Friday, October 29, 2010

Faux Fur Frenzy

Check out all the fur we have at the Outlet on 4th! You'll find a great new selection at all our stores, but since I work at the Outlet, I thought I'd tell you what's been going on in our Fur Department. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

It's been busy! Super Grover was in to pick up fur for a new coat. Then there's the group of six going to a couple of Halloween parties as characters from a video game. (At least I think that's what they said.) From what they picked out, I know they are going to be a colorful group. And I enjoyed hearing about the stuffed bear being made out of Husky fur for a school auction. The lucky bear will be wearing a hand knit sweater as well. Our customers are so creative!

The fur is literally flying here at the Outlet on 4th (and at all our stores, from what I hear). Don't wait - come on in and get what you need to complete your Halloween costume!

~ Mary

(Mary is a totally awesome knitter and quilter who works at our Outlet on 4th store. You'll find her leading our Block of the Month Club there, too!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maison de Garance - New in Our Stores

Just one collection this week, but it's so stunning that it can easily stand on it's own. Click on the picture to see a larger image. Introducing . . . Maison de Garance!

Kaari Meng of French General designed this lovely old world style group for Moda. You'll find it in Tea, Ivory, Old Brown and Turkey Red colorways now at our Bellevue, Everett and Northgate stores and soon at our Puyallup store, too. Perfect for Home Decor, Kaari has included solids and prints in 100% Cotton along with lovely 55% Linen/45% cotton solids to go with.

And wonderful Moda has provided a quilt design, too. Click here to download a PDF of the pattern, then enjoy my little history lesson below:

What's a Garance and why did Kaari name her collection after it, I wondered? According to, I found that it's a small, rounded flower in very deep intense red - the color used until recently by the French Army. Moda tells us that in the 18th Century, the House of Garance was one of the only dye houses in France to cultivate all the colors of the Garance flower - from deep red to chocolate brown. To show off their color selection, the walls of the dye house were adorned with hand-painted leaves in Garance hues and now Kaari has designed a collection that allows us to show off these beautiful hues, too.

 ~ Annette

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

There's still time to make this super quick Rustic Pumpkin Runner!

With Halloween just around the corner, it might seem that there isn't any time to create a festive seasonal table that speaks to the season. Don't despair, though! Northgate's own Wendy has designed a fabulous quick runner that can be made up in less than an hour, and is super cute!

Wendy's Rustic Pumpkin Runner is made of Burlap, cotton, and a bit of trim, and is made extra quick with the wonders of fusible adhesive (I heart Heat-N-Bond!)

You can download a free pattern here, pick up what you need at any Pacific Fabrics store, and have your table all decked out before you can say "Boo!"

Thanks Wendy, and Happy Halloween to all.

~ Anna-Beth
(Wendy is the Assistant Manager at our Northgate store. She is a phenomentally talented seamstress, specializing in Bridal and costume wear.  She is also the mother of adorable Aiden, who she has made many incredible Halloween costumes for - he was a flying monkey one memorable year!)

Tuesday Tip: A Time Saving Tool for this Holiday Season

I have been sewing and crafting since I was 12 years old and making quilts for a few years now. It makes me embarrassed to admit that I had never used a tool that many others would consider so basic. It is a bias tape maker! They have been around for years but I never thought of using one until this summer as I was preparing our Christmas in July presentation and now I can’t live without it!

I was making a fabric Christmas ornament called “The Coiled Fabric Snowflake Ornaments” by Designs to Share with You. The pattern mentioned using fabric strips with the bias tape maker and Steam a Seam fusible tape to create these beautiful snow flakes. By guiding the fabric through the bias tape maker it was so easy to press the fabric and create the perfectly folded strips to coil into the snowflake shapes.
Coiled Fabric Snowflake Ornaments
I was so impressed with my new found tool that I then used it to complete some placemats I was making. Instead of merely using “ready-made,” packaged bias tape, I bought coordinating fabric and made my own bias tape to bind my placemats. What a difference it made in the finished look of my project!

