Monday, March 31, 2014

Have A Kawaii Day!


The quilting world has long referred to Japanese fabrics, particularly super adorable Japanese fabrics, as "kawaii". We even named one of our monthly clubs the Kawaii Club. For those in the know, "kawaii" simply is "kawaii"; it perfectly describes what it is and it's impossible to mistake for anything else. But where does the word come from and what does it really mean?

Kawaii is a word with a rich and still emerging history. It literally means “cuteness" within Japanese culture, being derived from the kanji characters “ka” (“acceptable”) and “ai” (“lovable”). It’s sometimes used as a noun (even the online Oxford dictionary classifies it as one), but its proper use is as an adjective, as in “that print is so kawaii!”. In fact, “kawaii” is often used as an exclamation in the way that we might say “awesome! or “neat!” I may even try working it into my own vocabulary! I’m sure I’ll draw a bunch of confused stares the next time my cat does something adorable.

Kawaii is huge, permeating Japanese media, fashion, architecture, toys, and, well, lots of other things. If you can “cute-ify” it, it can be kawaii. And it’s by no means limited to just Japan! It is, in some ways, one of Japan’s greatest exports; if you have children, you may very well have seen it in your own life, by way of Pokemon and Hello Kitty, or perhaps Sailor Moon. Both my niece and nephew went through Pokemon phases, and Pikachu’s smiling yellow face is still a fixture in my sister’s household. And as the kawaii influence grows, the phenomenon becomes increasingly global; lots of manufacturers are now attempting to reproduce the kawaii feel in clothes, games and toys and, yes, even fabric. 

But its impact goes well beyond simple merchandising. To some, kawaii is a kind of philosophy, an attitude, and even a lifestyle. It's easy to see the appeal; bright colors, fanciful designs, and limitless opportunities for expression...it has a lot in common with modern quilting! The heart of kawaii is sweetness, harmony, and innocence. Personally, I’m in favor of more niceness in the world, and if it’s one thing you can say about kawaii, it’s that it’s nice. 

Pink Castle makes it easy to make your life more kawaii! Our Kawaii Club allows you to have wonderful Japanese fabrics shipped to your own doorstep every month. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning Means 20% Off At Pink Castle!



It’s that time of the year again! The snow is melting here in Michigan and every day we see a bit more of the sun. It won’t be long now before green takes over from the gray and I can’t wait! I love spring; it feels like a time for fresh starts and new things. Spring cleaning is a big part of that; a chance to clean and organize, to put old business to rest and prepare for something new.
We do Spring Cleaning at Pink Castle too and this year we’re teaming up with Kristin from Sew Mamma Sew to make it really special! From now until Monday, March 31rst, if you use the SPRING20 code while checking out at our online store, you’ll receive 20% off your entire order*. What better way to welcome in April than with some beautiful new fabric? 


We have more than fabric though! Thread is a staple, one of the most essential items in anyone's bag. Why not stock up while it's 20% off? Strong, easy on your machine, and available in a variety of weights and colors, Aurifil thread is Pink Castle's brand of choice. Remember, if you don't see what you're looking for, contact us and we'll do our best to find it for you!


If you've been eyeing the Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutter, or it's little cousin the Go! Baby Fabric Cutter, there's no better time to indulge. Faster and more accurate than scissors or other cutters, it lets you do more of the thing you love: Quilting! And we carry a wide range of Go! accessories, perfect for any project!


And if you've been looking for a new project, something fun and fresh to usher in the spring, don't forget about our huge selection of patterns. There's something here for everyone, from some of the best designers around! The only problem is that they're all so amazing it's impossible for me to pick a favorite! That's what I like to think of as a good problem to have.

Need even more ideas? Look no further, Sew Mamma Sew has got you covered! Kristin's blog is just bursting at the seams with exciting springtime inspirations...I personally love these bunnies and the lavender sachet looks delightful! And don't miss the Ten Easy Quilting Tutorials For Spring. No matter what your need, Pink Castle and Sew Mamma Sew have something for you. Use the SPRING20 code and save!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Feature Friday - Catnap Dresses

Well, Catnap arrived, a while back, from designer Lizzy House. And then she had a dress making contest so that there might be more cat themed attire out in the world.

And some of our customers entered! Here are two of those entries!

Emily of EmmmyLizzzy made two Edelweiss dresses for her kittens (many more pictures on her blog here):

 

And Jenna of jennabrand.com made Simplicity 1873 by Cynthia Rowley, Style B. A fantastic party dress! And there are more pictures and a tip for pleating a skirt here on her blog post.


You may notice that they got together for the pictures...


All the dresses! At a tea party! And a cat to boot!

