Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And the Winner Is ....

ME! Finally, I can announce it publicly. One of my designs won not one, but two categories in the 2011 Stitches Magazine Golden Needle Awards!

I entered my newest zipper bag in the 2011 Stitches Magazine Golden Needle Awards contest earlier this year at the urging of a friend (Terri Hanson of Terradon Embroidery). Stitches is a free publication for the commercial embroidery market. I've always thought of my designs as more for the home embroidery market than the commercial market, but figured I might as well give it a shot. I am glad I did. They liked the idea of an all-in-the hoop design.

My Kindle bag, the latest addition to my line of in-the-hoop zipper bag took first place in the Embroidery - Accessories, Fashion category. At the time I was told, I thought it a little strange as I had entered it in the Digitizing category. But a win is a win, right? Then I found out a few weeks later that it also took first place as the Best Fashion Accessories, Design in the Digitizing category as well! Double exciting!

I guess I tend to think of commercial embroiderers as those with machines running lots and lots of heads all at the same time. It isn't really true any more. There are lots of people running single heads machines who are looking for unique items that might not be cost effective for a larger establishment. I think my zipper bags fill that need pretty well. Each bag can be unique without making any changes other than making it from a different fabric or changing the color of the ribbon. You can add a monogram to personalize it. There is space for an embroidery design above the pocket or on the back side - which is closed with a zipper - also applied as part of the in-the-hoop process. You can precut the fabrics and have everything ready to go to help streamline the process. I usually cut one out while one is running. The bag is also very versatile. You don't have to have an e-reader to make use of it. If you add a shoulder strap (easy to do, too) it makes a really cute purse!

The other thing that really thrilled me was that this proves that you don't have to have the most expensive software or the most expensive machine on the market to do good work. Award winning designs can be achieved using whatever software/machine you own. It is the imagination, the skill and the dedication of the person using them that makes or breaks it. I use a relatively inexpensive embroidery software called Embird Studio to create my designs. It might not have all the bells and whistles that some of the really expensive stuff does, but it does everything I ask of it and it does it well. The proof is in the results, right? I would rather spend my dollars on other things - like fabric and thread and new laptops, or amazing paper-cutting machines.

If you don't get Stitches Magazine, you can view the issue on-line. At the time of this writing, their website wasn't yet updated to the November issue, but I suspect it will be soon. My design is on pages 46 and 51. The bright colors really show up, don't they? You can purchase the Kindle bag design as well as my other zipper bags on my Pegboard Crafts website. Don't forget to look at my other applique designs while you are there and pick up a few freebees too. I'm not all just about zipper bags!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indianapolis ASG Expo

I had the privilege of attending the ASG Sewing Expo as a vendor last week. My friend Annette drove down with me and helped me set up. She stayed with me the whole time and kept me sane - running zipper bag demos and talking to customers, taking orders, whatever was needed. Beth Meyers, my trusty assistant from IEC, joined us on Friday and Saturday. She brought her machine to demo the larger bags I do, but it decided it was having none of it and ended up going to the repair shop instead. My little Pooh Innovis 500 had to take over. It did a pretty good job as long as the person making the bag was happy with lavender thread on Thursday and pink thread on Friday and Saturday. We were NOT changing that thread. We had a great time. We saw old friends and made lots of new ones too. Annette took pictures of almost all of our zipper bag students. We'll be adding them to my website and to my Facebook page as soon as I get a few spare moments. Here are two showing how much fun we were having! I lost track of how many little zippered coin purses we actually made, but it was a lot.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Class and Workshop at the Sew-N-Save

I can't believe it has already been over a week since the class and workshop at the Sew-N-Save in Westerville, Ohio. I had a great time and I think everyone who attended did too. I had 6 students who learned how to make zipper bags in their hoops. Several were women I had previously met in classes but I had 2 new students. Things were a bit hectic but everyone got their bags made. Lunch was what slowed us down. The neighborhood Panera was hit with a rush of lunchtime orders - must be unusual on a Saturday. But everyone was patient and though there was a slight mix-up, we all ended up with our lunches, just a little bit late.

Several students stayed to do the workshop and we had several new participants drop in. We helped Kim make 14 bags. She still had a least 6 to make but that was much better than doing all 20 by herself. We netted $225 for her Pelotonia ride which I will be depositing in her account later today. That does not include the money she has from the bag orders themselves. She is very happy with the results and thanks everyone that helped. Mom will be adding some more later this month - watch for a special offer!

