house projects are taking over my life…

14 Apr
April 14, 2016

ugh. like seriously the last thing i should be doing is writing a post. but for reals? my brain (and back) need a break.

so- i did actually do some of last month’s making projects. i made some bracelets. i made the bunny pouch. i bought fabric for the dress (a truly beautiful emerald green rayon blend- delish!), and then got totally bogged down with buying a form. and instead of just buying an adjustable one, and calling it good, i sprang for the REAL DEAL and a kit to customize to my exact shape. and in case you think this is overkill, or too much money- let me explain why i did. when you drape (pattern making via a form), you pin to the center of the form. with an adjustable form, there’s just an open gap in the middle if you’re bigger than the form (i am). so. no dice. and i found a true dress form on amazon for a really competitive price, and the kit was just a bit more. so. expensive? yes. but let’s call it an investment, and move on.

fast forward to, geez, seriously? april. we decided (not so much at the last minute, because we’ve been thinking about it for forever, but…) somewhat suddenly, to sell our house. think up all the little fixing-up projects you’ve been putting off for as long as you’ve lived in your home. yes. those. that’s what i’ve been doing for WEEKS. and packing. and purging. my kids are freaked out. the dog keeps barfing. i can’t find anything.

some days i really love living in seattle. it was such a conscious decision for me to be here. like… some place i set off to be. and then some days… it makes me so weary. meeting people here, and having them be close friends is exhausting. and frankly, starting to feel impossible (whole separate post i’m working on). looking for a place to live, it feels… like a paradox. you pay the most money you’ve ever thought of (not kidding), for a house you’d probably not consider living in. not in it’s current state. like we’re never going to really afford the type of home we’ve dreamed of living in. and then you think on that, and think… so, maybe we should move move? but…i can’t imagine being anywhere else. like minded (educated, liberal) people? check. beautiful gorgeous outdoors with oceans, and mountains, and snow, and places to see? yes. good career opportunities, for both my husband and (someday, again, hopefully) myself. yes! it sounds whiny to keep going, but…i don’t know. some days i just can’t get my head around all of it.

so. i’m going to keep plugging away at the mindless monkey tasks of scraping moss off everything, touching up every surface that’s painted, vacuuming places that haven’t seen the light of day for about 8 years, and getting rid of my collection of… everything. because frankly, it all should have gone forever ago. and if you live in seattle, and want to buy my really adorable house (i might be biased), next week is your chance. i’ll get back to the making as soon as i’m able. probably after i hyperventilate about being homeless in less than a week, and being in the most competitive housing market in the country. cool. no stress. til then… xoxo, k.

march projects

03 Mar
March 3, 2016

not bad! day two of the month, and i’m committing to a project.

alright, so. the dresses. i think that’s where i’m headed. a dress for me, and a dress for mini me. i think the one thing i’m going to invest in, because i’ve said i’m going to buy one forever, is a dress form. and although art school, and then corporate design for years, has made me a bit of a form snob, i think i’m going to get one of those dial, adjustable ones you can get at joanns. they’re about half the price, and also- adjustable. i think that’s probably handy.

also, i’m going to have tiny, monthly, back-up projects. since this is a holiday month- a little easter related kid treat inspired by @bespokeoutlaw on instagram- the adorable bunny pouch, and since someone i know is super pumped about them- grown-up friendship bracelets. i’ll plan on working on the dresses on kid-free days, and small projects at night and nap time. my goal is to have the form, fabric and patterns by the middle of next week. the dress pattern i’m using for myself is here (photo credit to pintuckandpurl for above). the dress pattern i’m using for my daughter is still tbd (photo credit above to felicia on flikr), but i’ve ordered a book from japan, and fingers crossed, it’s in there. i’ll do a check in next wednesday to show progress and updates!

yay! a plan! don’t forget- if you feel like joining in, share your photos on instagram with the hashtag #needleplusthreadYOM, and i recently created an instagram feed just for the blog- it’s @needleplusthread

xoxo- k.

a creative year ahead…

26 Feb
February 26, 2016

my goal for 2016 is to MAKE with a little more intent.

yes, yes… but it’s end of february you say. we’re like, a quarter in, where have you been??? 

