Monday, June 30, 2014

Golden Tickets are BACK! Win a full year of Stash Builders! 144 Fat Quarters!

Two years ago Pink Castle and Jeni Baker launched the Stash Stack Club, drawing inspiration from Jeni's blog series, Art of Choosing. We went in with the assumption that people would love a variety of blenders from across the color wheel, mixed and matched in different shades and hues, so that they'd always have just the right thing to go with whatever their current project is. It was certainly a club we would like to belong to!



Others agreed and now here we are, twenty four months later with two full cycles of the color wheel behind us and looking ahead to a whole new year of stash building with all of our great Stash Stack Club members

But first, we have one last thing to take care of...

Over the course of the year, we kept back one fat quarter of each of our stash builder fabrics and added it to a single, ginormous stash builder bundle. That's 144 fat quarters, 36 yards of fabric in total! It's an instant stash all on its own, but this bundle isn't for purchase. The only way you can get it is to find the Golden Ticket that says GRAND PRIZE on it. 




That's right everyone, we're bringing back the Golden Tickets!

From now until they're gone, every $50 you spend at Pink Castle Fabrics gets you a Golden Ticket. And every Golden Ticket is a winner! Most will have a code that entitles you to $5, $10, $25, $50, or even $100 off a future Pink Castle purchase. The only one that doesn't is the Grand Prize ticket. And because I can never get tired of saying it, here's what the Grand Prize is: 

All of last year's Stash Builder's Club in one bundle, 144 fat quarters valued at over $360!



Here, then, are the rules of the contest:
1. Golden Tickets are only good on orders placed on after 5pm EST, Monday, June 30th. We'll keep giving them out for as long as supplies last (over 650 tickets available). 

2. One Golden Ticket will be issued for every $50 spent (before shipping) in each order. For example, if you order $134 you will get 2 tickets. If you have two orders of $25 you get no tickets. Monthly Clubs and Camp Stitchalot do not count for the Golden Ticket contest. This is only for orders placed online or at our in store location in Ann Arbor, MI.

3. Each Golden Ticket, with the exception of the Grand Prize ticket, comes with a coupon code that you can use at our online store. These codes can be redeemed anytime between August 1st and August 31st, 2014. When you input your code during that time, it will automatically deduct however much the ticket is worth from the total of your order. There are at least three $100 and six $50 tickets!

4. If you are the Grand Prize winner, congratulations! Your ticket will have instructions on how to claim your prize. We can't wait to hear from you!

Of course, winning the prize will be amazing, but if you're not that one lucky person, you can still get in on the goodness. We've just started a new year of Stash Stack Club and you can become a member right now!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Moving Sale!

Moving Sale!


It's true, we're moving! Although the current location has served us well, we've found a new place that's going to be even better. More space! Better location! Easier to find!

To celebrate (and ease the strain on our poor backs), we've marked down tons of fabric throughout the store. Check out our huge Sale Collection to see everything we have for you. A huge portion of our quilting cotton inventory has been reduced to $7.00 a yard! And there are plenty of bundles and other great items as well!

Even better, our SUMMER20 coupon is still good through Sunday night. So for every order over $50, you save 20%*! That works out to $5.60 per yard for most quilting cotton!  

* SUMMER20 code not valid for monthly clubs, gift certificates, Camp Stitchalot, or presale items.

** Oh, for our local customers, the move isn't actually happening until August, so please, stop by and visit us! We'll give you plenty of notice before we actually make the switch, and the new place is going to be much, much easier to find. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On the Excellence of Oxfords

I would not claim to be a garment maker, I'm a quilter. But, that said, I do make garments, and I do buy fabric, kind of a lot of fabric, that I intend to make into garments.

And I'm a mom, as many of you are. And as a mom who sews, who has a mom who also sews, who has a mom who has made clothes for me and my sisters, it's in my genes to make the occasional object for this or that child, who will invariably wear it once or twice, then forget it exists.

My older child and I have a difference of opinion on color and style, or maybe, when I make clothes I like making dresses, because they're comparatively simple, generally don't require much fitting, and she does not wear dresses unless under duress.

Having recognized my error, but still having a need to make things for her, I turned to what she does wear, that I could manufacture, and decided on shorts. I'm working up to shirts, I swear.

