This week’s Around the Block Round Robin block is The Granny Square from Elizabeth at Simple Simon and Company! I love the classic look of it. Granny squares bring to mind thoughts of simpler times, don’t they? And, the unusual way that this block is assembled is pretty cool.
One of the reasons that I really like this block is that I’m actually in the process of teaching myself how to crochet granny squares! I’ve always wanted a big granny square afghan, and I love having a project that I can pick up for a few minutes here and there without having to figure out where I am. I’m starting with a toss pillow for now to see how it goes. Here’s a little peek at the pile that I have done so far. More on that later, when I’ve actually finished the pillow. My Granny Square Block has a little baby brother because I was one of the first to sew it up, and there was a mistake in the sizing. (It’s all fixed now, so everyone else should be good to go!) I thought it a bit ironic that Becky shared this link on the Patchwork Posse Facebook Page yesterday: 52+ Projects for Orphan Quilt Blocks. I’ll be scrolling through to see if any ideas jump out at me … I’ve developed quite the collection of orphan blocks! Anyone have a favorite project to share?
Some huge Fishsticks Designs PDF pattern updates are on the way! If you already love your Fishsticks Designs patterns, though, don’t worry! I’m not taking away anything that you’re already using. I’m just adding a list of things that I think will add to your enjoyment and do away with some frustrations.
I’ll be working through all of my patterns over the next six weeks or so. (It’s a really involved process, and I still need to work on new patterns, so it’s going to take a bit of time!) If you’ve already purchased the pattern, you will receive a free update. If you purchased through the main Fishsticks Designs Pattern Store, Fishsticks on Etsy or Fishsticks at Craftsy, you’ll receive your updated pattern automatically. If you purchased from another retailer, you may have to email us with your proof of purchase, but I’m hoping to be able to work with each of them to get you the update automatically, too. You’ll be able to find a regularly-updated list of all the completed patterns, as well as details about when you can expect your pattern right here: Fishsticks Designs PDF Pattern Updates.
On to the changes! I’ve been listening to your feedback, and I hope that you appreciate everything that I’ve done.The first thing that you’ll likely notice is that while I didn’t change the instruction layout for my patterns, I did add a simple line separating the columns. Many first-time users told me that the layout was a bit confusing because they weren’t sure whether they were supposed to go up and down the columns or across. This little change helps your eye to fall exactly where it should as you go through each step.
Also, in the directions section, just before the sewing instructions, you’ll find a note that directs you to the page that contains your printing instructions.
And, once you flip to that page, here’s what you’ll see:Here’s where you’ll find the biggest change! First, you’ll see that you still have the option of printing all of the sizes nested on 8 1/2″ x 11″ (or A4) pages which you’ll continue to assemble and cut out according to my directions page: How to Assemble a Fishsticks Designs PDF Pattern.There are two changes that you’ll see in the nested patterns. First is that I’ve added color-coding to the original coding which uses dots and dashes. The dots and dashes are still there, though, so that you can choose to print in color or in black and white.The second change is that I’ve increased the size of that original 1″ test block to 2 1/2″. This gives you a more consistent measurement, and it’s easier to find!The next printing option is where my testers have been most excited — individual sizes! Here, you’ll find the page numbers that you need to print for just the size that you want to sew.These patterns print black and white with a series of dots and dashes, and go together in the same manner as the nested pattern. In some cases, when a pattern contains multiple designs, those will be separated out, as well.To make it simple for you to double-check that you have the right pages, each pattern page has a header at the top which contains the pattern name, the size you’re printing, and the design within that pattern, if applicable.You’ll also find that each of the pattern pieces in the individual sizes have the name of the pattern and the size printed on them — a really good thing for when pieces get mixed up or misplaced!The final printing option (and the last big change) is one that will allow you to take the file to a local print shop and print the whole pattern sheet, just like the one that you would receive if you ordered a paper pattern.This option is great for those of you who hate cutting and taping, especially for those of you overseas who don’t want to have to wait for a paper pattern! At the top of the full-size pattern, you’ll find permission to print individual copies, along with basic printing instructions. Several of my testers volunteered to take The Tank pattern to local print shops in their area last week, and they all had a really easy time when they were armed with a little bit of information. First, it’s best to download the whole pattern to a flash drive, take it into the print shop and ask them to print the page number that you need. Be sure to let them know the finished size, ask for it to be black and white and be emphatic about printing the file 100% or actual size. Also, double-check that 2 1/2″ block before you leave the print shop, just in case. The cost for most patterns should run between $3 and $7, based on the size. Everyone who tested it out was able to have their pattern printed while they waited. Good choices for printing included Staples, Office Depot, Fedex-Kinkos and local blueprint printers.Whew! I think that’s all for right now. I can’t wait to hear what you think of all the updates! I want you to continue loving my patterns, and I want to do everything I can to help you sew beautiful, practical things for you and your children, whether you’re brand new to sewing or have a lifetime of experience!
