Friday, December 3, 2010

Eazy Peazy gargantuan giveaway!

Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy
Allow me to introduce you to a very nice new pattern designer I met at Quilt Market this fall in Houston: Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy designs. She has some wonderful patterns, including a special line for those who rely on wheelchairs and walkers. Her booth caught my eye because she had the most amazing encrusted walker on display, with a nifty saddlebag hanging on it. (That’s her, and it, in the photo above.)



Your Eazier Livin’ designs are fabulous… What inspired you to make them?  
They were inspired both by my mom and by a dear handicapped friend. I designed the Sassy Smock, and my special friend did the walker saddlebag and wheelchair backpack. I was happy to publish her two patterns under the Eazy Peazy name. It was inspiring to watch her write down her ideas, then the directions. All I had to do was edit and format them. All three were thoroughly researched and are functional for the handicapped.

It looks like you've had a LOT of people test your patterns. Why is this important to you? I do believe in testing of the patterns. Not all of the testers listed on my website test every pattern, but they are my “angels” and I especially appreciate those who will challenge every step and will test from the words on the page. It makes my product better. I admit to having nightmares about publishing a pattern with a bad instructions. My concept for my company was to have easy instructions that would be user friendly. Along the way I've improved my instruction writing. Little things like starting each step with a verb. Wish I had started it with the first pattern. I’m learning! One secret I have is a husband who is a golf writer who will edit for me. He has no idea how to sew, but can check grammar, tense, etc.  So, as you see, I have a “village” behind each Eazy Peazy pattern.


Tell me more about the Double Diamond Ruler you used in your beautiful Divine Diamonds Handbag. How does it work, who makes it, and where can you buy it? 
It was designed by Kim Templin of Bright Quilting Notions. It’s a fun ruler that takes out all the hassle of measuring and cutting exactly. You select either the 3.5" or 1.5" ruler (both come in the package). Fuse your medium- and light-valued fabrics with Heat’n Bond Lite.  Then fold and use your rotary cutter in the slots provided, fold back the diamonds, place on a dark piece of fabric and secure by quilting. It’s a great way to showcase your light, medium and dark fabrics.
Photo courtesy of Kim Templin/Bright Quilting Notions

Photo courtesy of Kim Templin/Bright Quilting Notions
You can purchase it from the Bright Quilting Notions website, other online retailers, and from quilt shops. (The retail price is $21.95.) Or keep reading, and find out how to enter for a chance to win Margaret’s pattern and the ruler, too!

You have another handbag (the Heavenly Textured Handbag) that uses Texture Magic. This is another material I've never used, but I've heard great things about it. Can you describe it a bit?  
Texture Magic is a great product when you want to play with fabric. It is a steam-activated shrinking fabric that can be used with or without batting and with fancy stitches and quilting methods. Without batting it resembles smocking and is great for garments. With batting, it is super in quilts and handbags. Another use is in art quilts with the varied textures which can be achieved. A version of the product has been used in the aircraft industry since the 1960s. In fact, in a recent trip to Fantasy of Flight here in Florida, a mechanic gave me a piece (but in a much heavier weight). Leave it to the quilters to find a way to repurpose an existing product! My Second Heaven Handbag pattern uses Texture Magic, too.


It looks like your patterns list exactly the products you use to achieve a designer look.   They do; here’s another example: I personally hate purses and accessories that have no “body.” Proper interfacings are key to achieving a beautiful product. The newest interfacing which found me by way of Annie Unrein at Houston Market is  Soft and Stable. You can buy it from Annie at her website, and I predict will be a big seller for quilting stores. It is a polyester-covered foam. The machine needle glides effortlessly though it, and it gives lightweight softness while providing super body. I'll be recommending it in future patterns.

You just started your company in 2009, and went to your first Quilt Market this fall, right? Yes. A year ago at this time, I had four patterns. Now there are 11, with the twelfth almost finished.  The decision to go to Quilt Market seemed to be the logical next step for growth.

