Sawtooth Star Pin Cushion Video Tutorial

Sawtooth Star Pin Cushion Video Tutorial

Gosh I love pin cushions.  I have MANY.  But you need lots of pin cushions when you are getting really creative.  Otherwise those pins end up in piles EVERYWHERE! I also love making something cute and easy with a traditional quilt block!  A pin cushion is a perfect project to make- it’s all the fun of creating a quilt block without the huge time commitment 🙂 Here is the cute block before it was transformed into the pin cushion.  Adorable, right?  Above is the pin cushion version which I created by boxing the corners and adding a backing.  Very fun and easy, friends! Do you want to make one too?  Click the play button on the video below.  Check the description section of the video for all the measurements and materials needed.  Enjoy!...

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How to make the Black Kitty from the Modern Folksy Kitty Pattern

How to make the Black Kitty from the Modern Folksy Kitty Pattern

For the past couple of years I have offered a kit to make a really cute (not ghoulish) version of my Modern Folksy Kitty Sewing Pattern in Black.  This year I didn’t offer the kit but I am offering the pattern on sale for just $5!  I decided to share here how to make the yellow eyes and face on the kitty so you could easily re create this version. Here are some tips to learn how to make the kitty face~ Cut out the eyes from the yellow felt.  Use an embroidery needle (a needle with a long eye) to sew the eyes onto the kitty using matching yellow embroidery floss.  Use a split stitch to sew the felt to the kitty body. Print out this PDF below as a pattern to cut out the kitty  eyes Black Kitty Kit face In the sewing pattern, there are links to help you learn these simple embroidery stitches. After sewing on the perimeter of the eyes, use black floss (provided) to sew a satin stitch to make the eye center. Again use, the diagram on page 22 of the pattern to help with the stitches. Enjoy making your black Kitty!  I love how it is decor for Halloween but still pretty...

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8 steps to Beautiful Balanced Scrap Fabric New Yardage

8 steps to Beautiful Balanced Scrap Fabric New Yardage

Have you ever tried to put scraps together only to find that you can’t seem to get the look you want?  Yes, me too.  Well, after all these years, I have a solution for YOU! I was helping my daughter make her drawstring backpack (from this post a few weeks ago) and as we were going through how to put all the fabrics together, I realized that maybe a lot of my readers might like some help with these strategies- just like my daughter did! In the photo above you can see how she combined her scraps in a visually pleasing way, and although it looks random, we actually put quite a bit of planning into it!  So, I made a new video to explain these simple strategies that can help you to combine scraps and make pretty new scrappy yardage.  Want to try it out?  Watch the video below to learn… I divide the process into 8 easy steps that will help to make it feel more organized.  These steps include combining textures, fabrics sizing, seam placement and sewing together in sections. Leave me comment below to tell me how you successfully combine scrap fabrics!  I look forward to hearing from you!...

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Selling Handmade on Poshmark- adding to my business wheel

Selling Handmade on Poshmark- adding to my business wheel

Handmade business is all about diversifying.  You can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect to continue staying in a creative and evolving business.  I like to think of my business as a wheel with sprockets- like a bicycle wheel.  At the center is me, the artist (aka Virginia Lindsay).  The sprockets are the different aspects of my business- the PDF patterns, the handmade items, the blog, the books, the youtube channel, the sewing classes, etc.  I can talk more about that in another blog post if you are interested!  The other day I made a video showing how I have begun selling on Poshmark.   Poshmark is a buying and selling app that is FREE and you can download it here. So far I am selling these necklaces that I made using this tutorial I did for Sew Mama Sew a few years ago.  I love how they add such character to a basic outfit (and let’s face it, 95% of my outfits are basic!).   You can get the instructions to make on for yourself here! What are some places you are trying to sell your handmade items besides etsy?  Have you had some success?  Have you tried poshmark yourself?  Let me know your thoughts!  You can get the app...

