Lindsay

Craft Buds 2012 Year in Review + Link Party

Each year, we are inspired by the changing of the calendar to take a look back at the year and remember the everyday moments that stand out, crafty and otherwise! If you were around, you might remember our 2011 Year in Review and Link Party, which was so much fun that we’ve decided to do it again!

In 2012 at Craft Buds, we made:

– Valentine gifts like the LOVE T-shirt and cinnamon heart sugar cookies

– Delectable treats like cookie dough frosted brownies

– Gifts for kids, like the felt flowers button snake and child’s cape

– Sewn storage solutions, like the e-Reader sleeve and car trash bag

– Super simple fabric corner bookmarks and last-minute gifts

– A shortened belt and frosted cupcakes

- A pleated pillow, and many of you sewed along!

– A big deal about craft book publishing, including design/layout, a unique book concept, hosting a book launch party, and craft book photography

– A new video series and kicked it off with a chat about writing sewing patterns

 

2013 New Year’s Goals + Giveaway!

What would you like to learn how to do (or do better) in 2013? We invite you to link up your 2012 recap and/or 2013 resolutions here, whether they are craft-related, family, work or personal goals. If you don’t have a blog, we’d love to hear your goals for the new year in the comments!

To play along, add the direct URL to your blog post in the inlinkz tool below. That’s it! If you feel so inclined, visit another person’s post and leave a kind word.

As a thank you for linking up, we’ll give away a 3 months of free advertising on Craft Buds to one lucky blogger that adds their link below! Just add your post by 1/3/13 to be eligible to win.



If you’d like, grab a button for your post here!

Craft Buds

Winners! Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway

Rachael at imagine gnats and Lindsay of Craft Buds have chosen the winners of the huge Stuff Your Crafty Stocking giveaway! Let’s review the prizes, and you can scroll down to see if YOU are one of our lucky winners!

 

And here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The winners of the Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway are . . .

Stocking Stuffer #1:
Jessica Patterson!

Stocking Stuffer #2:
Sherry Tarver!

Stocking Stuffer #3:
Vanessa Wilson!

Stocking Stuffer #4:
Shelly Brown!

Stocking Stuffer #5:
Jenny Graham!
Dawn Pennington!
Deana Dweger!
Cheryl Hall!
Erica!
Peggy O’Connell!
Debi!
Bonnie!
Beth Keltner!
Juanita!

Winners will be notified by e-mail today 12/18, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or a new winner will be chosen. All entries received via alternate entry were inputted into the master list, and winners were chosen via Random.org.

Painted Fabric Gift Wrap + Hello Kitty T-Shirt

Have you heard of Whimseybox? It’s a subscription service where you get a box in the mail each month, filled with a grab bag of craft supplies. The Whimseybox site has craft tutorials and ideas for how to use your box each month, and you can interact with other members of the site to share your creations! It’s a fun idea, right? When I saw that Whimseybox was having a holiday promotion, I jumped on the chance to get $10 off my first box so I could try it out. After all, who doesn’t like getting fun mail?

Whimseybox Review from December 2012 The first thing I noticed about the box is how well everything was wrapped. The presentation was really elegant, and my goodies came inside this sturdy white box that I will totally reuse for storing crafting supplies. When I opened the box, I saw an art card, pretty tissue paper and ribbon wrapping and my supplies:

– Fabric markers
Deco Art Ink Effects fabric paint
– White fabric (bandana size)
– One small and one large wood-handled paint brush
– A small lined journal with a blank cover in canvas material
– Whimseybox stickers and 6-inch wooden ruler

DIY fabric marker gift wrap

The first project I tackled was one I saw on the Whimseybox blog: DIY Patterned Fabric. The tutorial recommended coloring dots with the fabric markers directly onto the white fabric. If you fold the fabric (and use a layer of paper underneath to protect your work surface), you can color the fabric twice as fast, because the ink leaks through to both sides.

Fabric paint and a DIY Hello Kitty t-shirt

To start my next project, I watched a video tutorial online for the Ink Effects fabric paint. The instructions said that you can literally paint onto any type of computer paper, let your design dry for 45 minutes and transfer to fabric with an iron. I decided to give it a try, but my freehand designs weren’t turning out the best. So I printed off a Hello Kitty face I found in Google Images and painted directly over top of the printout with the Ink Effects.

a DIY Hello Kitty t-shirt I liked how the shirt turned out, and I actually got four transfers from one design. Score!

