Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Designer Focus: Kristyne Czepuryk of Pretty By Hand and GIVEAWAY!

We're delighted to introduce you to our current Featured Designer: Kristyne Czepruyk of Pretty By Hand!  Read on for her story....


Ok.  This is a little surreal for me.  I’ve been a fan/customer of Shabby Fabrics since before it was Shabby Fabrics … back when it was simply “jenbjet” on eBay!  And now I have the great honor of seeing my patterns here in Jennifer’s shop.  Wow.
 

At 13 years old all I wanted to do was perfect
my padded satin stitch and bullion knot. 
Guess I was a bit strange.
My mom taught me to sew when I came home with my first Brownie badges that needed to be sewn onto my uniform sleeves.  She sat me down on the living room sofa and showed me how to thread & knot a needle, pin things straight and sew tiny, invisible stitches.  It wasn’t exactly my idea of fun.  But I practiced a lot.  And got good at it.


I was a huge cross-stitcher in the 90s!
At about the same time I became obsessed with crafting – of any kind.  Paint by numbers, pompom-making, tapestry, felt crafts, embroidery, paper mache, candle making, cross-stitch ... you name it, I wanted to do it.  Except knitting.  I don’t do knitting. 
 
 
On one of her summer visits, my aunt – a meticulous seamstress - obliged my request (begging, probably) to help me make something.  We went shopping for a pattern – a long-sleeved, high collared blouse with buttons down the back and yards of lace trim.  (Think Lady Di.  It was the early 80s.)  I learned how to work a pattern from start to finish.  My Home Economic teacher was impressed that I even knew what tailor tacking was, let alone how to do it.
 
I spent the next decade making clothes for myself (although I never did figure out how to adjust patterns to fit properly).  Once I made a dress with 2 left sleeves.  Often I would need my mom to troubleshoot.  Almost always my work was not totally finished.  I’d use safety pins to hold up my pants rather than make a buttonhole and sew on a button.  Or not hem the bottom of a blouse because I always wore it tucked in.  I was impatient.
I don’t know what all y’all did on your honeymoon,
but I was English paper piecing pink flowers …

At 19 years old my life changed when I stepped into the world of quilting.  I learned how to English paper piece and I made my first Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  That poor quilt was a combo of cheap cotton, polyester broadcloth and yucky batting. 

To this day I have a very sentimental attachment for hexagons.  Which is why my very first pattern – the Honey Bee Bag – is a hexagon design.  It is over-the-top crazy fun for me that Shabby Fabrics chose to make a kit for this bag!  

Eventually I got my hands on a rotary cutter and I’ve never been bored since.  Some 25 years later and I have over 200 quilts in my wake – some I made from patterns, some I designed myself. 

In my earlier crafting days my Dad used to tell me I could make my own patterns.  I didn’t get it.  I don’t know why.  I guess I had little confidence in myself back then.
 

Where the magic happens!
But somehow, I started making things on a whim.  I’d get an idea in my head and then I’d just make it.  I started taking classes to learn new skills and techniques.  I learned how to hand applique and hand quilt by taking a Baltimore Album quilt class.

When my second daughter was about a year old I wanted a pretty diaper bag to replace my old one.  I saw a simple tote on eBay and thought I could make it myself.  So I did. 
 
And then I made another one.  And another.  Next thing I knew I had a dozen or so totes – all the same basic construction, but in varying sizes and with different patchwork designs.  I sold them on consignment in a local store.

A few years later I started working at a local quilt shop and my skills grew exponentially, as did my love of making bags.  That’s when I started to dare entertain the notion that I could be a designer and pattern maker.  Today, I love making quilts and things, but I seem to have a knack for bags & purses & totes.  They are so much fun for me.

I started my blog, Pretty By Hand, in February 2011. 
 
 
I thought it would be a fun way to start connecting with people who share my passion for stitching.  Every time I showed something I’d designed I was overwhelmed with pattern requests.  It was all the positive feedback from my readers that gave me the confidence to try my hand at pattern design.
 
I am very proud to be featured here at Shabby Fabrics as a brand new pattern designer.  And I'm delighted that the shop owner I've admired for years has given me this wonderful opportunity to say hello to you and share my designs!  Thank you Jennifer!
 
 
 
GIVEAWAY!
 
We are pleased to announce a GIVEAWAY of Kristyne's patterns.  We have a total of 5 autographed patterns available.  To enter, please leave a comment below telling us what part of Kristyne's story you liked best, OR your favorite Pretty By Hand pattern. 
 
 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blessings of Spring - Rebloomed! BOM

We are excited to announce the Blessings of Spring - Rebloomed! Block of the Month program.  This quilt is a new rendition of the original Blessings of Spring design, with all new fabrics and a few minor changes. 


The best part about this project is that we are offering it in two ways: Traditional and Laser Cut!  

TRADITIONAL - this option is for anyone who prefers hand applique. Receive your fabrics for each block as usual. Sign up fee is $10 to reserve your spot, then just $28 per month plus shipping ($5 for US and $9 International).

LASER CUT - this option is great for anyone preferring the fusible applique method. Receive all of your applique fabrics already fused and laser cut! All you need to do is peel off the paper, place, iron, and stitch! No need to spend hours tracing, cutting, and adding fusible webbing to each applique piece. Watch our quick YouTube video to see how it works! Sign up fee is $10 to reserve your spot, then just $36 per month plus shipping ($5 for US and $9 for International).

Sign up here!


What do you love about this quilt?  Would you choose Traditional or Laser Cut?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

English Garden Linens - 50% Off!

We have just launched some of the deepest discounts we've ever had!  All English Garden Linens & Matelasse are 50% off until they're gone!  These fabrics are genuine Shabby Chic products, designed by Rachel Ashwell.  Please note that due to the bulk of these fabrics, additional shipping charges will apply.




 
Not sure what to do with these beautiful fabrics?

Take a look at our Linens! board on Pinterest for some ideas....


Blessings of Autumn Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to

COUNTRY WHISPERS

our Blessings of Autumn Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all who participated.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Country Cottages Block 8!

It's that time again!  The free pattern download for Country Cottages Block 8 is now ready.  Click here to download this month's pattern.  See all of the blocks and download them on our Free Patterns page (always at the bottom of our website). 

This month's block features two perky sunflowers tied with a bow and our favorite little cottage!  Beads and lazy-daisy stitches adorn the house.


Here are all of the blocks so far.  Which one is your favorite?