Free! Cadet Cap Pattern

I’m guest posting over at the Britex Fabric blog with a pattern and instructions for a child’s cadet style cap! Use this link to head over and check it out.…

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Get ready for a delightful summer picnic in the park with these reusable sandwich bags! Made from oilcloth, these bags are easy and fun to whip up in a variety…

All-In-One Picnic Blanket Tote

With summer just around the corner I’m getting ready to enjoy to family picnics and being outside again (finally!). I wanted to make a picnic blanket that was waterproof on one side…

DIY Bath Bombs with Handmade Beauty Box

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Hello readers! Today we take a break from sewing and crafting to share a little project to pamper yourself or someone special with a recipe (see end of post) for fizzy bath bombs. But first, let me introduce Handmade Beauty Box. They recently contacted us to see if we’d be interested in trying out one of their DIY beauty projects. I’d never heard of them before but after finding out the concept I thought our readers may be interested in knowing more about them. The way it works is that for $29.99 a month (shipping included) they’ll send you a box full of ingredients for a different theme. The price may feel a little high but I appreciate that they do all the work for you. I’ve always wanted to try making my own beauty products but have never done the research in finding recipes and ingredients. You can find out more at their site here. I chose to try the lavender and herb bath bombs since it looked like a project I’d have fun doing with my 5 year old. You can see some of the past boxes here with things like lipstick and loofah soaps. This month’s nail polish box looks like a lot of fun! You can also purchase the boxes separately.

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The box that arrives in the mail looks pretty even from the outside!

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We opened up the box to find all the ingredients neatly packaged and labeled. Everything was nice and secure in the box so no spilled or broken ingredients. The box had instructions and everything I needed to make 5 bath bombs including all of the ingredients and reusable molds and metal spray bottle for the witch hazel. I do wish that it also came with a printed recipe in with the box, but it’s available on the Beauty Box website so I can make more bath bombs with my own ingredients in the future.

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We got started right away and mixed up the ingredients. My son had a lot of fun helping me with this project and we both enjoyed seeing how they were made.

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They came together pretty quickly and we had fun making them. We started out with two bowls, one each of blue and white so we could make the striped bath bomb version shown above. But, my son wanted to mix it all together so ours are mostly light blue. Other than that, we followed all the instructions and they came out great!

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 Recipe

Want to make your own? Here’s the list of ingredients from Handmade Beauty Box:

  • 1 lb Baking Soda
  • 1/2 lb Citric Acid (It can usually be found in grocery stores in the canning section, or it’s available in larger amounts on amazon.com.)
  • 1 gram blue mica (This is used to provide the blue color and is lip/body safe. It can be found on amazon.com or other online stores and there are other colors of mica available.)
  • Witch Hazel in spray bottle (The amount you’ll need varies, but you’ll probably need just a few sprays.)
  • Fragrance or essential oil (You’ll probably need just a few drops, depending on how strong you want the fragrance)

You can find the full step by step instructions and photos at Handmade Beauty Box here. You’ll also need something to mold the bath bombs into. If you don’t have an official bath bomb mold, you could also use a silicone ice cube tray.

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. The photo above and the first photo were provided by Handmade Beauty Box.

Toddler Tote Bag + Sleepy-Time Friend

Welcome to visitors from the Busy Girl Sews blog tour!

In celebration of Heidi Staples’s new book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl: Tips to Make the Most of Your Time & Space (Stash Books), I’ve decided to sew a project from it, and tell you a little bit about my experience.

Sleepy-Time Friend

If you often feel overwhelmed by the list of sewing projects you want to make, Heidi’s book is filled with tips for organizing your sewing space as well as using your time more efficiently. She also shares 23 (count em’!) projects, making this book a great value for the money. As a mom of 4, Heidi (who blogs at Fabric Mutt) shares her own sewing story and invites many bloggers to share their tips for an organized sewing life. I share a few tips in the book as well!

Toddler Boy Tote Bag in Ready Set Go fabric

This is my son’s new little man bag! The fabric I chose is Ann Kelle’s Ready, Set, Go 2 and a coordinating print from her Remix line. Heidi’s tote bag pattern from the book is very easy to follow (even for beginners), and I was able to make the bag with everything I already had in my stash! I especially love the outer pocket and the pop of contrasting fabric prints.

