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Unpaused, still listening.

Over the last week, I’ve taken a pause in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The discussion we are having around social injustices here in the US is important and overdue. During this time I took a deliberate break in posting here and on social media. I wanted to give space to Black voices needing to be heard, and I made an effort to listen, educate and reflect more deeply on these important issues. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do both as a person and as a small business to effect the positive change that I want to see, and I’m working on it.

One change moving forward is that 100% of digital and 25% of wholesale proceeds from the sale of my Sunrise quilt pattern will be donated to causes fighting for social justice. I plan to support several causes over time, but first up will be the Social Justice Sewing Academy.

In thinking about what I could do, I kept coming back to this pattern. To me it’s always represented ideas of hope, as that is what a new day brings.

photo by Alexis Wharem

Creatively, it’s a design that can liberating in terms of color and expression. You can use yardage, scraps or whatever you have on hand in many colors or just a few. I’ve made many versions over the years, and each one has brought me creative joy.

I love how through a sewing project, we can not only support others through the donation, but we can support our creative selves as well–an important thing during challenging times.

Moving forward I will continue to listen, educate and support causes aiding in these efforts, and I’ll also use this platform to speak out and to share resources with you. I’m still exploring ways to give back on more of a local level. I have ideas, but I’ll just have to keep you posted on that.

Get the Sunrise pattern

Here are some resources that I shared in my newsletter last week that I hope might be helpful.

+ On Systemic Racism

+ Why Black lives (need to) matter

+ Resources on Anti-Racism

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04/10/20 What I’ve been Making

I always have my hands in several projects at a time, but lately I’ve been really hopping around. Do you do that? I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of what I’ve been making.

Hunt

We aren’t due for a Hunt QAL update yet, but here’s one anyway. With the appliqué done and the blocks sewn together, all I need are some borders to make it the size I want it to be. In this case, it’ll go on my bed, which is where I laid it out to figure exactly what needs to be added and what might look good.

If my bed weren’t already cream, I might be more tempted to go totally wild with scrappy/shiny/fun prints for the sides. However, I’ve decided to keep the borders mostly light/white to give it a little contrast. The fun prints will go on the back in all kinds of scrappy glory. In my mind, this will be a two-sided quilt. (Although, aren’t they all?)

Border tip: I always pin my borders before sewing them, with the border on the bottom and the blocks on the top. This way works for me.

Making more masks.

I’ve been making masks, with the first couple of batches going to healthcare workers as well as to a local nursing home. For those I used this May Chappell tutorial, which is fantastic. The size fits a wide range, including anyone needing to wear a cloth mask over their medical-grade mask.

The newest batch of masks is for me and for some friends. I thought I’d try a different style to change things up. These are the CraftPassion masks (tutorial here), and I used t-shirt yarn (tutorial here, although I just cut 3/4″ strips from jersey scraps that I already had). The t-shirt yarn is pretty genius. It’s soft, easy and accessible if you have jersey scraps or old t-shirts lying around. I’m a big fan.

Have you seen the jokes about using bras as masks? It’s gotten me giggling, but in all seriousness, after sewing this style of mask (and having sewn bras), I’ll tell you that there are some real similarities!

Picking the colors and fabrics are just as fun as picking them out for a quilt or a garment. Although thinking about prints and colors to wear on your face is a new consideration. I can’t say that I have any concrete conclusions to draw on that…

Just for reference, I have a couple of May Chappell style masks on the left and the CraftPassion masks on the right.

Handwork.

Handwork. I have to have it, especially now. Do you? With Hunt being done, it’s been weird not having an easy go-to for winding down in the evening. To be honest, I was hoping to get Hunt finished and basted so that hand quilting could fill the evening handwork needs, but it’s been a couple of weeks, and I can’t help myself. I need it. My scrappy Everglade blocks (using my pattern here) are exactly what I knew I’d be coming back to after Hunt. I am excited.

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Safety, Sanity and Sewing.

Safety, sanity and sewing have been front of mind lately. I hope that you and your family are staying safe and taking care wherever you may be. I am grateful for this outlet to connect with you, and I hope to use it to continue to share things that I am making, what I am inspired by and ways we can create together while socially distancing ourselves.

One thing that I’m really excited about is a TP Quilt Along that Elisabeth Hardy and I are hosting. Elisabeth discovered a Toilet Paper pattern (of all things!) when cleaning out her sewing room recently. As soon as she posted the pic, I knew I wanted to sew along with her. Sometimes my favorite projects are the ones that encourage me to think outside of the box, or roll in this case.

 

Elisabeth and I have had some serious giggles while planning this QAL, and I am honestly SO excited. The distraction and community sewing effort have been making me grin, which is much appreciated. Feel free to join in with us. The pattern can be found here, and the QAL will run 3/23 – 5/1. We have some very special prizes that we can’t wait to unROLL for you soon.

Otherwise, I’ll continue to share the projects and sources of inspiration that I am thinking about and working on, as well as highlight some of the independent shops, retailers and makers who are challenged by the crisis. They are vital to this community, and I want to make sure that they stay around. (You can always find a list of my retailers here.)

To end, if you’re looking for some other Quilt Along inspiration, here are my previous Quilt Alongs that you are welcome to follow along at your own pace.

 

 

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