Posts tagged Give Away
Peacock Lane, Violet Craft and local giveaway


(image from Violet Craft's blog)

A while back we received some of Portlander Violet Craft’s fabric line, Peacock Lane.  Violet was kind enough to answer some questions for us to be able to learn more about her and her design process.  We also asked Violet to choose a group of fat quarters for a locals’ giveaway.  Not only did she pick out a way cute combo, she put together a tutorial over on her blog today for some adorable pillows made with the fat pack!  Yay for Violet! 

Alright, there’s a lot going on here, so let’s make it real easy:

1)      read her interview here and learn lots about Violet

2)      leave us a comment telling us your latest source of inspiration and be entered into the drawing

3)      head over to Violet’s blog and check out her tutorial for adorable pillows!

The chosen commenter will receive both a fat pack of the Peacock Lane pieces we have at the store as well as a pack of the prints Violet chose.  You’ll need to be able to pick up the prize at the store.  Comments will stay open through next Monday, October 24th, and we’ll announce a winner after that. Enjoy and thanks for playing!


BN:Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes from everywhere for me. I have a really short attention span and my poor husband will be talking to me and suddenly I'll comment on the color of a house we passed or the detail in the molding along the roofline. I stop at a moment's notice to snap photos of anything and everything. Window displays, weeds growing along the highway, dishes at the thrift store, my girls' drawings or the outfit my tween daughter put together. My mind soaks it all in. Part of the time it is something specific like a shape or a pattern, but more often it is a feeling evoked by a particular scene. A warmth or a coolness or a feeling of festivity. Sometimes I don't know exactly what it is, I just know I have to capture it because it's a scene that's evoked emotion in me. 

Peacock Lane really started with the fence photographed in our Portland, OR neighborhood, Laurelhurst. The fence is used literally in Parade Day, although the literal fence wasn't added in until the final round of editing. I had the fence in my head, had drawn it multiple times and was using the feeling of it to create various other parts of the collection. Elements of the fence are in Ticking Stripe, Menagerie, Bouquet, Wallpaper and of course Parade Day. The feeling of that fence... a laboriously created Victorian era garden fence... was with me all the time, but there were other substantial influences as well. 

The exotic animals of the Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR have been a family favorite for my children since they were tiny munchkins. My husband's family has a long history of working there and my children's early years included many trips to the Wildlife Safari. It's only a bizarre coincidence that a peacock has taken up part-time residence at the same in-laws' home garden, much to their dismay. I've always had a bit of a love-affair with peacocks as my own hometown park always had peacocks roaming free. Some of my earliest and favorite memories are of collecting feathers from around the park with my dad. 

 Somewhere in my head an exotic, private animal sanctuary began to form. On the grounds a large, stately home with gorgeous Wallpaper, Ticking Stripe pillows and mattresses, ornate, framed silhouettes of the animals along the hallway walls (Menagerie), beautiful hand-crafted fences, Meadows of birds eating wildflowers and on Parade Day, the animals don their best blankets and strut proudly of their own accord all around the grounds for an audience of only each other.

And always with this collection I knew I wanted to modernize my Victorian sanctuary. The colors needed to be bold, fun and modern; the backgrounds modern and yet subtle. 

 Quilt on fence

BN: How did you find yourself designing fabric?

Let's take it WAY back, I have always been creative. I was a computer science/business major throughout college (except for those two stray pre-med years in the middle). During and out of college I worked for software companies doing software development, QA, support, Server Administration; if it has a geeky technical title, I did it. I ended my corporate career with Enron. I guess you could say we went down together. For me though, I tumbled right down the corporate ladder into a glimmering pool of fabric and thread and creativity.  

I started Kung Fu Bambini within the next year. Kung Fu Bambini was my own children's clothing line that I distributed internationally through boutiques. It was all hand sewn here in Portland, OR. I won't lie and say it was all rainbows and kitty cats. It was HARD WORK. I cried frequently (constantly?) through those first years. It was a bitter learning experience figuring out how to balance my family, my creativity and my business ambition. I loved Kung Fu Bambini with all of my heart, but it was mainly a hard knocks learning experience for me. I made HUGE mistakes and learned equally huge lessons from them.

