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Hand-stitched Home

Have you seen this beautiful book yet?

Hand-Stitched Home Cover

When Susan contacted me about contributing an improvisational pillow design for her book, I jumped at the chance because a) Susan Beal, b) improv and c) Pendleton. Seriously?

Pendleton is simply the gold standard of wool fabrics and design. I know this because I was born here in the Pacific Northwest and it’s in our DNA (no, really). Long before quilting I sewed clothing, and there was nothing more lovely to work with than wool. But Pendleton is in a class by itself.

When the stack of fabrics came in the mail, it took almost no time to pick out the ones I wanted to work with and days to decide how to use them. I love bolsters, so that was an easy choice.

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It’s always a little counter-intuitive to write an improv pattern, but the technique is what matters ~ that and whatever you’re inspired to do with it, of course!

I promised this to Jon when it comes home:

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I’ve already spent hours enjoying Hand-stitched Home, and while I’d love to make every project in it, there are a couple I must do. First is Diane Gilleland‘s Leaf Table Runner. Drop dead gorgeous:

And the 2nd is Sarai Mitnick‘s Laptop Sleeve/Zip Clutch. So classic and simple my iPad is begging for it.  If you’re looking for great gift ideas, there’s a tutorial for this clutch on Design Sponge, too.

And if you’re really in a gift-giving mood, gift yourself the book. No “thank you” note needed.

Catching up at last!

So much has happened in the last two months. Ashlee & Camden’s October wedding was magical.

The ever-delicious granddaughter turned 2 (Halloween babies are so much fun). At the same time, we were helping Jon’s folks move. They’re much closer now, which is wonderful, but downsizing is no fun. It was a well-timed reminder that we were overdue for a good purging ourselves, so that’s happening too.

I spent a long weekend on retreat in Canada with dear friends (who also happen to be amazing quilters). And the whole-house shuffle that started in the spring with the new longarm and relocated studio continues, this time with a new paint job in the guest room.

Good-bye, coral sewing room. Hello, sea salt guest room!

Occasionally I’d pop a photo up on Instagram, but mostly I was occupied with just being present and very grateful.  It’s not that I didn’t think about blogging – in fact the number of draft posts I just deleted is rather comical. Just nothing that ever made it all the way to “publish”.

So here I find myself, on the first of December, making lists not of gifts (although a few actually are) but of unfinished projects. So many it would be hard to know where to start except that it IS the first of December and Christmas projects win out, starting with a wonderful surprise.

Krista Hennebury‘s retreat weekends are special, and this one was made even more so when I won the block lottery (insert massive glee). It’s the perfect holiday quilt for the “new” guest room, so I’m sizing it up to fit the daybed (extra long twin size).  The remaining blocks are cut and ready to sew and I even have a plan for the quilting (just a pantograph, but still a plan).

Twenty-seven beautiful Christmas blocks. Merry me!

In all the excitement of the past couple months, I do have a little secret I can finally share (or I could have weeks ago if I had actually been blogging).  Tomorrow is my turn on a blog hop for this beautiful book:

Yep, I have a project in it and I can’t wait to show it off!

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