Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Granny Update

I've been granny-ing it up, and I'm creating quite a pile.  Sadly, it will be a very long time before I have a stack big enough for an afghan.  It's definitely not an "instant gratification project". 

Funny, though, that I don't mind not having an end in sight.  I find that I pick up my crochet hook and yarn when I need a little something rhythmic to do.  I really like making grannies, and mixing up the colors in my yarn palette means that there's not total repetition in the process.  I mean, yes, each granny has four rounds, and those are all created alike.  But the variance in color is keeping me from boredom. 

The fact that I don't have a deadline for this particular project is really lovely.  I can be relaxed as I granny-along.  Every now and then I'll stop and stack them up, just to see my progress.  For visual purposes only...not to stress myself out.  Haha.  I love having a project, just for fun.  What are you playing around with today?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oh, Just Stitching

Spring is teasing us today, with mild temperatures and little peek-a-boos of sunshine.  I am so ready.  I'm working away on the art quilt I started last weekend.  This is a little corner of vintage trim goodness.  More to come...

Sewing mends the soul.  Author unknown

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm with Indygo Junction!

I wandered over to Indygo Junction today to peek at my quilt pattern, Whirlygigs.  And what do you know?  There it was, featured on their home page.  So fun.

It's a simple quilt to piece together, and makes for a sweet baby or lap quilt.  I can picture this one at our first summertime picnic.  Thanks Amy and everyone at Indygo Junction.  Hope we can collaborate again real soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Give New Life to an Old Quilt

This is actually one quilt.  Both the front and the back are beautifully hand-pieced, hand-stitched, hand-quilted.  It's beautiful.  But it's falling apart.  It was in my mom's sewing room when I cleaned it out after she passed away.  I don't know if it's a family quilt, or something she picked up on one of her treasure hunts (I am my mother's daughter).  So, it's been sitting in my guest room for six years.  Finally, over the weekend, I mustered the courage to cut it up and use the bits that weren't tattered and threadbare to cover some pillows for our couch. 

 The first cut was the hardest.  I stood at my cutting table, quilt spread out, rotary cutter at the ready.  I just stood there, not quite willing to move forward. 

And then I just did it.  Like ripping off a band-aid.  

 And, you know, once I made that first cut, it wasn't so hard to make the next, and the next, and the next.  Before I knew it, I had cut out my pillow shapes.   As I was cutting away, I thought you might like a little toot-toot-tutorial on how to make pillows from a vintage quilt that might be hiding in your sewing room.  As one of my Instagram followers said to me, if she'd made the quilt originally, she would love knowing it is getting a new life.  So, don't be afraid of that first cut.  It gets easier after that.  

To start, cut a square 1" larger than your pillow form.  For example, if your pillow form is 24"x24", but a square from your quilt that is 25"x25".  This will be the front of your pillow.

For the back of your pillow, cut two rectangles.  In this case, cut one rectangle 25" wide x 16" high, and another that is 25" wide by 20" high.  That will give you a nice overlap in the back.

For the two back rectangles, I finished the overlapping edges with binding.  In the spirit of re-purposing, I used a favorite chambray shirt of mine that I added to my scrap pile last year when I ripped it on something.  For your binding, whatever it's made of, you'll want to cut a 2-1/2" strip the same length as your rectangle width.  In this example, 2-1/2"x25".  Fold that strip in half lengthwise and press. 

Next, pin your binding, both raw edges along the edge of your rectangle and stitch.   I noticed that my quilt stretched quite a bit, so I was very glad I did the pinning.  I think there would have been too much stretch and not enough binding if I hadn't pinned.

Press your binding, and fold it over to the back of the rectangle.  Pin in place.


Your bound edge will look like this.  Repeat for second rectangle. 

Next, with right sides together, pin the larger of the two rectangles to the pillow front. 


Then, pin second rectangle to pillow front.  Stitch.

Clip your corners.

Turn your pillow inside out.  I used a plastic chopstick to get my corners nicely turned.  I wouldn't use anything as sharp as a knitting needle (my preferred tool), because I'm afraid it would poke right through the fragile fabric of the quilt.

Et, voila!  A lovely bound pillow "envelope".

 I'm tickled pink with the way they turned out!

The quilt was large enough that I could do a 24" pillow from one side of the quilt, and a 16" pillow from the other side.  Awesome!

 I'm thrilled with my new pillows.  And now that they're finished, I see this quilt every single day, revamped as pillows, when before the quilt was in a cupboard in my guest room, out of sight.

And I've got some lovely scraps for other projects.  Fun!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Little Work in Progress

A newly stitched posy on an old quiltie quilt.  Making me happy today.  Hope you're having a delightful Monday, friends.

The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.  Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Studio Tidy-up

It had to happen.  This is where I started last Saturday.  Not a clear spot in the place.  Nowhere to work.  Supplies and fabric and books scattered on every available flat surface.  It gets like this when I'm in the throes of creativity.  I think we all sort of work like least I tell myself I'm not the only one.  Finally, it gets to a point when I just can't stand it anymore, and I have to stop and get it together. 

