Clean up house some more, get ready for family to visit around 2:00 pm. Maybe work in some sewing. Hopefully all the laundry and dishes will be finished. Enjoy family visit. Clean up after family visit, do dishes. Stitch while watching TV with hubby, go to sleep. (Yeah! Still one more day of the weekend!)
Sunday: Sleep as late as possible. Do whatever I want, hopefully getting to sew A LOT and hopefully I’ll have finished the coupon clutch (or two or three) and some other fun projects I want to finish. Maybe decide if I want to start a new quilt project. I’m having a lot of fun doing easy and fast stuff right now. Oh, and hopefully I’ll have gotten all the new items added to Etsy by this time. Relax and enjoy the rest of my day off before going back to the work grind.
Doesn’t that sound like an AWESOME weekend? I am really, really looking forward to it, because I know that next week is going to be rather hectic. I hope you’re going to have a fun and relaxing weekend too, with a little bit of sewing time squeezed in there.
No Buy Update: I’ve done really well! There are soooo many temptations out there but I’ve managed to just say “No” It also helps that I took my credit card OUT of my wallet and I know there isn’t enough money in the bank account to cover much more than our bills. This has really caused me to take a super close look at what I have and the projects I really want to finish. If I have extra fabric that is no longer appealing to me, I am planning to destash it very soon (so check back for updates on that.) Until next time.
Happy Stitches to You,
I am going to try this. Can I go an entire month without buying fabric? That’s like going a day without eating chocolate! (That will be my next challenge) I hope I’ll be able to post every day for a month about my progress (or lack thereof) in this challenge. It will be interesting to see what projects I am able to complete (or at least get to top status) in this duration. I can’t take credit for this idea. I am on a Yahoo e-mail group called Stashbusters, they have 4000 members! I have been on that list for several months now, usually just reading the posts and lurking, occasionally chiming in with my humble opinon or suggestions. One of their ongoing challenges is a No Buy challenge, which I have never had the nerve to join. Their challenege is pretty strict, if you buy any fabric, you have to send a charm or fat quarter to the No Buy coordinator to put in a collection for the person who goes an entire year without buying fabric! Wow! I think I’ll be lucky if I can make it a week. How’s that for confidence? But I discovered that buying fabric has really become an addiction with me, there is something about the thrill of finding something I completely love and being able to snatch it up. I think my “stash” of fabric is sort of unique because I probably have more actual kits or future projects than I do just fabric in my stash. I guess this is because of when I started with my quilting craze. I only started this about five years ago (I have a lot of catching up to do!) and that was after the idea of putting together kits was becoming popular. Actually one of the first fabric stores I was introduced to, Creations in Kerrville, TX, is a master at pairing their beautiful samples right next to the fabrics and precut kits for that exact sample. So, basically I can walk around their store and if I see a sample I LOVE, just look below where it is hanging on the wall and whatdoyaknow, there is the kit, all tied up in a beautiful ribbon and ready for me to put in my little basket. (The backings are sold separately, of course) Of the seven fabric stores in San Antonio, very few of them, if any, are able to accomplish this attractive marketing technique. So, since I have always fallen in love with and purchased the kits, I should be able to go a little while without really needing to buy any fabric (yeah right.) The rule on the Stashbusters list is that if you complete a quilt from your stash, but you need to buy extra yardage for sashing, backing or binding, you are allowed. Those are the parts of quilts that are usually held off until the project is complete because the sizes never come out quite what you thought they would. That is the rule I’m going to use in my challenge too. Now, here’s the tricky part, I can’t buy anything, but that doesn’t mean I can’t window shop a little! Oh, that’s difficult! I’ve managed to reduce the number of e-newsletters that I get from fabric shops but I still get the one from the Fat Quarter Shop and from Hancock’s of Paducah. Talk about eye candy! Oh, and because I have an account on Etsy, it is very difficult to resist buying fabric on there. The sellers on Etsy have the sorts of fabric that I really love and haven’t really been able to find in the shops in my city (for reasonable prices too!) So, since a blog is sort of like a journal, I think I’ll try to post daily about my progress.
