Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sew Pro Convention

This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend the first of its kind sewing professionals convention.

Sew Pro is an event organized by Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness Patterns and Brenda Ratliff, the owner of Pink Castle Fabrics. They saw a need in the sewing industry for a way to bring potential designers, bloggers and authors together with leaders in the sewing industry to help them figure out the best way to make their dreams come true.

I did not take many photos of this event.  I did not bring my camera because I thought that I would be taking photos with my phone.  The event was very intimate and honestly I did not wish to break that magical feeling by interrupting with constant photos.  Sew Pro was THAT GOOD!

There were 125 attendees.  This number was fantastic for many reasons.  The networking aspect was amazing.  There were not so many people that you did not get to say hello and chat.  Meeting with upcoming and some already very established professionals was so much fun.   All of the speakers were completely accessible and willing to stop and chat from sun up to sun down and beyond!

Networking is always an issue at International Quilt Market.  There are so many people and booths that you can sometimes never even see who it was that you were looking for and wanting to connect with while you are attending.  That is not productive for spontaneous business opportunities.

The classes were well attended but not so large that you could not participate.  All of the lectures that I attended ( a couple were standing room only),  had good and relevant content for the topic being discussed.  The lecturers themselves were very knowledgeable.  They did an excellent job of taking time to address all the participants questions both during and after the lectures. If the time ran over, they offered their time outside of the classroom to just say hello or answer more questions.

The topics covered were not only about design, teaching and social media. They also covered legal, accounting and other topics that are crucial to those wishing to start a business in the industry. Being a pattern designer, fabric designer, social media personality or author is more than the fun stuff. The business side is also necessary for you to make your dreams a reality.  The nitty gritty of becoming a business including bookkeeping, taxes and legal issues on how to protect your brand are just as necessary if not more necessary than the designing itself.

I had the pleasure of attending the lecture by Brie Crawford, an intellectual property, trademark and patent attorney.  She had so much information that her 90 minute lecture ( it was the last of the day) ant into overtime and she was happy to stay and continue.  I am still reviewing her incredible handout she gave that is really more of a book!   I believe that everyone in the industry needs the information that she had to offer.  If you attend Sew Pro the next time it comes up...GO sit in this lecture. She makes law FUN!

I sat in on not one but two of Mimi G's lectures.  She is a rock star in my mind for the realness of her story, her passion for life, love and the pursuit of everything creative.  She is a builder of people, an inspiration to everyone and she LOVES to share her knowledge on how you can be your own builder too!  Just being in the room with her is like drinking two cups of coffee!  SO much energy!

In one of her lectures she gave an incredible piece of wisdom.  Never say " I know."  when someone is giving you advice.  Even if you do know, keep it to yourself.  The person giving the advice might stop trying to help you ( because honesty " I know" is very off-putting) and you never know what other advice they might give you that could change your life.

Another rockstar lecture I attended was Tula Pink!   This woman...OMG!  As if her fabrics and patterns were not enough to just adore her, she is quite possibly the funniest and kindest person you could ever meet.  She includes everyone in all of her conversations.  You never feel as though you are an outsider when she is speaking.  That is a quality that is quite rare.  Her keynote was an insight into her creative mind.  A beautiful mind with tons of activity!  She captivated the room with her charm and gave the gift of realizing that it is within all of us to be creative.  It is up to each of us to figure out our own way. It is personal.

In her following lecture, she said something that astounded me.  She had a slide that showed all of the people involved in the fabric production process after you turn your designs into fabric. The designer was at the bottom of the list and the consumer at the top.  In between there were about seven other people involved in the process.  Her words are simple at this point.  Her message " Be kind!"

Be kind to everyone all the time.  I felt like the Scrooge at the heart grew three sizes.  It is rare that you here such humbleness shared by anyone and I heard it from two different people that I greatly respect in one day.

Jenny Fox-Proverbs from Love Patchwork & Quilting and Today’s Quilter had a wonderful lecture on styling your photographs for print and blogs.  Her information was completely fantastic for the beginner who is not confident in their abilities to low how to get that "right" shot.  She shared her best tips on how to create design boards on Pinterest for inspiration and also where to find props for photos.  It was lovely to  meet Jenny, she is so sweet.

