Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting Back to Quilting

Now that all the excitement from Fog Fest has died down, I have been able to settle back into some quilting. The creativity is flowing again and my brain is on an overload of ideas. But, I can only do one quilt (ok, maybe two) at a time. I have plenty of fabric lined up in my stash for some beautiful quilts!

First up is my mom's quilt. I started this a while ago and am now getting back to working on it. Gorgeous yellows, greens and white, this quilt is sure going to brighten up her room!

I have also been trying to streamline my production. Feeling a bit tired tonight and not wanting to take out the ironing board and iron (lazy!), I decided just to get the blocks ready for assembly. Much faster to buzz a bunch through the machine.
Ok, so yes, I am working on two quilts at once. The other, is for a friend who just had a baby. Her friends and family decorated quilt squares and now that I have them all back, I am assembling the quilt. It is going to be amazing. Stay tuned for final photos of this one!

One row from the decorated baby quilt.
So after those two are finished, I will begin working on a quilt for my friend's daughter. She had me make the curtains for her room when they had room makeovers to welcome the new baby. I was so inspired by the fabric she had, that I found some coordinates and promised her a new quilt for her older daughters new room. Can't wait to start on this one.

Stay tuned for plenty more quilting projects coming soon!   

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fog Fest Success!

After months of sewing (and crocheting for Michelle!) until all hours of the night and constant worrying about whether there would be enough inventory, our first craft fair was a huge success. We had such a good time just being there and talking to all kinds of people. The two days were long, but passed very quickly. We had a lot of support from all of our friends and family, some of who actually purchased items from us and some who just came by to say hello. It was nice to also meet people who were interested in our crafts. Both Michelle and I had some inquiries for some custom orders and we also met a couple people who were interested in having us join their craft fairs. And yes, we actually made a little money (which was not the main goal).

The back of the booth.

The two separate days we spent in my backyard organizing and tweaking our booth set up, were very well worth it. When we arrived on site the first morning, we unloaded, got right to work setting up and fortunately had no surprises. My years spent in the events industry helped keep me focused, as I just jumped in and got things done in our two hour set up window. By the second day, we had time to spare and ended up tweaking our set up a little more to showcase certain items a little better.

The left side of the booth.

The right side of the booth.
Michelle and I on the first morning...yes, we are super excited to get the day started!

My kids were both asking to "help" sell in the booth. So I handed them business cards and told them to pass them out to people walking by.

My son was really into passing out cards and super cute walking up to people. Who can resist an adorable 4 year old?!?!
I am really proud of all that we accomplished and learned from this experience. Especially of our professional looking booth. You would never have guessed this was our very first craft fair ever! After having such a great time at Fog Fest, we are looking forward to getting more craft fair experience under our belts. We are getting a list together of the possibilities for next year!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Boy or Girl?

How do I make a quilt when I don't know the gender of the baby? This was my dilemma about 8 weeks ago when thinking about the quilt I wanted to make for my good friend Dana and her new baby. She chose not to find out what the baby was and I really didn't want to make a gender neutral quilt.

One night, while trying to go to sleep I came up with the idea that I would make two quilts, one girl and one boy. This way, I would have a quilt ready to give her when she got home from the hospital. Then, whichever quilt I didn't need, I would sell.

I set about my research for fabrics through my regular channels online. Yes this quilt was for the baby, but it is for Dana too, so I wanted to make sure it suited her tastes as well. I found the boy fabric quickly, an adorable monkey print in greens, brown, orange, blue and white. The monkeys came from the Urban Zoologie line and the coordinating prints came from the Remix line, both from designer Robert Kaufman.

Now I had a little more trouble finding fabric for the girl quilt that was just right. After a few searches, I found a retro looking fabric called Flock by Andover Fabrics. Soft pink, orange, brown, yellow and white, it was calling Dana's name.

Since I was knee deep in production for Fog Fest, I came up with a design that was cute and would showcase the fabrics, but could be constructed quickly. Also the baby's due date was fast approaching! I went with a simple framed four patch with a large border on the outside. The back was pieced together with a row of 4" framed squares pieced to the main panels. Each was quilted with a coordinating thread in a meandering pattern over the whole quilt.

Both quilts turned out completely adorable and I made matching toddler pillows to go with them. I made them slightly larger than a crib size, so they will fit a toddler bed nicely and be cozy to snuggle with as the child gets older.

Well, surprise, it was a baby girl! So Dana and her new daughter have a beautiful new quilt. She absolutely loved it and loved the colors, so my gut feeling was right! The best part was seeing her smile and almost tear up over it.

The adorable monkey quilt will be available for sale at Fog Fest or in my Etsy shop after October 2nd. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fog Fest Booth Test Run #2

We had a chance to do another test run of our booth today. After tweaking a few things, now we are super happy with the results!

