The Sewing Loft :: National Sewing Month Series

Happy Friday!! Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Heather Valentine, a brand new Pellon Projects™ artist and owner/creator of The Sewing Loft. In honor of September and National Sewing Month, Heather has been hosting a terrific series highlighting favorite tools and techniques from some of our industry’s great creative ladies. We’ve been following along and suddenly have a giant list of new tools that just *must* be purchased for our sewing rooms;). Thankfully, we can use all of the posts in Heather’s series as a guide for what to make with all of our new handy tools;).

Thanks so much for taking a moment to chat with us today, Heather!

Pellon Projects: What first inspired the National Sewing Month Series?
Heather Valentine: National Sewing Month was always a big deal with my New Jersey Sewing Guild Chapter. We always did our best to celebrate in a special way. Now, that I have moved 600 plus miles away, I still wanted to keep the traditional alive. I thought the blog was a wonderful way to share the celebration with others!

PP: Was your intention always to keep a focus on tools and tricks of the trade?
HV: My focus was always tools, tips and tricks. With so many tools on the market today, it is difficult to know every last one. Plus, I think it’s really interesting to see how others use the similar tools. I mean, let’s face it, we all have a machine but those little tools, they’re like eye candy! They can save a bunch of time. Case in point- the little wooden stick!

PP: What are your hopes for the series?
HV: My hope is that stitchers of all levels will find something of interest and become inspired by a new tool, tip or project idea. The main goal is to inspire others to “Reclaim” their creativity through stitching! Hopefully, someone following along will see a tool in a whole new light, or discover that their old standby tucked in a drawer somewhere can actually be used differently to help save time. That would be a win in my book.

PP: What is your favorite or most-used sewing room tool?
HV: This question is a toughie! But it is funny that you ask, I just completed a few projects all from my fabric stash. Without a doubt in my mind, this is my most over worked and under appreciated tool.

PP: What Pellon® interfacing product would you recommend to readers and why?
HV: Well, currently I am working on this fun project with the 906F interfacing. I think by now, everyone knows that I save all of my scraps. This product allows me to salvage them and reclaim them into a fun new fabric.

To be fair though, I think it’s super important for stitchers to realize the importance of a quality interfacing. During my years of Product Development and Technical Design in the garment industry, I learned the significance of this hidden gem caught between the layers of fabric. A quality interfacing can make a piece of inexpensive fabric shine like a brilliant diamond! But without it, your project is sure to show flaws and will breakdown over time.

I think many stitchers underestimate the powerful foundation this hidden layer provides. For me, interfacing is like the secret ingredient in your favorite sauce. Without it, something is lacking.

A few key links
Zipper Foot
Handy Sewing Needle Tips & Tricks
The Power of a Pin Cushion
Get to the Point with Sewing Pins
The Wooden Iron
Heat Erasing Pens

Thank you again Heather!!

[all images courtesy of The Sewing Loft and guest posters — click the links for more information]


Craft Book Month @ Craft Buds

If you’re like me, you may have assumed that September is ONLY National Sewing Month. Not true… over at Craft Buds, it’s also Craft Book Month! Now in its second year, the event strives to shine a light on the talented creatives behind the many crafting & sewing books out there. From quilts to embroidery, crafts to apparel, there really is a little something for everyone. The series thus far has been nothing less than fascinating, featuring interviews with industry folk sharing advice for aspiring authors and how-tos from prominent designers and beloved bloggers. It’s possible that we’re just a tiny bit biased (co-creator Lindsay Conner is a Pellon Projects™ Designer), but we’ve been loving every minute and are, quite frankly, a little sad to see it come to an end.

That said, we’re extremely happy to have had a chance to chat with Lindsay and learn a bit more about how the series came to be and how the month of pure bloggy loveliness has been for her. Thanks so much to Lindsay for taking a few moments out of her busy schedule!!

Pellon Projects: What first inspired the Craft Book Month Series?
Lindsay Conner: My husband and I were vacationing in Quebec City a couple summers ago. I tend to get new ideas when I’m away from my day-to-day environment. Thankfully, this was one of those times! For several months, I’d put myself toward the goal of writing a DIY/how-to book. I realized that there wasn’t much information in blogland about the actual process. How do you go about writing a book proposal? What’s the best way to research and connect with publishers that might be interested in your idea? Do you need to hire an agent? I figured that the process looked a little different in the crafting field than with other types of publishing, but I had to do a lot of digging to find answers.

