Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday Week and an update on stuff

It's me. I am back to my blog today.
I always think there will be enough time in the day to blog about this or that 
and I end up just putting it on instagram.
I know - lame.

Today I decided - I will blog!
Let me bring you up to speed on stuff.
I have been making some secret -ish projects lately. 
The above fabric pull is what I used for one of them.
Grey is not my go to color, in fact I had few grey fabrics and have been really trying to stash more.
Grey and navy actually.

This fabric is the newest line from Studio E. I am completely smitten with it because of the sewing text prints, laundry symbol prints, sewing notions and the fact that they are low volume and there are greys! I just killed 2 birds with one stone.
I have it listed on my etsy site and it's been quite popular.
Speaking of etsy....
It's Thanksgiving and there is SOOOO much to be thankful for....
 I am running a Black Friday week.
There is 25-35% off everything in my etsy store including pre-orders.
I am still taking pre-orders for Paperie which will arrive on 11/30/15 and ship that day or the next.
I am taking orders for Lori Holt's Calico Days and Bloom quilt along kits, all on sale this week.
In addition to that, the newest moda sample spree fabric is coming and pre-orders are available - although they are selling fast. Again, WAY faster than I thought.

These are images from Instagram posts.
Our cat Porkchop is enamored with fabric and small places to sit. 

This is both of my cats in a rare photo when they are close but not having a battle royale.

And lastly....I drank the kool-aid. I bought My Small World and Bring me Flowers by Jen Kingwell.
I bought them, I have no idea when I think I will have time to make them...but they are beautiful.
Happy Thanksgiving in case I forget to post tomorrow. 
I have 11 family members from out of town coming and staying until Sunday....
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Cozy Calendar Celebration!

As you may know, Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet has a new calendar for 2016.

The fat quarter shop is hosting a blog 'tour' of little cottage quilts
 and pillows made from the calico cottage pattern found in the calendar.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors that Lori uses in all her quilts.
They are happy fabrics. I possess hundreds of 'happy' fabrics.
there's always a but, I wanted to make a cottage that reflects the color palette of my home. My husband likes dark wood, taupe and so forth, hence the main colors of my walls and wood work.
Granted there is some off white trim however, the main theme is more green taupe brown.
That is the inspiration I used for my fabric pull.

 I began sewing my cottage at the Thimble and Threads retreat in Draper, Utah last weekend.
It was technically a Farmgirl Vintage Retreat but Thimble and Threads, to our surprise, gave each of us our own calendar to use during our open sewing evening on Friday night.

This is Lori and I. 
I have met Lori at quilt market
 but it was fun to hang out and just sew at the retreat.

There are a few of her quilts.

Okay back to my cottage.....

Here it is in progress....

I wanted to make the pillow from the 8" block so that we can use it on our dark brown leather couch...yes... dark brown.

The block went together a whole lot easier than I imagined. Seams fit perfectly.
I actually want to try the 4" size now - well in brighter happier colors.

You can find the calendars on sale on the Fat Quarter Shop site.
Here are some of the inside images of the calendar.
So pretty.

So my pillow isn't finished yet. 
Which is actually a story for a WHOLE other blog post.

Thanks for reading today!

p.s. 20% off my entire etsy site including pre-orders through November 18, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall in the air

Here in Minnesota there have been some beautiful days. 
Sunny and 68 and gorgeous skies.
There have been a few rainy days too. 
What's a gal to do? 
Yes I could quilt. 
And I have been. 
I have also been ogling Pinterest  - dangerous.
Shopping - at Michaels - dangerous 
with 30% off total purchase coupons and stuff like that. 
I have had some crazy craft inspiration. 

There have been ball band pumpkins with cinnamon stick 'stems'.

Acrylic paint candy corn wood craft by Fab Lab with my 8 year old 
- super easy and fun for kids with water based paint. 

Another ball band cream pumpkin. 

I did say I was quilting right? 
Not only did I piece this Inch by Inch pumpkin,
 but I hand quilted and bound it in a day. 
I really wanted it finished for THIS season. 
Too many times I start seasonal quilts and don't finish them in time. 
So I was feeling very happy about this little project.

A batch of Snickerdoodles topped off the week. 
This whole not working thing is really productive lately.
Crafty fun is on hold for now and I get to tackle the guest room organization. 
I'll let you know how that turns out.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Restructure - price changes - sale - long post - worth it.

I have been thinking about the 'restructuring' of my life and all that it has brought to me. The experiences, the ups, the downs and the so-so.
During the transition time when I was traveling back and forth between states, having an occupation at night while I was alone was a HUGE life saver. 

My etsy shop and selling fabric was a distraction that I needed to keep me focused and sane. I had tried cutting my own projects, sewing and so forth but that required too much of 'me', the designer part of me. The creativity side of myself was nearly unreachable it seemed.
Cutting fabric was a great stress reliever. 

Now I am 'here' 3 months. We are adjusting to this new norm. In the process of adjusting I have had to closely evaluate whether or not I want to continue my etsy shop. On one hand, I do. On the other hand, I don't. I am finding my creative side again. I don't want quilting to feel like work. I want to enjoy cutting my own fabric again.