Sleepy-Time Friend Kit from "Sew Organized for the Busy Girl" by Heidi Staples

Photo: C&T Publishing

But that’s not all! I had to sew the adorable “Sleepy Time Friend Kit” project from the book, which includes a little doll (bunny or cat) in pajamas, a pillow, and a mini quilt. Here’s a picture of Heidi’s version (above).

Sleepy Time Friend Kit

Oh my goodness! I had so much fun sewing this stuff. I finished the whole project, bag, quilt, friend, and pillow, in about 3 hours. Since my son takes 2 naps a day, I was able to whip up the tote bag during his morning nap, and the other goodies that afternoon.

Cat Baby Toy and Mini Quilt

The Sleepy Time Friend comes with a little pajama pocket to store its own “sleepy time friend.” Naturally, I used Ann Kelle’s new Urban Zoologie Minis to sew the tiniest blue monkey for the cat’s little pocket. Since Elliot always sleeps with his blue monkey, it only seemed appropriate.

I’ve never sewn a mug rug, so this is indeed my smallest quilt ever at 8″ square! I used more of the Urban Zoologie Minis monkey print, some Remix, and more Ready, Set, Go 2.

Toddler Boy Bag in Ready Set Go fabric

It would absolutely make my day if Elliot decides to carry around his blue monkey in his own little tote! He held onto his little cat for quite a while before bedtime, though I’ve had to hide the little blue monkey so he doesn’t eat it. :)

You can pick up Sew Organized for the Busy Girl now on Amazon!

 

Busy Girl Sews Tour

Follow the blog tour!

March 30 – Lynne of Lily’s Quilts (Tour Kickoff & Book Giveaway!)

April 6 – Jodi of Tales of Cloth & Angela of Cut to Pieces

April 13 – Lindsay of Craft Buds & Debbie of A Quilter’s Table

April 20 – Leanne of She Can Quilt

April 27Fat Quarter Shop

May 4 – Erin of Why Not Sew?

May 11 – Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts

May 18 – Svetlana of SOTAK Handmade

May 25 – Lucy of Charm About You

June 1 – Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade

June 8 – Becca of Bryan House Quilts

June 15 – Beth of Plum & June

June 22 – Jessica of Quilty Habit

June 29 – Caroline of Sew Can She

July 6 – Heidi of Fabric Mutt (Tour Wrap!)

Up & Coming Designer: Kelsey at Lovely and Enough

This post is written by Amy Garro of www.13spools.com as part of our “Up & Coming Designer Program”, where we introduce you to some awesome, small-time fabric designers we’ve found! Read the program announcement here.
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Kelsey at Lovely and Enough stood out to me immediately once I spotted her “Pistachios” print. This is one of those designs that is incredibly versatile because it has both curved and straight lines in it, is a medium scale, and leans feminine and soft on lighter fabrics, yet also masculine on bold on darker fabrics. I mean, seriously genius, right?
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After looking at these prints, I just knew the designer behind them was special. I started checking out her blog, and just loved everything about it, and couldn’t get enough of her fabrics. Her prints are very sophisticated in that they are screen printed, but don’t scream it. It’s common to look at a screen-printed fabric and immediately think to yourself, “oh, those are screen printed”. But when I look at these fabrics, that’s not even on my radar – I just get lost in the design. I reached out to her, and am so excited to introduce her to you today as part of our Up and Coming program.

Kelsey is a recent graduate of Wheaton College, IL in both studio art and chemistry. She is currently pursuing a degree in Textile Chemistry at North Carolina State and told me that she “looks forward to the fresh inspiration that Raleigh and dye studies will bring to [her] work”.
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And now, I thought I’d invite Kelsey to share a little about herself, her process, and how she arrived at her beautiful business name. Take it away, Kelsey!

