All posts by annwood

new sewing tutorial : make a hooded doll cloak

This little doll cloak is made with just one seam and one piece of felt. Magic – it’s almost too easy. Details are optional and there are so many possibilities… Little folks will be delighted by the process and the transformation of this flat shape into a sweet hooded cloak just right for the tiny rag doll.

tiny rag doll wearing felt cape in my hand

doll cloak materials

the template
felt -quality matters- wool or wool blend is best
embroidery thread
embroidery needle
small button or bead

download the template

 

materials for the doll cloak on a workk table with the tiny dolls

That’s it! That’s all you need. The cloak is assembled with just one little seam and the rest is decorative. You can use any edge stitch and add as much embroidery detail as you like. Find lot’s of edge stitch tutorials here. My first cloak is super simple. Its sweetness surprised me. The result is so delightful I feel like it should have been harder to do.  And it’s just so spot on right for the tiny rag doll.

Cut out the template and use a sharp pencil to poke holes at the ends of the two lines. Pin the pattern to the felt and use a colored pencil or disappearing marker to mark dots at the ends of the lines. Cut out around the template.

Remove the pattern and draw the two lines- connecting the dots.

Cut the lines  – sharp embroidery scissors or thread snips make this easy.

Using matching or contrasting embroidery thread (I’m using 2 strands of embroidery thread) insert your needle close to the edge at the center of the V shape. I used a tiny knot at the end of the thread and I’ll clip the tail super short.

*the commercial break


support the ann wood handmade free pattern library with a happy donation 

Support the always growing free pattern library.

Why is it important to support free patterns? Because they attract a lot of attention. Web hosting has become massively expensive and the free patterns page here drives that cost. It’s a conundrum…

Click here to add your support.

 


Fold the felt in half and make one little stitch and knot it. Stitch the seam to the point using whatever stitch you like. I’m using a simple whip stitch.

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cardboard shingles, bunny issues, the sideburn verdict and flea market report

The outside of the cardboard house has been on my to do list forever. Two things got me moving:

I happened upon this house. I love everything about it. I’m not going full on folk art but a little color and graphic detail will be just right.

And I made some space. The actual, available work space on my table has been getting smaller and smaller as all the things in progress and essential items encroach. Spending an hour getting organized and reclaiming most of that space made a huge difference. It’s restorative and refreshing and motivating. A chunk of dedicated time and space for a project is magic.

doll house shingles

The bulk of the work, before the fun stuff (finish painting and maybe some window boxes) is the chimney and shingles. The chimney is done with the egg carton stone technique.

I also used some spackle to add a little texture to the walls and cover some of the tape edges.

find more about the cardboard house here

 

After way too much thought I went with a kind of haphazard fairy cottage shingle situation for the roof. The cardboard is a thin corrugated- pretty stiff -but easy to cut with scissors. The shingle size varies – but mostly around 1 by 1.5 inches. They are glued on in rows with a generous amount of wood glue.

I’ll finish shingling the roof this weekend, sand the chimney and then everything is ready for paint. It’s all going much faster than expected. I’ll be a little sad when it’s done. I’m a process person. Stay tuned for paint details soon.

 

two rag doll heads- one with sideburns and one without

the captain charmley sideburn verdict

Sideburns were the clear winner. But no sideburns made a respectable showing. So I think I will include an extra template and the option to skip them in the pattern.

Thanks so much for your input – it was super helpful.

two bunnies lounging in the shade of an in progress garden

the bunny situation

A pair of bunnies have been eating my flowers. And parsley. And the tops of my leeks. A couple days ago I saw them siestaing in the shade. I’ve named them Snakkin and Nappin. They were so peaceful and happy and I watched them from the window for a long time. At one point Snakkin was lounging on his back, feet in the air and he reached for the parsley and pulled it down to his mouth for a little bite. Pretty luxurious.  I went down and a confrontation ensued. You can see it here. Apparently I’m terrifying because they have not been back.

