Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ventana Quilt Along - Week 1: Fabric Selection

Hello, friends! Welcome to Pink Castle's Ventana Quilt Along!

We're so excited to start stitching together the Ventana quilt. This quilt is a brand new pattern designed by the lovely Nydia Kehnle and Alison Glass as part of the Skill Builder Series from Alison Glass Designs. The patterns in this series are designed to help quilters expand their repertoire of skills and even help first timers with their very first quilt.

The Ventana quilt is foundation paper pieced with a top press technique. Included in the pattern are block templates and a block map to help you plan your layout. This pattern has the opportunity to look gorgeous in many different color palettes and that's what we'll focus on first: selecting your fabrics.

Fabric choices can make huge differences in quilts. That's part of why I'm so excited to host this quilt along-- so I can see what you all choose! If choosing prints is the most stressful part of a project for you, I can relate. I constantly agonize over what prints to include in my quilts, whether this shade or that shade is a better fit, or if my prints offer enough/too much texture. When I'm sewing with my mom in her studio, she always jokes that I "make a career out of pulling fabric" because it feels a HUGE decision! If you find yourself laboring too intensely over these choices, step away, and address it with fresh eyes.

I can imagine the Ventana quilt with so many possibilities: solid blocks with a print background, mixed low volume, prints with solid background, colored prints with neutral (or TEXT!) background, I'm starting to overwhelm myself just thinking about the choices. Whatever scheme you go with, you will need 30 fat eighths (or roughly 9"x22" pieces of fabric) for the blocks and 3 yards of background fabric. I personally love the sort of gradient of color with a clean background in the pattern cover quilt and have taken that as my inspiration.

These are the colors I've chosen for my Ventana quilt. I pulled ALL of these from my stash (something I almost never do anymore!) and yes, it is mostly Cotton+Steel plus some Carolyn Friedlander, some Pinhead Dots from Michael Miller, and a tiny coral gingham that ancient/unidentifiable/adorable. These colors, particularly the bright coral orange, mustard/chartreuse, and aqua, have been in almost everything I make anymore. Sorry/not sorry. They're gorgeous. The pink is an unusual touch for me but keeps things light and a little feminine and the navy just makes everything pop! I haven't decided on my background color just yet. I'm thinking a light grey but I'm not sure what. If you have suggestions, leave a comment!! I love a little bit of extra input!

I apologize for the low-quality phone photo. I promise more flattering photos next week!
If the options are just too endless for you, we've got great news: Alison and Nydia have both hand selected bundles with exactly the amount of prints you need PLUS they've chosen suggested background solids (though you could choose your own if you'd like). The guess work has all been taken out with these personally curated bundles. I think these ladies have pretty good taste.


I'm really looking forward to what you all pull together! PLEASE share your fabric pulls with us on Facebook and Instagram: tag us @pinkcastlefabrics and use the hashtag #VentanaQAL and we'll include a few in our next post!


We'll walk you through the process of foundation paper piecing using the templates in the Ventana pattern. As this is a skill builder series, we're approaching this as though you've never paper pieced before in your life. Fear not, first timers!

July 30 - Week 1: Fabric Selection (That's here, today!)
August 6 - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing
August 13 - Week 3: Color Mapping & Block Assembly
August 20 - Week 4: Wrap Up

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time for another season of Golden Tickets!

This summer, we're celebrating Pink Castle's fourth Golden Ticket sale so this year, we're going to give away five awesome grand prizes! If you don't know what our Golden Ticket sale is, the gist is that for ever $50 you spend in store or online, you'll get a little yellow ticket that includes some sort of prize. You may be one of our lucky grand prize winners or you'll get a coupon code for you to use on an order. Every single ticket includes a prize and there are only 2000 tickets to give away! Here's a look at our grand prizes (with some contest details below):

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP ($4000 value)! 
The Memory Craft 8900 is one of Janome's best machines on the market. With 270 stitches (sewing up to 1000 stitches per minute), a super high presser foot lift (making your quilting that much easier), 11 one-step button holes, 11" of throat space, AND an extension table included, the 8900 is really anyone's dream machine. Its speed is great for piecing, the throat space and table are great for those of us who do our own quilting, and tons of adorable decorative stitches are great for details on apparel. Unfortunately, as per Janome policies, we cannot ship this machine internationally. If you live outside the US and receive the Golden Ticket for this machine, you will instead receive a Pink Castle gift card for $1500. While it's not a free machine, you could buy almost a whole new stash with that!

