Lindsay

Make a Design Board

How to Make a Design Board

I typically lay out my quilt blocks and fabrics on the carpet in order to test out designs. But this method only seems to attract cats or general foot traffic until my blocks are so tossed about that I can’t remember what I was doing in the first place. Do you have this problem?

Enter, the design board! Also called a design wall, a design board is a helpful tool for quilters that works much like a felt or flannelgraph board. Cut fabric squares or quilt blocks will temporarily “stick” to it while you figure out an arrangement you like. The lightweight board can be nailed to a wall or you can slide it under the bed when you’re ready to take a break from your design.

Design Board

Here are two 4′ x 8′ design boards, which create a great workspace when placed side by side. When I’m working on a smaller quilt, I can opt to just use one of the boards. Also, each board easily comes off the wall if I need to move it to another room and work!

To make your own quilting design board, you’ll need:

– 1 Sheet foam insulation 4′ x 8′ (and about 1″ thick), from hardware store
– Packing tape or duct tape
– Box cutter
– Iron
– 4 clothespins or binder clips
– Nail and hammer (if mounting to wall)
– Queen-size batting or two batting scraps at least 54″ x 54″
(I used Warm & Natural, but any type of cotton, white batting would work)
– Staple gun (optional)

In order to get my foam insulation board home in the car, I cut it into 4 quadrants (one cut down the vertical center, and another cut down the horizontal center). This way, it easily fit in the back seat of my compact car! I knew I’d be taping it when I got home, so this was no big deal to me. You may choose to keep your board all in one piece if you can transport it home.

Tip: If you often work on large quilts, you might want to purchase two boards for an 8-foot x 8-foot workspace. Just make sure you have the available wall space for it!

If you cut your board, tape the sections back together with clear packing tape.

Here is what the board looks like all taped together. I decided this was bigger than I wanted to wrangle, so I untaped the vertical center and left it in two halves.

Next, cut a piece of quilt batting 3″ longer than the board on each side. Mine was 54″ x 54″.

Press your batting to make a smooth surface. You can iron right on top of your board.

Once your batting is smoothed out, stand your board upright and use clothespins to secure the batting tight onto one side of the board. Tape the edge of the batting to the board, one side at a time. Flip your board and pin the opposite side, pulling the batting taut. If you have a staple gun, you can use that to secure the batting. Duct tape would also work in a pinch.

Here is what the back of your design board should look like.

To hang your design board on the wall, use the point of your scissors to poke a hole into the back side of the foam board directly in the center and about 4″ down from the top. Hammer a nail into the wall and place the hole into the nail.  You could also attach your board to the wall with sticky mounting tape or adhesive velcro (if you want to be able to take it off and put it back on easily).

Place quilt blocks or fabric swatches on your design wall and arrange as desired. Your quilter’s design board is complete!

As always, if you are inspired to make this project or use any of our tutorials, we’d love to see them in the Craft Buds Flickr group!

Craft Room Organization Tips for Small Spaces

Sewing Room

I recently moved from a larger home to a smaller space, so I had a challenge in front of me when it came to organizing my craft/sewing area. I thought I’d share some tips in case you are dealing with a craft space that also serves another purpose (bedroom, guest room, office or nursery).

I was very overwhelmed at first with all of the miscellaneous boxes of craft supplies. Those of you who have moved can probably relate! In my new home, the closet I’m using for craft storage doubles as a coat and shoe closet, and the bedroom doubles as a guest bedroom and office, so I definitely had a challenge when it came to organizing. But I am here to tell you, it can be done!

Craft Room Organization Tip #1: Utilize Vertical Space

Sewing Room

For items that you do not need easy access to, store them as high as possible to use all of your vertical space. As you can see here, I stored several packages of quilt batting and some scrapbook albums on the top shelf of my closet until they touch the ceiling.

Sewing Room

If your closet doesn’t have shelving above the hanging racks, see if you can add some in. They are great for storing boxes of supplies or handmade items that you don’t need to have in easy reach.

Craft Room Organization Tip #2: Use Hanging Storage

Sewing Room

The back of a door is a great space to use a hanging shoe rack for shoes (if you need it), but also small sewing or craft notions like replacement rotary blades or sewing needles.

