Monday, August 4, 2014

The Internet verses The Outernet

The most up-to-date info on what I am doing is now found on my Facebook page. For me, that is the most efficient way to post photos and tiny updates. I think it is the way I am reaching the most people too. So if you don't follow me yet on FB, please do.
If you are reading this, I am sure you struggle with how much time you spend on the internet verses how many things you need to accomplish in the outernet, aka the real world, the physical realm. Actually, the internet is a real world and we need to operate in it. The question is always how to do so without it sucking up the whole day. I do have a smart phone, but I am not glued to it - that helps. Everything is bigger and better on my PC, so when I am in the outerverse, I can talk or text as necessary, but I save any navigation or online interaction including Facebook for when I am on the PC. I am in a minority. I am blown away by the number of people using mobile devices to buy things. When they do this, they are not reading descriptions. Sometimes they don't even know what they bought. As an online retailer, I have to try to cram all of my pertinent info into a single photo to capture that audience - like, yeah.  About 1/2 of my Etsy business is done on mobile devices. If you have an Etsy shop, now is the time to optimize for mobile. I uploaded a video to Facebook that is optimized for mobile devices, so this is one to watch from your tablet or phone. I am talking about and showing my different travel bags.
Blogs are still bomdiggity for building an audience in the sewing world, but I wonder how Facebook is catching up to that for other seamsters out there. I may have to interview someone.
For those of you who don't Facebook, here is the lowdown on my recent releases and upcoming works:
New pattern -  Cathedral Style Table Runner (instructions also given for turning it into a quilt) This is an update and slight improvement on the technique I used to make the cathedral style tote back in 2010. It is a fun and quick project that I think will put you in a holiday decorating mood.
New in the Simplicity catalog - #1335 chairs pattern.
I have testers working on my first garment pattern release, so we are getting close on that. It's a fun and easy skirt that I think everyone will love.
The Simplicity Fall catalog will have 2 new patterns from me in it. Mother, daughter, doll aprons. And casserole carriers. I will show pattern covers for those when I get them.
The Spring Simplicity catalog will have a diaper pattern pack from me. I will put the bag out in PDF format too.
I have a wingback chair to cover so I can better help all of my Craftsy class people who are doing wingbacks. Photos will pop up over on my Facebook page as I get to that.
Of course my son's birthday is this month, so I better get his backpack made and write that pattern too. LOL, that is so 3 years ago so I better finally do it this year. He wore this one out, so I have heavy duty cordura for this years version.
I updated the duffle pattern again, so if you are on Craftsy, you will get a notice. If you have already made the bag, you obviously do not need the new pattern. The bag is the same. I just made the instructions a little better for those who have not yet sewn it. There are 2 parts explained differently, the strap is now done the way I did it for the trolley duffle pattern sewing it into a loop before you attach it to the bag. And the pleated pocket is explained a lot better. I hardly ever got questions about it, but I thought it needed improving so I did it. The bag will still come out the same.
Back to the outernet and bye for now.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sometimes I just have to play

I spent some time with Stefanie at Charming Lulu a few days ago. I was there to buy one of those cool mechanical chalk pencils with all of the colors for Alice. (affiliate link) As we talked I shared with her some of my ideas for fabrics, and she got a big smile on her face. Showing me one of the big fabric companies catalogs, we agreed great minds think alike. When I put my houndstooth quilt pattern out 4 years ago, I was wishing for more houndstooth fabric - It is coming, big time. Still no one is imagining it as sparkly as Kim at Persimmon Dreams made hers from my pattern with a rainbow of hand dyed fabrics. My dream incorporates prints too. I just wanted to put this out there now, today The 29th of June 2014. It is my idea to put ditsy prints in a houndstooth. I am not going to patent it or anything, but if a fabric company wanted to talk, I am here. This shows the new scale for the pillow top quilt compared to the original from 2010. Also, if you already have the houndstooth quilt pattern from me, I will get an email list together and contact you all to share a slightly easier way to cut it that has no waste, as well as the new sizes to use if you want the pillow top size. The ditsy fabric I used here is from Jeni Baker's new line called Dreamin Vintage. It has a Liberty of London feel to it and Art Gallery Fabrics are so soft, you will become addicted to them.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Favorite Quilt

The plan was to post this when the pattern was ready, but I wanted to link up with the SewMamaSew favorite quilt party.  I am working on it, so if you want to make your own version of this quilt, you should see the PDF instructions pop up on Craftsy and at Etsy in the next couple of weeks.
  • Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
    I made the first version in January and this quilt was completed in March 2014.
    This is original to me, I am still writing the pattern
    The black is Kona, the other 3 are all from Parson Gray: the rust is from World Tour, Mantova in Cloak; the stripe is from Vagabond, Camel Blanket - Scirocco; and the green is from Curious Nature, Dimitry Vines in Pine.

  • Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
    No, I never thought of it.
  • What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
    I made this for my 15 year old son. When I see this quilt,  I think of him.
  • What do you like best about the quilt?
    I love the high contrast of the fabrics and the movement I created.
  • How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
    This started out as a doodle. When I sat down to draw with my daughter over Christmas break, versions of this pattern appeared in all of my drawings. Turning it from a drawing to a quilt was challenging and rewarding. I grew in my confidence about following my creative process.
  • If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
    Ha ha. I have made it 3 times. This one is the second. The only thing I would change is the fabrics to come up with another great combo.
  • Where is the quilt now?
    It is in my studio while I write the pattern. My son has been asking for it...better get back to work!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My favorite tools, part 1

This post contains affiliate links. That means when you buy something I have linked up for you, I get a little percentage of that sale from the seller. It makes sense to me when I am reading a blog in which the blogger has taken time to recommend cool stuff that I want, I don't mind if they get compensated. I hope you feel the same way. I found my mechanical chalk at a local shop called Charming Lulu. And it has become my favorite tool. I found the exact item on Amazon for a reasonable price and that is where the link will take you. You will see me using it a lot in my Craftsy class. I had it with me at Alice's yesterday when I was drawing up a new blouse pattern for her to sew for me. Now she wants one too, so I will be ordering one. Maybe I should get a few for gifts...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cutting out piping before slip covering

This little tutorial is the answer a great question I received this morning in my Craftsy Class. The question is
the arm chairs I want to slipcover have existing piping. How do I handle that?
My answer is that you cut it out. I have a chair I want to slip cover, so I will show you on it.

 

Step one: Clip as close as you can to the attachment point of the piping on both ends of a length of piping. You can pull that length of piping out from one of the ends.

If you know you will be cutting the fabric away, you can make a slit at an easier place to pull from. You will still need those clips at the ends to free the piping.


Step 2: Pull out the piping.

Step 3: I find that the fabric that went around the piping is almost as bulky as the piping itself, so I like to cut it away completely. Just be careful you do not cut the seam. As you can see, the upholstery is still passable with the piping cut out, so if your chair has to be uncovered for a couple of hours while you wash your new cover, it will look okay.
I hope that helps!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sewing Manifesto - Bust that Stash!

Are you finding it hard to tackle the next project? Are you afraid you might be burned out? Sometimes, when you have completed a big project (or 5) you need a boost to get you sewing again. A motivator. A mantra. Words to magically make sense of your mounds of fabric. A reminder of how much and why you love sewing. Start brainstorming. I am talking about building a personal sewing manifesto. Jot down the ideas that inspire you, and post them on the wall. I used GIMP to make mine fun (In my studio, if it's not fun, it doesn't get done) with different sizes and fonts. Feel free to print mine and use it, or find what speaks to you, and make your own. A manifesto may be the encouragement you need to reinvigorate your work.
My latest projects include 3 new sewing patterns for Simplicity, watch for them in upcoming catalogs:
Simplicity #1335 A furniture pattern with 8 projects included.  Shipping June 13th.
Simplicity  #1241 An apron pattern with 3 style options and mother, daughter, doll sizing for each. Shipping October 10th.
Simplicity #1236 A casserole carrier pattern that includes gift baskets and bowl covers. Shipping October 10th.

And an exciting new Slipcovering Class at Craftsy. The class will be available next week.  Enter here for a chance to win the slipcovering class for free. Winner will be announced on the 18th of June.

I hope you will use my sewing manifesto or write your own. If you are looking to bust your stash like I am, check out this amazing quilting class that is available now over at Craftsy.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Big class sale at Craftsy

You know I love Craftsy classes. This is your chance to give them a try at incredibly low prices.

Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale: Save Up to 50% on ALL Online Classes!
Want to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one? Now is your chance! You can save up to 50% off on ALL online classes at Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale! Cooking, cake decorating, sewing, gardening and so much more... all up to 50% off, with some classes starting at just $9.99! This is a sale not to be missed, so make sure you hurry because it ends at 11:59pm MT on Monday, June 9th.
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links