As I was walking the streets of a new city, I came up with the idea for a blog series called Craft Book Month. I had two goals in mind: a) I wanted answers to the questions above and b) I also wanted to encourage and inspired crafters (myself included!) to actually make a project from a craft book and share it. Let’s face it… some of our craft books are collecting dust! As a side benefit, I’ve been able to network and connect with inspiring craft book authors and their publishers while promoting the event, which has led to some pretty cool opportunities.

PP: Was it easier to pull everything together for this one, now that you’re in your second year of running the event?
LC: Yes, absolutely. This year, I had the idea to move beyond the author/editor relationship and expand the series to share a bit how craft book photography, marketing and design/layout work. There’s so much that goes into the book production process, that I thought it would be great to learn from the experts! I also formed a team of bloggers this year to help me spread the word through a blog hop, which helped us to cast a wider net for the event and share the craft book love. 🙂

PP: Do you have a favorite Craft Book that you would recommend to readers?
LC: I have several! In general, I love all of the quilt titles from Stash Books, especially Block Party and Bags: The Modern Classics. Fa La La La Felt and Stash Happy Felt are two of my favorites from Lark Crafts. The One-Yard Wonders books and Improv Sewing from Storey Publishing are also favorites, because they each have 101 projects! There is really so much inspiration to be found, and I like checking out books from a variety of publishers and even self-published books and patterns.

PP: I would imagine that reader participation for a month-long event like this must be pretty strong. Have you been getting a lot of great feedback?
LC: We have more than doubled our participation in the linky party from last year (and had a huge response from Craft Book Month sponsors) so I am thrilled! The feedback has been very positive, both from the blog readers and the wonderful experts who agreed to do a Q&A with me and take the hot seat. And I expect that readers will chime in on the linky party and this week’s giveaways through the last day, September 30.

PP:What types of projects do you see the most of in the final week link-up party?
LC: We have a lot of sewing and quilting readers, so it’s not surprising to see lots of quilts, sewn wearables and home decor. But we also have some knitters in the mix. It’s fun to get to see two interpretations of the same quilt!

PP: And just because we’re curious, what Pellon® product would you recommend to readers and why?
LC: I love  Legacy™ by Pellon® batting, and cannot wait to wrap up a couple projects so I can dive in and work on my free-motion quilting. The batting looks great with tight quilting, so I was happy to get my quilt back from the long armer and see how smooth it looked–brilliant!

[Images courtesy of the Authors, Publishers and Craft Buds — see below for article links]

A few handy links
Craft Book Photograph Elizabeth Maxson
Author Talk: Fat Quarter Shop & Giveaway
Craft Book Author Angela Yosten
Anna Maria’s Needleworks Notebook & Giveaway
Linky Party [link your projects up TODAY!!]

Check out Craft Buds for access to a full month’s worth of fabulous articles. To learn more about Craft Buds and co-creators Lindsay Conner & Mary Jaracz click here. Lindsay can also be found online at Lindsay Sews & Mary blogs at Bugglebee.

We Love It Wednesday!! (9/26)

So, we took a little hiatus. We’d like to pretend that it was a late Summer vacation, but really, we’ve got a lot great things on the horizon and we’ve been busying ourselves with all of the fabulous prep! The one thing we can’t skip out on is our monthly giveaway. So without further pause… here it is!! All sorts of packaged interfacing goodness;).

Your prize pack contains:
– 1 pkg Pellon® 805R Wonder-Under®
– 1 pkg Pellon® SF101 Shape-Flex®
– 1 pkg Pellon® 70 Peltex® Ultra-Firm Sew-In
– 1 pkg Pellon® 808 Craft-Fuse®
– 1 pkg Pellon® 987F Fusible Fleece
– 1 pkg Pellon® 380R Soft-N-Stay

Total Retail Value = $55

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For all of the projects you see above:
What a Hoot! Journal Cover by Sue Marsh
Pixie Hexie Wallet by Sara Lawson
Luggage Tag by Jill Dorsey [Coming SOON]
Purse-onality by Karen Bennett
Cupcake Mug Rug by Vanessa Wilson
Embroidery-to-go Bag by Sara Lawson and Rachael Gander

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To enter-to-win, tell us what you’d like to make with any one of these products. Please let us know in the comments! [Make sure we have a way to get in touch with you in case you’re our winner!] For added entries, you can do any of the following:

1. like us on Facebook
2. follow the blog (click the follow button in the right-hand sidebar)
3. follow our boards on Pinterest
4. follow us on Twitter

Just make sure to post a comment telling us what you did for each entry.

We’ll accept entries up through midnight on Sunday, September 30th. Winner will be announced on Monday, October 1.

Thanks and good luck!

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** please note that due to shipping restrictions, this contest is only open to participants in the US & Canada.