Then I went to Pink Castle Fabrics and picked up an adorable, and yet not super girly, oxford:


Now I have made skirts, and intend to make shirts, too, out of quilting cottons, but for something pants-like, that is stressed and scuffed about, I prefer the slightly heavier weight of an oxford. That said, I will probably still make shorts out of quilting cotton because I love prints above everything, but, still, in a perfect world, I would choose the oxford.

If you haven't actually held an oxford, they are just a hair heavier than the heavier quilting cottons. They've got a texture like the linen cotton blends, and a certain innate stiffness, which makes them great for bags, but they wash up super soft, too, which makes them great for clothes. They are a bottom weight fabric, more suited to skirts and pants than to shirts. And I have put them in quilts, too, they're wonderfully versatile. And soft! Much like a lightweight corduroy, but without, of course, the wale.

The best thing about oxfords, apart from the softness, is the great range of patterns they come in. The one I bought is sold out now, but here are some equally adorable prints that we have in the store now:

Chicken Coop in Orange from Cosmo Textile
Forest Cheater in Green from Kokka
Paris in Pink from Cosmo Textile
And there are many more in the Oxford Collection, including four that are cat themed.

As for me, I made shorts with contrasting pockets in quilting cotton (this design is from Sarah Jane's line before last), and an elastic waistband. No problems with the gathers, because oxford is not particularly dense.


And she wore them. I have proof.



And now I am deciding on my next fabric, because clearly I can't just make one pair. And maybe some parsley pants, too, for the fall? And then something for the other child, as well. At least she likes dresses and skirts, and oxford would be great for both a fall jumper and a classic A-line skirt:

Oliver + S Sailboat top, skirt, and pants pattern
They'd also make great jackets, but I'm not that brave. Yet.

I'm also in the market for a pattern for women's shorts for me, because I have just the perfect oxford picked out, so let me know if you've seen (or better yet, used) a good one! Now that I've made kid shorts, I'm ready to move on to the next challenge.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

20% Off Sale!

There are lots of fun fabrics arriving, and Brenda is celebrating with a sale!

You can save 20% on orders over $50 with coupon code: SUMMER20.

I took advantage of the sale this morning, and purchased some of the new Jungle Ave prints, by Sara Lawson for Art Gallery Fabrics.

Lovely, aren't they?

I also picked up a little piece of this amazing Liberty print!
I hope you find some new favorites, or stock up on old ones with the sale. There's lots of great fabrics available!

The SUMMER20 sale runs through Sunday, June 29th, and is good on all in-stock merchandise (pretty much everything except gift certificates, monthly clubs, Camp Stitchalot, and pre-sale items)!





Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quilt Now magazine subscription club

The multitalented modern quilter Katy Jones of I'm a Ginger Monkey and Quilt Monkey is the editor and curator of a new magazine, called Quilt Now:


Produced by quilters for quilters, every issue of Quilt Now will showcase new and inspiring quilting projects, from full-size bed quilts to lap quilts, cushions, bags and accessories, all using the latest fabrics. Each issue is beautifully photographed and curated with fresh and modern color palettes. 

In addition to her blog and her quilting television show, Katy Jones is one of the founders of the online quilting magazine Fat Quarterly, the author of two books, and a two time Camp Stitchalot counselor! We are very excited to see her newest quilting venture. The first issue will be on newsstands in the UK in July, but if you want it, and you live somewhere that's not the UK, Pink Castle Fabrics is here to help you out!

We've set up a monthly club for Quilt Now magazine, similar to our monthly fabric clubs (like stash stack club or kawaii fabric club), where, rather than getting a monthly delivery of fabric, you will receive your monthly issue of Quilt Now magazine. You can either pay per issue - $11.99 plus shipping, or buy a 6 or 12 month subscription and receive free shipping within the USA (and reduced shipping elsewhere)!

Katy sums up Quilt Now this way:

"Each issue will follow a loose theme set by colour, reflecting what is current in both fabric and quilting as well as the trends from fashion and lifestyle stores. All of the projects and imagery will tie together with the particular theme of the issue, making it a visually beautiful and inspirational magazine. Issue one follows the theme of sorbet - soft pastels and fresh fruity flavours, think of lemon sherbet and strawberry ice cream sundaes in the sunshine, in the park. Issue two (out at the end of August) has a European Summer theme - vacations in the Greek Islands and beaches of the South of France, nautical fashion and cocktails by the pool.