Day 1, June 22: Yippee! I made it a day without buying anything! The urge was there, that’s for sure, because with this down economy, the fabric stores are hurting and they are having some great sales. They’ve also really stepped up their e-mail marketing. I don’t blame them, it’s not like it costs them more to send an extra e-mail or two. So instead of visiting a fabric store after work (the one I really like is closed on Mondays anyway) when I got home I decided to revisit my stash a little. I’m trying to get some quilts cut out so that I can just sit and sew at the quilt retreat in July. I’ve already got two cut, but I decided to start on one that uses a jelly roll. In fact, it was a jelly roll that I didn’t even realize I had! It’s the Portobello Market fabric, which is just BEAUTIFUL, it turns out. I am sure I snapped up that jelly roll way back and then forgot about it until I went through my jelly roll basket last night (yes, I have a basket with probably six jelly rolls.) I also saw that I have this great pattern for a quilt made with one jelly roll and two borders (haven’t bought those yet.) Last night, I unwrapped the jelly roll and laid it out on my kitchen island. I had forgotten how awesome those fabrics are! The pattern said I only needed 35 of the 40 strips and at first I wondered how I was ever going to choose 5 fabrics to take out of the group. Well, I managed and last night I pressed the creases out and tonight I hope to get them cut and ready to piece at the retreat! You know, I have a lot of jelly rolls and patterns, but I’ve never actually really made anything with a jelly roll! They’ve just been sitting in my sewing room, patiently waiting for me to find the right pattern, I suppose. Well, now is the time and with my new challenge I hope I can actually get some of these projects finished. I even managed to get a UFO finished over the weekend (see yesterday’s post.) Well, until tomorrow.
Happy Stitches to You (and stashbusting),
These pictures aren’t the best in the world, but I think you can get the idea. I was working on basting the entire quilt last night but ran out of pins! I had never basted such a large quilt before, so getting pins is on my to do list for after work today. The back is so cute, if I do say so myself. I just hope I can quilt this thing without too many problems. I’ve never quilted such a large quilt before, only one baby blanket. Guess it’s time to spread my quilting wings. Here are a couple pictures of the top.
Aren’t the bright colors fun? These fabrics are from some of my favorite designers who love to use bright colors and bold designs! Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, among others. Three of these fabrics came from the Houston Quilt show, they have a similar hexagon/honeycomb motif that goes really well with my focus fabric which was the middle fabric in the second row from the top. You should be able to click on the picture for a larger view, but don’t hold me to that.
I can’t wait to finish it. I got this cute screaming pink variegated thread to quilt it with. I guess I had better not mess up! Tomorrow I’m going to Austin with my MIL to a city wide garage sale (and antique market.) We also plan to stop by some thrift stores and vintage stores that I’ve found the addresses for. Hopefully we’ll come back with some awesome finds! I am challenging myself to see how much I can get for only $100. Some of this stuff might even show up in our shop as well. Until next time.
Happy Stitches to You,
P.S. Happy Fiesta, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The lovely ladies over at Sew Mama Sew have named April as Spring Sewing Month! That means they are giving a lot of things away and to enter all you have to do is comment on the blog posts. Of course, their posts are always awesome too. Yesterday they posted all sorts of CUTE Easty inspired project links. I think it’s totally cool to be able to just independently declare a month to be dedicated to a specific thing. I always thought that you had to get the Mayor to write a decree for that or something. But hey, why not? So, in that light, I’m going to declare that this Saturday, April 4 is the Saturday Stash Dash, a.k.a. Sew-til-you drop-or-the-hubby-comes-home-and-demands-attention day. My hubby is going to be attending a teaching workshop for the morning so he’ll be out of the house. Hopefully I can force myself to wake up early (the new recycling pick up on Saturday mornings will probably help) and get into sewing mode. Last Saturday I went to my mother in law’s house so I could help work on projects for the shop. Unfortunately, I didn’t work on anything except cutting up some denim for a future kit. This Saturday I am NOT going to leave the house to go to a fabric store. I am NOT going to even worry about household chores, I am just going to GO into my sewing room and NOT come out until I have finished SOMETHING! Can it be done? I think so! Now that I’ve posted it here on my blog, I am sure all you out there in blogland will keep me accountable. So, check in on Monday to see if I’ve posted an update of all the TONS of projects I get completed on Saturday. Some of those might even end up in the Crafty Girls Workshop.
On another note, we got our NEW trash/recycle bins! YIPPEE! Yes, they have changed our pick up days to include Saturday morning, sort of a bummer, but that is A-OK with me. I won’t have an excuse to sleep late on Saturdays anymore. I’ll be able to get so much more accomplished! Wow! This is the beginning of an entirely new eco-friendly chapter in my life. I’m going to find myself a trash can and use it for a compost bin. Then maybe next year hubby won’t have to go buy tons of dirt, he’ll be able to use our earth friendly compost! My goal is to have more recycling than trash (we are well on our way towards meeting that goal anyway.) Yeah! for San Antonio going green (wait, the recycle bins are blue, how confusing, oh well.) That’s it for now.
