Recently I ran across the "Martha Stewart Presents American Made Awards." At my sister's urging, I submitted an entry for Kathy's Cozies.
This is my "American Made Story." (in 1500 characters or less!)
In November 2009, my husband & I traveled to his parents' house in NJ for Thanksgiving. While there, my mother-in-law showed me her new die cutting machine, a Cricut Expression, which she covered with an old towel when not in use. We played with her Cricut all weekend & I was hooked. By Christmas I had one of my own, & as a way of thanking my mother-in-law for her inspiration, I decided to make a decorative dust cover for her Cricut Expression to replace the ugly old towel. Utilizing another of my passions, quilting, I made the first Kathy’s Cozy. I enjoyed making it so much, I decided to make more cozies to sell on Ebay. Successful Ebay sales prompted me to open my own Etsy shop & Facebook page, & Kathy’s Cozies has grown from 1 thank-you gift to my mother-in-law to a home business that employs 3 people, ships internationally, & offers over 38 different cozies, totes, & craft room accessories. Each cozy features coordinating fabrics that have been machine-quilted over a layer of batting & muslin lining. All seams are finished & the binding is hand-basted. A button, bow, or applique embellishment adds a delightful finishing touch, & a quilted heart is featured on each cozy to make sure there’s “a little love sewn into every cozy.” Customers especially enjoy choosing from over 400 available fabrics to customize cozy sets for all of their crafting machines. With a growing product line & increasing demand, my goal is to continue offering quality products & have fun doing it.
Finalists will be announced on Friday, September 7th. Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer for Kathy's Cozies!
You can see my whole entry here. Stop by and leave a comment for me. :)
Friday, August 17, 2012
As some of you may know, making Cozies is only something I do in my "free" time. By day (9 months out of the year) I am actually a 4th grade teacher. I teach at the same school I attended as a child and I love it. Science is my specialty and I work with 4th, 5th and 6th grade students on everything from plants to planets and fossils to physics.
So, as my Summer break is coming to a close, I have been frantically trying to catch up on some special-order bags for some of the sweetest ladies in the world. These bags will be used to carry Cricut and Silhouette machines to Crops and retreats. And...each bag has been designed to match some Cozies the ladies already have. Gotta love those matching sets!
This bag for DeEtte was designed to match...
this Expression Cozy. And this bag...
was designed to match Kristen's set of Cozies in her awesome craft room!
This owl bag (one for Michelle and one for Cher)...
matches this Cozy.
This bag is so pretty...
and will look great toting Suzanne's Personal Cutter around!
And my good friend Stephanie hasn't even seen this bag yet...
that matches her Cameo Cozy. Hope she likes it!
My favorite scripture:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
10. Disguise yourself and rob a bank!
9. Keep your respiratory system clear during a dust storm!
8. Blow your nose!
7. Make a cute puppy even cuter!
6. Wipe sweat from your brow after a hard day's work!
5. Protect your head during a long ride!
(Note: Does NOT work as well as a helmet!)
4. Protect your dog's head during a long ride!
4. Grow a mustache!
3. Curl your hair!
an attractive a unique centerpiece for any table!
And...the number one thing you can do with a bandana is...
1. Make an Expression Cozy!
Friday, August 10, 2012
While I was in Ohio, I visited some wonderful fabric shops. I got some pretty fabrics, and some great ideas. I always keep my camera tucked away in my purse just in case I come across something I love. Yes, I feel a bit strange snapping pictures in stores, but when I see a good idea, I can't pass it up! (The ladies at my local Joann fabric store aren't even surprised anymore when I pull out my camera.)
The first thing I saw at the Helping Hands Quilt Shop was this amazing valance. Why didn't I ever think of quilting window valances before? Isn't this one beautiful?? I love the scalloped edge. I'm pretty sure I'll be working on some of these in the near future.
This is another quilted valance. Making one of these might be a good way to get red of some scraps that I have. I don't love the colors in this one, but I do love the pattern.
I found this lovely bandana at Zinck's Fabric Outlet. It's hard to tell on the picture, but there are some silvery highlights that make this fabric so beautiful! You can expect to see some bandana Cozies coming shortly. Again...not sure why I didn't think of this before!
And...isn't this just the cutest pincushion you ever saw? I'll be making at least 1 of these!!! I love cupcakes...even ones that I can't eat :)
If you have any great ideas or amazing links, feel free to leave a comment for me. I'm always open for new suggestions and I treasure your creative thoughts :)
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
There's going to be a new member in the family! Little Logan is set to make his first public appearance at the end of the month. Everyone is so excited :) My niece, Nicki, is the proud mom-to-be.
