Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thank you, my friends...

I've always thought of my customers as friends, and often times have gotten off of the phone with a customer wishing I could follow up our conversation by inviting the customer over for a cozy cup of tea and relaxed chat. So many of them (you) I have talked with about struggles, hopes, and dreams, both day to day and in the grand scheme of things. We have shared not just our sewing and crafting experiences, but births, illness, divorce, falling in get the idea. I have been so thrilled over the past year or so to realize that many of my customers think of me the same way...and was incredibly touched when a few sent ME handmade gifts this year.

Maureen Winter, founder, designer, and seamstress-in-chief of Moes Monkeys, sent handmade jammies for all 4 of my kids out of Fabric Fairy fabric (matching monkey on pink for the three girls, and airplanes for my son)! Not only are these my kids fabric jammies and the ones they look for straight out of the laundry, but I loved them so much that this photo was the cover of our Christmas card this year! Thank you again, Maureen!!!

Speaking of monkeys, Christina Marrs of Little Sidekick on Etsy sent this beautiful monkey hat she crocheted. It was intended for Annie, the baby, but all of the girls insist on taking turns wearing it. :-) I should mention that they all like to wear it backwards for some reason, so I don't have a photo of it being worn facing the correct direction (you can check Christina's site for photos of the hat being worn the proper way), but I think you'll agree that it is absolutely adorable either way! Christina is also the extremely talented lead singer of the Asylum Street Spankers, and sent us a copy of their acclaimed children's album, Mommy Says No! If you haven't seen them perform, check them out on You Tube--you won't be disappointed--they put on an incredible show!

Last but not least, I have to tell you about an incredible teenager I have come to know who is the daughter of one of my dear customers. Christine Palmer made me a custom fairy emoticon (click here to see her sprinkle fairy dust) as a surprise after I commented that I liked the dancing bunny emoticon she had made for her mother. Christine is not only talented at making emoticons, she has also created several websites including one catering to homeschooled youth and one catering to siblings of autistic youth (her youngest sister is autistic), sews and sells waldorf dolls, and is an award winning essayist who is planning to attend college and get a degree in material science engineering! You are sew impressive Christine--may your future be filled with lots of lucky fairy dust!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift Giving

I'll admit it, I have had to take a step back. As I always do. Every year, I tell myself that this is the year that I will finally handmake every single present I gift. It hasn't happened yet. Life gets in the way, and somehow taking the time to watch my children perform at the mall, help them decorate gingerbread men or encourage them in making their own handmade gifts prevails. I still do handmake as many of my gifts as I can though and those are always my very favorite gifts to give.

My 5-year-old working on a hand-painted backpack to give as a gift

Speaking of giving, I'm in the mood to give away fabric, so I thought a little contest might be fun. Reply to this post with the best handmade gift you have ever given or received. The 3 most original, interesting, unique entries will each win a $10 gift certificate to The Fabric Fairy. :-) I can't wait to hear everyones stories!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Loving this time of year!

Molly, my 3-year-old getting a head start on some holiday baking

Tomorrow we are supposed to get a blizzard, and the whole family will be snowbound in the house together. Busy as I am these days, I am feeling a thrill at the prospect of the forced coziness. I have great plans for a jammy day, complete with holiday baking, candy making, crafting, and a bit of holiday sewing. For the first time, this year the kids are actually old enough to participate in a lot of these activities with me (well, some of them--my 16-month-old will be happily playing next to us). The enthusiasm is palpable around here among all of us, and hearing my kids brainstorm about the creative projects they want to undertake makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Speaking of firsts, The Fabric Fairy has begun stocking domestic quilting cottons alongside our famous ginormous knit collection. While we've had a selection of exquisite Asian and European cotton imports for quite a while, it wasn't until we visited Quilt Market this Fall that we were inspired to begin stocking some of the gorgeous domestic designer cottons we saw. Many of these new fabrics will be trickling in throughout the coming months, but I am excited to introduce some of our first groups.

Perhaps my favorite new collection of the season is Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson, which you can see in the background in the photo of Sandi and me from Quiltmarket. It is so evocative of everything that is fresh and sweet and carefree about spring blossoms and summer picnics in the meadow that even at this time of year, when I'm feeling so inspired by the creative rush of the holiday season, I feel sorely tempted to put it all aside and sew peasant tops, tiered skirts, and sundresses for my girls.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gratitude Contest Winner and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

You know, this was a really hard decision. There was clearly so much reflection and sincerity in each comment. I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond and who shared so openly. It is incredible how grateful and optimistic people are in the midst of such economically and personally difficult times. I really enjoyed reading all of these!

