As regular readers know, one of my goals this year is to release my first retail pattern! I am pleased announce that is is now available. The Radiant Folded Star and Covered Box is inspired by a project that I did with my grandmother over 30 years ago.
I always have a few wool applique projects in process at any one time. I usually cut out all the wool pieces, get the embroidery floss, and the put everything in a Ziploc bag so it can be worked on later. They are great to stitch on in the evening when watching TV or just hanging out. As you can imagine, there are a few Ziploc bags sitting in my closet!
Sharon of Liberty Rose has a great idea for organizing all these items! This project notebook features wool applique on the front and inside cover (so you have a place to keep your needles and pins) and it pretty easy to sew together (I plan to post a tutorial about how to cover the notebook sometime before the end of the year). The notebook contains zippered pouches that are the perfect size for carrying all your project supplies.
The notebook is standard 3 Ring binder. I ironed fusible fleece on my stitching fabric so that the cover is more durable (especially since it will be used a lot). I did some basic applique on the front and and inside cover.
I didn’t go too crazy with the embroidery embellishments, since the main purpose is functional, not decorative. My embroidery time is better spent finishing up the wool crazy block that was started a year ago! A pocket on the back inside cover can carry larger pattern books that won’t fit in the pouches.
Now, when traveling, I just take out a zippered project pouch, throw it in the suitcase, and am good to go. Talk about Keeping it Thimble!
In other news, look for details in the next week or so on my first published pattern. In the meantime, here are some sneak peeks:
The first draft of Carry All Project Tote pattern is almost completed. A few testers are lined up, so they will help me fine tune the directions. I am teaching a class on this tote at the Whistle Stop Quilt Shop in Cary, NC on September 10.
Please call or visit the shop if you want to sign up. You should be able to finish the project in class (if you do your homework beforehand!). The shop has the supply list and the homework assignment:
So far, so good. I have the first part of the pattern written which include the yardage and the directions for cutting the fabric. Honestly, this part is probably the most difficult for me to write because it’s tricky to figure out how much fabric to tell people to get.
If you estimate too low (ie, just barely enough) there is a chance that someone makes a cutting error, doesn’t have enough for the project, and has to go back to store for more. If you estimate too much, someone will spend more then they need on the fabric and have a lot of scraps left over! I personally don’t mind having leftovers, but in this economy, I know I try to save money where I can :).
My pattern lists the sizes for each piece, but in addition it will also include cutting instructions so that people can cut out the pieces the most efficient way possible. I always appreciate patterns who have provide specific guidelines on how to actually cut the yardage into pieces. Sometimes I follow them, and sometimes I don’t, but it’s nice to have them.
Labels for the pattern pieces are also included so that there is any easy way to track all the pieces. Each piece is assigned a specific number and you will cut out the labels and pin them to the appropriate pattern piece. The directions will reference the piece number on the labels to (hopefully) eliminate any confusion with the actual pattern.
What do you think about these pattern features? Is there anything else I should also include?
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that I have found a mentor to help me get my pattern design business off the ground. She has given me a lot of ideas and information about how to do this and I am well on my way to getting my creations designed and ready for prime time.
The bad news is that in order to do focus on pattern design, I will be taking a brief vacation from my blog. I won’t be doing a lot of posts for the next 1 -2 months or so, but I will be posting photos here and there of what I am doing so you know that I am working hard.
My son recently built a “bed” for me in my sewing room closet since I spend so much time in there. He got all the blankets out of the linen closet and then added all his stuffed animals (so I have some company) to create this little nest. He likes going in there at the end of the day to take a break and enjoy looking at my fabric (a real chip off the old block 😉 ).
I’m excited about this new direction and looking forward to showing off what I’ve accomplished.
Sew many things, sew little time! Sorry, it just had to be said – there are a lot of things going on in the next few months and I need to be better about managing my sewing and designing time. This is the year I really want to take a step forward with turning Keep It Thimble into something more than a blog – and I working over the past few months on some things that are helping in that regard.
One thing I am planning is to have three of my patterns written, tested, and published before the end of this year. The first pattern is called “Carry All Project Tote”. This is a working title, so if you have any title suggestions, please send them my way!
This tote was inspired by the popular L.L Bean tote bags, but with a twist (of course). My version features two exterior pockets, one in front of the other, and it also has a bit of the lining that peeks out on the top to form a nice contrasting edge. Another nice feature is that this tote is very sturdy and stiff so you can easily reach inside to get things without the bag flopping over. The dimensions are the perfect size for a few books, sewing supplies, and other project needs. It would also make an ideal library tote.
The pattern will be written up by the end of July and then it will be tested in August/September and ready for purchase in October – if all goes well. That may be an optimistic schedule, but I have to start somewhere don’t I?
In other news, the group involved in the Porch Sale had a meeting yesterday. We have expanded to about 17 vendors and should have a nice variety of things to offer. Mark your calendars for Oct 14th and 15th.
The January Sewing Club pattern is finally ready! I was trying to think of something fun to kick off the new year and figured that any sewer can always use another pincushion. This one is nice because you have a place to store your thimble, thread and snips. I was inspired by something similar I saw at an antique store. Enjoy!
Click here to download a .pdf of the pattern. (1.6 MB)
This is a folded patchwork star that is easy to make. These make great Christmas gifts and it’s a great way to use up some of your stash (to make room for new fabric). My grandmother showed me how to make these stars when I was little – I can still remember carefully looking through all the fabrics in her stash to pick the fabrics for the star I made. Once the star was completed, we got an old round cheese box, covered it in fabric, and sewed the star on top!
The pattern is available for purchase in my shop. It contains step by step directions for creating the Folded Star, with photos showing the key steps. It has finishing instructions for both a fabric covered box and a table topper.
I am pleased to present the first project for KIT Sewing Club – a trick or treat bag I designed for my son! Please see the “Sewing Club” tab at the top of the page for more information on the club. You don’t have to join in order to enjoy this pattern.
Please send in a picture of your bag when it is completed and I will post it on the blog. I look forward to seeing what everyone makes! Please add a comment if you have any questions about the pattern.