{the fancy fritter}

Meet Stacy of the Fancy Fritter...

I know.  I did the same thing.  The what?  I love it...the Fancy Fritter.  Here's how Stacy came up with this unique name:

The Fancy Fritter??? What does that mean? Well for all of you who have children, you know that all sorts of crazy things pop out of your mouth when you are either singing to them or playing with them and since my daughter was little I have just called her "fritter." She can be a "fussy fritter" or a "funny fritter", but she will always be a "fancy fritter." Totally corny, I know but I guess that is what motherhood does to you. :-)

Stacy is blessed to be a work at home Mom - she runs her etsy business from home, sewing up when she can while running after her 2 children.  I love THIS POST because you get to meet Stacy in person...and hear her adorable southern accent.

Stacy focuses her shop on children's items like these burp cloths that are so cute...

Or this Santa skirt...cuz' I already have Christmas on the brain - which will be here before you know it!

And Stacy is also one of my Two Peas pattern testers...

Stacy tested out the Madison bag pattern from Two Peas and I love the color combo she chose!

You can read all about Stacy's review of this pattern right HERE...you can find my Two Peas patterns in your local quilt shop -just ask.  Or click on the Where to Buy section to find your favorite online retailer.  Thanks Stacy for testing out the bag and making such an awesome sample!

{meet selina}

Meet Selina.  Quilter.  Mom.  Business owner.  And a Two Peas pattern tester...Selina was brave enough to let me talk her into trying out my new Professor Peas Gadget Cases pattern.    Check out her review HERE.

I love the prints she chose and I'm even more thrilled that she was willing to try this pattern that was at first, out of her comfort zone.  She's an all out pro now and her sample she sewed up was brilliant.

Selina and friend run an etsy shop filled with their creations that includes quilts, table runners like this one below that I love in these colors!  And...

iPad covers too.  I think you could keep a calendar or other books or notepads in these too while on the run.  Great way to organize your bag and they are super fun!

Browsing her blog you will find quilt inspiration galore...she sews up such beautiful things and I know you'll enjoy her blog as much as I do.  Thanks Selina for testing the Professor Peas Gadget Cases pattern - ya did great!

: : by mary : :

I can't honestly say when Mary and I "met" online because I'm pretty sure...it's been years ago.  Mary Emmens is from Exeter in the UK and another one of the wonderful sewists who have been reviewing patterns for me this summer.  She is a busy Mom with an etsy shop - selling her wares both online and locally at various events in the UK.  That amazing chevron quilt up there...she has made that using vintage sheets and has a kit available in her store.  Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?!  I'd love one king size for my own bed!

Her blog is full of fabulous photographs of her creations which also includes, now and then, baked goods.  Mmmm!  But I love looking at her photos...so colorful, fun and inspiring.  Such a joy to read.  Fun to see what others sew for their families...love this little on the go car play station!

Mary chose to review my Hazel Hipster pattern, my all time most popular pattern (I even have a NEW e-class for the Hazel coming out VERY soon!).  She made an adorable version that you'll just have to see for yourself!  I love that she made the addition of making an adjustable strap for her daughter to get longer wear out of the bag.  Mary also has a giveaway going on for some Two Peas patterns until Wednesday and until Sunday...you can hop in on a giveaway she is offering on that chevron quilt kit up top!

I know you'll enjoy Mary's blog as much as I do...and will enjoy her creations.  Thanks so much Mary for being a part of our summer review team!

:: geeky and sassy ::

I've been a follower of Virginia's for awhile now.  She never fails to inspire me in my faith and lift me up.  She's been through a lot.  A lot recently and I know that God uses people to inspire us and encourage us.  Even when bad things happen, there can be beauty blooming.  And that's Virginia.  Beauty blooming. She writes at Geeky + Sassy.  One you will want to add to your reader - it's a wonderful read.  She sews beautiful things too.  A gift she started to hone when she was just 5 years old.

I was so pleased she answered the call when I asked for pattern reviewers this summer.  Virginia choose the Ava pattern and I love how she made it her own.  Read more about Virginia, her Ava pattern review and jump in for the giveaway she is offering of Two Peas sewing patterns so you can sew one up for yourself.

Thanks Virginia - sending hugs and many blessings for your family.  You are perfect in every way.

:: my brown bag studio ::

This is Kimberly of My Brown Bag Studio.

Kimberly is a very talented quilter and sewists from British Columbia, Canada.  She sells her wares around town at various art venues as well as in her etsy shop.  She blogs about her sewing, cooking, travels and more and I have no doubt you will enjoy her bright modern and beautifully constructed projects.  These are a few of my favorites in her shop - beautiful pieced placemat set and a hand stitched bike wall hanging.

