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Ya’ll Are a Crafty Bunch

You know how we relentlessly ask you to send us photos of the projects you’ve made with our fabric…

Well, it turns out that many of you have actually done so. Some pretty cool stuff has been showing up in our inboxes recently, and we’re really exited to share some of them with you today.

The first set of photos was sent to us by Corinna Hyde of Corinna Couture.

Corinna’s name may sound familiar to many of you, as we have mentioned her on our blog before. Corinna is awesome because not only does she make and sell these adorable dresses and skirts, (check out her etsy shop) she was also kind enough to whip up some sample dresses for us out of our Birds and Berries line for use in our market booth.

I totally want one of these dresses, and I don’t even have kids yet.

But the craftiness doesn’t stop there. Feast your eyes on these little gems…er eggs…sent to us by Amanda Murphy of Amanda Murphy Designs.

Amanda used our Flora line to make her Easter Egg Table Topper come to life, which I think was a great decision…for obvious reasons.

You can view the whole table topper here…but wait there’s more! This pattern is actually a free tutorial that she’s posted on her website. She shared the directions in multiple posts, which can be found here, here, here, and here.

I love this pattern for a variety of reasons, but the most important is the fact that you can use your sewing machine to appliqué the eggs onto the background. I think this table topper may have to make an appearance on my next Easter table scape.

And last, but most certainly not least, we’ve got Laura Piland’s “Bloom” quilt.

I love the vintage chic feel of this quilt. In fact it almost looks like something you could buy from Anthropologie. And the story behind this quilt is equally cool. Laura is new to the wonderful world of quilting, and by the looks of it, she’s a natural. Anyway, she made this quilt for a friend who was moving to a new…very far away town as a reminder to always bloom where you are planted.

I know…it melts your heart doesn’t it. What a great friend!

Thanks again Corinna, Amanda, and Laura for sending us your awesome projects! We love seeing pictures of all the amazing and creative things that people are doing with the L+J fabrics.

I’ll finish off the post with one last plea…Please send us photos of your projects! We know you’re out there…and we know you’re crafty. You can either e-mail us via our contact page on the website, or post it to our Facebook Fan Page. Thanks!

Posted in Birds & Berries, Flora | Tagged | 3 Comments

Six Awesome Winners

First I want to go over the big news from last week…
which is…
I’ve co-founded a startup called Shelf.
And it’s going to be the coolest thing since Facebook! :)

Last week, for the very first time, we released this project to all of you blog-hoppers… Yay!

And for everyone who participated, let me just say, that we couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of testers! Even those of you who had issues getting the site to work… you all still provided feedback that was upbeat, constructive, and friendly. So thank you very much for helping us out… and for telling your friends!!!

For those of you who missed that blog entry (and the 3 giveaways that went along with it), no big deal… we’ve got a 3 month long plan for getting this website up to par before doing a big public launch. And during that time, we plan on doing A LOT more giveaways!

Essentially, Shelf is a better way to shop! And you can watch a demo video here.

As we scale up, we’ll be doing huge chunks of improvements, like… adding stores, incorporating kids clothes, expanding into home goods, putting together a phone version, adding in “gift shelves”, implementing a Pinterest Plugin, etc. And while we’re doing all that, we want to make sure that we keep getting feedback.

You all did such a GREAT job with this first mini-release, that we’ve decided to do mini-releases every week, at which time, we’ll be giving away a few $50 Visa Gift Cards. (These are a little more generic than quilt store gift certificates… so please, invite anyone you know to participate (preferably people who do a lot of online shopping.)) Oh, and for all the quilters that decide to follow along, we’ll be putting up free patterns from time to time! Which should be fun! (Because they’re 9 bucks in stores. :) )

Anyway, to stay involved, you can check back here on our blog every Monday morning. We’ll keep you posted about what the next giveaways are… and how to get involved. If you “Like Us” on Facebook, you can also check there for updates on the next giveaway. We’ll make sure to put up a post a few days in advance.