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How to Sew an Easy and Fast Pencil Pouch with a Zipper

How to Sew an Easy and Fast Pencil Pouch with a Zipper

Back to school is in full swing at my house!  All FOUR of my kids are now going to school all day long.  Yes, I am crying a little but also looking forward to this new chapter of my life.  It actually feels pretty hectic getting everyone ready.  I took an afternoon last week to make some really cute and easy pencil pouches.  This pencil case DIY project is easy and great for beginners.   Feel free to Pin the image below for later use if you don’t have time to make one now! You all my know by now that my favorite way to do tutorials is by video!  I feel like I can really explain what is happening and this is great for beginner sewers.  You experienced gals, just fast forward through the simple parts! You will need a 7” nylon zipper, 10” x 9.5” exterior fabric, 10” x 9.5” lining fabric, and 10” x 9.5” fusible interfacing.  Let me know your thoughts about going back to school and how you like the look of this pencil case below!  ...

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How to do some SERIOUS scrap busting!

How to do some SERIOUS scrap busting!

A couple weeks ago I made a video on my Youtube channel that was sponsored by Mercari.  Mercari is a buying and selling app that is FREE and very easy to use!  My video shows how I went through my mountain of scraps, divided them into colors, weighed them and ultimately packaged them to see in 1/2 pound bundles on Mercari.  Here is the link to my Mercari store if you want to buy scraps from me.  You can do this too!   I think the key is to weigh them because they charge shipping by the pound.  Here is the video… I gave Anne one of the scrap bundles so she could make a new drawstring back pack.  Look how super adorable this turned out!  She used the pattern from my book, Sewing to Sell. Can you believe how big my girl is getting?  Look at her here.  Going to 7th grade this year and she made this bag all...

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Customize Your Clothes with Embroidery

Customize Your Clothes with Embroidery

Embroidery is one of the oldest ways of embellishing and decorating your clothes known to man – it dates back to 30,000 BC. Archaeologists discovered hand-decorated clothes, boots, and even a hat from these Cro-Magnon days. This craft of using thread and other materials to decorate fabric is just as relevant today, as it was back then. It is a great way that we can express our style, and personalise the garments that we wear. unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt Embroidery in fashion Embroidery is very much on trend for 2018, you only have to look at Gucci’s latest offerings to see how versatile this sewing technique is to personalise clothing. It goes hand in hand with the arts and crafts style that is sweeping the catwalks. Working for Gucci, designer Alessandro Michele has been taking inspiration from bygone eras, using embroidery, applique and prints, and using them to create contemporary designs. From beautiful, rich colored bird, to sprawling English roses, the designs are ones that truly stand out. Currently, there is an enormous influence from tattoo styles, particularly American Traditional – think sailors and beautiful, bright flowers.   Choosing your materials When you are choosing the fabric that you are going to embroider, you need to pick something that isn’t too thin or flimsy, especially if you are planning to add heavier materials to it, such as beads or pearls. Embroidering a tote bag is a great place to start if you are fairly new to sewing. It is a project that should take 3-4 hours. There are many of the Gingercake designs that can also be customised using embroidery. You can also give new life to existing garments that you own, for instance maybe you can’t afford that fabulous new dress, but you can customise your existing clothes, so that they look unique.   Basic Embroidery Techniques An embroidery hoop is a must have, as it will pull the material flat, making it easy for you to work with. Place the material within the hoop that you want to embroider, and make sure that it is taut before you tighten the screw. Just like drawing a picture, it is a good idea to begin your embroidery design with the outline. You can use a basic running stitch or back stitch for this. When you are filling out your design, even using a simple cross stitch can give your design some great texture. You don’t have to be an expert in sewing, you just need to have a clear idea of what you are going to sew.   Embroidery Inspiration All you need now is a little inspiration for your design. You can take this from anywhere. It might be the tapestries from a manor house. It might be your own name,...

