My First Quilt in 13 Years

A certain little someone {who’s name shall not be said or they’ll know!} is having a birthday soon and I wanted to make a quilt for her.

The last quilt {and only other quilt} I made was back in Home Ec class in 8th grade so I went into this project with low expectations and a lot of patience. I finished it in three stages – Piecing the entire front together and adding the backing, sewing on most of the binding {I ran out}, then finishing the rest of the binding. Though the project took about two weeks to finish, total I only spent 4 hours on it. Its not my best work ever, but I am sure it will be appreciated!

Not bad, eh?

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I’m also currently working on a toss and keep garter for a bride who’s wedding is in October.

Will be working on one more rolled fabric flower and adding embellishments to it tonight. So gorgeous!

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Picking Daisies Interview | June 2012

Last fall I was able to sit down and get the scoop from two lovely ladies – Kay and Dede. They’re sisters who own the darling shoppe Picking Daisies downtown San Luis Obispo in The Creamery. What used to be a handmade cloth napkin and table linen store {with the occasional lavender saché lying around for purchase} is quickly transforming its self into a darling and modern fabric shoppe.

I had the pleasure of being able to sit down with them again to discuss the big transformation and find out if their fabric influences have changed in the past nine months…

When you first opened Picking Daisies, how did you build your clientele? Did you advertise or promote at all?

Kay: We never really formally advertised

Dede: We sort of did a s0ft opening and then Art After Dark

Kay: And with Art After Dark, which was our Grand Opening, we just invited a bunch of a friends and I think we just grew by word of mouth

Dede: And then the New Times did an article about us just before Christmas and that brought a ton of people in as well as The Journal and The Tribune – that was all within six months. That helped bring people in and get to know us

So from being so successful in growing quickly without any formal advertising are you hoping for the same in transforming into a fabric shoppe or are you going about it differently?

Kay: We placed an ad in the Tribune this time and we have been sort of hinting at it in our newsletter

Was it successful?

Kay: One of our friends said she saw the ad and tried to think of what shop it might be thats in The Creamery so when she came here she said she had heard of Picking Daisies as the napkin store, but never thought of coming in because she is a sewer and sewed her own napkins. So theres a lot of fabricy people out there who haven’t previously been on our radar because we sold what they already knew how to make. Its brought in people who have known we have been here for the past 3 1/2 years, customers or not, who just didn’t know we sell fabric now. I’m also thinking about having the Downtown Business Association forward our newsletter to their whole mailing list, which will reach a lot of people. We really just need to make it crystal clear. 

Do you plan on having a re-opening to promote the fabric side of your shoppe?

Kay: No, we don’t. In fact, I hadn’t even thought about that. But there are a few things we would like to take care of before we do something like that.

{This is where I offered my services to help out if they do choose to launch a re-opening, haha}

Dede: We should do something like that – that would be fun

It would be fun and great because San Luis does not have a decent, modern fabric store. It’s all curtailed, in my opinion, to quilters specifically who may not be ‘hip’ to what us modern sewers are in to.

When you introduced the small amount of fabric before, your selections were based mainly off of ‘will this make a good napkin?’; have you selections for fabric and what you bring in now – and are planning on carrying in the future – changed as far as what you think it will be good as? Do you select it by personal taste and what will sell as fabric or what will make a good napkin?

Kay: When we made our first fabric collection purchase we still had it in the back of our minds whether or not it would make a good napkin, but we also feel like we may never turn these into napkins because we love it so much.

Which collection would that be?

Dede: It’s the new Lotta Jansdotter collection

KaySo it’s the first fabric that we bought that we will probably never turn into napkins or table linens

DedeKay is really into buying collections now instead of just buying one fabric from a collection {for napkins}. Shes buying four or five in a collection.

{At this point in the interview the phone rang and it just so happened to be the guy who was making the new signs for the shop. While Kay was on the phone with him, Dede showed me some of the new placemats they had made out of some of the fabric they’re now carrying in the shoppe. They look fabulous!}

I think its fantastic that you have table linens and fabric and that you can sell the fabric for custom table linens. Not a lot of fabric stores offer that. In working at Birch, we would have customers come in to purchase fabric and would ask if we could make them a tablecloth or a bag – Birch doesn’t offer that service within. Because you do that, I think it’s a huge sell.

Dede: Mmmhmm, I agree, it is good and we want to continue doing that for our customers. I even had a customer come in and ask if we could make a bikini for them! Umm, no. Haha. But I don’t know of any place in the county that makes table linens other than us and I think that makes us unique.