The Bias Tape Makers are made by CLOVER and come complete with instructions in five sizes; from ¼ inch to 2 inches (I now own them all!). I am using them for all my Christmas gifts that call for bias tape or binding, everything from quilts to pot holders. What a time saver during this busy time of year, my only regret is that I didn’t discover them sooner!
Clover Bias Tape Makers in all 5 sizes
~ Chris
(Our Asst Manager at the Everett store, resident Demo Queen and company spokesperson)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Easy Costume Idea - Bee's Knees Flapper Dress

Are you scrambling for a costume idea? Dianne, manager of our Bellevue store, stopped by to show us the adorable costume she made for her granddaughter. Dianne says "Mom said no, but Grandma said yes; so I whipped this up". This one is for an elementary schooler, but it could easily be adapted for anyone. Take a look!

She used the new ChaChaCha ruffle fabric that just arrived! It comes in black, white and, of course, red and is available at Everett, Bellevue, Northgate and Puyallup. (You'll find a few other color ways exclusively at Northgate, too.)
Close up of the ChaChaCha ruffle fabric. 
Dianne stitched up a one seam 'tube' for the body of the dress, added some sequin trim for the straps and a head band, then a black fur trim scarf and quickly had a darling costume. We have some very cute dress up accessories to finish off this year's Halloween costume or to add to the dress up clothes trunk. Wouldn't some elbow length black gloves just look amazing with this outfit?!

Close up of the top of the dress with accessories.
We're hoping for a picture of the fabulous dress on the sweet granddaughter later, but in the meantime, here's the finished costume. Just needs the gloves and she'll be ready to gather treats!

The finished dress. Ready for a roarin' good Halloween!

I hope this has inspired you! If you have more ideas for quick costumes you can sew, leave us a comment so we can all share.

~ Michelle

Learn to Sew With a Sewing Star!

Sunday morning at the 2011 Sewing & Stitchery Expo will include a fabulous ProAm runway event and you can be part of it! Katrina Walker is heading up this event for those 18 and younger and sent me the following info:

Attention young sewing enthusiasts! Would you like to be part of the 2011 Sewing and Stitchery Expo's Coats & Clark ProAm Sewing Event on Sunday, March 6th? This exciting event pairs area youth (18 and under) with sewing industry professionals to produce a personalized project for them to show on the runway at Sew Expo.

To be nominated, send an email to stating your age, why you love to sew and why you would like to participate. 

To be considered, youth need to have ready access to the following:
- sewing equipment in good working order.
- a sewing mentor who can help them with hands-on challenges and work with their professional mentor.

Winning candidates will be contacted by Katrina Walker, event coordinator.

Sound like fun and a great opportunity? Definitely! Hurry and send your info in today. Katrina is hoping to have all participants paired up with sewing professionals by October 29th.

I am honored to have Liz, a young customer at our Everett store, paired with me already for this event. I'd love to see you there, too!

~ Annette

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lots of Bliss, Habitat & Child's Play - NEW in our stores

Click on the pictures to see a larger image, then click here to find the store nearest you!

Soft and floraly sweet, Bliss from Moda will warm your Fall and keep you toasty all Winter. The top row shows a few of the yummy flannels in the collection and the bottom two rows show some of the lovely, versatile, go-with cottons. You can mix and match to your heart's content! Available at all our stores except Outlet on 4th.

And while we're talking bliss, Valori Wells has designed a cozy new collection called Bliss Flannel for Free Spirit Fabrics. Charming, happy designs that will make great quilts for young, old and in-between. You'll find this at our Bellevue, Everett and Northgate stores right now and it's coming soon to Puyallup.

Habitat is just the kind of 'place' you want to live! The juicy, color drenched aqua/brown colorway above is on our shelves now along with striking black, tan and brown colorways and tons of coordinates. I LOVE the paisley and the stripe and . . .  okay - all of it! From Benartex Fabrics. Get it while it lasts now at Bellevue, Everett and Northgate and watch for it soon at Puyallup.

So sweeeet! Child's Play with Kate & Nate by Sheri Berry is a 'just right' collection of all things boy and girl. The designs include wonderful coordinates, a fabulous border stripe (bottom right), a 'cheater' block panel and a growth chart and baby book panel. Everything you need for the perfect gift, newborn nursery or young child room re-do. Pinks and greens for all your 'Kates' shown above. Look for blues for your 'Nates' in all our stores (except Outlet on 4th), too! From Northcott Fabrics.

