Staff Blog

Enter The Craftys Today!

Have you voted in The Crafty’s competition yet? You’ve only go until October 25 (THIS SUNDAY) to enter or vote. The Crafty’s, launched by, is a way to show off your original work and gain online recognition.


With so many categories (including Best Pinterest Board or Instagram Account) and and so many creative folks out there, it’s no surprise that competition is fierce. Last year’s best of show winner was a stunning knit lace bridal gown.


Who and what will the finalists in each category be this year? And who will be the Best of Show Winner?


I found a few more favorites as I perused the site:


Neither Snow Nor Rain Bar 


Santa’s Workshop


Gold Drusy Cuff Bracelet


And I love Julie Kelley’s story about her Share the Warmth Scarf.


So click over to The Craftys Awards site to enter and vote! And tune in on November 6 for the livestreamed awards event at

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The Craftys Update

So I was cruising through The Craftys nominees and found some fun submissions. Have you entered? Have you voted for your favorites yet? Have you seen these?


The Retro Rotary Phone Purse


Well-Suited Tote


Crocodile Stitched Owl Backpack


The. Best. Collection.



Pepsi Cola Bench


Little Red Riding Hood

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Enter The Craftys


Looking for a fun way to show off your best work? Enter photos of your items in The Craftys! The Craftys is an award program that celebrates the best in DIY and craft across the U.S. There are categories from quilting to craft blogging, and there’s even a Young Crafter category that nets the winner in the category and his or her school a cash prize! (See The Craftys 2014 Best in Show winner here.)


Makers enter photos of their best work online at and fans can vote for their favorites. Each category will have an award, with one Best of Show award presented for the 2015 competition. A team of judges chooses the category and Best of Show winner.


Entry categories include:

  • Craft Blogger
  • Crochet
  • Decorative Painting/Mixed Media
  • DIY Pinterest Board or Instagram Account
  • Edible Crafts
  • Fashion Sewing
  • Felt Crafts
  • General Crafts
  • Home Decor/DIY
  • Jewelry
  • Knitting
  • Online Store
  • Paper Crafts/Scrapbooking
  • Quilting
  • Sticker Art
  • Young Crafter


Whether you choose to enter or just want to see the projects, you can learn more by going to The Crafty’s site, signing up, and checking out this fun new online competition. But don’t delay. Entries must be posted online by October 25, 2015, and the winners will be announced at a livestreamed event hosted by on November 6, 2015, from Chronicle Books headquarters in San Francisco. For official rules, visit The Craftys rules page.

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Happy Anniversary, Jaftex!

Co-sponosored by: Aurifil ThreadsSchmetz Needles, and Janome

We’re so excited to help kick off the blog hop to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Jaftex! It’s an amazing accomplishment to be involved in the fabric world that long (we’re nearing our 25th anniversary, which we thought was impressive!), and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate a company that has been putting out quality fabrics, cultivating amazing designers, and producing beautiful patterns for 85 years! Congrats!


On our blog today, we’re hosting Henry Glass fabric designer and author (and a personal fave of American Patchwork & Quilting), Kim Diehl.

  • Kim says: “I’ve been so blessed to be in the family of designers for both American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and Henry Glass Fabrics, so I’m beyond excited that we can come together today in celebration of Henry Glass’s 85th birthday.  What a huge milestone! In honor of this event, I stitched up this sweet little “Color Me Happy” wall hanging using the beautiful jewel-toned prints in the Folio collection of quilting fabrics, and treated myself to some quality hand-quilting time. A step outside of my “normal” box when it came to choosing a color scheme, which made this project even more fun to make. I’m so proud to be  a small part of two such amazing forces in the quilting world, and I’m looking forward to many more years of creativity together!”
  •  We say: Prepare for MAJOR Kim Diehl eye candy.





Follow along with the blog hop here! There will be fun giveaways along the way, so make sure you visit every day!