"Along with the magazine, there will be high quality free gifts every month -  including cut and sew kits, notions and tools - and there may be the occasional photo or 2 of cats on quilts. Just because."

Hopefully you will join us in the Quilt Now magazine subscription club!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cats

It's no secret that I love cats, and I know I'm not alone. With recent lines by Aneela Hoey, Lizzy House and Alyssa Thomas, cat fabrics are easy to find. That makes me happy.
Emmmylizzy made a crazy cat lady bundle, which is full of awesome fabrics!


I am also crazy for this Kokka print.


Hmm, maybe I need to make a second cat quilt!



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stash Stack - June Grays

Stash Stack Club

Gray


It's June!
 
As I look out my window, I see gray clouds overhead. I don't mind, I like the gray. I'm guessing others do too, given its popularity in fashion and fabric. That's why June is our month for all the lovely grays!

Here's what we've got for you this month:  

1. Ripples in Pond - Bari J
2. Stitch Square in Charcoal - Michael Miller Fabrics
3. Pointelle in Shade - Art Gallery

4. Stellar in Moonlight - Jeni Baker
5. Stitched Road in Granite - Bari J
6. Wild Hearts in Gray - Dear Stella
7. Squared Elements in Carbon - Art Gallery
8. Wood Grain in Gray - Joel Dewberry
9. Tile Pile in Gray - Michael Miller Fabrics
10. Ta Dot in Stone- Michael Miller Fabrics
11. Sketch in Mist - Timeless Treasures
12. Serpentine in Shade - Tula Pink

 

There is a tiny bit of bad news though: A delay in the distribution chain means we're going to be a couple days late shipping this month's stash. We're very sorry and do not expect this to be a long delay.

And, of course, if you're not a Stash Stack member but want to become one, click here and welcome to the club!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summery Reds

I'm working on my scrappy trip along today, and my eye keeps wandering to the red strips.

I found a few new reds in the shop that are especially appealing to me...



Understated, but summery Little Town from Emmy Grace and a lovely polka dotted wideback.



Banner Days from Pretty Potent and Sweet Meadow from Dreamin' Vintage

Yes, I think I need a new project with lots of red! How about you? What colors are you working with this summer?



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our Newest Knits!

I went to Camp Stitchalot this last weekend, and I had a blast. My sister, who is more of a garment sewist went with me, and when I brought out my patterns and ideas to decide what to work on, she grabbed a knit nightgown pattern out of the pile and said that if I wanted to make it, she would be happy to help.  And since we don't often find ourselves together, I jumped at the chance.

Though I didn't have any appropriate knit fabric on hand! But never mind that, we went to Pink Castle Fabrics and perused their knit selection before heading off to camp.

I chose Desert Blanket by April Rhodes for Art Gallery which had just arrived a day or two earlier. The new Art Gallery knits are super soft and somehow hit that perfect balance of being thin without being translucence.

Modeled by me at Camp, before hemming.
I put it together in a day, basically, from cutting out the pieces to finally hemming it. And I did need her expertise putting that neckline together. Admittedly, I sewed the neckline facing in after we left camp, but I had decided that it would drive me less crazy to do that by hand.

What I want to show you all about this is not so much this pattern, but the seam finishing:


Because there isn't any. I hemmed the sleeves and the bottom with a double needle (as we discussed in my previous post about knits), but I only folded them over once, rather than twice like you would with a woven fabric. And for the sleeve and side seams, I didn't do anything at all to them. Knits don't fray! My rule of thumb for knits is that as long as it doesn't look weird on the outside, you don't need to worry about the seams.

And it's so soft! Did I mention the softness?

Of course when my daughter saw this nightgown, she's decided she needs one, too. For her I've been looking at the knits from Bari J's new line, Emmy Grace. She's sure to love this one:

Ripples in Rose Jersey Knit by Bari J for Art Gallery
If you are just starting out with knits, probably you don't want to start with a nightgown. Skirts are always a good starting point. There are fewer seams and you don't have to deal with the potential heartbreak of setting sleeves into the garment.

