Pink Castle Blog

How to Create a Mosaic for Glamp Stitchaswap

Posted by Katie Remski on Oct 6, 2017 1:09:25 PM

Sewing swaps are always fun, and creating a mosaic (AKA, mood board or collage) of your personal style can really help your swap buddy to make something that's perfect for you. For our Glamp Stitchalot 2017 pouch swap (affectionately named Glamp Stitchaswap,) we highly recommend making an inspirational mosaic to post on Instagram to help your swap partner make something you'll love and use. Creating an inspiration mosaic is easy with a few steps and the right app-- let's get started! 

1. Find images

The best part of creating an inspiration mosaic is finding pictures! Use the Pinterest app (it's free-- just sign up with your email) to find pictures that represent "you"-- here's a few guidelines of what's most helpful for your partner:

--photos of a favorite color combo, like purple and teal or black and pink

--photos of prints you love, like stripes, dots or florals

--general "mood' pictures you think convey your personal style 

Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog


2. Save images to phone

Here's how to save images from Pinterest to your phone: 

Tap on the image in Pinterest. Then tap the 3 dots at the top middle of the screen. 

Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog
Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog Tap "Download image." The photo is now saved to your phone's camera roll. Remember before you leave the pin-- see where it came from and make a note of it so you can credit the source later. 

3. Make collage in "Layout" app 

Layout is a free companion app for Instagram that lets you make collages. Download it to your phone if you haven't already. Once the app is open, just tap all the photos you want to be in your mosaic. You can then swipe through the upper row of sample collages to choose the one you like best. 

Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog
Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog Now you can adjust the sizes and "drag and drop" photos to change their position. Hit "save" when you're done and the mosaic will appear in your phone's camera roll, ready to be posted to Instagram! 

4. Post to Instagram!

Now you're ready to post-- here's what you need to write in your caption: 

--credits for each photo, if you can find them, such as "rainbow bundle: Pink Castle Fabrics". It's good internet manners. 

--the hashtags #glampstitchaswap and #glampstitchalot2017 

Optional info to include: 

--names of favorite designers (Tula Pink, Lizzy House, Cotton+Steel, etc) 

--other fun information, like your favorite animal, your love of coffee, your non-sewing hobbies, etc! 

mosaic sample Pink Castle Fabrics





Topics: Bags, Glamp Stitchalot, glamp, pouch sewing, stitchaswap, pouch

Do I Need a Walking Foot for my Sewing Machine?

Posted by Katie Remski on Sep 13, 2017 2:25:28 PM


WalkingFoot For this week's Sewing Machine School, let's talk about the walking foot, also known as an even feed foot. Some Janome sewing machines (such as the Skyline series) also feature AccuFeed, which is a more advanced version of a walking foot. 

What is a walking foot? One of our recent blog posts by Jason Elliott, 10 Sewing Machine Parts Explained has a great description: "Feed Dogs move up and down, back and forth, in a vertical circular motion, while Presser Feet move just up and down. Since the two surfaces are moving in different directions, this can cause the fabric to be pulled or stretched. In many cases, this 'pulling' doesn't affect your sewing. In some cases, such as with very thin fabric or with multiple layers of fabric, a presser foot called a Walking Foot is needed. 

A Walking Foot is a special type of presser foot with a mechanized system built into them. This system allows the Presser Foot to move not only up and down, but back and forth in time with your Feed Dog system. The Walking Foot is timed to your machine, and will ensure that even several layers of fabric are fed evenly through your machine, giving you a cleaner stitch."

While a walking foot sounds great, how do you know if it is something you will actually use? Here's a few applications for a walking foot: 


Probably the most common use of a walking foot is for straight line quilting. Keeping the quilt top, batting, and backing smooth and secure is almost impossible with a normal presser foot because the feed dogs are always going to grab only the bottom layer. Quilting in lines (grids, stripes, diagonal grids, etc) is far less stressful and even fun with a walking foot. 

 Cables and Calico's Pineapple Quilt

Photo from Instagram @cablesandcalico

 Quilt Binding

Quilt Binding 

Even if you send your quilts out to be long-arm quilted, binding still needs to be attached. If you use a traditional double-fold binding, you have the quilt top, batting, backing, and 2 layers of binding fabric for a total of 5 layers to stitch through! The walking foot, especially with a 1/4" seam "shoe" attached, makes for fast and accurate binding. 


Bag Sewing

If you enjoy sewing purses, totes, and other bags, you're probably farmillar with the layers of material involved: fabrics (often canvas or leather,) stabilizer such as interfacing and/or Soft and Stable, and lining fabric. A walking foot helps layers of different types of material in sync with each other as they're being sewn, and can be particularly helpful for sewing handles or topstitching. The basket at right required sewing through 3 layers of linen, 1 of canvas, and 1 layer of Soft and Stable in some places!

Noodlehead divided basket

Noodlehead Divided Basket Pattern

Many Janome machines come with a walking foot, so be sure to check before you buy one! If you do not have a walking/even feed foot, click here to find the right one for your machine. 

Topics: Bags, Janome, machine quilting, Sewing Machines, accufeed, accessories, walking foot, even feed foot, binding, machine binding

Noodlehead Divided Basket in Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas

Posted by Katie Remski on Aug 7, 2017 11:06:00 AM

Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co You can never have enough storage bins-- it's a scientific fact. The Divided Basket pattern by Anna Graham's Noodlehead Patterns is a soft and flexible bin with a divider panel in the middle to help you organize small items. I knew as soon as I saw the Menagerie Jungle Canvas from Cotton and Steel's latest Rifle Paper Co. collection it had to be a children's book basket. After my success with the Poolside Tote, I couldn't wait to get started! 