tiny round cream colored vase with mini flowers

I’m super into tiny, miss thistle size flowers this year – forget me knots, oakleaf and pinkberry among them. The bunnies do not seem to care for those. So far. I’ve been making mini ceramic vases to hold them. I also planted some wild flowers for mid summer surprises and, for the first time, “Love In the Mist” Miss Jeklly variety. Hoping to dry them- the seed pods are glorious.

a collection of puppets and or dlls in fairytale character costumes

and a flea market report

The first treasure:  tiny puppet/dolls. They are actually a friend’s estate sale find but I had to borrow them and show you. The costumes and expressions are everything. They are giving me all sorts of ideas for new tiny doll wardrobe items.

 a small wood doll with cotton clothes and a red cap held in my hand - the feeling is dutch 1940-ish

Also in the tiny people department this little man who sits and stands looking eternally guilty about something… Also outstanding in features and costume.

portrait of a gray terrier on a purple backround

And finally this needlepoint dog portrait.  I love it and plan on framing it so the moths don’t’ get it.

Are you making a cardboard house? Any great flea market treasures? Do you have a bunny situation?! Let us know in the comments,

ann

new workshops: the french circus and stitched vessels – registration is open!

images of circus dolls and stitched vessels - text overlay ann wood handmade

3 Workshop Weekend Series at French General in Los Angeles – Friday October 11th – Sunday October 13th, 2024

click here for registration

Join me in Los Angeles this October!  You can participate in any or all of the workshops – a significant discount applies if you take all three. All materials supplied!

In a few weeks I’m headed to France and I’ll be shopping with the french circus and stitched vessels workshops on my mind. I love treasure hunting with something percolating in the background- it makes me notice things I might not. The context shines a bright light on stuff that might be missed in the great sea of intriguing things. I want color and stripes and little bells and buttons and trim. Those one of a kind details add so much.  I’m super excited to share all that in the workshop and see lots of woebegone french circus folk come to life.

Find more details below. Or click here to jump straight to registration!

 

little containers made form scraps

Friday – Stitched Vessel

3pm-7pm
Aperos and snacks
$150

An evening of conversation and slow stitching. Learn to layer and stitch fabric scraps to form a small vessel. This is an improvisational and meditative process. The technique is simple, flexible and easy to do.

All materials and refreshments provided.

Saturday  – The French Circus –  Elephant And Cat

10am-5pm
Coffee, lunch and aperos
$300
Join Ann Wood for a day (or two) of stitching and imagination with the french circus as our inspiration.

Saturday”s workshop includes the elephant and cat and all wardrobe pieces. You will receive patterns and instructions for both dolls and our goal will be to complete 1 dressed figure in our day together. Overachievers might complete both.

We’ll be working with antique and vintage textiles, French General prints and solids, my favorite wool stuffing and treasures collected in France: lace, buttons, notions – magic little details to add to your one of a kind piece.

Basic sewing skills are needed, we will be stitching by hand and machine.

All materials will be supplied.

Optional – if there is a fabric you would love to work with feel free to bring it. It’s also helpful to have a disappearing fabric marker.

Sunday – The French Circus – Lion And Monkey

10am-5pm
Coffee, lunch and aperos
$300

Sunday’s workshop includes the lion and monkey and all wardrobe pieces. You will receive patterns and instructions for both dolls and our goal will be to complete 1 dressed figure in our day together. Overachievers might complete both.

We’ll be working with antique and vintage textiles, French General prints and solids, my favorite wool stuffing and treasures collected in France: lace, buttons, notions – magic little details to add to your one of a kind piece.

Basic sewing skills are needed, we will be stitching by hand and machine.

All materials will be supplied.

Optional – if there is a fabric you would love to work with feel free to bring it. It’s also helpful to have a disappearing fabric marker.

Click here for details and registration

 

the question of sideburns and road sewing projects

It’s a pre-memorial day weekend tradition for me to organize sewing projects so they are ready to go on summer trips. This year there is:  ever present mending, foundation quilt blocks, a new KZ Steven’s top and my stitch book sections – more about those in minute..

linen blue and black check hand sewn top in progress

This is my 4th KZ top. The blue linen is maybe? a tiny bit heavier than ideal for the pattern but the color was irresistible. The hand stitching is my favorite part. The top is cut and assembled on the machine super quickly and then comes with me for the hand finished seams. Hopefully it will be done before July, it’s a perfect travel wardrobe item. I’m headed to France with French General to teach and shop for textile treasures for the October workshops in LA.

