Pink Castle Blog

Brenda Ratliff

Aside from being the owner of Pink Castle Fabrics, Brenda is also a fabric designer for RJR fabrics, coordinator of Sew Pro and Stitchalot retreats and an avid quilter and teacher.

Recent Posts

Moda Fabric Savannah Cozy Baby Quilt Kits!

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Aug 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Cozy Quilt Kit.jpg

Buy Savannah fabric here!

I'm always looking for really cute baby quilt kits.  And I have found a really good one this time! This Cozy Quilt kit uses the Savannah collection by Gingiber for Moda. The pattern is by our friend Jessee Maloney of Art School Dropout. This quilt finishes at 42" x 50" and the kit contains everything you need to create the quilt top and binding 

This quilt kit features a really cute hand drawn critter panel (which also comes in a smaller size and black and white too!) which makes this go together so fast!  The colors work for both a boy or a girl too.  And the kit is all high quality Moda fabric. And Moda Quilt Kits always come with really cute packaging. This one comes in a cute little box.

PERFECT! A quick weekend baby quilt kit that makes the perfect gift!

Critters Galore Fabric Panel - Pink Castle FabricsThe panels in this collection are great to make cute small projects as well! The Critters Galore panel contains 60 small panels! These will look great in small bags and pillows as well!



Other Awesome Baby Quilt Kits:

Color Hex - Quilt Kit

Topics: Quilt Kit, Baby Quilt

Janome HD3000 Review and Specifications

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 31, 2017 8:22:01 PM

There's no surprise that the Janome HD3000 sewing machine is one of the most popular in their lineup! This heavy duty sewing machine is an all around workhorse with a reasonable price tag. And of course, it's made with Janome quality and a 25 year warranty!

Buy a Janome HD3000

HD3000 - Janome's Heavy Duty sewing machine review!

What's in the Box?

The Janome HD3000 heavy duty sewing machine might be a budget friendly option but it still comes with enough presser feet to get you sewing right out of the box. Here's a rundown of what you will expect in the box:

HD3000accessories.jpg HD3000buttonhole.jpg

Click here for a complete list of optional extra accessories.

 For replacement parts call us at 877-808-8695.

 Technical Specs:

 HD3000 - features.png

Download the HD3000 Manual

Janome HD3000 - stitches! Review from Pink Castle

Notable Features:

  • Beginner Friendly - Easy to use! Perfect for the beginner sewist.
  • Accessory Storage Built into the machine! Easy access to presser feet!
  • Accurate stitch quality.
  • Aluminum body (doesn't jump around on table while sewing)


I was actually surprised at how lightweight the HD300 is when I took it out of the box. Even with the aluminum body and all metal interior, this machine still weighs under 20 lbs! I can easily move this around and it's small enough that I could take this with me to a friend's house to sew or a retreat.

There aren't a lot of stitches on this machine and it isn't computerized. If you like to use decorative stitches on borders of clothing or pouches this is lacking.  For garment construction and piecing a quilt, this machine will work fine. I appreciate that there is a stretch stitch (#14) for sewing with knits!

For the price tag (right now it's $429) this machine is a great value!  It will last you a long time and really, it has everything you need for quilt piecing and basic garment construction. It is heavy duty so going through home decor materials and/or denims isn't a problem. Compared to other machines in this price range (or lower) I found that this machine wasn't as wobbly. It has a sturdy feel and is a great utility machine.

Who is this machine for?

  • Beginners - EASY.  There aren't a lot of crazy computer screens or menus to have to learn. This would also be a great wedding gift for someone who is an occasional sewist.
  • Quilters - The throat space on this machine is on the smaller size so it might be difficult to quilt a large project. However, for piecing this will work great!
  • Garment Makers - This machine has all the stitches you need to sew some nice clothing.  The button hole foot is easy to use and this machine has a stretch stitch for knits!
  • Home Decor - The HD3000 will work well with home decor weight fabrics.

P.S. - Thanks for reading our Janome HD3000 review!  Please give us a call 877-808-8695 with any questions!