Now the last time I was here gettin’ the scoop, I had asked if you ladies planned on expanding the store and offering more goods than table linens and the occasional lavender saché and you said very minimally, but no; not really.

Dede: When was the last interview? Last summer?

It was in August, so just at the end of summer.

Dede: I wonder when we discovered that a friend of ours was a really great sewer. Kay, when did we discover Barb was a great sewer?

Kay: Last November, so just after the interview.

Dede: That may be it. When we started working with her on our table linens, extending from just napkins to table cloths, we were finding that tablecloths take up a whole lot of one bolt. Needing to purchase and carry more fabric than what we were needing before just kind of grew into just wanting more fabric in general.

Kay: We were being introduced to so many more designers and manufacturers and they were contacting us trying to sell their fabric, we just couldn’t say no. So yeah; forget everything I said last summer.

How do you want to set yourself apart from other fabric stores in this area? 

Kay: We really want to try and target sewers who are either new to the art or are always trying to find new ideas in the art. We want to be available to the modern sewers that are coming out of the woodworks. We’re not looking to carry an entire collection and become crowded and overwhelming; we want to be able to look at a collection, pick out four or five that we like {and feel everyone else will} and just carry that. You go into a lot of fabric stores and theres just too much too look at; we don’t want that.

So you don’t really want to outgrow this space?

Both ladies: No, not at all. Its a great space and a perfect location. 

Dede: There are a lot of changes happening in The Creamery with the existing business already that we feel we can really benefit from being in this location. 

Kay: I think the changes are going to bring a lot of new faces. I think all of these changes are going to be really great.

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It was a lot of fun hanging out with the ladies and pretty hilarious to listen to the playback of the interview. There was a lot of customer background bustle; Kay’s son Richard talking about HTML or CSS or whatever it was he was using/doing to change the look of Picking Daisies website to accommodate for their new addition of fabric; Oliver cooing, crying, pooping, grinning, and just being plain ol’ cute; and mexican food ordering going on the whole time.

Thank you ladies for letting me drill you, change baby’s diaper on your table in the back, and feeding me. I am so excited about this new part of your shoppe and am going to be coming in as much as I can to build my fabric collection/obsession. It’s great to finally have a modern fabric store south side of ‘the grade’ with fabulous options, handmade goodies and perks. I hope you gals grow so big that you need to hire me! Haha.

Swing by their blogfacebook, and twitter, and flickr! to see what they’re up to and visit their website to purchase some goodies and fabric! You won’t be disappointed!

{Photos courtesy of Picking Daisies}

Picking Daisies

Picking Daisies Newsletter


‘Lap Cover’ – Custom

A good friend of mine is a tattoo artist (he did most of my right sleeve and a couple others). A while back we were talking about my sewing and creations. He made a few suggestions of things I could make for the tattoo world. One of those suggestions was a wipeable cloth to lie over his lap so the ink wont drip on his clothes.

Since his birthday just passed I thought it would be a great present for him and something he could test out for me. I headed over to his place to babysit the kids with this in tow…

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This is the back – the underneath part that will lie on his lapside. How fabulous is this fabric? Totally fitting for his line of work.

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I used a double layer of rip stop nylon just in case. Im unsure of the ink composition so I wanted to make sure it wouldnt leak through. This is the side that will be facing out in case the ink drips. Rip stop nylon is great because its wipeable and washable.

Im hoping it works out first go around, but told him to give me any constructive criticism so I can perfect it and make it work for him.

You should check him and his shop out!

Gary Ellsworth – Sawdust – Sink or Swim Tattoo

Lil’ Man Bowtie

Today was the birthday of a sweet little man who just turned one. I thought I would try out making a lil’ bowtie for him since it’s a new item I will be adding to my shop. I looked around for some tutorials and got inspiration from Living the Swell Life and Make It-Love It and then just kind of went off on my own {since I rarely follow tutorials}. Let me tell you, it was super easy and very quick to make! I just grabbed some scrap fabric and tah dah!

And I made him a handmade card! Totally hipster kid this lil’ guys gonna be.

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Here are a few photo updates on that memory book for a customer of mine. I just need to go pick up the pages from print and then its ready to go!

Not bad for my very first memory book!

My only complaint is that it is very hard to match washi tape, stamp ink, and cardstock. But it still came out very nice!

I will not be featuring these in my shop any time soon. Sorry. But if you’d like one custom made, maybe we can work something out!

