Friday, April 29, 2011

Organic Cotton Fabric – A Comparison


I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I really want to have a line of organic bobaloo! products.  A couple of weeks ago I decided I was ready to get started so I ordered a few organic fabrics from Cedar House Fabrics and


4 29 11 bobaloo all organic cotton fabrics left to right: Grove in Sky & Clearing (Nature Walk from Cloud 9), Woodland Chain in Pool & Woodland Friends (Circa 50 by Monaluna for Birch Fabrics), Stripe & Floral in green (Suzi Q from Timeless Treasures)


Truthfully, I mostly bought based on the prints, but once everything arrived I realized I had ordered from three different manufacturers so I figured a little comparison was in order.  I washed all the fabrics in cold water with no fabric softener and (as you can probably tell) didn’t iron them, but I did pull them out of the dryer when they were still warm to keep away most of the wrinkles.

I’m including the prices so you can get an idea of cost, but if I decide to go through with the organic line I’ll probably buy wholesale.  This girl loves a deal and I can’t stomach spending $15 a yard on cotton if I don’t have to!


4 29 11 circa 50 woodland organic cotton


Let’s start with Circa 50 by Monaluna for Birch Fabrics.  This fabric reminds me of high-end cotton sheets, the kind you’d find at a really expensive hotel.  It’s super-smooth and just feels so nice.  It does wrinkle up pretty easily when crumpled, but I’m guessing it irons like a dream.  Birch’s prints are definitely my favorites because they are kid-appropriate but super-modern.

This one was $15.50/yd  but it was on sale for 10% off with free shipping.


4 29 11 suzi q timeless treasures organic fabric


Next up is Suzi Q from Timeless Treasures. This one definitely has some texture and is lighter-weight than the others.  If you’ve ever bought the Quilters Only Solids at JoAnn’s, that’s what this fabric feels like.

I bought this for about $11/yd, though I did use a coupon so it ended up being a little less. claims the regular price is $15.99/yd.


4 29 11 nature walk from cloud 9 organic cotton


Last is Nature Walk from Cloud 9.  The fabric from this line is the most similar in feel and appearance to the regular designer cotton prints I normally buy.  It’s nice and soft and isn’t too wrinkly despite the lack of ironing. 

Nature Walk is the first of Cloud 9’s Price Sensitive collections, so I paid 11.95/yd plus 10% off and free shipping.


4 29 11 organic cottons


Okay, so here’s my bottom line.  The Circa 50 by Monaluna from Birch Fabrics is my favorite because of the prints and amazing fabric feel.  The price is the highest of the three, but it also feels the most expensive.  I want to rub my face on it.  I just need to figure out if customers would be willing to pay what I’d have to charge if I use this fabric.

Coming in at a VERY close second is Nature Walk from Cloud 9.  The price is great, the prints are awesome, and the fabric is every bit as nice as what I’m used to using.  I’m sure I’ll be able to check out Cloud 9’s more pricey fabrics because I’m completely obsessed with Cut Out and Keep and must have some soon or I will quite possibly die.

I feel kind of eh about Suzi Q.  The floral print in particular is cute and reminds me of the sheets I used to sleep on at my grandma’s house, but the quality isn’t quite as nice as the other two.  I think part of my hesitation is I don’t like enough of the prints to justify buying wholesale from Timeless Treasures.


I’d love to hear what you think about organic cotton.  Are you willing to pay more for products made from organic materials?  If you sew, do you buy organic fabrics?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What to Pack for Craft Shows

I was over at Martha's place yesterday posting my essential packing list for craft shows.  Go visit the Sunday Afternoon Housewife blog to check it out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

quick braided fabric bracelet with snaps


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet


The original Bobaloo and I were making bracelets for Craft Hope last week and we came up with these little cuties to use up some of my fabric scraps.  Using snaps makes this project silly quick – it took me longer to type this up than to make the bracelet – but if you don’t have snaps, Velcro would work too.


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet supplies



  • three different fabric scraps, at least 16” long and 1 1/2” wide
  • pinking shears or regular fabric scissors
  • One set of snaps (I use KAM snaps and love them)
  • snap pliers or press, or whatever you use to attach snaps 
  • awl


1.  Cut one strip from each of three fabrics, 1 1/2” wide by 16” long, using pinking shears or regular scissors.


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet first step


2. Stack the strips on top of each other, right sides all up, at one short end.  They don’t have to match perfectly – we’ll trim them up at the end.  Using your awl, poke a hole about 1/2” from the end of the strips. 