Janome DC2015 sewing machine ($700 value)! 
The DC2015 performs 60 stitches, including 6 one-step buttonholes, and all the conveniences of a high-end machine like easy reverse buttons, auto lock stitch, and speed control slider all in a small, lightweight, and adorable machine. Portable enough to take to sewing retreats and dependable enough for every day use, the DC2015 is a great and versatile machine! I personally brought one of these cuties home just a couple weeks ago and I love it. Unfortunately, as per Janome policies, we cannot ship this machine internationally. If you live outside the US and receive the Golden Ticket for this machine, you will instead receive a Pink Castle gift card for $400. Still not such a bad deal! $400 buys an awful lot of fabric :)

Ticket to Glamp Stitchalot 2016 ($550 value)! 
Taking place June 2-5, 2016 in Ann Arbor, MI, we'll be hosting the second Glamp Stitchalot. If you're the recipient of this Golden Ticket, you're getting in for free! Hang out with us and learn how to make a mystery row quilt designed by our teachers Ayumi Mills, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Carolyn Friedlander, Elizabeth Hartman, Monica Solorio-Snow, and Penny Layman. If this is you, email me at and we'll get you set up! If you can't attend the event, the ticket is transferrable so you're welcome to pass it along to someone who might like to go! Otherwise, we can provide a $350 Pink Castle gift certificate instead.

1 year of Stash Stack Club fat quarter bundles ($360 value)! 
For the past 12 months, we've been setting aside a Full Stack, Fat Quarter bundle of each month of our Stash Stack Club. If you have the lucky Golden Ticket, you'll receive ALL of those bundles! That's 144 fat quarters in a whole rainbow of blenders to add to your stash. If you want more info about our Stash Stack Club and how it works, you can check that out over here.

1 year of Quilt Now ($155 value)! 
Like Stash Stack, we've been setting aside copies of the first year of Quilt Now issues. If you're the winner of this prize, you'll get the first 12 issues of Quilt Now to be published! Each issue of Quilt Now includes at least 20 projects and some sort of freebie gift so if you're the Quilt Now prize winner, you've got 240 projects and 12 goodies to play with!

In addition to all those amazing grand prizes, FIVE tickets will include coupon codes for $100 off a Pink Castle order, TEN will have $50 off coupon codes, TWENTY will have $25 off codes, and FIFTY will have $10 codes! Every other ticket will include $5 off a Pink Castle order. That's like the value of half a yard of quilting for free!

Now here are the logistics of this whole deal:
  1. Starting today, July 1, with every order you place at Pink Castle at $50 or more, you will receive a Golden Ticket tucked into your order. Tickets will not be included in any orders placed before 12:00a.m. on July 1. 
  2. You'll earn an additional Golden Ticket for every $50 you spend beyond that! The total must be an increment of $50 before any discounts, shipping, tax, all that and orders cannot be combined to meet the minimum. For example, if you spend $130 on an order, you'll get two tickets. If you place two $25 orders, you get no tickets. 
  3. Clubs, Glamp ticket payments, presale orders, and gift certificates do not count for this deal. Orders must be placed on our site or in person in the store.
  4. You can use your ticket coupon code on orders placed after August 15, 2015 but before September 30, 2015. After September 30, the discount codes will expire. 
  5. To find out the amount of your gift certificate, input the coupon code on the Golden Ticket at checkout on your next order. Don't forget, every ticket is a winner! Your prize could be $5-$100 off your next order!
We are only giving away 2000 Golden Tickets. Once they're gone, that's it! If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment or send us an email at! Happy shopping!