At one point I was sewing upwards of 600 garments a month with only one intern helping me. Yes, do that math for a minute and you'll see why I was crying so much. As we started to grow I began thinking of manufacturing overseas and therefore also creating my own prints to be used exclusively for my own line. The concept was appealing for sure. I created a collection of prints and was "this close" to going forward with the whole process when I had one of those monumental realizations that I was about to go against everything I believed in for my business. I had started this entire line to be made locally, by hand. I showed the prints to my sales representative that I was buying fabric from at the time. She said I should round it out into a full collection and show it to her again. I was completely immersed in Kung Fu Bambini at the time so I wasn't able to do anything with it then, but the idea was sitting with me for years waiting for the right time. I stopped producing Kung Fu Bambini in 2009 and the timing was right for me to move forward in a new direction. I dedicated myself to working on a portfolio and finally approached companies in May 2010. 

It's all an elaborate story for me. Something I create in my head bit by bit. As I'm gathering photos and memories and things, I always know they are a part of a story... I'm just not always sure what story they are a part of just yet.

PeacockLane_bnr Pillows

(check out the tutorial on Violet's blog for these fab pillows!)

BN: When /how did you learn to sew?

As a child I lived with my grandparents. My grandmother used to sew all of my Halloween costumes and Barbie clothes when I was a little girl. It always seemed she didn't have the patience to teach me... but I now think it is more likely that I didn't have the patience to learn from her. But I would watch. I've always been that way - too stubborn to take instruction, but silently soaking it all in. When I graduated from High School I used my graduation money to buy a sewing machine. I then began to take apart furniture and recover it, make curtains for our college apartments, duvets, quilts, skirts.... I just taught myself as I went. I would take something apart, see how it was made and then copy the process making my own changes as I went. I don't think I've ever made anything exactly the way it came apart. And patterns.... patterns are for inspiration :) I OWN lots of patterns. I think I've actually cut into a handful of them... in my whole life. 


BN: Why do you like fabric as a medium for your creativity?

Fabric is currently my favorite medium. That "feeling" I get from scenes, displays, houses... I get that feeling from fabric constantly. The colors, textures, patterns... it's like visual and textural candy for me. I love the way you can put together a stack of fabrics to create your own "feeling" in a pillow or a quilt or a skirt. The way you can evoke that excited flutter feeling in something you create and then you get that feeling every time you see it. You created that! You brought that awesome feeling into your own life with your own hands. Who doesn't want to do that for themselves? When I pull out my pajama pants that I made with my own hands with fabrics I chose... I get to have that feeling every single night that I wear them. And every time I plop down on a pillow in my living room. And every time I pack my makeup bag for a trip. And every time I pull a hot pan out of the oven. I am surrounding myself or my family or my friends with warm fuzzies every time I create something.... okay, except for those projects that don't quite turn out that we hide deep in a bin or scrap pile somewhere. ha! 


BN: What are you doing when you’re not sewing/designing fabric?

I have never been good at editing myself. I want to know and do it all. I make jewelry. I refinish and reupholster furniture. I watch really bad reality television and obscure documentaries (Flip Flotsam is one of my very favorites). I volunteer at my daughters' school. I run. I drink and brew craft beer with my husband. I'm a pdxbeergeek. I go to rock shows of my friends' bands. I play video games. I thrift. I sew with my Sweet Hot Yams and the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. I try just about anything and everything. I go through phases of cooking, baking, crocheting, wood working and bowling. I am a MAKEr. I believe in taking apart and fixing or modifying anything from the $1 flashlight to my laptop. I can field strip a laptop or build a dining room table. Occasionally I still find myself staying up all night reading technical documents if a topic intrigues me. I read. I play a lot of Forty Thieves solitaire on my phone. 

Most of the time I am a work at home mom loving on my family and juggling all that organizing a household and a family entails while dreaming of sewing and all of the other things I just listed. 

Thanks Violet! 