Finally, Pat Sloan :o)  I love this lady!  I really do!  She is fun and funny, she cares deeply about the quilting community.  She lives and breathes quilting and the people that take the time to listen to her podcast, come to her events ( they are everywhere ALL the time), read and learn from her books ( there are I think THRITY FIVE now) and, of course, buy her fabric.  She is a genuine person with so much to share.  Her keynote was so inspirational to anyone that wants to start out in the business of designing.  Her stories are true and from the heart. They included not only the good stuff but also the hardships that can happen in the very glamorous world of design.  Pat is a one of a kind gem in the industry and if you ever have the opportunity to meet her, do!  Pat is special!

There are many other lectures and also presentations during the provided luncheon by Craft Industry Alliance and Free Spirit Fabrics.  Every day was packed with information that crossed all boundaries.  Every class provided knowledge that could help put you in the place you want to be with your business. 

There are many ways to make a career  happen in the sewing industry but having the proper tools in your toolbox from the people who have not only gotten in the door but have done so successfully is priceless.  You can sign up for information on when the next Sew Pro event is happening by signing up for their email newsletter here!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival {Scrappy Quilt}

I am so very excited to be able to participate in the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side!

Usually when the event is happening, I am going to or returning from Quilt Market making it difficult to participate.  This year it does not coincide with Market happenings so I have the time and a quilt    ( even more exciting) to share!

My entry is for a scrappy quilt that I started four years ago with nothing in mind other than scrappy and color. It took four years and a grand baby for this UFO to find it's purpose.

This was the first block to be made using a pattern from Sylvia's Wedding Sampler.

The entire quilt is almost 100% scrappy.  There is only one fabric that was repeated.  I cannot remember which one it was now.  If I had come across it and remembered, I think I would have replaced it. 

These whimsical scrappy blocks grew weekly.   Many of the centers are fussy cut which made this quilt perfect when I finally decided at the beginning of 2016 to finish it for my grand baby.

It had been made into a quilt top in 2012.  I was never completely committed to the setting and so it remained unquilted.  It was on my ladder in my sewing studio until and one day in January ( I am sure it was one of the snow days when I had nothing I could do) I grabbed it and two hours later it was completely un sewn and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  

The quilting was a simple crosshatch using Aurifil 50 wt.  You can see the precious mouse, heart and mushroom fussy cuts!  So adorable!

For quilting, I pulled out my trusty vintage Viking! Plopped it up on the dining room table and stitched my heart out!  The stitches on this machine always amaze me!

Choosing the binding was a group effort and took literally hours.  The two younger kids and I laid the quilt out on the foyer floor, I would choose some fabrics and we would vote.  The teen aged girl was over the whole process after hour three and decided just plain black.  The youngest was good with a color but we could not find one that complimented everything equally.

I went for a final dig into the stash and came up with this gorgeous Robert Kaufman print!

It was perfect!  The dark contrasting purple with tiny bits of complimenting colors throughout. By this time, we had discovered that the grand baby was a girl so the sweet flowers and birds were just right!

The absolute best thing about this quilt is the baby girl that will have it forever!

Thank you so much Amy for hosting this wonderful event again!

Make sure to go and check out all of the fabulous quilts that are being shared this week on 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Motivation Cushion Covers

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!   The changes in season always make me want to create new home decor. The real truth is that I will use any excuse to create something new!

Great new looks for the home can be fun and customized by digging in your existing stash ( I know you have one) to make some lovely new cushion covers in no time at all.

This collection includes something for everyone.  There is sew, no-sew, crochet and knitted!  Hope you find inspiration for a new project!

No sewing required for this colorful pillow!  To make this lovely DIY Felt Scalloped Pillow, visit Classy Cutter.

Vidya from What's Ur Home Story has a free tutorial for this inspired Felt Circle Pillow!

This one is not a lager cushion for a sofa but I could not resist this Hexie Pincushion Pattern by Modern Handcraft

Lucy from Attic 24 created a free pattern and tutorial for this Blooming Flower Cushion

Get a jump on your holiday decor with this pattern for a Poinsettia Pillow by The Crafty Quilter! 

Another no sew pillow cover option using fleece with these Fleece Flower Petal Pillows by Come Together Kids!

Coriander Quilts created a lovely tutorial for a pretty patchwork pillow!  That Red Quilted Pillow–A Free Tutorial

This one free pattern alone makes me want to learn how to knit!  Thank you Purl Soho for the Bobble Sheep Pillow Pattern

They had me at the name "Bobble-licious!"   LOL!  These wonderful pillows were made using the free pdf  crochet pattern from Patons Canadiana yarn.

