Friday, March 30, 2012

Decoupage!!! That's a fun word, don't you think?

Have you seen the cool decoupage vanity towards the back of the Valli & Kim store? Or maybe the guitar next to the little tree? I had never thought of using fabric that way! I mean, pillows and cushions, but the furniture itself??!!! Awesome! 

Do you have some furniture you'd use this method for?

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


When I was working in the store last week, I got to watch Valli embroider some fabric for her famous pillows and I got inspired. 
The husband helping me sand! He's so nice!
It had some splitting so we used a bit of glue
 and clamps to remedy the problem
All done! 
I've had this yellow chair for a while. It was painted black, then poorly painted yellow. My darling husband helped me sand the sucker down and patch up the rough spots. We spray painted it a bronze color (not super exciting, but it'll go anywhere in my house now). I decided to let the pillow do the talking color-wise.

Guten TAG! Hello in German.

These are just straight stitches on canvas to give
it a little more interest. 

I gathered the tulle, then fabric.
Then I sewed them together on to the red fabric.
 I used the ribbon to accent,
but mostly to cover the gathering stitching.

I embroidered one side and did ruffles on the other like some of the pillows I'd seen on All in all, a stylish new addition to the art cave (aka craft room). 

Do you recognize the curtain fabric? Yep Valli &Kim's!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dolls with Love

I have LOVED working in the store this last week. Valli & Kim customers are so inspiring. You all have such good stories and projects. There is a particular customer who let me interview her a couple of months ago, and has very patiently waited to be shared with all of you.

The hair is mohair locks. Doesn't it look great?
Vicki, like many of you learned to sew when she was young and made doll clothes. Well she's back at it again with fabric from Valli & Kim. She's making dolls and their clothes, but for other little children to love. 

She said, " I want to do this for fun and I just don't want to worry about making them "good enough" for someone to buy.  The kids will love them even with a few threads hanging or a little smear of paint in the wrong place.  That would never work in a market place.  Besides, there are lots of little girls who don't have that many dolls and then mine would be very special." How cool is that? 

Well Vicci! Keep at it! We love seeing your work. 

Why do you give your creations away?

By Cassie Grace

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bring Style to the Outdoors

I've been thinking about those cool laminate fabrics we have in those silver cans and all the awesome things people are doing with them!  Valli & Kim have some good examples, of course. There is the Pillow:

I like the idea of having bright color and modern design outside. Some people use this fabric to make seat cushions for their patio chairs and benches. Which of course makes me with I had a backyard and patio furniture, but that's okay because I can make other things like... Rain Coats:

 Clothing is another option with this fabric. I know I don't have lots of opportunity to wear a rain coat here in Austin, at least not this year. BUT I have family in the Seattle, WA area! You could also make make-up bags or even purses. I was thinking about making a reusable lunch bag with the laminate fabric because If something exploded or spilled, the clean up would be LOADS easier!

Ps. Don't Iron it!!!! It'll melt.

How would you use Laminated Fabric?

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thoughts on Grandmother's Flower Garden

If you haven't been in the store lately, there is a new quilt hanging from the rafter's showcasing a "Grandmother's Flower Garden" style. Before I knew it was called that, I just thought of it as honey combs or octagons. My grandmother made one, but as it started to fall apart from years of use, so my sisters put it in a shadow box with sewing notions for my mom to hang above her sewing machine.

This was made by Pat. (Unfortunately I don't  know her last name!) Thank you!

Anyway. I think they are super cool and I happened to snap a picture a while ago of one that was with super modern colors and fabrics. After I saw how it could be styled differently, I decided that I gotta learn how to do this! We had a class scheduled for today, but I think we'll have it again in the next month or two. 

What do you think about taking classic patterns and sewing them with modern fabrics? 

By Cassie Grace

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mid-Project Storage Solution

In my 10 by 10 foot art cave (as I call it) many of my surfaces double up on purposes. My sewing table is also my drawing and painting area for my illustrations or journaling. I have an kitchen island which serves as my cutting table, but it's also where I set up my still lifes for oil painting and do my book binding. So I'm constantly shuffling projects. Well, I've found a solution for putting away my quilt blocks without folding them up or getting them wrinkly. ( I don't have a felt design wall yet) I've hung them up in my wee closet with a trouser hanger! It's out of the way of my paints, but easy access. I imagine that I could put smaller ones in bags and hang them this way as well.

