Shout out – Ryco Creative Sewing Center!

You know that question people ask at cocktail parties, “If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?”  Well, my latest answer, is Pat from Ryco!  Not only is her shop wonderful, her personality, zest for life, for her business and for the industry is so inspiring!  Head over to our Facebook page to see Pat talking about Ink & Arrow fabrics!

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The view as you walk in!  This place is huge…great layout, lots of room to explore and shop!

My colleague and I visited Ryco’s Creative Sewing Center in early April, and we were so impressed with the shop and it’s offering, the staff and the overall approach in this unique store!   It is not just a shop, it’s an experience.  Ryco is a place to visit, get inspired, hang out, chat… and for some, a place to do their charity work and longarm quilting.  It’s appropriately named,  a “Creative Sewing Center”.

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It’s so awesome to see our Ink & Arrow fabric section… lots of fun fabric!

I asked Pat about her history, how she got her start in the business and the shop itself. I was thrilled to learn more, and even more excited to return to the shop for a class or to find the latest patterns and notions…  Here’s what Pat had to say:

I have sewn since I was a little girl.  My Mother made all of my clothes.  We would go shopping for school clothes, she made sketches of the things we liked, then she went home and made them for us.  She also knitted the sweaters. It was a rare time when we purchased a dress.

Our home was the same, my Dad built and repaired everything and my Mom made the slipcovers, curtains , bedspreads etc.  You get the idea.  Because my Grandmother was blind, every season, my Mom would move everything around and have a “seasonal” set of slipcovers and drapes. ( Grandma raised 3 kids and so things had to stay in the same spots all the time)

It was natural that I would learn to sew and I started with Doll Clothes.

Then when it came time to go to college, my major was Home Economics ( another sign of the times).  I worked for Sears all the way through school and when I graduated, they offered me a job in the NYC buying offices – the fabric departments.

So, you can see that sewing carried me to a lot of wonderful places personally and professionally.

I made most of my clothes as I was climbing the corporate ladder. I used to love to come home on a Friday night with a sewing project. I would sew until the wee hours of the night and start again when I woke.  If you look at some of the pictures in the store with Claude Offray (Offray Ribbon),  John Wright (Wm E. Wright Co.) you will see I made all those outfits.  There is a great thrill to someone asking where you got something ….and you made it.  I decorated my apartments and, eventually, when I was married, my house by making the bed spreads, curtains, table linens, the fabric on the walls for wall paper and on and on.  My skills made it so I could dream what I wanted and then get it.

My first quilting experience – I was visiting my parents in California after my divorce.  My parents had a new king size bed and Mom wanted a country-look quilt. A quilt that had 6” squares, in a random pattern, so we did it.  ( P.S. it was tied, not quilted)

I started a new career in NYC at Talon ( the largest notion company at the time and now part of Coats and Clark).  More sewing, but now developing products for sewers.   Now I met Don, and when we were married, it broke company policy as a married couple could not work in same division and the other closest division was London.

That lead to us starting our own business – Ryco Trimming Co., and we were very successful, selling all the majors and then purchasing an old mill for production.  Again this ole’ sewer was sewing developing products for Fabric and Craft Stores.

The 90’s  were a whirl wind  of change as the business world changed – NAFTA, Sewing Retailers disappearing, and  then in 2005, a devastating  flood, and all that we built was destroyed.

So what you see in our store was born out of all of that.  Sewing has been a constant thread in my life.  I have supported it professionally, in my career, and in my personal life.  I wanted more people to have that same peace, passion and fulfillment that I have received from sewing.  I felt that retailers needed to show more passion for what they sell to encourage more people to sew.  We need to change the perception of educators that somehow believe sewing is a negative influence upon women.  We need to change the perception that we only sew to save money (even if it might be a factor).  We need to tell new sewers that you don’t have to be perfect to start having fun.

Everyone sews for different reasons, and throughout your life those reasons change.  It also is such a large hobby that it satisfies many artistic needs….like, I love the puzzles of quilting and definitely dislike any applique hand work.  When I have time, I love perfecting a technique.  When I am in a hurry ( like making a store display) I could care less about making the hidden side perfect.  My thrill comes when I see someone discover “their” side of sewing.

You asked what motivates a project. I am a believer that the fabric talks to you. You see it and it tells you what it wants you to make out of it.  After a super beginner class, I love speaking with the students as they find a fabric that told them “ me, me ME!”

Patterns are like the big special signs on the highway…..they tease you into visiting a new place along the road.  You learn and explore with patterns.