So here’s an overview of how Shelf did on it’s first week…

Thank you Sandy, you were our very first user ever!
And Katie Y, you are our most active user! :) And we love you!
Total unique visitors : 360
Total pages viewed : 2456
Total participating countries : 13
Total participating cities : 253

As far as the feedback goes,
we’ve incorporated almost all of it! Yay!
It’s been a VERY busy week… :)
Our biggest feat being: iPad compatibility!!!

1. added ANTHROPOLOGIE to our list of supported stores
2. fixed login issues
3. completely redesigned the login experience (hopefully it’s not still confusing)
4. fixed a whole BUNCH of bugs that you guys helped us find! (Thank you for that!)
5. added the ability to filter deals by store on the Promo Dashboard
6. iPad compatibility

If you all could check it out again, that would be awesome, and let us know if things are working better! And for those of you who requested iPad compatibility, it would be great if you could try it out now, and then let us know what you think. (Installing the bookmarklet on an iPad is a little bit of a pain because apple doesn’t support “dragging-and-dropping”… but we’ve given pretty concise instructions. They’re a little ugly at the moment though because we’re tired. :) )

Lastly, I want to mention two super big chores that Shelf takes care of.
The first is email clutter.
Every single day, people receive an average of THIRTY-THREE retail emails!
Which is too darn much in our opinion!

We provide users with the promo dashboard. An aggregate view of ALL running promotions (that you would usually have to search for in your inbox). Now, they’re all in one place. They have a uniform format for easy scanning. AND you can now filter them based off of the stores that you care about.

Wouldn’t it be fun to unsubscribe from all of those daily emails. And then, just come here whenever you want to see current deals. We’ll have them all, and within the next week, we’ll be adding ALL of the stores that you guys suggested during the blog hop! So keep the suggestions coming!

Secondly, you can set up price alerts. So if you like a pair of boots that cost $200. But you only want to pay $125. You can set up a notification, and we’ll watch the price for you!

And now for the giveaways!
We had three fabric giveaways that are going to the following people…

Great story! Your dad sounds like a character! Thanks for the pattern!
(1 Birds & Berries jelly roll)

I love the story about your Father, so sorry he spent the night in Jail.
Love your fabrics.
(1 Birds & Berries layer cake)

I love these bow ties! Thanks for the chance to win!!
(1 Birds & Berries layer cake)

And we have three FAT QUARTER SHOP gift certificates (each for $75) for three of our new Shelf users!

Sweet I am totally looking up shelf! I do the same thing about deal shopping… and it is a HUGE pain, but worth the savings in the end.

I loved your idea of Shelf.. My daughter is the real shopper.. she just moved to Denver in May.
I will turn her on to the idea… I know she will love it and try it and join… I bet.
I will also give the info to my grand daughter. Love your story!
best of Luck in San Francisco!
Thanks for the pattern…

I love the concept and the site tutorial was fabulous… I’m sure smart and thrifty shoppers are going to love this tool. I agree that Anthropologie, and department stores like Macy’s and Nordstroms would be great additions.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and please keep up with us and our new project, Shelf!

Posted in Birds & Berries, Freelance | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Our Stop on the Blog Hop

Today is our stop on the blog hop, yay!! This entry is for three fabric giveaways from our new line, Birds and Berries (see above). We’ll be accepting comments through the 14th, and we’ll announce the winner on the 15th! So stay tuned!

(Usually, on our blog hop posts… all three of us participate, but it just so happens that my sister, Carrie, is in Spain right now (jealous)… and my mom is frantically trying to put together the patterns that we need to turn in for our book that’s coming out sometime next year. :) ) Anyway, it’s just going to be me today…

And so without further ado, I’m now going to talk about my hometown of Spartanburg SC. That I fondly refer to as “The Burg”.