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Sew Up a Home Makeover Book Giveaway!



Ever look around your house and think "That could look better!" You can MAKE your home more like you, a comfortable space that reflects your family's personality. Lexie Barnes' new book, Sew Up a Home Makeover, is ready to provide the inspiration and instruction necessary to take that leap into such projects such as...


...recovering your sofa! The detailed diagrams actually make this seem easy enough to do. I'm tempted! Bedroom, living room, kid's room, kitchen--there are projects for the every room. She also provides guidance choosing fabrics, utilizing what you have, and gathering inspiration.



As an avid tea drinker, I can fully support an attractive and functional cozy for my teapot. Going on the list.

tea cozy

I love changing pillow coverings. It's such a quick way to really invigorate a room. I adore this pleated trim.


My poor slippers were worn completely down a while ago. This favorite pair was purchased while I was studying abroad in England and I loved their easy slip-on nature. When I saw this project, I knew exactly this was the replacement I was looking for. These easily came together with a little yardage, bias tape, and batting. In hindsight, I would add more batting for cushion (or maybe even toweling as she suggested) but I was delighted that my impromptu use of coated cotton was an excellent replacement for the non-slip fabric that was called for.

coated cotton soles

I am thrilled with my new slippers! Special shout-out to my friend, Erin McMorris, who designed the fabric I used for the top. A quick diagonal quilt stitch keeps the layers together and my walking foot kept all my layers from shifting. I used solid cotton for the lining, but one of our cozy flannels would be delicious.


Want a chance to sew up your own home makeover? I have two! copies to give away to a lucky Bolt reader. Leave a comment below (limited to US readers only) and I'll draw two names on Friday. Tell me your best, worst, or most hopeful home makeover story and I'll draw winners at random. Good luck!

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Sewing For Boys Giveaway!


Crafty mamas (and seamster papas) of little boys rejoice!  Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage of Patterns by Figgy's have delivered on their promise of a book to finally address a long-neglected niche in the sewing market.  Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe is the book I've been waiting for since my son Milo was born 6 1/2 years ago.  

Sewing for Boys

As soon as I brought my copy home, he poured over the gorgeous project photos (all conveniently together right up front!) and immediately started compiling a mental list of the ones he expected me to start cranking out for him.  Although he is topping out the size range for the book (0-6 months to 6/7 years, with some variation from pattern to pattern), I expect to get some years' use out of it yet.  Many of the patterns can be easily adjusted by lengthening sleeves or pant legs, and nearly 1/3 of the patterns are for accessories and gifts which do not depend on size.  The pattern pieces themselves are printed full-size on sturdy paper (no enlarging! no tissue!), making tracing and adjustment a breeze.

Shelly and Karen have designed a full range of garments, from a raw-edged onesie romper out of knit jersey (0-6 months to 12-18 months), to a reversible winter jacket (2/3 years to 6/7 years), each with thoughtful details and solid construction.  I'm slightly giddy about the thought of making the "Henry Shirt" for my son so that he and his papa can both step out in guayabera style! 

Henry Shirt

As for my little guy, he has requested the "Brick Bag Carry All" so that he can safely transport Lego creations in-progress when he has sleep-overs at Grandma's house, and the "To-Go Artist" for doodling and drawing while out and about. 

To Go Artist

I also have a feeling Santa will be whipping up the "Just-Like-Dad Flannel Robe" and leaving it under the Christmas tree this year.

Just like Dad robe

We just got in this gorgeous wool plaid that would be perfect for the robe. Love!

wool plaid

Garment patterns are arranged by season, and there is an additional section on re-using or re-purposing scraps and old garments.  The appendix has a glossary of basic sewing terms for beginners, and a couple of pages on seam finishes (flat fell or Hong Kong finishes, anyone?), which can really take your garment sewing to the next level.  And while the focus here is unapologetically on the boys, many (if not most) of these patterns could be easily interpreted for girls as well.  This book is an incredible value.  Thank you Shelly and Karen!

