Monthly Archives: November 2011

Lifestyle Crafts: Cyber Monday Sale and Giveaway!

Lifestyle Crafts, maker of the Epic Letterpress and Die Cutter is having a great sale and you have all of today to take advantage (sale ends tonight)! One of their best selling products, the nesting dies will be 50% off. The nesting dies include up to 16 dies for one price so no wonder they’re so popular! Here’s just a few of the many shapes you can choose from.






This garland is just one of the many project ideas you can find on their site using the nesting dies. If you decide to order from Lifestyle, don’t forget to use our code CRAFTBUDS for a 20% discount!



In addition to the great sales, Lifestyle has been doing some amazing giveaways these past few weeks. They’ve already given away a Canon 60D camera and Jo tote, an $800 Dream Craft Workspace, and an iPad 2. From now until December 5 you can enter to win the Adobe Creative Suite and a Bamboo Create Tablet! All you need to do is follow them on Pinterest and leave a comment letting them know. Make sure to mention that Craft Buds sent you!

Deck the Halls: Fresh Picks for 11.27.11 + Winner

Out of 67 comments, the winner of the handmade earrings giveaway, chosen by, is #6 Sally Ness: “I’m a big fan of all three pairs on the orange, yellow, green trio! Quite tasteful, Linds.”

I’m so excited for Sally to win these earrings, as she was the very first person to buy a pair from my new Esty storefront. Huge thanks to everyone who entered and gave feedback on your favorites! The 40% off code CRAFTBUDS is still good through the end of the day today.

Without further ado, here are some fresh picks for the week, to get you in the mood for holiday decorating! These cute Christmas crafts make great holiday decorations for the home.

Felt Hot Cocoa Ornament

Mug Shot: I bet you haven’t seen many Christmas ornament crafts cuter than this Cup o’ Cocoa with tiny felt marshmallows. Get the cute-torial for this Felt Hot Cocoa Ornament at Flamingo Toes.

Noel Letters Sign

Merry Mantle: Get the instructions on how to make this Pottery Barn knock-off Noel mantel sign at Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

Clay Stamped Ornaments

Stamp of Approval: They’re earthy and they’re easy. Loving the Stamped Clay Christmas Ornaments tutorial from Allison at Little Lovelies.

Milk Carton Sun Wreath Tutorial

Here Comes the Sun: Reuse a few empty milk cartons to make this unexpectedly stunning holiday wreath! This holiday DIY tutorial is courtesy of Michele, written as a guest post on

Echinops and Aster

Holiday How-To: Jenelle is whipping up some awesome holiday decorating tutorials, like a cutie-pie mushroom ornament and holiday snowflake table runner. The instructions are clear as day, and sewists will especially love the projects at Echinops & Aster.

101 Handmade Holiday Tutorials

101 Roundup: Don’t miss the round-up of holiday decor tutorials over at Everything Etsy, with everything from wreaths to garland and pillows to snow globes. Who doesn’t love free Christmas crafts?

Next week, we’ll take a look at some handmade gifts that you still have time to whip up. Yes, there is still time.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

Giveaway! The Cutest Handmade Earrings

This giveaway is near and dear to my heart, because one Craft Buds reader is going to win some hand-picked goodies from my shop, Lindsay Sews!

Assorted Button Earrings

Enter to win:

A Pair of Hedgehog bobby pins

Hedgehog Bobby Pins

Handmade Owl Card – Blank

Handmade Owl Card

Assorted Fabric Button Earrings – You tell me what you like, and I’ll surprise you with three pairs!

That’s a $34 value, all handmade with love! Giveaway open worldwide through Nov. 27.

To enter: This giveaway is now closed.

  1. “Heart” your favorite item at Lindsay Sews on Etsy and leave a comment here letting me know you did. If you don’t have an Etsy account, just leave a comment here with your favorite item! (one entry)
  2. Share this giveaway with someone and leave a comment. Twitter, Facebook, blog, your friend, your mom, your pet. (one entry) Here’s a suggested tweet you can copy and paste:

I hope I win! Cute handmade #giveaway @CraftBuds and 40% off #etsy sale!


