I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m working on adding a section to my website of “extras” that you can add to your Go Fish Series patterns. These will all be free downloads, and I think that sewing them will help you build skills that you can take to your other sewing, too!
My first Go Fish Extra is this quick tutorial for adding a zippered pocket to the front of your Go Figure Tech Bag. The GFTB is a zippered tote that you customize to fit your electronic device …. tablet, e-reader or laptop. There’s this perfect point on the outside for a giant zippered pocket. This is actually one of those things that I wanted to include in the original pattern, but since these are designed as tri-fold sewing cards in paper format, sometimes I just run out of room!I put this tutorial together in PDF format for you, and you can download it right here.
I was invited this year to join in the annual open house at Checker Distributors which was held last weekend in Maumee, Ohio. Checker is a distributor that works with independent fabric and quilt shops around the world. Their primary focus is gathering together fabric, notions, patterns — anything that a local quilt or fabric shop might want to stock in their store — to create a sort of one-stop shop for the local store owner. This makes it faster and easier for independent shops to do their wholesale shopping, and it helps get patterns and notions from independent designers, like me, into stores that otherwise might not even know about our products. Checker doesn’t sell to individuals, but they have a really cool new feature on their website that will help you find your favorite designers’ patterns, notions and fabric in your local shop. I’m going to wait to share that until tomorrow, though, because I think it deserves a post of its own!Once a year, Checker clears out a portion of their warehouse and sets up booths for designers to come in and share their products with shop owners — some who live in the local area and some who travel from far away. (I even met two shop owners who live here in Florida!) Because they’ve been really popular with independent stores, I showcased my Go Fish Pattern Series! I also unveiled an area on my website that you’ll be able to access starting next week, where you will find free downloadable “extras” to add to your Go Fish Pattern projects. These extras are great for shops who want to offer them to their customers, include them in their classes or use them for store samples.I loved getting to talk with so many business owners and hear from them directly, but I also had a great time socializing after hours with the other designers and the Checker staff! Checker fed us so much yummy food. (I won’t share how many extra pounds I brought home!)Kay Whitt from Sew Serendipity was on one side of me, and Stephanie Prescott of A Quilter’s Dream was on my other side. The whole place was filled with incredibly talented and wonderful people!Attendees visited the vendor booths and shopped from Checker’s fabric warehouse, loading up carts with all sorts of goodies. Checker also offered short classes during the weekend, each one designed to help independent shops grow different areas of their businesses.I had a great time, and I definitely recommend attending if you have the opportunity! As a vendor, you’ll have the opportunity to promote your products directly to attendees who are ready and willing to share them with their customers, and as a store owner or buyer, you’ll enjoy the chance to meet designers and chat with them face-to-face about how their products can help build your business.
I introduced the Go Fish Series last fall, and I’m thrilled that all of you seem to enjoy these “instant gratification” projects as much as I do! They’re definitely my favorite type of sewing. In case you’re not familiar with them, these quick-to-finish projects are also eco-friendly with no pattern pieces to print. You just measure and cut using your quilting mat and rotary cutter following the included measurements or instructions. They are easy projects, but they aren’t completely “no frills” projects. Each one has something new to learn or a way to challenge yourself if you’re still learning. They are great for beginners, though! These little patterns are available as PDFs on my site and as tri-fold sewing cards in your favorite local quilt shop. Both are priced at $4.25 each.
For just one week, in celebration of the release of these six new Go Fish Patterns, I’m offering a six-pack bundle of the PDF versions of all six new GF patterns for just $15. That’s more than a 40% discount, and it’s only available for one week! You can find it right here: The Spring 2014 Go Fish Six Pack. Also, don’t miss your chance to win all six of the newest Go Fish patterns by commenting on yesterday’s Quilt Market post! (If you buy the six pack and then win them, I’ll be happy to send you a refund!)
Without further ado, here they are!
First on the list is the Go Figure Tech Bag. This bag has a zippered top, and it’s padded with fusible fleece to give a bit of extra protection to your electronic devices. This pattern is designed to fit any device from e-reader size to laptop size with customized measurements. The instructions for measuring and figuring are really simple — I promise!
Next up is the Time to Go Shopping Sack. I’ll admit that I really wrote this pattern for myself! I love having pretty reusable grocery bags to use for shopping, but I’d never found a pattern that was just what I wanted. These bags are super roomy with wide handles.The gusset allows them to lay flat for easy storage and open up to a full 4″ wide for holding big boxes. They’re also finished with a french seam at the bottom to keep your produce and canned goods safely inside!