Leave a comment below (US residents only) and be entered to win a copy of Sewing for Boys! This is bound to be a wonderful addition to any craft library so we'll keep the drawing open until next Wednesday. Good luck!

The blog tour is almost over. Thanks for stopping by!

September 5    Wiley Craft & Made by Rae
September 6   Sew, Mama, Sew
September 7   The Southern Institute & Film in the Fridge
September 8   Elsie Marley
September 9   Noodlehead & Oh, Fransson!
September 10  I Heart Linen
September 11  Anna Maria Horner
September 12  Craft Buds, Pink Chalk Fabric Prudent Baby , Sew Much Ado
September 13  Very Purple Person & Sew Sara
September 14  The Long Thread
September 15  Susan Beal
September 16  True Up
September 17  All Buttoned Up & Bolt Fabric Boutique
September 18  MADE

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August Give Away: The Great Clean Out

Like some of you, we are doing a little clean out this month. Our give away box was hiding some treasures, so happily, two of our readers will benefit from our storage constraints! We will draw two names this month and they will each recieve an envelope busting with fantastic, fabric treats.

What are you trying to cram into the last couple weeks of summer? Leave a comment and we'll pull a winner next week (US addresses only please).

August Giveaway

*Stacks of fabric from Timeless Treasures and Charm packs from RJR fabric. Plus a beautiful wool pin cushion (and maybe a few other goodies).

August Giveaway

**The highly sought after 1001 peeps charm pack from Lizzy House and Andover, a tiny charm pack of Little Apples from Aneela Hooley and Moda, two great bag patterns and a few other bits and bobs we will need to dig out.

 We've got some exciting switch-ups happening on the blog over the next month. We are adding a fantastic new voice, designer interviews and more hands-on sewing projects. We always welcome your feedback!

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Girl's World Review and Giveaway!



I have never met a book put out by Chronicle books that I didn't like, and Jennifer Paganelli's, Girl's World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make for Little Girls is no exception. Jennifer created a sewing book that is unapologetically girlie with patterns for dresses, dress up clothes and accessories to decorate with or to give away.

Girl's World

GIrl's World

When you look past Tim Geaney's beautiful photography, you'll find detailed sewing instructions and solid patterns suitable for those starting out, and those of us needing some fresh inspiration. The patterns are full sized and individually printed out on sturdy newsprint style paper (so no tracing, if you're in a hurry!). This is a book you'll be able to use for years and years thanks to sizing that ranges from XS (2) to XL (12-14). Jennifer has years of experience in the textile industry as the creator of Sis Boom fabric, and all the samples in the book feature her much loved fabric.

Mary's Fancy Sash Dress

I chose a cotton lawn from the Japanese company Yuwa to sew together Mary's Fancy Sash Dress pattern. Even though it might seem "fancy" it is suitable for a beginner and would work just as well as an every day dress if you leave off the sash and shorten it to suit active play. The back features a bit of elastic that makes the dress a snap to pull on and off, and the skirt is perfect for twirling. Of course, depending on your fabric choice, this would also make a simple but stunning flower girl or party dress. This pattern is the perfect use for a border print.

We should be getting more books in this week (we sold out of the first order!) and Chronicle has generously offered us a book to giveaway to one of our readers. Leave a comment (US addresses only please) before Saturday afternoon and we'll pull a winner! Check out all the entire blog tour for more photos and chances to win-- Susan will have a post up tomorrow!

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Moda Giveaway


We have a few great treats from Quilt Market and Moda to give away this month. One winner will receive:

  • a super sized tote bag
  • the Country Fair Moda apron
  • mini charm pack of Cape Ann (Oliver+S)
  • mini charm pack of Northcote Range (Cabbages and Roses)
  • plus a few other Moda goodies from last year's booth we still have around!


So! Leave a comment between now and Wednesday, June 15th at 5pm (PST) and we'll draw a winner. US addresses only please. If you're local-- could you answer us one little question? We're planning on keeping the shop open late one day a week during the summer months. Which day would you like that to be?

