Day 6 :: Rachael Gander & Erica Sage

Wow, so exciting to share these amazing designers with you every day!

My first blog crushes, way back when I started learning to sew (ah hem…five years ago!) were Erica Sage of Craftyblossom and Ayumi Takahashi of Pink Penguin. I used to stay awake late at night, pregnant with my baby girl, pouring through sewing blogs as though they were the most fascinating thing on earth. Something about seeing these cool women sewing cool sh*t in our modern world felt so right and so soothing to me. It felt like a really big conversation and all I knew was that I wanted to be a part of it because it felt so good. read more

Day 3 :: Shea Henderson

The PAINT party is in full swing. Today, I am happy to share one of my dear friends, Shea Henderson. She created this eye-catching bold and graphic quilt using a soon-to-be released Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio pattern, called Parallels. Parallels will be printed as a pattern book, full of six different quilt designs (each in sizes baby to king!) based on parallelograms. It was designed by Elizabeth Ancell read more

PAINT PARTY :: DAY 2 :: Julie Goldin and Sally Keller

Here is the PAINT collection! In stores July 2014.

Day 2 of the PAINT party. Today, I am going to let you in on one aspect of my design process–the complete and total surrendering of control.

I am in recovery from control. I used to be super-controlling…seriously. I was a white-knuckler. I thought that the more stuff I could control, the greater the outcome would be. But life had other plans for me, thank goodness. Control is just a tool we use to treat our anxiety and existential dis-ease. When we don’t have answers to some of the big, profound questions in life, we control the outcome of all the small sh*t. And it becomes addictive. It makes us feel better and soothed. And, at the same time, it is completely exhausting because we run around like this: “I’m good enough, see? See how great I am at all this? Look at how I know what I’m doing. Look at how perfect I am…see?”  We begin to perfect everything in an attempt to show the outside world how completely awesome we are. But on the inside, we are just overwhelmingly uncomfortable with how imperfect we are–how messy, human, changeable, and scared we are–how terrified we are of everything and of life itself. So we control. But we aren’t in control anyway. It is all an illusion. We use control to self-medicate. If we think we are the one in control, then that places us higher than things like: nature, science, serendipity, god, synchronicity, poetry, divinity, wonder and magic. And that sucks. Because then we aren’t open to all of that wonderful stuff.    read more

Time for a PAINT party!

Yay! So excited to finally share my next fabric collection, PAINT, for Windham Fabrics with you. As a designer apparently you just learn to sit on your hands and endure the waiting. I designed this line in September and sent it to Windham. We had some back and forth and it was done by October. And ever since I have waited as we go through the process of strike-off’s and color correcting and then ultimately they send me fabric. read more

Introducing the PAINT collection

The lookbook is here…the lookbook is here! Gawd, I hate waiting to share my creations with the world for months on end…but the wait is over. Woot!

This week marks the beginning of our blog party to celebrate all the amazingly talented designer friends who, in lightning speed, whipped out samples with my newest fabric, PAINT, for Windham Fabrics. I am so excited to share the line with the world.  Over the next week, I will share all the fab projects and give you some of the back story about how my second fabric collection came into being. The whole line is about what my brand is all about and even my tagline: Celebrate Your Inner Artist!™

In the meantime, click here to go see the lookbook–the virtual online catalog of PAINT! Stay tuned this week for lots of fun and fabric and book giveaways. Follow along on Facebook here and Instagram here. I just love a good party. 🙂 read more

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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