Now how does this all relate to Ink and Arrow?   We have a large section for Ink And Arrow fabrics in our store.  The fabric quality is worthy of our investment.  It is good for all types of sewing, not just quilting.  The designs relate to many types of sewers – modern and traditional.  It evokes happy thoughts when you look at it and the customers like that.

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Great modern quilt, usually made with solids – swapped out with Pixie Dots!  Sew Cute! 🙂
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Speaking of solids… Ryco carries a few colors… 😉
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I spy our QT Bleecker Street fabrics along with Sunkissed…
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This beautiful quilt was made for a Raffle to support the URI Women’s Athletics Department

I was impressed to learn that Ryco also hosts a charity quilting group.   Working with donated fabrics and organized by “Queen Bee” Sue, the quilters involved in this group get together once a week to create quilts for various charities and organizations in the area.  Sue, who was a social worker in her main career (since retired) has a lot of connections to the community.  What a wonderful way to connect with people, work together on a fun project and then to donate to someone.   The actual (physical) warmth and warmth of spirit of sharing your passion for quilting and giving it to another is an invaluable gesture.  Kudos to Sue and her friends who provide smiles and comfort to those in their time of need.  There were over 20 quilt tops in-progress… it filled my heart with joy to see… ❤ ❤ ❤

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Samples are super important and Ryco has them!   It’s great to see the variety of styles, fabrics, colors, trims, notions and patterns in this shop – sew much to see!

I hope you enjoyed this look at Ryco Creative Sewing Center.  I enjoyed meeting with Pat and her wonderful staff.  I was inspired to make a project and I am hoping to sign up for an upcoming class!  If you are in the Rhode Island area, stop into this gem of a shop!

 

 

Gnome Matter What! Winner!

We are THRILLED to announce our winner for the Gnome Matter What! Blog recap prize!  This awesome collection by Alicia Jacobs Dujets for Ink & Arrow Fabrics is so much fun!

By random selector, Cecilia has won the floor pouf and fabric bundle!  Woohoo!

Cecilia, we’ve replied to your comment and ask that you send us an email!  This pouf will be on it’s way to you very soon!

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Thanks to everyone who participated.  Even if you didn’t win this time, there are always more chances to win.  If you ❤ this fabric, never fear, head to your local quilt shop and tell them we sent you!   Explore our website, and the blogs of our friends from the Gnome Matter What! Blog Tour, there are so many gorgeous inspiring projects out there!

Thanks again to all of our friends, especially Izzy & Ivy Designs who hosted the tour.  We’ll be back with more soon!

Of course, we would LOVE to see what you make!   Tag your project photos on facebook with @inkandarrowfabrics or hashtag #gnomematterwhatfabrics  #inkandarrowfabrics

Have a FABULOUS weekend…. Gnome what I’m saying?  🙂

 

Oh GNOME we didn’t!

WE DID!!!!!  We had an amazing time working with Izzy & Ivy Designs as our host of our Gnome Matter What! Blog Tour.   We had GNOME idea (ok, I’ll stop) how much we could adore each and every one of these projects.  Even better, we made new friends along the way.  Isn’t that the icing on the cake when working in a creative industry?  It’s so awesome to collaborate and share ideas and spread the enthusiasm for our fabric obsession!  🙂

Our current line, Gnome Matter What! by Alicia Jacobs Dujets for I&A, (in shops now) has inspired so many beautiful creations already.   Check out these projects, our new friends and their wonderful blogs to see how they brought these fabrics to life!   What will you create???

First up… our blog tour hostess:   Izzy & Ivy Designs

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Ava Tie Top Dress
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Addie Jo Skirt

My Sweet Sunshine 

 

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Evelyn Pattern Violette Field Threads

Pear Berry Lane 

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Left:  Madelyn Top and Willow Skirt from Violette Field Threads.  Right:  Swallowtail Top from luxe collection and Flexi Shorts from Tadah Patterns & Sewing

Lily Shine Creates



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Elodie Dress from Violette Field Threads

Pattern Revolution

 

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Idle Sunshine sewed up this awesome Lucy Racerback Tunic Dress from Simple Life Pattern Company.
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Love & Lilies Designs sewed up this adorable Georgia and Pearl Dress combo from Violette Field Threads!

 That’s Sew Kari

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Left: Versailles Dress Pattern and Right:  Monet Dress (modified without ruffles) both from Little Lizard King

Click here to check out ALL of the fabrics in this collection: 


Here’s a project or two we had sewn up!!!