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Roll-Up Organizer Sewing Tutorial

Roll-Up Organizer Sewing Tutorial

My newest Youtube video features this adorable roll-up organizer!  I used mine to for bathroom supplies for my girls going to camp but the possibilities are endless!  I know you will love it!  Here is a sneak peak of the organizer… Click below to watch the video and make your own!  All the supplies needed are in the video description.  You can make this in about an hour 🙂  Enjoy! While you...

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HST Quilted Pillow Tutorial Video

HST Quilted Pillow Tutorial Video

Have you been nervous to try quilting?  This is the project for YOU!  Or perhaps just looking to try something new (but really this is OLD) ?  This new tutorial over on my Youtube channel is an easy and modern twist on the classic Lamoyne star quilt block.  This block has been around a very long time!  Some theories link it to Versailles and others to the LeMoyne Brothers and the beginnings of New Orleans.  Cool, right?  It is also called the Lemon Star in New England. This new video teaches you an easy way to make perfect Half Square Triangles (HST) called the magic 8.  I am also not responsible for inventing the magic 8 either 🙂  I wish I knew who to give credit, because it is a brilliant and easy way to make HSTs.  Watch below and make your own… As discussed in the video, here is a “map” to help you create your pillow.  Click on the blue letters to download the PDF and print, or you can just use your phone or tablet to view. LeMoyne Block I would love to see how YOU would mix it up!  I am looking forward to adding some serious color to this project 🙂 . Here is one more photo of the pillow in action in my home…...

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Make your own EASY eye mask Sewing Tutorial

Make your own EASY eye mask Sewing Tutorial

Eye masks are the perfect project for using up some of those precious scrap fabrics you have been saving!  They only use a small amount of fabric and look adorable.  AND, they work really nice too 🙂 . My newest Youtube video tutorial will give you all the detail on how to make one! To download the pattern piece, click on the blue letters below.  Enjoy your sewing! Easy-Eye-Mask-Tutorial This Funny Eye one was made using fabric markers!  Cute,...

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Perfect Gift for your Favorite Teacher and FREE PRINTABLES!

Perfect Gift for your Favorite Teacher and FREE PRINTABLES!

Last week Marion finished preschool!  Kindergarten here she comes!  So, I rushed around and made her 3 teachers quilted fabric frames.  You know that is my favorite gift to give, right?  I love how you can give it with a cute saying or special picture and then the recipient can then hang it as is, OR put their own saying or picture in there.  Thus, the perfect gift for your favorite teacher! Alas, in my rushing, NO PICTURES!  but I did make new printables for the frame over on Canva.  Now, I warn you, I am not a graphics expert and I have seen much cuter fonts and configurations than these, but they are still pretty good!  And, Marion colored in the apple, flowers and hearts, so they turned out really cute.  AGAIN, SORRY NO REAL PICTURES :(.  But I still wanted you to see the quotes in action, so I did a little photo shop trickery!  Basically, I superimposed the new quotes on old frame photos.  So, let’s pretend this is what my frames looked like…  (and to get the FREE printables, scroll below!)   Cute, right?  Thoughtful AND EASY!  That is my favorite part because this time of year I am totally swamped with end of the year activities.  As a result,  putting together a nice teacher gift can be challenging.  So, the quilted fabric frame pattern to the rescue- AGAIN! So, here are the PDF printables!  Just click on the blue letters below.  I would recommend printing them on white cardstock and then trimming down.  I usually take the piece of glass/ plexiglass and put it centered over the printed quote.  Then lightly trace with a pencil and cut it out.  Then it will fit perfectly every time!  The printables are for a 5” x 7” frame (which is the standard size of the quilted fabric frame sewing pattern!). Big-heart-to-teach influence of a good teacher teachers plant the seeds Here are the quotes up close so you can see them!  But to print out, you need to download the PDFs above in blue 🙂 I hope you get some use out of these fun quotes!  I know my MOM is going to call me soon and say “Well, Ginny, your quotes were cute but down here in the SOUTH, kids are already out of school!”  Sorry I am late for you on the teacher gifts, southern friends!  But you can PIN these to pinterest and use them next year!  Yay!  And, follow ME on pinterest while you are at it 🙂...

