My last few months of craft have been all about stitching – hand-embroidering and machine sewing, with some cross-stitch and mending thrown in for good measure. I wanted to share a few of my favorite projects lately and preview a few new things I’m excited about!
photo by Burcu Avsar from Hand-Stitched Home
Pendleton just wrote such a nice feature on one of my favorite projects from my book Hand-Stitched Home – Amy Alan‘s lovely Modern Plant Hangers. They mentioned what a nice Mother’s Day gift it would be in any of their gorgeous jacquard, plaid, or solid wools, which you can find at the Woolen Mill Store (along with signed copies of my book with Amy’s pattern and instructions!). I’m excited to make some new versions of some of my favorite book projects, starting with Stacy Spaulding’s Picnic Quilt, for this summer, and I have a bunch of new ideas for improvisational piecing with wool.
Pearl and I got to visit one of my favorite collaborative projects last week at Anna Joyce‘s beautiful new studio, our patchwork quilt! Anna hand-painted all the fabrics and I pieced them into a simple, impactful design to spotlight each one. Then Nancy Stovall added her signature quilting magic. It was so fun to see it in person again. I can’t wait for Anna’s new book this fall, where she’ll share tons of techniques and ideas for painting, printing, stamping, and stenciling by hand.
I was so inspired by collaborating with Anna that we came up with a beautiful school auction project to do with Pearl’s first-grade class – a hand-painted quilt with squares from each student and her teacher as well! Anna gave us some great tips on what fabric paint to use (Dyna-Flow, found at Collage here in Portland) and we turned 23 kids loose on white fabric squares for the front and a huge collaborative painting on the back. Nancy quilted it beautifully and I was so happy that it brought in a generous donation for her school! Here’s a photo of it hanging in the winning family’s house – I think it looks awesome.
Speaking of Collage, I went to Rebecca Ringquist‘s lovely book signing there and was so inspired to work on new embroidery projects. Rebecca is amazing, and her new book includes a small circular sampler to stitch (mine is in progress above, I am having so much fun working on it using my favorite pearl cottons). I’ll be writing a full review soon but I love her work so much, I wanted to share a bit now rather than waiting! Maria of Collage had small hoops with squares of muslin fabric set up for us to stitch on, and I asked Pearl to draw a design for me. She made this girl and rainbow, I stitched them and handed it back, she added more and more detail all around, I stitched them one by one, and I love how it turned out. Everett is drawing one for me next and I am going to frame them together.
Which brings me to my next sewing project – a seventh (!!!!) birthday dress. I’m making Pearl a surprise Geranium dress in a pretty Modkid floral for Joann Fabrics I bought last year and have been saving for just the right project for her. We started celebrating on Saturday with our annual family trip to the Enchanted Forest, then she had a fun little birthday party on Sunday, and tomorrow, her real birthday, I hope she loves her new dress! I am trying to finish one up for her American Girl doll, Molly, so with luck there will be some matching dress magic to start the new age off nicely. I’m not one to wonder where on earth the time went, life with Pearl is very intense and I pretty much remember it all! But that she’s seven, and telling me all these interesting things she’s learning about insects and penguins, and solving complicated math problems, and making beautiful drawings… well, that part is a bit hard to believe.
I can’t wait to share photos of that project, I think it will be a special one. Happy spring and happy stitching!