1. My absolute favorite restaurant in the whole world is Wade’s Southern Cooking

It’s a “meat and three” restaurant that has been around since 1947. EVERY SINGLE TIME that I go out to eat there, I order 2 fried chicken legs, 2 orders of macaroni & cheese, and 1 order of string beans with a sweet tea and corn bread.

No matter what time of day that you go, there is a line that goes out the door because its awesome!

Now that I’ve moved away, I only get to eat there maybe once every six months or so which is sad… so my mom usually buys me a t-shirt to get me through the months that I’m away. :) See above.

Anyway, Wade’s has these really funny billboards that are all over town… all of which, focus on their tagline, “Have you eaten your veggies?” They crack me up.

2. Andie MacDowell is from Gaffney South Carolina.

Gaffney is spitting-distance away from Spartanburg, so I’m going to lump her into this blog entry… because Spartanburg doesn’t have much else. :)

3. And now… a funny story about my family (more specifically my dad), who was famous here in Spartanburg for about a week after he was ARRESTED.

So it all started with a neighbor who lived up the road from us (hmmm, let’s call him Mr. Cailey). Well Mr. Cailey was annoyed by the fact that the traffic passing in front of his house, didn’t abide by the stop sign at the end of the road. Well… eventually, this was just too much for him to bear, so one morning… after everyone left for school and work… bulldozers and dump trucks arrived to close the road off at the stop sign. Thus dividing the neighborhood into two parts.

When residents returned home that evening and drove down this road (same as always)… they hit a dead end… complete with newly planted grass, shrubbery, and a split rail fence.

Everyone was up in arms about it. School buses had to be rerouted. Fender benders occurred when residents realized (a little too late) that their street was missing. Meetings were held. Petitions signed… Etc. This is a picture of where the street dead-ends. The previously connected road is sitting just beyond the trees.

Well, my dad had a walking route on our street that he took every night. And, street or no street, he REFUSED to be rerouted. He went on his merry way… and when he’d come to this newly landscaped yard (that used to be the street), he walked right across it and continued on to the other half of the neighborhood.

One night Mr. Cailey had the nerve to accuse him of trespassing. To which my dad responded, “Sue me”. (My dad lives by no one’s rules. And so he was not deterred by this confrontation. He continued his nightly trek.)

The next night, while he was walking across this yard, he tripped and fell over a drainage rock that was sitting in the middle of the path. (He swears that this was strategically placed.) In order to avoid tripping over it in the future, he tossed the rock into the bushes.

…And… at that very moment, Mr. Cailey lept out of the bush and snapped a photo.

The next afternoon, two policemen came to our door to arrest my dad for throwing the rock. He wasn’t home at the time, so my mom was instructed to tell her husband to turn himself in at the courthouse after he came home. At which point, they would arrest him. Can you believe this? So that night after dinner, my dad (being the hardened criminal that he was) picked up his Scientific American Magazine, and headed downtown to pay his debt to society. He actually DID spend the night in jail (which he was less than happy about). In the end, he was let go because the grounds for the arrest were downright dumb.

Anyway, to finish up the story, things wound up OK… My Dad took Mr. Cailey to court and won. His record was expunged, and the neighborhood association was granted the right to pave a “scenic walkway” through Mr. Cailey’s landscaped street (for walkers like my dad to use).

The funny thing is… this whole story was written up in the Spartanburg Herald Journal. And so, years later, when one of us recounts the story… many listeners will jump up and say… “I SAW that in the paper….that was YOUR husband????…or that was YOUR father???”

Yep, the Jungs were the “buzz” of Spartanburg for a week. True story!!!

And that about wraps up Spartanburg.
Now for the free pattern!

You can download it here. This is a traditional bow-tie pattern with a little something special. The centers of the bow ties stand up off the quilt 3-dimensionally. Super cool, right?

Also, make sure to check out the other two blog hop stops today… Pieces From My Heart   /   Fig Tree & Co.

Hmmm, I think that’s it. Am I forgetting something?