For the lining, I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in the color Seafoam, which is a pale green. The stabilizer is By Annie's Soft and Stable, my go-to for all projects that need structure. I love the smooth, flawless look it gives when layered with canvas-- it's almost like it's one with the fabric. I used 1" cotton webbing for the handles, and Aurifil 50wt thread for all stitching. 

I opted for the pocketless version of the basket to best show off the large-scale print without interruption. 

Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co
Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co  I sewed the entire basket on the Janome Skyline S7, and I can't even begin to describe how much easier AccuFeed made the process-- at one point, I was sewing through canvas, 2 layers of linen, Soft and Stable, and webbing all at the same time, and the machine hummed along like it was nothing. If your machine doesn't have AccuFeed, definitely use a walking food to help keep all the layers smooth and feeding through the machine at the same rate. Wonder Clips instead of pins are also a big help for holding all layers in place. 
The Divided Basket is overall a real cinch to sew, the only complicated part being the divider-- even then, go slowly, read the directions throughly, and have a seam ripper nearby. Once you've sewn in the divider, you understand the construction and the second basket you make (trust me, you'll want dozens) will be even easier. All the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the steps are very logical. The only part I had trouble with was keeping my topstitching straight, but changing to a 1/4" foot helped immensely. Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co
Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co

 If you're looking for a soft storage bin pattern, the Divided Basket is a great option. I'd rate the skill level for this pattern as confident beginner-- it's easy at the start and finish, and just challenging enough in the middle to build up your skills. It's really fun to get to work with some substrates like canvas and linen (the pattern works with regular quilting cotton too) and doesn't use a lot of fabric. Wouldn't this make the best gift for a child's birthday, pre-loaded with a few good books? 

Happy sewing! 

 Shop Menagerie by Cotton + Steel Now! 

Topics: Bags, Cotton+Steel, kids sewing, Noodlehead, skyline, For the Home, linen, kids, menagerie, divided basket, basket, tiger canvas, canvas, essex linen, Techniques, Home Decoration

Pattern Review: Poolside Tote in Cotton and Steel S.S. Bluebird Linen

Posted by Katie Remski on Jul 17, 2017 10:36:27 AM

Cotton and Steel S.S. Bluebird Poolside Tote Pattern Review

The first time I saw the Anchor linen from Cotton and Steel's S.S. Bluebird line, I knew it was destined to become a Noodlehead Poolside Tote! To round out the project, I chose Cotton and Steel Sparkle canvas for the accent straps/handles, Checkers 1/2" gingham in Sky, and Cotton Supreme Solids in Carolina for the facing. 

Cotton and Steel S.S. Bluebird Poolside Tote Pattern Review

The Poolside Tote is big-- I was able to fit my giant oversized beach towel, cross stitch supplies box, camera, sunscreen, and a sweatshirt all comfortably and probaby would have been able to squeeze in a few books or a bottle of wine if I wanted to. It's a great bag for last minute packers (like me) who just want to bring a bunch of stuff and not worry about forgetting anything. I think it would also be excellent for library books or knitting supplies due to how sturdy and roomy it is, especially if you choose to add the optional exterior pocket. 

Cotton and Steel S.S. Bluebird Poolside Tote Pattern Review

What I liked about the pattern:

  • The size! It's big but doesn't look completely ridiculous riding on your shoulder. 
  • Speaking of riding on your shoulder, this tote can actually do that due to the half circle cutouts, leaving your hands free to hold onto coffee or kids. 
  • The facing looks so pretty and professional, and could easily be made to match the lining or exterior if you didn't want to select a fourth fabric. 
  • The Shape Flex Sf101 fusible interfacing the pattern calls for is easy to use and doesn't make the bag feel crunchy or overly stiff, so you can still fold it and stash it in a car or suitcase. 
  • Sewing instructions are clear and easy to follow

What I might do differently next time:

  • I'm not a huge fan of the way the outside straps are separate pattern pieces from the handles-- next time, I may do a little hack and tape the strap and handle pattern pieces together and cut them as one. 
  • I would be more cautious sewing around the half-circles at the top and add more notches  so the curve would lie flatter. 
  • I'd love to try the exterior pocket with piping-- I think it would be a great way to show off a little of the lining or facing fabric. 

Overall, making the bag was fun and easy, and I love how the Cotton and Steel gingham and anchors coordinate so perfectly-- nautical and picnic-ready, but not tacky or kitchsy. I'm already planning an autumn version! If you make a Poolside Tote, make sure to tag #poolsidetote and #pinkcastlefabrics so we can see your makes! 

See all Linen and Canvas fabric here  

Topics: Bags, Techniques

Jeni Baker's Lined Drawstring Bag

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 29, 2014 10:55:00 AM

Well, it's summer, and that means two things: travel, and kids going off to camp. We'll soon send our eldest off for a week at sleepaway camp for the first time, and I'm starting to think about all the supplies she'll need. I remember my mother made me a laundry bag when I went to camp.

Lined Drawstring Bag - PDF Bag Pattern

Jeni Baker's got a great laundry bag solution,the lined drawstring bag. The pattern has directions for eight different sizes. It has a myriad of uses.

Jeni Baker Drawstring Bag

Recently, Pink Castle Fabrics's owner, Brenda (who blogs at Just a Bit Frayed), whipped up a few lined drawstring bags for her family's summer travels. I especially like the one with the koalas on the beach!

Jeni Baker Drawstring Bag

She has also put together a kit for making that adorable Little Red Riding Hood bag. Using these darling fabrics by Tasha Noel, and a coordinating red dot, it also includes the full pattern.

Topics: Bags, Jeni Baker, Techniques

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