NICU Smock Drive

Thank you for helping the Music City Modern Quilt Guild donate 1,082 NICU smocks to Vanderbilt and area Nashville children's hospitals in 2015! Read the story in the Tennessean here. For info on next year's charity drive, join our Facebook group and download the free pattern here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sporty Strap Pack in Anna Maria Horner Fabrics

Sporty Strap Pack

It's been a few months since the last time I made a "Sporty Strap Pack," so I decided to remake another one! The pattern for this shoulder backpack can be found in my book (with co-author Janelle MacKay) On the Go Bags.

Sporty Strap Pack

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE it when the horses are out? My favorite park to photograph sewing projects is just 5 minutes from my house, and they occasionally make a cameo in my photos (like the Citrus & Mint quilt, a free pattern I shared last summer over at Craft Buds).
Sporty Strap Pack

Inside this bag you can see a peek of a Carolyn Friedlander print. I was planning to make this the featured fabric of another Sporty Strap Pack, but I just didn't love it for this bag. (You can see what it would look like here in my Instagram feed... it's a little busy with the pocket!) It's a great lining, though.

Sporty Strap Pack

The featured fabric I decided on is from Anna Maria Horner's Honor Roll collection. I thought this print paired nicely with Denim Essex Linen, which I used on the the pocket flap, zipper flap and strap facing. Another version of this bag which I made in black Essex Linen is featured on the book's cover.

I finished and dropped off this bag today at Anna Maria's fabric shop for a store sample. If you stop by, be sure pick up a Sprinkles cupcake from the new cupcake ATM on your way home. As you can see, I'm a big fan!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: Kinder to Me, Kinder to Others

As 2015 came to a close, I discovered that my most liked instagram photos from the year weren't really my work, but representative of a community project I organized. The Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt and swap was a smash hit! I sorted 1,758 scrappy quilt blocks, mixing and redistributing them among 77 quilters. This was a much bigger job than I'd anticipated, but I have really enjoyed seeing instagram pics of the finished quilts you all have made. Hooray for us!

I also helped my quilt guild collect 1,058 NICU smocks for charity, and our project made the news.

Janelle and I wrote a book, On the Go Bags, with projects from even more of the online sewing community.

I wrote lots and lots of blog posts and marketing copy. I edited a few books. I worked from home while being the primary caretaker for our son, almost two. I grocery shopped with a toddler. I branched out and cooked some new meals. (Thanks Crock Pot!) My husband and I took some fun trips to Cape Cod and other places we'd never been, and carved out time for date nights when we could have easily worked or watched TV.

In 2015, I worked toward overcoming anxiety. So much healing came from sharing my story, and hearing your stories. There are some remnants. Still, I can see a remarkable difference 365 days later, and realize that the counseling, regular exercise, the books I've read and my community have all played a part. I am so grateful.

In spite of all these great things, I became totally obsessed with a few negative online comments over Christmas break. For at least 24 hours, I let the negativity overshadow all the good. I've fallen prey to this on more than one occasion.

Brene Brown, in her book Daring Greatly, talks about our culture of scarcity. We tend to focus on what we lack rather than what we have. She writes:
"We wake up in the morning and we say, 'I didn't get enough sleep.' And we hit the pillow saying, 'I didn't get enough done.' We're never thin enough, extraordinary enough, or good enough – until we decide that we are. For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It's enough. I'm enough. My kids are enough."
The thread that ties us together? We are in this together. In 2016, I resolve to be kinder to myself and kinder to others. Not one of us is perfect. I'm definitely not. But I'm going to talk to myself like I would to someone I love. Let's find ways to support and really encourage each other in this new year.

Cheers to a new year! Do you make new year's goals or resolutions?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Tablet Shoulder Bag from 'On the Go Bags'

On the Go Bags (Dec. 2015, Stash Books)

Hello, and welcome to visitors from the On the Go Bags blog tour!

When Janelle and I started this process of writing a book together from two different countries, we had a vision in mind. We contacted some of our favorite bag pattern designers to see if they could see themselves as a part of the project, and to our surprise, most of them said yes!

The result is a book of 15 bag and organizer pattern that have multiple, specific purposes. They are all suited to fit your busy, on-the-move lifestyle... to keep the essentials at an arm's reach. We couldn't be more proud to unveil the final project to you this month.

If you'd like to order a signed copy, I'm offering free U.S. shipping and I'll do my best to get it to you by Christmas!

For a look at more projects in the book, here's a little video trailer...

Today I'm sharing a bag I've remade from the book (twice, actually!). This is the "Tablet Shoulder Bag" designed by Sara Lawson. Sara made hers in Tula Pink fabrics, and you can see it in her post here.

This is the version I sewed for the Blend Fabrics booth at fall Quilt Market. It features prints from Flora + Fauna collection by Brenda Walton.

Inside this bag is a padded pocket which is the perfect size for your iPad, tablet or e-reader! There's also a magnetic snap and a really fun detail in the pocket flap. This is the second version of the Tablet Shoulder Bag, and there may be more in my future! It's a great beginner-friendly bag that is quick to stitch... and it makes a great gift!

As with other bags from the book, you can use this for many purposes. So even if you don't have a tablet (I don't!), this is a great little bag for your wallet, cell phone and other essentials.

Did I mention that there are 15 projects in the book? Full-size patterns are included for those patterns that require it, and others use simple dimensional cutting instructions! If you are new to sewing bags, there are 14 pages of techniques and tips, like using interfacing and stabilizers, sewing piping and bias binding and installing hardware.

On the Go Bags Blog Tour  

Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour for some giveaways!

Tuesday, Dec 1: Shannon Fabrics / Sew Sweetness
Wednesday, Dec 2: Clover & Violet / Ann Kelle
Thursday, Dec 3: Radiant Home Studio / Melly Sews
Friday, Dec 4: Sew Caroline / Mia's Creations
Saturday, Dec 5: ikat bag / imagine gnats
Monday, Dec 7: sewVery / The Girl Inspired
Tuesday, Dec 8: Stash Books / Fabric Mutt
Wednesday, Dec 9: Pellon
Thursday, Dec 10: Simple Simon and Co / Mrs. H
Friday, Dec 11: Emmaline Bags / Lindsay Sews
Monday, Dec 13: Sew, Mama, Sew

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