Oh! Yes! The giveaway. We have three giveaways on this blog entry! And then THREE MORE giveaways on the next blog entry entitled My New Adventure!

First, to win one of our 3 fabric give-aways (1 jelly roll and 2 layer cakes), simply write us a comment on this blog entry. …(And if you could “Like Us” on Facebook too, that would be awesome… but not required to enter this first giveaway!)

Then for the SECOND giveaway… I’m working on a really special project right now that I want to share with you. So, if you read the entry right below this, entitled “My New Adventure”… you’ll get a chance to win one of 3 FAT-QUARTER-SHOP GIFT CERTIFICATES for $75 each! Yay! Who doesn’t like free fabric right?

For those of you who can’t find the comments… at the bottom of this entry is a little blue link that tells you how many comments we’ve gotten. Click on that link, and it will take you to the comment section. :)

We’ll be announcing the winners on the 15th!

Thanks for stopping by and happy quilting!

Posted in Birds & Berries | Tagged , , | 707 Comments

My new adventure…

4 months ago I quit my job.

2 months after that,

I put all of my stuff into a storage unit in New Jersey.

and then last month,

I drove 3,100 miles across the country
(camping along the way).

(I was with my significant-other, Atul… and truth be told, he did most of the driving.)
And we’ve set up shop in beautiful San Francisco.

And this was all because of an idea that we had 8 months prior…

The idea has been in the back of my head for quite some time now. Because, over the years I’ve evolved into quite the thrifty shopper …Mostly because I wind up ruining (and/or) losing everything of mine that’s expensive. (Like when I nicked my white leather Coach purse with a blue ballpoint pen… or when I lost my Ralph Lauren sunglasses in the ocean at Myrtle Beach… or even YESTERDAY when I melted my brand new silk-ish blouse with an iron that was turned up too high… the fate of expensive purchases is generally pretty bleak when they are in my hands.) And it’s this inability of mine (to take care of the stuff that I love) that has lead to the development of my “super-hero-esque” ability to bargain-shop.

Buying things on sale is mostly a waiting game. For example, that cool RETRO-JADE winter coat (see below) that I like from J.Crew is $325 right now …But if I wait until February, that sucker will most likely be mine for the low price of around 150 bucks.

I’ve found the key to successful deal-hunting… is keeping my options open. I generally try to watch three different versions of the same type of item… (In the example below, I’m watching 3 cool trench coats.)

And as soon as one of them drops within my price range,>

I’ll pounce on it.

Because if I wait too long (after it goes on sale)…

my size will be long since gone.


the remaining colors will be something gross:

(see example below)

Over the years I’ve refined my DEAL-HUNTING technique.

And it is as follows:

But in all seriousness…

The entire process is a super big pain in the butt.

So, as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention…

Let me give you the back-story to all of this… It began about 8 months ago when Atul, was starting to get bored with his day job. He was a computer scientist at NEC labs working on data center networks & cloud computing (whatever the heck that is)… so it’s easy to see how the boredom set in. :) Anyway, after he came to terms with the fact that he needed to move on to something more interesting, he quit his job and began brainstorming about the next big idea that would change the world.

Right around the time that Atul began his quest for an epiphany… I was embarking on a quest of my own. And that was to buy a new watch. I had my sites set on a Nooka watch that was originally $300. Well… after a few diligent weeks of watching this item… the prices dropped and I bought that puppy for 75 bucks!

Can you believe it??

Yeah, neither could I. It was some of my best work yet.

These three events happened to coincide.

  1. My annoyance with the roundabout, multi-step, time-consuming “deal-hunting-process”
  2. My excitement over my brand new watch (that I saved a whopping 225 bucks on) and
  3. Atul’s quest for the answer to life, the universe, and everything… *42*

And it was this combination of events… that led to our big idea.

Essentially, we’ve built an online service

that will simplify all of the chores of online shopping…

And here’s what we’re doing.

