SMP Craft
21 Nov

Freebie Friday: Sunflower Square Crochet Block

This morning, I watched this bird walk back and forth on my kitchen window sill. Walk a few steps. Stop for a few seconds. Walk back to the original spot. Then finally take off.

BirdSill

That’s how I’m feeling right about now: Almost free. I’m headed to southern California this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving and my mother’s 75th birthday with my family–fleeing the biting New York City cold to bask in glorious warmth and sunshine for a week. But I still have to get through the pre-flight dance, which is essentially getting through a daunting to do list before I can take off. I wish I could say I could get through everything and catch up on sleep during the flight. But I don’t sleep well on planes. So I’ll be doing one of my to-dos on the plane. Now that TSA removed crochet hooks from its prohibited list of carry-on items, I’m going to crochet Sunflower Squares to accessorize the Thanksgiving table.

The Sunflower Square pattern is from 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet: Beautiful patterns to mix and match for afghans, throws, baby blankets, and more by Betty Barnden, a collection of 75 triangular, square, diamond-shaped, hexagonal, and circular blocks, all with a floral theme. The book also includes written patterns and color charts, useful techniques, and creative projects.

Crochet 1-2-3 remarks: “You will quickly be creating a beautiful project, whether a basic afghan or a fabulous scarf…This is a book that any crocheter will want.” And for the daily commute or long flight like I’m about to take, the blocks are perfect for crafters “on-the-go.”

Want to try this pattern out, too? It’s Level: EASY. CLICK the image below or here to DOWNLOAD it for FREE. Start crocheting now!

SunflowerimageSunflowers not your cup o’ tea? How about Daffodils? Buttercups? Roses? These and many other varieties are in 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet, which is available at your favorite bookseller.

75FloralBlockstoCrochet

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11 Nov

How-to Tuesday: Show and Sell Your Crafts!

I struggle to remember a time before Etsy and Artfire, where you can easily find handmade products online. Every time I’m buying someone a gift I always start looking online to see what one of a kind surprise I can find—and I’m never disappointed. If you prefer to see these beautifully made items up close and personal there are thousands of crafts fairs that take place across the country. Check out this picture of all the vendors at the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair!

MerchantList

For those of you who have a gift for making beautiful things—be it jewelry, bags or purses, scarves or hats, even furniture—it can be difficult to figure out how to stand out among all the crafters out there and successfully share your crafts to potential customers. Luckily, Torie Jayne has got your back. Torie has more than fifteen years of experience as a fashion designer working in New York and London, giving her a deep understanding of how to create, design, and develop strong brands that resonate with customers worldwide. Her passion for crafting and baking led her to start a blog as a creative outlet to share her numerous ideas and projects. Her blog has gained a large international audience who know her for her feminine, pretty, color palette-driven design style.

In How to Show & Sell Your Crafts, Torie guides soon-to-be artisans from the first step of finding the perfect workspace and making it your own, all the way to developing various social media platforms to market your products. With helpful tips dispersed throughout the book, Torie doesn’t leave anything out. For today’s How-to Tuesday I’m going to share some of her tips on building your very own brand.

First things first: don’t be afraid of how corporate “branding” sounds. Put simply, a brand is a promise to your customers. Once you decide what you want your customers to think of when they hear your name, you need to follow through. Logos and brand names aside, you are the most important representation of your brand. Your brand separates you from the pack so don’t shy away from what makes you and your crafts unique!

Once you have an idea for your brand develop it completely. No detail is too small. Everything goes into your brand: your logo, color palette, theme, even fonts you use! People will remember a cohesive brand so these small things matter. To help develop your brand, Torie recommends creating an inspiration board. The board is a place to put anything you think is part of your craft business. An inspirational quote, color swatches, pictures, anything can go on this board. Click here to see Torie’s inspiration board!

One way to show off your newly-developed brand is by creating labels for your homemade goods. Our guest blogger, Kim, showed us how to make our own personalized labels a few weeks ago. They’re very simple and go a long way toward achieving that cohesive and personal flair needed for a successful craft brand of your very own.

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Check out How to Show & Sell Your Crafts for more tips on creating your very own brand to successfully sell your crafts. With support from Torie Jayne and all of us here at SMP Craft, what are you waiting for?

how to show and sell cover

Buy your copy today!
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Tagged with: books, Crafts, how to books, how-to-tuesdays, smpcraft, Social Media, Tips
7 Nov

FREEBIE FRIDAY: 130 Mini Quilt Blocks

Happy Friday! Saying that makes me feel a little better already with the weekend almost upon us. Today, our Freebie Friday is from an oldie but a goodie, 130 Mini Quilt Blocks by Susan Briscoe. In honor of the holiday season, here are two festive mini quilt blocks for your FREE PROJECT today!

