Wednesday, February 3, 2016

FabricCadabra Giveaway

Oh man guys... Have you seen Alison Glass Handcrafted Indigo line? Y'all know that I love blue and these blues are so rich! I love them! 
If you are a blue lover like I am, then today is your lucky day! 
FabricCadabra is doing a little giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of Handcrafted Indigo! Aren't they the best?!

So here are the details... 
To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment {WITH YOUR EMAIL- so I can contact you if you win} and let me know what you would make if you won the bundle. Easy Peasy!
........If it were me, I would totally buy a bundle of Cotton + Steel Bluebird and make a quilt with a combo of those blues + these blues by Alison Glass. Can you imagine how gorgeous that would be?!? Oh man.... i LOVE blue!


 One winner will be chosen at random and notified via email {that's why it's so important you leave your email address} on February 10, 2016.

And in case you've had your eye on one of the many bundles over at FabricCadabra, all bundles are on sale- 20% off for the next few days. So head over quick and snatch it before the sale is over. No code needed.

Hope y'all have a great week!
xoxo, Ashley

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Stash Case for Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 30

A few months ago, Love Patchwork & Quilting asked me to make a fabric suitcase for their magazine. I always love working with them, and it's pretty fun to have a project published, so I jumped at the chance.  It's my first time being featured on the cover of the magazine (even if it is just a small picture), so that was kinda fun for me. ;) 
My project is called the "Stash Case" and can be found in Issue 30 of the magazine. It's a really fun, quick project that's perfect to store fat quarters in, or pack your supplies in to take for a sewing date with a friend, or pretty much anything else you might need a small suitcase for. (My girls have laid claim on the two cases I made and they are currently being used to cart baby doll things around the house.)

Here is a sneak peek of the Stash Case until you can get your hands on a copy of the magazine. 

The magazine is on sale now in the UK as well as the Apple Newstand. It will be coming to the US shortly and as soon as it does copies can be found at Barnes and Noble as well as Joann, so keep your eyes out! If you do happen to get your copy of the magazine on your tablet or mobile device, you can find printable templates to all of the projects HERE.

I hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas and are off to a great start for 2016. I took some time off social media and sewing during the holidays to be with my family, but now that the kiddos are back in school I can't wait to jump back in and get sewing! 
Hope you have a wonderful week!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Wish List Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Every year when I was growing up, I would make a Christmas Wishlist. So, with Christmas just around the corner,  I thought it would be fun to "be a kid again" and make my TOP 5 WISH LIST and do a little giveaway. The winner will choose one item from my wish list. The Fat Quarter Shop was kind enough to jump on board and sponsor the giveaway. :) 

Here are the top 5 items on my wish list:
4. Fall 2015 Retro 30s Child Smile Lecien Sushi Roll
5. Cotton + Steel Clover Fat Quarter Bundle

To enter the giveaway is simple, just leave a comment with your EMAIL ADDRESS and let me know which of the 5 items would be at the top of YOUR wish list.
(Your answer in no way effects the outcome of the giveaway, it's just fun to hear. Please make sure to leave your email or I won't be able to contact you.)

One winner will be chosen at random on December 23, 2015 and notified via email

Thank you to everyone that entered the giveaway... One winner was chosen at random and the winner is: 

the thread box, which is not something I'd normally purchase! I just love the colors, the box is so tidy, and I hope to have a couple projects in the spring that would be perfect for the thread!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Fat Quarter Shop Blogger Bundle

Have y'all seen the fun bundles that the Fat Quarter Shop has fabric designers and bloggers put together? 
These bundles are so fun. They consist of 12 prints that are handpicked and put together in a special bundle available only at The Fat Quarter Shop
I was so flattered when the ladies at FQS asked me to put together a bundle. 
Drum roll please.............. Here it is!!
My bundle will be available in February 2016. I'm just so excited about it.  When I was choosing my prints, I knew that I wanted to mix some of the new Cotton + Steel lines that were just previewed at Quilt Market in October, as well as some of Bonnie + Camille's new Vintage Picnic line, and I threw in a darling print by October Afternoon as well. I just love these prints together and know that they will be even better in person! I can't wait to get my bundle and make something special with it.

One thing I love about The Fat Quarter Shop, is that you can sign up to receive email's when things are in stock... so if you want a little reminder sent to your email to let you know when it is available,  here is a link to my bundle: http://www.fatquartershop.com/ashley-of-crafter-by-nights-bloggers-choice-fat-quarter-bundle

Plus, y'all know you can count on me to let you know when it is available as well.
Hope you have a wonderful day! 
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S. - I hope that y'all will tag me on IG or email me any photos of things that you are making with my bundle.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

La Passacaglia Progress + Black Friday Fabric Sales

I share most of my step by step progress of my La Passacaglia Quilt on IG, but I still like to post updates here too every once in a while... So here are some pictures of my progress so far. 
(I could tell you about the fabrics, process, etc... but I think this time I'll just let the pictures do the talking. ;)





Well... Black Friday is upon us...
And I can't help but share some great fabric sales.

