Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A month of stitching::day 29


more yard work this morning, but the hail chased me in! 
there was just enough time before lunch to get the other jacket 
front piece finished. and then we were busy in the three season porch. 
it will be sparkling and welcoming by the wedding.

time for a glass of water and a few deep stretches.

and on to the next thing.

phew!  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

a month of stitching::day 28

Early this morning I made progress on the baby jacket...here is one of the quilted and cut out front pieces. I'm wondering what I should do for the bias binding trim. Any ideas on colors? Solid or print?

Batman and I spent most of the day outdoors today, working hard in the gardens and the yard. We decided that we accomplished more today than Mr. Blusterpants has in his first 100 days in office. And that is actually a really good thing! (You can see the tansy plant coming back. She is destined for the dye pot later this summer).

The last few days have been exquisite up here on the ridge, with mostly sunny skies, and a blazing blue most of the time. Can you see the tiny green buds at the top of these branches? The temperature combined with the breeze/wind is just right for digging, raking and hauling.

Look at these birch catkins. I just read this morning that they can be used to create a natural dye. That won't happen this spring, but you can bet it's now on my bucket list!

And the marchers in the streets today...thank you from the bottom of my heart.

People's Climate March, two thumbs up.

Friday, April 28, 2017

a month of stitching::day 27::and the giveaway winner

 Do you remember Folkwear patterns?
 All the rage in the '70's, they are still available today.
You can see their website here.
 I made this little jacket for our daughter 
Lindsey in 1985, from pre-quilted fabric.
(She's almost 33 now!)
Today I'm creating my own pieced and quilted fabric 
to make a more modern version of the jacket
for a wee baby due in June 
in far away Sweden.

I love using a very old pattern, scraps of fabric from my stash
and pieced bits of batting leftovers.
Very satisfying.

There were four comments and several e-mailed
I randomly drew a name...

It will find it's way up and over the ridge here 
in Vermont to Katja
of Raven Hill Farm!
(be sure to read about their maple syrup!)

Congrats, Katja!
I know where to find you.
xo

PS Special birthday wishes to our Stewart,
who turns 35 today.
I really don't know how that happened.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

a month of stitching::day 26


my neighbor down the road is burning brush and the woodsmoke scents the air. a light breeze floats my hair around my neck and face. i hear spring peepers in the pond below and birdsong fills the trees. i've put my sweater on and off several times in the last hour, because it's april in vermont. there are so many shades of green out here that i do not have the words to describe them all. 

an hour with the knitting needles and now i've remembered all the reasons we are here.

xo

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

a month of stitching::day 25



hello birch and lilac buds.
i've had my eye on you.
you've been so slow this year 
that your quiet touch of green seems
to have crept in. 

it was a full day.
time for some meditative knitting.

namaste.

(there is still time to enter the giveaway here).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

a month of stitching::day 24::another giveaway


another needle case.

this time
 and lined with my favorite birch fabric,
with needle pages of wool felt,
and a snap closure and shell button decor.

if you would like a chance at finding it in your mailbox
leave a note in the comments below
or send me an email at
sewandsowlife(at)gmail(dot)com

good luck, dear readers!
xo

(i'll pull a name at random on friday).
this giveaway is now closed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

a month of stitching::day 23

 During our deck building weekend I noticed that my brother Doug's
 fleece jacket had a (growing) hole on one arm.
 I invited him to leave it here in Vermont 
so that I could mend it and he did.
I used a reproduction calico from my stash
because I love the way the colors worked with the jacket.
 Once I had the patch stitched,
I used an iron on interfacing to protect the inside
of the sleeve from future fraying.
(I was very careful not to melt the jacket!!!)
 This mend is tidy and will extend the useful days of this
much loved jacket.
One of my favorite shirts developed a tear that was
getting bigger each time I laundered the shirt.
I decided to do some visible mending, 
which is all the rage these days. 
Inspired by traditional Japanese "boro" mending
I decided to use that technique here.

I've blogged about mending many times, (like here). I really do love mending...making something stronger, more resilient, and helping to keep it out of landfill.  

The Patagonia clothing company claims that REPAIR IS A RADICAL ACT, and this video makes me think that their company is "collaborating with the universe".   I think Elizabeth Gilbert's words are turning out to be quite an inspiration for me as I navigate these crazy days..."the universe is looking for collaborators".

Have you been mending lately friends? How have you been collaborating with the universe?

xo

Sunday, April 23, 2017

a month of stitching::day 22


This morning I was grabbed by something I saw posted on Instagram by Sonya Phillips, one of my stitching sheros. She wrote of Fashion Revolution, marking the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh. Take a look here. 

Dear readers, I fell down the internet rabbit hole for an hour while I sipped my morning tea (the tea that Hannah brought me from China!). 

I have not stitched for an hour today, but I have read a lot about all the issues around clothing and the "fashion revolution". Fas-cin-ating. I've rummaged through my patterns, my longer yardages of fabric, my mending pile and my bin of clothing for repurposing. I am hatching a plan for the upcoming week and beyond. 

If indeed the universe is looking for collaborators this is certainly a way to jump in! 

And there will be another giveaway this week, so stay tuned. xo

Saturday, April 22, 2017

a month of stitching::day 21



Whenever I send a baby gift, I try to remember to send a little something to an older sibling if there is one. When I was getting this quilt ready to send, I realized I needed an extra goodie. I found a cute set of Duplos at our local "five and dime" store, and made another "treasure bag" to send them in. This is the third bag I've made and they just get easier each time. (You can see the first one here, and the second one here).

