My next fabric collection…DREAMER!

I can finally share my next fabric collection with you. (You know it is so hard to wait nine months before I can share.) But here she is…World, meet DREAMER!!!

This sweet, fresh, bohemian collection is filled with layered patterns I made both with my typical collage technique and by hand-painted watercolor. This collection is a love song to the earth and to our ancestors around the globe who were MAKERS and who lived in harmony with nature.

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Prayer flag project giveaway!

Sometimes the world is just so strangely tiny. In February, Vivika De Negre, editor at Interweave/Quilting Arts, and I were working on the details of filming my DVD for them and concurrently, I was asking a bunch of strangers via social media to sew some prayer flags for me with my new fabric collection, PAINT, for Windham Fabrics. These two events are seemingly completely unrelated. I googled prayer flags so that I could send people a link to see examples of handmade prayer flags. And what popped up was Vivika’s Prayer Flag Project blog! We had more in common than we even knew. Both of us love prayer flags. Vivika has been blogging about artful, handmade prayer flags since 2011 here. I am happy to be a part of her blog hop today and so excited to share the prayer flags made by my tribe:

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Fear of flying

So, I got a call about two months ago. It was Vivika De Negre from Interweave. I have always liked her when we’ve met at Market. She is lovely, warm and genuine. She said they’d like to produce a DVD of me doing some of my fabric collage and teaching design basics. She said they’d also film three segments for Quilting Arts TV on PBS on the same day. She said it would be filmed the week of March 24th…in a production studio…in Ohio. Solon, Ohio…just outside of Cleveland.

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It totally takes a village. Thank you, Village.

Sally, me, Danny, Sharon, Julie, Sharon, LaRose, Bonnie, and Becky

It takes a village to do just about everything well… at least it does for me. I can imagine exceptions to this rule–social proclivities and introversions that make some people prefer to fly solo. I can imagine feeling undeserving of the support and love of your community. But something has happened in the last half decade for me… actually, since having children. I now think almost everything is made better by the web of connection we share with each other. Parenting is for sure. Parenting babies alone, in a vacuum, can be isolating to say the least. But reaching out and holding the hands of friends and neighbors makes it all more fun, easier. 

I used to have friends over for playdates when my son was a young baby…around a year old. The mamas would talk and share and the babies would stagger around the back yard in that bewildered, toddling walk and investigate flowers and toys. Then bath time would come and we would throw all babies in the bath together. We would share the washing, the cleaning, the feeding, the diapers, wine, pajamas, organic broccoli puree, everything. That is when I learned about my village.

But in recent years and through my company, SUCH Designs, I have found many such villages everywhere I go. In fact, not just in my business, but in my whole life. I have a very lovely relationship with Fong, who is my postmaster at the post office. I see her many times a week. She is part of my web–my village. Our idle chat is a momentary flash of kindness and connection in my day. This sharing of life is deeply spiritual to me. If I could go so far as to make a big statement, I hope you will take it for what it is worth: I see the face of god in all of my relationships, big or small, enduring or fleeting. I see and learn more about whatever God is or means when my life overlaps with the lives of others. I put love out. I get love back. It is a simple math. 1+1=the abundant, radiant connection of a shared life. The more you give, the more you get.


This modern craft movement that we are all a part of is filled with that spirit of people seeking a village. We all love to get together to make stuff…to be near others and learn things as we create. It is in our bones to gather in such a way. It is an ancient, tribal urge. It feels really good. If you let it, your whole life begins to look like a sewing or painting class, a knitting circle, a yoga workshop….it spreads out and you see the divine connection in every relationship, all day long, everywhere. This feels like a sacred blessing to me. The only way I can describe is that it feels shimmering. It feels beautiful, connected, alive.


So, I have this new fabric line coming out in April with Windham Fabrics and many people volunteered to sew with it. I decided it would be fun to say yes to these women, many of whom I didn’t know well and others who had taken classes with me or heard my lectures at Bernina Connection of Arizona, my local shop. I emailed them all and held out my hands. Nine women gathered to sew. 

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Day 3 Creativity challenge

It is day three of my 10 day creativity challenge. Today’s challenge: quickly sew something without using fabric. =&0=&Use candy wrappers, leaves, packaging, plastic…anything that isn’t fabric from a store. Sew by hand if you don’t have a machine. Free your mind from limitations and expectations. It doesn’t need to be good or perfect. It doesn’t need to be functional. I used two plastic mesh lemon bags from Trader Joe’s and cut up another red plastic sweet potato bag for the handle to make this all-weather collecting bag for my daughter. It took less than 7 minutes! =&1=&. Don’t think. Just sew. My first experiment was sewing eucalyptus leaves together…I can’t say it worked yet. The needle just cut the leaves, but am still trying. And the inside of my machine smells really good. Idea: make upcycled or recycled valentine’s cards on card stock! Share your creations on my Facebook page or instagram using hashtag #yourcreativitychallenge.

The Nest Quilt

Welcome the Nest Quilt! It may just be my favorite. In this, my newest pattern, we aren’t putting a bird on it (for once). Nope. This time we are becoming the bird. This pattern really exemplifies my branding and desire to help you Celebrate your inner artist. You will need to be wild and free like a bird as you create this quilt: gathering scraps, quickly placing them, and creating your own nest. There aren’t templates for every step. You are going to have to trust the directions and trust yourself–break some rules. Just let go, be free, and fly, little birdie. 🙂 

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Grateful Sewing :: Thanksgiving gifts for teachers

Teacher gifts are always fun to give. Thanksgiving seems like a perfect excuse to make a little craft for giving thanks and expressing gratitude for the wonderful people who help nurture our kids. Today we made lavender sachets for the kids’ teachers. They were super easy and the kids helped out. I often want to help my children to do more to express their gratitude. I was hoping that we’d do some hand sewing for these, but that was a lofty goal. I’d rather them do a little with joy, than a lot with whining 🙂 So my wee one filled the sachets and the big kiddo wrote “Gratitude” and “Luve.”

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Caftan!

Once, when I was 24 and I had absolutely had it, had it, had it with the Man and Capitalism and the Mall, I decided I needed to make my own clothes. Fueled by nothing other than an art school girl’s sheer cojones, I figured it couldn’t be too hard to make a dress. Who needed designer labels anyway? Who would want to be branded by the machine of hegemony, homogeneity, and normalcy? Huh? Who? So, with ego in hand, I set out to make a dress with no skills other than being an abstract painter and the fact that I had taken home-ec in 7th grade. Needless to say, it didn’t go very well.

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