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Boho Beach Bag Tutorial

Boho Beach Bag Tutorial

I love summer and going to the pool, beach and lake with the kids.  They splash around and I relax (sorta) and it is really nice.  But, I admit that sometimes I feel  a bit like a pack mule lugging all the towels and chairs and snacks etc.  Yes, the older ones carry their own towels and chairs.  Yes, my husband helps me when he comes along!  But, I am often the one doing the majority of the carrying.  THUS, a new beach BAG! This one was made using very lightweight fabrics and wide handles so I can just fold it up and put away without having it take up too much space.  Bonus!  I like making video tutorials nowadays :).  So watch below to see the movie magic and make yourself a new boho beach bag too…   You will need a yard for the exterior and almost a yard for the lining too.  I didn’t use any interfacing but you are welcome to add for a sturdier version.  Here are a few more...

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Fabric Gift Box Video Tutorial for Mother’s Day

Fabric Gift Box Video Tutorial for Mother’s Day

FRIENDS!  I made this last mother’s day but never shared on my blog.  DUH!  This space is like an old friend though- i am going to just jump back in and pretend like I haven’t neglected her so much.  The blog will still love me, right? Here is the super cute and easy video to make these fun fabric baskets.  I made them last year with Mother’s day in mind so that I could add some new dish towels, lotions, etc into a pretty fabric caddy.  It turned out cute and FAST!  you will love...

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The BEST 1/2 yard tote EVER :)

The BEST 1/2 yard tote EVER :)

Does anyone else out there always click on the Pinterest recipes that say (for example)”BEST MEATLOAF EVER”?  I do!  I can’t help it.  I think, if they claim it is the best, it must the BEST!  Well, I think this 1/2 yard tote is pretty great, so I am going to go ahead and call it THE BEST.  Haha!  I will let you be the judge but I may as well shoot for the moon 🙂 I am teaching a little sewing class to a few local kids.  They are so fun and I am really enjoying sharing my love of sewing with them.  Our first project was pin cushions and now we are making our second project, this tote bag!  I think it is perfect to teach them how to follow a simple pattern, learn If you are coming from my Youtube channel, WELCOME!  If you are already a blog follower, head over to my channel and watch this new video and learn how to make this adorable tote bag. You can download the cutting guide to by clicking on these BLUE words below.  Print out this page for easy reference when making these bags (because I KNOW you are going to make more than one!). QuickEasy1:2YardTote-byGingercake Here is the stabilizer I use.  It is my favorite now and I love only using that expensive fusible interfacing when I have too.  I love saving the $$$, the time, and I love how sturdy this stuff make my bags!  Here is for sale on amazon.   Here are a few more photos of the bag!  I used chambray fabric from Andover for the lining and the exterior fabric is from Blend fabrics.  I love this combo, don’t you?  What would you use this bag for?  Library tote?  Piano bag?  Crafts on the go?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!...

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Cheery Fabric Chicken Tutorial

Cheery Fabric Chicken Tutorial

This is one cute chicken!  I don’t know about you, but tons of my neighbors and friends have chickens now.  It may be that I live in a rural area that is still pretty close to Pittsburgh and lots of people around here love the whole hobby farm thing, but I know that chickens are super popular all over the country, right? So, just in time for those hens to start laying again (and for my sweet neighbors to give me some fresh eggs!), I created this new video on my Youtube channel to celebrate our favorite domestic feathered friend. Head over to my Channel (and subscribe for more fun sewing videos!) to watch the video!  Click below (on the highlighted letters!) to get the pattern pieces.  They are just 2 pages and make sure you set your printer to 100%...

