Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine Fabric Love - a giveaway

A recent IG conversation went something like this:

Aussie friend of mine: Hey Krista, does Canada celebrate Valentines Day like they do in the U.S.?
Poppyprint: Yes, but to most husbands it is a bit of a non-issue {note: THIS IS A GENERAL OBSERVATION WITH NO PARTICULAR HUSBAND IN MIND}
Aussie friend: Lolololololol, same!
Other Aussie friend: funny about that. Same here (crying emoji)
Poppyprint: It's a global crisis
Other Aussie friend: maybe we should just go out and buy our own diamonds. I think they would learn pretty quickly then.

Well, I don't know about you, but I just want more fabric. I hardly ever bother putting my diamonds on.

With this in mind, my lovely blog partner Fabric Please! has generously offered to gift one lucky reader a sweet Valentine of $40 Cdn to spend on anything in their shop!

Might I suggest this lovely Kate Spain Aria charm pack:

These Free Spirit Fowl Play dots are super fun (and on sale!)

This is a blog follower's giveaway because I love you guys for sticking with me.  Leave one comment here (maybe you'd like to share a sweet Valentine story with us?) to enter the giveaway. I'll choose a random winner on Friday, February 12. Just in time to buy yourself something special for the big day. Good luck!

I don't use the email address for any reason other than alerting giveaway winners that they've won. Sorry, but if I cannot contact you, you cannot win.

In the meantime, you may be interested in knowing that Fabric Please! is celebrating one full year in business with a month long sale running now until Feb.26th, 2016. With code ANNIVERSARY you'll receive 30% off all regularly priced yardage. This is a great sale!

Here's another of my homemade, hand-stitched valentines. This one was for my daughter, D (former circus athlete, current energizer bunny).

An embroidered Valentine that I made for my daughter several years ago.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My "Monthly Sparks" bundle!

I will freely admit my excitement when Daryl invited me to select a bundle of 12 fat quarters for her February subscribers in the Monthly Sparks program. Each month, lucky customers (it's a sold out program, but there's a wait list) receive a sweet surprise in the mail; a beautifully curated bundle from quilt bloggers who love fabric just as much as they do!

Fabric Spark February bundle

I spent a very enjoyable afternoon perusing virtual shelves of Fabric Spark, cutting and pasting thumbnail photos into a Word document so that I could see all of the fabrics side by side.  This shop website has a very easy and unique catalogue system for fabrics that makes it so easy to find colours, themes, designers, collections or manufacturers you are looking for. It wasn't really my plan to create a completely coordinating bundle; instead I was trying to find special prints that would round out the corners of a stash, but still work in a project together.  I think it is super fun to receive fabric this way...unexpected prints that you might not otherwise choose and that don't all come from one designer's fabric line.  I even went out on a limb (for me) and included a bit of gold metallics!  This bundle was waiting for me when I arrived home from a 10 day trip last night and I just love it all - I don't have any of these prints in my stash already, so it was exciting to see them all in person for the first time.

Fabric Spark February bundle

There's a pillow or mini quilt project that I have in mind for these. I hope to be able to carve out some time this week to make a start before the arrival of a Super Quilting VIP from Down Under (more on that excitement later!).

Fabric Spark February bundle

As I mentioned above, this subscription club is sold out, however Daryl told me on the QT that there might just be an extra bundle or two listed in the coming days. There are still spots in Fabricspark's Rainbow bundle or Free Spirit Fabric monthly subscriptions that you may want to check out. Honestly, the fabric selection in this shop is second to none.

An example of the Free Spirit bundle

I was so lucky on a recent visit to Toronto to spend a very enjoyable morning with Daryl and other quilters at Berene's Quilting for Refugees event, which happily coincided with my last-minute trip. I love talking fabric with Daryl - you can read all about her love of it in her fantastic newsletter called Fabric News for Fabric Lovers (and she may have said some very kind things about me in the last on *blush*). Sign up at the bottom of the shop homepage so that you don't miss any of her stunning new arrivals of quilting cotton, apparel and home-dec weight prints and many hard-to-find imports. 

