Tuesday, January 15, 2008


My plan was just to take some product shots of a couple new items.

And, at first I think I was pretty true to my intent. But then I was struck by a desire to have the pictures read more as still lifes than product.

So I went with that desire.
I don't think these shots show off the fabric very well, but they were a lot of fun to design.

Some might be semi-useful. Others...just ridiculous.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


New items from last week::

More round coasters. This time in shades of blue.

Pictured above: evidence that I don't have any self control. The fabric was barely out of the washing machine when I decided that I MUST make more so that I can make something with it.

Swirl design in a different colorway and, actually a different way of working. Rather than dye the base fabric a color, draw on the swirls and then overdye in another color, I dyed the fabric in a medium value color(turquoise), drew the design and then discharged the fabric. This turquoise tends to bleach practically white. I then overdyed into a wonderful golden yellow.

The second in the series.

New for this week:: New Feature:: Pictures from Everyday Life:

Keeping track of the rows.

One-eyed Abi.

I just checked and those shoes are still there by the couch.

One Last Thing:: If you get a chance,check out whipup.net today for a mention about my Great Aunt Irma Patchwork pillow series.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


When I was a kid and my Dad, now a retired doctor, would leave for work he always made a point of quoting a line from a popular Dunkin Doughnuts commercial. As he turned the knob to head out for another long day , he would look back over his shoulder and say," Time to make the doughnuts."

Now this fabric doesn't remind me exactly of doughnuts, but as I was quilting around the swirls this afternoon, I started to crave cinnamon rolls or strudel. And that made me think of my Dad and his doughnut making. That's it. It doesn't go any deeper than that.

Friday, January 4, 2008


The other day I mentioned a pillow that was featured over at Sew,Mama,Sew . I didn't, however, tell the story behind this particular pillow. I don't usually have a back story, but this is an exception. Several years ago I "inherited" a quilt top from my husband's great aunt Irma. I put quotes around that word because inherited is a euphemism for nobody wanted it, they didn't really know where it came from, so they decided to give it to the only member of the family who sews. Although no one seemed quite sure how the quilt top came to be in Irma's house there was unanimous agreement that Irma, a woman who had sworn off all things domestic, had definitely not sewn it.
The quilt was full size and a fine example of the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern. I was pretty sure that the fabrics were depression era and that I didn't really have much interest in quilting and using it. So, I put it in a box. Periodically I'd take it out and try to figure out what I could do with it. I had several false starts. At one point I crafted part of the quilt into a skirt for my daughter, then one for my self. But, I eventually took those apart as well.

At one point I cut the flowers out of the background fabric intending to applique them on to other fabrics and add some embroidery as well. I did that on quite a few, but then they sat around as squares. I still didn't know what I wanted to do with them.

Then, in the course of making pillows for my shop, I came upon the idea of featuring a single flower as a center of a pillow or maybe even a mini quilt.

I knew I wanted the pillow top to be fairly large(at least 20x20") and that I wanted to quilt it intensely and wash it to give it a puckered quality. I also decided to finish the back with buttons at the opening rather than zippers. Right now, I have one completed pillow and two more tops ready to quilt, but I'm approaching this as a series and, given that I have at least 15 usable flowers, I'm really interested to see how they evolve over time. Hopefully they won't return to the box for years before I've finished repurposing all of them.

P.S. I just want to thank the folks over at the CRAFT blog and Jenny Ryan for mentioning my numbers quilt and bag.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I went out in search of buttons yesterday. But I didn't end up at the Joann's superstore(though I've been to that place more than once or twice) or at our local and very cute Silk Road Fabrics . I made a beeline for this amazing junk store in my neighborhood. I've mentioned this place before. It's so jam packed with stuff and by that I mean anything you can imagine,valuable or otherwise. If you were to inadvertently run into a shelf it would probably be years before the owners discovered your skeletal remains beneath the piles of empty tins and scratched records.
I go there with one thing in mind, buttons. They have the most amazing vintage buttons. But, you got to work for them. You've got to search through countless tins crammed with buttons and you've got to do this searching while standing in the middle of an aisle and using a stack of junk as a table. My stack yesterday consisted of blankets and boxes and was topped off with a ventriloquist's dummy. The dummy's presence made balancing the tins I was searching through precarious, but there was absolutely no place to put the guy.

When I mentioned to the owner that I didn't need sets of the same buttons, she went to the back of the store and returned with these handmade bracelets that she'd found/bought. They were very crudely constructed with elastic forming the base of the bracelets and all manner of buttons sewn on to the elastic. In fact some buttons were attached to the elastic and then another, smaller button was sewn on top of that. Some were even triple deckers. She probably had 4 or 5 of these beauties and I bought them all.

I bagged the bracelets up along with a bowl(she did provide me with a silver bowl to sort my buttons into) of already selected buttons. My entire haul only set me back $20.

When I got home, I plopped myself into my knitting chair. It functions in other ways too, but for me it's my knitting chair. Anyway, I got myself situated and spent the next hour ripping the buttons out of the elastic. I knew I'd have to work for this treasure, but it was so worth it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


With apologies to the Girl Scouts of America:
" A circle's round; it has no end."
I've mentioned in the past that I'm silly enough to actually have a favorite shape, but now I'm indulging that bias in a new way.
The other day Abi asked me why I always make square coasters. She argued that most if not all glasses have round bases, so why were all my coasters square? Honestly, I didn't have an answer for her. I just never thought to make them any other shape. Well I have now.

It's a little sad how happy making these coasters made me. After I made the first one, I ran around to each of my family members to show it off. To their credit, they gave me more by way of response than, "Very nice, dear."

And, like the unending circle, my mind began to race with other round ideas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Wow! It's been so long since I signed in to my blog that I had to spend a minute or two trying to remember my password. Oy! Thankfully, all the neurons necessary to remember this bit of trivia are still firing so here I am.
A lot has happened over the course of the last three or so weeks. I've sewn a ton(yay!), knit a pair of socks, a hat and even worked on the sweater I promised a friend would be ready by Thanksgiving. That's Thanksgiving 2007.
I finally finished reading Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. The most notable thing about this book was how much I ultimately enjoyed it despite the fact that I hated each and every character. Quite amazing. Now, I kind of miss them all.
I was also very excited to be mentioned on the Sew,Mama,Sew blog. They featured a new pillow of mine which, since it was made in the past two weeks and I haven't posted since... Well, to remedy some of that I've put together a little mosaic of some of my 2007 projects.
It's been a very inspiring year. Here's to wishing for more of the same in 2008!