The Fat Quarter Shop: 25% off all orders from Friday Nov. 27 until Saturday Nov. 28 at Midnight CST. (excludes purchases of gift cards. No code necessary.)

Fort Worth Fabric Studio: Friday Nov. 27- Sat. Nov 28, all Riley Blake & Michael Miller is 15-25% off (no code necessary, prices reflected in the cart)

FabricCadabra: 20% off all orders Fri Nov. 27- Mon. Nov. 29. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
xoxo, Ashley

Saturday, November 21, 2015

6 Must Have Tools for English Paper Piecing


English paper piecing is hands down my favorite way to sew/quilt for a many reasons.
Here are just a few:
1. I can sit on the couch (or anywhere for that matter) while doing it.
2.  I love piecing itty bitty pieces of fabric by hand that I know wouldn't enjoy piecing on my machine.
3. I love fussy cutting and find it easier to match up fussy cuts when piecing by hand than as opposed to with my machine.
4. I love the shapes that I can easily create with EPP and I love that I can piece them with total precision. (If I were to try these shapes on my machine, I know I would be ripping seams out and feeling frustrated.)


I've been doing EPP for just over 3 years and I am totally hooked. I started with hexagons in my Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt. (still a work in progress) I am a little over half way done with my queen sized quilt. I only work on it a couple times a year. One of these days I need to get it out and work on it until it's all done before I work on my other projects!


Hexagons are such a simple shape to start with. I love them. I am using 1 1/2 inch hexagons in my flower garden quilt. 

Then I came across a fun quilt on IG called the La Passacaglia. (Search the #lapassacaglia hashtag on IG and you will find the most amazing creations!) I started making mine just over a year ago. I am about 1/3  of the way with piecing the top and I am having to much fun. 
Here's a current progress shot as of today:

After thousands of hours (i'm being totally serious when I say thousands), I have come up with 6 tools that are "must haves" in my book for English Paper Piecing. 

#1- Pre cut paper pieces. 
I know that some people swear by cutting their own papers and save lots of money doing that, but in my opinion the money spent on perfectly precut papers is worth it. Let me tell you why. 
A. English paper piecing is labor intensive. It takes lots of time to cut your fabric, baste/glue the fabric to the paper pieces, and then sew them together. Adding another step (cutting paper) to that, makes an already long process longer. I know some people invest in diecutters and other machines to help them cut their pieces- and if that works for you- awesome! For now, I am sticking with ordering my pieces and not having to mess with cutting anything out.  
B. One of the things that makes EPP look so amazing is that each shape is precise and fits together like a puzzle. Mis-shaped pieces can alter that and make the process less enjoyable if you are trying to fit pieces together that aren't matching up, which is likely to happen due to human error. Maybe it's just me, but I can't cut the same shape, multiple times, exactly the same no matter how hard I try. I like to leave that to the professional paper cutting people... paperpieces.com. (and just in case you were wondering- they aren't paying me to say that. It's just my opinion. You can find paper pieces from multiple sources, but the only ones I have ever tried are by paperpieces.com so those are the only ones I feel comfortable recommending) 
C. With a project like the La Passacaglia, there are thousands and thousands of pieces in it. If I had to worry about trying to cut all of those and make sure they were exactly the right size, I'd go crazy! It's a crazy enough project to begin with. Having a pack of pre cut papers show up at my door makes tackling this quilt doable (in my opinion).

ok... I think you get my drift. 

Oh man... these are a lifesaver for me and they go hand in hand with the pre cut paper pieces. These are thick acrylic shapes that match the papers you are using, but they add a seam allowance to the shape. Plus they are see through, so you can easily cut your fabric and see exactly what you are cutting.
Which leads me to my next tool...

#3- Rotary cutter
This is another MUST for EPP in my book. I cut all of my fabric with the help of my rotary cutter and acrylic templates. It ensures that each piece is nicely and uniformly cut. I like this rotary cuter by Olfa best. 

#4- Elmer's Disappearing Purple Glue Stick
When I started doing my hexagons, I was thread basting the fabric to the papers and it worked great, but it took about double the time as glue basting. SO many people kept telling me to try glue, but for some reason I just didn't want to.... Until I started my La Pass. I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to thread baste those tiny shapes. So I ordered a Sewline glue pen. At over $6 a pop I was a little worried about the cost of this huge project and how many I would go through. 
I loved the Sewline glue pen and loved the feel of the glue, but after a couple refills, my wallet was begging me to look for other options. After doing a bit of research and asking some trusted EPP friends, I decided to try the purple Elmer's glue sticks. I wasn't sure at first, but after a couple tries I was hooked. Being totally honest, I still love the feel of the Sewline pens the very best, but not enough to spend ten times the amount per glue stick. 
Around Christmas time last year, I found a crazy clearance at Walmart for packages of 2 Elmer's glue sticks for the price of... wait for it... 10 cents. That means that each glue stick was 5 cents. It had to be a mistake right?? But sure enough, I grabbed all that were there (about 10 packs) and took them up to the check out. I got 20 glue sticks for $1. It is hands down the best sale I have ever gotten in my life. I've been using them for almost a year now and have only gone through a couple packages. I'm set for a long time! ;)
So after working with these glue sticks, I can tell you that I have fully tested them out enough to give you the recommendation of using them. Just apply a small amount about 1/8" away from the edge of the paper piece on each side and fold your fabric back to the glue to secure. When it's time to remove your papers, I've found that a quick pass of a hot iron over the fabric helps to warm the glue up a bit and makes for easier paper removal. (but honestly if I am in a hurry, my papers come out just fine without doing this step too.)
Whew... that testimonial was a little long- sorry!