When I begin to look around and see other people’s beautiful lives with seemingly more time, less stress, cuter clothes, more prolific sewing rooms, I stop and remember. My life is lovely. And my life is enough. I don’t need more than what I have. Close friends. Comfy clothes. A wonderful family. A burgeoning church. And time and space to sew to my heart’s content. Lovely. Enough.
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I work with textiles because they are tactile, meant to be touched. The soft slip of fabric through your fingers, the crisp edge of a perfectly pressed seam, the holes that expose flannel linings. Each speaks of care and process and history. Textiles allow me to explore making emotions and moments tangible. To wrap my arms around my sister from miles away in the cables of an afghan. To capture the lost feeling of big life decisions in angles and juxtaposed stitches. To anchor my dreams for my niece in threads on which she can sit and stand and play. Textiles make the intangibles something that I can grasp.
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Pulling from personally designed and hand-printed fabrics, I carry quilts from conception to final binding stitch, combining traditional quilt patterns with modern colors and stitching. From hand-illustrating the designs to printing swatches, I relish the process. I follow the maxim that every choice can transform a quilt, envisioning how the eye could be directed with a line of stitching or a quilt balanced by the turn of a triangle. My fabric designs are inspired by the organic beauty outside my window and fused with the geometry of architecture and Amish quilts to create unique pieces for home and studio.
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Wow, what a beautiful reflection on the power of creating!! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

If you loved these photos of Kelsey’s work, I encourage you to check her out – and buy her fabrics!! Here’s a fantastic list of places where you can find her:

And don’t forget that you can look forward to, and follow, my (Amy’s) projects showcasing Kelsey’s fabrics in tutorials, pillows, quilts, and more at www.13spools.com!

‘Modern Rainbow’ Q&A with Author Rebecca Bryan + Giveaway!

Today, we are so excited to feature creative quilter Rebecca Bryan, author of the new book Modern Rainbow: 14 Imaginative Quilts That Play with Color. (Stash Books). Rebecca blogs at Bryan House Quilts.

Rebecca Bryan
1) Becca, thanks for visiting us at Craft Buds today! Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started writing your book? How did you go about the very first steps of getting your book published?

Thanks for having me! After the initial inspiration to write a book about rainbow quilts, I really had little idea of how exactly one gets a book published. On top of not knowing how to publish a book, I knew it would be a lot of work and take a lot of time. Instead of being discouraged, I just started.

The bulk of the work in a quilting book is the quilts right? So I began by making the quilts I knew I wanted to be in the book. While I was making quilts, I also sketched ideas on graph paper and took notes in my journals. I also researched the whole book publishing process by reading blogs and articles and attending the “getting published” lecture at QuiltCon in 2013. Finally, I began learning graphic design programs (TouchDraw for iPad and Illustrator); each sketch taught me at least one new trick. There was a lot to learn!

At the time, this poem really encouraged me:

Persevere
[Author Unknown]
The fisher who draws in his net too soon,
Won’t have any fish to sell;
The child who shuts up his book too soon,
Won’t learn any lessons well.
If you would have your learning stay,
Be patient – don’t learn too fast;
The man who travels a mile each day,
May get round the world at last.
Rainbow Remix quilt by Rebecca Bryan

“Rainbow Remix” quilt by Rebecca Bryan (Photo C&T Publishing)

 

2) The rainbow quilts in your book are really stunning! Where do you find your design inspiration?

Thanks so much! I’d say that the quilts are a collection of inspiration over the course of that 6 to 9 month period I described above. Knowing I wanted to create quilts that showed off the glow and radiant goodness of the spectrum, I sketched and sketched while I researched how to submit a book proposal. Some of the designs I started making right away – Rainbow Streak, Rainbow Remix, and Invisible Rainbow. After I had 20 or so designs, I choose what I thought were the 15 best designs for the proposal.

Some of my ideas were for improvisational quilts, some were traditionally inspired, and some I felt were modern. But when I started choosing the top 15 quilt designs, I felt it was necessary to choose a genre. But had I chose one genre, some of my best quilt designs would not have made the cut. I found that to be stressful and wrong. Finally, it dawned on me that I didn’t have to choose one genre and maybe multiple genres could be a strength (or at least a unique aspect) of the book. Then I felt better.

Happy Easter cake and eggs

Via Instagram / BryanHouseQuilts

3) With four kids at home, how did you find time to write a book, create and sew?