New prints from the Moda's Farmyard line (chickens!):

Moda Farmyard

Moda Farmyard


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Flickr Inspiration and a TWO Giveaways

If you have a minute, go ahead and upload your photos of finished Bolt projects to our Flickr Group! This is a super cute Oliver+S Jumprope dress from Mamatsopj (for details, click on the picture):

Oliver + S Jumprope Dress

Kristin made her first bed size quilt with fabric from Bolt-- congratulations!! It looks fantastic.

first quilt (front)

There is lots of great inspiration in the group, including more previews (by way of samples) of Figgy's new pattern line that is being released next month at Quilt Market.


What's that? A Giveaway? Of course. We've got one more Chinook Book left for a local reader (so indicate if you are one) and a charm pack of the entire line of Oliver+S City Weekend. Comment here, we'll pick a winner for each (US addresses, please) on Saturday, May 1st. What are you working on these days? Are you feeling the pull away from your sewing machine and into the garden? Let us know.


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An Interview with Susan Beal (and a Giveaway!)

This is a big week! Lizzy House is visiting Open Sew tomorrow night at MD. You can come to sew or just hang out-- she's going to be chatting and doing a Zap Embroidery demo. And next Saturday (April 2nd), Susan Beal will be hanging out signing books and talking about her latest project, Modern Log Cabin Quilting. She'll also be bringing free log cabin square kits to put together!


Check out closeups of the fabric Susan chose for our custom fat quarter packs (and enter to win one!) over at West Coast Crafty. She was also kind enough to answer a few questions here.

Do you have any thoughts on fabric stashing? Do you stash?

Oh my gosh, yes. I save my favorites for years. I have a system (sort of - it only makes sense to me). I stack small folds like quarter and half-yards in a clear Lucite shelf on top of my card catalog (which holds jewelry findings). Both of those are on top of an Ikea Expedit shelf with boxes in three of the cubbies. I color-copied three favorite vintage fabrics and covered the front of the boxes with those, and I put any scraps or extras in those color families in the boxes. Then, when I want to make a little project and need a good blue, I dig through the blue + cool colors box (the others are pinks/reds + warm colors, and neutrals). Bigger fabrics are folded on the other Expedit shelves and stashed in a couple of bins. I wish I could see it all at once but in a tiny craft room like mine, I haven't figured out how to do that yet. So I just make a mess of the whole room, pulling everything out, every time I'm designing a quilt or any big project.

My fabric stash
Log cabin-specific trick: I save my extra 1.5, 2, and 2.5-inch wide strips in clear plastic Ziploc bags and have those tucked away for whenever I want to piece blocks or small projects. I love scrap bags - so many possibilities.

I have a little space, too, and this is super helpful. Especially the bit about fabric strips in bags-- I've now got the log cabin bug thanks to you! What sort of fabric is meaningful to you, or rather-- what sort of quilt fabrics are you drawn to?
I especially love vintage fabric of all kinds, Vera textiles, Pendleton wool, good corduroy, vintage floral sheets, woodgrain prints, Kona Snow, and Japanese sewing/button/craft motif fabric. I also got the chance to choose eight fabrics at Bolt for a special fat quarter pack this month, and that pretty much rocked my world - I snapped up this awesome Tammis Keefe crocodile print that is just perfection. I just look at it and it makes me happy.

There are so many amazing quilting cottons these days. When I was in high school and shopping the remnants table at the Piece Goods fabric store in Raleigh, I wouldn't have even believed there could be so much good stuff in the world.

Tell me about it!! I love the history you included about log cabin quilting and the way you paired historical and modern log cabin references in the book. Do you have quilt heroes?
Oh, yes. Denyse Schmidt is my quilt hero for sure. I have loved her work and her fabric designs for years, and taking her PNCA class in 2009 was just amazing - I'm taking her class there this summer too. Excited for her new book next year!

Quilters of Gees Bend
I also love Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr's quilts and books, and Weeks' blog Craft Nectar. Their design studio is completely inspiring. And I revere the Quilters of Gee's Bend. I met six of them in Sisters at the Outdoor Quilt Show in 2009 (pictured) when they were talking about their quilts and signing books, and it was pretty much otherworldly.

