Sewing: School of Sewing Class

This Saturday I am embarking on teaching my second all day School of Sewing class. The class is basically a combination of 3 classes that I’ve taught over the past few years for adults: pattern reading, get to know your sewing machine and a simple sewing 101 for adults. It’s a six hour session where we start out at the very beginning and work our way through so much information and end with making simple elastic skirts.

School of Sewing 2016 spring

I combined information from the excellent book by Shea Henderson called School of Sewing and Abby Glassenberg’s also excellent Get to Know Your Sewing Machine e-book along with my own experience and some help from other blogs online and created this packet that I use for teaching my class.

School of Sewing 2016 Spring

One of my favorite parts of the class it talking through pattern envelopes, different types of fabrics and just general fabric vocabulary.

School of Sewing 2016 spring

I created this interactive activity where each person receives a set of fabric squares and other fabrics making this a hands on activity. There’s nothing like being able to actually touch the different types of something that makes learning a little bit easier. I’ve also found that talking through the different vocabulary of fabric (grainline, selvage, bias etc) is most helpful when students can actually hold the bias and pull it etc.

Interested in working through the packet yourself or even sharing it with your own class? Here’s a schoolofsewingpacket just for you!

And because I have to say it – please don’t copy these and sell them.

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Embroidery: What’s Been On My Hoop Lately

My embroidery work has slowed down a fair amount the last few months – which honestly isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t pay as well, but it does reduce my stress so maybe it pays in a more relaxed mom. 🙂

Here’s a few things I have been working on:

A set of custom do-live-be-give hoops for a friend

I love how these turned out. We had some snafus with our thread colors, but finally we got it all worked out. These are an 8 inch version based off my smaller 6 inch hoops. She also requested a set of four (versus the original three) so we came up with “give love” which I thing is an awesome addition. I’m hoping to offer these as a pattern in 2017 with both the smaller and larger versions to choose from.


The wreath is made up of a bundle of hand dyed threads and beaded threads from Nells Embroidery which I couched down around the satin stitched and backstitched text. Nell is amazing to work with and is pretty much always my go-to when it comes to bundles of amazing threads.

Custom Portraits
I worked on a couple of custom portraits too – even trying my hand at some little pups!


and some braids with a cool hat:


New Pattern!!
And if you are looking for some holiday sewing I finally got my holiday scroll tree pattern up and in the shop. I’ve been wanting to draft this pattern for years and finally made it happen this year! This is a great pattern for beginners and advanced embroiderers alike. It has 3 types of stitches and is finished off with some fun vintage buttons as ornaments.



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Journal: Dreaming versus Living


My husband and I are dreamers. I think the thing that has brought us together for going on 22 years is that we love nothing more than to sit and talk through all the things we wish we could do. The problem with that is when you’ve spent nearly 22 years talking through the same dreams and yet never really doing anything about them the dreaming part starts to feel more like an escape.


I’ve been pondering the difference between dreaming of things and escaping as I’m reading back through parts of Ecclesiastes. The one thing that continues to jump out at me is the idea of living right here and right now. The writer seems to discourage dreaming or looking forward.  Even pondering too deeply the season that you are in is a negative. These are hard words for a deep dreamer and “muller” of life.

So I saw that there’s nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that his is lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him? 3:22

There is so much we don’t know. There is so much that happens in our lives that we cannot even begin to explain – despite how badly we might want to figure it out. But the writer over and again reminds us that it’s worthless almost to keep constantly speculating. He continues to encourage the reader to tend to the “God given callings and joys in our lot.”


This is my life – my struggle – constantly thinking, speculating, meditating, worrying, mulling. My dreaming of what I hope for and long for becomes a means for me to escape from what the Lord is calling me to and the lot that He has placed in my lap.  The things my husband and I constantly go to to talk about are safe things – and because of that those safe things become an escape; a way for us to step out of the struggle of the right now.


I want nothing more than to rest in the season that I’m in; to accept my lot with joy – not just give in. Even when the season makes me feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a precipice, I want to sit there resting in the view.

{photos from Colonial Williamsburg, 2016}

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Embroidery: Free Form Flowers


After working so many months on my Jars Series, I needed a more simple project. I decided to work on my embroidered flowers techniques so I grabbed some fabric and a hoop and just started stitching. I started out with this one group of flowers in the middle – practicing some stem stitches, working with different numbers of threads and then laying lazy daisy stitches on top of one another.


Then I started adding some random little yellow flowers (really a mix of lazy daisies and brick stitches) and some woven wheel roses.


At that point I went online and started nosing around at some floral illustrations for some flower and leaf ideas. The rest of the hoop is an amalgamation of those ideas. Probably my favorite of the whole group is the leaf vine on the left side. I stitched this by couching down some strands of wool embroidery floss and then adding some satin stitched leaves.

I had some fun with my macro lense when I was done and took some super close ups. It’s crazy to see the fibers and your stitches at such a close up range!


The hoop measures 8 inches and is stitched on this faux white linen. I used a mix of standard divisible cotton floss – with different divisions – and some d’Aubusson wool threads. I’m working on transferring this to a pretty intensive embroidery pattern plus maybe a private video series. Embroidered flowers are all the rage and honestly are one of the most rewarding things to stitch – and the ideas are limitless. Kind of like nature!

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Embroidery: Sew It All 10

I’ve got a project in the new Sew It All magazine this month.


It was actually printed in the latest Sew News and in Sew It All. Check it out on newstands now.

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Journal: August 23


“Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed
in doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful.”

― Bill Holm

I read these words the other day and for some reason they came back to me this morning. Maybe it is the crispness in the air – the wind that seems to have shifted as the seasons slowly start to change? Maybe it is my heart that I want so desperately to change – the things in my life that I so desperately want to be different that aren’t. But this quote reminds me that seasons change, leaves fall, but only in their season. The wind can blow and blow all it wants to, but those leaves will hang on until they are ready to fall – till their season.

There is a quote by Edith Schaeffer in response to someone asking her “who is the greatest Christian woman right now?” Her reply was “we don’t know her.” She is the one who is struggling, who sees the emptiness in her soul, who sees how easily the world slinks into her life.
She is the one who feels like a failure.
So what makes her great?
Because it’s in our failure that God’s music plays.

Just like those leaves that hang despite the wind trying to rip them off – it is in our brokenness that the world hears the music of the heavens.


I sit in middle of the grove listening to the waves of movement above me.
The sun streams down in beams around my lap.
There is no sound except the rush of the wind rustling through the leaves.
These leaves that sound like fairies running from branch to branch.
I can almost hear them laughing in the soft chirping of the birds that fly.

Despite the wind, no leaves fall – except this one lone leaf.
Slowly I watch it drift down from the heavens as it floats on the air above me.
it lands in my lap – a green tissue shaped heart.
Like a message from above – a voice in the shape of a heart reminding me to be patient.
To bask in the sun – to listen to the fairies dance – and to hear the music of the dancing hearts.


Long ago I started blogging and it was a combination of my writing and creating. Then I decided to separate the two and I started another blog called A Constant Pursuit. Recently, in an effort to stop segmenting my life I decided to shut that writing blog down and merge it with this one; because creating with words is no different than creating with threads. My writing life has been pretty vacant lately and when I have written it’s been kept private, but I’m hoping that combining these two loves and two outlets back into one might help me reawaken this voice that has been so silent.

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