I had to pick one person though, so Samze, CONGRATULATIONS! You won the gift certificate! Please email your contact info to me at contact@thefabricfairydotcom, and I will get the certificate on its way to you in time for some holiday sewing. :-)

Everyone, a huge HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you!!! Enjoy the time with your families. We are having a fun feast here today in our household--I'll try to post some pictures later!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The approach of Thanksgiving always makes me think about how much I have in my life to be grateful for: 4 awesome kids who mostly get along, and whom I genuinely like; an incredible husband who is my rock; the ability to lose myself in creating and the time to do it; and the new opportunities that keep presenting themselves to me, and allow me to grow in the vocation I am passionate about--helping people create and appreciate aesthetics, teaching them techniques and skills to do so, and tickling their imagination. I am also incredibly appreciative for the support my online friends and customers (although often its hard to separate the two) have given me as I've made my way along the journey of opening and growing The Fabric Fairy--I seriously have the BEST customers.

What are you thankful for this year? Leave a comment sharing your thoughts, so we can all appreciate more of the often un-noticed miracles in life. The most thought provoking response provided by Tuesday, 11/24 will win a $20 gift certificate to The Fabric Fairy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let the swapping begin!

Give Handmade this Holiday Season!

I love giving and receiving handmade items for the holidays, so I thought…let's do a handmade gift swap! Here’s the deal…All those interested in sending 10 personally handmade items will then receive 10 personally handmade items from other crafters/artists from across the U.S. How fun is that?! Here are the guidelines/rules:

  • Send 10 items which fit in a flat rate ship box worth $10.45 to The Fabric Fairy, along with $10.45 payment for your return items by Friday, 11/27. Items should be valued at about $15 (market price, not cost of materials). If you're not sure what the market value of your item would be, you can ask friends what they would pay for it. ;)
  • Along with your 10 items and payment for return shipping, (you can send the payment via paypal to marked "personal"), please include a Wish List! What would you like us to keep an eye out for you?! We probably will not be able to meet all of your handmade desires, but if something comes along that you've been dying for, we'd like to make sure it ends up in your box!
  • Once all of the items are received, I will sort through the holiday goodies and ship out your new gifts by Friday, 12/4.
Don’t forget to include your return address and email for confirmation/mailing purposes!

I am sooooo excited to see everyone’s creative goodness! Feel free to include business cards to put in the packages as well!! Let the swapping begin!!

The Fabric Fairy

C/O Holiday Swap

5353 Maly Rd.

Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Karin Johnson from Madison! Karin won 1 yard of each of the Joel Dewberry fabrics that The Fabric Fairy carries! Wow... that is a total of 37 yards! I can not wait to see the fabulous creations from that!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Grand Opening

So little time, so much to do, but …the grand opening went off without a hitch! With limited time to execute upon returning from Quilt Market…I think I can safely say it was, all in all, a SUCCESS! It was such an amazing feeling for all of us at The Fabric Fairy to finally meet so many of our Madison area friends with whom we had only connected with online prior to this, as well as to meet new local sewers and crafters. We had people coming from as far away as neighboring states, and as close as down the street! I think the best part was seeing how excited everyone was when they walked in and saw our setup!

The party was in our new CREATE StudioLounge. With six shiny new sewing machines perched along the windowed wall, a sitting area w/couches (perfect for sorting through our enormous swatch collection and selecting fabrics, perusing one of the crafting books in our lending library while sipping tea, or just chatting with friends), a colorful children's play area, project tables, and shelves of tempting fabric, patterns and embellishments, its truly a treat for the senses!...THEN, we would take guests on a sneak peak tour of the back room where we cut and ship, and there were audible gasps! Yes, we have a thing for fabric, and we find it hard to say no to purchasing something we love!

It was an exciting day with TONS of yummy food (Sammy and Bethie were so excited that I brought home leftover of the chocolate covered strawberries!), a sewing project, an embroidery demonstration, a drawing for an ENORMOUS pile of fabric, and local artists-Prettifications and Storyline Design showing their original work and doing some demonstrations as well. I was thrilled to see that there was a lot of anticipation for the upcoming crafting and sewing Iessons and birthday parties. I'm pretty sure everyone went home and crashed…I know the PJ’s went on soon as I stepped foot in the door!

Thank you to everyone who helped put the event together and to all of our new friends! We hope that you visit often, craft, sew, and lounge around with us!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Its SALE time!