I have a special place in my heart for children's book illustrator Richard Scarry, so I have a yard or two of fabric with his sweet illustrations on it. And I found a fat quarter of the banana fabric in the back of the cupboard, too. (Because, you know, everyone loves Bananas Gorilla).

We try to remember that every day is Earth Day up here on the ridge. Making a treasure bag provides a gift wrap that skips the paper and ribbons and tape and it can be used for toting all sorts of things around.

Next time you're at the library, I invite you to sneak into the kids' section, find a Richard Scarry book, fold yourself into one of those tiny chairs and get lost in the fun. It will be time well spent, I promise.

Friday, April 21, 2017

a month of stitching::day 20



it's been a long, dreary, wet day and i am tired. wilma and i have settled in to do some knitting (i am so glad she is asleep).  xo

Thursday, April 20, 2017

a month of stitching::day 19::Handmade Joy Exchange



Anne of My Giant Strawberry has hosted several Handmade Joy Exchanges over the years. Anne invites folks to send her their contact information, then she mixes everyone up and sends each of us the name of a person to create a little something for. I've participated in all but one of Anne's exchanges, so this time around I signed up right away!

When I received Sarah's information, I checked out her Instagram account to see what sorts of things interested her. I literally squealed with delight when I saw her photos. Take a peek here and you'll see why. I knew right away that I wanted to create a path in the woods for Sarah, using as many natural elements as I could. I used some of my homegrown, hand dyed indigo linen as the base and worked with birch twigs from the yard, cotton thread, a bit of paper and a much loved mother of pearl button. It was such fun to send this piece across the ocean to France, hoping it would be well received.

Well, never did I ever expect what happened next! A few weeks later, a package arrived from France and I found this lovely watercolored painting inside. Sarah sent me a thank-you gift. How sweet is that? Her simple and joyful leaves have inspired an idea that I hope to include in my own "month of stitching" project soon.

And soon another package arrived at my doorstep here in Vermont. It came from Kels in Australia! You can get a peek at her spiffy website here. Kels sent me five amazingly detailed, hand painted note cards. Some of her work reminds me of meditative mandalas. I also see a bit of the Aboriginal art of the indigenous people of Australia in her work. I do love to write snail mail, but these may be too precious to send away!

Tomorrow Anne will post a comprehensive look at all of the beautiful pieces that have been flying around the world this spring. Be sure to check her blog to see the many inspired gestures of friendship among folks who may never meet one another. Kindred spirits, gathered by creativity, joy and generosity...thank you Anne, from the bottom of my heart for getting us organized and facilitating such a positive experience for so many of us. You are a gem. xo

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

a month of stitching::day 18





A crocus inspired pin cushion. And some really lovely notecards from my friend Mira, who has a brand new Etsy shop. You can find her birch, pin cushion and other pretty cards here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

a month of stitching::day 17




Mother Nature's color palette seems to provide never ending inspiration. Batman gave me a pussy willow bush for my birthday and today I was struck by all the beautiful colors I saw in the branches, tiny leaves and catkins. I'd been meaning to make a little pincushion for some time and decided to make one with the colors of the pussy willow. These old fashioned calicos also remind me of the gorgeous dresses worn in the newly released To Walk Invisible, Masterpiece Theatre's two hour movie about the Bronte sisters. (What a lovely, sobering, inspiring movie!)

The nine patch pin cushion pattern can be found here.

Tomorrow I'll post a bit more about pin cushions...

Monday, April 17, 2017

a month of stitching::day 16






My daughter Lindsey and I collaborated on a baby quilt for the woman who had been her roommate in college. Little Arlo is Elizabeth's second baby and we thought he might appreciate a new quilt, rather than a hand-me-down from his big brother. 

I bought the fabric at Gather Here on my way down to the family art show in February. Lindsey and I discussed quilt patterns and settled on a modern version of stacked coins or chinese coins. I brought the fabric home, washed and dried it and cut out all the "coins". I sent them to Lindsey, who stitched them together with the addition of a pup she found on a vintage hankie. She sent the three strips of sewn coins back to me. I added the solid blue strips, basted, quilted and trimmed the quilt. Today she sewed the binding on while she was here for the decking weekend. I just stitched the label on and will wash it and pack it tomorrow and ship it to little Arlo.

And...ooops...you may have noticed that I did not stitch and I did not post yesterday, so I will be a day behind for the rest of the month.  To see our new deck, which consumed much of the weekend, look here! 

I hope that each of you had a lovely weekend, filled with the celebration of spring. xo

Saturday, April 15, 2017

a month of stitching::day 15

 11 people around the supper table after 
a day of deck building. 5 post holes dug and filled with concrete. 13 joists set. and an hour of knitting squeezed in. whew!

Friday, April 14, 2017

a month of stitching::day 14::giveaway winner






THE UNIVERSE IS LOOKING FOR COLLABORATORS
-Elizabeth Gilbert

wishing for world peace on my 61st.
my wish every year.

especially
as we teeter on the brink of who knows what.

hey, the winner of the giveaway is sharon,
randomly selected by gretta
(three out of four kids and two partners are in the house).

there were 11 comments and an email to grab from.

thanks to all of you for trying.
there will be more giveaways this spring,
'cause i need to collaborate with the universe.

xo

Thursday, April 13, 2017

a month of stitching::day 13

sneak peek.
a birch moon in a night sky.
inspired by something anne lamott wrote.
(i call her saint anne)
hope to finish it tomorrow.

there's still time to enter the giveaway.
look here.