Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2nd Annual Summer Challenge 2015 Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Summer Challenge for 2015 constructing the Stash and Dash Bag. We had so much fun seeing everyone's fabric combinations, modifications, and uses for the bags. It was inspiring to see so many beautiful combinations, and it made me want to make one in every color way, for every person I've ever been associated with. It is such a fun, useful bag.

What was unexpectedly and incredibly rewarding was reading everyone's comments about their process through the pattern. It was amazing to hear that people tried mesh, vinyl, strapping, Soft and Stable, or quilting for the first time. It was incredible to read about who the bags where given to, why, and what they would be used for. I loved reading about challenges overcome during the construction of the bag and what was being done to modify the bag to fit individual needs. It's awe-inspiring what we all do to help each other invoke creativity and challenge to do something harder.

You made it so difficult to choose just four winners, but here are the reasons why we chose who we did.

Most Creative Use of Fabrics: 

We can appreciate how much time was taken to put this together. Look at all those pieces of fabric. Not only that, but she had to come up with her own design and piece together fabric to make it into a Minecraft character. That takes talent. 

Best Photographic Submission:

We loved being able to see the construction of this bag all in a fun Flipagram. She took it a step beyond just posting a photo and made the viewing experience really enjoyable.

Most Creative Use of Organizer:

We would have never thought of using the Stash and Dash Bag as an organizer for pets. We love that the bag will be used for leashes, treats, and bags. Great idea!

Best Adaptation of the Pattern: 

It is annoying when you have a bag specifically set aside for applique, hand binding, or other needlework projects and your needle gets hidden or you have to poke a hole in the fabric. We loved how a magnet was integrated into the top of the organizer, gave it cute detail, and was fully operational. 

Thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you for inspiring us and challenge us to provide more of these to you in the future. We will start brainstorming on what we can offer you next year, and we may be introducing more tutorials for you between now and next summer.

Don't forget, the pattern is free until October 1, so be sure to download it before it becomes a for-purchase pattern. Also, please post photos on our Facebook wall, tag us on Instagram using #stashanddashbag, #patternsbyannie, and/or #softandstable, or email info@byannie.com.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fetch Your Sketch Eraser Tutorial

Fetch Your Sketch has been a popular pattern since its release at Market last fall. The project provides a fun and creative outlet that many people of all ages have enjoyed.

If you don't have the Fetch Your Sketch pattern yet, you can find it here.

Earlier this summer, our customer Nicole showed us the too cute watermelon eraser that she made to go with the Fetch Your Sketch that she made for her kindergartener's classmate. An idea was born!  Nicole graciously gave us permission to write and share this tutorial. We hope you will all enjoy it.

Come join me for this free supplemental pattern and tutorial for a detachable eraser to go along with Fetch Your Sketch!

Let's get started!

Begin by downloading and printing the PDF pattern.

Cutting Instructions

From the main fabric:
  • Eraser Front — 3½” x 5”
From Shannon Cuddle™, felt, or other soft fuzzy fabric cut:
  • Eraser Back — 3½” x 5”
From the lining fabric cut:
  • Eraser Lining — two 3½” x 5”
From ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ cut:
  • Eraser Stabilizer — two 3½” x 5”
From contrasting fabric cut:
Following the cutting layout in the pattern, from an 11” square of fabric, cut these pieces:
  • Bias Binding — 2¼” x 11” strip cut on bias
  • Swivel Hook Strap — 2” x 3”
  • Top Binding — two 2” x 5”
You will also need a 1/2" swivel hook:

Assemble the Fetch Your Sketch Eraser

1. Prepare the Eraser Front and Back.

a. With right side up, position the 3½” x 5” Eraser Front (main fabric) on top of the 3½” x 5” Eraser Stabilizer (ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™). Stitch all around ⅛” from edge to join pieces.

b. If desired, embroider the child’s name on the Eraser Front or add other embellishments as desired. Be sure to keep all embellishments within the ¼” seam allowances.

c. Flip the piece over and align one 3½” x 5” Eraser Lining on top of the Soft and Stable, aligning all raw edges. Stitch all around ⅛” from edge to join.

d. In the same manner, attach the 3½” x 5” Eraser Back and Lining to the other 3½” x 5” piece of Soft and Stable.

2. Round the two bottom corners.

a. Trace and cut around the outer edges of a cone of thread or other 2.5” circular object.

Creative Grids’ circle rulers are wonderful for this purpose! The circles slide easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. Then, their exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miscuts!

3. Make the Swivel Hook Strap.

a. With right sides out, fold the 2” x 3” Swivel Hook Strap (contrasting fabric) in half lengthwise (1” x 3”); press to set, marking center. Open the fabric and bring each raw edge to the middle (following the pressed line); press again.

