A Cozy Needle is a Happy Needle

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today we are ensuring that we continue to take excellent care of the tool that arguably works the hardest for anyone that does any kind of sewing. Last time we covered needle cases which are great for trips and transporting odd sized or duller needles. This time we are going to give our needles a bit more care and store them in soft felted cloth, more specifically in a needle book. Most needle books are fairly simplistic: take several squares of felt and sew them together in the middle to form a spine, then fold in half. Some crafters and artisans have taken this to a whole new level. This first one from Mouse Garden uses the traditional and adds their own flair:

Simple, pretty, and ready to carry your needles!

Using all felt makes it easy to add simple embroidery or other designs. Like this second rather whimsical one from Crafty Cat Lady UK:

I love it’s cute whiskers!

Many of us that mix our different sewing projects can also relate to this third one  from Angelic Emporium that may help to clear up some of our quilting scraps to make something useful for hand sewing components:

Plus a skull and roses needle book is super cool!

Finally, if you want to be super fancy, I suggest treating yourself to one of these beautiful vegan leather needle books from Naeh St Design:

All the way from Germany, no less!

Keep your needles happy and they will always treat you right! The felt pages of needle books not only serve to prevent accidental stabbings while rummaging around in a project bag but also help absorb leftover oil from your skin! Next week we will look at a different type of needle case.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Classes, classes, and more Classes!

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This past Tuesday I had an amazing time with the Youth Sewing class at the Family Centre.  We made some pretty cool hair ties (that also double as skinny neck ties).

I LOVE teaching classes.  It really energizes me and makes me love sewing even more (if you can believe that).  We have a really cool idea in store for the next two adult classes, so if you live in the London, Ontario area, keep an eye on my social media.

Speaking of classes, I still have some openings for the GenCon classes I am teaching.  They are selling out fast, so if you want to learn English Paper Piecing, sign up soon!

English Paper Piecing Quilt Technique

 

 

 

Description: Learn to English Paper Piece, or get help with an existing project you are working on. In this class we will start with the basic hexagon flower using scraps of colorful and character fabrics (like Dr Who or Comic Books).

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Thursday, August 17th/ 10:00am /SPA17103527
  2. Friday, August 18th/ 10:00am /SPA17103528
  3. Saturday, August 19th/ 9:00am /SPA17103529

Cost: $18

English Paper Piece a Catan Board Quilt

 

Description: Learn to English Paper Piece by creating a small version of the Catan board, 9″ wide to be exact. In this class we will start with the basic hexagon shape and add on triangles (for sand) around the edges.  Options for finishing your miniature quilt will be discussed.

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Friday, August 18th/ 7:00pm /SPA17103534
  2. Sunday, August 20th/ 12:00pm /SPA17103535

Cost: $34

Nicole’s Scarf classes are all sold out, but don’t despair!  If you bring generic tickets with you and someone doesn’t show up, you can have their spot!

Now to make all of those kits for the classes.


Schmetz Monthly Needle Fact

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That’s not just a little piece of steel making your machine stitches. German engineering designs, calculates, tests and inspects the SCHMETZneedle. Take for instance the eye, did you know that needles have different eye shapes?

The most popular needle, the Universal, has an eye that is 40% the width of the blade. Really! There are three other needles with larger eyes, the Embroidery and even more pronounced is the elongated eye of the Metallic and Topstitch needles.

Now what does a larger eye mean? There is less friction on the thread as it passes through the eye. Ever sew with a thread that breaks or tends to shred? Guess what, use a needle with a larger eye. If you have old thread or maybe a poor quality thread, use a needle with a larger eye. The thread and needle work hard and fast. Help them out when you can with a larger eye.

Remember . . .

Change YOUR Needle!

– The needle is meant to be changed –

– The needle gets dull from use –

– The needle is NOT a permanent machine part –

-Toni


Stained Glass Curtains

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Yes, you read that title right, but no, it’s not quite what you’re thinking.

Handmade by Koren artist Jessica Yoo, these windows are actually covered in a thin fabric paneling meant to mimic stained glass, though hers is inspired by the Koren art style rather then then western. It’s called Meem and her’s what the artist has to say about it:

More than ever, people want a nature-integrated life into their contemporary one. Despite the gross increase of technological development that has been dominating the contemporary life, it is a natural instinct for humans to desire nature. However, the way we have treated sunlight over the years has been quite dull. We shut the curtains when we didn’t like the sun, and opened it when we needed it.
Meem solves this by taking shades back to the traditional Korean concept of personalizing the atmosphere. Specifically, with the translucent quality of Jogakbo, one could incorporate nature into the interior seamlessly. This way, sunlight and nature is not blocked or exposed, it becomes a part of the interior. Jogakbo’s design aspect – the colors and texture-can also fit any mood or mentality of the user, which ultimately creates a harmony of assimilation.

It’s truly beautiful work that really captures her goal of making nature come indoors again in a beautiful way. You can see more of her work over on her etsy shop as these are really just a taste of what she’s created.


Rowe’s Fashion: Unique Canadian Designs.

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I present to you a clothing company that designs, cuts, sews and patterns from Canada. As someone who does the same and feels that businesses have a responsibility to contribute back to their own economy, this alone is a hugely attractive quality. When you buy a piece of their clothing, it means not only are you spending your money on a quality product which is supervised by those who have developed the company, but the money you spend is also going to pay your fellow Canadians, if it isn’t the same people who made it.

