Visit my NEW store!

Since Spring is a time of renewal, I’ve decided, after closing down my brick and mortar store in December, and the website (store) in February that I needed to shed the old “skin” or cocoon of Crafty Girls Workshop and emerge as something new and exciting! (Oh and I had a baby in March too!) So please join me at my NEW website called Urban Stitches!

Visit the website/blog

Visit the LIVE store to see all my beautiful fabrics!

Find me on Facebook

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter because soon I’ll start sending out monthly e-mails telling about shop updates and with exclusive e-mail only coupons! If you were opted in to the OLD Crafty Girls Workshop newsletter, it’s likely that I’ve transferred your e-mail over. But you can always opt in again anyway, the miracle of technology is that you shouldn’t receive the newsletter more than once as long as you used the same e-mail address.

Thanks for your support of this blog and my former shop. I assure you, that you will barely notice a difference in the excellent service, quality or prices from my old shop (except the prices might be even lower!) and the only real thing that has changed is my name and the look of the store a tiny bit.

See you on the flip side!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

P.S. I’m offering to send you a FREE fabric panel if you’re interested and would e-mail me your address and I’ll include a panel for FREE to anyone who orders from the shop as a thank you. Check out the post over on my new blog right now!

Advertisements

$5 Patterns from Keyka Lou

 

One of my absolute favorite pattern designers (and a very sweet person too) is having a DIY for the Holidays Pattern sale now through November 27. Please go check it out, click the image or this link to shop! (Yes I get a a small affiliate commission BUT I also teach classes from her patterns as well as have made many of the items several times and I LOVE the way Michelle writes patterns) I might have to go get some more of her patterns too! I LOVE the Easy Reuseable Tote Pattern, it’s so easy to make and would be a great Earth friendly gift!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

When one door closes…

In December of 2010 I signed a lease and moved in to a great space in an urban loft on the third floor of an OLD building. It wasn’t for an apartment (which was 400 sq ft), no, this was 1500 sq ft of room for me to have my very own sewing studio! I had been dreaming of this sort of business for at least the last two years. It combined both my LOVE of sewing with my LOVE of teaching and I’d be helping NEW people learn to sew and quilt! All the while being able to sell fabric and buy new fabrics and patterns and be on the cutting edge of it all. How could anything be better?

As time went on I was only teaching classes in the evenings and weekends so I could continue working my full time 40 hour a week job (plus all the fabric was still online so I’d fill orders as needed). It was a busy schedule but helped take my mind off my recent divorce and the people I met in the brand new San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild have become some of my very best friends.

Amazingly, after thinking I would NEVER find real love (I was a little jaded after the divorce) I DID! I met a man who is supportive of my dreams and won’t let me give them up and I know he’ll do everything he can to take care of me and our family. So this fall, we tied the knot, and now as you probably know, we’re having a baby in March!

But, with the baby coming and hubby finishing up graduate school this fall, I’ve had to think about what is truly my dream for my life. What do I really want to do and where does Crafty Girls Workshop fit into that dream? The truth is, I’ve made a TON of mistakes having this business open, but I have enjoyed it to the fullest and learned SO MUCH. I’m sure I’ve taught more almost 100 people how to make pillowcases and other projects and shown them that sewing isn’t as difficult as it seems (and neither is winding a bobbin or threading the machine).

Now it’s time to transition again. As much as I’ve enjoyed teaching, I’ve run into some roadblocks this year, especially considering that my studio, as funky and urban as it is, is on the third floor of a building with NO elevator and NO sign outside. That kinda makes it difficult to find me sometimes. SO, I’ve decided to pack up my studio and move it all home, which means I won’t have a designated place to teach anymore but I’m still going to keep selling fabric through my website. I hope that someday I’ll be able to find a good location for a studio space that works for my family and my students and I’ll be able to open up again. Please keep in touch with me since I’ll continue to post to this blog (hopefully MORE now actually) and to my Facebook page. And don’t forget you can sign up for e-mail updates through the sign up block in the sidebar of this blog.

