17 November 2010

Craft Mailbox Catalogue Ritual

What's your ritual?
Over the years many customers have told us how they have a special ritual when their Craft Mailbox catalogue arrives in the mail. For Example:
One told us how she clears everything off the table, gets a felt pen, spreads out the catalogue, boils the kettle, makes a cuppa, finds a Tim Tam and then spoils herself to some special time in 'craft world'.
Another was someone who turns off the phone, pours herself a sherry, props herself up in bed and reads every last corner of it.
Please tell us if you have a ritual too as we absolutely LOVE hearing them?

16 November 2010

Jean Greenhowe Knitted Dolls

One of our lovely customers recently shared with us her beautiful Jean Greenhowe knitted dolls which have won prizes at her local show. She is now being asked to sell them but does not know what price to put on them - what do you think? Please feel free to tell us what you think. They are very cute, very colourful and very faithful to the Jean Greenhowe patterns.

We understand these knitting patterns are hard to find - we do have 20 of these in our collection of books available online or by calling us on 1300 307 721.


14 November 2010

Craft Mailbox - Fabrics from $10 per metre !

The Australian Dollar over the past 2 months has taken us all by surprise. Our top quality fabrics are now priced from $10 per metre. We have plenty of stock so get in and take advantage of these great prices.
We have also drastically reduced the price on many of our patchwork and textile art books. Plus we have stocked up our Bargain Box - many of these are one off's (don't snooze or you'll miss a great bargain) - but there are some seriously good stocking fillers on offer.
Our latest catalogue is now available in .pdf format with all our latest products, plus the online catalogue features 20+ additional brand new books and products you won't find in the mail order catalogue.

Pre-Christmas Massive Stock Clearance
Angelina Fibres fresh stock, new colours
Patchwork and Quilting Books - SAVE 15%
Christmas Gift Ideas
BeJeweler Kits
and POSTAGE FREE Hot-Fix Crystals
Elm Creek Quilters - Novel Series
Electric Quilt Software - Now $230

Quilting Fabric Savings
Bali Watercolours $12pm
Kaffe Fasset $20pm
Orientals from $10pm
Moda Pre-Cuts - save 25%
Widebacks from $18pm
William Morris Fabric $19.95pm
Sewing Notions - Save up to 30%
Shiva Paintstiks - Save 20%
Textile Art Supplies for Schools, Teachers and Textile Students - Save 15% on most books

Happy Crafting!


13 November 2010

Tyvek - Sample Testing

Sometimes you may receive a tear proof envelope in the mail that feels slightly slippery but with an interesting texture. This is called Tyvek. It is easily stitched, glued and painted with different mediums. It is strong, tear and water resistant with a fabric-like feel and can be used for making kites, stage backdrops, bags, clothing, table covers, embellishments ....... Fibre and Textile Artists the world over are having a lot of fun printing on it, sewing it then heating it until it bubbles, burning it for distortion, layering it with Angelina Fibres and creating dimension.

Image one - 3 kinds of Tyvek ranging from soft structure to paper structure, painted with water based paint red on one side, silver on reverse. We then used a long diagonal straight stitch, only on half of the painted area.

Image 2 - this image shows the stitching and one of the samples has started to distort. We used baking paper on both sides of sample, then a household iron. We tried holding it just above the baking paper but didn't show a result so we started to dab the iron onto the baking paper and then we saw some action.

Image 3 shows distortion on the 3 different weights of Tyvek. The one in the middle has been flipped over to show the reverse side effect as often the reverse side is more interesting.

Image 4 shows our finised work after using a heat gun (in addition to the iron)

Image 5 is plain white tyvek paper structure, overlaid with Angelina Fibres. Heat has been applied. As the Tyvek distorted, the fibres became embedded into the Tyvek crevices.

Sandra & Catherine.

12 November 2010

Quilting Fabric Efficiency

I read this quote by quilt designer Kathie Holland today in Sew Scrappy, Volume 1 (Quilts for Fabric Lovers) magazine, which made me smile about just how efficient a quilter can be.
"I usually buy half yard cuts. Every fabric I bring into my sewing room I first cut in half, which leaves me with 2 fat quarters. I put away one piece and cut the other into strips 6.5", 4.5", 3.5" and 1.5" wide. I toss those strips into baskets marked by widths. For me, it became a time-saver. I got tired of making a mess pulling out all my fabrics every time I started a new project. Having these strips ready, I now just pull out the basket and most often have what I need to start cutting. Even for applique shapes, I can usually cut the pieces I need from the wider strips I already have. If I want a bigger piece, I go to my stash and still have enough remaining for an 18" square".

Does this not demonstrate just how determined quilters are to be organised and to not waste any lifetime quilting opportunities!
Sandra May

02 November 2010

To Quilt Label, Or Not?

‘Maker unknown’. Those two words bring dread into the hearts of quilters. All that work put into a quilt and we never know who made it, when and why. Was it a gift for a special occasion, or made for pure enjoyment? And how should it be cared for? And if it was to be lost, how would it be returned to its rightful owner?

There is one word to answer all these questions. A label provides future generations with a record and guarantees that the information on your quilt remains accurate. Information to include:
The Name of the Quilt
Who made it, when and where.
For whom it was made and the occasion.
Date of completion or presentation
Instructions on how to wash & store the quilt.
Always use 100% cotton fabric, prewashed and ironed.
The design possibilities are endless. It can be simple or elaborate, a plain piece of fabric or pieced, handwritten, rubber stamped, embroidered or digitally printed. Use a spare block from the front of the quilt or make a pretty border.

If you’d like to design your own label, we have some great tools for you. To write on your fabric, try the Zig Permanent markers. A great tip is to back the fabric with a piece of Freezer Paper – you can even draw guidelines on the freezer paper that will show through to your fabric. The freezer paper backing makes it much easier to write and draw on the fabric.

If you don’t want to design your own label, we have 3 great books for you: Iron-On Transfers for Quilt Labels, 50 Nifty Iron-on Quilt Labels, and the follow up; More 50 Nifty Iron-on Quilt Labels. Barbara Baatz Hillman has done the designing for you. Just heat the iron, choose your label, and press away. You can then colour in your label with crayons or Fabrico Markers (instructions included), embroider away, or fill in the relevant details and secure to your quilt.
Creative Tips: Another fun way with labels is to use vintage lace edge doilies with enough clear space for your information to be written or embroidered with DMC threads. Try incorporating a leftover block or small piece of the patchwork into the label.

EQ Printables are fabulous for making very personalised labels. You have the choice of all the available fonts on your computer and many design options including using Powerpoint, Electric Quilt 7 or even Photoshop. A lovely photo of you and the recipient on your label will make your gift even more personal. Or include a photo of the quilt. The packets of fabric are already treated to go through your domestic printer so you just have to let your imagination go.
If you’ve put all that work into your quilt, it deserves a great label.

01 November 2010

More William Morris in Applique - Printing Delay

There is high anticipation for the arrival of the follow up to William Morris in Applique. There is however a printing delay and to the best of our knowledge we will be despatching More William Morris in Applique in December.

Meanwhile, The Adelaide Collection of William Morris inspired fabrics have arrived plus we have lovely pearlised cotton to use as a background to William Morris applique projects. We have a wonderful quilt kit called "Morris Magic" - the pattern is in the first book (William Morris in Applique) which we have a plentiful supply of. You will just love the fabrics in this kit. Sandra May.