When I asked for pattern reviewers for this summer, I was very pleased that Kimberly took the challenge.  Reviewers could pick any of my current print patterns and she choose the St. Mary Backpack.  Such great summer colors she choose for her project and she's already putting it to good use!  You'll have to read more about HERE.  Thanks so much Kimberly for being a Two Peas in a Pod Summer Sewing design review team member!

Kimberly is hosting a Two Peas giveaway on her blog right now...if you'd like to be entered to win 2 surprise 2 pack combo...go visit with Kimberly at The Brown Bag Studio blog.


: : summer sewing : :


About a month ago, I "tweeted" that I was looking for sewing bloggers who would be interested in stitching up and reviewing one of my patterns, their choice.  I am so blessed that I had some amazing bloggers take up the challenge.

Their blogs are so much more than just sewing.  They share their creations, their family stories and more and I know that you will really enjoy reading each of their blogs as much as I have.

In the coming week or so, I'll be introducing you to each one.  You can also find links to their blogs and their Two Peas pattern reviews over there in the sidebar as we update the posts.

You'll meet Mary and Virginia and Selina and Kimberly and Stacy.

Yep, real soon.


Say hello to a few amazing crafters...

Continuing on with "holla" out to my girls who helped test patterns for me.  Geniune, lovely, creative and talented describes these ladies.  I love to see what they are coming up with next and watch their adorable kids grow.

Paige Hill is the talented lady who works in marketing for Where Women Create, the magazine.  We "met" online almost a year ago now.  Paige has been a really great supporter of my art - offering me features on both the WWC blog as well as inviting me to guest blog on the Creative Connection Event site. This fabulous event that is being put on by WWC is full of the most awesome stuff ever.  Session after session with fabulous artists who get to craft along with.  I'm still crossing my fingers I can go (it's in September - I'm also hoping to hit up Houston in October for Quilt Market so not sure I can leave the gardener at home that much.  Men don't multi task for long very well.  A day, maybe.  More than one...I worry about his sanity).

Paige is a fantastic artist herself and a published author.  Her version of the Patsy Ann Apron top included ric rac, a posie and more.  See her blog for all the details!

KIMBERLY VOJACEK is another wonderfully talented pattern tester.  Kimberly doesn't blog or have a shop - she just sews for her own children and was so kind to help me out.  Kimberly shares a little about herself with us..."I am a mother of two beautiful girls, 8 and 10 years old.  I work part-time for St. Stephen's Community House as a Volunteer Coordinator.  Most of my time is spent with the girls and their many activities.  I do enjoy crafting - scrapbook, cardmaking, cross-stitching, sewing, and my new craft, crochet!!  I am very passionate about raising my two girls to be compassionate, independent and responsible women.  I believe that being their mother is the most important job I have!"

Nikki Rainey is also known as "Madame Crafty"... a name her husband has bestowed upon her and for good reason.  She is all kinds of crafty and shares a bit about herself here...

Nikki Rainey has been a military wife for almost 14 years and takes her home business with her wherever she goes with her Army husband.  Family is most important to her. Her business includes everyone in the family and makes it possible for them to spend most of their time together.  She has been teaching various craft and quilting classes for over 10 years. She has her own quilting business, NikKitty Quilting & Design , as well as a beading party business. Nikki and her husband just updated their long-arm quilting machine to one of the uber-cool Gammill Statler models. Nikki likes to blog about her quilting and blogs about it here on her blog.  She enjoys pattern designing as well as customizing other patterns.

Two Peas in a Pod was her first experience pattern testing for someone else. Always in the past someone has been pattern testing for her.  She says this experience was a lot of fun!

Her husband likes to make quilting tools out of wood. He makes seam rippers, stilettos, crochet hooks, and also nice writing pens on his lathe. You can see his work in their etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/nrnoodle

Nikki tested the Madison bag for me...and hers is so cute.  You'll have to pop in over here and tell her so yourself!

I still have a few more wonderful friends I'll be featuring over the next couple of weeks.  Can't thank you all enough for testing for me - I'm very blessed to have your input!



{Lori lives to sew} or something like that

Lori swears she's not a "bag girl".  "Claims" she's not very good at sewing purses so she was excited to give my Madison bag a try to see if she could do it and she felt she might have some good feedback for me since it wasn't something she was experienced with.

Lori of "Love Hazel" started sewing regularly when her son was just a toddler.  Many afternoons, she would sit down with her grandmother, Hazel, and listen and learn to quilt.  I think that's one of the things I love about sewing is that it is truly a connection to our past.  A skill we pass down through generations and keepsakes we create that are treasured.