Oh and the best news for YOU? I’m having a MOVING/CLEARANCE sale on my website! That means everything is priced to help it MOVE so I don’t have to find a place to store it after November! All the Bella Solids are $6.99 a yard, most of the printed fabric is $5.99 a yard and there are still some great deals to be had at the $5.00 per yard price point. I’m also marking down all the printed patterns I have in stock and will combine the shipping cost to save you money!

I have a few charm packs still left listed at $5.99 per pack also! It’s such a steal you should get a couple!

I hope you’ll have fun helping me clear out my inventory. As sad as I’ve been I know this is the best move for my new family and for myself.

Happy Shopping!

Anna

Books that are ME

So I was reading today’s post from one of my favorite blogs, Craft Buds and since (as you can see) it’s Craft Book Month over there, of course the post was about a book. But seeing all these posts about books that people love and how to write a book, etc., has made me think about books that are just so ME that I get totally excited when I just see the cover! I thought I’d do a little summary of the books I love.

Just a note here that yes, I’m an Amazon affiliate and the images are links  to the Amazon link which will earn me a tiny commission if you happen to click and then buy the book. But know this, I’m not just promoting the book to get the tiny commission, I’m telling you about the book because I feel like it speaks to something about what I love about sewing and quilting and the type of aesthetic (LOVE that word!) I lean toward and that I love.

The first book I totally fell in love with this year and had a chance to review and give away a copy is called Block Party, A Modern Quilting Bee (C&T Publishing).

This book speaks to me because the colors are bold and modern, they use a mix of solid and print fabrics and several of the blocks have a “wonky” look to them. Now, wonky is not necessarily specific to just modern quilting but it certainly gives modern quilts a different feel that I love! (Also could be because of my deep down need for justification for NOT sewing on the straight and narrow.)

In addition to the modern feel of quilting I have a passion for the look of mixed media. Some people may call it Crafty A.D.D. because I hate to just pick one media to work in, should it be paint, should it be fabric, should it be stamping? Why not all of them!? Well, imagine my surprise when I discovered the term mixed media and that it goes hand in hand with sewing and quilting! Apparently this look is becoming so appealing to so many people that Interweave press has published a book called Sew Wild and it speaks to my inner mixed media goddess! Just the cover of this book gives me heart palpitations!

I was so excited when Interweave agreed to send me a copy to review. The inside is just as awesome as the cover, reviewing steps on how to print, dye and stamp your OWN fabric to create something completely unique and then if that isn’t enough, there are several projects at the end soyou can create something with that awesome fabric you just made! Oh and don’t forget that if you’re local to San Antonio and this sort of project makes you want to grab some paint and fabric, you’ll get exactly that chance with the Painted Collage Quilt workshop with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer on October 17, here at my studio!

Now I’m sure I could go one with more books that describe my aesthetic and that give me goosebumps because they just LOOK fun, but here’s the one I’ll leave you with (that also inspired this post!)

I haven’t actually seen this book, Modern Mix, IRL (in real life) BUT from the cover (and in my experience that’s enough so far) I can tell I would just LOVE this book. This book expands outside of the quilting realm – just a little because there are still 7 quilt projects in the book, and adds in other projects for the home. Personally, I think that any book with the words Modern and Mix in the title in relation to sewing and quilting is MEANT FOR ME! Well, that is exactly the name of this book and of course it’s from C&T Publishing, and I’ve loved everything from them so far!

So do you see a pattern (ha no pun intended) forming here? I love solids, modern, funky, quilts and sewing projects for the home! I also love mixed media and tapping in to my creative side. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize that but I’m glad I have and thanks to Craft Buds for that indirect inspiration to discover this!

Finally, how do you feel about these books? Do you have a recommendation for other titles to check out? And what is your sewing and quilting style?

Happy Stitches,

Anna

P.S. I just hit 1000 fans on my Facebook page! I’m hosting a fabric giveaway OVER THERE and you can enter, just visit the page and leave a comment on the giveaway post.

Lots of Fun in October!

I’m very sorry for the lack of blog posting lately. My best excuse, I got married September 3rd and life has been pretty crazy! But the best part is that I have LOTS of fun planned for October!

First up is a Crafty Kid’s Camp on Monday October 10, a school holiday.

