Adventures at the Atlanta Food and Craft Swap

atlanta food and craft swap june

This past weekend, we ventured out to an event we’ve never attended before: the Atlanta Food (and Craft) Swap.  Hosted by Homestead Atlanta, this is usually “just” a food swap, but this month, they opened it up to anything handmade–and we jumped on it.  I sent my husband the details and we set aside an hour-ish on our Sunday afternoon to head over to the Goat Farm (I think the venue might have helped convince him–he figured he’d get to see the swap and check out Walking Dead sets at the same time).

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TUTORIAL: Applying Piping

When I was dreaming up the Prayer & Meditation Cushion pattern, one of the first epiphanies I had was that it really needed piping.

prayer and meditation cushion | whipstitch

One of the best parts about piping is the way it really defines a seam and makes it POP.  I love it on almost everything–children’s clothes, women’s dresses and tops, pockets for a bit of sailor flair, handbags for a bit of chic, and obviously on cushions.

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Seedlings!

THIS year!  Is finally The Year!

gardening with kids

After ages and ages and ages of planning a Real Garden, we’ve finally tilled the soil and sprouted seeds.

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TUTORIAL: Exposed Enclosed Zipper

exposed enclosed zipper black

Ever since I learned to install the “exposed enclosed zipper,” I have been minorly obsessed with them.  They seem to work on, like, a zillion different projects, perfectly.  I used one on the Prayer & Meditation Cushion, and in my Pockets e-Book I wrote about how to install one with a pocket on the back.  These puppies fit on garments, pillows, handbags, you name it.

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Handmade Linen Wedding Napkins

I must really, really, really like my sister.

mitered linen napkins

She’s getting married in two weeks (eek!!), and I agreed to sew up the table linens for her reception.

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Relaxing Herbal Pillow Fill: 10 Recipes

prayer and meditation cushion sewing pattern from Whipstitch

When I planned my prayer and meditation cushions, I knew I wanted to use buckwheat hulls for the filling.  I’d used hulls previously for pin cushions, and I loved the weight of them, and the way they create a really stable base.  I’d also read about sleeping with a buckwheat hull pillow, and thought the idea would translate well to a floor cushion.

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Prayer & Meditation Cushion Pattern

Introducing a new super fast and useful sewing pattern: the Prayer & Meditation Cushion!

Whether you currently have a spiritual practice of any kind, there has been a ton published in the media recently about how meditation is becoming widely used by successful professionals to allow them to balance their work with their personal lives.  Aside from aiding in focus and relaxation, meditation and prayer–separately or in combination–are well documented to increase mental clarity and improve interpersonal interaction.  A little bit of quiet time each day (as little as 10 minutes!) can transform not just your outlook, but your relationships and your work.  Nothing short of miraculous.

prayer and meditation cushion | whipstitch

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Handmade Teacher Gift Round-Up

Alright, team players!  A bunch of you had some really great suggestions for end-of-year gifts for teachers, and I loved what you had to share.  I loved that some of you are teachers or are married to teachers, and you totally get where I’m coming from on the cookie plate thing–and I loved that you guys really want to do something special and handmade for the people who invest so much in our kids.

Below, I’ve sorted most of the suggestions into five categories, grouping them together and then linking to tutorials and patterns around the web so that you can jump right in and get going on them.  Only a few days left for most of us–but still enough time to be thoughtful!

best handmade teacher gift tutorials

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In Search of the Perfect Teacher Gift

quilted drawstring bag 8b

The end of the school year is, once again, upon us.  On the one hand: oh, thank goodness, I am SO relieved to not have to get up at the crack of whenever.  On the other: so much less time to get stuff done!  It seems a cruel trade-off, that we have to get up at an unholy hour in order to accomplish more during the day, but there it is.

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The Flip Flop Dress in Citrus Checks

Yep.  More Flip Flop Dress previews.

the flip flop dress in citrus checks

Sometimes I’m astonished at how long it can take to develop a pattern, even one that seems really simple.  Not just the pattern pieces, but the technical writing to get the instructions JUST RIGHT, and the images and graphics to communicate each step in the construction process, and then the photos to show the features of the pattern (which take the cooperation of small people sometimes).  Plus the samples to be sewn, the testers to coordinate with, the lost sleep as you worry over details that you are convinced could make or break the entire project.

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