I am a sucker for two things: a handmade Valentine’s Day and a pretty table setting. So, when I got a copy of the book See Kate Sew * for review from Fons & Porter and was immediately smitten with the adorable, pocketed placemat and little wallets, I decided that our family needed a little “All You Need is Love” table setting for our Valentine’s breakfast. Ok, I’m a sucker for three things. I also LOVE breakfast. But, that is beside the current point.
Happy July everybody! After two weeks at home, the boys are enjoying summer camp run by the town PE teachers and staffed with local teens, half of which play on the football team. They came home from their first day, yesterday, with skinned knees and dried sweat defining the tips of their hair as well as important updates on which friends are in their group and stories about the cool camp counselors. Remember when nothing was cooler than knowing cool teenagers? Ah, summer. I can already see it taking shape. I didn’t plan to slow down on blogging while they were home with me but the pull to sleep in, read with them, play cards (we are loving War and the game Twisted Fish right now) and swim at the town pool was so strong. I have to assume that I needed a break, too. I did manage to share my boxer shorts but, things were slow around here. Two weeks was long enough, though, and now I am itching to jump back in to sewing, blogging, teaching, sharing and re-immersing myself into this crazy world I made for myself. And, I’m excited to jump back in with a review of the Sundressing book, a giveaway and a lovely, bug-filled, Olive dress. (more…)
When my friend Carla from Small + Friendly asked me to join her Mini Maker’s Summer Fun series, she described it as ‘simple projects to combat the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome’. I jumped on board and immediately started to think of really elaborate projects that required lots of adult assistance. Yep. Somehow missing the simple message. And also forgetting parents want things kids can do on their own, for hours at a time. After running through lots of very-involved ideas (ooh, what about…dried glue and tie-dye on a t-shirt! Or, windsocks made out of fabric scraps, paint and toilet rolls!). I decided to run some of these ideas by C, who happened to be sitting happily on the porch writing a book. He looked up when I asked him, “what kind of activity do you think other kids like you want to do so they don’t get bored?” and before I could regale him with my ideas he said, “write books!” It was so obvious and simple and easy and perfect! So, this post is brought to you by my ever-astoundingly clever son. Here is how to write your own story, provide hours of quiet fun, nurture creativity, build writing skills, drawing skills, and inspire a life-long love of books…all without any parent involvement! Can I get a Woot Woot!? (more…)
It is no secret that I love Sanae Ishida. Her elegant style, thoughtful prose and intense awareness are a constant source of inspiration for me. She is the kind of blogger that I visit in order to “draw from the well”, so to speak. So it is not an understatement to say that I am quite literally thrilled to be a part of the book launch tour for her new book Sewing Happiness*. (P.S. feel free to scroll to the bottom for giveaway information, there is no shame in that game!)
[Photo by Michelle Porter]
This book is more than a collection of projects. It’s the story of Sanae’s path back to health after a debilitating disease and work exhaustion and the role that sewing played in re-finding her balance and happiness. She honestly stitched her way back to health. The book is an open, honest, raw and vulnerable conversation about how making things can heal us. (more…)
You know how Oprah does her giveaways? “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!” and everyone goes nuts. Well I have learned how to finger knit and I’m walking around my house like a finger knitting Oprah on a giveaway bender. Looking over at long-neglected yarn, “I could knit that!”; the string we use to tie up recycling, “I could finger knit that!”; striped holiday twine, “I could finger knit that!”; a rope in a sad corner of the basement, “I could knit that!”; and even thin wire for jewelry-making, “I could KNIT that!”. Dude, I am knitting and the audience in my head is going wild and looking around at the world in a whole new way. I have the new book Knitting Without Needles by my friend Anne Weil* to thank for this madness. Did you even know you could knit WITHOUT needles? I had no idea! And, Anne’s book also includes projects for arm-knitting as well as finger knitting. Arm and finger knitting is crazy good. It totally changes things. For one, you can knit so much faster and for another the scale is shifted…projects become big, chunky and modern. I love it! (more…)
The always classy, super sexy Kristiann Boos has a new sewing book called Boundless Style: A Mix-and-Match Sewing Pattern Workbook (published by Fons & Porter/F+W for $32.99). I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this groundbreaking book for review.
Kristiann is the talented designer and sewist behind Victory Patterns, a pattern company whose trademark is modern design, skillful women’s clothing patterns. I’ve made the Lola and the Ava Top. I need to confess at the outset that I love the style of Victory patterns but always have fit problems with them. The bust is designed for someone with a little more oomph up top. As a result of their very fitted style, I always end up with too much fabric up top, which is just a fitting issue I need to work on with their designs. That said, there is so much to love about this book. (more…)
The Tula Pink Coloring Book: 75+ Signature Designs in Fanciful Coloring Pages
By Tula Pink
Fons & Porter/F+W; $15.99
On occasion I get emails from publishers inquiring about whether or not I want to review a book. Most of the time the books aren’t relevant to my kind of sewing or my aesthetic and I politely decline. Recently, however, I was asked if I wanted a copy of Tula Pink’s new coloring book and was offered the opportunity to interview Tula Pink. Interview Tula Pink?! Um, yeah, it took me all of ten seconds to reply with a big, fat YES!
If you don’t already know Tula Pink, you are in for the delightful experience of meeting her. She is a fabric designer, quilter, illustrator and all-around creative woman. Her fabrics are positively, uniquely intricate and recognizable for their hidden animals and vividly alive colors. More than likely, however, you have come across some of her fabrics and, in that case, you are probably nodding your head because you know I’m right. Tula is well-known for working alongside her whole family and designing lots and lots of things. I’m over-the-moon honored to have the opportunity to both play with her coloring book and interview her. (more…)
Guys! I tried my hand at paper-piecing and made a punk rock giraffe pillow! The pattern is from the new book The Paper-Pieced Home by Penny Lawson (more below on the giveaway!) and I’m up next on the blog tour.
Paper-piecing is one of those mysterious quilting things that people discuss with great fervor but it’s hard to understand what all the fuss is about until you give it a try. I have paper-pieced once before when working on this unforgettable quilt but I was excited to give it another shot. I’m happy with the results, I like this bright, funky pillow. (more…)