My sweet friend Mary Dugan of Molly Flanders + Sunny Day Supply recommended these to me. I had been piecing for hours and my fingers were throbbing. She told me about these amazing needles that whip through the fabric like butter... so I ordered some. Oh my heck you guys!! They are hands down the most life changing sewing supply I own. I can not even tell you how easily they go through the fabric. They are so thin... Like super duper thin, so pushing them through time after time is effortless. I am a convert- never again will I use another needle for EPP. Plus they are $2.10 for a pack of 10. Please run... do not walk... to the nearest place that carries these needles and buy some! You can thank me later. ;)

#6- YLI Silk Thread 
This is a supply that is very much debated in the EPP world. Some people swear that you should use cotton thread since you are using cotton fabric, some say polyester is best because it is strong and doesn't break, the list goes on and on... but you can bet that the answer will vary person to person.
 Here is my experience.
I started my EPP with Aurifil cotton thread because it is the superior thread in my opinion when it comes to sewing with my machine. I love it, so I figured I would love it with my EPP too. WRONG. My thread was getting so tangled and snapping like you wouldn't believe. I was so frustrated with it. So in a pinch I switched over to a basic Coats and Clark poly thread that I had on hand. It was fine, but I found it hard to hide my stitches when I was using it. (sidenote: After trying different method of EPP, I have settled on the Whipstitch. It works best for me and just feels more natural to me than other methods.) 
So I decided to try something else. I did some more research and settled on the Superior Bottomline 60 wt polyester thread. It is pretty near un-snapable, and I've never had it tangle on me. YAY!! So in that sense, it is such a great thread to work with. But I was still having problems with hiding my stitches. Darn! After more research and asking around, someone suggested using YLI 100 wt silk thread. I ordered some and right off the bat, it was snapping easier than the bottomline, but not as bad as the aurifil. It doesn't tangle though with is great. After getting a feel for it and it's "snapping point" I found that if I was gentle with it, I could easily hid my stitches with better results than the other threads I had tried. Yahoo! Most of my stitches are pretty much invisible with this silk thread. Since it's 100 wt, it's super fine and just blends into the fabric as long as you are using a similar color to the fabric you are using.
So- to be honest, this is the supply that I am still kinda on the fence about. I love the durability of the Bottomline thread, but I love the result of the YLI silk. So I think I will go back and forth between threads depending on the project I am making. For the La Passacaglia, the YLI silk thread is my choice. For my Flower Garden quilt, I am using white fabric around each flower and don't really have to worry as much about hiding my stitches as much, so I think I will stick with the Bottomline. 

So there you have it.... 6 must have tools for English Paper Piecing, according to yours truly! :)

Hope this helps!! 
Happy Sewing!!
xoxo, Ashley



Monday, November 9, 2015

Little Red Riding Hood Bag

Hey guys! Can you believe that it's November?? I can't believe how fast time goes sometimes. October was a crazy month for me. I got super sick which lead to an unexpected surgery... Nothing serious, just had to have my tonsils out, but as a result I've been kinda scarce here on the blog for a little while. I'm almost all the way healed up and feeling soooo much better now. Thank goodness! 

I haven't really been sewing too much on my machine since we moved into our new house. I've mostly been getting things settled. I did do a really fun project a couple weeks ago, but its top secret for now. (Don't you hate when people do that?? Me too! Sorry! :) 
I have been working on my La Passacaglia quilt in my down time though. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen my progress. (#mbdcbnpassacaglia) This project brings me so much joy. I love coming up with fabric combinations for the cogs and rosettes and then piecing them all together. So much fun!!  

I'm sooo ready to get back to my machine now that I am feeling better though! I can not wait!

Until then, I thought I would share yet another Oliver + S Messenger bag that I made a couple years ago but never shared. It has to be my very favorite! I made it for my daughter and it is very beloved. She uses it all the time...
You can find the pattern in the Oliver + S Little Things to Sew book

I made the smaller version, which is perfect as a little dolly diaper bag for her to play with, or to carry small books and odds and ends in. 

I used one of my favorite fabric panels by Tasha Noel for her Little Red fabric line. It worked perfect for this bag. I added some mini pom pom detail along the top of the bag and used some Bonnie + Camille for the bias tape and strap. I just love the way it came together. So sweet. 

I hope that y'all are having a wonderful day! Check back here soon for some fun Christmas projects that I have up my sleeve. 
Happy Sewing! 
xoxo, Ashley