Fresh Picks for Friday, 4.15.11 and Giveaway Winners!

Sunburst Pillow from Noodlehead

Here Comes the Sun: Anna from Noodlehead guest blogs at Versus to show off this stunning Sunburst Pillow with a tutorial.

Needle and Spatula

Time for Tea: Kate spruced up plain sugar cookies with springy pastels at Needle and Spatula.

Gen X Quilters

Baby Blues: AnneMarie at Gen X Quilters quilts with an unexpected fabric.

Winners!

The 10 winners of the bias tape giveaway are:

37: Tracy (April 9, 2011 at 9:11 am)

29: Christi (April 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm)

90: June B (April 14, 2011 at 9:12 am)

32: Savannah (April 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm)

17: robin (April 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm)

18: DianeH (April 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm)

43: Michelle T (April 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm)

62: Kathy h (April 11, 2011 at 9:33 am)

11: Mary Ann Miller (April 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm)

82: Sarah (April 13, 2011 at 9:59 am)

Congrats to the winners, who have been notified by e-mail. If you didn’t win, but would like to learn how to make your own bias tape, stay tuned for a tutorial next week!

Giveaways Roundup
Check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup this week, with 25 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

Start a Craft Business: Online Fabric Store

Remember when we heard from Anna at Crafty Girl’s Workshop about starting her own fabric retail business? Today, we’ve got some great inspiration from another craftyprenuer, Sarah Lang!

Sarah was so kind to share with us about how she decided to start her online fabric store Fabric Seeds. It’s a new venture, formed just this year, and we’re excited to watch it grow like seeds, planted and nurtured. (There’s also a coupon code for her shop below.)

 

1) What made you decide to take the plunge into fabric retail?

I have always enjoyed going to a fabric/quilt shop. Even if I was there the day before, I have to look at every bolt before I can leave. I never thought I would one day have my own business selling the fabrics I love.

I used to work for a major airline, in the reservation center. I had a desk job that was not always busy and was allowed to bring something to occupy my time. I started doing my quilting there. I would even bring along my graph paper and colored pencils to draw out new patterns. And, to my great surprise, my quilts started to sell.

Last April I was affected by one of the many lay-offs my company had to endure. My first thought was how nice it would be to have my own little quilt shop. I could spend all day surrounded by pretty fabric. I really didn’t have many options, however. I was pregnant with my second child, and due in 4 weeks. As the months went by, I thought more and more about doing an online shop.

2) What were some of the logistical things you had to think through when starting a business?

The biggest thing I had to think about was taking money away from supporting my family to support my business. After many discussions about operating a business and if my family could support it and any possible loss, I decided to go ahead and follow my dream. I did online searches on how to start a business in my state, made multiple phone calls to each department, asked the same question over and over until I understood what I needed to do, what forms I needed to fill out, and in what steps. Doing this on my own was a great learning experience. Lucky for me, the state of Utah has a one-stop business registration application.

3) Which tools did you choose to start your shop and why?

Now that I had been registered as an official business, I needed set up the rest. I went with a hosting company that I had heard of and I was familiar with some of their products. I knew absolutely nothing about putting a website together or how to add a store, so it took longer than I’d anticipated. The website has been the most frustrating part of the whole process. I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if I had set up the credit cards the right way, did I list a particular product right, or did I forget about shipping, or taxes?

4) What are some of your favorite fabric lines?

I am a lover of all fabric. I love paisleys and argyles, stripes and polka dots. Some of my recent favorites have been Lollipop by Sandy Gervais, Urban Remix by Ann Kelle, Central Park by Kate Spain, Sugar & Spice by The Quilted Fish and Tailor Made by Cosmo Cricket. I like that Moda has a large number of SKUs per line, the boyish prints from Robert Kaufman & Riley Blake Designs (they are sometimes hard to find) and the many color combinations that can be acquired through pieces of fabric. There are so many great fabric manufacturers and designers. We are lucky to have the awesome selections we do today!

5) Any favorite quilting or sewing tools?

I love my 1/4″ foot for my sewing machine. If you don’t know about this foot, it has a little guide on the side of the foot to help keep the fabric aligned, kind of like a serger. I recently found the coolest tape measure no quilter should be without. It is the Yardage Tape Measure by Dritz Quilting. It measures 288″. Not only does it show inches, but also yardage starting at 1/16 yard. It is perfect for knowing just how much backing you will need (I am working on getting this in my shop).

6) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting her own handmade or crafts retail business?