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Our Graphic Designer, Autumn, with her Pixie Dots fabric flower and showing off the Monique dress pattern by Serendipity Studios

Gnome Matter What Giveaway

And… the GIVEAWAY!!!!!

A bonus!  Please follow and comment on this blog with your favorite project or fabric from this collection  (I know, I know, so hard to pick!)

One lucky winner will be selected from the blog comments next Friday, April 21st to receive our Floor Pouf Sample (all ready to take out to the garden…) and 1 yard cuts of the fabrics in this springy collection!  🙂

Think Spring…Gnome Matter What!

While preparing for QuiltCon, it was clear we wanted to have a fabulous grand prize basket of fabric!  Of course, we wanted to feature Gnome Matter What, our newest collection in shops now!  Fabric flowers came to mind… I mean, who doesn’t love flowers?

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We love how these blossomed 🙂

Our friend, Jane Headley, designed these quick and easy flowers that really make a statement!  There was so much ❤ for these beauties,  we decided to make a free project download to share on our website!    Click here to check out our Inspiration page on our website with instructions to create these flowers and a variety of other projects!

These flowers could be fantastic in almost any fabric but we simply adore the Pixies and Gnome Matter What featured here…

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No need to water!

Because we love this collection so much.. here’s another glimpse of the different fabrics designed by Alicia Jacobs Dujets for Ink & Arrow Fabrics!

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Gnomes and pinwheels and flamingos oh my!

Alicia’s illustrative style lends a whimsical flair to this very on-trend group!  We are seeing flamingos everywhere…and… where else can you find flamingos, mushrooms, gnomes and snails in the same fabric?  🙂  It’s the quirky spin on a subject, fabulous color and lighthearted approach that make Ink & Arrow Fabrics perfect for so many projects!  Because fabric should be fun!   What will you create?

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Before we go, here is another project that is in-the-works… a Gnome Matter What floor pouf!   We will release this free project in the next couple of weeks, check back on our website at the Inspiration page to find out how to make this super cute home decor accessory!

Designed by Theresa Romeo, this project is fun and the perfect pillow to sit and sketch in the garden!  Keep an eye out for a little gnome or snail friend… don’t worry, they are super friendly!

 

 

 

 

QuiltCon was SEW much fun!

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Isabelle & Cyndi

Were you able to go to QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia?  Our dynamic duo, Cyndi and Isabelle,  proudly represented Ink & Arrow!  They had a great time giving out fabric, talking to like-minded sewing enthusiasts… and generally enjoying the excitement of this fantastic show!

We were a proud exhibitor at QuiltCon which is hosted annually by The Modern Quilt Guild. The four day event is a consumer show that features an amazing quilt exhibit as well as outstanding workshops and vendor shopping!

What  better way to spend a day than with warm and friendly people who all enjoy inspiration and creativity!  A lovely lady at the show told Cyndi that Ink & Arrow Fabrics “always bring a smile to her face” and THAT is what we are all about! In fact, the tag line for I&A is “because fabric should be fun!”

 Check out a few of our great instagram friends, we love seeing these fabulous smiles!  Search #inkandarrowquiltcon on instagram to see more!

We were showcasing our latest lines and also offered a sneak peek of our summer collections as well.   Here are some photos of our fun-filled booth!

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Sweet Rebellion by Felicia Gallo for I&A (in shops now) is featured in our Quilt Project, the Sally Shirt Dress by Serendipity Studios and  the Fold & Go Wristlet by Indygo Junction!  
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Check out the awesome quilting on this quilt designed by Heidi Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop for I&A Fabrics!  Also, we ❤ this Swoon Pattern “Donna Vintage Handbag” in this collection!
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It’s All About Me by Leslie Moak Murray (in shops now) is featured in this quilt designed by Heidi Pridemore of the Whimsical Workshop – available for free download at our website!

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As usual, our friends are never far away!  We collaborated with Sew Many Creations to show off our newest lines from the new Junebee collections from Ink & Arrow.  Jessica at Sew Many Creations made her “Road Trip” bag out of our Zola line and her “Prima Diva Wallet” from our Paloma line!

 

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Fabulous ensemble!  Sew Serendipity’s “Monique” dress and The “Road Trip” Bag by Sew Many Creations featuring Zola, coming to shops in June!
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Detail shot of the Zola fabrics featured in the Sew Serendipity dress pattern… ❤ the pattern play!

There are four Junebee collections coming to a shop near you this summer!   If you like what you see, go to your shop and let them know you want Junebee!  Let’s create a Junebee BUZZ!   #junebeebuzz  #inkandarrowfabrics

Also, our friends at Plum Easy Patterns made this awesome “All Ways Arrows” quilt with the fabulous Pixie Dots!  This pattern is so on-brand with our Ink & Arrow Fabrics!