I had a slight craft fail, however, in that I ironed directly onto my carpet. I left the room for a minute to show my husband how cool my Hello Kitty T-shirt looked. In the process, I transferred the left side of Hello Kitty’s face right onto our carpet! Isn’t this the kind of thing kids are supposed to do to your house? Hah!

I made an extra white fabric strip for some DIY painted fabric gift wrap. I was once again inspired by Ruby Star Wrapping to try some fabric gift wrap, and I turned a cereal box inside out for the structure. Figuring out how to decorate the box was the most difficult part, but I went totally girly and tied together some pink Madrona Road fabric strips to make a scrappy bow for my box.

Fabric Gift Wrap Ideas at Craft Buds

Here they are! Not bad, right? I added a little gift tag I made from a recycled from a notecard and a tiny keychain ring. I popped in a couple of shiny sewing pins into the bows to add some glamor. After all, it is Hello Kitty.

Get some more creative gift wrap ideas and from the Ruby Star Wrap Along and enter your own creation in the Ruby Star Wrapping Contest! For more upcycled gift wrap ideas, check out our previous post.

Video: How to Write Sewing Patterns

If you heard the big announcement, you know that we’ve been working to launch the new Video Chats at Craft Buds series! We are excited to kick off the series today with a chat on How to Write Sewing Patterns with our fun and informative panel of experts.

How to write sewing patterns with an expert panel
Jessica Abbott, SewSet and Me Sew Crazy
Andrea Pannell, Go To Patterns and The Train to Crazy
Heather Valentine, The Sewing Loft

In this Craft Buds Video Chat, I interviewed Jessica, Heather and Andrea on the basics of designing sewing patterns, including:

-How to find and record inspiration
– Sewing a prototype
– Design and formatting of patterns
– Marketing and selling your patterns
– Legal issues and more!

Just a little background: I met these ladies in Salt Lake City this October while I was in town for Sewing Summit and the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores Girl’s Night Out Blogger Get Together, organized by Jessica. It wasn’t long before I learned how each of them is a true master of their craft, writing fabulous sewing patterns for children’s wear, women’s wear, accessories and home decor.

In addition to having truly great and inspirational DIY blogs, Andrea and Jessica have each developed online communities for sewing pattern creators, which you’ll hear more about in the video. I love what these ladies are doing to help celebrate and support independent pattern makers!

Heather’s background is in pattern drafting in the fashion apparel industry, and you can watch the video to see where her patterns will appear next. She would hate for me to say this, but she’s kind of a BIG deal! I definitely learned a lot from these ladies, and I know you’ll love what they have to say.

The video chat is about 40 minutes, so feel free to turn it on and let it play while you’re in the sewing room or while browsing Pinterest in the next window. We don’t mind. ;)

If you have more questions that we didn’t cover, please leave a comment on this post, and I’ll be happy to reach out and get you an answer from one or more of our experts.

Related Links:

Upcycled Gift Wrap Ideas




Upcycled Gift Wrap

I have recently fallen in love with the book Ruby Star Wrapping, and loved the idea of taking a cereal box and turning it inside out to create an upcycled gift boxed. To cut open the box, I simply cut open one side and taped the edges back together. The flap and slot still works just like normal!

To deck out the natural cardboard box, I added embellishments like a bingo sheet (from an old game I picked up at a garage sale for 25 cents), buttons as bingo markers, baker’s twine and raffle tickets.

Upcycled Gift Wrap

For my second project, I wrapped a stocking stuffer in packing material, which was reused from a recent shipment. I then used some wrapping paper scraps and accordion folded them to make a fan shape. I tied the center with thread and knotted it on one side. Then I wrapped the bottom with patterned masking tape and added some sparkly berries from my box of Christmas tree decorations. Voila!

Upcycled Gift Wrap

The whole idea of the projects inside this book is to repurpose materials in your wrapping and create keepsakes that are meaningful to receive because they look so beautiful! Fabric scraps can be sewn into reusable gift bags, added on top of presents for embellishments and and used to tie on gift tags. Old boxes, vintage game boards and recycled paper make great upcycled gift wrap. The books author’s, Melody Miller and Allison Tannery, have a way with ribbon, embellishments and ephemera that captures colors, texture and dimension beautifully.

Get some more upcycled gift wrap ideas and from the Ruby Star Wrap Along and enter your own creation in the Ruby Star Wrapping Contest!

Have you tried any of the ideas from this book? We’d love to see your creative holiday gift wrap ideas!

Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway

We’re excited to team up with some fantastic bloggers and companies to help you have the craftiest Christmas ever! Enter the Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway for your chance to win one of five HUGE stocking stuffers. The total of all prizes is valued at more than $2,000!


