Friday, January 23, 2015

Inspired by Amy Butler and Oaxaca

I'm inspired by Amy Butler—her fabrics, her ability to combine color and pattern, her fresh palettes. I have a special place in my heart for her because she was my very first profile subject for Quilts and More magazine, back in 2006, which was my first freelance piece for a quilting publication. The opportunity to write that piece, so graciously given to me by editor Elizabeth Tisinger Beese, really changed my career direction and consequently my life.

Last week I got the chance to interview Amy again and it turns out she loves Oaxaca, Mexico, as much as I do. We talked about the incredible colors, people, landscapes, and textiles. It reminded me to share a few photos from our Christmas in Oaxaca. Hope you enjoy them.

Friday, January 16, 2015

No Sewing Without Lipstick!

Thought you might enjoy this tidbit from our sewing past. As my friend who sent it to me said, it was obviously written by Mr. Singer....All this preparation for sewing would mean I'd never get to it! And the prep involves nothing creative, only making yourself look presentable should others stop in unexpectedly. By the time I'd made all the beds, washed the dishes, put on the clean dress that I undoubtedly had to first iron, fixed my hair and put on lipstick, I'd be ready for bed. I'm grateful the "rules" of sewing engagement have changed.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sew Together Bag

Sometime this fall, I managed to make a Sew Together bag. The design is so clever and I've seen lots of them on Instagram, so when I stumbled upon the SewDemented booth at Quilt Market, I bought a pattern. I thought it might be a good class project, but truth be told, it's pretty darned labor-intensive.
I used fabrics I'd had in my stash for a long while—Echino prints and Cloud 9 Geocentric canvas—all on heavier substrates, which I thought would make for a nice, sturdy bag. And indeed it did, although I think it made the layers a little thicker and more challenging to sew through.

I didn't wind up having enough of the exterior Echino fabric and so pieced in some Cloud 9, and I'm pleased with the result and will definitely make the bag again, although doing some batch sewing (making several at once) would be more efficient.

I also highly recommend the Quilt Barn sew-along tutorial from last March. It broke steps down even further than the instructions and was super helpful.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's a New Year! Looking Back and Looking Forward

It's been two full months since I last wrote. There are lots of reasons why, including the suspicion that blogging may be on the way out and time is best spent elsewhere. But much of it has been about a phase of my life, one that involves adult children and elderly relatives, career successes and considering what's next, all mixed with the usual anxiety, guilt, and pleasures that come day-to-day.
Stockings for a class I taught at Home Ec, and for the public library holiday bazaar
I last wrote about my surgery, and while the result has been great—most people don't seem to notice the scar or are at least kind enough to say they don't—it took me out of circulation for most of November. Then I had two sets of houseguests, work at Home Ec, and work deadlines. I had to decline some work and missed some deadlines on other jobs, which is not my style at all and still grates on me. But my houseguests were important people in my life and I wanted to be with them,

Now I'm looking forward, toward the publication of Art Quilts of the Midwest, and thinking about how to do some publicity. It's looking like marketing the book will be almost as time consuming as writing it. But I can't wait for the day (next month!) when I get to finally see the finished book.

I've done a bit of sewing (the stockings above and a few other small projects), but I've been knitting like a fiend. Below are some cowls I finished up in time for holiday giving.

And though this poor blog has been neglected, I do keep up with Instagram. I love seeing what folks are up to, catching a brief glimpse into their lives, giving them a thumbs-up or making a brief comment, and moving along. I'm not so good at Facebook or keeping up with this blog, but if you're interested in what I'm up to, Instagram is a good place to find out. Follow me at @seamswrite and let me know your IG name and I'll follow you, too!