What was your experience there like? It was amazing. Hard work but very rewarding… now I know some shortcuts for setting up a booth. I had the most fun meeting shop owners from across the country and Australia and Canada who were already stocking my patterns in their shops. It was gratifying to be able to thank them personally. The networking possibilities were endless. Going to Houston was one of the best business decisions I’ve made.

Have you been sewing for a long time? What other crafts do you enjoy? I've been playing with needles and thread since childhood. Fabric and sewing have always fascinated me.  Crochet is the only thing I've tried that has absolutely eluded me. My mentor and cheerleader is Marie Seroskie of Katie Lane Quilts. Marie helped me when I started quilting and continues to aide by answering questions via e-mail.

Is that Julie Creus from La Todera as a model on your pattern covers? She was in the booth next to yours at Quilt Market, right? Are you two friends? Yes, Julie Creus is a friend and fellow quilter. I twisted her arm to get her to pose for the covers! She just had the look I was searching for to represent my company. Julie and I jokingly call each other “Thelma and Louise.” We've been sharing information about pattern publication, printing, distributing, etc. as we grow our businesses, which we started at about the same time. It’s nice to have someone traveling the same road to bounce ideas off of. Together we swallowed hard, wrote our checks to go to Houston, loaded an SUV with our stuff and had a wonderful trip and experience at our first Quilt Market. 

GARGANTUAN GIVEAWAY!
Margaret has generously given me one of each of her 11 patterns to give away to my readers. Isn’t that sweet? She has a bunch of patterns for things that would make wonderful handmade holiday gifts (stuff like cell phone cases, coupon cases, and spectacle or rotary cutter cases). To enter this giveaway, please go to the Eazy Peazy website and take a look at Margaret’s patterns. Then leave a comment after this blog post and tell me which design you'd like to win, and why. I'll pull 11 names at noon EST on Dec. 10. 

The winner of the Divine Diamonds Handbag pattern will also win a Double Diamond Ruler, courtesy of Kim Templin of Bright Quilting Notions. (Thanks, Kim!)

I will also pull the name of a twelfth person to win a 18" x 58" package of Soft and Stable, courtesy of Annie Unrein of ByAnnie. (Thanks, Annie!)
Pattern and product photos courtesy of Margaret Travis.

WINNERS!
Can you believe it? Margaret sent me another set of patterns. So lots of you are winners! I drew names at random, and when possible, matched you up with the pattern you liked best. 

Sassy Smock: MamaCrow and Tami@LemonTreeTales
Stroller or Wheelchair Backpack: Kathleen and Laura T. 
Walker Saddlebag: Robin C. and Debbie (Woolen Sails)
Bodacious Brag Bag: Jackie and Dolores
Divine Diamonds Handbag pattern and Double Diamond Ruler: Marcia and Rhonda G.
Second Heaven: TZel and Cara
Heavenly Textured Handbag: Mary Jo and Dinah T.
Spectacular Spectacle or Rotary Cutter Cases: Mimi and Karen
Captivating Cell Phone Caddy: QuiltNQueen and Sandee
Convenient Coupon Caddy:  and RustyBird
Luverly Luggage Tag and Marvelous MiniWallet: Fulvia and Gill
Soft & Stable: Di


32 comments:

  1. what nice patterns. I'd choose the walker saddlebag because I know several friends who use walkers and it would be a good thing to have

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  2. I would choose the Sassy Smock...I'm in 2 art groups, and I know the first time I wear mine, everyone will be saying..."make me one, pleeeeeeeez"

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  3. I would choose the Bodacious Brag Bag pattern. My daughter is expecting her first child in the spring and I would love to make this for her (and one for me.)

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  4. I love the Divine Diamonds bag pattern!
    Thank you for the giveaway

    Gill

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  5. I would chose the walker caddy. I would like to make it for a friend of mine.

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  6. they are all nice patterns...but I would chose the backpack...it says it can be used for walkers and strollers and I know a few people who would like one...thank you for the giveaway...

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  7. I love the walker caddy, I would use it for several people I know who use walkers. This is a great idea. Lovely giveaway.

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  8. Lovely interview. I especially loved hearing that a version of Texture Magic was used in the aviation industry since the 60s. I wonder what they used it for?