Rebecca Rowe is the founder of Rowe’s Fashions, and she not only worked throughout the retail industry, but also went to study first in New York City and then in Paris. She came back to Canada to start her own business with the help of her family. She works closely with the varying aspects of the company, working closely to have a good connection with her employees and also with the quality control of the clothing that is produced.

Having seen her product, I can tell you that they are designed for women, and for women of varying body shapes. She cuts curves into her patterns so that a fitted skirt is not just a sheath, it’s a piece that is cut to curve to your curves, giving shape to a piece that is so often without it.

Her styles are creative but wearable. I love that this is a designer who has thought about usability to build into the garments so that you’re not left with something that you don’t know how to wear or have no where to wear it. This is possibly one of my favorite qualities in a clothing designer, as, if I buy a piece of clothing or jewelry, I plan to wear it. And as often as I can.

Rowe Fashion has a website where you can purchase her wears and peruse photos. You can also read the full history of the designer and company in the About Us section. You can also find hand follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this designer and happy crafting, and happy shopping!

~Megan


Finger Armor

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Happy Sunday, all!

Continuing our trend of decorative and useful tools, this week we are focusing on a small but essential bit of sewing paraphernalia: the humble thimble. I don’t often have sewing projects that call for extra finger protection but when I do, it’s because the fabric is super thick or stubborn. I have a traditional old-fashioned metal thimble that was my grandmother’s but I think my idea of thimbles has been thoroughly expanded by those available online! First and foremost, I adore the simple and tasteful design on this leather thimble by Holly Hawk Designs:

Very elvish looking with the pretty little tree!

I also appreciate the ability to customize designs on wooden thimbles available for purchase from Becky’s Craft Shack:

I mean, asking for a sloth thimble would be just perfect!

If you want something soothing and elegant, this Nephrite Jade thimble from Jade Mine Canada is just gorgeous:

Jade is also said to enhance creativity.

By far one of the coolest and most unique thimbles I found, though, was this blown glass one by Eighth Planet Glass:

Though this one makes me want to bust out my blacklight like it’s the 90s again.

I may give one of these a whirl someday when my Grandma’s gets a well deserved retirement. Next week, I think I will give my crochet tools some love, starting with some amazing yarn bowls!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Little Petal

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Two years ago I talked about Little Petal and how impressed I was with their dresses.  

They are here again at Awesome Con so I have finally broken down and bought one of my very own.  I chose the Amazon Warrior dress to go with my Amazon Warrior quilt.  The best part is the dresses are convertible!

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These are just a few of the ways you can wear the dress.  To see them all, take a look at the listing on their site.

In addition to making amazing dresses that embrace a body positive image, Little Petal also raises money for great causes.

For the month of May they raised money for Planned Parenthood and last night they held an amazing Awesome Con after party with the proceeds benefiting To Write Love On Her Arms- a nonprofit for those who need help with addiction, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Empowering women and raising money for good causes?  This is definitely a company we can get behind and support.  If you would like to support Little Petal as well, visit their Little Petal website here, their Facebook here, their Instagram here, and their Tumblr here.

-Toni

 


New Fabric Collections: Camelot Licensed

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I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Here is the spring collection of licensed fabrics by Camelot Fabrics.

Camelot is proud to partner with American Greetings Entertainment to bring you Care Bears™  licensed fabric. Our premiere collection features cuddly and colourful Care Bear friends, celebrating #35YearsOfCaring in 2017!

One of four new Disney license collections, Dumbo brings the sweet flying elephant to fabric perfect for little ones’ soothing bedrooms in the form of quilts, pillows and more.  Equally suited to darling itty-bitty apparel.

Previously featured in our Disney Princess collection, the Little Mermaid now has a collection of its own! Aquatic adventures abound with lively prints and the ‘Exploring Endless Wonders’ panel.

Disney’s most famous fairie is the star of the Tinker Bell Collection in tones of cotton candy pink and minty green. Patterns inspired by pixie dust and magic sew up into whimsical accessories.

Her dress-up box is filled with tulle dresses, pearls and tiaras. Decorate her room with a Sofia the First collection DIY triangle bunting banner in purple and pink. Regal, girly and enchanting. Just what the princess ordered!

Favourites from the Star Trek collection are back – this time with the addition of a new pop art style Spock panel and two skus in cotton spandex – ideal for something to wear to your next Star Trek themed event.

Next week starts three conventions in four weeks for me!  Look for the posts on Friday for where you can find us.

-Toni


New Fabric Collections: Camelot Licensed

Posted on

I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Here are the licensed fabrics by Camelot that are being released this month along with a few free projects you can make!

 

Tomorrow I will share the Camelot Licensed fabrics coming in the next few months.

-Toni


New Fabric Collections: Camelot

Posted on

I went to the Spring Quilt Market a few weeks ago where fabric manufacturers released their new spring collections!  So over the next few weeks I want to show you all of the new fabric goodness that you can find at your local sewing/quilt store.

Camelot and Laura Ashley are partnering for the first time to combine innovative ideas, quality textiles and a fresh take on 60+ years of design heritage.

Sophisticated and bathed in light, the Dorset Collection conjures images of wildflower fields in pastoral settings. Sun dresses made from dainty florals are perfect for a romantic summertime stroll.  This collection will be available at your local sewing/quilt store in December.

Bright and lively, the Elm Park Collection brings the signature Laura Ashley style to garden-inspired home decor. Wow brunch guests with table-top linens and picnic quilts in rose-themed florals and classic gingham.  This collection will be available at your local sewing/quilt store in November.

Want to see the licensed collections from Camelot?  You will have to check back next weekend!

-Toni