Also, I’ve decided to forgo Black Friday shopping this year, but I’m still offering you a great deal . . . Get 40% off everything in your cart with the coupon code CRAFTBUDS through November 27. Perfect for stocking stuffers or just to treat yourself. Look around the shop.

Thanksgiving Place Setting Printables

Is everyone getting ready for food and family? I know we are around here! To help dress up our Thanksgiving place settings I designed a few printables. There’s the menu:

Cards for labeling place settings or food items:

And napkin ring bands:


The food cards/place cards and napkin ring bands are PDFs and the menu is a word document with text boxes so you can type in your menu. The files can be downloaded through the links to Google Docs below:

Food/Place Cards —  Napkin Rings —  Menu

The menu will have to be downloaded to show correctly and depending on your setup, you may have to also download the Food/Place Cards and Napkin Rings. To do this, just go to File (in the upper left corner), then Download Original. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Last-Minute Thanksgiving: Fresh Picks for 11.20.11

It’s not too late to whip up these last-minute Thanksgiving crafts! Get some ideas for simple centerpieces, wall decor and little details to make your family dinner more special!

Turkey Cups

Gobble Gobble: Lisa shares lots of Thanksgiving table-setting ideas, include these adorable and quick-to-make turkey cups at her blog, Moore Minutes.

Easy Give Thanks Garland

Craft Leftovers: Crystal shares her simple “Give Thanks” banner made from coffee filters and doilies at her blog, A Pumpkin and a Princess.

Mayflower Centerpiece

Sail Away: Robyn takes cues from a Pottery Barn centerpiece and whips up a clever (and inexpensive) substitute from a shoe box, some placemats, dowel rods and fabric! Get the tutorial over at The Pink Peony of Le Jardin.

Paper Bag Turkey

The Fun Table: This Thanksgiving tutorial at Honest to Nod is adorable and brilliant. It’s a craft that the older kids could help make for the younger kids, for a memorable centerpiece. Maybe the paper bag turkey becomes an annual tradition.

Mayflower place cards

Set the Table: Danyelle shows off the cutest Mayflower place cards, with a free printable template, at her blog Dandee Designs. You could fill them with rocks or something edible like trail mix or a festive popcorn and candy corn mix. Adorable!

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

Winner + Charm Swap Update

The winner of the Modern Fabric Studio giveaway is:

#161 Rebecca who said, “I’d buy a bunch of FreeSpirit designer solids!  THANKS for the chance!”

Great choice Rebecca! I’m loving those colors, too! Maybe you’ll even make one of these:

Summer Sample Quilt by Faith at Fresh Lemons

Summer Sampler Quilt by Faith at Fresh Lemons


The Thanksgiving Sale is still going on over at Modern Fabric Studio through November 27th! I just picked up some of her awesome Sale Fabrics at an extra 10% off with free shipping. I got some Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Voile at $8/yard and Valori Wells Birds in Sage at $5/yard. So cute! Of course, I had to add a few other lovely things to take advantage of the free shipping for $35+ orders.

Little Folks Voile Coloring Garden Valori Wells Birds in Sage

Here are the details again:

The sale ends Sunday, November 27, so that’s one week from tomorrow. Happy shopping!


Modern Fabric Studio

Thanks to the awesome Amanda for hosting this giveaway and a big congrats to Rebecca!

Charm Swap

Also, here’s an update on the Aqua, Yellow and Gray charm swap hosted by Craft Buds and Crafty Girls Workshop. The charms are in the mail and some people have received! Aren’t they awesome? This is Melinda’s haul.

Aqua Yellow Gray charm swap

Anna certainly had her work cut out for her, as she cut more than 20 yards of fabric from her shop into charms for participants. Thank you Anna! You made it so easy for us to participate.

Sale Alert: I picked up some $5.99 fabric from Anna’s shop the other week, and there’s still loads of good stuff left!

We are voting on the theme for the next charm swap over at our Facebook page. So head on over and cast your vote for your favorite color combo or design. Polka dots, anyone? Have a great weekend!