Please ignore the lame painting....
its in the closet for a reason...

My only question is... Will this stretch out my fabric?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sew your Own Tree

With the beautiful weather, I couldn't help myself at the grocery store. I broke down and bought myself some fresh flowers. All I have are mason jars, so I dressed it up a bit with some ribbon.  The upside is that it only cost me five bucks, but the downside is that they'll wilt in a few days. 

What I'd REALLY like to do is this:

I love how the leaves have different fabrics on each side!

Valli & Kim's Wee Little Tree

I can just imagine having some sweet branches all covered in fabric leaves instead of some plastic ficus. Wouldn't it be fun to make some stuffed fruit to go on it too? I think its a clever way to add a bit of color to the house.

How are you getting into the "spring" of things?

By Casie Grace

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Time!

I hope everyone else is enjoying the rain and fresh air as much as me! I love it! And today has been so lovely with the sun out. We are so lucky to live so far south, don't you think? 

All this spring timey feelings have got me hankering for some skirts. I was not well prepared for last summer with one pair of shorts and too many slacks. Lucky for me Valli and Kim are offering a class on a cute A-line skirt. I'm excited to get a decent tan and a little air flow if you know what I mean! Haha! I crack myself up. 

We have a class on the skirt on March 22 at 10am or April 28 at 10am. Call us or come on in to sign up!!!

By Cassie Grace

Friday, March 9, 2012

Low Sew Project

Valli doesn't sew. Okay, she does, but she doesn't do piecing. Exhibit A: Pillow

The pot and leaves are steam-a-seamed.

She sews the pillow form seams, but the cool, fancy pattern on the front is Steam-a-Seamed! Steam-a-Seam is an applique method with out the sewing fuss. My kind of project!  

If your unfamiliar with the product here is a awesome video I found explaining how to use it. 

By Cassie Grace

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Quilters Quandry

Does this happen to you? It seems to be a chronic problem in my family. My aunties would start knitting us (my twin and I) sweaters but wouldn't finish until my nieces were born and about the right size for them. Since there is a lull in babies in my family at the moment, I'm hoping to preemptively make some generic baby quilts now, so I don't have to scramble later. How many quilts do you give away?

By Cassie Grace

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tips and Tricks

I had a sewing/girls-night with my friend Mandy. I happened to notice that she wasn't using pins to keep her little pieces of fabric together, but used an awl to hold down her fabric until the last possible moment. This kept her sewing nice and neat, and her fingers intact! I thought it was a clever way to deal with sewing those tiny bits of fabric. 

What are some clever tricks you use to make your sewing easier?

By Cassie Grace

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wimberley Quilt Ranch

Wouldn't these be perfect for hanging
quilts for a photo shoot?

I was stuck by the charming drive to Wimberley from Austin. It was quieter with a lot less traffic. I could feel my stress floating away as I drove along the green hills. While the Quilt Ranch is in the countryside, I found it without a hitch. Diane, the owner and operator greeted me just as warmly as the funny trees out front. 

I came to learn that the ranch was a product of necessity. Diane's quilt group was traveling up to four hours to the nearest retreat. It was inconvenient enough that Diane decided she needed one closer. As she looked for the perfect house with her friend Pat, Diane settled on the one in Wimberley. Pat said, "If you don't buy it, I will!" And that was that. 

Awesome Workroom. You can really spread out in here!

What I didn't realize is that the work room is perfect for other activities as well: doll making, scrap-booking, beading and knitting or weaving. I know a group going there this summer that's using it for a quilting bee and a family reunion. 

The Carport was converted into the workroom, and the builder teased her about how many lights she was installing in there, but it is perfect. All that light means no shadows to work around on your tiny stitches. The kitchen is fully stocked, which is perfect for a foodie like me and the whole  place is cozy, like home. This is a place where you can hang out in your pajamas without reservation. 

I'm personally a little jealous of this
kitchen island....
The ladies there said that they loved the workroom with its great light and felt walls, but they also appreciated the comfortable beds and the conveniences of being close to home. One gal was able to run home because she forgot to feed her dogs. Another said she liked being able to be around other women with whom she could share her craft. 

I was impressed by the price. Its only 50-55 dollars a night per person, (which is inexpensive for such nice facilities!). I can't wait to bring my sisters here for a family-quilting retreat.

More info?

By Cassie Grace