To enter the giveaway, simply “Like” all of the Facebook pages below,
and fill out the Google form letting us know you did. We know you will
love them just as much as we do!

Make sure you only enter ONCE, because this form is shared on all of the participating sites. Duplicate entries will be deleted, and giveaway ends Monday, Dec. 17th. Good luck!


 
* This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.

No purchase necessary. For alternate entry, e-mail lindsay(at)craftbuds(dot)com with your full name and the subject line “Stuff Your Stocking Contest.” The sponsors will ship all prizes within 7 days of the end of the giveaway. Giveaway starts Monday, December 10th at midnight pm EST and ends Monday, December 17th at midnight EST. Once the giveaway ends, winners will be chosen using Random.org and contacted within 24 hours by e-mail. This main contest post at CraftBuds.com will be updated with winners’ names once we’ve heard back from them. Winners will need to respond within 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. Some giveaways open worldwide.

Announcing Video Chats + Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be participating in Margot Potter’s Shameless Self Promotion Blog Hop!

Not only is this a fun event to celebrate an e-book for crafty entrepreneurs, but everyone participating in the hop is taking some time out to practice that fine art of shameless self promotion. Easier said than done, because it can be a little difficult to toot your own horn. But, I’m going to give it my best shot with the tips I’ve learned from Margot’s e-Book.

Margot Potter

One of my favorite parts about the creative business is how generous other crafters are. Whether it’s the willingness to teach a new technique or let you in on their business savvy, I’m consistently impressed with the helpful attitude of creative individuals.

When I visit crafting events, conferences or trade shows, it’s such a bonus to connect with other crafters in person, and to have an actual conversation. I’m sure you agree that face-to-face is often much more rich than “speaking” with your blogging friends via comments or even instagram (although that can be great, too!). I’ve decided that I absolutely have to connect with more crafters on a regular basis, and decided that if face-to-face isn’t an option, I’d focus on the next best thing.

Introducing . . .

Video Chats at Craft Buds

I’m excited to bring you a new Video Chats at Craft Buds, a fun new video series where we’ll join some of your favorite craft designers, bloggers and business pros on Google Hangouts! It is going to be so much fun, and I can’t wait to share more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting video chats with some fabulous, inspirational people!

- Meet a Fabric Designer (Who would YOU like to chat with?)

- Better Blogging: Tips from Your Fave Craft Bloggers

- Getting Published in Craft Magazines and Books

- How to Start a Quilt Guild or Sewing Circle

- How to Design Sewing Patterns

- Advanced Social Media: Growing An Online Presence

- Photography Tips for Bloggers: DIY on a Budget

- How to Sell Your Crafts Online and in Stores

Everything that you love about Craft Buds is still going to be here, at the same place. We’re just adding video chats to our normal format, which will range from free tutorials to handmade business advice! With our new weekly video features, I hope you’ll join us and get to know some truly great people.

About The Book

Now that I’ve let that cat out of the bag and got you thinking, let’s chat about this great new book!

The Fine Art of Shameless Self Promotion is workbook geared toward creative entrepreneurs of all types, from craft bloggers to TV personalities. Author Margot Potter shares how she very smartly developed her brand, The Impatient Crafter (TM), and learned to promote herself, including her many books and the products she’s aligned herself with. Along the way, she shares sage advice about time management, dressing for success, online marketing and being your own cheerleader.

The book is filled with exercises so you can get out a pen and paper and journal your own thoughts, fears and plans on the spot. It’s an excellent way to capture your own creative journey and help reign it in. Some of my favorite quotes from the book are just chock full of wisdom:

It’s so easy to start giving away little pieces of your freedom, and before you know it, you feel like you owe everyone so much, there’s nothing left for you. It’s okay to say, ‘No.’

Who can’t relate to this advice? And then there’s the inevitable comparison game. I know from talking to many craft bloggers that they struggle, as do I, with feeling guilty when they compare themselves to other creatives who make more, blog more, and do more than they are able. Margot has an answer for that, too:

“Competition is a myth. Let it go. It’s a big one to which most people fall victim…. What if we all woke up and realized that the only person we are in competition with is us?”

Book Excerpt

The book gets very hands-on, such as this workshop in logo design. Margot asks some great, pointed questions to get you thinking about your logo, how it represents your brand, and more! Check out this free book excerpt, about your logo and branding.

Giveaway!

