Pink Castle Blog

How to Travel with your Sewing Machine and Supplies

Posted by Katie Remski on Oct 13, 2017 10:57:36 AM

How to travel with your sewing supplies

With Glamp Stitchalot just a few weeks away, it's time to think about packing! It can be nerve wracking to take your sewing machine away from home, so we thought we'd share with you a few tips for safely traveling with your sewing machine and sharp supplies!  

For Air Travel

  • According to the TSA website (link below,) the biggest concern for sewing machine travel is size. As long as it fits in the overhead bin or under the seat you are good to bring your machine as a carry on. If it doesn't fit in either place, you'll have to bring it as checked luggage. 
  • Remove needle from machine and put it with your hand sewing needles and pins. It may seem like overkill, but any sharp, pointy object can raise a red flag at TSA, and it might just make life easier to take it out. 
  • Really, you'll want to avoid checking your sewing machine luggage. It's always the safest (and cheapest) bet to bring it as a carry on. You don't need to bring a super fancy machine to Glamp Stitchalot-- just something that reliably sews both straight and zigzag stitches. 

Sharp stuff: 

  • Hand sewing pins and needles are okay to take in carry on luggage as long as they're secure, such as in a latched box or soft needle book. 
  • Scissors under 4" long can be taken in carry on luggage as long as they're in a sheath or case. Any bigger and they need to be in checked bags. No circular thread cutters are allowed on planes, even those little rings with a bladed notch for thread clippings. 
  • Rotary cutters are typically not allowed in carry on luggage. The easiest way to deal with this is to remove the blade from the tool, take the handle as carry on, and purchase a new blade when you arrive at Glamp (discard the blade before your return trip.) We will also have some Olfa rotary cutters available at each cutting station during the classes.

Here's a link to the TSA website:

For Car Travel:

  • Try storing some of your fabric for the trip inside your sewing machine case, rolling it around the machine to help pad it in case of tipping or bumps. 
  • Use a magnetic pin box for pins and needles so there's no risk of spillage 
  • Stash a plastic trash bag with you so you can cover your machine/case with something waterproof in case of 

 General Considerations for Both:

  • You'll need to haul your machine through the airport four times over the course of the trip or in/out of your car, and sewing machines tend to be a bit heavy. We reccommend a case with wheels (as long as it still fits in an overhead or under the seat compartment) such as the Tutto. If a wheeled case won't work, a sturdy bag with comfortable shoulder straps is best. Janome makes a sewing machine tote, and Jeni Baker has a great pattern for a roomy and strong tote you can make. 
  • If you really enjoy going on retreats or just want to be able to sew on vacation or out of town trips, a small-ish, light sewing machine is a good investment, especially if your at-home machine is very large or expensive. 

Topics: Glamp Stitchalot, Janome, glamp 4, flying with a sewing machine, travel, air travel, retreat

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

Scrappy Liberty Lanyard Tutorial

Posted by Katie Remski on Sep 22, 2017 4:53:44 PM

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

If you love Liberty of London Tana Lawn, you know how precious every little scrap is! This patchwork lanyard not only helps you use up small pieces of fabric, but it gives you an easy way to "wear" a piece of Liberty patchwork. Here's how to make one of your own! 

For fabric, I used prints from one Liberty Scrap Pack. If you don't have scraps left over from projects, this is a great way to get a variety of prints in small cuts. One lanyard certainly won't take up the whole pack, so you'll still have some fabric left over. You'll also need some lightweight interfacing and a swivel hook or lanyard clip + jump ring. If you don't want a scrappy piecded lanyard, just cut a 44" by 3" strip of fabric and start the instructions at step 4. 


Asorted Liberty of London Scraps

1/4 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing 

Swivel hook OR lanyard clip + jump ring

1. Cut

From fabric: the only rule is each piece needs to be AT LEAST 3" long and at least 1" wide. Don't worry about making the scraps all the same size, as long as the 3"+ sides are cut straight. 

From interfacing: Ultimately, you need a long strip that's 43" long and 2" wide, but since interfacing is typically only 20" wide you'll need to piece it (more on that later.)

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

2. Sew

Start sewing the scraps longest-sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

Keep going until you have a strip that's about 44" long. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

3. Iron

Press all seams open. It's important that they're pressed open to reduce bulk; pressing to one side would make a bumpy lanyard. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

4.Fuse Interfacing

Lay 2" wide interfacing strips in the middle of your Liberty strip, centered as well as you can. Press according to interfacing directions. To extend the full length of the Liberty piece, butt the next interfacing strip right up against the previous one. Repeat pressing and laying down interfacing until you reach the end of the Liberty strip. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
You'll end up with a piece that looks like this.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

5. Trim

Trim away irregular edges, leaving a 1/4" margin of fabric around the interfacing. Repeat on both sides. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

All neat and trimmed!

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

6. Fold

Fold the strip in half lengthwise and iron to crease. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Unfold strip and fold both sides in toward the center crease; press.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

Fold the whole strip in half and press.  

