Friday, October 24, 2014

It's Beginning to Look (somewhat) Like Christmas!

We’re getting closer and closer to the holiday season…Target has lights and ornaments on display next to the Halloween decorations. My friends’ kids are already telling me what they want for Christmas. In Michigan, the cold weather is beginning to creep up on us. And I still haven’t gotten around to quilting the Christmas quilt I made in July.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to think about a holiday so far in advance. But I’m here to tell you that there are only 63 days until Christmas. 63?! That’s too soon! 

I figured I’d help you out with some fun ideas for Christmas projects.

First, I put together a fun blogger bundle with some fun Christmas colors, Yuletide Fruitcake.

Then I found some awesome patterns we have in the shop and online.

Empty Bobbin has a pattern for a super cute, stocking-themed Advent Calendar! The little advent cards for each slot are included in the pattern, too.

To The Point, a Cluck Cluck Sew pattern, only needs eight fat quarters for the throw-sized quilt. That’s a perfect way to put this whole bundle to use and even have some extra fabric!

John Q. Adams’ book, Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays, is perfect for any seasonal bundles!

What about the Nite Owl Quilting Hexagon Tree Skirt?

And while you’re planning some Christmas projects for the year, you might as well start putting together your Christmas list. We have some great bundles and quilt kits in the shop that would make excellent stocking stuffers (and stash fillers).

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, don't forget to enjoy the rest of your Autumn season

Monday, October 20, 2014

Handcrafted by Alison Glass has arrived!!

Alison Glass has been working with Andover on this new collection of fabrics for a while now and we're so excited to finally get them in stock. Let's take a closer look at Alison Glass Handcrafted.

Plus in Teal, Chartreuse, and Lagoon (more on prints below)
Handcrafted is a collection of hand dyed and hand stamped prints (hence the name). It's no surprise that Alison's color choices are all absolutely stunning and the prints are a modern, minimalistic, and clean take on a traditional batik processed fabrics. Take note though, these are nothing like any batik you've seen before. I feel like these prints really redefine how modern quilters see batik-processed/hand dyed fabrics.

The batik process is a really labor intensive and fascinating thing. Basically, batiks are any fabrics that are hand dyed and printed with a wax resist (so wax is applied to the fabric and then it's dyed and the spots that had wax on them don't absorb the dye-- salts are often applied too to give that textured crackly look). The batiks many of us think of are hand dyed with a really improvisational method and it's almost random how the wax and dye lie. Alison worked with Andover to take these ancient techniques for fabric dyeing and create something completely new and modern. Each of these fabrics is meticulously stamped to convey exactly the look and feel Alison has imagined.

Handcrafted includes five prints: Bouquet, Plus, Geese, Penny, and Petal (a gorgeous border print).

Bouquet in Duck Egg. Also in Ruby and Yarrow

Plus in Shortbread. Also in Chartreuse,  Lagoon, Strawberry, and Teal.
Geese in Lichen. Also in Storm, Graphite, and Tomato.
Penny in Fossil. Also in Beet, Peacock, and Navy.
Petal in Charcoal. Also in Eggplant.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Get up and Go skirt

You might have heard that Deborah of Whipstitch is introducing a new series of sewing patterns. The 'Learn As You Go' patterns are great, whether you're a beginner or a more experienced sewist.
I had the opportunity to test out the Get Up and Go Skirt last week, with wonderful results!

Let me start by saying, this is really more than a pattern. Deborah provides videos for each step of the way, which can help you through any difficulties. You can ignore them, but if you are sewing your very first thing ever, the videos will guide you on your journey! I consider my self an intermediate garment sewer, but I watched most of the videos, and learned a few new things.

Deborah also provides a checklist as part of the pattern. For list-loving people (like myself), I enjoyed checking off each step as I went. Oh, and Deborah gives you an option to print ONLY your size. It is so much cleaner than multi-size patterns, and helps to prevent cutting (or tracing) the wrong size.
The skirt came together pretty quickly. I always recommend cutting/prepping fabric one day, and start sewing after a break. I tend to rush through the sewing if I'm tired from the prep!

For my first version, I chose a voile fabric, and I just cut out a second skirt from this fun Jeni Baker Geometric Bliss print.

I see myself making many more Get Up and Go skirts in the near future!

I really recommend that you check out the Get Up and Go skirt, and keep an eye out for future Learn as You Go patterns from Whipstitch!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Classes are starting again at Pink Castle!

This post will cater a little more specifically to our local friends but I wanted to share with all of you anyway!

We have a new class coming to our shop (hopefully in our new location) featuring a new teacher! Anke Trampler will be joining us starting later this month for an introductory sewing class.

This class will be a six-week long course that will cover the basics of machine sewing including fabric selection, reading and understanding patterns, pressing/pinning, interfacing, zippers, buttonholes, and all those other important steps required for successful sewing projects. It's a really great course covering tons of material!

Anke will walk students through all the steps of the sewing process from prep work to finishing and in the process will help students complete four projects: an infinity scarf, a throw pillow with tassels, and a cute sleep set with lounge pants and an eye mask!

You can save a spot for yourself or a budding sewist in our Modern Sewing Essentials class by clicking here under "General Sewing".

Feel free to share our flyer for the class too, if you know of some folks who may be interested in trying their hand at sewing!