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As always… there were Pixie Dots for DAYS……. ❤
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The quilt above “Spinners” pattern by Sew Many Creations and the Tuffet is by Tuffet Source!

We were thrilled when our friends at Tuffet Source donated four “Marvelous Mini” Tuffet kits for prizes at our booth.  The above tuffet is a large version.  We had four winners who were thrilled with their kit!  We hope they can share photos of the finished product with us!  Here are the lovely lucky ladies!

 

Totes adorbs is all we can say about this Izzy & Ivy Designs Ava Tie Top Dress.  This super cute dress would make any little girl a starlet! It features Gnome Matter What (shipping to shops this month). It is the latest collection from I&A designer, Alicia Jacobs Dujets.

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This was our Instagram Contest prize.  This basket FULL of fabric had flowers blooming!  Fleur the Flamingo (Funky Friends Factory Pattern) was watching over the basket!

The lucky winner is….. Fran Oblander!

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Fran is on the left…. her friends just may benefit from her winning! 😉
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This Gnome was watching over our instagram backdrop!
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This Gnome Matter What Floor Pouf project will be available on our website soon!  ❤
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We handed out our exclusive Gnome Matter What QuiltCon bags!  

Before we go, check out our pattern friends’ booths!

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Jessica is busy in her gorgeous booth!  
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 Junebee for Ink & Arrow Fabrics featured at the Sew Many Creations booth….

 

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We were excited to see our Quilting Treasures “Harmony” fabrics featured at Plum Easy Patterns in their new  gorgeous “Kaleidoscope Centerpiece Pattern” 

 

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Plum Easy Patterns printed cards with the Pixie Dots version of their All Ways Arrows quilt!  ❤

We hope you enjoyed this look into our experience at QuiltCon!  While not everyone can attend, we wanted to make sure to share with you the fun, the projects and the fabrics we love so much!  Look for Ink & Arrow in your local fabric shop!  Because fabric should be fun!!!

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Sweet Rebellion Challenge!

It’s the last day of our Sweet Rebellion sewing challenge hosted by our friends Wives of Whitewood.  We are thrilled with the projects that came together thanks to our new creative friends and we are so thankful to Wives of Whitewood for hosting!

Today’s project is an original quilt designed by Capitola Quilter and it is so unique!

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Like opening a present!!!  

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Love how the pinks POP in this photo!  When you head over to Capitola Quilter’s blog, you’ll see there is a bonus project she made with this collection *swoon*

Such a clever quilt!

Thanks Karen for such a great blog!  When you head over, Karen’s holding her own giveaway – enter to win!

 

 

Also, we are thrilled to announce the Wives of Whitewood new pattern “Applejack” which they will release on Tuesday.  This fantastic little tech cozy for your Ipad or Macbook… super sweet!  Make sure to visit on Tuesday for the big reveal!!!

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Fabulous!

Don’t forget to head over to Wives of Whitewood’s instagram to enter to win 1/2 yard cuts of each of the 17 fabrics (11 prints, 6 pixie dots) in this collection – WOW!   🙂

Thanks to all the talented people involved with our Sweet Rebellion sewing challenge.  It was great making new friends and sharing these creative ideas with everyone!

 

Day 4 – Sweet Rebellion Challenge!

This has been a most exciting week!  Our Sweet Rebellion fabrics are superstars in so many different projects – it’s been such fun to see the creativity and variation from all of our new friends.

Thanks to Wives of Whitewood for coordinating this sewing challenge.  Which is your favorite so far?  We can’t really choose 🙂

Today’s creative “Sweet Rebellion” is Karis of  The Modern Sewist with a super fun and sweet “Bowed Over Placemat & Napkin Set”  

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We ❤ that Karis made a tutorial available for download – for free!  WOOHOO!  Check out her blog so you can create your own, just in time for a sweet & sassy Valentine’s Day dinner with your honey???

Make sure to follow them on instagram and like them on facebook!

 

 

 

And… of course… don’t forget to head over to the Wives of Whitewood instagram to find out how you can win a Sweet Rebellion GIVEAWAY!!!  Contest ends tomorrow at 7pm EST!

We can’t wait to share more projects with you!!!!

Day 3 – Sweet Rebellion Challenge!

We continue with the Sweet Rebellion sewing challenge, organized by our friends at Wives of Whitewood! this week is all about projects inspired by this sweet & sassy fabric collection by Felicia Gallo for Ink & Arrow Fabrics!!!