I'm not sure Jonathan Holstein has ever made a quilt himself, but his two books of antique and vintage quilts (Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition, and Pieced Quilt: An American Design Tradition) are treasures. I also love American Quilts in the Modern Age, by Marin Hanson - it is beautiful. I really want to take an online class in the Textiles Department at UN-Lincoln (where she teaches - that's also who published her book).

Here in Portland, I love Elizabeth Hartman's work (I've taken a great class with her, too) and everyone in the Portland Modern Quilt Guild is amazing and inspiring - I am so happy to be a member. I'll finish up the hero worship by saying I can't wait for Alissa Haight Carlton's new book in a few months, and I am so thankful that she started the Modern Quilt Guild. It's grown into such a great thing and every month I look forward to the third Thursday night on the horizon - for two hours I get to escape regular life to go to PNCA and see beautiful quilts, check out interesting presentations, hang out with nice people, and learn good tips.

Sweet, thank you, Susan-- see you next Friday!

QfQ banner

Susan (along with Daniela Caine) are organizing a fundraiser for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsumami. You can read about how to donate your time or materials at their site, Quilts for Quake Survivors. You can pick up copies of Susan's book at the store or comment here for you chance to win one! Who are your sewing heroes? If you quilt, what's your favourite sort of block to make? We will draw one winner next Friday, April 2nd. (Open to U.S. Postal Addresses)

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January Give Away

We have another two give aways this month, one for you local folks, and one open to anyone with a US mailing address.  We have a 2011 Chinook book that's burning a hole in our drawer for someone in the Portland area that can use it (we're also throwing in a couple more goodies).


The new Stitch magazine has a feature article on the author of our next book, Fanciful Felties by Samantha Cotterill.  We'll be throwing in a few extra bits to get in you inspired! 

We're going to be introducing a couple of new categories in the coming weeks, including projects to get you motivated and stash busting ideas.  We'll be keeping our monthly Give Aways, pattern reviews and finished projects and as always, check in here first to see what new things might be coming in! 

(We'll close comments Monday morning at 8am PST.)

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December Give Away!

We have some books to share with you this month, Sew the Perfect Bag: 25 Great Projects From SewNews and Make Cloth Dolls: A Foolproof Way to Sew Fabric Friends by Terese Cato.  Each book will come with a small stack of fabric, too!  Leave a comment before Sunday, December 12th at 5pm (PST) and we'll draw two winners.  Only US addresses, please. 

We'll get them out to you before the holidays, so you'll still have time to use them for making or giving away!

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Sale Booty and October's Give Away



Today (Sunday) is the last day of the sale.  We're open an extra hour today, from 11-5pm.  (We're holding our regular 11-4pm hours today, sorry for the confusion.)  I was in yesterday and picked up some flannel for little boy pj pants and some woven stripe for, uh, you know.  Something.  I'm going back today for Liberty.  I tried to resist but at 20-30% off... well, that's a tough one. 


We are giving away two extrordinairy bundles of fabric this month.  The first is the entire line of Amy Butler's Daisy Chain.  The second score is from Phillip Jacob and includes both the Ivy and the Tulip lines.  Leave a comment to win-- we can mail it to any U.S. address and comments will be left open until Friday, October 29th at midnight PST. 

Have you begun sewing for gift giving?  Do you have a fantasy list and a reality list of what you'll get done?  I do.  They are probably both on the unrealistic side. 

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September Give Away

More Free Fabric Free Fabric

We have adjusted into the school-work-everyone-is-always-hungry schedule and I'm finding myself slowly starting to scribble out ideas for the fall birthdays and (I know, shut up) the upcoming holidays.  Are you?  How about a leg up?

This month we're giving away swatches from Kathy Hall's Zenith, by Andover.  AND!  Another lucky winner will recieve samples from Valori Wells' Sole Flannel and Sole Home Dec lines put out by Free Spirit.

Comment once to win-- we can ship to US addresses only.  Comments will close Saturday the 25th at 5pm PST!

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