U.S. quilters - remember that you instantly save close to 30% on everything that you buy from Canadian retailers due to an extraordinarily generous exchange rate!   

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sales & Arrivals News from Poppyprint Partners

Today's the day! Sew Sister's fabulous one day sale on continuous yardage (including clearance and last chance fabric!) includes flat rate shipping within Canada. Feast your eyes on this 108" wide backing by Tula Pink. Oooooooo!



Fabric Please! is having a sweet Valentines Day one-day promotion this coming Thank You Thursday (until midnight).

Save 15% off all in stock pink fabric using coupon code SAVE15

walk in the park daisy dot pink EESC8803_P

Save 20% off all in stock white fabric using coupon code SAVE20

tone-on-tone-white-sunburst1877W-09  Jazz-Music374-whitetone-on-tone-white-floral1873W-09

Save 25% off all in stock red fabric using coupon code SAVE25


Carolyn Friedlander's architecturally inspired new line Carkai has arrived at Fabric Spark!

Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander

There's also the brand new Nani Iro - this time in brushed cotton. Luscious for sophisticated receiving blankets or the softest cottage quilt ever!

Nani Iro Brushed cotton

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Your Maker's Tote

Yes, this could be YOURS!

Noodlehead Maker's Tote by Poppyprint

I've just completed this adorable Maker's Tote, designed by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. It is a wonderful pattern that is really pretty straight forward and easy. There's no turning, no squashing of batting/interfacing/outer bag and long handles through tiny lining openings. The trickiest part is sewing the bias binding on the bottom corners, but slow and steady (and Clover Wonder Clips) win the race!

Noodlehead Maker's Tote by Poppyprint

There's a slick zipper installation (optional magnetic snap instructions for those folks nervous of sewing straight lines that will show on the outside of the tote).  You use an opening zipper for a true wide-mouth bag that you could probably stuff a baby quilt into. It's size large for sure!

Noodlehead Maker's Tote by Poppyprint
There's another zip pocket on the back side of the tote!

I used the adorable Heather Ross print in linen for the outside. After all, what crafty maker can't relate to the creativity of little girls playing with their horses? A Denyse Schmidt  print for the side panels and handles, a Mochi linen dot for the inside slip pocket and an older, sweet Amy Butler print for the lining. The body of the bag is supported ByAnnie Soft and Stable. I chose special fabrics that I love because I'm sharing this bag with one Lucky Maker!

Noodlehead Maker's Tote by Poppyprint

Noodlehead Maker's Tote by Poppyprint

I hope to get around to making another for myself, but first I'm going to stuff this one with about $200 worth of gorgeous modern fabrics from my generous blog partners and a bunch of gifts from me. This will be the prize for my epic 5K follower giveaway on Instagram! If you're not on IG, I'm sorry that you won't be able to win, however there will be another fun giveaway right here around Valentines Day just for blog followers. Everybody gets a chance, just as soon as the prizes arrive and I can photograph everything in it's epicness. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Moving along to Valentine's Day

Is the statute of limitations on Christmas over? I shared my gifting makes in my last post and I've noticed that several friends are blogging about Valentines tutorials (we want to give you lots of time!). So here are a couple of mine for those of you that are new(ish) to Poppyprint!

First, you can find the full instructions for this sweet ballet tote that I designed over on the Sew Sisters blog This is a really fun and versatile bias tape technique. You could easily use this as a quilt block, or piece it into any other tote pattern you love!

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

The second one is for cute fabric postage stamps - perfect for any occasion, really. These were created in response to a Sew, Mama, Sew challenge several years ago to create fabric love letters with a sewn envelope pattern tutorial by Jennifer Casa. They are so fun to make!

fabric stamp tute_9_24

fabric stamp tute_9_19

They are a completely non-functional, frivolous, crafty indulgence. Perfect for play letters for children, or secret embroidered love notes for a special someone, like this one I made for my husband six years ago.