Today we have two guest bloggers with two fabulous projects!

First up, a great tote bag…

Hi! My name is Brinkley Rayne. I am a zookeeper by day, and bag-maker by night. You can find me on Facebook (B. Rayne Bags), or on Instagram (@b_raynebags). I was very excited to be invited to sew something up with these fabrics. I thought they would be really fun to mix and match the prints and make sure all were seen front and center on the bag. That is how I decided on a “log cabin- esque” tote bag. A quick search of quilting sites will show you years and years of the history of log cabin quilts, and how to make the log-cabin block. I share a sewing room with my mom, and it is one of her favorite blocks to sew. They all have various looks, but none with fabrics quite like this! I thought it might be fun to mix an “old school” quilt block style with these “punk” fabrics. See my social media for a future blog post on my step by step if you’re interested in making one along with me! I used all three of the fabrics for the front, but went easy for the back, handles and inside. The back is plain pink, the inside is white, and the handles are just black. The fun part about the log cabin block is you can make it as easy or intricate as you’d like. I used a 5″ square in the middle, and 2 1/2″ strips for my “borders”. Its very simple, and turns into a nice big bag! Thank-you for letting me participate, and thank you for putting bees on the fabric (an underrated but important creature!!)
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We love how Brinkley took the traditional Log cabin block and funked it up!  🙂

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Next, we have  Ramona Cavanaugh!  Ramona made a wonderful organizer, perfect for traveling or keeping your stuff in-check at home!

The Sweet Rebellion fabrics are such a pleasure to use. Everything about them is pleasant on the eye. They all blend together so well.  I love the mix of pinks with the black and grays.  The bees and bike chains are just inexplicably cute together. I just really love the pink bike chains. I am not normally a pink girl but the little dashes of pink in the skulls and and the floral print are just perfect together.

I think this organizer will end up being a gift for a longtime friend that was eyeing it on Instagram.  I’ll likely make a couple more. One for my husband and I to share when we travel and possibly one in the smaller size for travel accessories like cables and chargers.

This pattern screamed Sweet Rebellion fabric. I was originally thinking I wanted to use the Wives of Whitewood Gotta Go wristlet so I could incorporate the many wonderful colors and prints in the collection. The Rollie Pollie Organizer by Cozy Nest designs was just too tempting to not give it a go.  The size of the bags and the wrap seemed perfect for the variety of sizes of prints the collection offers.  It was a great way to combine all the colors too.

This pattern has a few spots that made me a little cranky but nothing a ripper couldn’t fix.  If you are going to try this one, make sure to fuse the foam to the liner before putting on the velcro. Of course I missed that little detail but was able to just stitch over and on top of the other stitches.  I found using a long ruler to transfer the velcro marks a real lifesaver. I used a very light small pencil for that and some lightweight glue stick, which is invaluable for lining up the strips just so.  I used the D-ring for ease of application and I like how it looks compared to the large metal grommet. Finally I also did some fussy cutting and pattern matching that wasn’t really necessary for the wrap exterior and liner.  If you use a one direction fabric like the skulls don’t worry so much about the skulls being upside down.

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Before it “rollie-pollies open” 🙂
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Open and ready to organize!
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Hang it up for easy-access to your favorite stuff!!!

Wow, great job ladies!  We are so happy to see these great projects made of “Sweet Rebellion”  Can’t wait to see more tomorrow!

 

Don’t forget, there is a GIVEAWAY!!!!    Head over to the Wives of Whitewood instagram @wivesofwhitewood for more information!   So exciting!!!

 

Day 2 – Sweet Rebellion Sewing Challenge!!!

So exciting to share another fantastic creative project featuring our Sweet Rebellion fabrics.  Our friends at Wives of Whitewood are hosting this challenge and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Day 2 brings this gorgeous embroidered table runner from the talented Kelly McCants at Modern June Blog!!!

This project is just stunning.  We love the contrast of the gray mini floral, the sassy sugar skulls and the pops of bold color in the embroidered flowers.  WOW!  See more photos, a full tutorial and tips/tricks to create this project at Modern June Blog.

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Modern June Blog’s Embroidered Table Runner

Pop over to Kelly’s blog and explore this and all the other great projects and goodies you can find there!  Thanks Kelly!!!

Reminder, there is more to come AND… a giveaway!

Head over to the Wives of Whitewood instagram @wivesofwhitewood for more information! So exciting!!!

Check back tomorrow for the next Sweet Rebellion surprise!!!