I wanted to make Nicki something special for little Logan, so I decided on a quilted diaper bag. When I went fabric shopping, this Elmo fabric really jumped out at me. I didn't want to work with pastel fabrics--I wanted some bright, vibrant colors for the little guy. So, the Elmo fabric was just perfect.
The handles fit comfortably over Nicki's shoulder. The flap stays in place with a hidden magnetic closure.
I stuffed the bag full with lots of goodies little Logan will need--diapers, a bottle, a changing mat, wipes, toys, etc. The elastic pockets will keep things organized and in place.
These are some cute roses I made out of baby socks. You can find directions on how to make them here.
I added some real baby's breath to fill out the bouquet a little bit.
Nicki's cake (that I did NOT make). So pretty!
The roses looked so nice beside the diaper cake my sister-in-law made.
Looking forward to meeting you, Logan! My prayers are for wonderful life for you and your family :)
Monday, August 6, 2012
Another fabric store that I visited in Ohio Amish Country was Grammma Fannie's Quilt Barn. What a beautiful little shop! I thought it would be small and have a limited selection of quilting items, but boy was I wrong! There were lots of fabrics and beautiful finished quilts, seemingly hanging from every beam.
Although I didn't buy any fabrics for Cozies, I did purchase a colorful little stash for my next personal project. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the combination of red and teal these days. These vintage prints are going to look super together!
And...what, you may ask, is my next personal project? This darling quilted owl throw. Technically, it's a baby quilt, but I'm going to make it as a wall-hanging. What do you think? I'll be sure to post pictures when it's done. You can find this and other pretty patterns here.
Outside the shop, I asked an elderly Amish man if I could take a picture of his horse and wagon. He was more than happy to let me snap this photo.
I love this place! See you soon, Ohio :)
Friday, August 3, 2012
I found some beautiful new fabrics here in Ohio's Amish country. And...I feel refreshed and relaxed and ready to start sewing again :) But while I found some really nice fabrics, I must say, I'm leaving some really...um...unusual...different...fabrics behind. Okay...I have to say it...they are ugly!!! I can't imagine making Cozies out of any of these fabrics! Take a look...
Would you like your Cozy with or without sour cream?
I don't think a cheese Cozy is a gouda idea. ;)
Crinkle Cut Cozy (Say that 10 times really fast!)
Um...tortilla chips? Can you say no way, Jose?
For some reason, I'm feeling a little hungry. Gotta go!
Thursday, August 2, 2012
So...today was the day I left my husband behind in the hotel room and did some serious fabric shopping. He didn't mind being left behind in the the air conditioned room with a flat screen tv, king-size bed and a remote control all to himself. ;)
My first stop was Zinck's Fabric outlet in Berlin, Ohio. This is just one of many aisles of fabrics. Honestly...it's a huge warehouse of fabrics--all kinds of fabrics. It felt like Disney World!!!
My second stop was at Helping Hands Quilt Shop, also in Berlin. The fabrics in here were
Here are some of the fabrics I found today :)
I love unique, brightly-colored fabrics. I have never seen an Americana Damask print before, but I thought this one was beautiful. If I add a narrow red stripe and the coordinating floral print, I think this Cozy will look perfect.
These butterflies looked like they had been painted onto the fabric with watercolors. So pretty!
When I saw this fabric, the combination of colors jumped out at me. I've really been into the combination of red and light blue/turquoise lately.
Again...the colors of this just popped right out as I browsed the many aisles of fabric. Lovin' these starfish!
Another water-color print. I don't have a lot of orange fabrics, so I thought this would be a pretty addition.
This is even more pretty in person. There wasn't much left, so I finished off the bolt.
This would be perfect for a Cozy on a classroom machine, huh? I've actually been thinking about taking one of my Expressions to my classroom. If I do, I'm making a Cozy out of this fabric for me :)
This retro kitten print reminded me of reading "Fun with Dick and Jane" when I was very young. It's a Michael Miller fabric that looks so cute with gray.
I'm always on the lookout for Mickey prints so I was a happy girl when I spotted it.
These daisies look so pretty with the pink centers and black background. It like how the pink and white polka dot fabric pulls it all together.
This fabric is even prettier and more vibrant in person. I love my butterflies!
Perfect for Autumn :)
I thought this looked like a Mary Engelbreit print, although it isn't. The pretty coral red basket-weave fabric complements the floral fabric so perfectly.
I'm having a great time on our mini-trip, but I can't wait to get home and sew me some Cozies!! :)