Valentine's from years gone by...

Valentine's from years gone by...
Get it?

Happy making!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Overdue: Some Christmas Makes

I love gifting handmade at Christmastime; my 2 kids, 7 nieces and nephews and many good friends keep me busy every year coming up with new things to make for all of them. 2015 was year of the treasure pouch/pencil case!  Thanks to Krista's fabulous pattern in Beyond Cotton, I was able to whip these up with some upholstery-grade vinyl in no time.  I love using my vast collection of fun Japanese linen prints for projects like this.

Christmas 2015 gifts I made
These are made to exactly the pattern size in the book.

Christmas 2015 gifts I made
These are smaller to accommodate some shorter zips I had  - Krista includes a formula for reducing the pouch size based on the length of zipper you have. Very handy.

The linen portions of the pouches are interfaced with fusible fleece and the pouches are fully lined. I'd always been afraid of sewing with metal zips; I've broken SO many needles making complicated bags with thick layers, or forgetting to change from a straight stitch to open hole stitch plate, that metal zips seemed like an inevitable accident.  Every time a needle breaks, my heart skips a beat and I feel I'm taking valuable days off my life.  Krista's pattern got me beyond my metalzipophobia!

The other project from her book that I made for grown-up guy gifts were these super stylish gadget clutches. I sized them for standard ipads. Because I could not find any locally, I had to order the 3mm industrial woolfelt from this shop in Toronto. I've since been asked to make a few more - they have a great finish, are not difficult if you have the right tools and according to my son T "they look totally pro!"

I thought the stamped number on the leather was cool, so I placed it as a feature rather than cut it off.

Gadget clutch from the book Beyond Cotton by Krista Fleckenstein.
Specially requested stitching detail by T - I must say I was happy that he took an interest and asked me to make this tiny one custom for his e-reader!

The woolfelt is pretty pricey, so I didn't want to waste any offcuts. Instead, I trimmed them into long narrow strips, appliqued some pretty ribbon and made these keyfobs! Result! (by the way, "result" is my all time fav British expression that I love using, even though I am completely unBritish).


I made a bunch of knitting bowls to gift friends, then got an order for two more. These are such fun to make! I was surprised at how easy it is to install the grommet through the cording. I first did a bunch of extra stitching where I wanted to place the grommet, then marked the circle with a fineliner. I cut out the hole (very carefully) with an ex-acto knife, then trimmed errant threads with small scissors before inserting the grommet.

Christmas 2015 gifts I made

Christmas 2015 gifts I made

The last gift item I managed were three of these super cute and handy embroidery floss wallets. Sadly, I didn't take any interior photos and only managed to photograph this one before gifting all of them. I stayed true to the great FREE tutorial by Melissa that you can find here, except I added a little appliqued pocket on the front for snips. It's super easy - the hardest part for me was cutting the vinyl strips for the inside pockets. It is really hard to see clear vinyl through your rulers!


Please excuse some of these not-so-great nighttime photos. Most Christmas sewing around here is done at night and is so last minute there's no time to wait for perfect daylighting to take proper pictures. With my family all far, far away, expedient wrapping and posting is required!

I think everyone was pleased with their gifts. I know I had a great time creating for family and friends this year. What did you make for gifting?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Beautiful Textiles from the Beginning

I'm in full prep mode for my day-retreat on Saturday!  I just saw this on Facebook and wanted to share a photo essay, by photographer Christopher Payne, of America's last textile mills. Feast your eyes on some remarkable industrial beauty here.

Photo: Christopher Payne

I've almost finished the sewing required for my epic Poppyprint5Kgiveaway.  The prizes are starting to roll in, so it won't be long until it's posted on my Instagram account. So excited to share!!