Noel Paper-Pieced Quilt Block


12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along

Welcome to visitors from the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along. For those of you who don’t know, Craft Buds is one of 12 stops on a fun blog hop where you can quilt along with others to make a modern Christmas quilt using a variety of techniques like applique, foundation piecing and paper piecing.

I’ll show you the latter of these today, and we’ll learn how to make this paper-pieced Noel quilt block. Let’s get started!


First, you’ll want to print off the free Noel quilt block template I’ve created. Save a copy to your computer and then print out, so it will print to scale. You might want to print two copies: one to cut up, and one to use as a visual reference. You can even color in the letters of the reference copy with your fabric choices.

Next, gather your fabrics. I’ve chosen two prints and one solid, and you can get away with a fat quarter or less of each. (Note: If you are using a 10-inch layer cake, you’ll want to adjust the measurements on the border, because my pattern uses some 11-inch strips. Use your imagination, and your block will turn out great! You will want to make sure you have at least a quarter yard of the background fabric.)

Other Supplies:

  • freezer paper (from the grocery store)
  • pen or pencil
  • glue stick or double-sided tape
  • clear ruler
  • paper scissors
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter

Start by cutting out the sections of the N-O-E-L letters with your paper scissors (so you don’t dull the blades of your fabric shears). From the paper, you’ll only need to cut out one of each letter, A through I. Set the rest of the paper template aside for reference.

Note: We will not be flipping any of the shapes backwards, so just make sure that your paper templates and the fabric pieces all face the right way when you look at them. How easy is that?! Please ignore the fact that my Noel template is reversed in the first image below. Yours will look normal, spelling Noel from left to right.

Next, tear off a sheet of freezer paper, and put the shiny side down. Use  a very small dot of glue from your glue stick to adhere your paper templates A through I to the dull side of the freezer paper. (I say a small dot because you’ll be ironing with this paper later.) Space them out so you’ll have plenty of room for tracing around each piece. If you don’t have freezer paper, you can still carefully trim your pieces using regular paper templates.

Cut and Trace Templates

Use your clear ruler and pen or pencil to trace a line a quarter inch from each side of your templates. My friend Jennifer likes to use the Add a Quarter ruler for this step. Once you’ve traced each piece, use your paper scissors to cut along the lines you’ve just drawn.

Starting with the letter “N”, take your freezer paper templates for the center section (G, H and I) and iron the shiny surface to the front/patterned side of your fabric. (At this point, you’ll wish you used as little glue as possible. I left the paper on my freezer paper while ironing, and it was fine.) The templates will adhere to your fabric and can be used several times before they lose their stickiness.

Make the Letter N

Cut around each template with your fabric shears. Remove the freezer paper for the fabric pieces you are getting ready to sew, joining G, H, and I. Press your seams open.

Next, you’ll stitch on the left and right sides of the letter “N” (cut from pattern piece A) to the section you just made. From your background fabric, cut out pattern piece B and stitch to the right side of your letter “N” (this is the thin, green strip you see below).

"N" and "O"

Use the same method for creating the letter “O”, always starting with the most complex part of the letter and working outward. Join the letter “O” to your “N” and following the template for letters “E” and “L” to finish the word.

Noel Paper Pieced Block

Press your block, making sure you’ve ironed all the seams open. Trim the top and bottom of your block so all edges are even. Your block will now measure about 4.75 inches x 11 inches. Next, you’ll cut two 3-inch x 11-inch strips from your background fabric and stitch borders to both the top and bottom edges of your “Noel.”

Top and Bottom borders

Cut a 2.5-inch x 11-inch strip from each of your other fabrics (I used the pink and white, as in my letters). Stack one patterned strip on top of the other, and use your ruler to cut a diagonal line down the center of both pieces, as shown.

Cut top and bottom borders

Pair each of your new strips with the opposite color piece that fits and stitch together, pressing open your seams. Add your new “wonky stripes” to both the top and bottom of your block for a fun border.

Trim the top and bottom of your block so it is 12.5 inches tall. Finally, add a 1.5-inch strip of background fabric to each side to widen your block, and trim to 12.5 inches square.


