tea towel time

Posted on Apr 26, 2017 | 0 comments

Tea towels are the ultimate functional kitchen item. Drying dishes. Protecting from heat. Cleaning up. But why use boring towels?!

We all have family recipes that have been passed down through the years. One holiday I printed tea towels for my family with my grandmother’s hand-written cookie recipe; it was a lovely connection to a shared family history. I’ve since added others to my collection, and each one tells a story. Mom’s lemon meringue pie, Mary’s mother’s treasured recipe collection, etc. They make a great gift for family reunions and weddings.

But recipes aren’t the only items that tell a family story worthy of sharing … children’s art work, wedding invitations, maps, photos of special places or people. What fun to have these memories in your hands.

After I entered into the world of art quilts and fabric collage, I realized that some of my vegetable collages would also make great tea towels.

The evolution of vegetables: Take one
Farmer’s market … Fabric collage … Tea towels!

tea towels!

The evolution of vegetables: Take two
Farmer’s market … Coleslaw … Recipe tea towel

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aprons are back!

Posted on Apr 17, 2017 | 0 comments

After taking a little time away from them, I miss my aprons, so they’re coming back! (Karen, Michelle, Ross … you’re welcome! :) )

Aprons offer a unique opportunity to combine the frivolous with the functional, and, at a reasonable cost. Putting on a fun apron might just inspire an untapped domestic creativity to share with friends and family. After all, the kitchen has always been the most popular gathering place in the home.

So, tie on an apron, and bake some cookies or heat up some pizza. Then invite the neighbors and create some memories!

Apros will soon be filling my etsy shop so click on over and take a look at them and other items for sale. Don’t see what you want? Email me!

And check out recipes to see some favorite foods I’ve been thinking about as I sew …

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the #60project

Posted on Jan 19, 2017 | 0 comments

the #60project

This year I will be celebrating my 60th birthday.

As many of you know, this has been a goal of mine for a number of years … every birthday my sister asks, “Aren’t you 60 yet? What have you been doing with your life?!”

Well, now that I will be achieving this new decade, it has come to my attention that I need some new goals. And so, introducing … the #60project!

the #60plan

The plot is to make sixty 5″ quilt squares over the coming year. And each is to have some meaning to me; I’m keeping a list of ideas to somehow translate into fabric. So far, I’ve got things like: 60, 2017, my family, my pets, my neighborhood, Grand Rapids, Boston, science, words, books, art, color, food, travel, music, sewing, winter, and so on. I have a feeling I may be soliciting suggestions down the road, so please feel free to contribute ideas! I don’t think I will have any rules regarding the techniques used … I’ll probably do some patchwork, some collage, and maybe some cutting out of a 5″ square piece of fabric when I’m stumped! My game, my rules …

the #60fabric

60 fabricTo give the whole thing some cohesion I bought $100+ worth of bright coordinating batik fabrics in half yard pieces. What fun to freely indulge! (A shout out to Fabric Corner in Arlington for stocking this fabulous fabric.) I just love the colors; they definitely are “my” colors. And as I said, I haven’t totally figured out the rules of my game/project, but I may be allowed to add in some solids if necessary. (Of course, when have I been known to follow such rules!)

the #60goal

To display my progress, I will get some 50″ stretcher bars and make a dark grey felt “wall” to pin up the squares to as I go. My end of year goal is to arrange the completed squares in a pleasing array and sew them together to make a wall quilt. I’ll probably set them up in an 8 x 8 grid … giving me the concept of 60 plus 4 to grow on, or a defensible out if this thing takes me four years instead of one!

the #60thanks

I could conclude this with some deep commentary about life, new challenges, etc., but, yeah, who wants to read that. I’ll just keep it to a simple moment of gratitude for all that I have and all who are part of my life. Thank you! And, of course … “Thank you, Mom!” for being the unwitting underwriter of my project through your generous birthday gift! That and your never-ending encouragement …

Please join me on my journey. Knowing you are watching will help keep me on track …
Let the #60project begin!

thank you

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who’s a good boy? …

Posted on Dec 14, 2016 | 0 comments

ziggy wants in ... please ...

ziggy wants in … please …

Of course, all dog (and cat) owners know the answer to that question!