Buy a Janome HD3000

Janome HD3000 reverse bar Janome HD3000- needle plate

Related Articles:

Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine - Janome HD3000

Topics: janome

FREE Quilt Patterns using Dark and Stormy from Dear Stella Fabrics!

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 22, 2017 10:45:01 AM
Dark and Stormy fabric by Dear Stella.  I bought this from Pink Castle Fabrics! Dark and Stormy fabric by Dear Stella.  I bought this from Pink Castle Fabrics! Dark and Stormy fabric by Dear Stella.  I bought this from Pink Castle Fabrics!
Dark and Stormy fabric by Dear Stella.  I bought this from Pink Castle Fabrics! Dark and Stormy fabric by Dear Stella.  I bought this from Pink Castle Fabrics! Dark and Stormy fabric by Dear Stella.  I bought this from Pink Castle Fabrics!

Another glorious fabric collection has arrived from Dear Stella fabrics! We love the nautical and whimsical Dark and Stormy collection! This small collection can be used to make the really cool FREE Chomp Quilt pattern! We are always looking for great free quilt patterns and this one we could use again and again! Wouldn't this look great in a little boys bedroom?

 Free Chomp Quilt Pattern using Dark and Stormy fabrics!

Shop the Dark and Stormy collection!

Topics: free quilt pattern, dear stella

Chocolatier BOM - July

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 21, 2017 11:26:00 AM

Hi everyone!

Each month we will be sharing the current Chocolatier Block with you - we're grateful you've chosen to sew with us!

For all of the blocks in the Chocolatier quilt, we recommend pressing all seams open. Some of the pieces in these blocks can get small and pressing open can help reduce bulk when multiple seams collide.

July's blocks are called Rail Fence and 8-Pointed Star and use strip piecing and templates. We'll be making one of each block. 

First we will sew 2 strips together to create these long strips. Next, cut the strips 2 1/2" wide. Layout the block and follow the instructions to complete the block.

This next block is a little bit more involved, so take your time to be precise. 

AnneMarie provides detailed instructions, so follow along!


When you've finished this month's blocks, hop on over to Instagram and show them off using the hashtags #chocolatiersampler and #PCFchocolatier - we love seeing what you make!

See you next month! - Kara 

Topics: Uncategorized

Art Gallery Fabrics Bundle Club - 2017 lineup!

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 12, 2017 8:03:00 AM

Hello Art Gallery Fabrics lovers! It's time again to look at the lineup for our Art Gallery Fabrics Bundle Club. There are some lovely fabric collections coming in the second half of 2017 and we can't wait to show them to you!

Learn More About Art Gallery Fabrics Club!

If you aren't already a member of our club you can make sure to get all these collections by signing up here:

Members of our Art Gallery Fabrics Bundle Club receive a new collection each month (20 prints!). You can join at any time!

July 2017 - Little Town by Amy Sinibaldi



August 2017 - Reverie Fusion AND Bachelorette Fusion





September 2017 - Wild Bloom by Bari J 



October 2017 - Indie Folk by Pat Bravo



November 2017 - City Loft Fusion AND Floralia Fusion





December 2017 - Dollhouse by Amy Sinibaldi



I really love the Fusion collections and I'm glad that the folks at Art Gallery have decided to create more. In these 10 print collections, AGF has taken the most popular prints from past collections and recolored them in a coordinating palette. This gives a curated look to the bundle with prints from multiple designers.

Amy Sinibaldi has two collections in this half of the year! Her lines are part of the new Angles division at Art Gallery. The Angles lines are only 16 prints (so we will be adding in some coordinating basic prints to round out the collections. These collections contain more geometric prints and modern colors but still look great with the painterly florals we are used to from Art Gallery Fabrics.

And, of course, it wouldn't be the same with out big florals and boho styles from Pat Bravo and Bari J. This is going to be a great 6 months of fabrics!

 Learn More About Art Gallery Fabrics Club!

Topics: Art Gallery Fabrics Club, monthly clubs, Art Gallery Fabrics

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