Michelle and I have two different crafts and it so happens, I have a lot more variety of items than she does. Our original set up had her stuff all on one shelf and the rest of mine everywhere else. It felt too "this is your side and this is mine", which is something we talked about avoiding in our original discussions. So today we did a much better job of co-mingling our items on the shelf and the back display table. We achieved the cohesive look we were going for.

We came up with a Plan B for the bag display just in case we can't zip tie the wire framing to the frame of the tent. Also we set up with the mannequin heads which we added wigs too at the last minute.

We are loving this wig with the beanie on it. The bangs sticking out are so great!
With just a few more items to create for inventory and price tags to be added, I would say we are just about ready for our first craft fair!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fog Fest Booth Test Run

Michelle came over on Friday and we had a chance to set up a test run of our booth. I must say, we were pretty excited at the results. Michelle did such a great job of designing it and making it all come together.

The cool thing is we have spent very little money making it look nice and professional. We re-purposed the black wire frame from my house, the A-frame shelf came from eBay and I made the T-stands. We marked off a 10 x 10 area on my backyard patio and used the fence to hang the wire frame. The wire frame and quilts will actually be hung from the frame of the tent that is provided.

We stepped back and admired our work. A plan Michelle drew out on paper, now had come to life. We just looked at each other and grinned at how awesome it looked. Now, hopefully there won't be many surprises on our first day of set up!

Wire frame to hang all the bags.
Got my 5 year old to take pics of us holding quilts to see how they would look as the backdrop.
Home made T-stands to showcase the belts and headbands. Vase for cat toys and a container for the marker roll-ups.
Another quilt back drop.
Baskets to hold the remainder of the quilts and the baby blankets.
A-frame shelf to showcase all the beanies. We ended up painting the shelf white.
Two very happy and excited girls!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ramping Up

Oooohhh! Michelle and I are ramping up for Fog Fest and we are getting very excited to be participating in such an event. Our production of items is booming and our inventory just keeps growing. One of our main concerns (well, mine really!) is not having enough items, but every time we get together to go over things, Michelle brings me back to a comfortable place.

Our booth design is coming together nicely, thanks to Michelle, and we are hoping to have all we need to do a test run in a couple weekends. Thanks to a Pinterset post and the blog that went with it, I have been having fun making my own T-stands to display my belts and headbands. Super easy to make after a trip to Lowe's and Michael's. A saw, a drill and some Gorilla glue and I have this beauty. Now it just needs a coat of paint!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Toddler Pillows

When my oldest daughter started preschool, we had to put a "sleepy" bag together for her to keep at school. A crib sheet, a blanket and a sleepy friend or special item is what the bag consisted of. My daughter wanted to include a pillow also, which was fine, until I realized how cumbersome it was to take her Dora pillow back and forth to school.

I had an extra pillow form lying around and decided to take her to the fabric store and pick out some fabric so I could make her a very special pillow to keep in her sleepy bag. She thought this was the greatest. When my son started a year later, of course I had to make him one too. Now, my youngest hasn't started preschool yet, but caught onto these cool "little" pillows her brother and sister have, so now she has one too.

I noticed that the teachers and even other parents had asked me about these little pillows. Commenting on how adorable they were and where ever did I find them. They are incredibly easy to make and take about a 1/2 yard of fabric. Now my kids love the super soft satin they have on their blankets, so I make each of theirs with a satin side and a character side.

These little cuties will be making their appearance at Fog Fest and in my shop, so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fog Fest...Here We Come!!

Well, today it is official...we got our acceptance for Pacifica Coast Fog Fest 2012! My friend Michelle and I will be participating in our very first craft fair. We are so excited to have this opportunity, as we both have been hard at work over the last few months, fine tuning and adding to our inventory of items. Michelle and I have attended numerous craft fairs and shows over the years and have always wanted to be a part of one.

Stay tuned for updates as we approach the fair and if you live locally, we hope to see you there! In the meantime you may check out our shops on Etsy:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Block Three & Four

Yes, I am still working through the Clover & Violet Quilt & Stitch Along. I am very behind, but trying not to stress over it. Recently, I spent a week in Lake Tahoe with my kids and my parents and I was able to complete Block #3 and Block #4. I began working on Block #5, but it is not quite finished yet.

Block #3 took me a long time to complete. Most of the designs in the stitch along are quite simple and require simple stitches that don't take a lot of time. For block #3, I decided on a leaf stitch for each of the petals and it was really time consuming. The end result, however, was really gorgeous.

Block #4 was a simple dragon fly. This one took about 2 hours to complete since I used a satin stitch for the body and a back stitch for the wings. I was worried about it looking to plain, but I really like the end result. Some of the other blocks are much more colorful and intricate, so this will stand out nicely among the rest.