~ Annette

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Whimsical Woodland Woolie Notions

I love working with felted wool and wool felt, so when we needed a sample of Betz White's Whimsical Woodland Sewing Set pattern made up, I was the first to raise my hand high!

We had a sample pattern available to use, Eileen gave me leftover wool felt from a project she had just made, I purchased a small amount of brown wool (to felt at home) from our Bellevue store and pulled the rest of the supplies together from my sewing room stash.

I started by tracing the patterns onto Bosal Pattern Paper. It's pliable, strong, see-thru, and much easier to use than the paper the pattern is printed on. When the pattern said cut two (like the owl wings), I just folded the felt so I could cut faster with my rotary cutter, then used embroidery scissors to cut out tiny pieces like the butterfly.
The pattern was easy to follow and is mostly glued with a little machine stitching. I started with the Owl Scissor Holder and in no time at all I was ready to move onto the Tree Stump Pin Cushion. My pinking rotary blade was perfect for the stump edges!

Then it was time for a little hand stitching while my Owl supervised in the background.

On to the amamzingly clever Mushroom Tape Measure Dispenser! The stem is an empty thread spool and the padded top of the mushroom encases a retractable tape measure.

It is now time for me to sing the praises of my new best crafting friend - FABRI-TAC!!! I am SO in love with this stuff and have been looking for a glue this good for years. It dries quickly, isn't messy and securely attaches fabric to fabric or other things. Just the best tool ever! That's me above gleefully gluing the butterfly to the pull on the tape measure - knowing it will actually stick.

Finis! Aren't they beautiful? I think the whole thing took me about an hour and I did most of it on a small cutting mat on my lap while watching TV. And, just in case you're wondering, Rosie says . . .

this project has the official Terrier Stamp of Approval!

~ Annette

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Magnetize Your Broken Needle Troubles

What the heck is that? This, my friends, is your new life saver! It's called a Magnetic Pin Picker Upper and it has saved my life many times. I love using it to pick up pins, screws or anything metal that I've dropped in my carpet (it telescopes so you don't even have to bend over!), but I REALLY love it when I break a needle on my sewing machine. You know - the needle breaks, the shank is still tightly screwed into the the machine, but the broken half is now wedged in your feed dogs. Get the picture? No problem, though. I just take out my Picker Upper, hold the magnetic end over my feed dogs and watch with glee while that broken needle-half magically attaches itself to the magnet. The one shown here is lighted which is really helpful, but there's a non-lighted version, too. You'll find these hanging next to the pins at all our stores! (Lighted version not available at Outlet on 4th)

~ Eileen

Eileen works in the Inventory Department of the offices of Pacific Fabrics & Crafts and manages to keep all those wonderful products you love coming into the stores. In her spare time, she loves to sew clothes and makes lovely things to show in our stores when needed.

Note from Annette: Stop by our booth at the West Sound Quilt Show in Bremerton this weekend and you'll get a Magnetic Pin Wand for free when you make a purchase at the booth!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Great Customer Story

Just the other day Janice, the manager at the Outlet store, came into the office and told me that there was someone looking for me. I thought, "Who in the world could be looking for me?" So I went out to the store to find a customer with her own African Safari quilt!

Me showing off a reader's African Safari Quilt
After reading the blog post about my quilt, she was inspired to try it herself and make the quilt for her daughter who loves giraffes. The amazing part is that she had never quilted before and she cut the whole thing out with scissors! She even followed the great tip I learned for matching the back and it was perfect! She brought it in to have it quilted by our custom quilter who did such a great job with mine.

Please join me in congratulating our reader on completing her first quilt. Let's hope that it is the first of many!

I love hearing these stories of inspiration and would love to hear more! What inspires you? Feel free to leave a comment or even email me at Who knows your story might end up on our blog too!

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harvest for Your Home - NEW in Our Stores!

