Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Summer Skirts with Simplicity 2606

  Over a year ago, a friend proposed a trade. Jayne would take photos of our family and newborn son and I’d make her a couple skirts. Over a year…

Sew Easy Burp Cloth Tutorial

The other evening, I was trying to pull double duty. I held the baby on one hip while tossing some vegetables in the skillet. My husband walked in the kitchen…

Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Giveaway Day! Win fabric, a tote bag & more

Sew Mama Sew’s May Giveaway Day is here, and Craft Buds is so excited to offer some fun prizes to our readers! (Giveaway now closed, and winners announced.)

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

What’s up for grabs? All of this divided among FOUR winners!

1 winner
$25 Store Credit to buy fabric or sewing patterns online at Crafty Girls Workshop!

1 winner
Jennifer Paganelli’s new book, Girl’s World. Includes instructions for 21 projects and an envelope of patterns. See Lindsay’s review here.

1 winner
Handmade Tote Bag and Just Wing It Charm Pack (includes 42 five inch squares)

1 winner
Fiskars rotary cutter and fat quarter bundle

To enter:

1)  Follow our blog. Leave a comment telling us which of the four prizes you’d most love to win! (Required – you must be a follower of Craft Buds via Google Friend Connect, RSS or e-mail subscription to win.)

2) For an extra entry, head over to our sponsor’s Facebook page. “Like” Crafty Girls Workshop on Facebook and leave another comment on this post letting us know. Psst: She’s hosting another giveaway on her Facebook page, so head over!

* * *

That’s two possible entries. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada.

Comments will close on Friday, May 27 at 8pm (EST), and four winners will be chosen by Random.org. (Winners may or may not receive their top pick, but we’ll do our best to match up people with prizes.) Good luck everybody!

Book Review: Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli

100_6547

I’ve been pretty anxious to get my hands on this book. The reviews so far have been amazing, and although I don’t have any young girls in my life, the mere look and feel of Jennifer Paganelli‘s new book Girl’s World makes you want to put on a ruffled apron and host a garden party.

I’m in.

Girl’s World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make For Little Girls (Chronicle Books) is the first book by Paganelli, creator of Sis Boom fabrics (FreeSpirit). Fans of her fabrics will eat up the pages of this project book, which are beautifully printed in colorful patterned swirls and florals. Did I mention that the book covers are tied shut with pink ribbon, an invitation to unlock this pretty little world?

100_6551

Getting Started, the book’s intro, includes some sewing basics, including notes on dress sizes—for this book, girl’s x-small (2-3) to x-large (12-14). Filled with illustrations and diagrams for the visual sewist, the hardcover book has patterns tucked inside a pretty paper pocket.

100_6567

The next section, Dress-up includes seven dresses worn by sassy little girls who are having so much fun wearing them that you almost forget to look at the clothes. But then you catch a glance and don’t want to flip the page. Far from basic but simple enough not to intimidate the sewist, the dresses range from poufy to comfy. Little additions of a sash, pleat or pocket define each dress as its own. The Agnes Tunic Dress is a bit grown-up and sophisticated, while the Annabel Apron really pushes the envelope of cuteness, edged in tight ruffles and featuring a keyhole-and-tie ruffled pocket.

100_6561

In the Accessories section, the five patterns are one-size-fits-all, including a purse and a floral headband. Glue guns replace sewing machines in a couple accessories, a trend that continues toward the end of the book. The Chloe Paper Doll Overnight Bag is such a darling and clever design that moms will swoon for it more than their little girls, who will already be adorned in tulle-and-pearl Fiona Fabric Flowers.

100_6556

The book’s final 9 projects are group together in the Home section. The Gigi Ruffled Pillow and George the Puppy really caught my attention, and both would make great gifts. The Genevieve Patchwork Square Quilt is suited to beginners, with its large blocks and suggested hand-tied quilting. Two of the projects in this section are basically the same project with a slight twist, so they could have been grouped together.

100_6553

Whether you’re sewing for a girl, or teaching a girl to sew, the projects in Girl’s World really engage all levels of crafters. And the book really is beautiful! I recommend it and so appreciate Jennifer sending me a copy to review.

