At the beginning of the year I decided to make some changes to my blog. I am no longer accepting advertisements because posting regularly has become more of a burden and things seem to have changed. Blogging doesn’t feel like it did when I first began in 2007. Back then I felt like I was talking to friends, sharing ideas and inspiration in a community. These days it feels like that community has devolved to quick Instagram glimpses, character-limited tweets, and solipsistic Facebook posts. Don’t get me wrong; I often enjoy the brief communication and instant feedback, but there’s definitely something missing. Maybe I need to actually leave my house to find community.
Anyway, I’ll be posting less frequently, but I am still making things. I just submitted another fabric collection for Kokka, which will be shown at Spring Quilt Market. And I’m excited to be trying some new substrates in this collection! I’m working on a new book idea, but feeling overwhelmed by the process. So I’ve been trying to use time effectively and to find that tricky balance between work and family life. Not easy.
Above are some Instagram photos to show what I’ve been doing lately. Making baby things! Working on auction projects. This year, we decided to skip the school quilt and make a piece of art, so I cut 380-something tiny balsa wood houses and the art teacher is working with the kids to paint and collage them. And I’m working with my older daughter’s fifth grade class on this paper stampede project. You can see her horse samples above. I found the tutorial and templates from Ann Wood over on Design Sponge. And in the bottom left photo, you can see that I made a block using a design from each of my Kokka collections. This is a work in progress for an upcoming block tutorial. And on the bottom right is a sneak peek of a design from my next collection!
Oh, and I’m also hauling kids around town, mediating their constant bickering, and making mediocre dinners. But I don’t have photos of that.
Lately it feels like I haven’t made anything, but as I reflected on the year past, it seems that I did accomplish some sewing. Here’s what I made in 2013.
Also, my Garden collection is now in stock over at Fabricworm. Happy New Year!
Looking for sewing project inspiration? It’s in the bag! Here are some bags, pouches and cases to make for holiday gifts.
Zipper Pouch from Bag-Making Basics by Kristin Link.
Arrow Tablet Case from 1, 2, 3 Quilt.
Backpack from Hart & Sew.
Pintuck Clutch from 1, 2, 3 Sew (tutorial on BurdaStyle).
Hexagon Handbag from 1, 2, 3 Quilt.
Travel Kit from Betz White.
Market Tote from 1, 2, 3 Sew (pattern on the Chronicle Books blog).
Lunch Sack from 1, 2, 3 Sew (pattern on Sew, Mama, Sew).
Pocket Full o’ Geese Bag from Sew, Mama, Sew.
Rail Fence Tote from 1, 2, 3 Quilt.
Kindle Slip Case from Charm Stitch.
Go Anywhere Bag from Noodlehead.
Pleated Tote from The Long Thread.
Pixel Pouch from 1, 2, 3 Quilt.
Tissue Case from Very Purple Person.
Bow Clutch from Elm Street Life.
Today I’m participating in the blog hop for Katie Lewis’ Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners. Katie is a blogger at The Red Kitchen, so be sure to check out her work there.
This book has nice basic projects for those who are just getting started. With clear photos and instructions, the book is a good introduction to sewing with projects that even a novice can complete quickly and successfully. Basics like a tote bag, placemats, a pincushion, pencil case, and bow tie are among the patterns.
I used the instructions for the reversible placemats in the book, but decided to make coasters for holiday gifts. Just a simple 5″ square cut and sewn right sides together with quilt batting. Here I used fabric from my Folk Modern collection for Kokka.
Projects like this are quick and easy, perfect for beginners!
For the next couple of weeks I’ll be featuring handmade holiday finds. Whether you make it or buy it, bring some handmade into your holidays this year!
I love Betz White’s new Holiday Tea Towel. The best thing about this tea towel is that you can cut it up and make stuff, or just use it as a tea towel on its own. Betz is having a special in her shop through Friday, so you can get one for a gift and keep one for yourself at a discounted price. Make coasters (Betz has posted a tutorial to make the coasters you see below), ornaments, and a pillow and turn it into more gifts!