Days for Girls: A Sewing Charity to Embrace

One of the things Sewing Buddies have done over the years of which I am most proud is sewing for charity.  There are some really amazing organizations around the world and right here in the US that do incredible work and make a lasting impact in people’s lives through simple sewing projects.  I recently learned of a new one that moved me far more deeply than I would have expected, and that I hope you’ll consider following and promoting, even if you never sew a stitch for them.

days for girls banner

This is Days for Girls.  They are an organization whose mission is to provide education, employment and dignity to girls all over the world in one simple way: allowing them to have a private period.

Read More

Coming to a Screen Near You!

I’ve got a couple projects up and coming to share with you!  A great power session class covering details and finishes; and an episode on PBS with collars and collar techniques. Click through for more details and links to each, and come play with me!!

sewing button

Read More

One Little Word 2015: STEWARDSHIP

Aaahhh!!  Only MARCH and I’m posting my first One Little Word video update for the year.  You can see my 2014 updates here, or on my YouTube channel.

The Maya Angelou quote I mentioned is actually a Zora Neale Hurston quote (oops), and is from Their Eyes Were Watching God: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”  You can find more Zora Neale Hurston quotes here (and quotes that are actually from Maya Angelou here).

Read More

2015 Sewing Buddy Project: Sign-Ups OPEN!


Short version: The Sewing Buddies are BACK!!  Sign up here for 2015.

Long(er) version:  I started the Sewing Buddy Project six (!!) years ago in response to a survey I conducted here on the blog that seemed to indicate that one of the biggest things that would help most of us get more of our sewing goals met was to have a friend who would sew alongside us (literally or figuratively) and keep us motivated and excited about our sewing projects.  Sewing Buddies were my answer: a system of pen pals who all love to sew and want to get to know other sewing folks.

I never imagined it would last so long or be such a big hit.

Read More

Printable: Bias Tape Makers & Measurements

While I was at QuiltCon, I had the privilege of teaching a quick demonstration at the invitation of the ladies from Cotton + Steel.  Naturally, the first idea that popped into my head was to share my on-going passion for continuous bias tape.  Yes!  More CBT converts!  More bias tape projects!  BIAS TAPE FOR EVERYONE!!

continuous bias tape

I made little giveaways to share, lengths of bias tape wrapped around cardboard, as takeaways for the folks who came by to visit.  Doing a demonstration in a setting like this is always a little funky–it’s a little bit of a fishbowl, and it’s hard to tell if no one is paying any attention or if everyone is paying attention.  Turns out, having some goodies to give away is a great method for giving folks a heads-up that something fun is about to happen.  YOU get some bias tape!  And YOU get some bias tape!  EVERYONE gets some bias tape!!

Read More

QuiltCon 2015: I Hate What I Made. And I Learned So Much.

QuiltCon, QuiltCon, QuiltCon!  WHEN will everyone STOP talking about QuiltCon?!?

Not today, I’m afraid.

I was there in Austin when 10,000 modern quilters gathered from all over the world–as far away as India, over 9500 miles–to learn and be inspired and meet up and hug a LOT.  It was, honestly, everything everyone has said it was and maybe even a little bit more.  Imagine: every time you turn a corner, you see another dear, dear friend whom you don’t see often enough, and you race toward each other for giant hugs and super fast chatter.  That’s what this was like.  Like a junior high dance, except everyone was really nice and in an incredibly good mood.  I’m totally in withdrawal.

quilt con cotton and steel make and take

Make-and-takes at the Cotton + Steel booth! Image via the MQG blog.

I volunteered while I was there, and it was such a great way to visit with friends and make new ones, to see the show and to feel like I was contributing to something that makes an enormous impact in a lot of people’s lives.  I helped set up booths and hang quilts on the show floor before quilters began arriving, I welcomed folks in as they entered the ballroom for the QuiltCon Awards Ceremony, and I even spent a day with Anna Maria Horner in her Mod Corsage workshop (along with Denyse Schmidt, pretty much guaranteeing that the entire day was both magical and hilarious, because those ladies are hysterically funny).

Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt at Quilt Con 2015

I even took one whole day to enjoy a workshop for myself–I know, you can really pack some stuff into four days, right?  I was actually scheduled to do another half-day workshop during the weekend, but as I was packing my bags to leave on the plane, realized that it was just too much.  I dropped the half-day workshop so that someone else could pick it up from the wait list, and stuck with just the one full-day class: the Emphasis quilt with Carolyn Friedlander.

Read More

Intimidation Factor

I really love a challenge.  I do.  Sometimes I like to see if I can do something JUST to see if I can do it, whether I’m especially interested in the final product or not.  But other times…man, I just get too intimidated.

I’ll be all super excited about making something I’ve never made before and become CONVINCED that I am able to climb any mountain, as the nuns sang.  I’ll get all the supplies and all the patterns and all the equipment.  And then I’ll freeze.

Deer in headlights.  It’s awful.  It looks like procrastination on the outside, but I’m learning to call it what it really is: intimidation.  Most projects I jump into face-first, and if it works, it works.  And if it doesn’t?  No harm, no foul.  There have been a few, however…  No matter how much I gear myself up and gird my own loins, I have simply struggled to complete these projects, even when they have gotten to well-past-the-50%-mark.

wool yarn for knitting cardigans

Read More

Vintage Barbie Clothes Made by Someone Else’s Grandma

barbies hanging out by the closet

Two years ago, I went on a mission at Christmas: a vintage Barbie holiday for our 7-year-old.

barbie carrying cases whipstitch

I was especially focused on the carrying cases, honestly.

Read More

Cotton + Steel Frock Rayons

racerback shift from whipstitch b

Oh, rayon.  I DO love you.  I have always loved you.  I am so glad we’re getting back together.

frock casing bow detail whipstitch

I once overheard an older woman at JoAnn saying to her friend how much she hated rayon ever since The War.  She seemed very sure of her opinion, but I think I made a noise under my breath, because I strongly disagree.  STRONGLY.  Me, I love rayon.  It’s so soft and drapey, and it feels so silky against my skin.  I love the flow of it, and the way nearly any garment made in it is super flattering.

Read More

Giveaway with Kids Clothes Week!

Today, I’m excited to be part of a giveaway over at Kids Clothes Week! Enter for your chance to win THREE new kids’ patterns PLUS a spot in the Sewing Knits without the Serger class.
The Overmost and Pinafore are in the final phases of testing and will be available for presale in a matter of days! Eeek! And the dress featured in the Cotton + Steel booth under the Pinafore last fall will come out soon after:
Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 12.15.54 PM
You’ll receive all three patterns when they release plus get immediate access to the Sewing Knits class–join me in stitching up all your favorite clothes in stretch fabrics!
Enter here or over on the Kids Clothes Week blog!
a Rafflecopter giveaway