In fact, she was just as fun to interview, and now we have her next book Happy Home to look forward to next year! As well as new fabric lines, Crazy Love and Super Fly, due out this fall.

Would you like to win a copy of Girl’s World? Stay tuned, because there’s a giveaway coming up next week!

Hosting a Successful Giveaway on your Blog

Believe it or not, there’s an art to hosting a giveaway. No, you don’t have to have a lot of built-in traffic to have a successful giveaway. And yes, hosting a great giveaway can actually help you gain new followers.

Blog giveaways are increasingly popular these days, with some bloggers hosting a giveaway to celebrate blogiversarys, birthdays, hitting x-number of followers, or just because! Here are some blog giveaway tips we love:

Stack of Giveaway Fabric
Flickr/CraftyDame

Choosing giveaway items

The basic rule of thumb with a giveaway item is, give away something that you would like to win. Whether it’s a stack of beautiful fabric, a hand-knit scarf or a gift certificate to a favorite store, make sure it’s something that will attract the type of blog reader that you’d like to gain. This is not the time to destash your most dreaded fabrics, and if you wouldn’t enter, nobody else will either.

Setting the rules

Before posting your giveaway, you’ll need to decide a few things.

When does it end? We suggest 3 to 5 days from the start date, or longer if you are giving away a big-ticket item and want to attract the most attention. State the end date in your giveaway post.

Open to international readers? If so, specify which countries you’ll ship to, whether it’s the U.S. and Canada, or the U.K. only. You don’t want your readers to waste time entering only to find out later that they’re not eligible.

Maximum entries: How will readers enter and how many times can they enter? One entry only? One per day? Let’s say blogger x promotes a giveaway for a $20 gift card to Hobby Lobby. In order to enter, the reader must leave a comment. For another chance to win, she can become a follower of the blog. The prize value matches the effort you are asking people to put in, which is a good thing!

Contact info: If your winner has no e-mail address in his or her profile, will you draw a new winner? This may seem obvious, but best to think about these things before starting your giveaway.

How will you choose a winner? We suggest numbering the comments and using a random number tool like Random.org. But some people prefer to choose a winner based on the best answer to a question, or even writing down names on slips of paper and drawing them out of a hat.

Giveaway Winner Numbers
Flickr/hellojenuine

Working with giveaway sponsors

Oftentimes, a business or individual will choose to sponsor a giveaway on a blog that’s not their own in order to promote traffic to their shop or general interest in their product.

If you are working with a giveaway sponsor, it’s best to set up the giveaway in a way as to direct traffic to the sponsor’s blog, store or newsletter. Ask the participants to go to the site and comment on something they saw there. You’ll be much more likely to get future giveaway sponsors if you treat your sponsors right.

Getting new followers through giveaways

One of the huge benefits to hosting a giveaway is the ability to attract new visitors, and hopefully turn them into followers. While you don’t want to coerce people into following a blog they are not interested in, you do want to make it profitable for people who do decide to become a follower of your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Once you get people to your page through a giveaway link, ask them to follow through Google Friend Connect, an RSS Reader or e-mail subscription. State whether or not following your blog is required to enter. You can always ask the entrant to leave a comment, then leave a second comment if they are a follower (for an extra entry). This is a good way to attract followers who are truly interested in your craft blog.

One way to do this is to choose a product that attracts the type of reader you hope to gain. A $100 gift card to Walmart is going to attract a lot of people who may not care too much about your photo blog. On the other hand, a handmade camera strap will attract the types of people who’d love to read a creative photo blog!

Handmade Camera Strap
Flickr/tjstabb

Promoting your giveaway

“If you host it, they will come.” Well, you hope so, but this is not always the the case. Unless they have a built-in following, most bloggers will need to implement some kind of promotion for their giveaway. This can be as simple as submitting to a few giveaways blogs, or as detailed as contacting individual bloggers and asking if they’ll share about the giveaway on their sites.

Here are some tried and true places to promote your giveaway.

