Sunday, January 30, 2011
A few weekends ago, I stitched this super-cute Russian nesting doll, using a pattern from Sublime Stitching.
Looks adorable, no?
I started adding sashing when my machine crapped out on me. (Apparently, one cannot sew quilts for two years and not have the insides cleaned. Note to self.) It's since been repaired, but here's the work-in-progress. The fabric on the left will be the backing.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Anywho, this brings me to these pillows that I recovered, using my stash of Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile. I used the dobby yellow print as the center and did some simple piecing with two other fabrics around it. Because the voile is so sheer, I added a layer of fabric stabilizer to the back.
I used some Little Folks flannel on the back and, inspired by some sewing I did with The Modern Gal the weekend before, made a simple envelope enclosure on the back.
I did two pillows before my sewing machine crapped out on me (a story for another time), but I love how they turned out. Simple and sweet, and perfect for my living room.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The pragmatic side of me knew I had to use this time to organize, which is how I found myself spending a good solid hour tidying my book shelves. Before you fall over the fact that I spent a full-on 60 minutes playing with books floor-to-ceiling shelves, you need to know that at my core I’m a word nerd who’s never once been without a library card or a list of books to read. (Sidebar of a true story: I was such a delinquent book returner in my youth that in kindergarten my mother gave me a lecture about my overdue books, telling me that one day, if I continued my wayward habits, they’d destroy my credit rating. Take this time to imagine the blank stare a pig-tailed six-year-old gives to someone after this lecture.)
But I digress.
While I was moving shelves, sorting books, dusting and declutterring, I realized that in a way my bookshelves tell the story of my life. From photography to progressive theology, bookshelves are like tree rings that tell a story of a tree and its environment. There’s my entire collection of Paulo Coelho’s works translated in English, which I managed to accumulate after a friend gave me The Alchemist as a college graduation gift. There’s my father’s old photography books, that he gave me to me when I got my hands of my first SLR. There’s some of my favorite children's books, both from when I was kid (hello, Misty of Chincoteague) and some I’ve picked up along the way because I wanted to have them on my shelves. (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.) There’s vintage sewing books, feminist theory, Irish literature and some American poetry anthologies. There’s the Jodi Picoult I love to read on vacation along with books on yoga, journalism, politics, public health and tons of fiction that I just haven’t been able to part with over the years. (I have a rule that book collection cannot expand beyond the confines of the shelves that hold them, so I always prune a few times a year.)
There was a New York Times essay a few years ago that talked about how bookshelves can be used to judge a perspective date. It was snarky and sometimes snotty, but at its core is this pretty important truth that we are what we read. Or, maybe it’s that we read what we are.
I guess for me, the books I hold on to after sending off a pile to Goodwill are the books that sort of mark the stages of my life.
What do you think?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Anyway, even though it's after Christmas AND after Epiphany, which means I'm all kinds of late, I thought I'd show off some pictures of some little handmade gifty things I made for the holidays. I forgot to take pictures of some Christmas tea towels I whipped up for my family, but I did snap some pictures of Christmas ornaments I made as hostess gifts.
For the curious, I just downloaded a fun font, then traced it onto the fabric and stitched from there.
Then, since I couldn't stop embroidering, I made this awesome sexy librarian pillow for my badass librarian friend. I used a Sublime Stitching pattern and just did some basic piecing of fabric around the border.
And then, since I STILL couldn't stop embroidering, I made this pillow for me.
When I went home for Christmas, my mother dug up a little treasure to remind me that I've always been a wee bit crafty. Or, at least, had ambitions about being crafty. Or was simply a deranged child.
Witness: The puppet I "made" one day when I was in kindergarten. You'll note that in this case, "made" means attached-yarn-to-a-sock-with-lots-and-lots-and-lots-of-tape.
Keep in mind, this wasn't a class project. This was me. One day on a weekend. (Apparently sock puppets are what happens when you're an only child in rural Maryland. Except not the kind that lend themselves to puppetting because you forget to create a face that allows for the hand to bend. My puppet could only look shocked and move her head left to right.)
I think the lace trim at the bottom of the sock shows a certain finesse well beyond my years.
I would like to note, however, that the fact that almost 25 years later, the yarn and tape are still firmly attached. Solid craftsmanship, eh?
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Instead, this is a super-awesome compilation of 100 of the best crafty-type tutorials posted in 2010 from around the interwebs. If you're a reader of the big craft blogs, you'll have already seen some of these, but others were new to me. And, of course, totally drool-worthy.
Big props to The Long Thread, which has been compiling its annual Top 100 list for three years now.