Let your kids spend a crafty morning making a cute tote bag to use for trick or treating OR whatever their creative minds can think of! These bags aren’t overly big but are great for carrying just a few things that kids like to carry. They’ll spend a couple hours decorating them with fabric paints and glitter glue and meet some other crafty kids too! 7 years and up only please. Supplies are included!

The second event is Monday October 17th. It’s an all day workshop 10am-5pm with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, one of my mixed media heroes! I have been following her blog for awhile and when she mentioned that she would be in Houston the weekend of October 15-16 for a trade show I immediately e-mailed and asked her if she would want to come to San Antonio and teach a workshop! Of course I was totally thrilled when she said yes! The picture above is a sample of the collage and painted quilted wall hanging (roughly 18″x22″) we’ll make the day of the workshop.

Personally I can’t wait for the workshop with Julie, I just know it’s going to be SEW fun and give me a chance to spread my creative wings!

Well, those are two of the exciting events coming up in October. The schedule is filling up with requests for classes so if you want to schedule a class for yourself please e-mail me and let me know so we can put it on the calendar. At the end of next week I plan to fill in any gaps in the calendar with other classes as I see fit and once it’s set then it’s set and I won’t be able to change it.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Learning is More Fun with a Friend

‘The Quilting Bee’ by Morgan Weistling

 

For the month of August when you register and pay for a class, you can bring a friend for FREE!

 

Don’t forget that Crafty Girls Workshop has 6 sewing machines in the studio for use during class or studio time for FREE! You’re welcome to use the cutting supplies (mat, rulers, table, cutters) too! Just bring your supplies or bring yourself and buy a kit during the class! It’s as simple as that.

Not sure which class to take?

I recommend taking the Beginning Sewing Pillowcase class as your first class even if you know how to use a machine, it’s a great refresher and if you’ve never used a machine, it’s the perfect beginning class.

Next, either the Eco Market tote or the Zip It Good zipper clutch class are perfect for building your skills.

Interested in quilting? Take the Sweet Doll quilt Class to learn how to accurately piece with a 1/4″ seam allowance and get the entire top finished in one class.

And don’t forget, I have private sewing instruction time available as well as the option to make a class ANY TIME you want! As long as the calendar is blank that day, you can schedule your class!

Lastly, I have a special event planned on Saturday August 27th called the Pillowcase Challenge party. For only $10 which covers the supplies for the pillowcase, you can come and make a pillowcase to donate to a local charity! This is a great way to do something positive for those in need. Also, if you aren’t local, just pay the $10 and I’ll make a pillowcase for you OR purchase the pillowcase kit  (this link adds shipping) and I’ll send you the fabric to make a PC for you to donate to your local charity!

I hope to see you around the studio soon!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Too Many Tops (A Challenge)

I’ve decided that I have too many quilt tops! I need to get them finished and I’m challenging myself to finish them by the end of the year 2011! Here is a picture of the tops that need to be quilted:

It’s roughly 13 tops. And here’s the kicker, most of them already have backings waiting for them!! I think I’m just addicted to making quilt tops and need to get over that. An unfinished quilt top doesn’t really do anyone much good. (And it doesn’t look the best when on display in my shop!) So, that’s my challenge, I’ve tallied up the tops and now that I’ve posted it here on the blog, I’m going to hold myself accountable. Will you join in? Leave a comment here and if you commit to posting on your blog about the quilt tops you have, maybe we’ll have some sort of prize for getting them finished (besides having more beautiful quilts in this world.) I’ll even make a special blogroll over there in the sidebar for anyone who wants to join in the Too Many Tops Challenge!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Your Class, Your Time at Crafty Girls Workshop

 

Thanks Microsoft Clip Art for the image

Crafty Girls Workshop has been open in the brick and mortar location for almost 10 months now! Every month I spend hours, HOURS, creating a schedule of the classes that I want to teach and know that people will want to take. (Thanks for all the extra suggestions too!) Inevitibly though, I’ll get two or three e-mails a month requesting a class on a different day than when I scheduled it. Usually, if no one is registered for the class that’s on the calendar already, I’ll replace it with the requested class (because I’d rather have one student than none, make sense?)