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet snap


3. Attach one snap with the cap side up.


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet braid


4. Braid the pieces of fabric (I had my cute little helper holding the snap end for me).  Try to keep the right sides of the fabric up – you may need to twist the strips a little to keep them facing the right direction.  Braid loosely for a wider bracelet, tightly for a narrower bracelet.


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet end strips


5. Once the bracelet is near the length you’d like it, stack the strips on top of each other just like you did at the beginning. 


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet end snap


6. Install the other snap with the cap on the wrong side of the bracelet. 


4 26 11 bobaloo fabric bracelet ends


7. Using your pinking shears or scissors, trim the ends of the bracelet in a nice rounded shape.


4 26 11 bobaloo with fabric bracelet


8. Put that bracelet on the nearest kiddo or pack it up and send it off to Craft Hope!


If you make one, be sure to add it to the bobaloo! flickr pool – it’s about time we started using it, right?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Craft Hope: Crafting for Good


Recently I came across a post about Craft Hope, an organization that encourages people to send handmade items to others in need.  They post a project every few months and give the details on what to make and where to send your finished products.  As I have craft supplies coming out of my ears, this totally caught my eye – what better way to use up all this extra stuff than to spread a little goodwill?


craft hope


Craft Hope just recently released their 12th project – handmade bracelets for the orphans of Russia.  I had no idea how bad the conditions are for these kids – 60% of female orphans in Russia become prostitutes.  It’s terribly sad to think of all the love and affection these kids are missing out on.  You can read all about the situation on Craft Hope’s site here, but here’s a little excerpt:


When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it’s shaky orphan-care system also fell. Alcohol consumption increased 10 times the U.S. level. The instances of divorce also climbed, along with the HIV-infection rate, which is now one of the highest in the world. And, according to a 2007 UNICEF report, the annual number of children without parental care in Russian ‘has more than doubled over the last 10 years, despite falling birth rates.’ Currently, there are over 750,000 children in the orphanage system and hundreds of thousands more living in the streets.


See how just a little bit of handmade love would really be a bright spot for these kids?   

Want to participate, too?  If you need some ideas, here are some great bracelet tutorials that I’ve come across.  Some of these involve fabric because I have fabric scraps taking over my house and I’d love to use a few up.


4 21 11 tutorial collage


Sailor’s Knot Bracelets from the Etsy Blog

Popsicle Stick Bracelets from Suzy’s Artsy Craftsy Sitcom

Survival Bracelets from Instructables (this one’s great for boys!)

Jersey Knit Bracelets from V and Co. 

Reversible Fabric Cuff Bracelet from the Creative Maven

Braided Fabric Bracelet from Everything Etsy

I’m excited about this one because I can easily make most of these while relaxing on the couch at night, and even Bridget (who is almost 4) can make a few simple beaded bracelets.  We’ve been trying to teach her about giving to others who are less fortunate and this will be a great lesson.

Go on over and like Craft Hope on Facebook so you can get the details, or visit their website and take a look around.  This project ends June 15th, so you have plenty of time to kick it middle-school style and make some friendship bracelets for some kiddos who’d love to have them!


PS: I ordered the Craft Hope book last month and it is full of simple, adorable projects along with information on where to send donations.  Most of the projects would be an awesome activity for a church group, MOPS group, or even a group of kiddos.

PPS: That link to the book is an affiliate link, so if you buy it I get a teeny tiny percentage.  Just thought I’d let you know.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Craft Show Recap: Handmade Promenade at Record Store Day


Saturday was a cold and rainy day, that’s for sure, but there really was a great turnout for Record Store DayMartha does a great job picking out locations for her shows and this one was no exception.




The hubs was trying to be extra helpful Friday night and loaded up the car for me.  He specifically told me he had the tables and the tent packed already.  Once I had my car unloaded, I discovered I had no tent top and only one of three of my tables.  Lesson learned – double check your car, even if your husband is as wonderful as mine.

Also, even though I remembered my camera and my fancy flash, I forgot my memory card (again).  Sorry about the cell phone pictures.




After the kids and Kenny dropped off my missing stuff, I rushed to get everything out on the tables (and had a sale before I was even set up!).  You can see my new displays in these pictures, but since I was so rushed I didn’t get to try out the chalkboard paint signs, boo.