Lori has created many treasures.  She is a wonderful seamstress of all things girly.  This little dress she whipped up with no pattern - just followed a similar shirt from her daughters dress and figured it out along the way.  {ps Lori, I would like one of these, exact same fabrics, tunic style, size 8 for ME...please}.

Lori has a huge heart and is passionate about working with people who have are differently challenged (some would say disabled...but I like to just say they are differently challenged.)  Her biggest passion, aside from sewing and fabric, is being a wife and mother.  Which she does with grace and style.

Thank you Lori for helping me and testing patterns from my Sprouts line.  Visit Lori's etsy shop where you will find fabulous goodies to make your own and of course, check out her blog for delicious eye candy.

{Remember meeting Sarah B last week?  Sweet wonderful Sarah has also blogged about her adventures in pattern testing for me.  You can find her version of the Madison bag here. }

The Madison bag will be available this month...JUNE!  And I'm so excited that there are MORE MORE MORE patterns coming down the pike from our Sprout line including some home dec items.

Gracie - a pattern review

Happy Monday morning and joyous, isn't it?  He is Risen...our family enjoyed a great day with family over the Easter holiday and I hope you feel the freedom and joy and hope that this new day brings.

In preparation for the Easter holiday, I picked out a dress pattern and some fabric to make the two peas and little sprout a new outfit.  As is our tradition, a new outfit to dress in our finest for such a celebration that Easter brings.  For two Easters in a row...I picked Heather Bailey prints.

This Easter, I choose a Sandi Hendersen pattern called Gracie.

Pattern design and layout

First, this pattern is amazing.  It's a book.  Seriously, a little book with full color photos and illustrations.  A nice big sturdy paper pattern.  Extra hints about techniques like gathering and creating a bias.  It has 3 different dress versions and a skirt.  It cost $16 which was hard to swallow BUT once I got it home and saw everything it had to offer I was really pleased.  Quality was really great.

Because I was making a 2T and then I also wanted to make a size 9 (the pattern only goes up to a size 8), I traced the pieces I needed and kept the pattern intact.  That way I can use it again for other sizes.  And I needed to size it up to get the larger size I wanted.

Ease of Instructions

The dress is fairly simple.  Tiered gathered layers with a bodice.  I don't sew a lot of clothing so here's where I got tripped up.  First, its a lot of fabric that gets gathered.  I mean, a lot.  So, gathering such a huge piece of fabric was tricky.

The yoke was difficult but doable.  I took pictures at this step to help me in the future.  It's a lot of pinning, pulling, fussing but it will come together.  (see the ps at the bottom of the post for process photos of the yoke - hope it helps!)

Overall, the directions were great.

Where I ran into trouble

Several places were troublesome for me.  First, the gathering.  As I said, you are gathering a lot of fabric.  I tried a basting stitch and then pulled my threads.  I tried a zigzag stitch over elastic thread.  I tried a zig zag stitch over heavy thread.  In the end, my favorite was the zig zag over heavy thread and this is what Sandi recommends and describes in the pattern book.  It gathered easily and I felt like I had the most control over the gathers.  When I then attached the layers together, I didn't use a big enough seam allowance to hide my gathering so I had to go back and pull a lot of threads out.  Bummer.

The yoke.  The instructions say to pin to the inside edge of the yoke.  I may have misunderstood but based on the illustration provided, the only way it fit was pinning to the outside edge.  This was really tricky and I panicked the first dress I did.  But it went together fine after I got all the pins in the right place.  What I like is that it has a nice finishing touch of bias that folds to the inside.  What I didn't like was that you had to slip stitch that bias in place.  The first one took me like 30 minutes.  The second one I thought, heck, why can't you just stitch it on the machine?  So I did.  On the blue green colored dress.  I didn't like it.  So, I slipstitched the third one.  Lesson learned, follow the pattern.  It looks nice, I just didn't like it because it was time consuming.

Which leads me to what really tripped me up - TIME!  Each dress from cut to finish was 3-4 hours.  I got faster as I went along but there were just steps that you just couldn't rush.  Making these over the little sprouts nap times was a challenge for sure.

End Result

I loved it.  I love how sweet they are.  I love the twirl factor (as do my girls).  I love the neckline.  I love the professional finishing touches on them that were well illustrated, described and easy to master with some practice.  I give it two thumbs up!



PS {a HUGE thank you} to Britt from Britt Lakin Photography!  She did the 2010 Easter dress photos on a moments notice.  Britt is so talented and shoots newborns, maternity, weddings, and families...her website is a place to just get lost in.  I LOVE good photography and she is top notch!  A must visit on your blog list just to enjoy her art!  {Did I mention she has a camera - can travel?  Just ask!}

Here are a few of my process photos for the yoke.  I think it will help you a lot to see exactly how the pinning works...