One lucky Craft Buds reader will get a chance to win this new e-book. To enter to win a copy (open worldwide):

Just leave a comment on this post telling me which of these video chats you’d be most interested in! I’d love to hear who YOU would like to me interview as a special guest in our video series. Think big! If I select your idea, I just might contact you to see if you’d like to video chat with us and ask your own questions!

We’ll choose a random winner on Friday, 12/7!

Congrats to commenter #24 Domenica, who said: “All of them sound great. I would especially like to see the video on creating your own patterns as I am in the process of starting up my own website. I would love for you to interview Pauline from Funky Friends Factory. She creates some fantastic patterns!”

Margot also has a mega giveaway of $150 worth of craft supplies, so head over for details on how to win!

Giveaway! $25 Gift Card from Fabric Seeds

Have I told you lately about my friend Sarah, who owns the online fabric shop Fabric Seeds?

Fabric Seeds

I recently asked Sarah if I could give her blog a facelift, and you can see the before and after pics here. I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Before-Fabric-Seeds-Blog

Before: Fabric Seeds blog

After-Fabric-Seeds

After: Fabric Seeds blog

 

In honor of Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, Sarah is offering one lucky Craft Buds reader a $25 gift certificate to the Fabric Seeds shop!

To enter, just leave one comment on this post! You can tell me what you think about the blog re-design, if you’ve ever shopped at Fabric Seeds, or what your favorite fabric is in her store!

We’ll choose one winner via Random.org on Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST. Giveaway open worldwide!

Out of 364 comments, the winner is #287, Gina, who said: “The new blog design allows for easier navigation and is pleasing to the eye. Nice!” Congrats, Gina!

Giveaways Roundup

If you haven’t stopped by, make sure you check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with lots of current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

e-Reader Sleeves: iPad or Kindle Cover Pattern

Zippered e-Reader Sleeve Tutorial
Looking for an e-reader sleeve to protect your iPad, Kindle, tablet or other device? This easy zippered iPad sleeve is lined and quilted to keep your device protected and dust-free! The e-reader cover can be made with our easy and free sewing pattern, which will teach you how to install a simple zipper in a fully-lined pouch. It also works great as a simple, lined pouch for your journal, pen or crafting supplies. The device cover makes a great gift, too!

Materials
– 2 fat quarters (18”x22”) of cotton quilting fabric
– Quilt batting scraps (4 pieces slightly larger than outer fabric)
– 11″ or longer zipper (1.5″ longer than the widest measurement of your device)
– Sewing machine with zipper foot

Finished Size
10.5″ long x 8.25″ wide

All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.

Cutting:

iPad Size Sleeve:
From outer fabric and lining fabric, cut (2) rectangles 9.25″ x 11.5″ and (2) zipper tabs tabs 1.5” x 3”. From batting, cut (4) pieces slightly larger than outer fabric.

Any Size e-Reader Sleeve:
Measure your device and add 2″ to height and width. For instance, since the iPad is 7.25″ x 9.5″ (and just 1/2″ thick), I added 2″ to the length and width, which is what I used for my pattern pieces.

Quilting the Panels


Stack outer fabric on quilt batting. Quilt as desired. I chose a wavy lines design.


Adhere the lining pieces against your other batting scraps, and quilt as desired. I used a can of spray baste adhesive and two free-motion quilting designs: one stipple and one square quilting shapes. Trim the excess batting off the outer fabric and lining pieces.

Prepping the Zipper


Fold zipper tabs in half widthwise, to make a square shape.


On the right side of zipper, position fold of one zipper tab so it just overlaps metal end of zipper. Center and pin in place. Using zipper foot, stitch zipper tabs in place with horizontal line along folded edge, about 1/8” from fold. Avoid metal parts as you sew.


Position other folded zipper tab so fold just overlaps edge of zipper pull. Again, center and pin in place. Test zipper to make sure tabs do not interfere with zipping. This is what your zipper tabs will look like.

Note: If using a zipper longer than 10″, pin zipper tabs so entire length from end of one tab to end of the other tab is as wide or wider than you pouch front. Then use scissors or pliers to trim off excess from zipper end.

Attach Zipper to Panels


Center zipper edge along the pouch front, so right sides of pouch and zipper are facing. Pin edge of zipper to raw edge of top flap. With zipper on top, stitch 1/4” from pinned edge.


Place the other outside panel in front of you, and align the zipper against the long raw edge, and pin. The right sides of the fabric should be facing. Stitch zipper edge to the panel.

how to sew an E-reader sleeve
This is what you should see after stitching the zipper to both outer panels.