    If I won I'd love the Walker Saddlebag so that I could make one for my grandmother. She recently had to move out of her senior apartment and into an assisted living facility. She's not having a good transition and I'd hope that something bright for her walker would cheer her up.

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  9. All the patterns are great, but I think that my favorite is the Second Heaven pattern the best because my daughter and I could make it together and each enjoy our own bag. Thank you!
    bridgestranslation at yahoo dot com

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  10. What a great interview. I've been reading about Eazy Peazy at other blogs recently.
    Walker saddlebag so I can make one for my craft/quilt loving mother-in-law.

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  11. I would love to win the walker saddlebag. I really want to make those and give them as gifts to the nursing home residents. I was going to come up with my own ideas to do this, but Margaret has done so for us.

    Debbie

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  12. Bodacious brag bag is too cool!

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  13. I love these patterns and if I were chosen I would choose the rotary cutter cover because I don't have anything like it! Thanks for the chance.

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  14. The Bodacious Brag Bag because it is fun and chic all at the same time!

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  15. I think my favorite is the eyeglass/rotary cutter keeper. What a stylish way to keep those things safe!

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  16. Susan,
    I would love the 'Heavenly'
    Textured Handbag. Plus since the day you draw is my birthday, it would make a great birthday present!

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  17. The walker bag looks so efficient! I think that is what I narrowed my choice down to! And then I think I will texturize it with Texture Magic!

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  18. I like the Eazier Livin' Walker Saddlebag pattern.

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  19. I think these are great patterns... and would love to win any one of them... but I think the walker Saddlebag would be the best... Looking forward to seeing the winners!

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  20. I would love to win the Divine Diamonds Handbag pattern! Thanks!

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  21. I have several of Margaret's patterns and love them all. I would choose the Divine Diamonds handbag pattern as bags are so much fun to make. It may be too late to stitch one up in red and green for this Christmas, but there's always next year!

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  22. What isn't to like about these patterns? Second Heaven Too would be my choice because I'm aiming to make my granddaughter a cute bag like this one.

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  23. Divine Diamonds looks great!
    thanks!

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  24. These are useful patterns. When I had to use a walker, would have loved to have a saddlebag for it. Plus, we make lap quilts for local nursing homes and this would be a nice addition. Still, my favorite pattern is the double diamond handbag. Thanks for this giveaway. It was unexpected as was just stopping by to read your blog as normally do not comment. serendipity...

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  25. FIRST, THANK YOU and your co-harts! What a lovely post and giveaway. I'd just be happy to win any one of the patterns and/or ruler/product. If I had to choose, it would be: 1/Soft and Stable as it is a product "new" to me 2/Walker Saddlebag as we have Veteran's home in town for which I could make several of these to put to great use for our service men and women and 3/Divine Diamonds just for fun!

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  26. I love her patterns. I have two favorites: the Wheelchair Backpack or the Walker Saddlebag. My MIL and FIL are both using a wheelchair and walker and I can see where this would be extremely handy! What a great story about her company:)
    Laura T

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  27. Personally, I would love any of the handbag patterns. I am always looking for new ones. :)

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  28. I'm leaning towards the Brag Bag, because I have a new baby who is the first grandchild on either side of the family. Both grandmas and all the great-grandmas would love this, and me too! But, I'm also very tempted by the Second Heaven pattern, because I can really see some great Big Sister, Little Sister bags for my little cousins.

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  29. I love the divine dimond handbag. But there was others patterns equally that caught my attention, so it was a hard choice. Thank you for sharing a wonderful giveaway.

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  30. I really like the Diamond Delight bag. I am very curious how the double dianond ruler works. I love the effect.

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  31. Margaret has awesome patterns...all of them!!! Love the Cell phone caddy. I would love to make a caddy for my camera and this just might work with a little fudging. Thanks for the chance to win. Love the Wheelchair Backpack or the Walker Saddlebag. They would make great donations to a local nursing home. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  32. Thank you, Susan, for such an exhaustive post. I'd be happy to receive any and/or the ruler!

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