There was pretty much steady traffic all day, and I had Shan & Jarod and Misty to keep things entertaining between shoppers.  It did drizzle off and on all day but Martha rigged up a rain catcher between our tents and everything stayed nice and dry.




I really liked the DJs, too – the music was just the right volume and both guys played some great songs.  We were set up in a U-shape, circling-up-the-wagons style, and it was like we had our own little tent village next to Luna Music.  My only complaint was that a few shoppers felt like smoking in covered tents filled with merchandise was perfectly acceptable behavior, whereas I feel otherwise.

If you’re local, don’t miss the Handmade Promenade shows because they really are great both as a shopper and a vendor.  I have to miss selling at the next one because I’ll be hobbling through a half-marathon early the next morning, but I’ll be stopping by to shop!

Craft show season has begun - have you guys been to or sold at any good ones yet?  And how are we feeling about my very white new displays?  Too plain?  I’m planning on adding more chalkboard paint to some of them (like the crayon apron display) to write prices on, but I’d love some feedback!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Fave Online Fabric Sources


I pretty much exclusively buy my fabric online.  I use mostly quilting cottons, and living in the land of chain stores, there just aren’t a lot of local sources.  Plus it is so much easier for me to order fabric online than to pack up two kids with sufficient store-safe entertainment and make it to a fabric store and back. My UPS guy even knows not to ring the doorbell during naptime (I know you feel me, Hannah).


4 14 11 online fabric sources fabric com


My first recommendation comes with a bit of a warning – their customer service can be a little lacking, and don’t count on everything you order actually being in stock.  But really does have some great sales and you can score some serious deals, like quilting cotton for $4 a yard.  I would recommend signing up for their emails.  There are a lot, but their super-cheap fabrics go fast and you’ll want to shop quickly.


4 14 11 online fabric sources quilt home


Next up is Quilt Home.  I admit, the website is a little confusing, but there are also cheap fabrics to be found here.  On the right side of the home page are links to both a coupon code and the sale section – pretty often I can find fabrics in the sale section that I can use the coupon on.  They also send coupon emails weekly, so it’s another email worth clogging up your inbox with.


4 14 11 online fabric sources fat quarter shop


Fat Quarter Shop is great for current, beautiful fabrics.  I usually turn here when I need something specific and haven’t been able to find it in my bargain sources.  They also have an extensive sale section that is totally worth perusing.  I confess, as a branding nerd, I am drawn to this website because it’s so pretty and clean.


4 14 11 online fabric sources above all fabric


I just recently ordered from Above All Fabric, and I was so happy with her customer service and her gorgeous fabric choices.  Since I’ve started my own business, I’ve realized supporting smaller businesses is often worth paying just a tiny bit more.  And Melanie’s fabric is by no means expensive – she also has a great sale section (which, as you can see, is important to me) and a rewards program for frequent shoppers.


4 14 11 online fabric sources fabric shoppe


I occasionally order from Etsy, too, especially when I need something extra-special.  I love ordering from the Fabric Shoppe.  As an added bonus, if you follow Jody on twitter (she’s @fabricshoppe) she announces great deals to the first one who nabs them.


I do frequent my local Jo-Ann Fabrics, especially for basics like terry cloth (I finally started buying it by the bolt with a 50% off coupon) and fleece.  I also buy notions there, including velcro and thread (I’m a thread snob and only use Gutermann) because it often goes on sale for cheaper than I can buy online.


4 14 11 online fabric sources true up


One last tip – if you haven’t started following True Up, what are you waiting for?  The weekly sale posts are worth their weight in fabric!


Any good sources you’d like to share with the class?  I love a good bargain!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Uncommon Craft Society of Indianapolis


At the end of February Martha got a big group of Indy crafty types together for the first meeting of the Uncommon Craft Society of Indianapolis.  It was a rousing success – partially thanks to the ridiculously delicious Bloody Marys from Hoosier Momma – and a lot of good ideas were shared.


UCSI facebook logo


Last week we had our second meeting, again at the Little Green Bean Boutique (thanks Heather!).  Although the crowd was a little smaller, we were really able to talk about what everyone would like out of the group.   We even had a craft supply swap – what’s better than free stuff?