So at the beginning of July it kinda hit me. WHY am I spending so much time developing a calendar when it’s always getting changed? WHY not let YOU tell me when you want a class? I’ll add it to the calendar and other people can join in if it works for them, if not, they can shedule a class at another time. That’s pretty much what I was doing anyway, but now, when someone says “Let me know the next time you have a pillowcase class scheduled” I can say “What day works for you and we’ll schedule one right now!” Plus, now the calendar is only filled with classes that have at least one student. Instead of lots of classes that might not make because that date didn’t work for you, or you didn’t want to take that class that night.

My class times are as follows:

Weeknights 6-8pm

Saturdays 10am-12pm

Sundays 1-3pm

I just created a really cool Byte-Sized Learning (thanks Meylah) tutorial that should walk you through the class registration process! I’ll link it here in my sidebar as well as on the website so you’ll always have this nifty reference.

 

I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think! You can even download a PDF version of this tutorial as a printed reference.

Lastly, I’d like to announce that as of yesterday, my 3 month contract job came to a conclusion and now I’m able to run Crafty Girls Workshop full time again! (Although I am still searching for additional income opportunities) SO, the studio has extended hours as follows:

Weekdays 10am-8:30pm I will have to run home about 4:00ish to let my dog, Starbuck out, but otherwise, I’m here.

Saturdays 10am-6pm

Sundays 12pm-6pm

I’m also available by appointment outside the studio hours.

This is great news for a few reasons. First of all, if you’d like to purchase the studio membership (unlimited use of sewing machines and cutting supplies for only $25 a month) since I have longer hours you’ll have more time to come and work/play!

Also, I can do private sewing instruction and other classes during the day. If you’d prefer to do a class during the day, just drop me a line and we’ll see if the schedule allows it. As I said, I’m here so I’m happy to work with you for a class during the day time.

And finally, it means extended shopping hours! Of course, the website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but if you are local and prefer to stop in and fondle see the fabric in person, I’ll be here!

So tell your friends, and I really hope I’ll see you around here soon!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Innocent Crush on Sale

 

To celebrate Anna Maria Horner’s newest line of fabric, Lou Louthi, I’ve decided it’s time to clear out her older line, Innocent Crush, which is also beautiful. I’ve made a couple projects from this beautiful fabric! Of course, they are still all works in progress, but that’s the fun of it. I found that it’s best to mix in some solids with these lovely busy prints and bold designs.

One of my favorite projects with this fabric is my first quilt from the Rule Breaking Quilts Book club, it’s called Moving Violations. This quilt used 6 fat quarters and I added in the solids because it was too busy. I also mixed in some Parisville with the Innocent Crush Fabrics.

I also decided to feature Innocent Crush in my BIG QUILT class. This is a REALLY BIG quilt! It will be perfect to snuggle up under on the couch this winter. The pattern is in the Summer 2011 issue of Quilts and More . My good friend Danielle, from Nacho Mama’s Quilts has quilted it for me on her longarm (Sorry no picture of the quilting yet). And I’m doing something I’ve NEVER done, which is hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt! It’s not too bad, just time consuming. That will have to have it’s own post. I have so many ideas for Anna Maria Horner’s new fabric. I hope it lasts long enough for me to make some samples with it! Well, you better hop over to the shop and grab some of this Innocent Crush (and the solids) while they are all on sale! This sale and the bella solids sale only lasts through August 1st.

One last thing, you might notice when you’re visiting the shop that I’ve started listing the solids I have that coordinate with each line. I thought it would be helpful to do that because sometimes it’s difficult to click back and forth between multiple pages and match colors online. This way they are all in one easy to find place!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Don’t Forget: Bella Solids Sale

 

 

Shop for Bella Solids only $5.99 a yard

Sorry for being MIA lately. The classes at the studio have been picking up and there is precious little time for blogging. I wanted to remind you that I’m having a Bella Solids sale for the month of July. If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to visit my Facebook page and become a fan or like the page over there. I find it a little easier to post there and I love asking questions and giving away FREE stuff!

I realize some of you don’t “do” Facebook so I’ll ask the question here too:

Would you consider purchasing knit fabric (printed with beautiful designs from Moda fabrics) for $15 a yard? Why or why not?

If you answer this question by leaving a comment on this post, I’ll send you a copy of my Oh How Charming! quilt pattern.

EVERYONE who comments wins this Market Research Monday special!

Happy Stitches,

Anna