Dogs are thrilled to learn that they are the good boy (or girl), and it never gets old. Cats, of course, have always known that they are the good boy/girl and will walk away acting unimpressed; but, really, even they appreciate the recognition.

morrison's gang

morrison’s gang

And so, what could be better than a portrait of your most important family member to let them know that you, too, always know “who’s a good boy?” Even when you’re not there to let them know of their revered status.

I began making photo pillows of pets when my daughter went away to college and missed her cat. I enlarged a good photo, printed it on fabric, and made a soft pillow with a flat base so that her loyal companion could sit on her bed and greet her after class.

layla wants food ... now ...

layla wants food … now …

But sometimes there’s an empty space on the wall that needs a pop of color. Or other pets do not appreciate an inanimate interlope on their couch.

Enter the quilt collage portrait.

With a combination of a minimal palette accented with free-motion thread sketching, these portraits can convey your pet’s personality in a special way that once and for all can answer that question …

“Who’s a good boy/girl?” “Me!!!”

me & my pal

me & my pal

If you would like a custom pillow or portrait of your good pet, just send me an email and a few pictures.

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holiday burn-out …
and hurrah for neighbors

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 | 0 comments

holiday burn-out … and hurrah for neighbors

This fall has been a whirlwind and so the usual last minute sewing for the holidays has been ratcheted up yet another notch. And then came the holiday burn-out.

Not for me, but for my trusty sewing machine. I had taken a quick snack break and then sat down to finish up the last batch of luggage tags. Hurrah! Lovely range of blue fabrics. Flipped the switch. Silence. Tried again. Unplugged. Replugged. Checked outlet and power cord. Silence. The only sound; a muffled whimper coming from the vicinity of my soul.

Pulled out the screwdriver and a fresh batch of hope. Aha! A blown fuse on the power supply board! Hurrah, that’s easy. And look, what pretty christmas colors on the board.


Okay, not so easy. Long story short-ish. New fuses were good, until I installed them. Called Tom (at Ann’s Fabrics in Canton), again. He helped diagnose and ordered a new power supply board which will arrive next week.

In the meantime, I have the best neighbors!

Turns out you can borrow not only sugar, flour, spices, refried beans, butter, eggs, parking spaces, and pet-sitting services BUT even a fabulous aqua vintage sewing machine to get me through the coming week.

My neighborhood rocks! Thank you!!!

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tip of the day

Posted on Nov 2, 2016 | 0 comments

tip of the day

Wow. How many years have I been carrying a bag with a pincushion? How many times have I pierced my finger on said pins?

Years ago, my mother wove some lovely fabric and made me the bestest pincushion and needle folder. They travel with me regularly for all those sewing emergencies that come up if your life is fabric. And many was the time when I would reach for the pincushion and stab my finger.



Then one day, unexpectedly, my brain kicked in and did this:

duh ...

duh …

Yeah, that should not have taken 20 years … it’s not rocket science. And that takes me back to one of my all-time favorite comedy skits Mitchell & Webb Brain Surgery. Enjoy!

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quality control is everything …
mini pets for art-o-mat

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 | 0 comments

quality control is everything  … mini pets for art-o-mat

Whether it’s an apron, quilt, pillow, or toy, I take pride in sewing with quality craftsmanship. It’s just one of the lessons my mother (Dora) instilled in me.

Just finished another batch of MINI Porta-pets for the Art-o-mat folks and was able to call in some help for that all important final QC check! After careful consideration, Morrison approved and the shipment went out yesterday. Maybe they will be arriving at an Art-o-mat near you?

Don’t know what Art-o-mat is? Check out their website or Facebook page!

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