I love having themed fabrics to use for the seasons - don't you? Harvest from Timeless Treasures contains everything you need to make versatile table coverings, napkins, pillows and quilts for the Fall season! Ripe with rich Autumn colors, crisp leaves and the luscious fruits of the season, it's a great fit for Halloween and Thanksgiving, too. Click on the picture above to see more detail. Available at all our stores except Bremerton and Outlet on 4th. 

~ Annette

Ravelry Pattern review: Turn A Square hat pattern

If you are a knitter, is about to be your new best friend.

Ravelry is a great resource for information about knitting, patterns (both free and ones that support the artist who wrote it), and general amusements. I am most likely to spend at least an hour (or three) every day browsing everything that this site has to offer.

The latest pattern I found there, "Turn A Square" by Jared Flood, was easy enough to knit more than a few. I knit one for myself in just a few hours, and several more for Warm For Winter. I particularly love the way decreases pair up to turn the top of the hat into a square, while still keeping the rounded head shape.

 I made this one out of Lion Brand Amazing. And this yarn is amazing. 51% acrylic so its washable, and 49% wool so its warm even on those damp Seattle days. Using a yarn that  slowly variegates, like Amazing, or Noro's Kureyon, really shows off the square!

 - Leah, Northgate Pacific Fabrics

Leah is an amazing knitter, costumer, fashion sewer, crafter, and quilter (although she refuses to admit it.) She can be found at the Northgate PacFab, giving excellent knitting advice and sewing suggestions, and if you ever need help with a toga costume, Leah is your go-to girl!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Martha Stewart for Halloween - Freaky, Frighful, Fantastic

Martha, Martha, Martha! Here's a little taste of the Martha Stewart Halloween decor we have in all our stores (except Outlet on 4th). Let's start with the picture above. These are amazing and definitely my favorite! Sparkly, spooky, delightful Glittered Chandeliers to spark up your Halloween table. Aren't they delicious!

Hang a Halloween Garland and start an instant party! Choose from Trick or Treat or Happy Halloween.

Treat Bags with toothy grins!. Ready to fill with loads of yummy goodies. And there's more, but it's going fast! Selection varies by store - stop by your nearest one soon.

~ Annette

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Quick Color Confidence for Cautious Quilters

This week's Tuesday tip comes from Marian,  who works at our 4th Ave Outlet store. Marian was the Block of the Month leader at our dearly departed Issaquah store, and often helped beginning quilters with this awesome tip.

With our thousands of choices, the process of finding colors that harmonize and contrast attractively leaves many quilters feeling insecure and overwhelmed. Marian advises to make it simple  - go find a single colorful print that you love.  I found this gorgeous "Autumn Medley" print from Martha Negley:

Once you have found your print, look at the colors in it - you picked that print, so you must love those colors! Now wander the store, looking for tonal fabrics in those colors.  I collected these around Northgate:

Now I have a group of colors that harmonize and contrast, and I love them - I'm ready to start planning a quilt!

If you try this technique, don't forget to pick up some of the print you loved - it would make a fabulous backing or border for the quilt that was inspired by its colors.

 - Anna-Beth

For more complex explorations of color, be sure to check our classes!  We have a Color Confidence course at our Everett store, and a Choosing and Using Color class at our Bellevue store.  Lots of fun, and great confidence builders!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spidey Table Topper: A Must for Halloween!

When this pattern came in to the stores I just had to try it. It was just too cute to refuse not to!

Spidey Table Topper Pattern

I went home and got out some of my Halloween fat quarters, black cotton and a left over piece of batting and off I went. This table topper went together so fast and easy; it is quilt-as-you-go making it a great project for quilters and non-quilters alike.

Finished Spidey on a web of Creep Cloth

I think my Spidey is going to live on the coffee table with a dish full of Halloween candy. It would also be really cute spread across the center of your dining room table with a black table cloth and some Creep Cloth (available at all of our stores).

This project would be a great addition to anyone's Halloween decorations and it is so fast and easy you'll have it ready in no time!

**The Spidey pattern is available at all of our stores except the Outlet and if you are in our Northgate store check out the great model on display.