AMEN TO THAT. but, i needed to wrap up some projects, keep myself alive through january (january is the worst– holiday buzz kill, wettest month ever) and then february happened, and it was pretty whack.

whatever. whackness aside- i’m on it. here’s the deal.

a year of making with intent. finish one project a month. that’s it. start to finish, one month spent working on one item. planning for: birthdays, holidays, and of course, a handmade christmas. which has been a goal for FOREVER. i’m never so organized to execute. and i do believe to actually accomplish it- for every person on your list, you have to start well ahead. DONE.

so. if you want to project along with me- here’s the short list of some of things i plan to do- (not all included- check the sidebar soon for a complete list, with links and tutorials)

make a dress– i used to sew clothing with a lot more frequency (fashion design school, and whatnot). i thought when i had a daughter it would be a no brainer to make her summer dresses. that has NEVER happened. it’s going to happen this year. here’s the dress i like for me, here’s the dress i like for her.

yumiko higuchi embroidery– i found yumiko on instagram, and became… stalkerish? i don’t know. i just love her style. i’ve never seen embroidery so modern/retro. i love it. so i bought her book (in japanese) and have spent some time deciphering it’s contents. i want to complete 1 full pattern of hers. maybe something decorative for thanksgiving, maybe one of her adorable coin purses…

rope bowls– i see these posted pretty often. they look relatively easy, and i bought one in target that i’m pretty sure i could have made. laziness. plus, in a month, don’t you think you could make like… 10, and have them for gifts? (christmas! birthdays!) also, instead of rope, these clay ones are pretty adorable.

painting nesting dolls– you can easily purchase blank nesting dolls on etsy, and pinterest (of course) is a trove of the cutest little designs. i haven’t painted in YEARS. like for real painted. my daughter was in LOVE with a nesting doll set she got for christmas from a friend, i thought i’d add to her collection by painting some myself for her.

finish a quilt– ok, by far the thing i’m worst at (hello nearly 3 tops sitting around, gathering dust). i currently have several tops that need finishing, and frankly, i’d like one quilt to call my own. since last year in our guild was a block/border-a-month medallion, i’m going to finish that top, and quilt it. that’s like a border-ish a week, and then a week to baste and bind. which is quick, but not impossible.

design a quilt– by far the most ambitious item on my list- this might be a two monther. i’ve had this idea for a christmas quilt for FOREVER. i really want to make it, snuggle under it, watch my favorite christmas movies, and drink hot toddies. it might be a pipe dream? but i’m willing to risking a month figuring it out.

that’s 6 months of ideas. adding in kid’s costumes, random kid’s art projects and fun holiday treats… i’m probably covered for a year. i’ll update one of the icons in my sidebar to reflect year of making. also, i’m going to use a hashtag, and if you make any of the things i’m covering, you’re welcome to tag them. how about… #needleplusthreadYOM

YAY! it’s written… let’s do it. xoxox- k.

photo credit for above– bandit matryoshka and geometric neon matryoshka both by sketchinc on etsy, diy clay jewelry dish by hello glow, coil rope bowl kit by lost property hong kong on etsy, user felicia’s photo- girl’s dress on flickr, christine hayne’s emery dress made by pintuck and pearl on instagram, and last- yumiko higuchi’s amazing embroidery from instagram.

poppy garden quilt – flower 21

03 Nov
November 3, 2015

fabric name: pearl bracelets

designer: lizzie house

another beloved hoard cut. this is the first project i’ve used any of my lizzie house. i think it’s broken the seal on using cherished fabrics. that and i’m starting to realize i need to purge again.

i read something recently by someone who didn’t cut in to much loved fabric, and then a few years later, she wasn’t as in love with it. she mused it would have been better to have it used in something and enjoyed instead of basically wasted because she pretty much no felt the same about it years later.

we are fickle. but i’m with her. cutting. using. and frankly… not holding onto. well, you know, except for what i have. 😉 xoxo- k.