Lay the pouch wrong side up. Pin the right side of one lining panel to the exposed zipper edge. Stitch 1/4” from pinned edges to attach the lining panel.


This is what you’ll see when you open up the first panel.


Place the raw edge of the second lining panel against the raw edge of the zipper, so that both linings face each other. Pin in place and stitch 1/4″ from the edge.


This is what the lining of your zipper pouch will look like, opened up.


If you’d like, you can top stitch very close to the zipper, to sew the lining and pouch front together. This will help the zipper from sticking due to bunched up fabric.


Leave zipper unzipped, and pin together right sides of pouch body. Pin together right sides of lining pieces.


Stitch 1/4” around perimeter of both body and lining, leaving 4” open at bottom of lining for turning.


Turn pouch inside out, and push lining into bag.

sew an iPad sleeve or cover

Press clutch and hand-stitch lining closed. Enjoy your new quilted iPad case, Kindle cover or e-Reader sleeve!

E-Reader Sleeves

If you make this free e-reader sleeve sewing pattern, we’d love to see it in the Craft Buds Flickr group! If you are looking for a beginner’s version of this project, try the Easy Lined Zipper Pouch.

Easy Lined Zipper Pouch

how to sew an easy, lined zipper pouch

Have no fear of the zipper! This lined zipper pouch tutorial will show you just how easy it is to create a zip-bag to store your goodies. When you don’t need to carry everything with you, replace your purse with a simple zipper clutch and store your keys, cards and cash! When you are done, you can use this same method to create a zipper pouch in various sizes based on your needs.

Materials
– 2 fat quarters (18”x22”) of cotton quilting fabric
– 9″ zipper
– Sewing machine with zipper foot
– Optional: medium-weight fusible interfacing

Want to print these instructions for later? Download the FREE 10-page PDF pattern with color photos here!

Finished Size
9-1/2″ long x 6-1/2″ tall

All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.

Cutting:

From outer fabric, cut (2) rectangles 10″ x 7″  and (2) zipper tabs tabs 1-1/2” x 3”.

From lining fabric, cut (2) rectangles 10″ x 7″.

Assembly:

Fold zipper tabs in half widthwise, to make a square shape. On the right side of zipper, position fold of one zipper tab so it just overlaps metal end of zipper. Center and pin in place.

Position other folded zipper tab so fold just overlaps edge of zipper pull. Again, center and pin in place.  Note: Turn the sewing machine slowly with your hand when sewing close to metal parts, so as not to break a needle.

Using zipper foot, stitch zipper tabs in place with horizontal line along folded edge, about 1/8” from fold. Avoid metal parts as you sew. Test zipper to make sure tabs do not interfere with zipping.

sewing zipper tabs

Your zipper should look like this with both of the tabs attached.

Center zipper edge to pouch front, so right sides of pouch and zipper are facing. Pin edge of zipper to raw edge of top flap.

With zipper on top, stitch 1/4” from pinned edge.

Stack clutch back on clutch front, right sides facing, and pin raw edge of clutch back to free edge of zipper and repeat stitching.

This is what your pouch front should look like, when opened.

Now, it’s time to attach the lining!

Lay out the zipper pouch with the fabric wrong side up. (In the picture above, one outer fabric panel is folded back.) With wrong side of lining facing up, pin right side of lining to exposed zipper edge, as pictured.

When you fold back the lining, this is what you should see: the right side of the lining fabric. Stitch 1/4” from pinned edge to attach the first lining panel.

Now, repeat this process to attach the second lining panel on the exposed zipper edge. Pin the lining right side down against the raw edge of the zipper, and then stitch 1/4″ from edge.

This is what the lining panels will look like when they are sewn. You should see the back of the zipper and the right sides of both lining panels.

Leave zipper unzipped, and pin together right sides of clutch body, making sure to align top strips. Pin together right sides of lining pieces.

Stitch 1/4” around perimeter of both body and lining, leaving 4” open at bottom of lining for turning.

Through the opening you left earlier, carefully turn the bag inside out. Push lining inside of the bag and smooth out the corners. Press pouch and hand-stitch the lining closed.

How to sew a simple zip bag

Enjoy your new lined zipper pouch! Wasn’t that easy? If you make this pattern, we’d love to see it in the Craft Buds Flickr group!

How to sew a zipper bag

Once you are comfortable with this simple zippered pouch, try out the quilted version: e-Reader Sleeves: iPad or Kindle Cover Pattern.

Download the FREE printable PDF pattern with color photos here!

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