On Twitter, share your giveaway with a link to the short URL, and include the tags #giveaway or #win. Example: If you haven’t liked our great #earrings, get on it quick because you could #win them! http://ow.ly/4P8XN #giveaway

On Facebook, share a link to the giveaway URL, preferably with a photo of the item. Before posting, use the @ symbol to type the name of specific people or pages you’d like to alert. For example, if I’m hosting a scrapbook supplies giveaway, I’m going to post something like: @Paper Crafts Magazine readers: Enter our giveaway! (When you type the @ symbol, a dropdown list of pages you “like” will pop up.)

Getting  entrants to promote your giveaway is one of the best ways to increase your giveaway promotion organically. For people to enter, ask them to link up the giveaway on their blog, Facebook or Twitter to spread the word. If you give them an extra entry for doing so, you’ll generally get a lot of new traffic.

Giveaway blogs like Quilty Giveaways and Blog Giveaways will allow you to submit your crafty giveaway link. When I host a giveaway, I also like to alert One Pretty Thing, Craft Gossip, and Someday Crafts (stop by on Thursday or Friday to link up).

Craft Buds has a continual giveaway linky party where you are always welcome to link up craft supplies and handmade giveaways!

Giveaways Roundup @ Craft Buds

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

If you get nothing else from this post, I hope you pop over to Sew Mama Sew and consider participating in this year’s May Giveaway Day! You must sign up by this Friday, May 20.

Once you sign up, decided if you want to give away a handmade item or craft supplies. You’ll post a giveaway on your blog next week from Monday, May 23 to Wednesday, May 25. Sew Mama Sew will create a master list of all participants, and you will get to experience the joy of getting lots of new visitors to your blog!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day
It’s recommended that you keep your giveaway requirements short, because people will be entering tons of giveaways in addition to yours. One strategy is to ask readers to leave a comment of some sort, and follow your blog for an extra entry. Or you can ask them to follow you on Twitter, Like you on Facebook, or subscribe to your newsletter. (Just make sure that the prize value matches what you are asking participants to do.)

Have you hosted a great giveaway? Ever been part of a not-so-good- one? Please share your own giveaways tips in the comments! And if you know of any giveaways right now, link them up on our weekly giveaways roundup! We’ll be giving away some great stuff, too.

Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 5.18.11

Between Quilt Market in Salt Lake City and Blogger’s Quilt Festival, we’ve been inspired this week, and hope you have too! Here are some of our favorite projects, tips and more from blogland.

Free Project: Bento Box @ Lark Crafts

Stash Happy: Lark Crafts released this free tutorial, a bento box sewn from stash fabric, along with some bento ideas and resources. It’s an excerpt from the new book, Stash Happy: Patchwork.

Quilt mockup @ LR Stitched

Don’t Mock: Lindsey of LR Stitched shares how to make a mockup quilt using Photoshop. Very cool!

Stegosaurus Hoodie

Rawr! Homemade by Jill shows off this awesome stegosaurus hoodie for her little guy.

Blueberry French Toast @ Kojodesigns

Berry Blue: Kojodesigns gets us in the mood for summer with this berry-infused breakfast treat. Mmmm.

If you’d like to be considered for a future spotlight here at Craft Buds, we invite you to submit your project, business tips or craft tutorials here.


Giveaways Roundup
Visit the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with 28 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

Rainbow Diamonds Mini Quilt Tutorial

This weekend, I finished up a Diamonds Mini Quilt I’ve been working on, and posted on my other blog, Lindsay Sews. There was some interest in a tutorial, so I whipped one up and decided to share with Craft Buds readers as well!

For this tutorial, I focus mostly on how to construct the quilt top, but for tips on quilting in general, check out this awesome series, Quilt Class 101 at Chasing Cottons. You’ll learn about cutting fabric, choosing batting and thread, binding techniques and more.

Diamonds quilt hanging

For this quilt, you can go bright with rainbow solids like I did, or focus on prints. Choose masculine colors, girly colors or whatever you like. Once you learn the basic technique of sewing half-square triangles, the options are endless!