If it is something you really want to do and are serious about making it happen, find a way to do it. Research your market. I didn’t come into this lightly. Not only had I deliberated for months on if I should start a business, but I also looked at others in the same market. How they started, where they are located, what they are selling and for how much, what their website looks like, etc.

And most important, get the support you want, talk about your plans and think it through. I never would have done this if it wasn’t for others telling me how I should be selling my quilts and patterns. I am lucky to have the support of my husband, whether he actually wants to or not, he still supports me. :) It might mean that we will have to live off Ramen noodles and potatoes, but without that support, I would not be able to carry out my dream.

Sale!

Thank you Sarah for teaching us all a little bit more about the craft retail biz! Because Sarah is so generous, she’s offering readers 20% off anything in her store through April 30, 2011. Head over to Fabric Seeds and pick use the coupon code craftbud20. And check out her blog for updates!

Giveaway

Just a reminder that the Bias Tape Giveaway ends at midnight tonight (10 winners will be announced in tomorrow’s Fresh Picks). Hurry over!

“My Peeps” Shirt with Free Printables

The herald of spring and Easter has arrived in stores, the marshmallow peep! Now that it’s arrived I thought I would make a shirt for my son featuring the peeps. I used a stencil to paint the image on a separate piece of fabric because I liked how it looked and as a bonus, after Easter I have the option to remove it from the shirt and save it for next year! But you could always paint it directly onto a shirt.

The materials I used: one Garanimals shirt from Wal-Mart ($3.50 for a new shirt, awesome!), paint brush and Tulip soft matte paint in glacier white and sunshine yellow, a 5″ x 3.5″ piece of knit fabric, thread and sewing machine, cutting board and x-acto knife, my free peeps printables/stencils PDF.

In the PDF I included 4 pages to give you a few different options and you can choose your favorite peep, the chick or the bunny. The pages include what you see below in the color versions and in a black version that’s easier to use for a stencil.

 

To make the shirt just print out the page including the image you want from my PDF. Cut out the letters/image with an x-acto knife. Then line up the stencil on the fabric and paint in the letters and images. I just freehanded the inside of the “e” and “a” and the lines inside of the chicks. You could also cut the eyes, the lines in the chicks, and the insides of the letters out of tape and paint over them then peel off the tape with tweezers while the paint is still wet. After the first coat of paint I let everthing dry then removed the stencil and did a second coat to clean up the edges and fill in the colors more uniformly.

Next, position the fabric on the shirt, pin it down and stitch it. I used yellow thread to contrast with the gray knit fabric. And I used a knit fabric so I could leave the raw edges and not have to worry about any fraying or hemming.

And that’s it! A fast and cute shirt ready to go.

Fresh Picks for Saturday, 4.9.11

Lots going on at Craft Buds yesterday, including this Bias Tape Giveaway and the launch of Mary’s pattern shop! So I’ve held off on posting the fresh picks until today. Here are some fresh ideas to get you thinking crafty this weekend.

Fabric Doilies Mobile

Sweet Dreams: Erin at Lemon Tree Creations guest blogged her darling doilies mobile tutorial at Tatertots and Jello.

Lemon Cupcakes

L’il Squirt: Caitlin shares the recipe for her delicious-looking lemon cupcakes at Blackberry Jam!

Worry Cat

M-reow: What’s a worry cat? Read Amy’s story about why she made this little cutie for her son at Made During Quiet Time.

Dying Fabric in Strips

Dye Trying: Learn how to dye fabric in sections from Nicci at Dye ‘n Stitch. Hint: You’ll want a ketchup bottle!

Giveaways Roundup If you haven’t stopped by, make sure you check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with 12 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

Another Craft Buds Giveaway! Custom Bias Tape

I’m currently participating in the One Month to Win It contest and the results for Round 1 are in and I made it to Round 2! See the previous post for my ABCs and 123s Wall Hanging entry for week 1. We started with 12 contestants and each week 3 are voted off. To celebrate making it through the first round and to welcome any new visitors from the contest, we are giving away ten, yes TEN, packs of custom bias tape. I love custom bias tape but it can be a bit of a hassle so I made it for you with a little help from my Bias Tape Maker! The bias tape is made with Happy Dots in Apricot fabric from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern Line and each pack is three yards.

To win just leave a comment below (one comment per person please). We’ll leave the contest open until midnight EST on Thursday, April 14 then randomly draw the names of ten winners and contact you by e-mail on Friday. To enter you must be a follower of Craft Buds. Please make sure your e-mail is included in your profile or list it in your comment as example(at)gmail(dot)com to avoid spammers. If we don’t have a way to contact you we’ll have to pick a new winner. Good luck! (Open to U.S. and Canada)

Extra details: The tape is 1/2″ single fold but if you want 1/4″ double fold just iron it in half.  It is homemade so it’s not as perfect as store bought!