September 1 – Kim Diehl guest posting @ American Patchwork & Quilting
September 2 - Pepper @ Pepper at the Quilt Studio
September 3 - Anjeanette @ Anjeanette Klinder
September 4 - Leanne @ The Whole Country Caboodle
September 5 - Mark @ Mark Lipinski’s Blog
September 6 - Heather @ Heather Kojan Quilts
September 7 - Heather @ Trends and Traditions
September 7 - Martha @ Wagons West Designs
September 8 - Linda @ Linda Lum DeBono
September 9 - Heidi @ Red Letter Quilts
September 10 - Jill @ Jillily Studios
September 10 - Dana @ My Lazy Daisy
September 11 - Penny @ Sew Simple Designs
September 12 - Ida @ Cowtown Quilts
September 13 - Liz and Beth @ Lizzie B Cre8ive
September 14 - Melissa @ Sew Bitter Sweet Designs
September 15 - Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
September 16 - Amy @ Kati Cupcake
September 16 - Barbara @ QuiltSoup2
September 17 - Erica @ Kitchen Table Quilting
September 18 - Leona @ Leona’s Quilting Adventure
September 19 - Margot @ The Pattern Basket
September 20 - Sylvia @ Flying Parrot Quilts
September 21 - Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
September 22 - Kim @ Aurifil Threads
September 23 - Rebekah @ Don’t Call Me Becky
September 24 - Julie @ The Crafty Quilter
September 25 - Mary Ellen @ Little Quilts
September 25 - Mary Jane @ Holly Hill Designs
September 26 - Daisy @ Ants to Sugar
September 27 - Melissa @ Happy Quilting
September 28 - Janet @ One S1ster
September 29 - Jenny @ Martingale& Co.
September 30 - Teresa @ Third Floor Quilts
Win Prizes Here: 85th Anniversary Giveaway
There are 13 ways to enter! Prizes include a Janome S5 valued at $1500, an Aurifil thread box valued at $300, a Schmetz needle anniversary tin filled with needles valued at $75, fat quarter bundles, and bolts of fabric for your favorite quilt store!
About Jaftex: Jaftex Corp. was founded in the 1930’s when Jacob A. Fortunoff started selling fabric on the streets of New York.  At that time, the mainstay of the business was women’s sleepwear and lingerie.  In the ’80’s, Jacob’s grandson, Robert, dramatically changed the business of the company.  The business focus was transferred to the over the counter quilt industry when Robert purchased companies like A.E. Nathan, Henry Glass, Stylemaker, Chanteclaire, Fabric Editions/Studioe and more recently The Blank Quilting Corp.  Robert is now joined by his two sons, Scott and Greg.  Scott currently is the President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.  Greg just joined the business in late 2014 and has successfully spearheaded the company’s foray in to precut fabrics among other contributions.

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Make a Drawstring Backpack from a T-Shirt

 See it in action: Watch a video of editor Linda making this T-shirt backpack here.


No matter whether you call it a sackpack, a drawstring backpack, or a cinch bag, we’ve got some tips on how to make a drawstring backpack out of a T-shirt. So, here are tips and tricks as promised in our video on how to make a T-shirt backpack.



6 Tips for Making a T-Shirt Backpack

  1. The size of the backpack is determined by the size of the T-shirt and the size of the logo you want to feature. Figure out how large you want the backpack to be, knowing that it can only be as large as the T-shirt.
  2. To avoid cutting off the logo, be sure there is extra space around your logo for the seam allowance.
  3. You will be ironing the woven fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the T-shirt front and back. Fuse a larger rectangle of fusible to the T-shirt, so that when you cut the desired finished size, the whole piece is stabilized by the interfacing. It’s easier to cover too large of an area than not enough area.
  4. When ironing or pressing, keep the logo facedown on your ironing board, so the hot iron doesn’t come into contact with the screen-printed logo. For extra caution, place a Teflon pressing sheet under the logo on your ironing board.
  5. If you have a serger sewing machine, you can serge many of the seams on this project. Be careful when sewing the cords into the side seams, as that section can get bulky. You may want to serge that section a second time to add extra security to the cord ends.
  6. Be sure the cord you purchase can fit through the hem of the T-shirt twice. You will use the hem of the shirt as the casing, so it has to accommodate two thicknesses of the cording in order for the drawstrings to work.



Materials for One T-Shirt Backpack:

  • One T-shirt (we used a men’s large)
  • 1-1/2 yards of woven fusible interfacing
  • 4 yards of cording for straps
  • Drawstring threader or large safety pin


Finished T-shirt backpack: approx. 17×23″


Note: If you’re making a backpack from a smaller T-shirt for a child, you’ll need less cording and interfacing, so adjust accordingly.



Assemble T-Shirt Backpack:

  1. Determine finished size of backpack. For cutting, add 1/2″ to both the desired finished width and length. (We used 1/4″ seam allowance. If you use larger seams, add 1″ to desired finished width and length and sew with 1/2″ seams.)
  2. Cut hem off T-shirt, cutting 3/8″ from stitching line. This will become the top casings.
  3. Cut T-shirt up sides to the shoulder seam. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse one piece of interfacing to wrong side of T-shirt front and another to wrong side of back.
  4. Centering the logo, trim front and back to the cutting size.
  5. Cut two casing pieces from hem, 1/2″ shorter than the cutting size width. (Our bag cutting size is 17½”, so our casing length is 17″.)
  6. With right sides facing and cut edges aligned, center one casing piece on top edge of backpack front (casing ends will be 1/4″ from side edges of bag). Sew casing to the bag front. Repeat to sew a casing piece to bag back.
  7. With right sides together and all edges aligned, sew together bottom edges of backpack.
  8. Pin side seams. Sew side seams, leaving a 1″ opening at lower edge of each side for casing. Make sure casing pieces don’t get caught in seam.
  9. Cut two 2-yard pieces of cording. Thread one cord through casing pieces, beginning and ending on left side of the piece. Even up ends, then bring ends inside the bag and out opening on left side. Pin ends in place.
  10. Starting from right side of the bag, thread second cord through casing pieces; you’ll be going in the opposite direction as you did with the first cord. Even up ends, then bring ends inside bag and out opening on right side. Pin ends in place.
  11. Sew openings closed, sewing cording in the seam, and reinforcing the seams.
  12. Turn backpack right side out to finish.

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