This beautiful Paper-peiced Spring Kaleidoscope Pillow was designed by Charise Randell of Charise Creates and featured on Sew Mama Sew

Join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Stash #194 Urban Artifacts

Sunday Stash #194 is so unique and fun!  Urban Artifacts by Leslie Tucker Jenison for RJR Fabrics is the perfect fabric if you are seeking whimsical patterns mixed with rich colors!

I reached into my Aurifil stash to discover six luxe colors ( one variegated) to be able to blend in or compliment the colors in the fabrics.  I was the most excited by the one Aubergine fabric!  I love a good Aubergine!

Urban Artifacts will be making its debut during International Quilt Market in Houston October 29-31.

If you are unable to attend this industry trade show, be sure to hop on Instagram and use the hashtag #quiltmarket to be able to preview all of the goodness that could be coming to a local quilt shop near you!

I cannot wait to dive into these colors to start sewing for market!  Even the selvedge is wonderful! #quiltwithlove 

I will be linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WIP Wednesday! 100 Days 100 Blocks!

WIP Wednesday is more of the 100 Days 100 Blocks Sew Along on Instagram hosted by Gnome Angel.

I started off just as a fun sew along but these blocks have taken on a purpose for me. This often happenens when I am creating.  I decided that these quilts would be for my children.  

The youngest child has many quilts made by me. He has four quilts total and the last one I made for him is a gorgeous Log Cabin made from up cycled mens shirts.  

My daughter has none.  Between never being able to choose the perfect fabric or the perfect pattern, she just was completely overwhelmed with all of the choices.  She has chosen the quilt she would like to have as her own. It is the entirely red quilt I made from used garments a few years ago.  This quilt was made with a purpose she understands the complexity of the red.  She requested it because it has all of me in it.  That makes it special to her.

The two older boys also have none.  So they can decide between themselves who will eventually have these quilts that I am lovingly making for them.

So here are the blocks I have been making for the past week! 

The first set is all blocks from used garments I bought from the thrift shop and a couple from my own closets in the house. 

I have been learning some new techniques for adding texture to the blocks.

This past week I also stared using silk ties.  I learned that interfacing with silk is a MUST and starch is your best friend.

These are my fussy cut blocks.  I have used a huge variety of fabrics and my goal is to have 100 distinctly unique blocks.  They are all scrappy!

All of my blocks are pieced using Aurifil 50 wt thread.  I have used more than one color. I started out with a gorgeous purple, I have used a complete small spool of a lovely med grey and am now onto a large spool of a neutral off white.  The threads are 100%  long staple Egyptian cotton and are 2 ply.  The treads are thin and very strong.  Size matters when you need to have a perfect 1/4 scant seam.  I achieve it every time with Aurifil 50wt.

the fussy cut/ scrappy blocks are adorable and fun to create.  Many of them have stories attached to them.

This one is my love of Summer and water!  The colors and the images of fun in the sun remind me of being a kid!

My husband was a Navy pilot and I worked in Naval Aviation so we always have planes around the house.

The ocean has always fascinated me.  I dreamed of being an Oceanographer when I was a kid growing up in Florida.

The 100 Days 100 Blocks event is still going on if you would like to join in on the fun!  There are a zillion people all making these blocks and they are all stunning!  

You can see more of my blocks by visiting my gogokim Instagram feed .  You can find out more by visiting Gnome Angel where you can find out more about this event, other events she is hosting and about the fabulous sponsors including Cotton Factory! 

I hope to see you joining in on this sew along! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thrifty Tuesday!

I am a long time thrifter.  I love a good deal, I adore finding treasures and most of all I love collecting or rescuing items that have been discarded for whatever reason.

In all of my travels in the car taking the kids here or there, I will pass by numerous thrift shops.  The turn over here for items is pretty quick, so if you want to find interesting items, you need to visit frequently.

This past week I stopped in to the Salvation Army and found these treasures.

I found three bowls and three plates all of .50 a piece.  I was pretty happy with my find!

My everyday dishes are a a variety of the retired colors of Fiestaware and I love the Homer Laughlin China Company!

The name of the pattern see,s like it was made just for me :o)

This soup spoon is Italian silver-plated.  I have only one soup spoon in the house. For some reason the nine year old boy and I love that spoon.  It is one of a kind.

If either of us happens to get it out of the drawer, it is an event!  " Mom! Look what I got!"

We lead a very exciting life in this house!

I will be posting my finds ( if I have them) on Tuesdays.  Sometimes I am lucky and sometimes not so much.  I DO run across vintage sewing machines quite often.  I cannot bring all of them home but will post them on my Instagram feed with the username gogokim.

Do you go thrifting?   What are your best finds?
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