The It All Goes Here Sewing Organizer is perfect for keeping things right where you need them while you’re at your sewing table. (It also folds up nicely with your sewing notions in the pockets in case your sewing space is one that comes and goes with breakfast and dinner!) This organizer has four large pockets and four small pockets to hold your trimming scissors, seam ripper, screw driver … whatever you need on hand.There’s a small loop on one side that you can use to tie a pair of scissors where they won’t walk away.And, my favorite feature of the Sewing Organizer is this little magnetic pin holder! I love that I have far fewer pins landing on the floor these days. The magnet is removable so the whole organizer can be thrown into the wash whenever it needs to be.The Wherever You Go Wallet is quick and easy to sew, but it still offers plenty of storage and organization space. It has a zippered top, a flap closure with a snap and four credit-card sized pockets.
The Going to Lunch Bag is sized just right for grown-ups and kids alike, and it’s the perfect take-along for lunch at school, work or a day at the zoo!The roll-down top stays open on it’s own when rolled up to make filling the bag easy, and when it’s packed and ready, it rolls down and fastens easily for both adults and children alike. You can make it with your choice of fabrics and interfacing to add insulation or water resistance, too.
Finally, the You Go, Girl! Backpack is the perfect carry-along for teens and preteens. The tie-on straps are my favorite feature of this bag. They add a bit of modern detail and fun, and they make it much faster to sew than if you were adding hardware. This backpack also features an elasticized top and a fold-over flap with a magnetic snap closure.
I’ve had this idea running through my head for a little while. I tend to be an instant gratification sewist. I LOVE projects that can be finished in an afternoon or an evening, and while I know some of you enjoy tackling involved long-term projects, I’m pretty sure that there are others out there just like me! My idea was to create a series of patterns that are inexpensive, available both as PDFs and tri-fold sewing cards, and quick as can be. All of the Go Fish patterns are sewn with basic rectangles that are cut with your quilting mat and rotary cutter using the included measurements. (No need to print any pattern pieces!) These patterns are not quite “no frills” – I tried to put a little extra something in each one. The first six patterns in this series will all be available as PDFs on my site tomorrow morning, and as sewing cards at your favorite local quilt shop in November after Quilt Market. They will be priced at $4.25 retail in both versions.First up is the Fun-to-Go Kids’ Tote. This tote bag is sized perfectly for little ones from preschool through elementary school to carry the fun with them everywhere they go. (My testers tell me that it’s also a great project bag for you knitters and crocheters!) The lined front zipper pocket is super easy to sew in (I promise!), and it provides the perfect spot for those little things that you don’t want to disappear.Next up is the Let’s Go, Baby! Diaper Clutch. This handy clutch is easy to grab and go when you’re just running out of the house for an errand or two, and it will fit right inside your diaper bag for quick changes on longer outings. The clutch unrolls to reveal a changing pad and pockets for diapers and wipes, then rolls back up again in a flash.The Sew & Go Messenger Bag features two strap lengths and a hidden front pocket. It’s the perfect bag for school books or business papers — it’ll even hold most laptops! The flap closes with just a flip and no other fasteners.The Fold & Go Art Kit is just what your little budding artist needs to keep his little hands busy at home or away. The large pocket on one side holds full-size coloring books and sketch pads, while the 20 smaller pockets on the opposite side are sized just right for your favorite crayon colors. The kit folds up and closes with a hook & loop tab.I couldn’t leave out something for the kitchen, since we spend so much time there! Meet the Go Bake Something! Apron. This modern take on the traditional half-apron makes a great gift for someone else or to keep for yourself. It fits sizes 4 to 16, and the four roomy pockets will make any cook happy!Wrapping up this first group of Go Fish patterns is the On-the-Go Travel Pillow. This little pillow is perfect for long car trips, sleepover parties or overnights at Grandma’s house. The pocket on the front is a great place to hide a favorite book, toy or video game, and the handle makes it easy to take along. The sham-style closure in the back makes the cover easy to remove for washing, too!That’s all for now! What do you think? Which one is your favorite? I think these would be great for Christmas, birthday and shower gifts, and for those of you who are WAHMs, these are just the thing for making multiples for those upcoming holiday craft shows!