Five Things to Love About the Spark Box

July 15th 2016

Have you seen the latest from Love Bug Studios?

Spark box june

It’s a Spark Quilt Box full of goodies to ignite your creative energy.  I am going to tell you five things I love about this box and why you should consider reserving one. Yes “reserving” one because once they’re gone, they’re gone!

spark box june label

The first reason is I love surprises! So happy mail arriving at my house, especially when I’ve likely forgotten about it, is certainly a perk and there is only more goodness inside! Ebony, Love Bug Studios owner and idea extraordinaire has an eye for detail.

Spark box june inside

Reason number two is I love details! I love wrapping details, a sticker, a satin ribbon and the prettiest tissue paper ever, it’s so nice to look at I don’t need to open it right away. And look, all the goodies have more cute wrapping in the way of paper sacs. I appreciate the time and effort she takes to make this package so pretty for her customers to receive.

Let’s open them up!

spark box june theme

In this bag are goodies revolving around the theme “JUST BEACHY” which also happens to be one of my and Ebony’s favorite places so everything in this bag reflects that. There is sand colored thread, beach ball candies, beach buttons, beach ribbon and a real Sand Dollar. I know where mine is going. Are you loving it yet? Reason three to love this box, is that these goodies are perfect for crafting and gifting or crafting a gift!

spark box june idea

Ready for more fun? How about this pattern? It’s my Sea Horse Mini Pattern. Ebony included fabric (different in every box) for images, buttons for the eyes and a Fish cut out (complete with fusible) to use for this or another creative idea swimming around in your head. (My pattern is strictly piecing but there is no rule about personalizing it with this cut out.) Reason number four? What’s not to love about fabric

spark box June charm

These were especially cute, the charm is a tiny flip flop and the whistle that sounds like a “Zzzzzzzzzing” and the festive confetti pouring out of the sac was definitely a reason to giggle!

spark box june giggle

Lastly, I know when I am in the zone, making and creating, a sweet snackerel is just what I need to keep me going so reason five does not disappoint: SNACKS! In the Snack sac is a chocolate shark fin you get to take a bite of. And if you’ve ever met Ebony, you know she loves her snacks. We’ve already got 2 in this yummy box.

spark box june snack

I know, I know, so how can you get your own?

spark box june open

Go to Spark Quilt Box to read all about it. You can also sign up to get notified for when the next set of boxes are ready. Upon notification you go here and order yours! (June boxes still available) Leave me a comment telling me what you love about this box and I’ll randomly select one person and send them the “idea” bag complete with pattern, fabric, buttons and cut out to inspire your creativity.

And don’t forget to sign up for Ebony’s spark box to receive yours in the months to come!

Quilter’s Block Party Game

June 6th 2016

Hi Friends! It’s been hectic over here. End of school year and of Awanas program for 2016, planning and setting up for Vacation Bible School, packing for vacation, and quilting…Quilting? Working on the business? Hello! What is that? It feels like my sewing machine and I broke up! You also must be thinking I broke up with blogging….

Nevertheless, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to tell you about a little game we played while we were at CABS (Creative Arts Business Summit with Morna McEver Golletz) in March of this year. See if you can spot us playing in this video. I’ll give you a hint, it’s right before the part where everyone is laughing and high-fiving.

The genius behind this game is Terri Sontra of Purple Moose Designs,  there she is, below, in the purple, and she’s a hoot! Just go to one of her retreats to find out, but I digress…

So about the game, cleverly called Quilters Block Party…Have you ever played Pictionary? You know how it goes, it’s like Charades but you draw?

BUnnie

Well this game is similar but it’s entirely about quilting! You have to draw the “NAMES” of the quilt blocks and not only will you learn about classic block names, as I have, you just might make new friends or pee in your pants! (Did I say that out loud?)

cabs gamers

So at the end of CABS one night, when I was beyond exhausted, Terri decides to introduce us to her game. At first, we really didn’t know what to expect. No one wanted to be the first to try, and definitely not if it involved drawing…. in front of people.

i forgot who

Well, I loved to play Pictionary (way back when) and I enjoy drawing,

SUsan

“Surely” I thought, “my team is going to ace this when it’s my turn.” (How foolish of me!)

Elaine

My turn finally came, Terri showed me my card, I saw the block name and proceeded to draw.

It was easy enough. I drew a pair of chunky hands. They needed another clue. I drew a pair of upward arrows. Still they were shouting answers but not the right ones!  I drew motion lines to show the arrows moving upwards, like a high-five or high hands. Terri kept telling me to tally eight marks. (What for? I thought to myself) But to no avail, our time ran out and my drawing did not yield the right answer. So I looked at the card again and since I was not wearing my glasses I had read the card wrong!! It was “Eight Hands” Block not “High Hands” Block. Needless to say there was an eruption of laughter, which led to tears on my part. And who cares if we didn’t get the point, it was so fun just playing and yes, making a fool of myself and I forgot how tired I was!