Our big fall sale is here at The Fabric Fairy! Now through Saturday at midnight, take 15% off any of your whole order (with the exception of fabric from the by the bolt section) with coupon code "fallingleaves". Have fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sew Mod

Seriously, is this not ADORABLE!? Patty Young has inspired me once again with the Asian-inspired shirt and sewing pattern, Kyoko! Little bit funky but so so chic! I can’t wait to get on the sewing machine and try making these for my girls out of some of their favorite Japanese fabrics (although I love it so much in Patty's own fabrics that it is tempting just to replicate what she has done...).

What is also great about this pattern is that it is loose-fitting and no need for buttons, zippers or snaps. I am sure many of you can attest to a busy parent’s schedule…How efficient is this?! Pull it up, pull it over…let’s go!

Getting the pattern scoop from Patty Young at Quilt Market She was one of my first customers, and I am so proud of all that she has accomplished!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quilt Market Adventure Part 1

The excitement built as Megan (who does all of the fantastic photography and listing for The Fabric Fairy) and I left our babies and boarded our plane to go to Houston, Texas for the International Quilt Market. How often do we gals get a four day weekend away, no kids and husbands?!! We were going to take advantage! After a long and turbulant flight into Houston, we were pumped and ready to enjoy Fabric 2.0! Thanks to Caroline from J Caroline Creative for hosting a great meet and greet event for us tweeters and bloggers. After all the communicating on the internet, it was nice to meet in person Melanie, Myrinda, Cynthia, Jona, Gina, Michelle, Genevieve, and Jessica! With Cynthia at Fabric 2.0

First thing Saturday morning we hit the market show floor which, by the way, probably spanned at least a football field! It was HUGE!! Since this was our first market, we really didn't realize the scope until we arrived! We figured we would start at one end and methodically work our way through. Well, after only working our way through 5 aisles in 5 hours we realized we would have to move a little faster and stop oohing and aahing at everything we saw! It's hard though when everything is so saturated with color and is begging to be looked at and touched!

Tomorrow I'll continue my report on quilt market and all of the awesome new fabrics you are just going to love. For now I'll leave you with a glimpse of our first great find--a new pattern line just for boys called Hot Scott Patterns by Lucy Morey (who has 3 sons, so she REALLY knows boys and their clothing) The hip clothing and accessory line includes "The Field Bag", "Nolan Cap & Snack Sack", "Bermuda Shorts", "Skater Boy Applique", and "Cargo Shorts/Pants". Look for them on our site this week!

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks of all the goodies to be arriving in the next couple months from our buying blitz this weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Featured Fabric - David and Goliath

As certified addicts of fun and funk fabrics we have seen a ton of fabric from the softest bamboos to the brightest flower patterns. We don't discriminate at the fabric fairy we love all our fabrics ;), although when we get fun, witty fabrics that can make the staff burst out laughing we know we have a winner.

One fabric in particular, David and Goliath, have some of the funniest and cutest designs. Todd the designer of David and Goliath's line says one of their motto's is to make stupid things so you don't have to". Really what David and Goliath wants is to make you laugh.

David and Goliath is one of our favorite fabric designers because the designer Todd has fun designs with a little edge. With cute sayings like "Spooning Leads to Forking" and "Chillin With My Gnomies" it makes us laugh every time we get a bolt in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Fabric Fairy is back!!!

Our server going down last week was a near catastrophe, what drama! Even the magical Fabric Fairy suffers from the occasional woes of technology. I wanted to tell you that our site is back up and sharp as a needle. After last week we need some new ideas inspire our creativity.

While I was busy throwing heaps of fairy dust at our server, we also got in some great new nature inspired woven fabrics from Joel Dewberry, some polkas that pop, and some of the cuddliest animal prints!

I appreciate the way all of our friends took our situation with such understanding--I'm sew sorry if this gave you any headaches. Now we can all get back on track. Lets sew :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Some photos of The Fabric Fairy's recent move...

First let me say, I dreaded this move. For weeks. We had 3 moving trucks packed floor to ceiling with fabric!!!! But now that its over, I can honestly say that it was so worth it! Here are a few photos of the move in process, enjoy!

Fabric, fabric, everywhere!

Starting to get the shelves loaded in our cutting room...

Our Japanese fabrics have their own special corner in our showroom!

And finally...a peek at the humungous cutting table we had made, so that we can get your orders cut and shipped out to you even faster!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

National Lampoon's Ikea Vacation

I always thought the Chevy Chase Vacation series were spoofs, but on Friday Debi (who's helping me set up the new store) and I lived one. We got some great decor items for the new sewing lounge but...

It began as a normal trip to Ikea, a simple 2 hour highway drive to a store that is right off of the highway.We left early, but not too early, calculating and planning so that we would avoid both Madison and Chicago rush hours. We figured (generously in our minds) 2 hours for the trip down, 3 hours for shopping, and 2 hours for the return trip, putting us back home mid afternoon.