Imagine using this for Christmas shopping… you can bookmark all of your gift ideas in one place! You can also set up price notifications for these gifts (at the prices you’re wanting to pay for them), If the price drops to the level you want, we’ll let you know right when it happens! It’s also a great place for you to compare items ACROSS stores.

There are LOTS of possibilities… and we can guarantee that you’ll save both money AND time with your holiday shopping this year.

So… where are we in our quest for better shopping? We’ve built Shelf, and we support 12 stores (Express, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, J.Crew, Abercrombie, New York and Company, Ann Taylor, The Loft… just to name a few). We’re adding 2-3 stores every week, so not to worry if you don’t see your store.

Today, is the first day that we’re opening up the doors to Shelf and I would like to personally invite you all to try it! You’ll be the very first set of users on a product that will hopefully go down in shopping history. :)

And, as promised… there’s a pretty hefty give-away here… There are two ways that you can win one of the THREE $75 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop…

1. We would like for you all to try out the site,… If Shelf sounds like something you’d like to use, now is your chance to help us shape it into a product you’d love. Tell us the stores that you want us to add next… send us a list of features that you want to see added. Tell us what confused you… and what parts you loved. We want to hear everything! So, go over to the site and sign up as a new user, then, just play around with it. When you get done, stop back here and drop us a quick comment about what you think!

2. IF YOU’RE NOT A SHOPPER, don’t worry, you can still win one of the gift certificates! I’m sure that you know some people who like to shop online… Please tell them about Shelf and try your hardest to get them to sign up. You could also post about it on your Facebook wall maybe? :) When you’re done, just drop us a quick comment to say that you’ve done your best to help out the shoppers of the world.

And… you never know… this little website app might get passed around… from quilter to quilter… and take off like the next Facebook! Ha! Well, I can dream, right?

We’ll announce the winners on the 15th! And we’ll be taking comments up through the 14th. So tell your friends!

This entry is already WAY too long, sorry about that, but let me finish by thanking you for stopping by! My mission is to make Shelf an amazingly useful product, and I sincerely feel that if you try it out, you’re going to love it!!

If you missed the link to Shelf… Click here. You can also “Like” Shelf on Facebook here (because we’ll be offering MANY more free-fabric-incentives in the weeks to come!)

P.S. Shelf doesn’t work on iPad yet. This is next on our to-do list.

P.P.S. Some of you have said that when you sign up through Facebook, it pops up a message about logging you into “Simple-Journey-2558″. We’re not sure how to change this! Ha! But that is in fact Shelf.

P.P.P.S. You’ll need to click on the Sign Up button no matter what, if its your first time on Shelf. If you’ve already signed up, then click on Login.

Posted in Freelance | Tagged , , | 371 Comments

It’s That Time Again!

Moda’s having a Blog Hop and we’re in it!

Every year Moda has a big Blog Hop… where all of their fabric designers will post a free pattern as well as some funny stories that revolve around a pre-determined theme. This year the theme is “Your Home Town”. It’s going to be a blast!

The free projects this go-round will be featuring Moda’s newest “precut”, Moda Candies. The packs include 2 or 3 little 2½″ squares of each fabric in a line. And they’re adorable! See below.

Anyway, if you want to follow along, it will start on the 5th… and it will be running through until the 14th. And the lineup is as follows…

The best part is, we’re all giving away free stuff! Whoohoo! Who doesn’t like free stuff, right?

My blog will be giving away 2 layer cakes and a jelly roll of our newest line, Birds & Berries… as well as a few other super awesome prizes that will be announced later. So get pumped! And make sure to stop by our blog on September 9th!

Oh, And like us on Facebook!!! We’ll keep you up to date on all this cool stuff! (The “Facebook LIKE box” is in the right hand column of the page.)

You can also see more about the Blog Hop on Moda’s blog.

Posted in Birds & Berries | Tagged , | 3 Comments