Monday, December 19, 2011


Hello everyone - if anyone is still out there!

We're moving over to a new blog - come join us at:

Needed a fresh start and a fresh name that fits a bit better.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taking a Break...

I'm taking a break from blogging.

Not sure how long I'll be gone, where I'll go, or if I'll be back.

I'm just not feeling inspired to post.  

I've been crocheting, thrifting, dreaming up ideas...but haven't the oomph to share them here.

I might be sharing things on Flickr (you can get there from the button on my sidebar),

or, I might not.

If you'd like to say "hello", I'll still be checking my (e-mail) mailbox, and I'd love to hear from you.

I'll probably still be browsing the interwebs, too.

Although, I think I have a problem in that I'm always looking at/for ideas/blogs/patterns/etc., and not doing.
That is what I plan to spend more time working on - 
less looking and more doing.

But, as always, sending Blessings your way friends.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Late Night Crochet

I realized the other day that I haven't talked about my crochet very much here...

But that will probably change soon.

More on that later.

Tonight I just wanted to share that the house is quiet and I was up crocheting,
when all of a sudden, unconsciously, I started talking to God.

I'm trying to remember a time when that has happened before,
but I can't.

My hands were occupied, and my mind free.
And I didn't want to stop...

But I ran out of yarn.

There is more crochet in my future - for sure.

Blessings to you all tonight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Putting my (needle?) where my mouth is?

Hand sewing - on the go.

What I've been up to lately...

My first real size quilt project.
Well, the start of it anyway.
All packed up in its "go kit".

What's this?
A little tea to go with my stitching?
As lovely as that would be...

I'm afraid not!
Something even better!
A little sewing kit.
I love it.
(Probably more than I should.)

Some extra batting was folded over
and wrapped with left over
fabric from my
Sunrise Folk sign.
Fabritac holds it there nicely.
Just a few pins and a quilting needle.
(though I haven't been quilting yet-just piecing. 
Jinny suggests a short needle 
and it's been working so well for me!)

Tiny scissors.
A spool of thread.
(I've heard grays/light browns are wonderful
for piecing b/c they are neutral enough that
the stitches don't usually show up on the right side
unless the fabrics are black or white. 
And I have found this to be true!)
And a leather thimble given to me by
my friends mother, Mrs. Davison.
(Thanks Mrs. D!)

Yellow wool felt.
Just so happy.

Cut pieces.
Pieced pieces.
And the plan.
I was going to cut all the pieces and got
so overwhelmed.
Jinny recommends just cutting a few at a time.
So glad I did - less stress!

My stitches are already becoming straighter
and more even.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dimpling of
hand stitching.
One of my favorite things about fabric and thread.
(also the dimpling of hand quilting.
that's probably the best.)

My chicken-scratch plan.
I'm glad I know what's going on,
because that piece of paper is a MESS!

The inspiration for it all.
This was in my stash.
I think I (or maybe my mom?) got when I was in high school?
And it needed to be used.
And our bed needs a summer quilt.
So there you go.

It has 16 panels.
A few repeating states/cities.
But most importantly:
It looks vintage (yay!)
And has my homestate (yay!)

((p.s. - the fabric that is the backdrop for the sewing kit will also be in the quilt.))

Happy Hand-Sewing to you all!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Handiwork -or - what I've been thinking about a lot lately...

Handiwork is becoming increasingly important to me in my creative pursuits/missions.  More and more I feel the need to learn/value/pass on this skill set that WAS so commonplace that in quilting/sewing patterns and books from eras gone by, there aren't even descriptions or explanations of the process of sewing by hand (how to hold the needle, fabric and thread, etc.).

So what images come to mind when I say "handiwork".  Blue hair, shawls, hot tea and cats?  Umm, I hope not - not that any of those things are bad!  But that's mostly what came to my mind for a long time - because I didn't really know more than one or two people my age doing the kinds of "crafts" I was doing.  What is handiwork anyway?  Webster's II defines it as "1. Work done by hand. 2. Something accomplished by a single person's efforts. 3. The product of a person's work or actions."  Well, that's a pretty broad definition - I associate handiwork with anything fabric+thread+needle related that is done by hand. 

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not anti-sewing machine.  I LOVE my machine.  I just happen to LOVE hand sewing more.  It's portable, quiet, precise (I can sew on the machine, but am much less likely to screw something up if I sew it by hand) ;), s l o w e r (see precise) and there is just something special about sitting down with a needle and thread and all the love that goes into the finished product.  Natalie Chanin's books are great resources for hand sewists and a new hand sewing book Sewn By Hand by Susan Wasinger is out, which I have not seen yet, but would love to!  While patterns and books might not be specifically labeled for hand sewing, there is no reason they can't be used that way!  I've heard a lot of people who come to my booth at the craft shows say things like, "Oh, I wish I could sew, but I don't have a machine".  I try to tell them that they don't need one!  It seems that the slowness and "make do attitude" is just not part of our society anymore.

