New Project: Geofabulous by Maude Asbury for Blend {& Tool Storage}

Hello! I have a couple of things to share with you today!

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We have the wonderful privilege of working with Blend fabrics again this year. We always get excited when we get that email nearing quilt market. This year we are sewing with Geofabulous by Maude Asbury. We are making a bag for them to take along to Fall Quilt Market. The bag pattern is a new pattern of ours called “Felicity“, and it is already at the pattern testers getting its final touch ups. It should be released very soon and added to our shop. I have seen a couple of finished “Felicity bags” (one is mine) and I love them! (Also, I  use my tray to carry my projects around it helps to keep them organized.)

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I started by making hexagons for the front and back panels of the bag. Geofabulous is really a pretty line of fabric to work with. Nice and colorful and lots of great prints. I think it looks great in hexagons too. P.S. Blend Fabrics are so lovely to work with, it has a  very quality feeling!

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The hexagons will be sewn onto the main print fabric for the outside of the bag and then will have the other fabric shown here for handles and binding. It also has a frame purse in the middle, which I can’t wait to use. I think it will be really pretty and a very useful bag to have. We will be showing more pictures as we finish it up. Maybe you want to be thinking about what you would like to use Geofabulous to make.

Tool-storage

The last thing I wanted to show you was what I use for small tool storage. Donna had a cute little planter for hers, and I use these little buckets. I had to get them all together to show you. One for crochet hooks, that I am hoping to use soon. Another one to hold pens and pencils for marking and writing lists. And lastly, one for my rotary cutters, so they are easy to find and don’t get lost under piles of fabric.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Organizing Around The Cutting Table

This contributor post was written by Donna of donnaslavendernest.


 

Hello Y’all.
I am donna from donnaslavendernest and I am so happy to be back here at Clover and Violet. I just want to show you a few things I do to keep my cutting table organized.

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I just love using vintage planters, I think they make everything cuter. This one holds my business cards so they are handy when I need them. They stay near my cutting so I can add them to orders.

rotary cutters

This sweet Mothers Goose planter is a recent find. It holds my rotary cutters and keeps them handy.

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The other thing I like to keep handy is purple twine. I found this sugar shaker at a resale shop a couple of years ago, and this is how I store my twin. It helps to keep it from getting tangled up. I use the twin sometimes to wrap my orders.

That all the goodness I have for now. Hope you enjoyed my post.

Thank you so much Jennie and Clara for having me back it is a real treat to here.

Hugs,
donna

Roly-Poly Pinafore and KAM Snap Pliers

Maisie-Roly-Poly-4I made Norah this Roly-Poly Pinafore quite a while ago {I was working on it when I posted my tips for PDF patterns in May!}. However, after I made the same pattern for Lydia and did not like how my button holes turned out {or rather, that I had to remake one side 4 times!}. So, I tucked the nearly finished pinafore into a plastic bag and it sat…

KAM-Snaps-and-PliersThen, after I finished the Little Pearl Dress with snaps, I thought, why not finish the Roly-Poly the same way?! So, I got out my KAM Snap Pliers and some purple snaps {Norah chose the color} and finished the pinafore in a few minutes!

Maisie-Roly-Poly-2The tabs of this Roly-Poly Pinafore don’t have any interfacing, but I’ll make sure to add some next time {since I’ll be planning on using the snaps}. Hopefully it holds up okay anyway!

Maisie-Roly-Poly-3The fabric is Maisie by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics, the same I used for my Alder Skirt. I love the contrast on the Roly-Poly Pinafore, it gives it a fresh, fun look for little girls!

Maisie-Roly-Poly-5I’m working on building a partially handmade wardrobe for Norah, so these layering types of clothes are great. They’ll last through fall and spring depending on what she’d wearing under them. My goal is to add a couple more tops and a few skirts {fabric is on the way!}.

Do you have any favorite patterns for girls that don’t use tons of fabric {I love the frilly dresses, but cannot bring myself to using 2+ yards of fabric for a 3T dress!}? I’d love to hear them. And, if you’re looking for more toddler sewing tips, check out Rachel’s {Sew Happily} posts on children’s fashion.

A Guide to Selling at Craft Fairs – Part 1

This contributor post is written by Erika of Midwest Family Life.

Hi, my name is Erika and I own Midwest Family Life, a sewing and quilting business for moms and babies. I started selling my products a about a year ago on Etsy and haven’t looked back. Today I’m going to give you a two-part article on selling at craft fairs. Part 1 is the nuts and bolts of doing one. Part 2 will be about what I’ve learned and tips that might help you be successful.