 Why would I want to stop selling? 
There are many aspects of the fabric business that customers' rarely consider. 
 Fabric shipments, cost per bolt, cost for delivery, etsy fees, paypal fees, taxes, postal fees, gas for my car and so forth. 
As a small business owner things don't always go smoothly.
 Since I have to order fabric a full 6 months ahead this can cause a lot of stress for me. I ordered fabric in October of 2014. It arrived in August 2015, a full 10 months from the order date and 4 months late of when it was 'expected'. Now that wouldn't be a huge issue except that the fabric I ordered in May at quilt market also arrived in August 2015. I had no less than 100 bolts of fabric show up in 3 weeks. Sounds amazing right? 
well I didn't have space for it and I still don't. 
I have used etsyonsale for great sales to reduce my inventory
 and that's helped but they charge a fee.
Another fee? yep which translates to higher prices. 
I decided I'm not going to use them now.
I will use etsy codes for 'free'....
well nothing is 'free' on etsy but I digress.

Anyhow, having this much fabric - even for my business - is more than I can handle. 
I realized that my own stash is WAY out of control and I need to thin it... at least a little bit. 

Although this is another issue entirely - my local post office is very difficult to work with. There are many bad reviews for them on Yahoo. It is the first negative that I have found living here. The "head" supervisor to our little p.o. is a dousy. 
Every shipment I take there, she yells at me. 
She doesn't want to scan the packages etc.
 I have to drive 10 miles further to a larger p.o. to avoid being yelled at. :(
It's upsetting really.
 IF I turn her in for inappropriate behavior, she could hold my mail, hold my packages, not deliver.....yes I know that's illegal - but if you met this woman... 
I tell you - she'd find a way to get out of it. 
She's that bad. 
So I drive 10-15 miles to other post offices. 
That takes more time, more gas and it's stress.
I HAVE to change something. 
Here's what I am going to do.

I do not want to completely shut down my shop. 
I just need to cut back - a lot.
I won't be ordering as many fabric lines.
 I will be honoring all pre-orders for sure! 
I will be offering my stash, fat quarter bundles that are out of print, older prints you might have been searching for, custom bundles, custom 5" charm packs, stash of my 1930's that I just can't use in this lifetime and so forth. 
I have also decided to change my pricing structure on etsy. 
Most fabric is $7-9 a yard or less, $4-$5.25 a half yard or less etc..
 Japanese fabrics such as Daiwabo, Yuwa and Kokka are more per yard simply because they cost more. They range from $7 a yard clearance Kokka to $15 a yard for the brand new Yuwa. 
Moda pre-cut bundles, charm packs etc will be automatically 30% or more off retail. 
I have got to thin out the stock in my sewing space, so I can sew again. 
In addition to the overall price reduction on all items, 
I am offering a coupon for an extra 15% off your purchase. 

Enter the code SALE15 at checkout on etsy until October 16, 2015. 

Shipping in the U.S. is $5.95 no matter what you purchase. For international orders, shipping is higher and I suggest a custom order request for the best/cheapest shipping options.
More discount codes will be coming in the future. This is just the first. I am giving my blog readers a heads up before I put it on social media. 
I would love to share my 'overstock' with you at a BIG discount. Basically witht he 15% off code... yardage is at cost.
Grab some items you have been waiting for, stock up on quilt backs etc..

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Huge Labor Day Sale Event

Hi I just wanted to post about my 
HUGE Labor Day Sale Event
happening on my etsy site.

35% off 
Regular priced fabric yardage, fat quarter bundles, 
fat eighth bundles, charm packs, jelly rolls, 
patterns, kits and precuts

Art Gallery
Penny Rose
Studio E
Michael Miller
Ella Blue
Robert Kaufman
and many more

50% off clearance items as well!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Classic Vintage Hope Blooms Log Cabin Quilt

Once again the awesome Fat Quarter Shop has created a pattern
and video to showcase a newer quilting notion.
If you didn't know, Creative Grids produces
a wide variety of rulers for every quilting need.
The newest in the Classic Vintage series
highlights the 8" Log Cabin Trim Tool by Creative Grids.


The pattern can be done without this ruler.
However, I was curious about it.
Thoughtfully, I asked the question, why would a company create a useless ruler?
There must be something about it that makes it special.
When I read the pattern and looked at the pictures,
 I was like "meh", no big difference than any other ruler.
I followed along.
Ignore that the picture shows the curvy log cabin trim tool....
I opened the wrong ruler at first - hey I was excited for a new toy!

I cut pieces for one block...
a trial block if you will -
out of Modern Country by Mary Elizabeth Kinch, 
Hello Darling and Atusko Matsuyama 30's collection.
The free pattern can be found on Fat Quarter Shop here.

I highly recommend that you watch the video - really- no really I do.

Once I started trimming the block with the ruler, I quickly figured out how cool it is.
You square up each round before you add another.
It's perfect.

I mean perfect.
I was stunned.
After watching me sew and trim for a while, my 8 year old said, that is so cool. 
Then she went to ask me to make her a whole quilt like this.
love them.

My block turned out perfect. 
The ruler was worth every penny (yes, I bought it, wasn't given to me).
It was simple to use... and right now, simple is best for me. 
Nothing frustrates me more than a tool too complicated to use!

So if you are wanting to make a simple quilt accurately, 
I highly recommend the Log Cabin Trim Tool.

Thank you for reading my little blog,

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Winner Winter Wonderland giveaway

Winner of the Winter wonderland giveaway - a fat eighth of Ella Blue basics is

Thank you for all the great comments. 
I really appreciated that you took time to comment.