I loved chatting with some local business owners and crafty types.  One of the downfalls of running your business online (as I’m sure a lot of you do) is that you just don’t get a lot of in-person interaction.  Plus, I’m the mom of two kids under four, so any excuse to have conversation that doesn’t revolve around boogers or the potty makes me happy as pie.


If you’re close to Indy, we’d love to see you at the next meeting! You don’t have to be a business owner to join – if you’re crafty (or aspire to be crafty) you’re welcome to join us! We’re planning some great stuff coming up that you won’t want to miss.  Just like the Uncommon Craft Society on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the location and date of our next meeting!


A little update on the Great Tooth Debacle of 2011:  It still hurts like the dickens, and I’m still taking Ibuprofen like it’s going out of style.  The dentist warned me I’m headed for a root canal if it’s not better by Wednesday.  Cross your fingers for me, okay?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend Links, April 9th


Infographic: Do You Need A Social Media Detox? from Column Five Media.  Man oh man, do I love a flowchart and this one is HILARIOUS.




Midwest Craft Caucus (thanks for the alert, Martha!).  I am totally going to this, and you should too.  It’s nice to have such a great meeting of crafty minds right here in the Midwest.


Biz Ladies: Taxes Made Easy from Design Sponge.  Taxes and general accounting questions always come up when I’m talking with other crafters.  This is a great, simple guide to taxes that makes everything a whole lot less scary.




Fabric Easter Eggs from Retro Mama.  Ack!  The cuteness!  I can’t stand it!  I just cut out the pieces for a big ol’ pile of these today – wouldn’t they make for a cute little Easter Egg tree?


White Chocolate Orange Cookies from Landee See, Landee Do.  I picked up oranges and white chocolate chips yesterday at the grocery store and we are making these cookies TODAY.  I can’t wait to eat an obscene number of them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sewing Night, Episode Two


Despite all the drama this past week, we had a very successful Sewing Night Wednesday.  The ladies and I made little ruffled wristlets and they turned out ADORABLE.


4 8 11 sewing night


I think four girls is the limit for Sewing Night.  It looks like I’ve crammed my own little sweatshop in my kitchen.  You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a kid-sized table and chairs in the bay window – maybe I could squeeze two very small friends back there?


4 8 11 sewing night ruffle


Look at those ruffling skills!  Keep in mind this is only the SECOND sewing lesson for these girls – didn’t they do great?  We’ve decided Megan could fit her baby in her “wristlet” when he or she arrives next month.


4 8 11 sewing night clutches


So I’m still having a lot of issues with this stupid tooth and have had to step up to the serious painkillers, which means I’ve certainly not had the normal amount of brainpower the past few days.  Hopefully I’ll be back to my usual self next week, because I want to tell you all about our latest Uncommon Craft Society of Indianapolis meeting!


Do you guys craft with buddies?  Tell me about it!  And how are you all feeling about the new blog header?  I love fabric all lined up in a row – makes me feel like I have my own little fabric shop!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Excused Absence

I tell you what, last week was a hectic one.  We had one ER trip (the little guy, he’s fine) one big dentist trip for me (me, and now I have a broken temporary crown and an infected tooth – is that TMI?), and one bored kiddo (the original Bobaloo, home for spring break).  I kind of dropped of the face of the internet for a while. 



4 5 11 bolts of fabric



I’ve finally been putting all that brand new fabric to work!  I ended with one bolt less than I thought (the blue and orange polka dot one is out of print), but it still feels like a HUGE amount of fabric.  I love it.



4 5 11 pink polka dot bias tape



The pink polka dot fabric makes just the cutest bias tape.  Speaking of, I switched around how I make bias tape this time and it was so much faster.  I usually use the continuous strip method, but this time I cut my bias strips first like this, then serged them end to end.  The serger is so fast, plus the seams didn’t get bound up in my bias tape maker like they usually do.



4 5 11 blue dot apron detail 4 5 11 paisley apron



I’m on an apron streak right now.  I just finished up a custom Crayon Apron for an adult who wanted one for her face painting brushes (there’s a picture on the bobaloo! Facebook page) and now I’m working on new ones for the Irvington Iris Tea Room.  Doesn’t that pink polka dot bias tape look adorable?


I’ve got our Craft-Night-turned-Sewing-Night at my house tonight and a meeting of the Uncommon Craft Society of Indianapolis tomorrow night, then it’s time to get to work on products for Record Store Day on the 16th.  What have you guys been up to?  I’ve missed you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...