Happy Halloween,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Adventures With Evie: My Alaskan Cruise

I'm back! I just spent a week cruising to Alaska with Chris and her husband, Dan and I just went ape over our most northern state!

The sea was rough the first night and I was quite seasick , but once I got my sock sea legs, I found that I loved bundling up in my stylish parka and lounging on the deck on the way to Glacier Bay. Ellen made me this stunning white Minky parka trimmed in ultra chic black faux fur. It really seemed to increase my natural animal magnetism. What happens onboard stays onboard, you know, but I can tell you I did attract plenty of attention!

Here I am sailing by John Hopkins Glacier. I was tired, but came out on deck and agreed to pose here for the papparazzi. The scenery took my little stuffed breath away. It was just spectacular!

Two days later we arrived in Ketchikan and Chris helped me tour the town. I just had to see the city where they have even more annual rainfall than Seattle. I'm wearing my black fleece pants here. They were nice and warm, but when Ellen made them, I was really worried that they would make me look fat. She assured me that my body was tubular enough to handle it. What do you think?

This is how I spent most of my time. Inside the cabin frolicking with the towel animals on the bed. It was like having a new BFF every night and I was so thrilled. It was really nice of the cruise line to plan this little surprise just for me! Maybe I'll send them some of my famous banana bread.

So, I'm back home, but I'm packing again. Sydney is taking me on her European tour. OMG! I can hardly wait!!! I hear Tracy has knitted me something special to wear. I'll be back in a couple of weeks, so watch for more pictures then. Ciao, all!

~ Evie

(Evie is a pink sock monkey who makes her home at the Everett store when she's not traveling. Ellen leads Block of the Month and she and Sydney both teach quilting classes at the store, Tracy leads the Everett Knitalong that is just starting for the year and teaches knitting and Chris is Assistant Manager as well as our ever enthusiastic 'Chris Claus' and company demo queen.)

Enchanted Rainforest, Eerie Alley & Seen on Halloween - Now in Our Stores!

Click on the pictures below to see a larger image, then click here to find the store nearest you!
Here's a lovely getaway for you! Enchanted Rainforest from Maywood Studios is warm, bright, inviting and full of glorious color. The "ombre" floral is just fabulous! You'll find two different colorways at our Bellevue, Everett, Northgate & Puyallup stores.

Darling (is that a Halloween word?) hearses, owls, spiders, pumpkins and coordinates to dance across your table or bed. (Or how about a happy hearse shirt?) Eerie Alley from Robert Kaufman will make your Halloween bootifully bright and just a wee bit scary! Marvelous colors and designs that you'll enjoy for many years. Available at our Bellevue, Everett, Northgate & Puyallup stores.

Seen on Halloween is Maywood Studios' spooky fun collection of spiders, candy corn, stars, cats and BOO.  Delightful colors to fill your Halloween home with frightful cheer! Available at all our stores except Outlet on 4th.

~ Annette

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Warm for Winter Hat and Scarf Drive - with FREE hat pattern!

For the fourth year, Pacific Fabrics is collecting handmade hats and scarves for our local homeless population.  Thousands of men, women and children in Western Washington are facing another cold season without permanent shelter, and there are too many for even local shelters and services to accomodate.  The hats and scarves we make are tactile reminders that they are not alone, and that there are compassionate people who care for them. An unusually harsh winter is predicted for Western Washington, and the hats and scarves donated may even be life-savers as the winter approaches.

Warm for Winter, a local organization that works on homelessness awareness and advocacy, coordinates the distribution of the garments we collect, and they all go to people experiencing homelessness in the counties from which they are gathered. One of my best friends works in services for the homeless population, and I always remember her telling me about meeting two fellows sheltering themselves under I-5 one night, who had been given new hats and scarves from Warm for Winter - possibly from Pacific Fabrics customers. She recounted for me the pride in their voices as they told her that "someone knitted these - just for us!" 

If you would like to help, Pacific Fabrics will be collecting handmade hats and scarves for the month of October.  Knitted, crocheted, or sewn from fleece,  what is important is that they are warm, and that they are made with caring and compassion.