Not in the market for a Christmas quilt? I this block would look fabulous as a holiday pillow, stocking or hot pad.

If you make this block, you are welcome to add it to the Flickr group for the quilt-along and the Craft Buds Flickr pool. In fact, look at this awesome and modern Christmas quilt by in the making by Marcia, created with the block tutorials posted so far. I’m in love with her color choices!

Get all the tutorials at Sew Sweetness. Also, there’s still time to enter the fabric giveaway from Modern Fabric Studio!

Giveaway: Modern Fabric Studio

Today, I’m excited to introduce a new online fabric shop to you, with a special sale and giveaway for Craft Buds readers at the end of this post.

And since we love to highlight craftepreneurs, I chatted with Modern Fabric Studio owner Amanda Norton to get the scoop on how she started her handmade business.

Amanda Modern Fabric Studio

Amanda, what’s your sewing story?

I have always been into crafting, but I started sewing only a few years ago. One day I came home from work. It was snowing and I knew I wouldn’t be going to work the next day. I went and bought a sewing machine that night and locked myself up in my apartment and taught myself how to sew! I have been LOVING it ever since!

What made you decide to start up Modern Fabric Studio?

I fell in love with the designer fabrics I sewed with, and I have always wanted to own my own company. So, in short, that is how Modern Fabric Studio started!

What fabrics or designers are you loving right now?

My favorite designer is Anna Maria Horner. She was the first designer I started sewing with so I’m in love with all her fabrics! I’m also loving Tina Givens’ new line, Lilliput Fields. The fabrics are absolutely gorgeous! And of course I love Amy Butler’s new line, Lark!

Amy Butler Lark

What do you do when you are not busy creating or running the business?

I live with my boyfriend and our 5 month Chocolate Lab puppy, Hooper. I actually have a full time job in addition to Modern Fabric Studio, so I can definitely say life is a bit busy at times! I love to sew and I love crafting. I am a “Do-It-Yourself-er” at heart!

Modern Fabric Studio


Just in time for the season of thanks, Modern Fabric Studio is hosting a Thanksgiving Sale starting today, where you can get 15% off all Anna Maria Horner, Valori Wells and Etsuko Furuya / Echino fabrics through November 27th.
  • Amanda is also offering free shipping for orders of $35 or more for the duration of her sale!
  • Plus, get an extra 10% off your purchase with the coupon code craftbuds.
Valori Wells Wildfield in Cherry

Valori Wells Wildfield: Now 15% off

Little Folks Voile from $8 per yard

Little Folks Voile from $8 per yard!

LouLouThi Voile

LouLouThi Voile: now 15% off!



Amanda is offering one Craft Buds reader $25 shop credit to spend on anything in the shop. And with her ultra-affordable Sale Fabrics (designer cotton prints starting at $5 per yard and designer voile starting at just $8 per yard) that’s a whole lotta fabric to love . . .

To enter:

  1. Stop by Modern Fabric Studio and leave a comment telling us what you’d like to buy with your shop credit.
  2. Subscribe to Modern Fabric Studio’s newsletter and leave a comment.
  3. Like Modern Fabric Studio on Facebook and leave a comment.

That’s 3 chances to win! This giveaway is open worldwide, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on Saturday, November 19.

Free Pattern Features: Fall Printables

Ready for some fast, easy and free decorations for fall and Thanksgiving? I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite printables from around the web.

At The Letter 4 is this whimsical tree illustration.

Love Fall Printable from The Letter 4


Pink Ink Doodle shares this fall subway art.

Fall Subway Art at Pink Ink Doodle


At The Creative Paige you can find this Fall is Here printable in vertical or horizontal formats.

Fall is Here from The Creative Paige


This printable from It’s a Crafty Life just made me smile!

Happy Fall Y'all from It's a Crafty Life


And lastly, Kind Over Matter has a huge list of all sorts of Thanksgiving printables. Enjoy!

Free Thanksgiving Printables at Kind Over Matter


If you’re feeling lucky, don’t forget to check out our weekly list of crafty and handmade giveaways!

