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The Fishsticks Spring 2014 Quilt Market Booth & a Giveaway!

I know, I know! I said I was going to share Quilt Market pictures last week. Last week was a whirlwind of driving and visiting and cuddling and then finishing and testing and printing and … well, you get the idea! As a reward for patiently waiting, there’s a giveaway at the end of this post. Just keep reading!I used canvas dropcloths for the hand-drawn walls of the booth, and except for that weird wrinkle at the seam in the curtains (the one that I sort of hid behind the letters in the title picture at the top), I loved the way it came out! Here’s what that wall should have looked like:Yes, I edited out the weird wrinkle in the curtain. I totally considered editing it out of the title picture, too, but, really, life is better when we share our imperfections instead of pretending they don’t exist, right? That said, though, if you see any pictures on other blogs of my booth, feel free to pretend this is what you see. Moving on … What I’m hoping that you really want to see is pictures of the samples in my booth, including some favorite classic patterns, some recent releases and a collection of new patterns that I’ll be releasing over the next few weeks!See anything that you like? I hope so! Okay, tomorrow morning, I’ll be sharing and releasing six new Go Fish patterns. If you scroll through, you’ll see them all here in this post, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the details. Would you like to win a set of all six new Go Fish PDF patterns? Just comment below for an entry. If you’d like a question to answer, I’d love for you to tell me what you saw in this post that you’re excited to sew. I’ll keep the giveaway open through Sunday (6/1) at 8 p.m. eastern and announce the winner on Monday. Contest is now closed!

Giveaway ends June 1st at 8:00 PM EST. Giveaway is open to U.S and international residents who are 18 years of age or older. One entry per person. Winner will be selected by Random.org. Winner will be announced using the winner’s public username on or before 12:00 PM EST on June 2nd. Prize will be emailed to the winner who must be contactable via email. Email addresses will never be shared.

Getting Set Up for Market … and a Quick Sale!

It’s been a really long time since I had a sale, and I think it’s time for a new one!  Now would be a great time to stock up on PDF patterns for summer vacation sewing!

I’ve been busy the last few days in this place …… transforming this …… into something fun! I can’t wait to share it with you, but you’ll have to wait until Monday. (If you follow me on Instagram, though, you just might see a few sneak peeks: Fishsticks on Instagram.)

While you wait to see what new things I have in store, enjoy 40% off of all of my current PDF patterns for the next 24 hours (through 10 a.m. eastern on Saturday, May 17). Just use the code MARKET in both my main store: Fishsticks Pattern Shop or my Etsy store: Fishsticks on Etsy.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m almost finished updating all of my PDF patterns to include options for printing the traditional nested version,individual sizes and options,or a full-size pattern.You can read more about the update here: Pattern Updates are on the Way and check to see what patterns are finished and which are scheduled here: 2014 PDF Pattern Updates. If you purchase a pattern that is not yet updated, you will receive the update free-of-charge automatically when it is finished.

Note: The Buy 4/Get 1 Promotion does not work with this coupon code.

Sew-a-bration of Womanhood:
Something Pretty (& Practical) for Me!

The Sew-a-bration of Womanhood is happening all this month at The Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire! To read more about this series, check out this post: A Big Announcement. Each day of May, different bloggers are sharing projects that they’ve sewn for themselves and other women in celebration of women and our common threads.

