Monday, December 19, 2016

Feed Sacks for the Holidays

Christmas and Chanukah are less than a week away, and like everyone else, I'm in the throes of preparation for family and guests to arrive. Menu-planning is at the top of the list, along with holiday decorating, because to be honest, I haven't done much more than plop our Christmas tree in its holder in the living room—no lights, no ornaments, not yet.

But it'll all come together, it always does. And however it turns out is fine, because both my daughters will be back in the nest soon (along with Maggie's fiancé EJ and dog Lily) and that is what really matters. Such a treat!

Before the holidays take over, I wanted to share the video Janine made for the feed sack book—it provides a little peek into the book's contents for a quick browse.
Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric from uppercasemag on Vimeo.

The book has also gotten two lovely reviews—one by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts (how does she do all the incredible sewing she does and find time to blog, too?) and another lovely one by Patricia of Okan Arts (Patricia has promised to unveil the wonders of yukata and share her expertise with me). Thank you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On the Horizon: A Feed Sack Book with UPPERCASE

Why yes, it HAS been four months since I posted...and while many things have happened in that span of time, probably the thing I've concentrated most of my energy on has been on a book about feed sacks. I'm working with Janine Vangool of UPPERCASE and as if you know her work, you won't be surprised to learn that this book is going to be an absolute stunner.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Oilcloth!

Over the past few years that I've been traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico, I've grown even fonder of oilcloth than I already was. Oilcloth in Mexico is very inexpensive and I'm always tempted to get tons, but I've learned it's quite heavy, so I restrain myself.
Oilcloth in the Benito Juarez market in Oaxaca

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kalona Quilt Show: A Visual Tour


April 28 was the opening of the annual quilt show in Kalona. It's a mix of old and new quilts, and the old ones are definitely the thing that turns my head.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rhubarb Dreams

I have lots of quilt-related photos to post...one of these days. But for today, I'm touting rhubarb.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sewing Extremes

For quite some time now, I've been making hexagons. I even taught a hexagon class at Home Ec. But I haven't done much else. This weekend, however, I did get a little sewing in, and I chose to sew two challenging substrates—one super stiff (oilcloth) and one loosely woven, with little body (gauze).

Students' hexagons

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Stitching Through

It's been a rough time in the McCray household, as we cope with unexpected losses. They feel like a sucker punch and we're trying to figure out how to exhale again and move forward, what context death provides for the rest of our lives, and how to support the loved ones of those lost. Bottom line, both Paul and I have been rather unproductive, with lots of aimless gazing and little concentration. TV has been something of a solace, but I'm not good at sitting and watching unless I've got something in my hands.

Friday, February 12, 2016

What's Pearl the Squirrel About, Anyway?

That's a question I ask myself frequently.

It started out as a way to document my life, both crafty and personal. It morphed into talking about my writing, mostly of the crafty nature. Then it turned into a way to do a little book publicity, too. The blog's readership has never been large, and at the end of a day of writing for publication I often decide I'd rather sew or knit than write some more. Hence, Pearl the Squirrel is neglected.

So, I'm going to try again. I'll include links to my writing, photos of my sewing and knitting, and news of an upcoming big project, when the time is right.



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Getting Back At It

I've neglected Pearl the Squirrel for so long that it's become kind of an ominous creature for me, lurking in the background, leaving me feeling bad. I decided it's time to revitalize this beast, but in a way that's much easier to cope with. I won't always have things I've made to share—it's been a long time since I've completed a quilt, for example—and so I've decided to share small things. They may be things I've sewn or knitted or they may simply be interesting textile tidbits. And that is what today's post is—I saw this in the November issue of House Beautiful and it combines two of my favorite things: textiles and words. Scroop. Who knew?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Podcast today!

Yes, it's been a long time since I've posted. It's not as though I haven't had anything to post, but somehow when I write all day for work, Pearl the Squirrel gets neglected. I'm planning to gear up again. I promise!
But for now, I hope you'll listen in this afternoon to Pat Sloan's podcast. I'll be on the other side of the interview chair, talking about Art Quilts of the Midwest. There's some exciting news that I'll be sharing on the podcast.

In addition, Pat will be speaking to quilter and designer Heather Jones and art quilter Sue Rasmussen. (A super-appropriate pairing, given that Heather's new book is Quilt Local and Sue creates art quilts from photos taken in her surroundings!)

Here's where you listen: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast. The show starts at 3 p.m. CT. Hope you can join us!