The poor girl has the misguided notion that mom can make the 25 mile ride NEXT year. I don't think so ... 5 miles is about all I can manage at one time.

Special thanks go to Annette and Granny who came in to help me with both the class and the workshop. Thanks to all who participated. And thanks again to Susan and her store family who helped make the day a big success.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Zipper Bags for a Good Cause

Today I was downstairs stitching fronts for the bags we will be making next Saturday at the Sew-N-Save in Westerville, Ohio. Its been rather rainy so I didn't mind spending the day in the dungeon. My daughter will be selling the bags to earn money towards her ride in this year's Pelotonia in Columbus. This ride raises funds for cancer research at James Cancer Hospital among others. Kim works for and will be riding with the Huntington bank team. It was her idea to make the bags, not mine. I am really impressed because she is actually making a lot of them herself. My girls rarely touch the embroidery machine. They are too busy working and decorating their mavelous cakes and cupcakes. Kim and I picked out several fabrics in Huntington green the last time I was there to visit. They are going to be really cute. The bags are large enough to hold your id and some spare change. You can have just a coin purse or one with a wrist strap or elastic arm band.

I expanded her idea a bit and offered to do a class and donate all funds to her cause. Susan at the Sew-N-Save is generously allowing me to the hold the class at her store next Saturday, June 4th, 2011. We'll be making one of my new iCases in the morning. The cost is $35 and includes the designs, and all materials except thread. Just bring your machine and embroidery unit, some thread, and some extra needles to class. We'll provide the rest. Call Susan at 614-523-0602 to sign up.

Starting at 1PM, we'll be offering a zipper bag workshop. We will be making the special bags for Kim. Bring your machine or drop by and use one of Susan's. For $5 you will get to make yourself a bag - and one for Kim's stash. You will also receive a $6 credit towards your design purchase at Pegboard Crafts for the first bag you make for Kim. You will receive a $1 credit for each additional bag you make for her. We also need volunteers to trim and turn the bags for us. We are going to have a few drawings throughout the day - you must be present to win though! I think this will be a really fun time. We'll be working from 1 PM to 3:30 PM, so if you are in the area, drop in if only to say Hi! All proceeds from this workshop are also being donated toward her ride. I have donated all the fabric, zippers and thread. Terradon Embroidery has donated a large roll of stabilizer. Thanks Terri and Don!  I am thinking we will have to have a special price on zipper bag sets for the day too - but you'll have to be there for those specials!

If you would like to donate towards Kim's ride you can do so by clicking on this link - Kim Severt's Pelotonia Fund, If you would like to learn more about this great fund raiser to help with cancer research, the link is http://www.pelotonia.org/ 

Hope to see you Saturday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Zipper Bags

I've been working really hard the last few months and the results are finally ready.

The Kindle/Nook case took the longest. I wanted several options that would cover the different versions of Kindle and Nook - but not have so many options it became confusing as to which one to order. have a Kindle 3 so that was pretty easy to make a case for - I had something to play with. My mom's Kindle is in a leather cover, so again, that one was pretty easy to make sure it fit well. The rest I had to make some intelligent guesses on. I've been using my Kindle case since late February and love it. The pocket on the front holds my charger so I don't lose it. The padding I used is just enough to protect it but not make it too thick.

I adapted my popular Shoulder Bag to make the new Jr Varsity and Varsity Purses. These have several options not available on the Shoulder bag - quilting and a 2 fabric pieced front and back. The Jr Varsity fits the Designer 1 and ULT hoops while its big sister, the Varsity purse, is sized for the Brother Innovis 4000D and PR600.

Last, but not least, are the 3 new iCases. I needed a 4x4 size for our local embroidery meeting so the Nano 6 was born - it its the iPod Nano 6th generation but is a good coin purse too. I was also asked for a case to carry an iPod Classis 120GB. The 3rd one is for my iPhone. I used transparent vinyl for one side of my case. Surprise! The touch features work right through the vinyl. I suppose one could even cut openings near the top and bottom for the speaker/microphone so you could actually talk on the phone with it in the case. I use mine on a neck strap when I walk or ride my bike.

All the new bags are on sale at the great introductory rate of 50% off from now until midnight EDST on May 26, 2011. Details on my website http://www.pegboardcrafts.com