Jenna's entry won second place in the contest. Which was just announced a few days ago.  Congratulations (Con-cat-ulations?), Jenna!

What have you been making with Catnap? Whatever it is, be it clothes or be it quilt or bag (or other?) we want to see it in our Made by Pink Castle Flickr pool!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stash Stack Club Picks for March! Green!

 
Stash Stack Monthly Club at Pink Castle Fabrics!

 
Pink Castle Fabrics Stash Stack Club

Stash Stack Club

Green


Hello, March!

Green is my favorite color!  I've been using up a lot of the olive-y greens in my stash lately so this month's bundle will help fill me back up!  I'm thinking of Spring and St. Patty's day this week and I am ready to shed my winter gear and finally warm up!

Happy almost Spring! 

Brenda

You can still get this bundle if you sign up on March 10th!  Sign up today here!

Here's what we've got for you this month:  
1. Ta Dot in Moss - Michael Miller Fabrics
2. Sealing Wax in Peridot - True Colors by Anna Maria Horner
3. Ticking Stripe in Green - Savannah by Dear Stella Fabrics
4. Tile Pile in Green - Petal Pinwheels by Michael Miller Fabrics
5. Mini Confetti Dot in Emerald - Dear Stella Fabrics
6. Sketch in Grass - Timeless Treasures
7. Crazy for Dots and Stripes in Green - RJR Fabrics
8. Tiny Gingham in Kiwi - Michael Miller Fabrics
9. Cottage Path in Grass - Daydream by Swirly Girls Design
10. Woodgrain in Dill - Aviary 2 by Joel Dewberry
11. Star Pods in Green - Les Amis by Patty Sloniger
12. Calico in Green - Spring Street by Dear Stella Fabrics

Until next month!
Brenda

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Events at Pink Castle Fabrics

Let's Sew!

Here's what's happening at Pink Castle Fabrics this month:

Introduction to Quilting with Renee Lange

Information about this class is on this blog post, or on the classes page.
This is a course which meets three consecutive Tuesdays.

Tuesday,  March 11th, 10:15am-2:30pm
Tuesday, March 18th, 10:15am-2:30pm
Tuesday, March 25th, 10:15am-2:30pm

book now

Intermediate Improv: Curvy Improv with Kathryn Schmidt


For information about this class look at this blog post, or on the classes page.
Thursday, March 13, 6-9 pm

book now

How Should I Quilt this Quilt?

Thursday, March 20th, 6:30-7:30

Professional longarm quilter Kathy Koch of Threadbear Quilting will discuss ways to find inspiration, creative ideas for simple and effective quilting that you can do yourself or ask your longarmer to do. We will also discuss thread choices and why one design or color might work better than another.

Whether a beginner or an accomplished quilter, we sometimes need help getting over that hurdle of how to quilt the quilt. Even if you struggle with free motion quilting, there are techniques that make quilting easier. This quick and free session will hopefully start those creative juices flowing!

Please feel free to bring a top that you are struggling with and we will brainstorm ideas.

This class is free, but you must register to take it!

book now

 

Camp Stitchalot Spring!

 

March 21-23rd, in Pleasant Lake, MI. With an optional free sewing day on the 20th.

Tickets are still available!

Please see this blog post, or the Camp Stitchalot webpage for more details.

 

Machine Applique with Debbie Grifka of Esch House Quilts



Thursday, March 27th, 5:30-9:30

Learn the ins and outs of beautiful machine appliqué with pattern designer Debbie Grifka. This class will focus on appliqué using fusible web to create a great pillow with text and birds on a line. We'll learn about different kinds of fusible webbing, preparing appliqué shapes and when and how to stitch them down. Most of the appliqué for your pillow will be finished in class, with some left to finish at home.

Students should have basic sewing skills and be comfortable using and adjusting the the zig zag or satin stitch on their machine.

book now

Paper Piecing with Kathy Koch of Threadbear Quilting


Saturday, March 29th, 10:15am -1:15pm

Foundation paper piecing involves sewing fabric to paper. It opens up a world of possibility for accurate, tiny, and adorable stitching! If you have been afraid to try paper piecing or tried it before but couldn't get the hang of it, join us to learn all the tricks and tips you need to add paper piecing to your skill set. In this class, you'll learn how to paper piece using the fabulous pattern Felix the Fox. Due to the kindness of Joanna Wilczynska (Shape Moth) you will receive one copy of this pattern free to work on in class, however we hope that you will purchase the original and other patterns from her as well.

book now

There are more details on these and more (many more!) classes on the classes page. Pink Castle Fabrics has sewing machines available for rental if you need one. If you have any questions or need help booking your class, please email rossie@pinkcastlefabrics.com or stop into our shop at 3808 Plaza Drive.