Happy Stitches and Happy Recycling to you,
I DID make some progress yesterday! I got the pieces cut out to make a really cute tote bag from a Portobello Pixie pattern. I also finished making the surprise items for my Pay It Forward gifts from WAAAAAY back (almost a year ago, I am ashamed to admit.) Hey, if you want a handmade gift from me who works full time, you have to be patient, ok? Haha, just kidding. It did take me awhile to decide what I wanted to make but I think they came out pretty good and I am very proud of myself, if I do say so. SO, it turns out I actually have AN EXTRA little handmade item that I made for PIF, soooo, if you would like to have a chance to get this item, please post a comment here to say so. Your name will go in a drawing and I will pick someone on Friday, March 20. Oh, and if you want to be entered more than once, there are a few other things you can do, a) Tell everyone about it on your blog with a link back to this one, b) visit Crafty Girls Workshop (and tell me you did) and c) if someone posts a comment here and says you sent them, you’ll both get an entry. How’s that for helping the odds? Come on, with the economy how it is, wouldn’t it be GREAT to get something in the mail besides bills? And especially if that something is FREE, and handmade? Thanks so much!
Happy Stitches to You,
P.S. Here’s another way to get another entry, when you visit the shop, you’ll see my other e-mail address that is specifically for the shop, if you send me a hell0 e-mail to that address and offer one suggestion for improving the shop, I’ll put your name in the drawing TWO more times! Come on, let’s stuff the drawing box, OK?
I think that, except for the high pollen count, my favorite season is now Spring. In my region of Texas, we don’t really have much in the way of definative seasons. Heck, we’ve had temperatures all the way up to 80 degrees this winter! And, even though it may not be long before those 80 degree high days turn into 90 degree high days, I am trying to enjoy it while I can. In the Spring, I can wear cooler, lighter clothing, in brighter, sunnier colors. Considering that I sit in an office with NO windows and in the almost dark (I turn off the yucky overhead florescent light for a calmer lamp light), I really appreciate nice weather days. Also, it’s great to start to see all the little green buds popping out on the various plants around the campus where I work and in the plants in my backyard. Yes, I know Spring doesn’t officially start until March 20 or 22, but the Texas groundhog must have seen his shadow because spring seems to have sprung early this year. Now that I can wear lighter, cooler clothes, including skirts, it makes me start to re-examine my wardrobe. It seems like only last week I was going through my clothes in my closet and putting the sleeveless or short sleeved items into a tub for storage (oh, wait, that WAS last week when we had a mini cold front!) This is where I learn the benefit of layers of clothing! The mornings are cooler, in the 50’s and 60’s but the high is 80, so by the time I leave work in the afternoon, a turtleneck sweater would just be too warm! Now, what does any of this have to do with sewing? Well, I have a TON of skirt patterns and even some cute cropped pants patterns that I have wanted to try making. Last year, I got so far as to have traced off a pattern from the pattern piece that I wanted to make. I never got to the cutting out of the fabric part though. In my sewing room closet, I have several yards of nice, cool, linen fabrics that have been washed and are just waiting for me to find the time and the courage to cut them out and make some skirts! See?
Sorry for the yucky picture, I couldn’t figure out how to cut out brown hanging storage thingy. My mother in law has already mentioned that she wants to make herself some clothes for this summer too. Luckily, she doesn’t have to go to work every day and worry about what her clothes look like (although I know she wants to look nice) so I think we are going to have to have a skirt sewing weekend. Why not? What can possibly be so difficult about making skirts? I’ve made one already, way back, it was a gored skirt, turned out sort of cute, but didn’t exactly drape the way I wanted. Probably because I used some nice quilting cottons that are a little stiffer than desired, well, next time I’ll know better. I don’t know why I have a fear of making clothes. Well, to be honest, I don’t have a fear, I just don’t have a lot of time. Isn’t that always the excuse? Either no time, or no money. Perhaps if I could learn to survive on less money, I could work less and have more time! Wow, what a concept! So, as the early days of spring are upon us, spring fever (and hay fever) are attacking and I am just itching to try my hand at making some linen skirts (I hope the itching is from the desire to sew and not from a rash.) I am sure I’ll take many pictures along the way, so you know I’ll update you as I progress (if I do.) In fact, I am thinking of having a skirt making day as a Crafty Girls project in May. So many of my Crafty Girl friends have seen my butterfly picutre and wanted to learn to make it, so we’ll probably make the butterfly picture in April. Yeah for Crafty Girls! I suppose that’s all for my morning ramblings. Until next time.
