Baby, baby, baby we love you

We are thrilled to kick off the SHIMMER blog tour with a fun personal story from Jennifer Sampou, creator of SHIMMER Fabrics. Take it away, Jennifer!

Shimmer Pixie Hat and Boots from Baby Boutique, by Sue Kim, a Stash Book:

By Jennifer Sampou, guest blogger

Fabrics by Aunti Jen, sewn by Kitty-Grams for our baby!

Fabrics by Aunti Jen, sewn by Kitty-Grams for our baby!

As a community of makers, one way we show our love is by giving gifts of things  we have made with our own hands. Things that we create require thought, time and skill.  It is not bought in a store or ordered online and sent via Amazon with the click of a button. The process of making gives us time to reflect and whether we consciously think about it or not, we are sewing our intentions into every stitch. When we present a gift, it truly is from the head, heart and hands. And it means more.

Artemis Hand-Dyed Silk

Artemis Hand-Dyed Silk

Hand made silk tassels add special touch

Hand made silk tassels add special touch

When blessings such as the birth of a new baby touches our lives, we want to celebrate by making a gift.  I’d like to introduce you to Emily. She is the daughter of Julie and Tony Hensley, CFO of C&T/Stash Books and my precious niece.  Emily came into our lives over a year ago through a miraculous adoption.  Our whole family is so incredibly thankful.

SHIMMER Fabric - sunburst

The SHIMMER sun burst fabric was a perfect print and I had some leopard minky to line the interior of the boots and hat. The fuchsia trim, buttons and a hand made silk tassel  was the perfect color accent.  I passed along this stack of collected materials to Kitty-Grams and she got busy cutting and sewing.

Baby Boutique by Sue Kim

A favorite book for babies by C&T/Stash Books is “Baby Boutique” by Sue Kim. I love the Pixie Boots and Hat Pattern.

Always good to make a hat a little bit bigger for room to grow and to turn over the rim reveals the darling lining- Shimmer fabric

Always good to make a hat a little bit bigger for room to grow and to turn over the rim reveals the darling lining

Julie, Emily’s mom completed the joint effort of this family project by working behind the scenes. She played “hat on, hat off” games  to get Emily ready for the big photo shoot for my upcoming SHIMMER look book.

By the day of the photo shoot, we were all relaxed and ready for anything. This sunny morning  was especially delightful because Emily was, sorry for the pun, an old hat at it. Within a few minutes of getting dressed, we put her on a bed of sheepskin rugs, showered her with smiles and she dazzled us right back. Lucky for us, we got that perfect shot within a few minutes…She  is a natural.

Shimmer Fabric OK people, I am done shimmering here. Time to go home.

OK people, I am done shimmering here. Time to go home.

Thank you all for stopping by and checking out the SHIMMER blog hop. At the conclusion of the Blog Hop, Jennifer Sampou will be giving away an entire fat quarter bundle of Shimmer.  Check it out:

Fat Quarters of SHIMMER Fabric by Jennifer Sampou

Enter the giveaway by signing up for Jennifer’s mailing list and leave a comment on her blog about your favorite projects from the Look Book and why. Existing followers are automatically eligible to win. Please enter by April 21.

You can view the entire collection here. And if you just can’t wait for it to hit your favorite retailer, you can pre-order from The Cotton Patch (Grandma’s Quilt Shop).


April 1- Robert Kaufman/Jennifer Sampou- announce blog
April 2- Janice Ryan- Better off Thread
April 3- Alissa Haight Carlton- Handmade by Alissa
April 4- Julie Herman- JayBird Quilts
April 5- Natalie Barnes- Beyond the Reef
April 6- Stash Books- C&T Publishing
April 7- Amanda Jean Nyberg- Crazy Mom Quilts
April 8- Lee Heinrich- Freshly Pieced
April 9- Cheryl Arkinson- Naptime Quilter
April 10- Christina Cameli- A Few Scraps
April 11- Elizabeth Hartman- Oh Fransson
April 12- Faith Jones-Fresh Lemon Quilts
April 13- Gemma Jackson- Pretty Bobbins
April 14- Katie Blakesley- Swim Bike Quilt
April 15- Amy Smart-Diary of a Quilter
April 16- Laura Nownes, Pati Fried, Jennifer Rounds- See How We Sew
April 17- Holly DeGroot- Bijou Lovely
April 18- Jennifer Sampou-Wrap Up
April 21- Jennifer Sampou- Announce Winner of Giveaway FQ Pack of entire Shimmer Collection

Want to make your own SHIMMER pixie hat? C&T Publishing is giving away a copy of Baby Boutique eBook to one lucky winner! Enter to win below by April 21 at 9am PST. Winner will be announced on April 22nd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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MODKID Summer Fun Blog Tour


Tomorrow starts the MODKID Summer Fun blog tour!

Over the next two weeks you’ll have a chance to learn more about Patty Young‘s inspiration behind the stylish projects in MODKID Summer Fun. Each stop on the blog tour will have reviews, photos and a chance to win a copy of MODKID Summer Fun!