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Use WonderClips or pins to secure in place.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

7. Stitch

Sew down clipped size with a very small seam allowance-- try to get as close to the edge as you can while still catching all layers and sewing straight. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Turn and sew down the folded size, using the same small seam allowance you used on the other side.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
You now have a sewn strip of Liberty that's about 43" long. You're almost done! Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

8. Sew on hook

Slide swivel hook or jump ring onto one end of strip. Fold up end to make about a 1" loop. Take other end of strip (careful- don't twist it at all!) fold it under about 3/4". 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
clip or pin the folds on top of each other, raw edges and folds on the inside.  Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics
Stitch down folds, going through all 4 layers, sewing from one side of the lanyard to the other.   Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

Move up about 1" and sew across again. 


Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

If you would like, you can sew an "X" from corner to corner between the two lines of stitching for extra security. Clip threads. 

Liberty Lanyard Tutorial from Pink Castle Fabrics

You're all done! Use lanyards for name badges, keys, tiny scissors and notions, glasses, or whatever you need to keep nearby! If you make a scrappy lanyard from this tutorial, use the hashtag #scrappylibertylanyard and #pinkcastlefabrics 

Buy Yourself Some Liberty Here!

Topics: Liberty of London, Tana Lawn, Glamp Stitchalot, Free Pattern, Tutorial, lanyard, free tutorial, glamp, liberty, technique, glamp 4

Glamp Stitchalot November 2016

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Sep 15, 2016 2:20:00 PM

We're coming up on our third Glamp Stitchalot in less than two months!
It will be held at the Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan November 10th through 13th, 2016.

Glamp Stitchalot is run by Pink Castle Fabrics. With the purchase of a ticket, you will receive instructions from six well-known teachers, all meals for the entire weekend, and lasting friendships with new like-minded ladies and gentlemen.

In the past, our Glampers have had amazing experiences. As a company, we strive to make each Glamp even more successful than the last. Here are a few highlights from our past two Glamp Stitchalot Events:

Glamp Stitchalot cupcakes
Cupcakes at the Welcome Mixer

Welcome Mixer
Thursday night, we like to have a mixer for all of our Glampers to meet each other. We supply a buffet-style dinner after you check in and pick up your orders and goody bags.
You have the opportunity to check in to the hotel, if you've decided to stay at the Kensington with us, set up your sewing machine if you've brought your own, and find your swap partner if you've partaken in the Swap! You have the freedom to roam about Ann Arbor throughout the afternoon and stop into the Pink Castle Fabrics shop to pick up anything you've forgotten.

Six Classes
Each class will be taught by a professional quilter. We have six amazing teachers coming for November 2016: Latifah Saafir, Daniel Rouse, Sherri Lynn Wood, Nydia Kehnle, Luke Haynes, and Nicholas Ball! You can read more about each teacher at


Each class period will last two hours a piece. You'll be taught a different technique by each teacher.

Open Sewing Time
Want to practice your new improvisational skills? Well, you get a lot of open sewing time throughout the weekend! We keep the sewing room open until Midnight both Friday and Saturday so you and sew to your heart's desire. We know to many of you that a sewing retreat means that you finally have time to get some sewing done, so we want to give you as much time to just relax and sew as you want and need!

Open sew
Open Sew

A Pop-Up Shop
Forget something or find you need just a little bit more fabric for one of your projects? We're here to help! You can find some of Pink Castle's Finest working in the pop-up shop along with Pink Castle's Resident Janome Sale's Girl, Molly, hanging out to help you with any questions about the Janome Sewing Machines we sell.
We will have shelf cuts, bundles, and notions galore for your purchasing pleasures!

Popup shop
Katie, Kara, and Molly
Hanging out in the Pop-Up Shop
Janome machines PCF
Janome Machines at the Pop-Up Shop

Massage Therapy
Yes, you read that right! We bring in a certified massage therapist (sometimes two!) for those that need a little bit of R&R after sewing for many hours! The cost is $1/minute, and it's first-come-first-serve, so no need to schedule an appointment. Just drop in on the massage therapist whenever you need to and they'll take care of you!

Throughout the weekend, we hold giveaways! A lot of them, too! I'm not going to spoil any surprises for our November Event, but look at June's awesome table of goodies:

Glamp giveaways
June's Giveaway Table
November's will be different!

We hope you'll join us for a weekend of sewing and fun. We still have a few tickets left, so don't hesitate to order yours at!

We get folks from all over! Especially Canada

Topics: daniel rouse, Events, Glamp Stitchalot, latifah saafir, Luke Haynes, nicholas ball, nydia kehnle, Sherri lynn wood

Glamp Stitchalot Teacher Feature: Nicholas Ball

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Mar 25, 2016 11:00:00 AM

In November 2016, we will welcome 200 guests to the Kensington Court to join us for a weekend of  classes and a whole lot of fun with a star studded team of teachers. At this Glamp Stitchalot event, each of our teachers will be teaching a unique technique for improv piecing in quilts.

Nicholas Ball
This week, we feature Nicholas Ball. Active in the Modern Male Quilters movement and a member of the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee, Nicholas is an incredible quilter. His work with improvisational lines and tiny pieces is stunning and you might recognize him from his vegetable patch quilts.

Here are a few great quilts of Nicholas' quilts, all from his blog,

Nicholas Ball
Nicholas Ball
Nicholas Ball
Nicholas Ball
That wraps up our teacher features! Have you gone to and purchased your ticket yet?! It's going to be an amazing event. I can't wait to show you what all of these lovely instructors have planned for their classes!

Topics: Events, Glamp Stitchalot, nicholas ball

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