Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

And so August is almost here. Time for back to school, fall fashion, and - most importantly - new fabric lines! It seems there is a lull in the summer when most of the fabric collections available to order are holiday based. Think Christmas and Halloween. While that's great, nothing beats the excitement of having all the wonderful fabric previewed at Spring Quilt Market ready to ship!

Being a small shop, I can only carry a tiny percentage of what is available. Given that, I have to choose wisely. But how can I possibly narrow down from this lineup? Which would you choose?

Field Study by Anna Maria Horner (available in August from Free Spirit)

Chicopee by Densye Schmidt (available in August from Free Spirit)

The Simple Life by Tasha Noel (available in September from Riley Blake)

Oh Deer! by MoMo (available in August from Moda)

Of course, there are many, many other fantastic collections debuting in the coming months as well. These are just the ones that have caught my eye the most. What do you think? What would you do if you were me? Are there other fabric lines you're excited about that aren't featured here?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Meet Ellie & Liv... And a Giveaway Winner Announced!

I mentioned in my last post that I've been busy launching a secondary business. Well, today I'm going to introduce you to my latest undertaking - Ellie & Liv.

Ellie & Liv is a hand-crafted hair accessories shop. I so enjoy making pretty things for my two daughters - Olivia and Isabelle - that I decided to see if I could make a little business out of sharing my passion with others.

It all started with making simple flower headbands...

And then it grew to making them with more fancy flowers...

Then I branched into making elastic hair ties - which are great on young girls and women of all ages. They are all I will pull my hair back with now. I love how soft they are - and how well they stay in place. But, then, I'm biased. :)

Then, I started vending at the local farmers market every Saturday. I'm having a blast meeting the wonderful people who stop by and interacting with customers face-to-face.

My product line is growing too. I'm adding a line of clip-y hair bows and new flower headband styles! I'm also getting in tons of new colors of elastic for the hair ties - including some fun neons. :)

Swell Cloth isn't going anywhere. I'm going to continue to run that business like always while I nurture this start-up. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to flex my entrepreneurial muscles with this new venture and provide for my family in an additional way.

Will it be crazy trying to balance being a full time stay-at-home mom to two girls AND run two businesses? Absolutely. But I'm up for the challenge!

If you're interested, I'm offering a 20% off discount. Just use code GRANDOPENING when checking out.

Now - for the giveaway winner of the Lila Tueller Bohemian Festival fat quarter bundle!

Using the Random Number Generator... the winner is... comment #3, which was made by Jennifer Gill. Jennifer, I will send you an email to coordinate mailing your prize. Congratulations!

And than you to all who participated. I appreciate your interest and support.

Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Whole Cloth Quilting

What a busy few weeks it has been around here! All is well - I just got caught up in the minutia of life with two little children home for the summer. I've also been busy launching a secondary business, which I'll share more about with you soon.

Today, I have a whole-cloth quilt to show you.

This month's Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild swap was a whole-cloth quilt. I dug through my stash and came up with this long piece of Heather Bailey Chevron Stripe. Love this fabric - and have been looking for the perfect project to make with it for years.

Following the chevron stripes on the printed piece, I used different colored bobbin thread and traced the zig zags. This created a semi-reversible piece.

The top thread was white. I decided to use a neutral to not detract from the fabric print. Even though it was pretty simple straight-line quilting, I knew my lines would not be perfect, and I didn't want wobbly, sloppy looking dark thread as a distraction.

The project turned out long enough to be a small table runner. I hope that it is being enjoyed in my swap partner's home! :)

I'll be back later in the week to announce the give away winner. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bohemian Festival Giveaway

I'm thrilled to announce the latest fabric line to arrive at Swell Cloth headquarters: Lila Tueller's Bohemian Festival.

I've long been a fan of Lila's work and am so excited to finally have her fabric in the shop!

What I like best about her designing are the palettes. They are fresh and bright without being too overwhelming. The prints are always balanced very well - some small, some large - and translate well into just about anything you'd want to sew.

On Lila Tueller's blog, she shared photos of her Spring Market 2012 booth. I love the adorable bags and garments she created! Check out her blog for more great images of her beautiful display.

If you need even more inspiration for what to do with this fabric, Riley Blake offers this super-cute (and free!) Blowfish Pincushion tutorial on their Cutting Corners website.


I want to share a little bit of this Bohemian Festival loveliness with one of you. Enter to win the 5 Fat Quarter bundle pictured above. Interested? Here's how to play: There are three ways to enter.

1. Leave a comment telling your favorite festival to attend. (For the record - mine is my hometown's Oktoberfest that is put on by the Sister Cities organization every September. Even though it's usually hot, the timing marks the beginning of fall, my favorite season!)

2. Link to this giveaway from your blog and leave me another comment that you did so.

3. Tweet about the giveaway and leave another comment that you did so.

Deadline: Tuesday, July 10 by midnight EST. I'll draw the winner via Random Number Generator sometime next week.

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fun in the Sun

Last week, I took my girls on an impromptu trip to Cleveland to visit friends. While there, we spent a day on Lake Erie. I grew up boating, tubing, skiing, and swimming in that lake. Being back in the cool, crisp water was a little like a homecoming for me. Quite rejuvenating.

Before leaving, I whipped up a few sun hats for the girls (and also a boy version for the son of the friends we stayed with). My plan was to get a pic of all of them in their hats, but the babies did not cooperate. Olivia will have to carry this one for the team! :)

The pattern is by Oliver + S and is a free download. The clever design makes a reversible hat. I used Moda Bella Solid in Bubble Gum and Ivory. Once I made one, the others came together quickly. I'm a novice garment sewer, so a more experienced seamstress would probably have no trouble at all.

Hope you are getting out and having some fun in the sun this summer too!