It was a goal of mine to use my fabric stash before buying new fabric. This has been difficult. My mom is becoming quite the fabric-a-holic. I think I know where I get my tendancy to get really excited about a project and then go onto something else before I finish it. That is exactly what she is doing! Now, it’s her money, and her choice and her hobby, so if all she wants to do is collect the fabric, that is perfectly OK with me. I am not the stash police and I will not go over to her house and demand that she shows me the items she’s created with her stash. (That way, she can’t do the same thing to me, hehe.) Well, I would say that as I’ve used some fabric, I’ve purchased more to take it’s place. So even if my stash isn’t dwindling, it’s not growing beyond control either.
It was also a goal to work on the projects on my list before anything else. I’ve done a lot better with this goal. I’ve been able to complete the Bailey Quilt, and a quilt for my Godson, Joshua. Both of those were made with fabrics I basically already had in my stash. I am already designing another quilt for my next Godson, Ben, and it is using the fabrics from my stash, but that project was NOT on my list! But that is OK, because I feel that making a quilt for a Godson is a higher priority at the moment. So I think even though it seems that I’m taking one step forward and three steps backwards, maybe it’s more like two forward and one backward. Even though I am not really moving forward too much, I am still having fun, and that’s what is most important.
Have you ever filled up your frequent buyer card at your favorite quilt shop so that you can get a credit to purchase more fabric for “free?” My favorite store in town, Memories by the Yard, has a frequent buyer card and I recently filled it up and was able to pick out $25 worth of fabric for FREE (if you don’t consider how much I had to spend to get that free $25.) I immediately picked up a Honey Bun from the new line for Moda called Oh Cherry Oh! Do you know what a Honey Bun is? It is the sister to a Jelly Roll, a Honey Bun is a roll of one and a half inch strips, one or two from each fabric in a specific collection (usually around 40 in a roll.) The Jelly Roll, you may remember, is made up of two and a half inch strips. Oh, I love to collect Jelly Rolls. Well, I just couldn’t figure out WHAT I would ever do with a Honey Bun until I came across Moda’s Bakeshop website. They created this website/blog to specifically feature patterns that use their precut “pastries.” The Honey Bun project looked pretty cute, it was a pouch made out of 10 of the strips. Well, that means one could theorectically get FOUR of those pouches out of one honey bun, AWESOME!! I spent most of the afternoon and evening of last Saturday (yes, Valentine’s Day) at my mother in law’s house, sewing that cute strippy pouch. But, I just couldn’t let it go without putting a handle on it, because that’s how strange I am. It turned out REALLY cute! (Sorry, no pictures yet. You know I’ll get some added soon.) It felt pretty good to go home with a completed project. I am sure that the next time I make one, it will go a lot faster as well. Oops, I just noticed that the project for the Sweet Treat Bag actually came off the main Moda website, where they have LOTS of free patterns as well. Well, either way, both sites are great resources for inspiration and patterns. I also did some research and found out that most Log Cabin blocks are made from 1 1/2″ strips so I might attempt to make a log cabin block or two from those adorable strips. Although, what in the world am I going to do with only two log cabin blocks? Hmm. I am sure that is a post for another day. I guess I should stop rambling now. Until next time.
Happy Stitches to You,
So I decided to finally start a new project tonight. I have been working on the Chelsea Boutique quilt, but it is getting sort of monotonous so I decided to get started on this baby quilt that I wanted to make. It was inspired by a charm pack from a line of fabrics called Peek-a-Boo. They are some really cute and sort of bright baby fabrics. I found the fabrics for the entire quilt on one of our side trips to Quilt Haus in New Braunfels. Well, that’s a separate story, but I had the entire quilt ready on my design wall. Here is a sneek peek:
I believe you can click on the image for a larger view, although you might want to put on your sunglasses! This is before sewing it together (of course) so the sashing will be slightly smaller, about 1.5 inches. Well, as I started piecing this together I thought, “Hmm, I have a video capability on my digital camera, wouldn’t it be fun to create a quick little tutorial about my favorite thing, Leaders and Enders?” The answer was yes, so, after filming the video and playing around with my Windows Movie Maker I created a cute video. The only problem is that in order to get it onto this blog, I have to use a third party website such as google video, which is fine, except that I had to get some sort of approval since this is the first time I’ve used it. So, if you want to see the video I created, please visit the Quilting Friends site by clicking here. Time to go to bed. Gee, I could have probably finished an entire quilt in the time it took me to upload that video!
Happy Stitches to You,