While I was writing the book, I was able to work only in small bits during the day, and mostly during nap time. Much of the work occurred after bedtime, from 8pm – 2am. So basically I just stayed up until 2 in the morning to meet my weekly deadlines! NO BIG DEAL! <insert slightly crazy giggling> My weekly deadlines were self-imposed and a big part of how I kept myself on track. My goal was to finish a quilt – top and instructions – each week. It was a delirious couple of months!

Now that the kids are a bit older and the big kids are in school, I have more time to work during the day. Of course, I’m not in book writing mode so things are more balanced. I still try to work only while the littles are napping; in the morning we will hang out and play, or run errands, or go to the gym, etc. And then a couple of nights a week I’ll spend sewing. Right now, I’m trying to cap my working hours to 20 hours a week, but that really depends on deadlines.

"Rainbow Streak" quilt by Rebecca Bryan

“Rainbow Streak” quilt by Rebecca Bryan (Photo C&T Publishing)

4) Do you have a favorite quilt in the book? What’s the story behind it?

I have several favorites! I shared about Wavelength, the cover quilt, in the most recent issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting, so I can share about another favorite. Really I have a bunch of favorites – I hope that’s ok!? As an aside, I remember in art class in high school I couldn’t stand my work.

So let me tell you about Rainbow Streak. Rainbow Streak (pictured above) was one of the first quilts I completed for the book and it was the written project sample I submitted in my proposal. The inspiration comes from the traditional Streak of Lightning quilt pattern; I thought it would be fun if each streak was a rainbow. Using enough fabrics, you can capture a nearly seamless transition from color to color. There’s something about that seamless rainbow that makes it just jump off that gray stormy background. Choosing the fabrics for this quilt was fun fun fun. Also, the quilt is unique and a bit challenging, but not overly difficult. So it was fun to make but not a booger to piece. Plus, did you see the binding? Special bindings always add a special touch.

5) What’s next for you?

Apart from the staying up until 2 am, I really enjoyed the whole book writing process so I’d love to write another book. I’ve been publishing a few patterns independently, so I’m working on adding to my pattern business. Also, I’d like to expand my teaching.

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Follow the blog tour!

March 23rd             C&T/ Stash Books
March 24th             Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt
March 25th             Generation Q Magazine
March 26th             Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
March 27th             Sally Keller of Sally’s Angel Works
March 30th            Amy Garro of 13 Spools
March 31st            Angela Walters of Quilting is my Therapy
April 1st                Rebecca over at Craft Buds
April 2nd               Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness
April 3rd               Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabric Addict
April 6th                Janice Zeller Ryan of Better Off Thread
April 7th                Beth Vassalo of Plum and June
April 8th                Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
April 9th                Giuseppe Ribaudo @giucy_giuce
April 9th                Shannon Brinkley of Bottle Tree Quilts
April 10th              Rebecca Bryan at Bryan House Quilts

Modern Rainbow book cover

Giveaway!

Stash Books would like to offer a copy of Rebecca’s Modern Rainbow book to one lucky winner! To enter the drawing, please leave a comment with one thing you’ve learned from this Q&A (about quilting, Rebecca, or the book publishing process). I’ll choose a random winner one week from the date of this post. If located outside the U.S., the winner will receive an e-copy of the book.
Congrats to the lucky winner, #37, Marilyn S.!

Big Announcement! Up & Coming Designer Program

Today, we are proud to announce a partnership between Craft Buds and 13 Spools to bring you an awesome new program:

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Let’s face it, this industry is tough to get a foothold in, especially for aspiring fabric designers! But luckily, as sewers (and consumers of beautiful fabric), we have the power to lift up those artists who are truly amazing, even if they aren’t “big-time” yet.

For the next year, we’ll be following some awesome fabric designers. We’ll learn about their process, see samples of their fabrics, and what inspires them. Along the way, Amy of www.13spools.com will make some real life projects showcasing the fabric, so you can really get an idea of how they’ll look in your own work.

We encourage you to support these designers in the start of their journeys by using their fabrics, sharing about them with your friends, following them on Instagram, and by commenting on these posts with your feedback. And if you are a textile artist/designer with a unique body of work, but not yet signed with a fabric company, or know of someone who fits that description, please contact us!

Last but not least, we want to know – what part about the fabric design process are you curious about? Please leave a comment telling us what you’d love to hear about from the designers!

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