Sewing Room

I happen to keep all of my interfacing in this bag. Since my cats like to lick the adhesive side, I now hang the bag on a sturdy plastic hanger in the close so it doesn’t take up precious floor or desk space. And also, the cats don’t mess with it here!

Craft Room Organization Tip #3: Finding the Right Desk(s)

Sewing Room

My husband decided he didn’t want to use his office desk anymore, so I inherited it as a nice cutting table (left). I also have an L-shaped desk that is great for my sewing machine and thread collection. I can easily swivel my chair from one side of the desk to the other, so it’s great for multitasking.

When you choose a chair and desk for your craft room, think about the things you will be doing the most and try to find a workspace to accommodate your biggest needs, whether that’s storage, surface area or both.

Craft Room Organization Tip #4: Put It Away

Sewing Room

I know this will make me sound crazy, but I am a quilter who doesn’t own an ironing board. I mostly just use this portable ironing station, made from an ottoman cushion that I recovered. It’s easy to pull out of the closet along with my iron when I need it. You can toss it right on top of your cutting station or use it on the floor, and it takes up much less space than an ironing board!

Sewing Room

Since I don’t have a large cabinet for fabric storage, I opted for these plastic tubs that I can easily slide in or out of the closet. My fat quarters and large scraps are all on the top layer, and smaller scraps are separated by color in the bottoms of the tubs. It’s really helpful to be able to put them away when we need to use the room as a guest bedroom.

Sewing Room

Our linen closet was originally filled with towels and sheets, but then I realized I could clear up a few shelves by rolling the towels and storing them in the door. (Again, gotta love back-of-door storage solutions!) I stored my large cuts of fabric, scrapbooking and jewelry making supplies in the linen closet, which is just around the corner from the craft room.

Sewing Room

Plastic storage drawers are a great bang for your buck for storing fabric, yarn or other craft supplies. The bins with wheels on the bottom are great for creating a portable workstation, if you like to work out of more than one room. Also, look for under-bed storage boxes if you can use them.

Sewing Room

You can also raid your garage or tool closet for storage solutions, like this great aluminum basket I picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents.

Craft Room Organization Tip #5: Cover It Up

Sewing Room

I covered our computer printer with this handmade cover, so it’s less obvious that this room doubles as an office. If your craft room is a multi-purpose room or office, consider covering larger items (like a computer monitor) and storing smaller items (like pens and paper clips) in storage bins.

Sewing Room

Here’s my sewing machine cover, which I received in a swap and absolutely love! It’s amazing how covering up your machine can made a room look much more “pulled together.”

Sewing Room

Finally, consider adding a curtain under a desk to hide away miscellaneous craft supplies. Use a tension rod and add some fabric to make a hiding place for your works in progress! This is my plan for the bottom of my cutting table.

Do you have any craft room organization tips? Do you work out of a dedicated craft room or share a space with others in your home?

Creativebug Q&A with Heather Jones

Did you see yesterday’s fun Q&A with Jeanne Lewis, CEO and founder of Creativebug?

Today, we thought it would be fun to go behind the scenes with modern quilter Heather Jones, blogger behind Olive & Ollie and one of the newest instructors for Creativebug‘s video workshops!

1) Heather, can you tell us a little bit about your new class on Creativebug? What can we make?

I’m so excited to be helping Creativebug kick off their quilting classes. I’m filmed four workshops; three are complete quilt designs that I show you how to make from start to finish and the final one is on precut fabrics. All three of my quilt projects are strip pieced designs and suitable for all quilters, and even those who may be new to the craft. I’m particularly excited about my Diamonds in the Sky quilt. It’s one of my favorites pieces I’ve made to date!

2) Rewind to your flight out to San Francisco, to film part A of the classes. What was going through your mind that day?

It was a whirlwind, to tell you the truth! I had just returned from teaching at QuiltCamp in Michigan the day before and then I was off to San Francisco. I was also quite nervous. It’s kind of intimidating to be in front of the camera, but everyone at Creativebug was really amazing and made me feel right at home. I would love to go back some time!

Photo: Heather Jones / Olive & Ollie

3) Can you tell us some of the highlights and challenges of filming your classes?

It was really interesting to me to see how they work, and specifically how much thought goes into how everything is filmed. I had watched a few of their workshops before, as well as their instructor bio videos, and I was struck at how beautifully they were filmed. They are incredibly gorgeous, and the workshops are top notch, too. I have done some other filming in the past, but this was so different than anything I had done before. I was working with filmmakers who had very specific ideas about how my workshops should look. And I know they will be gorgeous!

