Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Holy Crafty batman!

May 3rd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

I did it!  After a winter of  careful stencil making, slow zenful stitching, and unyielding devotion I finally finished my latest off white Bloomer skirt from Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Stitch Book.  I love this book and have made several of the projects in it.

Natalie Chanin pioneered a stitching technique that creates intricate patterns and textures in cotton jersey that are 100% hand stitched – when I look at her collection of couture fashion it makes me jelly in the knees – LOVE!

Previously I had used spray paint for applying the stencil designs but I was so inspired by the prospect of crafting one of a kind fancy clothes for myself out of cotton t-shirts that I posted a request on my local Freecycle site for an airbrush & compressor which -  amazingly enough someone donated to me!!!  I am still learning how to use the airbrush setup but I have big plans – big plans indeed.

Color me happy

April 17th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

There are things you love and things you L O V E.  In the bones I mean.  Like a moth to the light – that’s me with color.

This week in the studio I have got a whole lotta color going on.  Perhaps those firery pinks could give a bit of warmth because the last fire has been burned in the wood stove because just like poor Mother Hubbard the woodshed is bare.  So mother nature in case you were wondering I would gladly take some brilliant yellow daffodils, lush grass, 70 degree days and porcelain pink magnolias up here in the Berkshires ….. NOW.

Quilting for babies

April 13th, 2011 by zoe No Comments


There is something so satisfying about crafting for babies, I always love to handmake something for each and every infant that steals my heart.  I realized the other day when whipping up these paper applique vegetable quilts for two very special babies in my life that there were a couple of things that make the experience so VERY pleasing to me. First I just love the idea of a baby wrapped in handmade flannel.  A circle of women artists tend to stitch and knit the very first belonging of a wee new child, there is something wonderfully pure and primal to be part of that crafty posse. And it’s a bit fun to show off your bad ass designs at a baby shower.  Sadly my boys now tend to reject the clothes I make for them, no matter how “COOL”.  At four they can somehow already smell the dork implications on their mama made velvet yoga pants. Though I discovered this December that if “Santa made it” – it’s golden.  So now I am privy to a new bonus in sewing for infants -   they can’t yet complain, that they wanted yellow not blue, that they wanted 4 carrots not 3!

Mud Puddles

March 18th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

The boys and I have been hunting for signs of Spring and documenting what we find in a little book.  Birds chirping, sap flowing, lots of eggs in the hen-house, ants in the house and MUD.  The boys have been thrilled by the latter – mud.  Oh so  glorious, mud.  “Embrace the mud” I say to myself in a quiet clenched mantra, as they grind it into the seats of my car, try to build sand castles with it, squeeze it through their fingers and huck it too and fro.  For the Mothers of small boys, dodge the mud, is indeed a far better mantra.  Outside the air is finally got a bit of fresh, the sun a bit of warmth, inside the house muddy wet dripping clothes are draped high and low, it’s a real classy look those mud caked batman underwear draped over the woodrack.  Better Homes and Gardens – here we come.

On a craftier note, last week I got an entire glorious day in the studio and managed to sew myself a cozy new sweater.  So nice to be able to cut, sew and wear something in one day!  The pattern is SIMPLICITY#2560 and it sewed up quick and easy, I did alter the sleeve from a 3/4 length to a full length (I am all that fond of 3/4 length sweaters).   The fabric is a remnant  of navy blue wool jersey that proved to be just shy of the needed yardage so I had to piece together the sleeves, something I wouldn’t necessarily do if I  the correct yardage.  And of course I didn’t actually follow the directions  and sewed the neck banding on backwards which led to yet another adaptation, but that managed to work out just peachy.  Now sewing for myself doesn’t always work out, in fact the word peachy is rarely in my vocabulary in regards to items I make for ME.  Often sewing for ME ends in a lot of*#*&%!!!   Four days later and  I was still wearing it, now that’s what you would call a success.   Of course today my lovely new sweater met with a giant mud puddle, a mud  puddle likely to put my bath tub to shame and I now get to see how it washes.  Oh, MUD!

YES, they will love pink forever

February 18th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

I made TWO quilts for my TWO three year old boys.  It is so fun and exciting to be able to wrap them in mama love while they sleep.  I found a quilt tutorial I LOVED at Film in the Fridge

Her work is all so beautiful!  But I didnt get involved with the color palette at all, I just let the boys choose their fabrics all willy nilly, whatever they wanted.  Sadly the result was harder to put together than I had ever suspected.  I am a bit of a color snob, pattern snob, design snob, okay, okay – a bit of a snob.  When I sat down and began to piece things together I realized I kinda hated the way it was all coming together.  Now the children they love, love, loved it.

But me, I was dragging, I felt a longing for rich patterns saturated in fab color and instead what lay before me was a slew of randomness that didn’t totally gel.   It made it harder to power through, i mean this is TWO quilts here.. did I say two MATCHING quilts.  Alas the mere fact that winter was looming and the little lads were actually in need of warmth did manage to get me scrambling around the floor of the studio in haste. But  a little last minute dose of Amy Butler’s Full Dot Moon and Heather Ross’s Mendocino did manage to fill it all out.

At the hundredth hour the men folk suggested that my dear sweet boys might not like pink forever – to which I say poo poo.  These boys of mine they will love their Mama made blankets till they are a pile of tatters, RIGHT?

In the end we are all happy but I think in the future the seamstress might have to pick the palette! I can see those juicy magenta’s, pink paisley’s and orange dots in my dreams.