amulets and toadstools on my work table

fabric amulets and mushrooms on my work table

Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial start of the holiday season. Just kidding.  Mostly. It does have a shifting feel to it though, everything starting back up again.  It’s going to be a sewing weekend for me. Fun sewing, amulets and mushrooms and Monday devoted entirely to experimenting. I’ll give you the full report on that next week.

fabric amulets and mushrooms on my work table

I’m still having  a good time making amulets, small thoughts, and they are generating all sorts of color and composition ideas for larger or more involved things.  They have become morning work for me, hand sewing with coffee before I’m quite awake yet. I love having a little stack ready to go and waiting for me.

fabric amulets on my work table

Do you pick up handwork first thing? What are you making? Can you give yourself a day or an hour or 20 minutes to play and experiment this weekend?

These are the things I want to know.


  1. Kerry livingston

    Since your first post about amulets I have been making some. I found some pieces of fabric with wood grain in different colors, folded them over, filled them with lavender and then stitched , added buttons. Beads on the side . I will figure out how to send photos when I am done. Obsessed! Happily.

    • Lavender! I love that. I’d love to see- you can send photos to me at info at ann wood handmade dot com

  2. I save my handwork for the evening, as I find it so relaxing and a nice way to settle down after a busy day. Mornings for me are generating ideas for new projects–that is, after 2 full mugs of coffee!

    • I agree – it is settling to sew, it’s one of the things I love about it.

  3. I also do handwork first thing in the morning… A year ago I did a daily practice of small patches, trying out a variety of ideas and techniques and learned a lot about what I like and what I don’t. That lasted from May until sometime in October and though I loved doing it, they became very time-consuming. Now I’m doing a similar thing, though with bigger patches (bases), using the same kind of weekly calendar. I add something to the patch each day for a week – then I attach it to the calendar and then start another!

  4. Barbara Longfield

    I ‘m up early and straight into my studio. No coffee, no phone , no radio. Just myself, my sewing and the quite of the studio. I generally work on fun things. Little projects rather than large or commissioned work. It’s my time to reset.

  5. Suzanne Lee

    I’m working with your wonderful songbird pattern. I’m enjoying my work so much. I sent you a photo of the first one and have made two more since. The color planning is absorbing and changes often as I progress. Hand sewing is a great pleasure to me and begins with my coffee in the morning. I progress thru the day between other chores and set small goals on the bird as I progress. I am basically a quilter but do all sorts of other things. I look forward to the owl pattern.

  6. Ann, I love your amulets. I have several blank necklace chains that I haven’t known what to do with. You’ve inspired me! I’m looking forward to stitching some scraps together and making some. I love one of your follower’s ideas to fill with lavender. What a delightful gift that will make!
    I’m glad I signed up for your newsletter. I so enjoy reading it and seeing what you’re up to.

  7. I’m a writer and gardener but, for the next six months at least, I have created more time for more crafts. I’m starting the mornings with coffee and patchwork (I have three half-made quilts from seven or eight years ago) and I finish the evenings with the same. The plan is that in between I’ll master papier mâché – which I haven’t done since I was ten (many years ago). Your little Mediterranean sailing boat will be my first project and then the ship. The pattern arrived on Thursday and looks both exciting and intimidating. I was a potter for years so I hope that the creative aspects will just ‘come back’, a bit like riding a bike! I love your website, it’s very inspiring and has made me want to visit New York, some way from my little Victorian house in West London. Thank you.

  8. Henriet from Holland

    I just made myself a shopping bag from an old umbrella, with handles from a keycord. Rainproof!
    Very simple shape, to be used instead of the plastic bags all shops in this country used to give you to carry your purchases. They are banned by law now, unless you pay for them. It seems to work, too. Al least many Dutch people are using carrier bags of their own nowadays.

  9. Ann, I have been making songbirds on my deck in the summer sun. I just love it! The birds make me forget everything else and I get quite absorbed in imagining their personalities and figuring their names. I end the days with them also. Some have hats and purses and winter shawls. Thank you! You’re so generous in sharing your knowledge.

  10. i grab handwork anytime i can get a minute and am teaching my granddaughter (4) to do it too! if she sees me with needle in hand she will sit intently and stitch squares of fabric…doll quilts! thats a good place to start! i have taken small pockets off of old clothing and stitch on them with fabrics or beads or just embroidery and then pin them to my apron or jeans to hold bits of whatever needs to be held:) thank you for sharing your talents and inspirations with us. another lady who inspires is Jude Hill at spiritcloth.typepad….she is always stitiching! have you seen her tiny creations? your amulets reminded me of her 🙂

  11. I haven’t had any hand sewing going in a long time, but I know I have a bag of scraps waiting for that. I do pretty much always have a plain crochet project sitting next to me that I pick up first thing though. Right now the current project is a lace weight plain granny square style table runner. Just endless rows of the same thing, perfect for drinking coffee or tea and thinking of what we will be doing that day.

  12. Jane de Siguer

    God bless you Anne!
    I am just discovering your art via pinterest, and I have the feeling to come home. To find a place to be entirely quiet, in peace, receiving a sweet tenderness, modesty, mixed with a beautiful spirit. I try to work this way, it’s a new beginning without organisation in this side of the moon, something to cultivate for staying alive mindfulness for me. Deep happy to know that you exist somewhere in this world, ours. Have a beautiful day Anne.
    Jane de Siguer on Pinterest & Instagram

Comments are closed.