Archive of ‘hand printing’ category

Hand-Stamped Tote with Leather Handles :: Secret Valentine Exchange

Hand-Stamped Tote with Leather Handles! Designed and made by *a happy stitch*

Every year I try to sign up for Sanae and Ute’s fabulous Secret Valentine exchange.  I have managed it for the last two years and that is a good thing because when the deadline slips past me I end up super bummed and kicking myself with regret. The reason I love it so much is mostly because it feels so warm and fuzzy to be a part of secret exchange of handmade goodness.  But, I also love the exchange because it gives me permission and freedom to create something with no real agenda.  Ah, the beauty of open-ended making! This year I decided to make this hand-stamped tote with leather handles and shipped it off to South Korea, it’s new home. Isn’t it great that the secret valentine exchange is global?! I like the thought of sending something made with my hands around the world. It reminds me that the power of the handmade is amazingly universal and these days that reminder feels especially potent. (more…)

DIY fabric buckets

DIY Fabric Buckets // a happy stitch

I’m not exactly sure how many years Sanae and Ute have been running the Secret Valentine Exchange but it seems like I’ve managed to miss out on it a million times.  I honestly read Sanae’s blog religiously and every time I see it announced, I intend to sign up and then forget.  But not this year! I signed up and participated and loved it.  I received the best, beautiful suede-like bag and cement magnets from the lovely Aida. I feel so lucky! For my part, I made my secret partner these hand-stamped fabric buckets.  They nest together and form a lovely ombre pink effect when they are all sat inside of each other. (more…)

Hand-Painted Baby Blankets in bubble gauze

Hand-Painted Baby Blankets in bubble gauze // a happy stitch

I have always admired those high-end, gauzy baby blankets from Aden and Anais. You know, the totally gorgeous, clean and beautiful things that seem kind of a silly investment for a baby? Naturally, I wanted to make something similar but could never find good gauze fabric so I was thrilled when Michael Miller Fabrics let me play with some of their bubble gauze, newly released from Sarah Jane. I also made a baby blanket with the double gauze from this collection but more on that later.   For the bubble gauze I decided to hand-paint sweet polka dots. (more…)

My project for Mollie Makes magazine

I have been bursting with a secret for about a month now but haven’t been able to say anything. So here it is: I have a project in the most recent Mollie Makes magazine! Issue 58 to be specific.  Well, sort of.  It is an exclusive project, meaning it’s included as an insert, a special gift to subscribers.  But, I’m not one to split hairs especially when it comes to something as exciting as this.

A Happy Stitch in Mollie Makes Magazine

(Look! It’s me!) This is the cover of the insert. I’ve been a long-time subscriber to Mollie Makes and just adore this magazine. It’s so good at mixing old crafts like sewing and crochet with a modern aesthetic and pretty much everyone I admire has been featured there (along with new friends I meet all the time).


stamped thank you cards

Thank you for helping me grow! | hand-stamped thank you cards

At the beginning of this year, I put aside the sewing machine for a little while and picked up ink, paper and a rubber carving block.  I’d been thinking about how to say thank you in a meaningful way to some of the amazing people in the blogging world that I was feeling honored to have worked with.  Thank you for helping me grow! | hand-stamped thank you cards

I wasn’t sure what direction the whole project was going to go in but I wanted to make something handmade and heart-full.   (more…)

How to Wrap a Heart :: Resuable Fabric Wrap for Valentine’s Day

how to wrap a heart  a stamped fabric wrapping for all your valentines day goodness

Valentine’s day is a hand-makers holiday. No doubt.  I always catch the crafting (love) bug and cannot stop. This year is no exception and I’m excited to share Valentine projects all week. (I realize it’s a little late but inspiration strikes when it strikes and I’m running with it!)

I’m starting with this reusable, hand-stamped fabric wrap–basically a burrito for your Valentine treats.  We don’t give each other big gifts at our house but we always have a nice breakfast with pancakes and smoothies. This year I’m adding this sweet little package of chocolate goodness.  These people I Iive with are such very good people and I’m tucking some love into this hand-stamped package of love using only a fat quarter!  So here is how to wrap a heart! (more…)

handmade print exhibit

hand-printing exhibit

Yesterday was a mostly grey, dreary day but so super exciting for me, personally.  That is because yesterday (drumroll) I along with three of my students hung our very own handmade prints up for display!

