MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Italy, Canada and Turkey...

What do those countries have in common?  Kind of a random selection, right?  Well those some of the countries where I've sold my custom iPAD covers!  Exciting!

Ok, I am relatively new to the etsy thing.  I tried putting some quilts up for sale last year, but it turns out that anyone visiting my shop was already a quilter and was making their own lovely quilts.  So I was not expecting big things when I opened up the iPAD division of my etsy shop.
Wow was I surprised!  It turns out that custom iPAD covers are making a hit.  I have had several wonderful customers who have purchased my "ready to ship" covers, but many have designed covers with custom pocket configurations and with their own fabrics.

I'd love advice from some of you out there who have started new businesses.  What are some tips for driving traffic to your shop?  Have you found some great vendors to help keep costs low?  How are you balancing your new business with your full time job?

Another question for you professionals out you think there would be interest in Kindle covers and Nook covers?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More iPAD cases

 The iPAD cases seem to be a hit!  I spent a few hours today making some more custom cases, and my son helped me take some pictures.

I had a special request to make a Steelers Football iPAD case. 

The lining is a simple black, which puts the focus on the football.
Thanks for your interest! You can purchase them in the shop:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

iPAD Cases...Fun, Fun, Fun!

Isn't it more fun with color?

I love my new iPAD. Period.  Email, books, photos, tunes, and even some work apps.  Though I wasn't digging the corporate black cover.  I looked around for about a month for a fun cover in the stores, and it seems there are just not a lot of options. 

I found a great pattern from Leah at Sew Spoiled Designs and made my own.  Doesn't the tufted tweets fabric look lovely on the iPAD?  I found that this pattern has a lot of nifty details:

The cover, made from 2 pieces of strong Masonite and three types of stabilizers, makes a built-in-stand.  I like that the lift of the stand is a sturdy 3" which makes it less tipsy than the standard issue iPAD cover.
The cover grips the iPAD really securely, with two fabric corners at the bottom and clear plastic elastic straps at the top.  I haven't had any issues reaching the volume controls and power buttons.

Its also slim!  Because who wants a bulky case for a piece of technology that was designed to be sleek an unobtrusive?

The funny part is, it seems like I'm not the only fan of this design.  When I took it into work, my coworkers started oohh-in and ahhh-ing.  So I made up a few more.

This one is Kei Honeycomb in green for the lining and a lime green and cream zig-zag on the exterior. 
 Then my husband got interested, but didn't want any "girly looking iPAD."  He chose these brown wool plaids for his case.
Now I am addicted!

If you'd like a little iPAD bling of your own, head on over to my etsy store at and choose your own look. 
Cheers!  Katie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Planning a Single Girl for my master bedroom

So, now that I've gotten the 4-block table runner completed, I am turning my sights to a king sized quilt. I am thinking about doing something more subtle, since I plan to keep this on my bed for a LONG time.  I am thinking of piecing each ring with a single color (lots of different prints, but all the same color). Here are some of the concepts I am considering.

Concept 1: Most rings the same color, with a few different ones for pop

 Concept 2: One stand out ring
 Concept 3: Tone on Tone
 Concept 4: Light and dark contrast, all rings the same
Concept 5: A lighter version of #1
 Concept #6 A green-er version of #3
 Concept #7 Grey?
Concept #8: Rotate the archs

Whats your vote?  PS. Isn't EQ great for quick planning like this? Once I figured out how to build the block, I got each of these options in just seconds. 

Spicing Up the Kitchen + Single Girl

What a FUN project.

I thought these 4 blocks were going to become place mats, but the size was just too large. Unless my partner has a VERY wide table, two place mats opposite each other would have hung off of the table by several inches. That's not so convenient!  I loved how the table runner turned out. I used 4 rings linked vertically. Though it is a little wide for a traditional table runner, It will be nice for laying out dishes. Or, if my partner wants, she can use it as a vertical wall hanging in her kitchen.

Here's the table runner before I popped it into the washer and dryer:

I wanted to accentuate the fun quilted pattern, so I went for the crinkly look.   After the washer & dryer:

I used a paper-piecing technique, which turned out to be pretty useful.  It made cutting the fabric a breeze.  But be prepared, sewing the blocks using  paper-piecing does take more time than just sewing pre-cut pieces together.   So if you are doing a king-sized quilt it might make sense to go the individual template route.  I am tempted to try a block or two with the conventional method just to decide which is more efficient.  

One clear advantage is with managing all of your fabrics.  I suck at keeping a bunch of fabric pieces organized enough to sew them together in the correct order.  Reading some of the posts over here, it seems like that is universally a pretty challenging part of this Single Girl pattern.  With paper piecing, i kept a lump of 5" squares of fabric next to my machine.  As I sewed each arch, I simply grabbed the fabric that inspired me at the moment.  No sorting and organizing required.

I think the bliss fabric turned out wonderfully on the back.  The red print is quite striking against the aqua dots. 

I followed Denyse's quilting guidelines, but did machine quilting instead of hand quilting. 

If you remember, I had some sample blocks where I tried out the shape of my paper-pieced curved template to make sure that I had the size right.

Well, I turned them into 4 pot holders with two different bindings and quilting designs. This was a fun side-project and should make a nice accent to the Pièce de résistance.

I hope my spicing up the kitchen partner likes her new set!  I am still planning on making a king-sized single girl quilt for my bed, but need to decide on color schemes. Stay tuned for some of my ideas.

Monday, January 31, 2011

More Single Girl and Paper Piecing

What a fun sewing weekend!  I spent quite a bit of time working on my single-girl project for my spicing up the kitchen partner. I still haven't decided if this is going to become a wall hanging, table runner, or individual placemats.  Maybe you could weigh in with your opinion. 

First I cut up my squares 3.5" x 4"  (in retrospect, I wish I had cut them larger.  It would have made the paper-piecing less tedious as I tried to make sure I covered each bit of the arch.  I would probably recommend making 5" squares just to make it easy on yourself).

Then I chose a short stitch length and did my paper piecing.  If you are doing this, make sure you double check the positioning of each piece so that your arch is completely covered when you flip the fabric back over.

Then I trimmed each arch to the actual size (my templates included the seam allowances) by cutting along the dark line that shows through the paper.

I made all 16 arches, and started piecing it to my background fabrics.  One block is finished, 3 to go!  Love the way its shaping up! 

What should I make of my SG blocks?