Incidentally, here is an Eight Hands Block:

Eight Hands

Image above from www.quiltersworld.com on Pinterest

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

An Eight Hands Around Block can also be described as a star within a star (8 hands/points) add any additional Flying Geese or Triangle units to make it more intricate, color placement is key for a secondary pattern in the quilt. Here is a runner I did a couple of years ago.

quilt block party game

If you want to play this game that’s great for retreats, quilt guilds, get togethers, sew alongs or to educate non-quilters, just leave a comment telling me what your “go to” block is for a quick quilt project and you may win your very own! Don’t forget to post your own playing pics on Social Media using hashtag #quiltersblockparty.

For another chance to win, you can also visit these blogs below, they will also be hootin’ and hollerin’ about Terri’s game too!

Friday 6/3 Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs – Overview
Saturday 6/4 Susan Emory Swirly Girls Design
Sunday 6/5 Tammy Silver, Tamarinis
Monday 6/6 Elaine Perez, Summercrafter
Tuesday 6/7 Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs
Wednesday 6/8 Sandi Blackwell, Stitched Buy
Thursday 6/9 Sue & Elizabeth, PG Fiber2Art
Friday 6/10 Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods
Saturday 6/11 Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy
Sunday 6/12 Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs – Wrap-up, grand prize winner selected

grand prize

And for a chance at the Grand Prize above, hop on over to Purple Moose Designs blog and tell her what you think about Quilters Block Party Game.

CONTEST CLOSED THANK YOU ALL FOR PLAYING

THE WINNER IS KATHY H

A Pretty and Practical Bag for Travel

April 28th 2016

I love my Vintage Picnic Traveling Tote. You may have seen me over-gramming about it on Instagram a few weeks back. It was so fun to make!

Traveling Tote 2

It’s no secret that I hoard collect fabric. It’s no secret that I have a vault for my most favorite lines. (pictured below) It’s no secret that sometimes I forget what I already have. And it’s definitely no secret that if I don’t buy “that fabric” right now it will be gone FOREVER!! At least that’s what the fabric addiction neurons in my brain keep saying. But I digress.

The Vault

My traveling bag, my “go-to-bag-with-all-the-right-pockets-holds-everything-I-need-for-traveling” bag had broken and I had to make a new one ASAP.  And there was no question, once this fabric arrived, that it was the right one for this project. It was also the first fabric bundle I busted open so soon after it’s acquisition. Really.

It’s Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille. I loved the classic red and blues in this line, the gingham and dainty flowers, whose scale is not so dainty, made a perfect match.

I chose the darker bolder colors for the outside, since it will hide any wear and tear and smudges.

traveling tote choices

I had made these scrappy stars and wanted to incorporate them into the bag. The first design showcased four across the top of the bag.

traveling tote design 2

 But after sleeping on it and playing with the fabrics some more, I changed the design and fabrics several more times.

Traveling Tote inside

The inside would be in the lighter color ways of the line with a bit of Hello Darling thrown in. That divided pocket was a must, I kept the broken bag and use the size and inside as a sample. I know, no one can see the inside of these aqua dotted divided pockets, but I know it’s pretty in there!

pocket options

Besides the beautiful colors, I was determined to make it with zippered outside pockets with the prettiest linings. These pockets turned out to be perfect for boarding passes, lipstick, my phone or dollars for tipping if necessary.

traveling tote outer

Above is the outer part of the bag. I sewed and quilted it all in this chartreuse green #1231 thread by Aurifil. There is a crazy method to quilting a bag with divided inner pockets and zippered outside pockets.

Traveling Tote quilting

I am still perfecting the zipper tab but it works!

traveling tote zipper2

I know there are so many bag patterns out there, but this one is so pretty and practical, I’ll be making a pattern for it, and revealing my crazy methods, for the handful that want to make it. Sign up for my newsletter for the heads up on the pattern.

If you want to save your fabric for this pattern, you’ll need:

1/2 Yard main blue

1 FQ side panels

4-6 FQs for outer pockets, pocket linings and inner pockets

1 yard inner lining

1 FE for sashing (gingham)

Scraps to make four star blocks (4″ finished)

(1) 18-20 inch zipper, (I prefer larger so I can trim)

(2) 9 inch zippers

1 square yard of

Accents or details you may want to add.

traveling tote details & accents

The finished size of the Traveling Tote is 14 inches high, 16 inches wide at the top, 11 inches wide at the bottom and  6 inches deep. I still love my bag!

Traveling Tote 1

And here it is in action! It really is great for travel! I hope you wanna make one!

traveling tote summercrafter

How to Grow your Quilting Business

April 19th 2016

The Creative Arts Professional Summit is an annual event put on by Morna McEver from International Association of Creative Arts Professional. It’s a great event to attend to work ON your business instead of IN your business. By answering introspective questions and participating in focused exercises, you grow both personally and professionally. Collaborating, networking and eating together is also a sure way to make new friends and business associates (pictured below). But most importantly, you learn how to move your business forward through specific action driven by a new mindset for where you want your business to be. This is my second year and it was great! Since last year I have released 7 quilting patterns and have been picked up by 2 distributors. I am so excited to do something that I enjoy and see my business grow.

