Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hashtag Sew Wigwam

I can honestly say that last weekend was one of the best I've had in a long, long time.  Where to even begin!?
Over the past few years, a few things have happened.  I've become quite infatuated with sewing (obviously), I've discovered the magic of crafting retreats, and I've had the pleasure of getting to know a handful of amazing, talented, hilarious, and respectable women within my community that I love spending time with.  When I get a rare, free weekend, I love to run off to my family's cabin.  I often take my machine or hand-stitching to accompany me and have thought for a while how much fun it would be to invite folks out there to do the same.  Well, after months of talking about it, it finally happened!  This past weekend seven truly spectacular ladies joined me in the woods to sew in a wigwam and it was the best.  Seriously.

I made a few little fabric baskets for everyone, encouraged folks to volunteer to feed us, reserved the common building on the property (aka the wigwam), bought some boos, packed a speaker, made sure there was room for Mondo in the car, and checked the weather incessantly.  Amazingly, all eight of us were able to attend for the entire weekend and the weather forecast of rain all weekend was completely wrong.  IT WAS PERFECT.

We sewed, we rapped, we laughed, we pondered, we reflected, we ate, we drank, we encouraged each other, we bonded, we grew, and we even made a hashtag on Instagram - #sewwigwam.  I'm really not sure it could have been any better.  This will happen again, mark my words!  And now, the photos.
See?  Perfect.  I can't wipe this smile off of my face.  And I'm OK with that. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Thank You, Moma

What's that saying?  She gets it from her Mama?  There are so many things that I know, without a doubt, that my mom has passed down to me but I think one of my favorites is the desire and drive to create.  My mom has ALWAYS been a maker.  I have such strong memories of her sewing up a storm (as evidenced by the photos in this post) or with a hook in her hand making baby blankets or clothes for my sister and me.  Now she's a prolific painter but one thing has remained constant, she's never stopped creating and I think that's one of the greatest gifts and examples she could have even given me. 

So thank you, Moma, for showing me how important it is to honor the creativity that lives within us all.  I can't thank you enough for that and for encouraging me to embrace my own creative drives.  It means the world.  You mean the world.  Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Kid's New Backpack

While taking a quick break from quilting, I made the kid a backpack!  A few days ago, I didn't even have a tiny backpack on the brain. I received a message from a quilt guild friend (who has just started her monogramming business!) that had just made this bag and had a few more downloads of the pattern left.  Would I like to try it?  Well sure! 
Since my friend, Eva, had already made two of these (in record time, I might add!) I was able to pick her brain about what worked and what hadn't.  I decided to quilt all of my exterior back pieces to give it more stability but I needed to find that exterior fabric first!  I pulled out three heavier fabrics from my stash that I thought Rio may like and this was the one she went with!  Good choice, kid!  It has a wonderful watermelon-vibe to it, doesn't it?  I believe I found this one at the flea market and while the colors look very eighties, I'm almost certain this fabric is much older - early sixties would be my guess.  
The pattern is actually rather simple.  It does call for piping which I did not have on hand so I made my own with some rope and bias tape.  I haven't sewn with piping much, so that was the most challenging piece of this puzzle.  Cutting out all of the pieces took a bit of time but aside from the two main panels, everything is a rectangle so they are easy, quick cuts.  I went with a light-colored lining so it would be easy for her to see everything she has tucked away. 

Somehow, I managed to have everything I needed on hand.  Buckles from an abandoned project, lining from my mom's handmedown stash, piping was self made, exterior fabric from my stash, interior pocket from fabric gambling (!), straps from my stash, and the perfect sized zippers randomly on hand.  Meant to be.  I was able to finish this project within one evening and one afternoon.
I decided to make a few additions to this pattern to make it more customized for her.  Rio is like me and always has a water bottle with her.   Most of the time, she carries her own water but when she's not down to hold it, into my purse it goes.  I decided to make a bottle pocket on the side and I'm SO glad I did!  It took no time and all and I know it will be used all of the time.  I also added an exterior zipper pocket and an interior pocket on the lining.  It did take me a bit to refresh myself on how to make that exterior pocket, but I finally did it!
I really, really, really enjoyed making this.  I finished it up with the kid under my feet (while playing 'parking lots' for the 100th time yesterday) so her excitement about it made me that much more excited.  And today, she was thrilled to fill it up with goodies to take along to work.  I'm happy to report that she was able to fit an unreal amount of toys in it AND her water!  Huzzah! 
 The next test will to see if all of school goodies will fit!  Fingers crossed and zippers zipped!  :)
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