Now Im off to finish the topstitch for the unpaper towels and sew up the nursing pads.

Envelope Pillow Covers

When I worked at Birch Fabrics we had a fabric allowance so when Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shinning came out, I got a quarter yard in each fabric over the span of a few weeks so I could have just about every print! Sadly I am not working there anymore {I’ve decided to be a stay-at-home mommy!} and needed to get my favorites from that collection elsewhere.

Like…

Absolutely love, love, love this one. And I specifically purchased it to make some pillow cases for our ugly couch pillows. We have two larger ones and a smaller one so I used the typewriters for the larger and the coordinating vintage flowers for the smaller one.

I really love her stuff!

And I love making these envelope pillow covers. They’re very easy to make and can transform and boring ol’ pillow into something fabulous!

Eeeep!

Very happy to have these beauties next to me while I type this.

To view the tutorial on how to make these envelope pillow covers, go here.

I also was able to work a bit more on an Etsy order for unpaper towels. I got the top stitching done and am now just waiting for the snaps to get here! Cannot wait to add these to my shop.

Remember the unpaper towels I made for our kitchen? They were made from scraps from this order! Unpaper towels… such a rad concept!

Home Projects

Today while Richard was out on a photoshoot I finished a couple of home projects thats been on my mind lately.

I have some yardage of Melody Millers Typewriters and thought itd be the perfect fabric to make panels out of for my sewing table. I have a few things I store under it and I cant stand the sight of clutter – now I dont have to worry!

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My pink bin of zippers kinda makes it look like its still cluttered, but I assure you I put it away after the photo was taken 🙂

Another project for the house were some unpaper towels made from the scraps of an order of unpaper towels from my Etsy shop. These were made out of Michael Millers French Roast and Put a Lid On It and white birdseye {for absorbancy}.

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These will be available in my Etsy shop soon. The ones I made today are a sort of mini version {since they were made from scraps} and do not have the snaps feature. Ill keep you updated on the availability.

Now onto recovering pillows with more typewriter fabric and finish up the baby memory book. I just got a call that print was ready for my pages so Ill be picking those up and getting the teal cardstock. I cannot wait to get this off to my customer {Im so sorry!!!}.

Work in Progress | Memory Book & Quilt

Just before I had Oliver a friend of mine inquired about getting a memory book made. I told her I could make her one inspired by one she found on Etsy.

Then I had the baby.

So its been two months now and this is the slowest Ive ever gotten a product out to one of my customers. Im so embarrassed. This is not how I run my Etsy business! But the anticipation of the baby paled in comparison to what life was actually like the first few weeks with baby and recovering from a cesarean.

Plus, our printer is broken.

But the past week Ive managed to get the ball rolling and complete the pages for the memory book. Now theyre off for print. While I wait, Im putting the book together.

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I need to glue the fabric down and trim where the center rings are. Then place the teal cardstock accent on the front and back flaps to hide the fabric edge.

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L is for Lola. That will be centered on the front of the book over a slightly larger teal cardstock for depth.

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Its almost finished! I absolutely cannot wait to get it done.

Also, the quilt Ive been working on – more like powering through – is almost done as well! I quilted it yesterday and pinned the binding on. Im short on binding because I thought I had some more red double fold at home, but its single fold instead 😦 So Ill head to the craft store next week to pick up more then Ill finish it up.

I cant believe I went through the quilt so fast! It doesnt need to be ready until the end of August. Haha.

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Today I plan on finishing some nursing pads, wee wee huts, a wipeable play mat for Oliver and a few more burp cloths.

Busy busy!

Work In Progress | Quilt

I haven’t made very many quilts; to be quite honest, they give me a headache. The last quilt I made was in 8th grade – so about 14 years ago. But I bought a fat quarter bundle at Birch just after I started working there with the intention of making one for someone special. Ten months later and the fat quarter bundle was still just sitting there so last night I decided to start on it.

Now usually I am a one project at a time, must finish it that day kinda gal; but I knew going into this quilt that I most certainly will not finish it in one night, especially since I had no idea when baby would wake up. So I thought I would cut all of the squares and get a few of them pieced together.

An hour and a half later I ended up with this:

{Excuse my poor picture taking!}

So since I had pieced the entire front together and baby was still asleep {shocked!} I wanted to put the back on

Now all thats left is to quilt and bind it!

Ill get it quilted today and bind it tomorrow. So far Im pretty proud of it.