We have the Ashland A-line Skirt and Culottes in sizes for both women and girls.

Or maybe a child's tank top:

The Blank Tank

Or maybe the Jorna (which can be either a tank or a dress, and is available for girls and women) by Jenna Brand, which is fully lined so you don't have to deal with finishing the neckline or the armholes:


My recent discovery on the web is Peek-A-Boo patterns which has a great many patterns for kids using knits, including some for shorts and swimwear, and lots for boys, which can sometimes be a challenge to locate.

I hope you're inspired to try something new with our new knits!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Planning projects for a Retreat

As you may know, there's another Camp Stitchalot this weekend! I wish I could attend, as I know it will be lots of fun.

I thought it might be fun to talk about the types of projects that you might pack for a weekend retreat.

Handwork


I'm currently working on some English Paper Piecing, and this would be a great, portable project for Camp. If you'd like to start your own EPP project, just make sure you pack a pile of scraps (or maybe a Fat-Eighth Bundle, some paper pieces, small scissors, a needle and thread. That's all you'll need!
Embroidery would be another great idea!

WIPs

It's always nice to feel like you finish something when you're on a retreat. So pick a WIP that you are nearly done with, or maybe something you've been avoiding (picking out stitches, binding, HST trimming) that you can do that as you chat with your friends. The task you're dreading will probably fly by when you're in good company!

Something New

It's likely that you will feel inspired to start something new, and I say give in to that desire! It's nice to have a new project already cut before you arrive so you can quickly piece it together (or at least start).

Something challenging

You may have a project that is challenging you, and bringing it to a room full of sewists is a smart idea. You can probably find some assistance from one of your fellow campers!

I like to bring at least three projects to a weekend retreat. It's important to have options, and also, you might be surprised at your productivity level!

In case you're interested, there are two more Camp Stitchalot sessions planned for later this year: Fall 2014 and Winter 2014!






Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All that Arithmetic

I was at my local modern quilt guild meeting, and during show and tell my friend Laura showed off this wild and fun beauty, made from a Lizzy House Catnap bundle and the Catnap coordinating solids bundle.


It's Arithmetic! Jeni Baker's extremely versatile, very modern quilt pattern. And it's really several patterns in one, as it gives you the means to make five different quilt sizes with three different block sizes!

Another member of our guild, Rebekah of Don't Call Me Becky has made a quite different version, one that is very cool and sophisticated in teal, citron, navy and gray.


Isn't it interesting how the fabric choice can effect the outcome of a pattern? I've been looking at a few of our larger bundles and thinking about how they might turn out in this quilt, because it takes a big bundle to give you that look that comes with repeating the fabric for plusses just the right amount...

Aunt Grace Miniatures by Judie Rothermel
A 1930's style bundle would make a sweet, bright Arithmetic quilt! This one would look scrappy, but harmonious. We also have the Storybook Playtime bundle, which has less tonal variety and more of  a rainbow quality.


And Here Kitty Kitty would make just the sweetest Arithmetic ever! I love the pale pink and aqua with that just right mustard touch. And with a little extra of that stripe for the binding! It would be. So. Cute.



Another bundle that would be amazing in this quilt (and probably any other pattern to boot) is my favorite Denyse Schmidt line - Chicopee. The colors are so saturated and daring! It's really nice to have this fabric back in stock again.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Enchanted Charm Pack Giveaway!

Sarah Fielke, author and quilt designer, dropped by Pink Castle for an afternoon in May. While here, she talked to customers, signed books, gave a trunk show, and endured a tornado warning! As Mondays go, it was pretty exciting.

She also left us with a few charms packs for her first collection from Windham Fabrics, Enchanted.


Enchanted is everything its name implies...bright and whimsical and more than a little magical. Imagine a peacock strutting through through the courtyard of a fantastical fairytale castle and you've got the idea. 

Of course, it would be selfish to keep such a wonderful treat to ourselves, so we're giving these three charm packs away to one lucky blog reader! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling us what you find so enchanting about Enchanted. We'll be picking a winner at noon on Friday, June 6th, so don't delay!

We only have this one prize right now but Enchanted will be available at Pink Castle Fabrics in July, so keep your eyes peeled!