This is where some huge role models for my handiwork cause come in - Natalie Chanin (of Alabama Chanin - I spoke about her here), Anna Maria Horner and Susan of Plays With Needles.  

Hand sewing is what Natalie and her company are all about (and producing items slowly and locally using sustainable methods and talented sewers right here in the states).  

Recently, Anna Maria has talked about the importance of hand sewing and I believe she does quite a bit of it herself.  She talked about the dynamic of having a business and handsewing/making and whether the two together are possible.  As small as Sunrise Folk is, it's something I think about a lot, too.  I am increasingly inclined to take the plunge and go mostly, if not all, hand sewn in the shop.  Anna Maria also posted a video (courtesy of Etsy) that discusses a dying art and it really got me thinking about how important it is to keep these art forms alive.  

Then, Susan had a wonderful post about the time it takes to do handiwork - how most people don't understand why we do this, but how important the work is (and in her case the work is amazing ARTwork!).   

For quilters out there, I am quite sure you all know who Jinny Beyer is (I didn't know until a few weeks ago!).  If you don't know, she is a prolific hand quilter - she pieces and quilts every one of her quilts by hand.  And they are AMAZING!  She's written several books, has a website stocked with info and free patterns, has a fabric line and even has handy quilting tools for sale.  I recently purchased Quiltmaking By Hand and I'm SO glad I did!  It is a treasure trove of information, not just about hand quilting, but color selection, pattern drafting, hand sewing and skill building.  One thing I am incredibly impressed with about Jinny is how 'free' she is in her instructions/sewing philosophy.  She never says "you must do it this way or you are wrong".  Quite the opposite, she says there is NO wrong way.  *Love!*

Do any of you do hand sewing/hand quilting/hand embroidering/etc.?  Please let me know if you do, I would love to hear from you and try to round up a group of us!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I have pictures!

But the pictures first... as promised, here is my first Alabama Chanin skirt!  I only did one layer instead of the two I was supposed to...but for the sail boat reverse applique, I cut a little piece of contrasting fabric.

I apologize for the wrinkles in the skirt.  Most of the time, unfortunately, that's how I roll.  My husband came home shortly after I took these photos and had a very puzzled expression on his face.  
"Why are you wearing a skirt over your pants?"  
"Because I had to take pictures of it on me."

The slow cloth piece I worked on during vacation.  Still not quite finished, but I think I might just leave it be.  

Sorry!  Couldn't get it to turn!!!!

My first english paper piecing experience!  And after some time away from them, I already have several projects lined up in my head incorporating more hexagons!

And the mess that was formerly the craft room/office (affectionately known to J and I as the crawffice).  With the new internet came the need to pull the bookshelf out, so everything on it got put anywhere there was room in here...

And in here.  I'm happy to report that I went through all of it, got rid of a lot of it, and the rest is back in order in the crawffice.  It will all soon be a mess, however, because we are getting new carpet in our bedroom tomorrow, so all that furniture will be all over the house. ;)

Last, but not least, a baby hat made for a co-worker's new little one, Piper Jane!  (Isn't that a sweet name??  I love it!)  She is so adorable!  The pattern came from a search on Tangled Happy and can be found here at the Aesthetic Nest.

More soon!  Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Party in a box!

I meant to write about this when I talked about Wy's birthday party, but forgot!

We live pretty far from family, so our "work & church family" joined us for Wy's actual party.  I didn't want the grandparents to miss out on the fun though, so I sent them a party in a box!

(please excuse the mess behind the actual birthday stuff!)

Since they couldn't join us, I wanted to include little details from the party that would make them feel like they had been there.  I was going to be printing several sets of pictures (for Grandparents, Great Grandmas and Grand Godmother), so I sent them to Walgreens to be printed.  So much easier!
Believe it or not, that Bisquick box in the background is not part of the "mess", it's one of the boxes I used to send the package.  See how to make it 'sendable' here.

Invitations, straws, bubbles (in plastic sandwich bags with cowboy paper trim) and the cute baking cups I found at Michael's!

The tissue paper pom poms.

Everything got wrapped up in a bandana and put in a box to send!

Here I was, saying I wasn't going to post anything until later this week and I already have this one and another one ready to go!  Pictures, pictures, though.  I need to take some pictures.

Not sure when I'll be back - but I will bring pictures - promise!