I love working with Ajaire and the Shaffer Sisters, so I jumped at the chance to be involved with this series again. (Last year it was the Make for Mom Series.) What I didn’t consider at the time is that I would be super busy prepping for Spring Quilt Market this week. (Quilt Market is the sewing and fabric industry’s huge bi-annual trade show.) This project needed to be a quick one. In order to find the time to do it, I got up an hour early one day so I could sew in the early morning while the rest of the house slept. (When you really want to sew something, you do what you have to do to find the time!) Because of the theme, I also really wanted it to be something that is all me. I like practical, I adore bright colors, and I love sewing. Since next week is Market, and I’ve always worn these lanyards with my nametags …… I decided that a handmade lanyard for my nametag was the perfect choice! I checked out Pinterest for tutorials and found this one at Two Peas in a Pod that looked like just what I wanted. As I started to look through my scrap bin, though, I remembered seeing lanyards made from selvages at Market last year, and I have an ever-growing collection just waiting for a fun project!I started pulling out selvages that I wanted to use, and decided that since I was only using 2″ of each one, I would choose just those sections that have the color coding thingies. I’m sure those have an official name, but I have no idea what it is.I cut each one 2″ wide per the tutorial instructions and left about 1″ of fabric above the selvage. I arranged them overlapping as I cut each one and kept measuring until I got to the needed 37″.I started out pinning them in sections, and then stitching along each pinned edge, right on the very edge. After the first strip, though, I decided it would go faster if I just brought the whole pile of selvage pieces over to the machine and slapped one on, stitched it, moved on to the next one. I even gave up pinning altogether. Time was of the essence here!Thankfully not too far into stitching these little buggers together, I realized that if I kept going this way, half of my lanyard would be upside down! So, instead of one long strip of selvages, I made two and stitched them together right sides facing so that each side is turned the right direction.From here, I just followed the tutorial directions! I did, however, only stitch down the open side of the folded layers. It’s such a narrow piece, and, well, there was the time thing.The only place I had any trouble was with sewing a square above the hardware. My machine wasn’t having any of that, so I just stitched across several times to secure the ends. (An added bonus of using the selvages is that there are no raw ends tucked up in that finished piece!) I was in a hurry, so I didn’t stop before this part to replace my regular needle with a denim needle, and, of course, I broke my needle on the first pass. Ugh! Once the denim needle was in, stitching across and back was no problem!In less than an hour, I was done! Wheeeee! I’m so excited to get to use this next week! A successful project that is pretty, practical and quick — what more could you ask? No more boring gray, disposable lanyard for me!

Fall Quilt Market 2013 Recap

Finally, huh? I’ve been so busy since I got back from Quilt Market, I’ve just found the time to sit down and go through all of my pictures. In case you missed it, though, you can find the tour of the Fishsticks Designs booth a few posts back, right here: The FD Fall 2013 Market Booth.

I think the above picture is a great overview of what Market was like . . . busy, busy, busy! We managed to make it through, though, with a whole lot of this:I loved having Samantha there with me this time! She had a blast — I kept telling people that it was “the ultimate homeschool field trip”. She and Kristy from Hopeful Threads set a goal to walk the floor and see every single booth, and they totally did! She did a great job of demonstrating products in the Fishsticks Designs booth, too.One of my favorite things about Market is getting to visit in person with creative friends that I usually only get to chat with online. Getting to make new creative friends is great, too! I tried to do a better job this time of grabbing photos, but I still missed a whole list of people.

These two ladies, Shasta and Jana, from Izzy & Ivy are two of my favorite people. I was so blessed to get to hang out in their adorable booth with them one afternoon and to go to dinner with them one night. This pair is not only incredibly talented, but they are two of the most generous people that I know. They’re also great at making you laugh until your face hurts!My friend, Lindsay, The Cottage Mama, had her first booth at Market this year, and it was amazing. She has all sorts of exciting things going on, from beautiful new patterns to her new book, Sew Classic Clothes for Girls! If you have little girls, you have got to add it to your sewing library!I stepped away from my booth for a bit on day 2 and came back to find the amazing Emily Herrick from Crazy Old Ladies just hanging out . . . in my booth. How cool is that? You might remember that I met Emily at Quilt Market in spring of 2012 when I decorated my whole booth with her fabric! Emily has a way of designing fabrics that I always love, and her quilt patterns are pretty incredible, too. She has a whole new set right here: New Quilt Patterns from Crazy Old Ladies.Vanessa from V & Co was my next door neighbor at Market, and I loved getting to chat with and get to know her. She is so, so sweet, and so well-loved by everyone! It took me until the last day to find her alone in her booth long enough to snap a picture. I teased her that she was the most Instagrammed designer at Market. (Really, go scroll through the #quiltmarket hash tag and see if I’m right!) Vanessa has a beautiful new line of fabrics with Moda called Color Me Happy and a whole series of patterns to go along with it. Samantha has demanded that I make her the Braided Pillow from Vanessa’s Textured Pillows Pattern.The fabulous Pat Sloan was stationed right across from me, and getting to know her a bit was a huge highlight of Market for me! I was a whole lot starstruck when I first realized who was setting up there, but Pat has a way of making you feel like you’ve known her forever. Talk about being busy . . . she was going non-stop the whole time, from chatting with people and showing off her new fabric line, Bobbins & Bits, to teaching classes and filming tutorials. I love that Pat’s new fabric line includes batiks and cottons! I’m not usually one that is drawn to batiks, but she had a quilt in her booth sewn with batiks that I could not stop drooling over!There are so many other people that I was thrilled to see and meet at Market and didn’t get pictures: Robin Hill from Pattern Revolution, Melissa Mora from Melly Sews & Blank Slate Patterns, Heather Valentine from The Sewing Loft, Caroline Critchfield from Sew Can She, Sarah Markos from Blue Susan Makes . . . oh, I know that I’m going to forget someone! I always enjoy getting to catch up with the shop owners that I get to see year after year, too. I can’t wait for spring in Pittsburgh!