Review: The Colette Sewing Handbook + Winners

Colette Sewing Handbook Cover

After interviewing Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns fame, I was so excited to get the chance to review her new book. The Colette Sewing Handbook (F+W Media) is both a project book and teaching tool for sewists, meaning it does include 5 sewing patterns that the reader can make and feel proud of. However, the basis of this book is actually on explaining the techniques needed to sew clothing with a great look and fit. This includes how to choose fabrics, read and alter patterns, how to care for garments and so forth. Quick, someone give this book to Project Runway winner Anya!

Colette Sewing Handbook excerpt

As a self-taught sewist that mostly works with quilting cottons, I was excited to read about how I should actually be sewing things. For instance, did you know that pressing a garment is different than ironing? I didn’t! I was also intrigued by the concept of ripping fabric from the bolt instead of cutting, which is actually the preferred method to get a “trued up” (even) edge. I also learned the many ways to transfer a pattern from the original to the fabric, using markers and chalk pens (and why each one is useful).

Colette Sewing Techniques

The book also reviews some techniques I use regularly, like gathering, hand-stitching and inserting facings into a garment. Still, no matter how many times you’ve installed a zipper, you might find yourself referring to this book’s helpful step-by-step photos as a reminder.

Colette Sewing Handbook Fabric Types

Did I mention that the whole book is just really pretty? I’m going to bookmark the pages on fabric selection, because I know this will come in handy time and time again. Sarai details the qualities of fabric (What fibers is it made from? Woven or knit? How does it drape or reflect light?) and explains which fabrics are better for which project. Brilliant!

Colette Sewing Handbook Fabric Drape

Overall, Sarai encourages sewists not to rush into their projects, but to take time selecting fabric that is right for the garment, pre-washing and ironing the fabric, prepping and altering the pattern and making a muslin (inexpensive trial run) of the garment. All of this comes before cutting into your pretty fabric. This technique helps you to get a great fitting dress that you’ll actually want to wear, which saves money and time in the long run. And once you’ve altered the pattern to fit your body, you might want to make the “Truffle Dress” in six different colors. I do.

Colette Sewing Handbook Truffle Dress

Techniques aside, one thing I took away from this book is the desire to think thoughtfully about my wardrobe.  Sarai’s patterns have a cute, vintage-infused style that can be personalized with fabric choice and thoughtful details (like including or omitting a bow or fancy hem, which she gives the reader full permission to do). She encourages sewists to find their personal style and use clothing as self-expression. If you have a fabulous fitting garment in a fabric that complements your skin tone, you’re going to feel great in your clothing.

Colette Meringue Skirt

For my first project from the book, I’ve decided to conquer the “Meringue Skirt.” So far, I have gone through Sarai’s tips and selected my fabric: a textured, matte, wool-based gabardine. (Can you tell that my sewing vocabulary has increased tenfold since reading this book?) I’ve also cut the pattern pieces and adjusted for length (since I’m shorter than the model). Next, I’ll be ready to make my muslin and check the fit before starting on the skirt. Although I am pretty thrifty and don’t like to “waste” fabric, I liked Sarai’s explanation of making a wearable muslin. This means I might use a fabric that I’m not in love with, but it echoes my actual fabric choice, so I could still potentially wear the skirt if it fits.

The Colette Sewing Handbook is an invaluable tool for the sewist that wants to learn more about making garments. Although I probably won’t make all of these patterns for myself, I am definitely excited to sew two of the five, and I could see myself making more than one of each.


Out of 261 comments, the winner of The Colette Sewing Handbook is #101, Margie! We’ve sent you an e-mail with more info. If you didn’t win, why don’t you join my by signing up for the free webinar Thursday all about choosing fabrics? Participants will also get a discount on the book.

Free Webinar
Out of 636 comments, the lucky winner of the Epic Letterpress Combo Kit chosen by was #90, Jessie Prince! Congratulations and Mary has sent you an e-mail with more information.

For everyone else make sure you check out the Lifestyle Crafts blog where they’re doing some amazing giveaways! This week you can enter to win a dream craft workspace worth $800 just by following their blog. For additional entries you can tweet or blog about the giveaway (and don’t forget to mention that Craft Buds sent you!).

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