Fold the Swivel Hook Strap in half again lengthwise to ½” x 3”; press.

b. Sew around all four edges of the strap, stitching about ⅛” from edge.

c. Insert the prepared strap into the opening of a ½” swivel hook. Bring the raw edges together and stitch across end to secure. (This is the end marked by the Wonder Clip in the image below.)

4. Attach the Swivel Hook Strap to the Eraser Back.

a. On the lining side of the Eraser Back, position the raw edges of the Swivel Hook Strap 1” in from the left side. The swivel hook will be facing the bottom rounded edges.

b. Stitch in place, sewing ⅛” from the edge.

5. Bind the top straight edges of each piece using the 2” x 5” Top Binding pieces (contrasting fabric). 

a. Fold the binding in half lengthwise, right sides out. DO NOT IRON. Pin every 2” to 3” to secure.

b. On the lining side of the Eraser Front, match the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the long straight edge of the piece. Sew through all layers.

 c. Turn the binding to the front and top stitch close to the folded edge. A stiletto works well to hold the binding in place as you stitch.

d. In the same manner, bind the top straight edge of the Eraser Back.

6. Join the Eraser Front and Eraser Back.

a. With lining sides together, position the Eraser Front on top of the Eraser Back, aligning all edges. Clip in place using Wonder Clips.

b. Stitch together along side and bottom edges, sewing ⅛” from the edge.

7. Using the 2¼” bias binding, bind the outer raw edges of the eraser.

a. With right sides out, fold the bias binding in half lengthwise and pin every 3” to 4” to join.

b. Allowing ½” of bias binding to extend on each end, align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the Eraser Back; sew together with a ¼” seam.

c. Bring binding to front, enclosing raw edges.

d. Turn raw edges under on each end. Clip/pin binding in place all around.

e. Stitch along folded edge of binding to finish binding.


8. Pull the swivel hook up and attach the eraser to one of the D-rings on the Fetch Your Sketch art portfolio. 

9. When you’re ready to erase chalk marks, just detach the eraser, put your hand into the opening, and use the soft side of the Eraser Back to erase the marks.

Have fun and be sure to share pictures of your Fetch Your Sketch creations with us! Find us on Facebook or Instagram using these hashtags:

#patternsbyannie #fetchyoursketch #softandstable

Be sure to check out the cute Fetch Your Sketch art portfolios and coordinating erasers that we made for our sweet friends, Emma and Lilyana.

If you enjoyed this pattern and tutorial, please consider showing your thanks by making a donation to Emma's medical fund. This sweet little girl is facing a lifetime of challenges. Please help us show her that we all care! A donation of any size will be appreciated.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Let's Support Emma

If you've been a follower of Annie and her team for awhile now, you'll know that we have a special place in our hearts for Shelley and her girls, Lilly and Emma. Shelley's mother and the girls' grandmother is Kathleen of Starr Design Fabrics, who we blogged about here

We love staying with Kathleen when we do Market and Festival in Houston as well as Sew Expo in Puyallup. And we especially look forward to Road to California, because that means we'll get to see Shelly and the girls, too. We always arrange to have dinner with them at least once during the week we are at that trade show. 

The girls have quickly become a crowd favorite as they walk around the show in their darling outfits, and it's always a treat to have them come by and help us in our booth.

Imagine our surprise when we found out that sweet little Emma is very sick.

Here is their story, taken from their Go Fund Me account:

On June 17th, 22 month old Emma of Scott Valley, CA was diagnosed with a rare and incurable condition, Cystinosis. Cystinosis is a metabolic disease that affects 500 children and young adults in the U.S. and only 2,000 worldwide. The disease causes cystine crystals to build up and attack all of the body’s organs, as well as muscles, white blood cells, eyes and the central nervous system.

After nearly a month at UCSF Children's Hospital, Emma was allowed to return home. While the family is thrilled to be home, the challenges of caring for Emma's serious condition are complicated. Emma is required to follow a strict and rigorous medication schedule (requiring dosages of at least 13 different medications, administered about every 30 minutes) from 6:30am to 12:00am, 7 days a week. 

In addition to the medications, Emma and her family will have to make frequent trips to and from her doctors in the San Francisco Bay Area, roughly a 265 mile trip each way. Because cystinosis is so rare, the family will have to attend appointments with specialists, cystinosis clinics, and educational events. Emma will require a kidney transplant sometime in the coming years. Any money donated will be put in savings for unplanned hospital stays and her future kidney transplant. Funds will help pay bills and cover lodging and food due to loss of work.  

Emma's family has handled the recent diagnosis of their sweet baby with grace and amazing strength. They need financial support to help them to continue to care for Emma at home while providing her with the best medical care available. 

Here is a video that tells about the disease. 

We knew that we needed to do something special for the girls and for Shelley, so Annie and Kait of Knot and Thread got together to make each of the girls a Fetch Your Sketch. For Shelley they made a beautiful Picnic in the Park to hold medical supplies.