My business really took off after I had success at a local craft fair (one of the largest Fall Fests in our area). From that point on I got really excited and started booking more craft fairs for the entire 2014 year. This post will hopefully give you some pointers on how to manage yourself at a craft fair. Hopefully it will inspire you or educate you so that you can help your own business.

I will preface this that although my first experience was good, things started going downhill and I have actually backed away from craft fairs and probably won’t do many anymore. Craft fairs aren’t for every business. With that being said, maybe your business is the right one that does super!

14843692402_1d0d5c70bc_oI want to do a craft fair, what do I need?
So, you want to do a craft fair? There is a lot of prep that goes into doing one of these. They really end up taking so much time from you; from the products you need to make to sell to the time it takes to set up and sit there. I did most of my fairs with another seller (friend) who made a complimentary product, this way we shared the expense of the booth and were able to walk around and take bathroom breaks. Fees around me (Wisconsin) are anywhere from $40-$150/fair, depending on the location. It adds up fast!

1. Find a fair that will target your product’s main customer. I learned the hard way when I originally got super excited about starting a business. I signed up for some craft fairs that were in a very rural part of our state. The turnout was awful for me. Customers didn’t see in the value in my product. They were more interested in the “country craft” product, which certainly wasn’t me. Customers were spending money, just not at my booth. So before you get super excited and start signing up for any fair that you see, really evaluate the customer base. Ask the coordinator how many people came out last year (stats). Is it the “2nd Annual” or the “20th Annual?” The larger the number, the better the turnout. Nothing is worse than sitting there all day, not making a penny, or actually losing money on the cost/gas/time.

2. Once you have a good fair to attend, really work on your booth. You only have 10 square feet to give off an impression of your business and your product. You want people to wander in. Make sure your tables and booth space are an extension of you and your business. If you don’t put a lot of thought into your space, customers will assume you don’t put a lot of thought into your product. Pinterest is amazing for inspiration!! I have started gathering ideas on a Craft Fair board here. Take a look and get inspired. Start collecting ideas to paint a really great space for yourself! The photos above and below are one of my recent booths.

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3. Pack the night ahead and make a check list. If you plan on doing a lot of fairs, make a little “craft fair kit” of things you’ll need for every event. Things like rope, tape, scissors, cash, square reader, etc. You can find a very comprehensive list here.

4. Patience and a smile. You are selling your product. Work on finding the balance between jumping on each customer when they even glance at your booth and ignoring them so much you seem uninviting. Really work on reading your customer and knowing when to say something. Since I sell baby things I tried to open my conversation with things like, “Your baby is so cute, how old is she?” “How many grandkids do you have?” “You look great, when are you due?” It was my way of approaching them but in a soft way– not so much about my products, but about the customer.

5. If you want to push your brand make sure people know who your brand is. Have a sign that’s easy to read! I purchased the small, outdoor banner from Vistaprint. It was only $17. A small price to pay for a durable sign that can be used over and over. But, make sure you practice hanging it because they aren’t as easy as you would think. I’ve tried clips, string– depending on the wind, you’ll want to have different options in your kit.

This should get you a start on selling at craft fairs. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the post– my tips, tricks, and lessons learned. Good luck and remember to have fun! After all, you started this business because of your passion. Live it and love it.

Granny Square Quilt Is Finished

It is officially finished and I am really happy how it turned out.

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It was a little bit tricky because it was (really) crooked. I did feel a little overwhelmed how to square it up. I tried the ruler and measuring method but it was just not really helping. So I used a large mat board that we had. I placed it in the corner and what ever was outside of the corner and edges I simply cut off with my ruler and rotary cutter. I just went all the way around the quilt and did all the corners and edges.  Not being able to see the quilt itself helped me not try to fiddle with it and adjust it too much. It may not be the most accurate or mathematical way to do it but it worked for me. My main desire was that it be square and if some of the border was cut off that was okay. It is a scrappy quilt with a scrappy border so it didn’t ruin its final look.

Donna from Donna’s Lavender Nest machine quilted it for me using the fluffy clouds pattern. She did a great job!!

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This picture is after I finished binding it and was ready to wash it. I love the gingham binding with the backing.

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Here it is after it is all washed and crinkled. It is a very scrappy quilt and I love all the fabrics I have in it. (Precise, no, fun, yes!!)

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One last picture all folded up and ready to snuggle under since the weather is beginning to cool off. Now that I have this one finished I am ready to start another. (Or maybe finish one that I already have!!)

I hope you have a great week and enjoy what ever you are doing!!