A Little Tour of the Fall 2013 Fishsticks Designs Quilt Market Booth

Are you ready to see the Fishsticks Designs Quilt Market booth?! I am so thrilled with how well it came together! The hot air balloon theme was an amazing suggestion from Leigh months ago. I sketched out how I envisioned the booth that night, and that sketch has been hanging on my bulletin board since. It was such a cool thing to see it come to life before my eyes!So many people loved the hanging hot air balloons! It took a bit of trial and error to get them just right, but once I came up with an idea that worked, they were super easy. (There’s a tutorial coming soon, in case you wondered!) My 15-year-old knitter, Samantha, knitted all the baskets that are hanging under them, and she did a lovely job. (She got to come along with me to Market this year, too!)This was my first time sewing the drapes as a whole piece. Let me tell you, sewing an 8 foot by 10 foot curtain is no small feat. Add a giant applique to that curtain, and you just might be so sore for days after crawling around on the floor putting it together that you wonder aloud what in the world you were thinking when you moved into a split-level home! (It was totally worth the work and the pain, though!)I mixed in both well-known and newly-released patterns in our display.And, I added a few patterns that are not quite finished, but coming soon!Oh, and you just might see a peek of a new size range of an old favorite, too!I really showcased my new Go Fish Pattern Series, and they seemed to go over really well! I think shop owners and sewists alike are going to love them for their simplicity, their speed and their practicality.Leigh made the beautiful picket fence bench that you see above, and both Leigh and Kristy helped with sewing all the samples. (I could never have gotten it done without their help!) Speaking of my amazing Quilt Market crew . . . . . . from the left, Leigh (my incredible assistant, who you can also find at Rooibos Mom), Kristy (my dear friend and the heart behind Hopeful Threads), ME! and my beautiful Samantha. We had so much fun, even when we weren’t having so much fun. (That laminate floor tried to get the best of us, but we conquered it . . . sort of. We at least made it look presentable!)

I’ll be sharing more about the rest of Market later this week! In the meantime, I’ll be finishing all of the unpacking and working on getting those new patterns wrapped up as quickly as possible.

Quilt Market Guessing Game – The Reveal & the Winner!

I’m on the road home with Samantha, but I had a few quiet minutes in our hotel room about halfway home, and I thought I’d take advantage of that time to reveal our booth theme for Market! (Of course, if you’re a Facebook fan or a follower on Instagram, you already know!) Did you guess that those supplies in last week’s post became hot air balloons?!There were twelve correct guesses, and random.org chose number nine, Jennifer, as the winner! (Jennifer, I’ll get in touch with you on Thursday once I’m home and a bit settled to find out which four patterns you’d like.) Congratulations!!

I’ll be back next week to share more about Fall Quilt Market. We had so much fun, and I have tons to share. In the meantime, did you see that I was interviewed for The Moms Know Moms Series at Little Kids Grow on Monday? You can find my interview by clicking on the picture below. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you juggle sewing, family and other responsibilities!

Quilt Market Set-Up & A Little Guessing Game

Good morning from Texas! We are busy here today getting the Fishsticks Designs Quilt Market booth up and ready. (If you’re going to be here, we’re in booth 2057. Come see us!)I thought it would be fun to do a little guessing game/giveaway like we did before Spring Market last year! The FD booth this fall has a really fun theme, and the supplies that you see in the picture at the top of this post were integral to creating the props. Anyone have a guess as to what we might have turned them into?

How about if I give away a pattern 4-pack? Just post a comment below and tell me what you think we made! I’ll take all the correct guessers and draw for a winner tomorrow morning. Ready? Go!

