I try very hard to not buy what I don’t need (and it’s actually mind-boggling to really stop and consider what I DON’T need). But sometimes, in some cases, I must admit that I love gear. Gear I’m describing here as gear in my sewing room- all the bits and tools that make my life a little bit easier. Not necessarily the gadget-y stuff, but tools that I not only enjoy using, but that I find are inspiring and pretty to use.
You guys, writing this book is no joke. Seriously. I’m either making quilts, creating quilt layouts, researching quilts, shipping quilts, dreaming about quilts, stress-eating while avoiding making quilts, or otherwise consumed by quilts. My manuscript deadline is looming and if I break a finger, bust a sewing machine, or have one single hiccup, everything could topple.
But on the other hand, I am so gloriously excited about this project! Part of the reason I’m thinking about quilts when I’m not actually making them is because I am TRULY in love with this book! I wake up every morning and am excited to get to the studio and HAVE to make quilts! I have had amazing emails from readers telling me their quilt stories, ones that have encouraged me and cheered me on. I want to produce something that will inspire you all as much as you have inspired me.
The other night I rewatched the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. The first time I saw it I cried like a baby because I’m super sappy. He pulled himself out of what seemed an impossible life situation to accomplish what he’s done, it was unbelievable to me that this actually happened. I wanted to watch it again, to remind myself that everything can seem impossible until it’s done. The actual act of doing it can seem monumental, but once it’s done, it was worth it. And this book, my friends, will be done.
My family has been incredibly supportive of me and what I’m doing this summer. I thanked them on the Wise Craft Facebook page the other day, when I was feeling incredibly lucky to be able to have them. Without them, I couldn’t do this. Some days I feel like I’m in my vacuum, trudging along with my ideas, and then I see images like this one on Instagram, by my photographer, and I am reminded that there are people in my life who are helping me every step of the way.
I could not be luckier.
I imagine looking back on this summer will make me incredibly nostalgic one day. There was not a lot of travel, fun day trips around the city, or movie marathons this summer. It has been a simple summer. That summer I wrote a book I was in love with. That summer I would skip showering in the morning if it wasted too much time that could otherwise be better spent in the studio (I actually can’t believe I just typed that). That summer that I constantly carried around a thick notebook filled with illegible scribbles and scratched drawings, important pages marked with tiny torn post-it notes. That summer my kids learned more to be more self-sufficient than every before, out of necessity (for I am not pizza). That summer that I felt a kinship with quilt makers who made out of necessity, with little or nothing, yet still took the time to make it beautiful.
There are big things on my list, I can’t wait to share more. Thank you all for supporting me on this journey. I feel giddy and grateful.
But first, I will take today to celebrate my son, Ian’s 14th birthday. I can’t believe this kid is 14 (this photo is from 2006, it’s the way he still is to me).
That summer my kid suddenly wasn’t a kid so much anymore…
It happens almost every class I teach, every workshop I attend. Someone pulls out there well-organized, pretty, handmade Sew Demented’s Sew Together bag. (Usually I end up asking them to borrow a tool at some point because they know where there’s is.) A couple of weeks ago I took a break from the have to’s and did a little want to sewing, whipping up my own Sew Together bag.READ MORE
The studio update is coming along! (Pictures soon, but here’s one on Instagram.) Peter finished removing the back counter that wrapped around the back of the room. This really needed to come out, the way it was oriented really cut the room in two and was weird to maneuver around.READ MORE
I won’t tell you there were big events or earth-shattering types of happenings that prevented me from blogging these past couple of weeks. I could. But I won’t. Instead, I will come clean and say that in addition to several of the aforementioned documentaries (which, it was his birthday), there were other unforeseen obstacles in my way, such as-
Another thing I played around with last week was fabric dyeing.
I have always wanted to try this. I did a very small bleaching experiment a few years ago, but nothing since. And I love the idea of dyeing my own fabric to get a certain color- plus, it’s your own fabric when you dye and create it’s color, right?READ MORE
Talking with Erin last week got me in the mood to some quilting, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Inspiration is always in my head, but too much and I’m frozen. So I decided to get back to basics. The disappearing nine patch block has been around for a while, but I wanted to document my process here. So many who claim to not have the skills to make a quilt could easily create this block, and its a very satisfying sew. I used a charm pack of Denyse Schmidt’s newest line, Florence, 1/2 yard or so of one of the prints in this range that reminded me of boxer shorts (actually, the whole range reminds me of boxer shorts!). I wanted dark centers in each of the nine patch blocks, so I used another Denyse Schmidt print (coincidence, but all her prints do work together well) in dark blue for each of the centers. Making the center of each block darker valued will create some continuity later on, but this is not a hard and fast rule. You could make every single square in your nine patch blocks a different fabric. Play with low and high volume prints. Experiment! That’s what this block is all about. Here’s how to do it.READ MORE