My mother had special pillowcases on her bed that my grandmother made. They were crisp white with pretty, colorful and delicate flowers embroidered on them. Growing up it was a special day when it was your turn, out of the eight, to take a map in mom’s bed. I would trace the lines of those stitches until my eyes were too heavy to keep open. A lack of matching pillowcases in my own closet, and this post on purl bee, inspired me to make my own.
I definitely have enough fabric scraps to use up and some vintage fabric that I have been wanting to work into a project. Combining those things with stitches that echo my grandma’s embroidery, I created some very special-to-me matching pillowcases. For me personally it so so satisfying to make something both special, but also economical and so functional. The linen closet is stocked!
I made two in each of the colors above. The girls quickly claimed the gray and vintage blue rose pillowcases for themselves. I have enough of that to even work into quilts for them (in a very long que of to-do projects). The embroidery was definitely the part that took the longest but this would be a great project without the embroidery. Or, if you wanted a hand sewing project, such a great way to personalize and embellish store bought pillowcases!
I was walking through a store swooning over the girls’ clothing. I exerted a large amount of restraint and self discipline and told myself to dig through my fabric stash and sew them something myself. While it is more time consuming and less convenient, the unused fabric feels like money just wasting away on shelf. It is so satisfying to make something so utilitarian for your family with your own two hands.
I have less and less influence over what the girls wear these days. This is absolutely fine. I like seeing what they mix and match and come up with. Colors are getting more pink and purple, patterns more bold and bright. I was concerned that this wouldn’t be colorful enough for them and that it would spend all its days in the closet. When Elise saw it hanging completed her eyes got big and she exclaimed with a slow smile and quiet wonder “It’s beauuutiful!” She wanted to wear it immediately and didn’t want to take it off. (I did insist, after day two.) I am so grateful that they love wearing things I have sewn myself. I am very aware that might not last.
The pattern is Simplicity 2677 size 8. I try to aim a little large in the sizing so there is room for growth and it will last more than one season. They sprout so fast, those wee ones. I love any sleeveless dress that can be worn alone or layered for the colder months.
I have only recently started to study watercolor. As in, months ago. I am an absolutely an amateur. I thought it would be interesting to paint the plants around me, native and transplants, as a way to study the medium so elusive to me. Documenting this study here is practise in releasing my perfectionism, forgiving me of my mistakes and faults, and embracing vulnerability.
I made some baby clothes for a dear friend. She has a classy and unique, simple and refined style. These were outfits that she pinned to a board and I found some patterns to recreate. I love the cool neutrality of the tones.
The main fabric is Julianna Horner and the lining is found vintage fabric.
These little duds got me inspired to make a few frocks for my own little ones. The fabric sitting stored away for years should really be put to better use!
This quilt is the only sewing project I have right now. It’s all pieced and I’ve started the hand quilting, my favorite part. This a “baby blanket” for my youngest, who is (ehem) four. Oh well. I had to add some squares, to say the least. Whenever I pull it out to work on (which is rarely) he asks “Are you done yet? I want to snuggle it.” So sweet. And now all the others have put in their orders. Which I adore, and don’t need an excuse to make more, but love that my products are so cherished.
I read The War of Art and it kind of changed my life. It made me resolved to study art like I’ve always wanted to. A few weeks ago I even created a space dedicated to this pursuit. A few hours a week I have been studying watercolor. I also have been slowly (painstakingly slow) working through Nicolaides’ The Natural Way to Draw. I use the kids as models and when they see me sketching they will often pull out their drawing pads. It’s had a good effect on us that way.
Embroidery on embroidery. Underneath is this pillow I made. Speaking of “cherished products.” I threw this lavender satchel together with some leftover embroidery for my daughter’s birthday. She saw me making them a few years ago and wanted one for her dresser drawers. She opened it clearly confused and disappointed. She’s seven, so that’s understandable. I guess she didn’t remember. I’ll save it for her.
This needlepoint came as a painted canvas from Purl Soho. It was pricey, considering all the work that needs to go into it but as a piece of art that can be passed down, I see it as worth every penny. My grandmother had a huge needlepoint of Arabian horses my aunt made. I would marvel and stare at the huge needlework on the wall. I wonder whatever happened to it when my grandmother moved and wish I could see if it has altered from my memory at all.
I don’t remember specifically, but this took me somewhere from 6-12 months to stitch. It waited for a frame for at least another year. I adore it’s simple palette and graphic shapes. I am so pleased with the character it gives the room.
These sashiko inspired tea towels are one of the few things I made as gifts for the Christmas season. In order to balance time with my family and the busyness that Christmas brings, I limit myself to only making a few handmade items. Even then, somehow I still ended up not finishing until after the New Year.
My stitches are not uniform or straight, but personally I love the charm of that look. Also, adding running stitches to store-bought linens would be great for a simple face lift. I need to find a gift system that allows for a couple of leftovers. I definitely want some of these for myself!
Needlepoint art. That feels weird to say. You have to throw out all preconceived ideas of what that means or looks like. Like all crafts out there are bad examples of what needlepoint art is. Well, that’s not exactly fair. Let’s say it’s not my style and certainly doesn’t seem modern. I wanted something graphic for my gallery wall. I love that fiber or textile can add a completely different texture that more traditional art can’t offer you. So I created a needlepoint sample to fill a void and add dimension to the art surrounding it.
Also on my wall is a gemsbok paper mache head from West elm. The shark jaw and antlers are from a thrift store.
A beautiful photography print of my dear friend and sister-in-law, Ashley Rodriguez.
The feathers are a watercolor also from Ashley Rodriguez (sheesh, save some for the rest of us, girl!), the yellow hydrangea painting is from this etsy seller, and the photography print of the flowers is from 20×200.