I’m nearly bubbling over with excitement here! I have several new things to share with you over the next week or so, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about each of them! Today brings the first two announcements on the list: the re-release of the FREE Fishsticks Designs The Tank pattern (now in sizes 12 months to 14) and two nominations for Fishsticks patterns in the PDF Pattern Designers Red Carpet Awards!
If you’ve never joined the PDF Pattern Promotion and Sales Group on Facebook, I encourage you to take a few minutes to head over right now and check it out. You’ll find over 10,000 sewists who are devoted to supporting independent pattern designers and encouraging each other in their sewing endeavors. Many of your favorite designers are there, too, joining in the discussion, sharing their latest patterns, promoting their sales, helping out with questions and more! This week, the group moderators have announced nominees for the first ever PDF Pattern Designers Red Carpet Awards in conjunction with a HUGE giveaway, and all you have to do to have a chance of winning is go vote!
Two of my patterns were nominated: the Charlie Tee & Hoodie and the Runaround Pants, and I’d love if you’d vote for them! To read more about the giveaway and to vote, just click the banner below:
As my little way of joining in the celebration, I’ve revised my free The Tank pattern, adding big kid sizes and incorporating a big change that is coming soon to all of my PDF patterns.The Tank pattern is designed to be sewn with cotton and cotton blend knits — jersey, interlock or ribbed knits in the body and interlock or ribbing for the neckband and armholes.The fit is narrower and longer than a standard tee, making it great for layering, but still perfect for wearing on its own. It also makes a great PJ top when paired with woven or knit lounge pants. (If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the appliqued tanks that I made for my seven-year-old last month!) Or, you can match it up with Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs for the perfect little boys’ undies set.A little aside from the pattern itself, isn’t that the cutest fabric? My boys LOVE it! It came from a custom fabric group that you can find right here: Fabric Stache. If you’re looking for great knits with prints that you can’t find just anywhere, go visit! (They’re doing sew-alongs every other week right now with my knit patterns, too.)Back to the subject at hand, to download the pattern, just click right here: The Tank Pattern. I’ll be back tomorrow with my next announcement, but if you’re already familiar with my PDF patterns, you’ll figure it out really quickly by scrolling through The Tank pattern!
I just have one, no, two last pictures to share before I wrap up this post. Because we live in Florida, tanks work well for us almost year-round. My little Florida babies, though, thought that they were going to freeze to death when I dragged them out to take pictures last week . . . in 65 degree weather!The “freezing cold” weather, however, did not stop them from insisting that I follow through with the promise of frozen yogurt after our photo session!
I had such a great time sewing pajamas for my boys last month, and I love that they get to wear mama-made jammies every night now! Here’s what I accomplished (just click on the images for more information):
Ten pairs of pajamas done! Woo-hoo! And, you guys accomplished some great PJ-sewing, too. Be sure to click over to the Fishsticks Designs Flickr Group and check out the jammies.
On to the winner! There were a total of 17 entries, and random.org chose Entry #3 as the winner:
Huge congratulations to Ann who modified Rockin’ the Raglan into a Valentine’s nightgown for her granddaughter, Matilda! Is she not the sweetest?
A sort of long time ago, in a town kind of far away, a sewing momma bought some Star Wars fabric for her two Younglings. The fabric went into hiding for a time, though, and these little ones waited and waited and waited. Then one day, the fabric reappeared, and the momma went to work transforming it into the perfect sleepwear for two tiny Jedis-in-training.Clothed in their new Pajama Party PJs, with their lightsabers close at hand, the Younglings fell fast asleep, and dreamed of days ahead when they would be called to action in defending their living room, backyard and perhaps someday, the whole galaxy, from evil.
Whew! This was such a busy sewing month! Thank you so much for sticking with me and sewing along! Remember that you still have until midnight eastern tonight (2/28) to add your pajama pictures to the Fishsticks Designs Flickr Group for a chance to win a great prize! I’ll be doing a little wrap-up and announcing the winner on Sunday evening.