Hoping to move along more quickly now, although I don't think I will catch up to the rest of the group. While trying to prep for a craft fair and take care of three kids, I will just do the best I can!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Handbag Fun

Lately I have been pumping out handbags like crazy. I am prepping for the craft fair that I don't even know if we are accepted to yet. But, better I have a whole bunch of items now, than to be accepted and not have anything. I figure I will just have a lot of new items to add to my Etsy shop if we don't get accepted.

One of my newest items is the Six Pocket Tote. I have been thinking about this kind of bag for a while and finally got around to experimenting with the pattern. This is such a great bag! It has so much room and many uses. Boasting six large pockets on the outside for quick access to all those necessary items. It also has one small pocket on the inside for keys, cell phone or something you don't want on the outside. The roomy inside can hold just about anything you need for the gym, dance class or plenty of kid items for that busy mom. I plan on getting quite a few more of these listed, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, you can check out the listing for the one I have available: Six Pocket Tote.

Another item I have been working on, are little drawstring totes. A fun little bag to grab a few items and go. I have a friend who crochets and she calls these project bags. They are great for carrying around your knitting or crochet project. Right now, I only have one size measuring 10"H x 9.5"W x 4"D, but will be experimenting with some different sizes soon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Custom Gypsy Bandana Quilt - Final

Last month I posted about the custom quilt order I received. You can read it here. Well, it has been completed and sent off to the client. The quilt turned out completely gorgeous! The Gypsy Bandana line from Michael Miller is a beautiful line of fabrics and the lime green and pink versions are such eye candy.

The quilt is done in a simple patch style with framed squares and large squares. A white fabric is used in the sashing, backing and binding to showcase the colors of the fabrics and really make them pop. I pieced the backing with squares of the same fabric and used a super soft white flannel. It is free motion quilted in a large looping pattern.

This quilt is a gift for the clients daughter who is expecting her first baby soon. I shipped the quilt out on Monday afternoon and the client received it today. I received a glowing email from her expressing her thanks and how much she loved the quilt. It truly made me smile inside and out knowing that I made someone happy with something I created for them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fabric Headband Tutorial

I recently came across a few headband tutorials on Pinterest and I found each one to be not very good. Either the pattern was weird, the instructions were off or the sewing in the photographs was really horrible. I thought I could do a better job, so I went to my studio and quickly sketched out a pattern and some notes. My first head band came out really well and the next thing I knew I was pumping out quite a few of them. They take very little fabric, so they are a great thing to make with all those leftover scraps from my quilts and handbags.

Now I have some great headbands to go with all kinds of outfits! And they are going to make a nice little item to sell at a craft fair!

So here is my version of a headband tutorial. Let's hope you find it better than some others you may have come across!

1 - 5" piece of 1/4" elastic
1 - 15-1/2 x 4-1/2" piece of fabric
1 - 11" x 1-1/2" piece of fabric
Coordinating thread

1. Press both pieces of fabric in half, right sides together. 

2. Stitch the long ends together, leaving the bottom ends open for turning. Use 1/4" seams on larger band and 1/8" seams on smaller band.

3. On large band only, press open the seams flat.

4. Turn both bands right side out. I do this using a safety pin on one end then feed it through. There are special tools out there for this, but I find a safety pin to be just as effective.

5. Once turned, press both pieces flat. On the larger band, make sure the seam is running down the middle. This defines your underside and helps center the elastic strap in the later steps. At this point I also pink the raw edges. I hate fraying fabric.

6. Now run a top stitch around the entire large band. I run mine about 1/4" from the edge. This also helps me secure my label to the underside. At this point, do not worry about the raw edges on the ends, they will be taken care of on the last step!

7. Next, feed your elastic through the small band. Again, I use a safety pin on the end. Feed it in just enough so the end without the pin aligns with the fabric. Sew two or three stitches forward and back to secure one end of the elastic.

8. Once the elastic has been pulled through, remove safety pin and secure with 2 or 3 stitches as you did on the other end. I then tug on both ends to even out the scrunching of the fabric. Your finished small band should look like this.

9. Ok, we are almost done. Now we attach the small band to the large one. On the large band, working with the backside facing up, fold over one end about 1/4". Press if you need to. I usually don't.

10. Take the small band and lay it on the folded raw edge, taking care to center on the seam line. Fold one corner of the large band over the small band, then fold the remaining corner over. This is usually too thick to pin, so I just hold it with my finger to stitch it.

11. I set my machine on the slowest setting and stitch closed. Because of the thickness, it will sometimes get stuck under the presser foot and feed dogs. I use my fingers to help push it through. Be careful not to sew your finger tip!! I stitch it back and forth about three times to be sure it is secure. If you would prefer to hand stitch or use a zig zag stitch, I am sure that would be fine too. Repeat with the other end.

And here you go! An adorable new headband. You could make one for every outfit! Enjoy.