More triangle needlepoint.

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This needlepoint started as a quick doodle. I did a more exact drawing straight onto the needlepoint canvas and went from there.

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It has a very mid-century aesthetic. I love the clean and simple lines.

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Around my home : Pinecone Watercolor Study

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Having read the War of Art, I know that feeling like giving up is normal. I know to push through it now. When I was working on this watercolor the question I asked myself was “How much and how strong of that feeling is normal?” Because I didn’t feel it like a whisper, but deafening trumpet while I was painting this. A “Why do I even bother, what am I thinking, I should just give this up” constant feeling. So far I have felt that way each time I tackle a painting. Sometimes it is not as strong and I can get past it sooner, say fifty percent of the time. I swear I felt that way during this piece about nintey two percent of the time. Painting it felt more like a struggle than relaxing and enjoyable. I am hoping that comes from being so new and not really knowing what I am doing. Somehow at the end I felt, “Okay. That isn’t horrible. That’s decent.” And then when it was done I immediately got out a new piece of fresh paper to tackle another painting, the next “puzzle”.  I really want to keep a documentation of the process of learning to paint, and how this inner dialogue plays out. I read one artist say recently “Finally after fourteen years I am painting the way I always dreamed.” That was both frightening and encouraging at the same moment. Frightening because I am not far in and I have a long way to go; encouraging because it’s helpful to know how long others have had to keep at it. Sitting in front of the paper with brushes in my hands is some of the happiest moments I have. With each new painting, the more I push through and “fight the resistance,” the harder it is to imagine my future without doing it. So I’ll cling to that!

 

Sunny Day Quilt

IMG_2581 This green and gray colored quilt I made using the Sunny Day Quilt pattern found here. The project took three or four years as I started for my son while I was still pregnant, put it aside, and didn’t pick it up until years later. He is four. So that makes it five years, but who’s counting? It’s a good thing I made it twin size because by the time I finished he is almost ready out of his toddler bed. IMG_2349 I loved the print of this fabric that was a duvet cover from IKEA. I took it apart and conviently had a whole cloth piece for the back and tons of leftover fabric from the front. It is entirely handquilted. I love hand quilting. I have hand quilted since I was a girl. I remember during some long winter nights my mom clearing off the kitchen table after dinner and spreading a big quilt out over it. I would sit around it with her and my grandmother while we all worked on it together. It is easy, mindless, cathartic work. I much prefer the look of the finished product. It is time consuming though. As I get started I always wonder, what was I thinking? IMG_2353 Both girls informed me that their baby quilts are now too small and could I please make them one this size? They put their orders in and now I a list of quilts to work on. IMG_2612 Jude loves it. He would check in “Are done with my blankie yet?” It is so gratifying to wrap your baby up in something made with your hands! IMG_2605

Chambray faux bois pillow.

IMG_2408I was supposed to take a class with Blair Stocker on her Faux Bois pillow. A long story short, I had the wrong day and missed the class and all the fun. Having all of the supplies and instructions, of course I made the pillow anyway.

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This was actually my first time machine quilting. All five quilts or so I have made I have hand quilted. This project was so fun and fast. The instructions were articulate and well written. It is so satisfying to whip up something so fast for your home that is unique and beautiful and functional!

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Needlepointed Flying Geese

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I love flying geese so much. So much, I thought I would make a small version in needlepoint. In the picture above the needlepoint is being blocked. I’ve never actually made flying geese in a quilt. I have one on my to-do list and cannot wait to get started after some Holiday projects are finished up.

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I threw it in a black frame to showcase it as art, and being neutrals, it would truly work in any room. It would also be wonderful worked into another object. My mind is reeling with the possibilities!

Green gray knitted baby sweater.

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I don’t knit much anymore. But when a dear friend becomes pregnant with a long awaited miracle baby, the knitting needles get anxiously and happily pulled out. I made this little ‘professor-chic’ sweater for my own son years ago. I love this sweater. My oldest daughter saw me making this and begged for one exactly like it, in her size. I want one in my size! The pattern is the Rufus Textured Cardigan from Vintage Baby Knits.

Color blocked and embroidered pillowcases.

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

Child dress in dark chambray.

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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.

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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.

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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.