These girls are all things girl, so lots of pinks and purples were included in the fabric choices. We added some Frozen gear (they love that), coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, and stickers to carry in their Fetch Your Sketch. Shelley will have plenty of pocket space in her Picnic in the Park, so it should be helpful for holding all of the medications needed for sweet Emma.

If you are able, please help Emma and her family by donating to her medical care fund. Together we can make a difference and even $5 can add up to a huge help. Let's unite as a ByAnnie community to show Emma, Shelly, and the family that we are with them and support them.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

21. Stash and Dash - The Finished Project and Ideas for Using It

Summer Sew Along from ByAnnie.com

You are now finished! 

How will you use your Stash and Dash?  What will you carry in this handy organizer? 

Here are some of our ideas so far. We'd love to hear your ideas, too! 

1) Emergency Travel/First Aid Kit

  • Pain relievers
  • Tums
  • Lip gloss
  • Bandaids
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Mints
  • First aid ointment
  • Burn stick
  • Antihistamine
  • Sun screen
  • Flashlight
  • Tire gauge
  • Whistle
  • Extra keys
  • Notebook
  • Pens/pencils
  • Emergency contacts in vinyl pocket

2) Sewing Supplies
  • Wonder Clips
  • Basting tape
  • Rotary cutters
  • Extra blades
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk markers
  • Marking pens
  • Needles
  • Sewing machine feet
  • Seam rippers
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Stiletto
  • Pressing tool
  • Hemostat grippers
  • Snippers
  • Pins
  • Class supply list in the back pocket

3) In the Car for Kids
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Stickers
  • Paper
  • Snacks
  • Toy cars 

4) Office Supplies
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Sticky notes
  • Paper clips
  • Mini stapler
  • Pocket calendar
  • Erasers
  • Flash drives
  • USB
  • Chargers

5) Purse Organizer - Oh, the Endless Possibilities!
  • Mini lotion
  • Mini perfume
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Cough drops
  • Lipstick
  • Chapstick
  • Mini notebook
  • Spare key
  • Sunscreen

6) Beauty supplies
  • Foundation
  • Lipstick
  • Blush
  • Bronzer
  • Moisturizer
  • Mascara
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Nail polish
  • Manicure sticks
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail files
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
Don't forget to enter our Summer Challenge. Click here for details.

Send us pictures of your creation and tell us how you are using your Stash and Dash! 

Entries sent before September 6, 2015, qualify to win one of four $25 gift certificates from ByAnnie.com. 

Don't delay -- enter today!

Click here for the full schedule of postings for ByAnnie's Summer Sew Along - Stash and Dash.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

20. Stash and Dash - Make and Attach the Zipper Pulls

Summer Sew Along from ByAnnie.com

Make and Attach the Zipper Pulls

We will need:

For this step we will need the bound organizer and the three 1" x 12" pieces of main fabric. 

We will also use these tools:

  • Sewing machine with ¼" foot
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 12mm/½” bias tape maker
  • Strong pin such as a hat pin
  • Scissors


In this step we will make three fabric pulls. We will then insert them into the holes in the zipper slides to make them easier to grab when opening the zipper.

Let's get started:

A. Make the fabric zipper pulls.

1. Fold each 1” x 12” piece of fabric in quarters to make a ¼” x 12” piece. Using a bias tape maker makes this extra-easy and prevents burns on your fingertips!

a. With wrong side up, pull the end of a 1" x 12" piece of fabric into the 12mm/½” bias tape maker. Use a strong pin to tease the end of the fabric out of the bias tape maker.

The bias tape maker turns each raw edge in to the center of the strip, effectively folding the 1" strip in half to ½". 

b. Press the folded fabric as it comes out of the bias tape maker. Use your thumb to pull on the handle of the bias tape maker, moving all the way down the strip. 

c. Follow the bias tape maker with the tip of the iron to press the strip completely. Go slowly so that the folds are well-pressed. When the bias tape maker has moved off of the strip, you'll have a ½" wide strip with the raw edges pressed to the center.

d. Fold the strip in half to ¼” and press well.

2. Sew down the middle along the length of the strip to secure the layers.

B. Attach the fabric zipper pulls to the zipper slides.

1. Fold one fabric pull in half. If your zipper has a small hole in the zipper slide, trim the ends to a point.

2. Pull both raw ends through the hole in a zipper slide. (If your zipper slide has a small hole, just pull one end of the fabric pull into the hole.)

3. Bring the fabric ends together and pull through the loop at the fold of the zipper pull. 

4. Pull tight to the zipper pull. 

5. If desired, tie another knot at the end of the pull. 

6. Trim excess fabric to a point.

7. Repeat for each zipper pull and. . . ta da! Three zipper pulls are installed and your Stash and Dash is ready to go. Congratulations!