Update on Saturday morning: I’ll get pictures and the drawing winner posted soon! Feel free to come check out my Instagram feed for ongoing picture updates: Fishsticks Instagram

Fishsticks & Jersey Love at Spring Quilt Market

The Jersey Love Blog Tour will be back tomorrow! We’ve got eight more amazing bloggers coming up this week. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few pictures from Spring Quilt Market a few months ago. I had planned to attend, but we had a last minute change of plans. Rachael from imagine gnats was so kind to take pictures for me! (Thank you, Rachael!) My Jersey Love patterns along with a few of my older patterns were featured in the Riley Blake booth.

Fishsticks Designs in the Riley Blake Booth

I’m pretty sure that I’m the last one out here still blogging about Spring Quilt Market! Apparently, I’m a slow blogger. (Really, I am a slow blogger! I’m blown away by people who blog daily, and those who blog more than once a day? I have no idea how they sleep!) I just loved sewing up these samples for the Riley Blake Designs booth, and I couldn’t not show them to you.

First up is the twin (well, opposite twin, really) to the Messenger Bag that is on the cover of my new Playdate Bag pattern. This Chevron fabric is so popular right now, and such a fun, modern fabric. Lining up those chevrons for the flap and the strap was a challenge, but it was definitely worth the end result!

Here’s the Pajama Party PJs as Christmas morning pajamas in Alpine Wonderland, and . . .

. . . comfy summer jammies in Seaside!

(Funny story about Seaside? I chatted with Jina at Riley Blake about doing these samples for them months ago. The fabric samples began to arrive a few weeks later, and I set them aside until I had time to focus on sewing them. When that time came, I pulled out the pile, washed and dried everything and started working. On a Friday morning, I realized that I was missing Seaside. I turned my whole sewing room upside down. Took everything out of every cabinet, re-stacked it all and put it all back in. When the fabric didn’t surface, I turned my sewing room over to Ray, hoping that a new set of eyes would help! A second complete search of my sewing room turned up nothing. I very reluctantly sent an email to Jina admitting to losing the fabric. (The fabric isn’t in stores yet, so I couldn’t just go out and buy more!) Then I spent the rest of the next day, peeking in every nook and cranny in my house, still hoping it would turn up. It wasn’t until Saturday evening that I noticed a response in my email box from Jina telling me that I wasn’t going to find Seaside because it had never shipped! Aaargh! and Yay! at the same time! Lesson learned: Next time, keep track of the fabric as it arrives so you don’t waste two whole days looking for something you never had!)

And, finally, my Everyday Camp Shirt pattern in Peak Hour. I love this shirt so much that I have to get some of this fabric to recreate it for Charlie! Isn’t it a perfect little boy top?

I feel like I can call my second Quilt Market appearance a success! It definitely has me even more excited to see what awaits my little business in the coming months!

Lightning Vs. The Walnut Tree

Eeeeek! This is what I woke up to this morning. We’ve had some crazy storms here the last few days, and the gorgeous walnut tree that sits outside of my kitchen window was a victim of one that blew through here during the night. So, instead of typing a post about new patterns, I’m sharing pictures of my poor tree.
The smaller portion of the tree (thankfully) is currently residing on the roof of our side porch so the next day or so will involve ladders and chainsaws. Hopefully the clean-up outside will be quick because I’ll be cleaning inside, as well. My mama and my step-dad will be here this weekend for the high school graduation of our oldest son, Sean!
I’m a little behind where I’d planned to be with revealing new patterns and sharing the rest of my Quilt Market stories. (If I searched my blog, do you think I’d find that the phrase “I’m behind” is used more often than any other? Maybe I need to stop setting arbitrary deadlines for myself? But then I’d never get anything done!) Little things like the above always seem to pop at the most inopportune times. My plan is to post two more new patterns this evening before bedtime (big kid sizes of a couple of your favorites) and another new pattern tomorrow. Then, I’ll be taking the weekend off to enjoy some family time, and we’ll finish up with the last two patterns next Monday and Tuesday so you can buy them and get sewing! I’m taking a little inspiration from this squirrel who was busy gathering up walnuts from the injured tree this morning and just keeping on keeping on!
Just in case you can’t wait to read more about Quilt Market, check out this blog post from the folks at Pellon with links to Quilt Market posts from all over the sewing-blogosphere: Quilt Market Love. Enjoy!

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