farmer’s wife 1930 – quilt along – caroline block

02 Nov
November 2, 2015

for reals this block was difficult. maybe because i sat down after my trip, and hadn’t sewn for a bit… maybe because i was tired. no idea, but i took this thing apart 5 times. no. joke.

it didn’t help that i kept saying- ok, now i know what i’m doing. sometimes that sums up how i feel about quilting. like just because Read more →

make it – farmer’s wife 1930 – check in week 5

30 Oct
October 30, 2015

have there really been 5 weeks already? time’s a flyin.

so, when i lay these all out… i squeal. that’s good, right? i have so much sewing to do these days. teaching two classes, making gifts for that big holiday right around the corner, ugh, HALLOWEEN. and i want make everything, it’s just impossible to figure out when. the days i have daycare are dedicated to work projects. this is purely enjoyment, and let’s be honest, selfish.

i’ve made a list of all the works-in-progress i have right now, and i’m starting to feel… embarrassed. like i need to redeem myself and finish something (halloween costume, maybe?). since this project has a year away due date… i may not be getting back to it for a couple weeks.

or let’s be really honest, and i’ll just forgo sleep and crank out some blocks. xoxo- k.

FWweek5

farmer’s wife 1930 – quilt along – aimee block

29 Oct
October 29, 2015

i’ve had these 3 versions of aimee cut out for forever. they’ve patiently sat waiting til i finished other quilt along blocks, then took a trip to az, then started sewing another quilt, wait- two other quilts (i have issues), then started halloween sewing, a tank top (!!!), and then i finally got back to them.

 

the first was that middle one. then the right, then the left. after the previous time of laying all my blocks out together, i decided i needed to lighten and brighten, and frankly, start popping with the color. i don’t want a downer quilt. i love grey just as much as the next seattle girl, but… i realized i’m really drawn to the little bits of color in the blocks.

so- i had these drawn completely different. mostly dark. since i think i want a mix of greys for sashing- white and color are the new goals. there will still be a dark block here and there, but i love assessing and re-adjusting. there’s no long term plan. and every time i lay them out- swoon! to see all the blocks together…. check back tomorrow! xoxo- k.

make it – make-up tea service

28 Oct
October 28, 2015

i have a lot of really ridiculous wants. and when you live in a tiny house, you have to be pretty selective about ridiculousness. like, for instance. books. do you want books, or do you want fabric? these are tough discussions i have in my head pretty much any time i think of procuring something. recently visiting my mom, she was wanting to gift me some things. cool things, vintage things. things i’m sure 10 year ago me would have been all over. but now i have in my house: 2 more people, yards more fabric, billions of kid toys… and i have to think… no. sadly. no.

but. things that have dual purpose? yes. cool old things that can be repurposed. of course. i’ve have wanted a tea service for forever. it’s a childish thing maybe, tea parties, old school movies where the classy lady Read more →

poppy garden quilt – flower 20

27 Oct
October 27, 2015

fabric name:

designer:

i’m getting so close to being done with purples. technically, i guess i am done, but there’s still several more yet to post. this large scale, rosy floral is so bright and lovely. it’s less of a purple really, and more the aubergine with hints of purple, coral.

i’m excited to move on to the next color… but don’t worry, there’s a few more purples to go. which color do you think is coming next…? xoxo- k.

do it – learn apparel sewing

26 Oct
October 26, 2015

this past weekend, i went to a party. that’s epic. i don’t think i’ve been to a party, minus my kids since… christmas 2013. not kidding. i was jazzed.

it was great to see so many people i’ve known for so long, so much so, that i started feeling human again. i was… buzzing.

and standing next to a woman i’ve known as an acquaintance for over a decade, she turned to me and mentioned the class i had coming up. somewhat inquisitively, somewhat curiously… and it seemed that she might like to come. so i said- ‘you should come, it’s going to be fun’. and she replied- but it’s in kirkland. (cue slow, sad, buzz killing music…)

i’ve designed clothing for 12 years. i was laid off during  Read more →

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