Dresden Plate FanCupcakeimage

130 Mini Quilt Blocks: A Collection of Exquisite Patchwork Blocks Using Ready-Made Fabric Bundles contains a collection of beautiful patchwork and appliqué designs, including traditional favorites and brand new ideas, arranged into stylishly themed chapters.

The little quilt blocks have been specially designed to work at smaller sizes—perfect for making quilted projects like little bags, cushions, and potholders that will add plentyd of variety and interest to even the smallest space.
Each block comes with full cutting list and assembly instructions, plus mix and match suggestions to combine with other blocks, and ideas on how you might change or embellish the block design. Inspiring projects throughout the book offer plenty of ideas to get you started.

After graduating in art and design, Susan Briscoe designed hand knits, but it was in Japan, where she studied traditional textiles and kimono design and tailoring, that her interest in patchwork was sparked. She teaches creative textile workshops and demonstrates her work at quilt and textile shows in the UK and internationally. She is the author of several books on quilting, including 130 Mini Quilt Blocks, Japanese Quilt Inspirations, and 200 Quilting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets.

Check back on Sunday to find out how to win a copy via our Goodreads!

Can’t wait to get your hands on one? Buy one here:

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Tagged with: download, free pattern, how to quilt, quilting, Sewing
28 Oct

Happy Pub Day!

Do you like bags? Crafts? Delightful wordplay? If so, you’re in a world of luck, my friend, because today is the official on-sale day for Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 Quick and Easy Bags to Make for All Occasions by Helen Angharad Henley! This one comes with a CD of full-size patterns, too. How can you beat that?

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Can you believe how cute these bags are? (They’re quick and easy to make, too!)

The tote bag in its humblest form is a simple rectangular bag with two handles, but the possibilities offered by the style are limitless. This colorful book guides the reader through all the possible incarnations of the tote bag, from children’s bags and simple grocery totes to stylish shoulder bags in contemporary fabrics, with patterns ranging from the fun to the functional. Techniques cover all the basics of machine sewing and finishing, from straight seams to topstitching, as well as detailed instructions on the specifics of bag construction, handle making, patch and zipped pockets, and interlining. And the styles in this book range from appliqué to stenciled designs using fabric paint, giving you the freedom to design the tote-ally amazing bag of your dreams!

You should tote-ally buy one today.

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Tagged with: books, how to books, Sewing
19 Oct

Goodreads Giveaway: Carnival of Feltmaking

On Friday we gave away a free project from Gillian Harris’s Carnival of Feltmaking: Easy Techniques and 26 Colorful Projects for You and Your Home. Now you have a chance to win the whole book!

Layout 1Add a splash of color and charm to your wardrobe or home by creating the delightful projects in author Gillian Harris’s new book Carnival of Feltmaking. In the follow-up to the successful Complete Feltmaking, Gillian draws on inspiration from the carnival atmosphere, featuring a diverse range of twenty-six brilliant accessories and home items, like:

  • a plush rose-trimmed evening bag
  • a luxurious cowl-like scarf featuring a stunning swirling floral design
  • a luminous eight-panel lampshade in a medley of patterns, accented with felted flowers and ribbons
  • a heavenly nuno-felted heart-shaped cushion
  • a dazzling tropical-inspired knitting needle case
  • variegated vintage-style plant baskets decorated with either a floral or oceanic pattern
  • a sweet and adorable strawberry deerstalker hat for baby

Layout 1Additionally, Carnival of Feltmaking contains an overview of equipment and materials, plus step-by-step breakdowns with close-up photographs of all the major techniques used in the book, including wet felting, 3D felting, needle felting, fine cobweb felting, and more. Layout 1

The exuberant projects in this book showcase Gillian’s vibrant style and creativity, making this is an excellent resource for both newcomers and more-experienced fiber crafters looking for exciting inspiration.

Don’t wait–the giveaway ends Thursday!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Carnival of Feltmaking by Gillian Harris

Carnival of Feltmaking

by Gillian Harris

Giveaway ends October 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Or if you’re more of the immediate-gratification type, order your own copy now:

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Tagged with: books, free, giveaway, Goodreads

Author of the Month

This month we sit down with Helen Angharad Henley, mother of three, handbag designer, self-proclaimed “compulsive maker,” and author of newly published Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 quick and easy bags to make for all occasions. Helen lives and works in Wales where she designs, makes, and sells her sewing patterns and handbags. She blogs her stitching endeavours at angharadhandmade.blogspot.com and sells her bags online at angharad handmade.

Helen  Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

Cookie Jewelry Box


They say there are two types of women in the world: those who love jewelry, and those who love cookies. What? You say you're both types of woman? Well then I sure have a treat for you, with this free pattern from our new book 50 Deliciously Decorative Cookies: Easy-t0-Make Cookie Creations by Fiona Pearce, you can have your jewelry box and eat it, too!

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