I think the most challenging part was talking to the camera all of the time, because frankly it’s pretty unnatural! It was also challenging because there was a lot of starting and stopping during each shoot, and it was tough sometimes to remember where I was. Thank goodness for Courtney, my coach, who kept me on track!

Heather Jones Olive and Ollie set at Creativebug Photo: Heather Jones / Olive & Ollie

4) Creativebug also came to your hometown to film some segments in your home environment. Can you tell us a little about that video shoot?

Yes, I met with a local filmmaker a little over a week ago, and I think we got some really nice footage. We are actually in the process of moving, so most of my studio is packed up, but a dear friend of mine let me borrow her home for some interior shots. We also spent some time at a local farm where my father boards his horse; I’ve been really inspired lately by that location, and specifically some of the outbuildings on the property, so it was great to spend some time there with my quilts. The footage that we shot was sent to the folks at Creativebug and they’ll work their magic on it.

5) Heather, what’s next for you?

Next up is QuiltCon. I’m giving a lecture on how I draw inspiration from everyday objects and places, and how I translate that inspiration into my quilt designs. I’m also doing a demo there in Creativebug’s booth on strip piecing in modern quilting. Then in April I’ll be teaching at Quilt Festival in Cincinnati, and then it’s off to Boulder, CO to teach at the Makerie Sewing Retreat. It’s going to be a busy year!

Photo: Heather Jones / Olive & Ollie

Coupon Code!

If you are itching to try Creativebug for yourself, you can join today for $10 off with the discount code CRAFTBUDS. Isn’t that fun?!

The unlimited membership includes access to all Creativebug workshops for as low as $16.99 per month, and single workshops can be purchased a la carte. There are also lots of free mini workshops you can enjoy if you’re not quite ready to start your membership yet.

Creativebug: Chat with Jeanne Lewis, a Creative CEO

Jeanne Lewis  of Creativebug I am so excited to share this inspiring interview with Jeanne Lewis, CEO and founder of Creativebug. If you’ve ever stepped out and taken a leap of faith to follow your creative passion, you’ll instantly recognize that it takes determination, and many 80-hour work weeks, to see your dream come to fruition.

Creativebug is a website where you can sign up to watch instructional craft videos in sewing, yarn crafts, quilting, jewelry making, paper crafting and more. In a sense, it’s like Netflix for crafters. For one low monthly fee, you have unlimited access to all the craft videos you can watch. I was really excited when I heard about Creativebug and their wide array of sewing instructors including Heather Ross, Anna Maria Horner, Gretchen Hirsch, Natalie Chanin and Liesl Gibson. The list of classes I want to take just goes on and on!

Creativebug

Jeanne, how did you come up with the concept for Creativebug?

I spent several years working as an art director for Time and Fortune magazines. I live in San Francisco now, but when I lived and worked in New York, I would go to a pottery studio some nights just to shake off the stress of the day. I spent time doing pottery in college and loved throwing bowls on the wheel and shaping the clay. I was searching for a way to get back to doing things with my hands since I spent so much time working on my computer. Back then, I wasn’t experienced in knitting or sewing, so pottery was the perfect outlet for that.

I had the initial inspiration for Creativebug in April 2011. I went to New Orleans to visit family and friends and on that trip, I was riding bikes with an old friend who is a very talented artist. She was telling me about her mom and how she had spent up to $160 on an online art class, to learn a specific technique – and it was only available for 3 weeks. I thought, wow, I would like to take classes online but I would never be able to be available for 3 weeks straight. If I could access a class when it fit within my schedule (3am even) and at what I considered an affordable price, since I wasn’t fully passionate about one art discipline, then I might try it. I had subscribed to a site in the past which offered tutorials in the tech space and I liked that I could try many different things and pay one price. I also liked that I could take them over and over again until I “got” it. Being a designer, I started to think about what that would look like, if I created a site for someone like me, with a hectic schedule and a wide interest in art in all forms. After meeting with friends and bloggers, I felt confident there was a market for this. I was buzzing with energy when I met my friend Sam, for tea. He was a web designer/developer and decided he would help me with the project as long as we were giving back to non-profit art programs. The idea took so many twists and turns – from having it be user generated to just being an app – and then we started to see the site come together and evolve into a more mature design.

