The Fat Quarter Pop-Up


I’m getting ready to head to Indianapolis this weekend to take Heather Jones’ Improv Half Log Cabin workshop at Crimson Tate. While visiting The Material Girls to pick up some new fabrics for the class, I spotted The Fat Quarter Pop-Up kit from The Fat Quarter Gypsy. The small pop-up bin on display on the shop and was intrigued. I bought a kit and put it together last night; I’m so glad I did. (more…)

How-To: My $5 Everyday Tote


Making a simple tote bag is one of the easiest sewing projects out there. And depending on what kind of supplies you use, it can be a cost effective way to give your accessory collection a makeover without breaking the bank. I make all kinds of totes: some with linings, some without, some for friends and even some for myself with a monthly theme.

If you’re newer to sewing and think making a tote sounds like a great project to try, it is! Purl Soho has a wonderful collection of easiest, easier and easy tutorials that will guide you through a variety of tote constructing. My everyday tote is similar to Purl Soho’s easiest tote – it’s basically one long piece of fabric folded in half. No lining, no boxed corners. Just a simple bag to carry what you need. But with my bags, I add some different finishing techniques. Where does the $5 come from? I tend to choose less expensive utility fabrics and trims for my totes. By using sale fabrics or shopping with coupons at some of the well-known craft store chains out there, my everyday tote clocks in just under $5 per bag to make. (more…)

Detroit Design Festival’s Design Village


For design lovers here in Detroit, we’ve all probably felt like kids in handmade candy shops this week as the Detroit Design Festival presents its annual offering of lectures, installations and celebrations across the city. I’ve attended a few events here and there and this morning I started off my weekend a visit to the press and industry preview for the festival’s Design Village, a collection of artists, designs, makers and crafters offering their goods in a small but incredibly might fair. (more…)

Locker Hooking


“Locker hooking. Say what?” That was my reaction as I stood inside of Sew Memphis looking over a locker hooking kit that was for sale. The finished product looked like familiar craft projects I’d seen before, but none of my friends were proficient in locker hooking skills and I’d never seen the technique in action.

I purchased the kit at Sew Memphis and found myself ripping strips of fabric late at night at my cousin’s house just a few hours later. I tried working on the small practice rug while on vacation in Memphis, but found I needed to watch some tutorials and try again once I was back at home. (more…)

Detroit Urban Craft Fair Applications Due September 25


If you’re a crafter in the Midwest, and specifically here at home in Detroit, there is a lot of news to be aware of! As I mentioned earlier this week, the Midwest Craft Con is seeking proposals for speaking topics, selling conference tickets and seeking sponsors for their February 2016 event; this weekend brings the annual DIY Street Fair back to the streets of downtown Ferndale; and tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 25, applications are due to Handmade Detroit by midnight for consideration to vend at the 10th (!) annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair. The craft fair was born from a longing from some of us like-minded craft folks to have a place to sell handmade goods to fellow craft lovers in our community. That first DUCF planning meeting took place nine years ago and it’s so exciting to see the fair celebrating its 10th birthday in just a few months.

If you’ve participated before, you know the drill on how to apply. If you’ve never applied, now’s the time! Head over to the fair’s website to learn more about the event and read through their FAQs to see if you might be a fit for this year’s offering. The 2015 DUCF runs Dec. 4 through Dec. 6 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Coming Back for 2016: Midwest Craft Con


I’m beyond excited – the Midwest Craft Con is returning to Ohio after a five-year absence! I had the pleasure of not only attending the conference in 2011 but serving as a speaker as well. The conference came a few years after the one and only Craft Congress held in Pittsburgh in 2007. The first conference took place right at the explosion of indie craft fairs and indie-minded crafting and shopping. It was such an exciting time and the conference was a reflection of that, as was the Midwest edition a few years later.

Some of Ohio’s greatest crafters are putting their heads together to offer the 2016 Midwest Craft Con next February in Columbus and they’re looking for crafty folks to get involved. You can still submit a proposal to speak at the conference, buy a ticket to attend or even sponsor. Check out their website to learn more.

If you haven’t attended a craft conference before, the Midwest Craft Con is a perfect way to try them out! While I’ll be in California for the 2016 QuiltCon, you need to get yourself to Ohio and meet other crafty makers and immerse yourself in the DIY spirit.