Materials:

  • 1 Kona Solids Charm Pack: Brights, 43 charms (5×5 squares)
  • 2 extra solids charms (5×5 squares), pick any color (You can use scraps–these can even be the same color if needed)
  • 7/8 yard solid gray quilting fabric (such as Kona medium gray)
  • Binding, batting, backing fabric to fit

Finished Size: 36.5″ x 40″

Steps:

1) Cut gray fabric into 5-inch wide strips, them 5-inch wide charm squares. (See charm squares cutting tutorial here.) This makes 48 charm squares, and you will use 45 of them.

2) You will need one Kona Brights charm pack, but I also used additional colors that were not in my pack. Choose some solids scraps and cut two squares (5×5) to add to the colors in your charm pack. It’s not that important which colors you choose, because you’ll be able to find a place for all of them later.

3) Pair one colored charm with a gray charm, and sew/cut a Half Square Triangles unit. (See tutorial here.) You now have two half-square triangles featuring the same solid.

4) Repeat for the rest of your charms until you have 90 finished half-square triangle blocks.

5) Group blocks together by color family. (Blues, reds, greens, pinks, purples, etc.) Take your biggest stack, and arrange 12 blocks (6 solids, 2 blocks each) in a diamond formation. Matching HSTs should be next to each other, creating a larger triangle or parallelogram. (See pink diamond, below, for example).

  • Take your next largest color stack, and arrange 12 blocks (6 solids, 2 blocks each) in another large diamond formation. (See green diamond above, for example.) Repeat until you have your 4 large, colorful diamonds. (I chose yellows, greens, pinks, and blues for mine.)

6) Now, look at your available blocks and choose pairs that are similar colors (2 solids, 2 blocks each). Use these to make a total of 6 small diamonds (mine are purple, orange, blue, red-orange, teal, and red.) Place around your large diamonds, matching the grays so large gray diamonds are created.

These are the small diamonds….
The small diamond and the large diamonds.
Only four large diamonds are colored, and the center large diamond is gray.

7) Use your remaining half-square triangle blocks to fill in the edges, creating small diamond halves. (These will help “frame” out some more large gray diamonds.) This is where you’ll be able to use your colors that don’t match any of the others. You’ll have 9 of these, total.

Here’s a rough worksheet if you prefer to break out the colored pencils.
For me, it’s easiest to just use the actual blocks to work out the pattern.

8) Are you happy with your color arrangement? Rearrange color groups until you get the rainbow effect you like. This is a good time to check that all of your diamonds are facing the way you want them to (see small red-orange diamond in the first photo, which I turned clockwise before sewing).

9) Sew together blocks, starting with large diamond formations. It’s important to make sure these line up correctly. Once you’ve sewn a large diamond section together, work on the next section, until you have four large sections. Join the pieces together to complete the quilt top.

10) Piece together a quilt back and prep batting. To quilt this, I used contrasting thread (pink and yellow), and set my sewing machine to its widest seam allowance setting, tracing around the colored diamonds (large and small) and sewing only on the gray. Gray thread works too! My binding was pieced together from Kona solids scraps, and I chose pink thread.

Diamonds mini quilt

Free Pattern Features: Gifts for Grads

It’s can be difficult to figure out gifts for students graduating from high school so here’s a few idea starters for you! I’ve chosen items that can all be customized for girls or guys depending on what fabric you choose. For guys, using pinstripe suit fabric is a fun idea.

 This card holder by The Crafty Cubpoard is perfect for a gift card. After the gift card is used it’s two interior pockets are just right for business cards.

Card Holder from The Crafty Cupboard

This messenger bag from Heart of Mary includes a zippered top and extra pockets. It would be great for a laptop or carrying around college books.  

Messenger Bag by Heart of Mary

And if that grad is moving into their own place, how about a housewarming pillow? This felt lattice pillow  from Persia Lou is so creative and the end result is amazing.  

Felt Lattice Pillow by Persia Lou

Or for a more guy-ish pillow, check out Lindsay’s tutorial on making a remote control pocket pillow!

 

Remote Control Pillow by Lindsay from Craft Buds

 
 
 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...