*4/15/2011, 12:00 AM EST, Comments are now closed! Look for the winners to be announced in tomorrow’s Fresh Picks!*

ABCs and 123s Wall Hanging

This was my entry for the first week of the One Month to Win It competition where I am currently a contestant! The contest started with 12 contestants and each week 3 are voted off. Luckily, I made it through the first round so below is the tutorial for my project. In other exciting news, I’ve started a shop for my patterns! I’ll still be including free patterns on most posts but the ones that have a more detailed design and need printable pages will be in the shop.

Materials list:
The following supplies are exactly what I used. You could easily modify this design to use a different frame or no frame and just wrap the fabric around a piece of cardboard backing.

  • One 14″ tall x 25″ long frame with cardboard backing (glass not necessary) with an opening of
    21 1/2″ x 9 3/4″
  • One piece of brown fabric 4″ larger than the cardboard backing from the frame (I used 25 1/2″ x 13 3/4″)
  • 1/4″ batting the same size as your brown background fabric
  • Six strips of red 1/2″ grosgrain ribbon cut to 26″ with optional black wooden beads threaded onto the bottom of each (a total of 13 feet of ribbon)
  • One package Wrights® scarlet double fold quilt binding bias tape
  • One package Wrights® orange jumbo rick rack
  • One roll of 1/4″ fusible web for the border
  • Alphabet blocks printed onto cardstock and cut out (pages 6, 7, 8). If printing correctly they should be 2 3/8″ square.
  • Number stencils
  • Nine fabric scraps for the numbers
  • Fusible web for the numbers
  • Iron, glue gun, sewing machine (optional), rubber cement (optional)

If you would like to purchase the number blocks that I designed and the alphabet stencils, you can buy them at my new shop here! Your purchase will be delivered instantly as a PDF and will also include printable pages of the instructions provided in this post.

Step 1: Make the applique numbers. First cut out the number stencils and line up your fabrics in order on your background to make sure you like the color choices.

Then cut out rectangles slightly larger than your numbers. Iron your fusible web to the rectangles. I like to first use the tip of my iron to iron down just the center of the rectangles. Then, cut off all the excess fusible web, then iron it down completely. This helps you avoid getting the sticky backing on your iron. If that happens, just wipe it off on a paper towel. Then trace all your number stencils backwards on each rectangle and cut out the numbers.

Step 2: Prepare the background and border. First, cut out your background fabric 4″ larger than the piece of cardboard backing from your frame. Next, center that piece of cardboard on the front of your fabric and trace around it. Cut your bias tape so you have two strips the length of the background and two strips the width of the background.

Then iron open your bias tape strips and pin them down so that the center matches up with the line you drew. Either sew along the centers or use fusible web to iron the strips in place. I did it this way because I initially thought I would only be using a piece of cardboard backing and no frame and I wanted the red border to go behind the backing when I wrapped it around. If you choose to use a frame, you don’t necessarily need to open up the bias tape because it’ll all be hidden behind the frame anyway.

Measure the length and width of the red border from the center of the bias tape. Using that measurement cut two strips of rick rack for the length and two for the width. Using fusible web strips under the rick rack, iron it down just inside the bias tape border so it looks like a scalloped edge. Then place a second strip of fusible web on top of the rick rack and iron the bias tape down.

Step 3: Putting it all together. Now that your border is complete, arrange and iron down your numbers.

Then stack together the front piece, the layer of batting, and the cardboard backing piece from the frame.

Press your project gently into the frame. Flip it around and make sure everything is lined up correctly. Next, fold down the fabric you have sticking up on the back. Cover it by either cutting a second layer of cardboard, or I just used the mat that came with my frame. If you need a hanging device, hammer in an alligator clip.

And this is how the framed part should look.

Step 4: Adding the ribbons and letters. Use a hot glue gun and apply strips of glue to each letter and press it into your strips of ribbon. Keep a ruler nearby to measure the same amount of space between each letter block. In the example the amount of space is 1 3/8″ from the frame to the first letter block and between each set of blocks on the ribbon. When the strips of ribbon are finished, apply strips of glue to the frame and attach the ribbons.

Step 5: Finishing the back. To make the back of the frame a little more professional looking I cut a piece of paper to the size of the frame and used rubber cement to glue it to the frame. I chose rubber cement so I could eventually peel off the backing paper if necessary.

And the project is complete! Here’s a couple final shots for inspiration.


I’m also giving away some handmade bias tape to 10 winners!

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