Creativebug – the story of a creative startup from Creativebug on Vimeo.

How did you take your idea from a dream to a reality?

Those initial planning days of the business were crazy, and I was working 24/7. I’d go to work, come home and hang out with my kids for two hours, say hi to my husband and then get back to work. In order to raise money to launch the business, we shot a pilot video of a friend that was a painter, and got ready to pitch to a room full of financiers. I looked around the room and told the investors, “If you watch this video, and afterwards, you feel like you want to paint or do anything creative, I’ve done my job.” They gave me the money. There was no turning back.

On December 20, 2011, I resigned from my publishing job, and on January 9, we started filming for Creativebug, with the intent of launching with 50 workshops. We launched with 60.

The launch itself was really difficult. I was out most nights until 11:30pm talking business. We might as well have moved our beds into the studio—it was insane. And then we had to work out some kinks in the website, like streamlining the signup process, etc. We learned that the summer is a slow time for crafting since kids are out of school and it was almost a blessing in disguise since we were still feeling our way through this new and exciting adventure.

Rad Megan on Creativebug Creativebug instructor Rad Megan

What is unique about Creativebug and your instructors?

The subscription model introduces all of our instructors to fans of our other instructors. For instance, someone may come to find us because they are really inspired by one of our instructors, and come to find out that they really love another artist’s work as well. I loved that crossover and process of discovery for our users. It’s the idea that we’re stronger together than we are individually. We are committed to proving that that is true, even if it takes time! For those who want to take us for a test drive without the commitment, we just launched an a la carte offering on some of our workshops. This allows you to purchase a single class and watch it anytime, without expiring.

We release two new workshops each week, filmed either in our studios here in San Francisco or on location in our instructor’s environment. The entire crew flew for a week out to Nashville to film Anna Maria Horner, and then again to Northern Alabama for the Alabama Chanin shoot, because we really wanted to film those workshops and tell their stories in an authentic way.  We have quite a few amazing instructors in New York as well, like Liesl Gibson, Heather Ross, Gretchen Hirsch, Debbie Stoller, Melanie Falick and Rebecca Ringquist.

Alabama Chanin T-shirt Creativebug Alabama Chanin Ruffle T-shirt class at Creativebug

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

They often say that if you’re the CEO of the company, you’ll take out the trash. That’s absolutely true. Though we did get a new intern who just washed the dishes and I almost cried (thanks Matt!).

What’s the best thing about your job?

People who believe in what you’re doing. In the first 6 months, there were days where I’d wake up in the morning, and the first thought in my head was ” WHAT did I do?!! I gave up a perfectly good job which is like laying on the beach compared to this. It’s too hard. Rewind! ” And then you capture an artist’s story and seeing their passion for what they do gets infused in you and it’s a tremendous gift to witness that. Their stories are so incredibly inspiring. This has been the most fulfilling job of my life, on so many levels.

One of our teachers Rebecca Ringquist said she was determined to have her embroidery hanging in museums (and it is!). We heard from many female crafters/designers speak about how the art we create may have been born of a domestic need, but the time has come for people to recognize that it is true art and innovation in it’s purest form. So many of our instructors have dedicated decades to honing their skills and building their brands. Having them on Creativebug is a responsibility we carry with us every day and something that gives us great honor.

Follow Jeanne Lewis @foundermom and get the latest Creativebug news @creativebug.

Coupon Code!

If you are itching to try Creativebug for yourself, you can join today for $10 off with the discount code CRAFTBUDS. Isn’t that fun?!

The unlimited membership includes access to all Creativebug workshops for as low as $16.99 per month, and single workshops can be purchased a la carte. There are also lots of free mini workshops you can enjoy if you’re not quite ready to start your membership yet.

Video: Sewing + Blogging Tips with Pellon Designers

I’m so excited to be back today sharing our second installment of the Video Chats at Craft Buds series! Last month, we chatted with bloggers Jessica, Andrea and Heather about their tips for writing sewing patterns as a business.

