Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spoonflower Challenge

Hello Spring!  It looks like we've finally started to move to warmer weather.  With a few snow flurries, of course.

The winner of our last challenge was the Zipper Book Clutch.

Did you know that you can design your own fabric?  There is a website called Spoonflower, where you can upload your design.  Then you can have the design printed on fabric.  You have your choice of fabric types to choose from.  You can choose to sell your fabric, and you can also buy fabric someone else has designed and have it printed on the fabric type of your choice.

For one of our previous challenges, we designed our own fabric.  For this challenge, though, we decided to choose someone else's fabric on Spoonflower and see what we could make out of it.  I'm sure you're interested to see what fabrics we have chosen and what we've made.

White Birch Bark Pillow
The design of this beautiful fabric is from a close-up picture of a birch tree.  They cut up the wood and used it for firewood.  Can you believe it?  The type of fabric is called ottoman rib.  The ottman rib fabric was available for only a short period of time, and it's no longer available.  It has a very luxurious look and feel to it.

Baby Hats
The cute little baby hats are made from fabrics from 3 different designers.  The designs are arrows, crosses and stripes with flowers.  The fabric is a modern jersey, which has a very nice feel to it.  Soft and stretchy.  Simple to work with as along as you have the right needle on your machine.

If you sew and are looking for some unique fabric that you can't find in stores, check out Spoonflower.  You will find some very interesting fabric there.  You can also choose to have the designs printed on wallpaper or wrapping paper.  Get creative!!

Please vote for your favorite Spoonflower project.  Is it the beautiful birch pillow or the cute baby hats?  You can always vote for both if you can't decide.  We won't mind.  Just vote!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tutorial Challenge

We are so ready for winter and snow and cold to be over.  Spring cannot get here soon enough.

This month, we each chose a tutorial of something we hadn't made before. One choice is a bias cut wool scarf, while the other choice is a zipper book clutch. There isn't a lot of sewing involved for either of these tutorials.  Check them out and vote on your favorite.

Zipper Book Clutch
The zipper book clutch is made from a used hardback book.  Cut out the pages (after you read the book) and go from there.  Glue and scissors may be involved.  Check out the tutorial here.

This cute clutch would be a great gift with a gift inside.  Nothing like a two-fer gift.  You can add your favorite chocolate, or a little first-aid kit, or some paper and a pen.  You can also hide important papers in it and set it on the shelf with all your other books.  No one will be the wiser.


Bias Cut Wool Scarf
The bias cut wool scarf makes an elegant, warm addition for the cold and snowy days.  This scarf is cut on the bias and then sewn together on the straight edges.  It's a very simple scarf made with luxurious felted wool fabric.

This scarf would be a beautiful wrap to wear on late fall days. You would feel very special wearing this scarf.  Check out the tutorial here.

Remember to vote!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Custom Order Challenge

Hi!  Christmas is over, and New Year's Day is coming this week.  This has been a bittersweet holiday season for us, since we lost our parents earlier this year.  We've had a chance to reflect on childhood memories and the legacy our parents behind.  We are truly blessed.

We were busy this holiday season fulfilling orders for some customers.  So..... we decided to share some of those orders with you. You'll get to vote on your favorite.

Elephant Tote
One customer asked for a very big tote with elephant fabric for her daughter, who has twin boys.  This cute elephant fabric is from Edward Emberley. The lining is made of some very cute ladybug fabric. It is a huge tote and will be put to great use with lots of boy things.  Who doesn't like ladybugs, unless they're crawling on you.

Cat Pillows
This customer wanted 2 cat pillows -- one for her sister and one for her aunt.  And she didn't want them exactly alike, except for the cat fabric.  She liked them, so let's hope her family liked them, too.

When we are at craft shows, people always look for items that have animals on them.  People love their animals.

We hope this new year is a healthy and happy year for you and your family.  Stay tuned for more new challenges each month.  Remember to vote!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Chris Cringle First Sale

Hi!  No, we haven't forgotten you.  We've been a little busy.  Early in November, we had a booth at the annual Chris Cringle craft show in Champaign, IL.  This was our 5th year participating in the show.  If you've ever had a booth at a craft show, you never know how long you will have to wait for your first sale of the day.  Sometimes it takes over an hour for the first person to buy something.  At the start of a show, it seems that everyone just wants to look around to see what is available.  But sometimes we have buyers before the show is officially open.  That's what happened to us this year.

For the past 3 years, we have had the same people as our first sale.  There are 3 sisters who attend Chris Cringle every year.  For the first 2 years we were at the show, one of the sisters came alone.  And she made a purchase from us both years.  Then 3 years ago, she brought her 2 sisters.  2 of them fought over wanting to buy the same elephant tote.  So we had to make a custom order for the sister who didn't have first dibs on the tote.  This year they both came carrying their elephant totes.  Yay for loyalty!