Blog Tour Schedule

4/1/2014  Jennifer Coe:

4/2/2014  Carla Crim:

4/3/2014  Sara Lawson:

4/4/2014  Generation Q: 

4/5/2014  Suzanne Winter:

4/7/2014  Laura Kelly: and

4/8/2014  American Patchwork & Quilting:

4/9/2014  Kristin Link:

4/10/2014  Jenny Fish:

4/11/2014  Patty Young/MODKID

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Contests & Giveaways, New Releases, Our Authors | Comments closed

Spring Fling Sale!



Don’t miss our Spring Fling sale! 

Save up to 75% off your favorite C&T books March 21-24th, this weekend ONLY!

*Sale ends on March 24th at 7:30am PST

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Photo Friday: Please Stand!

When I found out that we’d be publishing Sew in Style, a Fun Stitch Studio book with clothing for 18” dolls, I knew that inevitably, I’d be charged with spending my days playing dress-up with toys I left behind years and years ago. Sounds like fun, right?!

pleasestandThe reality wasn’t exactly as I’d hoped.  It was hilariously frustrating trying to get the dolls to stand on their own to be photographed. They will stand, but it’s very precarious and must be tweaked and tweaked and tweaked until finally, you can pull your hand away slowly. Are her arms in a good position? Does she look natural enough?   Ultimately, she’ll drop – usually right on her face in a fluff of hair – which is why the seconds after the doll poser has removed her hands and before she takes her imminent fall is when I’ve got to get the shot.

In this photo, my assistant has gently propped and posed the doll and it seems as if she can let go. I’m in position, so that the minute she steps away I can click the shutter. Oh, PLEASE stay standing!

Often, we set up a shot and get it, only to realize that it’s not quite right.  The final image we used in this book looks a little different than the one we’re setting up here.


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Doggone Good Projects—Project #2: Olive’s Collar + FREE PROJECT


This post is part of a series featuring projects for pets from several C&T, Stash Books, and FunStitch Studio titles. Please visit the links below to see the rest of the series.

Series introduction—Stash Books blog

Project #1: Friendship Star Quilt—C&T Publishing blog



Olive’s Collar from Liberty Love


Olive’s Collar as it appears in the book


As much as I like our other dog projects, I have a soft spot for Olive’s Collar from Alexia Abegg’s Liberty Love. I love cute dog collars and Penny likes them too. (She even enjoys the clinking noise her ID tags make, weirdo that she is.) So I was really looking forward to trying out this oneAlexia uses Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics for her collar, but I wanted something different. Something bright and summery that would show up well against black fur.

Luckily, my local quilt store, Queen B’s Quilt Shop in Antioch, California, has all the cheerful fabric I could need.


In the back of the store, there’s a tub full of remnants, leftover bindings, and other random chunks of gorgeous fabric that were just the right amount for a collar. For $3.00 you can fill a Ziplock bag with anything from the tub. I’ve made something of an art of stuffing that baggie full, but I loaded up on so many pinks, yellows, teals, and purples that I accidentally ripped my bag. The owner let it slide. She’s awesome like that.


Testing fabric combinations. My dog is a good sport.

Not being able to pick just one fabric, I decided to piece three equal strips together to get the required length. (In retrospect, I should have used unequal strips—the purple mostly disappeared under the adjustable strap. Oh well, maybe next time.)

As for interfacing, Alexia’s collar uses one layer of Pellon Decor Bond, but as I mentioned in a prior post I tend to be adventurous with my interfacing and wanted to try something different. I had some spare Shape-Flex, but when I fused the first layer the collar wasn’t sturdy enough. This wasn’t supposed to be a heavy-duty, attach-a-leash-and-go-walking collar, but I did want it firm enough to grab Penny if the doorbell rang. Then I had an idea … what if I fused the interfacing to itself? ShapeFlex is fusible on one side, so I could bond it to itself and customize the firmness. Brilliant! I added another layer … and another. I ended up with four layers total. I almost broke my sewing machine needle when I had to sew the doubled-over parts, but it was perfect—almost as durable as nylon webbing, but much more stylish. I still hesitate to use it outdoors, but it’s plenty sturdy.


This is a project I would definitely do again. I think  put in less money for the fabric , interfacing, and buckles than I did for Penny’s store-bought collar. And, oh, the fashion possibilities! Plus, if any cat lovers are feeling left out, this could easily turn into a custom cat collar. Just make the strip shorter and narrower. Easy peasy! You wouldn’t even need much interfacing.

Pet collars—stylish and fun to sew. Who knew?

Next is the Customizable Pet Bed from A Kid’s Guide to Sewing by Sophie Kerr with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. Meanwhile, I leave you with this progression of shots from Penny’s photo shoot. I’m dangling treats over her to keep her head up. Can you guess where I was standing?



The founder of Camp Cocker dog rescue (of which Penny is an honorary alum) informed me after reading this post that her rescue could really use collar donations right now. To help out Camp Cocker and other animal rescues like it, we’re attaching a free PDF of the Olive’s Collar project! Please enjoy the free project and consider paying it forward by making some for your local animal rescue and shelter groups.

Click here for the free project: Olive’s Collar

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Free Projects, Inspiration, Miscellaneous | Comments closed
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