Posts by Jennie

Some Thoughts and Questions on Blogging

PincushionI’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reading, and talking about blogging lately. I feel like this blog has kind of slipped away from me ever since I moved from California a little over a year ago. Moving across the country, having a baby, continued growth of our shop, and Instagram has resulted in me spending less time blogging, reading blogs, and being a member of the blogging community. Then, I read this post about blogger burnout and I realize that I had to let blogging slip from the place it once was {there is no way I can manage four posts a week like I used to!}.You-Are-EnoughWith the changes in my life, and doing my best to devote my time to my family, I’ve also faced some feelings of inadequacy within the quilting and sewing blog world. It seems like so many bloggers are producing tutorials, writing books, opening pattern shops, and becoming fabric designers, and I start to wonder if I’m really doing enough. But then, as this postcard from my lovely friend Jenny reminds me I don’t need to focus my energy on what I’m not doing, I just need to go forward with what I am doing, that is enough.

So, I’d like to refocus and freshen the content I produce up a little bit. I’d love to know what kind of things you look for in blogs you enjoy reading, and then I can cater my content to readers {and I know my mom is curious about this too!}.

I know we all love tutorials {and there are sure to be  more of those in the future}, but I’d love to know what other things you like to read about, what draws you to a blog, and what kind of things you’d like to learn. I’ve also set up a little survey, so you can answer a couple questions, and you’re also welcome to leave a comment, whichever you prefer!

Edit to add (11/18): Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey! It was just a free plan so only the first 100 responses were collected {I figured it would take a few days before we reached 100}. If you’d like to add anything to the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I’ll post about the survey results later this week!

the Daphne bag {Perfect Pattern Parcel Exclusive}

Pattern-Parcel-7

Happy Friday everyone! We’re excited to announce the release of our newest pattern, the Daphne bag, as an exclusive launch for Pattern Parcel #7! What is the Perfect Pattern Parcel, you may ask? It is a curated collection of patterns {this time handbags!} that is sold together with proceeds benefiting classrooms in need. You choose your own price and how much you’d like to donate, and you’ll receive five amazing patterns.

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo

Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns

Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs

Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White

Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns

BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet <–That’s us!

Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #6 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That’s only $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

How Pattern Parcel Works:

Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

Daphne-bag-bonus-pattern

We’re excited to be included in this great collection for a great cause. You can also read more about the Perfect Pattern Parcel on their blog.

purchase buttonNote: I’m still waiting for some photos from pattern testers, so those will be posted in a separate post.

Machine Sewn Mini by Sew Lux

Machine-Sewn-Mini-Block

The lovely Chrissy at Sew Lux Fabric has a new pattern – Machine Sewn Mini. Chrissy is one of my very first blogger friends. We sort of bumped into each other back in 2010 when I held a blog giveaway for some fabric from her shop, right after she and her mom had opened Sew Lux Fabric. I recently got to meet her in person at Quilt Market too, which was pretty exciting for me {with 3 little kids, I don’t get out much!}.

Machine-Sewn-Mini-Blue

Let me just say, this pattern is perfect! I was able to cut and piece the machines effortlessly due to her clear instructions. It’ doesn’t use a lot of fabric, so it’s great for scraps, I decided to make these into pouches because I have a couple specific recipients in mind and I think the pouches will be perfect for them.

Machine-Sewn-Mini-Pink

I hope you’ll check out the Machine Sewn Mini pattern {there are kits too!}. I think I’m going to make a couple more as mini quilts too!

I also want to thank you all for your kind comments on my Plus Quilt post! I will be leaving the Cotton + Steel prints in. I’m working on replying to your comments too…but I sewed yesterday instead! Hope you’re having a great week!

Lydia’s Plus Quilt {Making the Top}

Lydia-Stack-2I’ve been working away on this little quilt, determined to finish it before the year is over. Using the fabrics from this post, and adding a few more, plus some low volume, I’ve come up with this for the entire quilt. I feel like I’ve been buying fabric like a crazy woman for the past few years, and now I just need to sew. Take, for example, the fact that the above stack is the fabric after I’ve cut out the whole quilt top…

Cutting-TableI made a coloring chart in Electric Quilt 7, so I’ve been sewing the quilt row by row, instead of trying to arrange the pieces after it’s cut. So far, I’m loving the way it’s worked out!

Lydia-Plus-QuiltAnd, here’s the quilt, about half way done. I think I like it, though, I am a little worried that the Cotton + Steel prints are too saturated for the rest of the quilt. I converted the photo to black and white to see how the color values look, and I’m kind of struggling:

Plus-Quilt-ValueAre the darker values too random? I don’t really want to take too much apart, but I don’t want to make a whole quilt and be dissatisfied with it either. I think maybe I just need to work on placement a little more carefully for the remainder of the quilt.

Now, for the real question, is this kind of quilt something you’d like to make? I was thinking a sort of mini pattern/quilt along – with a coloring sheet in multiple bed sizes? It is a pretty easy quilt and would work for a scrappy quilt too. Thoughts?

Playing with Color :: Lydia’s Quilt

Lydia-Stack

With things settling down for fall, it is high time I got to work and made Lydia a quilt {she is one year old now!}. As you may have guessed, I really love purple {Clover & Violet}, but I feel like the options for purple in the fabric world are minimal and not always pretty {why is that? Do we as a collective quilt community dislike purple?}. So, over time, I’ve scouted out a few favorite purples and stashed them. I chose this stack {plus some more that I added later} for the quilt.

Photoshop-Elements

Then, I remembered seeing that Alyssa at Pile O’ Fabric made a Kona® Color Swatch for Adobe Illustrator. I went over to download it, did some internet searches, and discovered that, yes, I can use this in Photoshop Elements 12 too! So, now I am able to use her virtual Kona® card to make some pretty neat fabric photos too, for inspiration and for saving {and, of course, fabric shopping!}. Now, I just hope she adds the new colors so all 303 are there {and, I need a new Kona card too, since two of the colors I chose weren’t even on my color card, it is that old!}.

Lydia Quilt Small

So, here’s my stack for Lydia’s quilt with the Kona® colors next to it. Now I’ve just got to get the quilt sewn up!

Do you have a favorite color combo you’d love to see in fabric?