Wedding Quilt Chuppah

The biggest gift we were given for our wedding was the gift of a handmade quilt that we used as a chuppah from my mom and her Quilty Ladies – from L to R  – Nancy, Judy, Ann, Mom, Miyoko, and Susie. An untold number of stitches done with love over an untold number of hours combined to create a stunning heirloom gift that we are so very honored to have. What is a chuppah, some of you might be asking? In our ceremony we explained: “In the Jewish tradition, marriages take place under a chuppah. A chuppah represents a home. Just as the chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one’s guests – that’s all of you, our family, friends, and loved ones. This symbolic home lacks furnishings to remind us that a home …


Wedding Shawl for my Mother

To honor the women that have been mothers to me, I am knitting each of them a lace shawl to wear to my wedding. I want to thank my mother, stepmother, godmother, and mother-in-law each for their love and guidance and support in my life. I picked a different yarn and different pattern for each woman. I already finished shawls for my stepmother and godmother. This one is for my mom. My mom is a petite blonde woman who wears pink. Clearly, I’m not blonde (well, not most of the time), I’m definitely not petite, but I certainly inherited my love of pink from her! I picked a complicated and frilly, intricate pattern not necessarily because I thought it would fit her personality (how I chose the other shawl patterns) but because I knew she would appreciate it. I know it will make her smile. The pattern I picked is #06 Turquoise …


Mom’s Maxi Summer Hippy Dress

I sewed my mom a sundress for Christmas. Yes, kind of a silly thing to do for someone who lives in Seattle since it was months before she could wear it. But I had the fabric and the pattern and the vision and it was a fun project to make me dream of sunshine midwinter. And now she’s finally wearing it (and wearing it a lot!) so I can share it. I drafted the pattern myself, making it similar to a RTW dress that she already had and liked. The fabric is a cotton/rayon  batik print that was a gift from a friend (and a stashbuster!). It has princess seams and front and side facings with a smocked back, although the drape of the fabric and the busy-ness of the print hide the construction. The dress gaps a bit in the back now since my mom has lost 20 pounds …


Silk Tunic Blouse

For Mother’s Day this year I made my mom a tunic blouse, just like her Sew Grateful for Mom blouse. This time I used a lightweight undyed silk that my cousin bought for me in Bangladesh years ago (Over 10 years old and it has been sitting in my stash since. That definitely makes this a stashbuster!). The silk was divine to sew with. I got such crisp seams, it pressed beautifully, and yet it still has some drape. It seems like every time I sew with silk I’m surprised by how much I love working with it. Note to self: you like silk. A lot. The back and sides have slits. It is interesting comparing this blouse to the exact same blouse in rayon. The silk does have a bit of drape, but nowhere near as much as the rayon. One noticeable difference is that the sleeves look shorter …

Japanese Fan Tabi Socks

I knit these socks from Knitted Socks East and West, a book of sock patterns inspired by Japanese stitches, perfect for the intermediate to advanced knitter. This is my fourth pair of socks knit from this book, one of my favorites. (Check out the others I have knit on Ravelry). This pattern is called Fan Tabi – the fan is the stitch pattern and tabi refers to having a separate toe so it can be worn with sandals. I tracked my time religiously on these socks, curious about how long it actually takes to knit a pair of socks. It took me 35.4 hours to knit these socks, with over 2 of those being frogged so that I could use a different size needle for the right gauge. These were mostly knit at work while attending seminars and meetings. I started them in October. I ended up giving them to …


Sew Grateful For Mom Blouse

 My sew grateful project is for my mom. Who better to show my appreciation than the woman who sewed my clothes as a kid, let me raid her fabric stash when I decided I wanted to start sewing as a tween, and taught me how to read a pattern and do things right when I finally had the patience to ask for help as a teenager.

Mom Made Movie Theater Quilt Block

Every year, one woman on Vashon (the Island my mom lives on) assembles a completely hand-sewn community quilt that is raffled off to support Vashon Allied Arts. It’s been going for over 20 years. This year the theme is Downtown Vashon and Beyond. My mom was asked to sew a block for the quilt! She was given the Vashon Movie Theater. Her challenge was to capture the theater in a 14 inch square, entirely hand sewn, making sure to include specific fabrics. I think she did an amazing job! She makes the theater look mid-century modern and not outdated, the block is bright and fun while still being quite realistic.

Mom Made Household Dec

Welcome to my mom’s house! This is just a tiny glimpse of some of the lovely handmade touches she has added to her house to make it a home. Here is a shelf in her TV room. The folded quilt is all made of fall fabrics and is displayed seasonally. The red white and blue quilt and begonia applique (design by Primitive Gatherings by Lisa Bongean), while designed to be overtly Fourth of July, become more subtle and year-round when part of a broader decorating scheme that includes other colors (yellow) and lots of pattern. Guests stay upstairs in a little cabin that mom built next to her house. Taking decorating inspiration from a quilter’s aesthetic, she combines lots of patterns into visually pleasing arrangements by keeping them within a set color palette. The pineapple embroidery (another pattern by Wooden Spool) reads ” Our Guestroom. We’re glad to have you as …

Mom Made Quilted Baby Blanket

My mom made a blanket for her cousin Amilia’s baby. (Same cousin for whom I designed the Baby’s First Fair Isle sweater). The construction was simple. It is made from 3 – 1 1/2 inch strips sewn together dark-light-dark in what’s called a strip-set. Then the strips are cut into 3 1/2 inch squares. Mom rotated alternate blocks and then sewed them together. This makes a quilt where the finished blocks are each 3 inches square. Placing 10 blocks by 12 blocks makes a final quilt size of 30 x 36 inches – the perfect size for a baby.

Mom Made Birthday Presents

In honor of my birthday last week, and my visit to my mom’s house over the weekend, this week of posts is going to be todo sobre mi madre. In short, my mom is amazingly creative and talented and inspiring. She’s a phenomenal quilter, applique-er, and stitcher, amongst so many other talents and I’m so excited to show off some of her amazing work! Now, the birthday presents my mom gave me! My mom stitched this lovely pillow based on a pattern by Wooden Spool Designs called Sewing Mends the Soul. We met the owner/designer Debbie at Sew Expo and had a great time meeting such a sweet and creative woman. My mom has made several of her designs including Fresh Fruit and O Christmas Tree. Mom sewed the rick-rack and ribbons on the pillow using zig-zag topstitch with a clear thread. She’s done a bunch of experimenting with different …


Sewing Organizers Made by Mom

My mom is super crafty. I’ve mentioned before that she’s an amazing quilter. But she’s also pretty amazing at anything she does with her hands. She just texted me some photos of a project that she made this week – little booklets to organize hand sewing materials. The fabric choices are so fun, and very much my mother. You can see her experienced eye as a quilter in joining disparate patterned fabrics to make a beautiful ensemble. My mom loves detail and buttons as much as I do, so here she’s got a button closure and a button on the end of the strap. (Sorry about the fuzziness of the photo. She texted me cell phone photos, so this is what I had to work with!). The pattern she used is from Quilts and More Magazine, Winter 2011.