Today, I’m excited to introduce a chat on Sewing and Blogging Tips with my friends Sara Lawson, Kim Niedzwiecki and Erin Sampson. Through no fault of her own, Kim wasn’t able to connect with us during the video chat (we tried and tried!), but she is a super-fun and fantastic blogger, and you should definitely check out her site as well as her projects she’s designed for Pellon.

A Little Background:
I first met Sara and Kim at Quilt Market in Kansas City last spring, and I almost got to meet Erin then, too. I can tell you all now that they are fabulous, inspiring women, and I really think you’ll enjoy getting to know them!

In the 25-minute video (suggestion: go ahead and open in another window while you surf Pinterest…we won’t tell!), we chat about:

– Tips for blogging and how to connect with your readers
– Finding a balance between work/family life and your creative goals
– How you can become a Pellon projects designer
– And more!

What would you like to learn about blogging, writing patterns, etc.? If you have any questions for Sara, Erin or Kim, you can ask in the comments section!

Get Connected:

Sew Sweetness: Sara’s blog with free bag patterns and more!
My Go-Go Life
: Kim’s awesome sewing and quilting blog!
Pellon website
and blog: New site coming next month!
Just Plain Lovely:
Erin’s craft and lifestyle blog!

And you can follow them on Facebook: Sara / Kim / Pellon

 

Something New Sampler Quilt Along

something new sampler header

Looking for your next project?

Resolved to learn some new sewing skills this year?

Want to win some great prizes?

Then join in the blog hop for The Something New Sampler! Each week, one or two bloggers will present a block tutorial with an uncommonly used technique. There will be a total of 9 blocks presented. And, just to mix it up, we’re going with a funky modern block size: 7″ x 14″! We’ll have plenty of suggestions on how to use this block shape along the way. There’s no need for our modern blocks to always be square :)

Here’s our schedule:

Jan 14th
Amy @ thecutelifesmiles.blogspot.com | Bargello piecing

Jan 21st
Heidi @ buttonsandbutterflies.com | folding
Chelsea @ pinsandbobbins.blogspot.co.uk | a scraptastic technique

Jan 28th
Lindsay @ lindsaysews.com | reverse applique

Feb 4th
M-R @ quiltmatters.blogspot.com | trapunto
Heidi @ fabricmutt.blogspot.com | cathedral windows

Feb 11th
Alyssa @ pileofabric.com | pinless curves
Becky @ myfabricobsession.blogspot.com | machine applique

And stop by the cute life on Fridays for tips and tutorials on how to set these rectangular blocks! Posts will be up on the following dates: Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, Feb 15

Be sure to join the flickr group to keep up with the hop, the chatter, and some inspirational photos.

Prizes!

At the end, link up a blog post or flickr photo with anything you’ve done from the sampler series, even if it’s just one block! There are two categories for prizes:

1) Finished projects: Winners will be chosen by popular vote. “Finished” includes an entirely completed smaller project, like a pillow, table runner, mini quilt, etc. Pieced quilt tops also count as “finished”, even if not quilted.

2) Participation prizes: Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Link up any progress you’ve made!

Prizes for the Something New Sampler

 

Fort Worth Fabric Studio is an online fabric shop with yardage and some fantastic custom bundles you won’t find anywhere else! One of these bundles the Lagoon bundle – is a prize, and it is centered around Michael Miller’s Lagoon line, with 18 fat quarters. You can also sign up for their newsletter to be eligible for a monthly prize. In addition to the bundle, they are also offering a $25 gift certificate.

Cotton Blossom Farm stocks great designer fabrics with plenty of modern options. One great feature of this website is the ability to search through fabrics based on categories such as color – it’s just like shopping in a brick and mortar shop! You have the chance to win a set of ten 1/2 yards (of your choosing!) of Simply Color from them.

Fat Quarter Shop is another online shop that sells yardage and precuts of some of the most popular fabrics. They offer next day shipping and have an incredibly large selection! Fat Quarter Shop also has a great selection of other items, such as books, magazines, and kits. They have generously donated a jelly roll of Paris Flea Market and an Amy Butler pattern for prizes.

Sew Me a Song is an Etsy shop that stocks Japanese and contemporary fabrics. Becca puts together some fabulous bundles of texty prints, polka dots, and – of course! – lots of Melody Miller prints. Don’t miss the great collection of Type by Julia Rothman. She has created two custom bundles especially for our sampler event, one with six texty fat quarters and one with eight japanese prints.

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.

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