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The Mountains are Calling Embroidery!

The Mountains are Calling Embroidery!

I am far from an embroidery expert but this time of year I feel the calling to make something slow.  It is so pleasant to create something stitch by stitch.  To me, that is the fun of embroidery!  It’s not a race but a commitment to crafting and I love that concept. We have made the journey out to Breckenridge, Colorado again!  This time just for one month.  In fact, we have been here almost 4 weeks already and now only have a few days left.  I will share some details of how we made this trip with 4 kids (and not being millionaires!) in a different post.  The mountains are absolutely beautiful, needless to say!   Before we came, I created this embroidery design and I thought I would share with you.  It is very easy!  Simply download the template, and either trace it onto your fabric or use a wash away stabilizer.  I recommend the stabilizer since you can print directly onto the paper and then fuse it to your fabric!  It is so easy and simple.  Here is a video to watch that explains this process very clearly. You can download the template by clicking here ~ mountains are calling I used chain stitch, satin stitch and back stitch.  I like this video that explains all 3 stitches if you need a refresher or to learn them for the first time! I ripped 1” strips of fabric and wrapped them around the outside hoop to give this a more finished look.  I simply ran a line of glue around the exterior hoop edge and wrapped away! I also embroidery this FREE mountain template I found on instructables.  It is so pretty!  I would recommend doing it when your skills are little more confident in your skills… I used the same 3 embroidery stitches as in my own design (can you tell those are my favorites??)!   Do you have some embroidery tips or template you like in particular?  Where is your favorite place to get patterns?  What are your thoughts for embroidery beginners??  I would love to know more from you crafty friends out there 🙂...

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How I get myself Sew Organized

How I get myself Sew Organized

Frankly, I am not all that organized but I do have some tips for you people who struggle with this aspect of sewing.  Being even moderately organized makes sewing more enjoyable and that is what Gingercake is all about!  Making sewing more fun for everyone (including myself!) So, listed in no particular order of importance, I will tell you my TIPS! 1.  SCRAPS!  Yes, they are so great and fun to have around,  YES, they will take over your sewing room and drive you nuts the longer you sew because they just keep piling up!  My solution is nothing fancy but it gets the job done and makes my scraps available for future projects.  I have several mesh wire bins from the dollar store (nothing fancy and not worthy of a picture!) in which i place my scraps as I sew.  Then, about once a month (truthfully more like once every six months) I divide all my scraps into color groups- yellows, blues, greens, pinks, etc.  place them in zip lock bags and store them away in big plastic bins for big fun scrappy projects like these… This photo below is a pretty way to organize your scraps by color like I recommend.  I don’t use such pretty containers but this is the method that I like and recommend!  Click on the photo to take you to the FLICKR page 🙂 The last comment I want to make about scraps is be selective about what you save- only keep the pieces that are easily used.  GO ahead and throw away the tiny and oddly shaped pieces.  AND, think about making scrap projects- you don’t want to do patchwork with a bunch of different weights of fabrics so be selective- i only save large scraps of duck cloth or knit because they aren’t going to mix well in a scrappy patchwork project like a bunch of quilting weight pieces will. 2.  TOOLS.  Some of us love a variety of sewing tools and others get by on the very basics.  I am somewhere in the middle and often lose favorite things if my sewing room gets particularly disorganized.  Where do they go I ask you??  Well I usually find them when I put some work into cleaning  my sewing room but in a flurry of creativity, they are bound to go missing again!  Here is how I keep my tools handy on one of these peg board things above my work table. I decide to go ahead and buy 3 more pairs of scissors while they were on sale and that was a purchase I will never regret!   They are not very fancy but get the job done for sure.   So, your tools should be...

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Seraphina Swan Sewing Pattern all dressed up!

Seraphina Swan Sewing Pattern all dressed up!