And it takes forever, because I get caught up in minutae like this...color-coordinating markers in this FAB soft drink carton.  I've had this in my kitchen for quite some time, but it just sat there with nothing to do.  Meanwhile, in my studio, I'd amassed copious quantities of Copics and other markers.  They told me they wanted to live here.  I'm tickled pink.  And aqua.  And lime green.

Et voila!  Finally today, a clear space.  For about an hour or two.  Haha.  Let the wild rumpus begin!

What are you working on this weekend?

Friday, February 15, 2013

A New Project

A little something new that I'm working on.  So many projects, so little time.  Hope you have a lovely weekend.  It's beautiful here in Portland, on this sunny Friday afternoon.  Feels like spring...and I am so ready for it!

Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.  Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sending Love

Happy Valentine's Day, friends.  Hope your day is full of love...and chocolate.  xoxo

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Journal

I've been carrying around my 2013 planner for about a month now, and it was already beginning to look a little raggedy. And I've needed a new small sketchbook for my bag. So, I took my planner and a new blank sketchbook and covered them with fabric. Nothing fancy, very simple, but durable and pretty. It's the little things, isn't it?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Vintage Stitches

This is a little work-in-progress.  I'm totally winging it...just adding little bits of fabric and stitchery as I go along.  Looking forward to getting back to it over the weekend...even though, the to-do list is looming large.  But I may abandon it in favor of a stitch or two.

I started out with a bit of fine white linen.  I think linen is my favorite for stitching on.  It feels good in my hands, and I like the way the embroidery floss slides through the fibers. 

I pulled bits of vintage lace from my grandmother's stash.  I know I've mentioned the beautiful things I got from my mom's sewing room many times since she's passed away, but these bits of lace and eyelet are some of my favorite treasures.  I keep them in jars on shelves in my studio so I can look at them all the time.  When I'm ready to use them for various projects, I'll pull some out and wrap them on shipping tags - that makes it easy to throw them into my bag my vintage train case when I'm going to a friend's house for a little crafting romp.

This is an old image of my train case that I just found, and right now I'm wondering where this little bit of stitched yummy-ness has disappeared to.  I think it might have turned into a little pillow.  I'll have to do a little Nancy Drew-ing later...


In my winging-it for this project, I decided to add a border of lace and eyelet...

...all the way around the edge of my piece of linen.  This is a fairly large piece, about 15"x15".  Large for me, anyway. 

And then I began adding bits of fabric - these little circles appliqued onto square fabric scraps, and then a row of "bunting".  Lots of layers, with lots more to come.  I'm enjoying just making it up as I go along.  Who knows where it will end up.  What are you working on today, friend?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I had a little shout out the other day from the lovely peeps over at  You can see it here.  Thanks for thinking of me!!

Love is all you need.  The Beatles

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Plenty of Me to Go Around

Well, I'm a bit embarrassed to tell you that I've not really been on my weight loss program the last week or so.  Don't get me wrong.  It's not that I don't want to get this body back into shape.  It's just that my enthusiasm to do it has waned a bit.  I know this happens.  I get it.  It's just that I didn't expect it to happen so soon.  I'm being gentle with myself about it, knowing that when it feels right, I'll get back on track.  I'm also trying to reframe it for myself at bit.  Looking at it as taking care of myself, rather than depriving myself.  Moving my body to loosen my tight muscles and quiet my chatty mind.  I'll get there.  In the meantime, there is plenty of me to love. 

It takes more than just a good looking body.  You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This Flips my Skirt

I spent some time over the weekend really getting my head around all of the things I want to do.  The things that flip my skirt, squirt my pickle, make my heart sing!  Fa la la.  I have so many ideas, sometimes it's hard to shut my mind down.  I have sketch books filled with stitchery samplers, baubles to bead, quilts to sew.  I have file folders with colorful photos for inspiration, ideas jotted down on cocktail napkins for this book, that class, those products.  It's awesome.  And it's terrible.  Let me tell you why...

It's totally awesome to have a whole bunch of ideas.  I love it.  Wouldn't trade anything for it.  Seriously.  But this mess of ideas gets me into trouble sometimes, too.  Because it is sort of that...a mess.  Piles and stacks and pages and journals.  When I look at it all, I'm like a deer in headlights.  I can't move.  And I certainly don't know where to start.  So, I took the bull by the horns.  I pulled all of those piles and stacks and pages and journals out of hiding and onto the dining room table (because, naturally, there's no clear surface in my studio). 

And I plowed through all of them.  I made one ginormous list of all the ideas that flip my skirt right now.  And then I prioritized the list.  And then I filled up my calendar for the next 22 years!  Haha.  Not quite...but for the foreseeable future, anyway.  And it feels GREAT!  I have a plan!  I have deadlines!  Woohoo!  I'm so excited about what's ahead.

It feels so good to put some structure to my dream and to have a starting point.  What about you?  What's flipping your skirt today?  What are your dreams, and what can you do to make them come true?  You can, you know. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy Heart Month

It seemed fitting to welcome February with a little quiltie heart that's currently in progress.  After a foggy morning here in Portland, the sun is beginning to burn off the clouds, and the afternoon looks promising.  According to Punxsutawney Phil, spring will be here before we know it.

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
Oscar Wilde