The past 2 years, these 3 sisters have made a point of coming to our booth first to make their first purchases.  Who knew we would have a following.  It's kind of fun.  So, we took pictures of our first sales this year.  You get to vote on which item you like best:  a phone bag or a wristlet.

Phone Bag


A couple hours after these ladies made their annual purchase from us, another lady stopped by and asked if we had any more elephant totes.  She had seen the sisters with their totes and wanted to know where they got them.  She loved elephants, too.  They directed her to our booth, but we didn't have elephant totes this year.  We didn't have anything that had elephants on it.  We've realized from these craft shows that people love fabrics with animals.  We try to have a variety of animal prints, but we just can't please everyone all the time.

Stay tune for our exciting new challenges we have planned for next year.  Just remember to vote!

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pillow Challenge

It's the end of September, and we're getting ready for our annual Chris Cringle show.  With that in mind, we decided that we our challenge this month would be one of the pillows we've made for the craft show.  Who doesn't like pillows?!  These are two bright pillows that would liven up any boring room.

Red Pillow
The front of the  first pillow is a Japanese red painting MUJI on linen cotton.  The back is a red houndstooth.  Houndstooth is one of my favorite fabrics.  The Japanese fabric is now out of print.

Dot Pillow
The second pillow is made of linen moochi dots fabric.  Each fabric was cut into 2" strips and then sewn together.  It was then cut again into 2" strips and sewn together.  Tedious, but fun.

All we ask for you to do right now is vote for your favorite pillow.  If you're in the Champaign, IL area on November 7th and 8th, you can visit our booth at the annual Chris Cringle show. These pillows will be available.  We hope to see you there!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mother's Sewing Challenge

I know this is the first day of September, and we're technically a day late for our August challenge.  We're ok with that.  We've had alot going on this year.

Our August challenge is very special to us, because our projects were made in honor of our Mom. She would have turned 84 in August. Yes, we called her Mother.  Seems a bit formal, but she wasn't formal at all.  She lived a very simple fulfilling life raising 7 kids.  Mother didn't work outside the home.  She was a stay-at-home mom.  Every day, she cooked 3 meals and did multiple loads of laundry.  She always said our house had a "lived in" look, meaning things weren't always in their place.  She was ok with that.  I take that same approach with my house, too.

When we were trying to decide what to make to honor our mom, we tried to think of things that Mother loved.  We each chose a different memory of her to be represented in our projects.

Marigolds and Word Search Puzzles
Mother always planted marigolds in front of the house, and they always looked beautiful.  We each planted some marigolds in our flower beds this summer to honor her love of those simple flowers.

Mother loved doing word search puzzles and would sit for hours working on them.  Even in her later years when Alzheimer's had robbed her of many memories, she still would sit with a puzzle in her hand searching for words.

Last weekend, our family gathered at the family farm one last time to honor our parents.  We celebrated our parents' lives out in the yard with a wiener roast, complete with s'mores and watermelon.  We all had a great time in spite of the sweltering heat and humidity.

Our first project represents Mother's love of marigolds and puzzles.  At the wiener roast, each of the women and girls received a wristlet made of fabric with marigolds, word search puzzles or marigold colored fabric.  They are so cute and useful.  My wristlet is in my purse holding secret notes.  :)

Marigolds and Word Search Puzzles

When we were young, our mom taught us to embroider.  She would buy pillowcases with pre-stamped embroidery patterns on them for us to complete.  I have several sets of those pillowcases in my home now.  Each time I look at them, I remember working on them as a child.

This embroidered wall hanging represents the craft we learned and now use in our sewing projects.  It's a simple rendering of a great Bible verse surrounded by flowers.

The joy of the LORD is your strength
We hope you will vote for your favorite project.  We have enjoyed making these last 2 projects that represented our parents lives.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Daddy's Sewing Challenge

As you may know, we lost both of our parents 3 months ago.  This has been a tough summer for our family.  Our dad would have celebrated his 86th birthday in July, so our challenge is in memory of him.  We called him Daddy.  That's who he was to us.  He was a hardworking farmer, who loved his family.

We have used our dad's shirts, jeans and bed sheets for this month's challenge.  Yes, one of us took the sheets off our dad's bed.  Why?  Because it was cool fabric.  Who knew that such great things could be made from repurposed menswear and used sheets.  It's a very masculine theme.

The first item is a market bag made from the sheets and shirts.  This cool tote is great to take to the farmer's market on Saturday to pick up your favorite fresh veggies.  It's easy to make and doesn't take alot of fabric.  Can you guess which fabric is the sheets?

Market Tote

The second item is a quilted throw.  It's made from our dad's jeans and shirts (cotton and flannel).  The throw is backed with red organic Herringbone by Monaluna.  The herringbone fabric looks like the imprint of tractor tires in the dirt, which seem very farm-like.

Quilted Throw
We would like to challenge you to make something out of some recycled fabric.  But, before you start your sewing project, remember to vote in this challenge.