Cabs 2016

WHAT I LEARNED AT CABS 2016:
1. Laurie knows a lot of Information that helped me with how, who and where.
2. Relationships build business.
3. Promote. Promote. Promote.
4. Communication is key, be clear with expectations.(Contract)
5. I need a square.
6. You never know where your next business opportunity will come from (Terri’s card game).
7. Proof your patterns. Again.
8. Know where your peeps are, Facebook, Instagram, Blogs
9. Your website should let people know what you are doing, what you are selling.
10. SEO? Please add info.
11. Success or failure? Own it.
12. Find ways to work smarter, collaborate.
13. Dream bigger.
14. Copyright: tangible and intangible rights.
15. YOU are your brand.
16. Project your dreams with positive statements and read them daily.
17. Believe in your dream and in yourself.
18. Work toward your goals, 3 things daily.
19. When hosting a blog hop, clear your calendar!
20. Replace limiting beliefs with positive affirmations.
21. Facebook groups can build fan base.
22. Stretch your neck during photos. Lol
23. Get them to Know, Like and Trust you.

Every year I make a list of what I learned, see what I learned last year on this post.

This event is a great investment to build your creative business, for more information on next year’s conference, click on the picture below.

summit

 

Pop-ups: The Blog Hop

February 9th 2016

Have you made a Pop-up yet? They are so fun! During this blog hop you’ll get to visit various blogs to see all the neat ways you can adapt a Pop-up and get a chance to win some by just leaving a comment.

webbadge

First off, let me say how totally practical these things are. They come in three sizes and are great to use in the car for trash, to hold hair clips, craft items, keys, snacks, baby items, the uses are endless. But the best part is that you can make them as pretty as you want. Jo did an introduction of this blog hop yesterday on her blog, check it out here.

jo's pop ups

Today I am featuring my Duck Duck Goose pattern,

Duck, Duck, Goose!

and how nicely this large matching Pop-up (using XL spring) goes with it.

Ducky Pop Up

This makes a great Baby Shower gift, you can put the quilt and other baby goodies right in the Pop-up. It can be re-used as a waste basket in a bathroom or a baby’s room or fill it with toys, blankets or toiletries for baby. This Ducky Pop-up features two ducks and the pattern was easy to adapt. The Duck Duck Goose (PDF or paper) pattern is included in one of the giveaways. You can even customize the colors if you want. And who doesn’t love a rubber ducky, right?

For instruction sheet on how to adapt the pattern go here or click below.

Ducky Promo blog

Below is the  Just Keep On Swimming quilt (available in (PDF or paper), it has a great “boy” or “summer” look to it that would complement any boy’s room and any age can be accommodated since this pattern comes with 3 size options. It’s perfect for a nautical or fishing theme.

Just Keep on Swimming, fish quilt
just keep on swimming

This Large sized Pop-up features 3 fish easily adapted from the pattern (PDF or paper) and it was a cinch! This design is great for mixing and matching favorite fabrics. For the inside, I used a fabric covered in little fishes, great for I Spy games too. This would be so cute for a beach home decor for a boy’s room.

Fishy 1

For instruction sheet to adapt the pattern go here. This Pop-up goes with a large sized spring not featured in today’s giveaway but available here.

Fishy PRomo blog

To make this Extra large Pop-up, I  adapted my Peppermints pattern and I love how it looks.  It’s a great holiday gift idea, you can fill it with a Pop-corn tin and other festive snacks and just hand it over to your party host or family.

peppermint 1

Of course you can also put a Christmas quilt in it too if you want to, for that special family member or friend.

peppermints on the beach

For pattern adaptation sheet, go here or click below.

Peppermint promo blog

Other featured Pop-up Partners are:

February 8th: The Patchwork Pearl

February 9th: Me, Summercrafter YOU ARE HERE!

February 10th: Triangle Frenzy

February 11th: Seams like a Dream

February 12th:Custom Quilt Kits

February 13th: Cabin in the Woods

February 14, 15th: Surprise!!

February 16th: On Point Quilter

February 17th: Happy Memories Quilts

February 18th: Poorhouse Quilt Design 

February 19th: Swirly Girl Design

For Blog Hop Headquarters head on over to the Fat Quarter Gypsy’s blog

FATQUARTER_ILLUSTRATION_TRANS

There you’ll see who is next on the hop and have a chance at the Grand Prize. All grand Prize entry emails will be shared with 11 designers in the blog hop.

I will be having two giveaways, items shown above, as a bonus I have included my Watercolor Sea Horse pattern (which is NOT Pop-up friendly). All you have to do it leave a comment telling me how you would made and use your Pop-up!

Thanks you all for visiting and commenting and for the drawing….

popup winners Collage