I am so excited about my newest sewing pattern, Seraphina Swan!  Swans are a favorite of mine and to bring this idea to life has been a really fun sewing journey.  The original pattern version has wings made from cotton or felt stacked together.  I love that version since you can mix favorite fabrics and give your personal style to your swan. But I was also interested in making a dressed up version.  I came up with this gorgeous gal with her tulle wings and sparkly crown.  Do you want to know how to make your own dressed up version of the Seraphina Swan?  It is easy and fun (of course!) I have to admit, making the wings this way is even faster than the original version.  I used plain white tulle and gold glitter tulle.  These are both very easy to find at your local craft store.  I imagine it would be gorgeous is pale pink or dramatic black too! Making these tulle wings is as easy as folding napkins 🙂 . Below are picture directions…  Now, just like adding the fabric feathers in the pattern, you stack these tulle feathers.  First 4, then three and then three more at the front edge.  I mixed in 1 gold “feather” in each layer.  I love how light and airy they look!  Continue with the binding just like in the pattern instructions. One extra tip for these wings- use a pressing cloth (just a layer of cotton fabric is what i used!) and press these wings flat after you have the wings finished and before you attach to the swan body.  It makes them less pouffy but you still achieve this pretty and floaty look. Now for that cute little crown.  This can be accomplished in many ways!  I used a glitter felt from National NonWovens but the options for making a sparkly crown are endless!   Here is my version… There!  It is so easy to create a beautiful swan!   Don’t forget, now until November 16th, 2017 the brand new Seraphina Swan PDF pattern is only $5!  Don’t you feel like making a swan today?? Let me know in the comments how you would dress up your swan.  I would love to hear your ideas.  If you make a swan, tag me on IG with @gingercakesews and using hashtag #seraphinaswan.  Or, send me an email!  I love to see your creations.    ...

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Priced to Sell a Handmade Crayon Folio

Priced to Sell a Handmade Crayon Folio

Thanks for all the interest and comments on my Booth tips last week.  I decided to follow up with some talk about pricing!  A much debated topic but I hope I can help you by sharing my thoughts and ideas. The first thing to understand about pricing handmade items to sell is that your time and effort are THE biggest factor in the process when you are sewing.  YES, material costs are something to think about but they really only add pennies instead of dollars to the bottom line.  Here is my story of sewing crayon art folios to help you understand my pricing process. My biggest seller from over the years is the Crayon Art Folio.  Year after year after YEAR, people keep buying them when I do a holiday show.  When I designed the sewing pattern back in 2010, I made a few (maybe 7) for the holiday show I attended that year.  They sold out quickly and I wished I had made many more.  The following year, I made 20, and priced them at $20, and again, ALL sold!  Wow!  That was $400 dollars.  The following year, I made 20 again and priced them at $25.  Only half sold to my disappointment but not my surprise.  $25 was too much for a crayon holder even if it did have cute designer fabrics, crayola crayons and a nice paper pad.  But honestly when I calculated my time, $25 was a more realistic price for all my efforts!  There are lots of parts to the crayon holder- the fusing of interfacing, the sewing on velcro, the individual tiny crayon pockets, and then, top stitching through thick layers, etc. My customers (in Pittsburgh- a pretty frugal market) are willing to pay about $20 for this product.  I tried $22 and that sold OK, but $20 is the sweet spot.  They feel like they are getting something really nice for their kids and even though it’s a little much for crayons and paper, its something that will last.  For me, I needed to figure out how to make ME feel comfortable with selling for $20, not try to get THEM to change their whole understanding of the worth of handmade.  Other things can sell for more- designer pillows, chic purses, etc.   Nothing is worse than person after person at a show praising your work and then after looking at the price walking away! Ouch. Here is what I did to get ME comfortable with $20.  First- I looked at the design.  How can I make this quicker and easier?  That is the question you need to ask your self over and over again.  Selling handmade is about craftsmanship, but you can very...

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