The exhibit was a result of the hand-printing class I taught at the end of last year.  We covered stenciling, hand-carving stamps and screen printing.  It was obvious that what we were making deserved to be showcased.  hand-printing class

The lovely folks at the Main Street building I use to for my classes, agreed to let us display in their big front window facing the town’s main street.  Whoever was available gathered yesterday to hang them up.  We are gangbusters, aren’t we? I am just a wee bit proud of this endeavor.  By that I mean, I’m hugely proud.

prepping for the exhibit

We started by putting all of the prints in embroidery hoops and glueing them in place (I illustrate at the end of this tutorial). Then someone had the great idea to tape two back-to-back making them reversible…with different prints visible from inside the building and outside the building.  Genius, right?

the prints from hand-print exhibit

Look at all those amazing prints!  Really, it was such a pleasure to be involved in such a creative and energetic making process.  Many of the prints are very subtle and soft and I think reflect the quiet, everyday, imaginative moments for many of us.  In the window they hang pretty quietly as well…but so beautifully.

exhibit collage

I am not going to lie, I’m craning my neck every time I go by and smiling every time. And, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one finding reasons to admire the window.  Sometimes we are just moms making it happen and then sometimes we are rockstar screen printers displaying our hearts out! Remember how I’m looking for courage?  I think I got this one.

visiting Cloud 9 and finding devotion & inspiration

every few months I skip out of dinner and drive about an hour and half to Montclair, NJ to attend the North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  I’m not much of a quilter, really, and I hate driving, especially on the congested roads that take me north.  but I am a member of this guild and a passionate one at that.  you gotta understand, the people in this group of quilters are really extraordinary.  by that I mean open and accepting, warm and encouraging, non-competitive, bright and downright giddy about quilts.  it’s like being back home in Minnesota, for goodness sake.

so when the guild arranged a field trip I jumped at the chance. I love these people, of course I’ll go on a field trip!   we went as a big group to what looked like a regular old industrial zone in Cranford, NJ but inside was this:

Gina at Cloud 9

beautiful Cloud 9 fabrics!  Cloud 9 is an all-organic fabric manufacturer with an incredible ability to keep organic fabric both affordable and stunningly beautiful.  this is Gina (she made her dress, of course) discussing the business side of their operations.  at the bottom of the picture, on the table, are the latest gorgeous flannels from Rae and above that are the latest from Lisa Congdon.  don’t worry, I touched all of it, lovingly.

and, this is Michelle, (she made her shirt, of course) who also designs the fabric in addition to working with all the artists they work with.  she gave us sneak peeks into upcoming collections and shared the complete ins-and-outs of how they work with artists and what they are looking for.

meb at cloud 9

both Gina and Michelle were 100% transparent about where their textiles come from and what mills they use to print their fabric, what kinds of working conditions they look for when they choose a mill to work with.  their fabric is 100% organic cotton from India, uses low-impact dyes and workers, mostly in China, are treated to fair wages and good working conditions for their labor.  they kept saying “What is the point of calling it organic if it doesn’t meet all three of those criteria?”   for example, did you know that clothing, in a store, can be called organic if only 5% of the cotton in it is organic? Cloud 9 is not like that.

I will confess I walked in to Cloud 9 knowing that I “liked” their fabric but I walked out completed devoted to them.  I’m a full-blown groupie!  I was even lucky enough to get a chance to show them my new reversible hobo bag made with their geocentric canvas.  I’m not anxiously waiting for them to release koi by rashida colmean-hale so I can make a dress and I’m dreaming up projects (maybe even a quilt!) for a creative mint by leslie shredding.  needless to say, I came home ridiculously inspired.  and before I knew it my studio desk looked like this:

handprinting adventures

others from the guild have told me they came home and got started quilting like made or designing a quilt like a crazy woman…for me, the inspiration translated into a need to hand-carve some stamps and get printing.  so it was all bees and hot air balloons for me.  who knew?  and, wouldn’t you know it’s a rainy, wet day here and I have more supplies waiting for me…I think it’s a good time to get back to carving.

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