My wonderful friend Leah, who works at our Northgate store, wrote this simple hat pattern for the drive:

Warm for Winter Hat

This easy Beanie is simple and quick to make. Jazz it up with some stripes, and enjoy using up all your bits of worsted yarn!

Sizes 6 and 8 US 16” circular needles
US size 8 double pointed needles
Approximately 150 yard of worsted weight yarn - For example: Cascade 220 Superwash, Vanna's Choice

Cast on 93 sts on smaller needles. While being careful not to twist the stitches, knit the first and last cast on stitches together to join the round. Place marker to mark the beginning of the round. 92 sts.
K2, P2 for 1 inch, longer if a folded brim is desired.

Switch to larger needles and knit all stitches in round. Keep going till you have five inches in stockinette stitch.
After you have five inches in stockinette stitch, decrease two stitches in the next row – K2tog, K 44, K2tog, K44. 90 stitches remain. Now you will begin to knit the crown:

Leah’s Tip: For the crown, it is helpful to place markers where the decreases are going to be placed. The decreases happen right after the markers so you don't need to count.

R 1: K2tog, knit 8. Repeat till end of round - 81 sts
R 2 and every even round till Row 16: knit all stitches
R 3: K2tog, K7. Repeat till end of round - 72 sts
R 5: K2tog K6 Repeat till end of round - 63sts
R7: K2tog K5 Repeat till end of round - 54sts
R9: K2tog K4 Repeat till end of round - 45sts
R11: K2tog K3 Repeat till end of round - 36sts
R13: K2tog K2 Repeat till end of round - 27sts
R15: K2tog K1 Repeat till end of round - 18sts
R16: K2tog all the way around. - 9 sts.

Cut yarn and thread tail with yarn needle through live stitches to bind off. Weave in ends and keep Warm for Winter.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Don't be scared to try AGAIN!

As I continue to explore different arts and crafts I have learned a very important rule- Don’t be scared to experiment!

 I was looking for a new knitting project and with the arrival of Fall I decided on the cute little pumpkin in Debbie Bliss’ A Knitter’s Year. I am not a very advanced knitter but I am somewhat fearless when choosing a pattern. If I don’t know how to do a stitch or technique my theory is that I can always learn.

So I bought some Debbie Bliss Rialto and set off knitting. I finished my pumpkin in two evenings and while it was adorable I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result. Since it is knitted and then stuffed, you can see some of the stuffing through the stitches as well as imperfections in the knitting that in other projects would disappear.

Pumpkin Take 1
I still had plenty of yarn left so I decided to try it again- Pumpkin Take 2. This time I used twice the thickness of yarn. My thinking was that maybe this would help fill some of the holes and guess what- it did just that! It also made the pumpkin a bit larger which I guess isn’t a bad thing. In the book it is a pumpkin pincushion but I think a few of them would be fun to have around the house for the season.

The two pumpkins together. Aren't they cute!

The moral of this story is don’t get frustrated when something doesn’t come out just the way you wanted it to. It is an opportunity to try something new and learn how to make it better next time. The trick is to then remember these lessons and apply them to other projects. You never know when your new trick might come in handy!  


Friday, October 1, 2010

My Spooky Spectacular Shirt

Every girl needs a new shirt for Halloween, so I went looking for the perfect pattern for mine.
I found McCall's 6124, liked the look and decided this was the one. Just the lines and simplicity I was after.

Now for the fabric. Must be spooky, must be spectacular, must be The Ghastlies! So I chose this great print from Alexander Henry's Haunted House collection.

And here I am in my finished shirt ready for tricking, treating and any other fun October opportunities that come along. The pattern called for lots of handstitching to hold down facings and such, but that seemed like a bother, so I topstitched instead. I think it looks great and the topstitching added a nice design element. (I think that sounds better than saying I'm lazy!)

This really was an easy shirt to make and the pattern went together well. The spectacular touch was the pink buttons I used down the front and on the cuffs. They coordinate perfectly with the color accents on the fabric and now I have a Spooky Spectacular Shirt!

~ Janet

(Janet is the talented manager of our Puyallup store and also enjoys quilting and sewing for her sweet grandchildren. You can see more of her wonderful creations at the store!)