About 20 minutes into our trip, it began to pour. I'm talking a torrential downpour complete with gusty winds. This continued for our entire drive, letting up only occasionally for a few minutes. Once in Illinois, construction started, which apparently drives somepeople insane because they were taking god-awful risks to advance one car length. Nearing out turn-off, we found out that our exit was closed due to flooding. No, it had just happened, so of course there weren't any detour signs. We waved at the store, aware that we were going further and further away from our destinationm and unsure of how to correct the situation. We tried to turn around at the Oasis, a rest stop that is pretty close down the highway. No dice--we could only go back onto the highway going the same direction. Finally, we decided to turn around at Ohare airport, which we knew had to have an exit ramp back onto the Northbound highway. Well, apparently, it is the access road that is marked (and we didn't know it was the access road) rather than the highway itself. We ended up taking a lovely 2 hour tour of the local streets surrounding the airport, then using a compass, made our way back to road that the store was located on (we gave up asking for directions after the second person steered us the wrong way).

As luck would have it, the sky was clearing and sunny as we entered the parking lot. As Murphy's Law would have it, the storm reappeared at the exact moment that we had gotten out of the car and started walking (did I mention that I had my 10 month old baby with me in a sling?). Wet, exhausted, hungry, and, um, wet, we rested for a little while, than shopped. Ikea is a lovely store, and I hope to return there one day when I get my guts up again for the drive.

A few hours later as we were about to start checking out with our four carts, the lights went out. They did go back on again about a minute later, but I truly lived in dread of the implications of being unable to make my purchases after 10 hours of heinous effort. We celebrated as the lights came back on.

Our celebration was short lived however. About 10 minutes later, as we were exactly half way through checking out, the front end manager rushed over. Apparently, there was more water than the room could handle, and it was about to start raining down right on top of where we were standing. Seriously.

Attempting to get back on to the highway in a torrential downpour at night with the roads still closed was another hour-long feat in and of itself, but I am honestly too exhausted (and if you have made it this far, you have been incredibly patient--thank you for letting me vent) to go into much detail. Suffice to say, we got home at 11:30 at night.

As I took my contacts out before bed, I breathed a sigh of relief that my incredibly tired eyes could rest after all the strain while I was driving (Debi navigated). I couldn't remember the last time I had put them through so much. The next day I woke up with pink eye in both eyes and the flu.

I did have some good scores though, so maybe it was all worth it...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I've got a Secret...

Can you guess what it is?
Hint #1 is that it has to do with change.
This photo is a hint #2. :-)
Hint #3 is that we are having a sale, 15% off of everything in our store, now through Tuesday, June 23rd.
The first person to post here with the correct guess receives a surprise box of yummy fabric!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

March, Stomp, Splash, Squeak, Tweet...

My elephants came, my elephants came! I've been having so much fun, working on a collection of whimsical ribbons for The Fabric Fairy, and was pleasantly surprised this morning when Elephants on Parade arrived ahead of schedule.

To celebrate, I'm having a contest! Submit photos of Elephants on Parade in sewn up, and the most original project wins a $15 gift certificate to The Fabric Fairy! Entries are due July 31, 2009.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

And the winner is...

In our Mother's Day newsletter, in addition to our sale on all fabric in the Mamas Deserve Yummy Fabric Too category, we announced our contest for best garment made out of fabric from this category. Congratulations to Cheryl Bush for her stylish, flattering, and immaculately sewn maternity dress created from Tea Dot Flower Cotton Lycra Knit Fabric! Cheryl wins a $25.00 gift certificate to The Fabric Fairy. Coming in as close runners up were Ally Gillotte with her Floral Fantasy nursing dress, and Stacy Schlyler with her Simply Summer Cotton Interlock blouse. These ladies will each receive $5.00 gift certificates to The Fabric Fairy.

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries. This was our first contest, and we were testing the waters a bit. We had so much fun with it though, that we will be making these a regular event!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Welcome to my world!

I love fabric. I love to pet it, match it, collect it, hunt for it--its a bit of an addiction. Even more than I enjoy fabric though, I enjoy what I get to do with it---let go of the here and now, get into a creative flow, and succumb to my imagination. That's what this blog is about--sharing that passion, and that journey, with the people who most understand.

I'm not quite sure yet where I'll be going with this blog, and I'm okay with that. It may end up being a melange of projects, games, giveaways, contests, tutorials, fabric news, swaps, etc. It may end up being my way of sharing with you bits of my undertakings and adventures. Bookmark The Handmade Muse, subscribe to the RSS feed, and find out!