20 stitch book pages- fabric collages- arranged in pairs for assembly

stitch book pages arranged for assembly

find the full book assembly instructions here

Also in the hand finishing department – assembling the stitch book. Just like last year I’m leaving my edges raw. It’s slower and more work but it’s the same kind of pleasant and meditative hand stitching as the KZ top – lots of little careful (ideally even) stitches visible on both sides. If you also prefer raw edges the only difference in the directions for making the book is that in step 11 you place the fabric wrong sides together.

There were two big decisions to make before assembling my finished pages- page order and finishing stitch color. If you’re doing visible stitches the thread color has to work with all the very different pages. Last year I chose a medium gray, (super sensible) and that was my plan this year too. The brown was an accident- it just spilled out of a bag while I was working on page order. It’s perfect, a magic color surprise, just right on every page and I love it on the binding too.

So far I’ve got two sections done and the third in progress.

Foundation blocks are also easy to take with a pleasure to pick up and stitch. They don’t require as much attention as all those tiny straight stitches. The foundation blocks are going to cross the quilt finish line this year. Really.

Something else that is definitely going to cross the finish line? Captain Charmly. I have been tormented by his sideburns. It’s an extra-ish step. Tiny pattern pieces. They were in the first draft, came out in the second, went back in in the third- you get the idea…

two rag doll heads- one with sideburns and one without

I think really carefully about what I ask you to do in a pattern. Weigh the effort against what you get – does the detail deliver extra dastardly, extra birdness, extra socksness? Is it essential?

So the question is: are the sideburns worth it? Do they deliver extra Captain-ness? What do you think?

patchwork pouch sewing pattern cover image

Have you got some road sewing planned? This is the perfect time to make your travel sewing kit- get the pattern now at 25% off  (just $6.19!) for the remainder of May.

Are you finishing your stitch book pages? Have you got a favorite travel sewing project? Are you in our out on sideburns?! Let us know in the comments.

in the woodshed with the french circus

circus rag dolls and lacey scraps in a basket

handmade animal rag dolls in circus costumes

The circus has been rolling around in my imagination for a while. It got mixed up in the scraps and fabrics I brought back from France with me. It bumped into an obsession with bicornes and cats and became a collection of rag dolls, a french circus.

patched linen rag doll - circus elephant with ruffled collar and cap with bells

My friend Mickey introduced me to the term woodshedding – in a nutshell it means a period of intense creating, refining, practicing – you can find more here.

The woodshed is my favorite place to be. Completely immersed, making tons of mistakes, failing forward in relentless pursuit of what is already real in my imagination.

circus rag dolls and lacey scraps in a basket

They are rag dolls in their truest form. Simple, spare and playful with an inherent woebegone quality to them. I can’t wait to share them and plans for patterns and a circus workshop are already happening – scroll to the bottom for more on that.

I’ve been working on the mechanics, taking them from ideas to drawings to stitched and stuffed things and feeling for the vibe.

the vibe:  A box with a dusty lid, undisturbed for decades, “CIRCUS” scrawled on the top in pencil has almost faded away. You open the box and find them, sleeping in crumpled paper, frozen in time. All at once you get a full sense of the world they lived in as loved things until the box lid closed a century ago.

Synchronicity

Everything I needed for my circus folk kept showing up – a friend sent me a scrap of red silk fringe a little while ago, another gave me a worn linen duvet in a remarkably elephanty color and a box of fabric and trim I got in France a couple summers ago all seemed like they had been waiting to be circus folk.

And the space between the idea and execution was almost nothing. I had the thought and started working. No one heard from me for days. It was glorious. It got me up early and kept me up late. There is so much there to play with – mood and color and sparkles and patterns…

There will be sewing patterns for all these for sure and we’re already putting together a french circus workshop in Los Angeles in October (stay tuned!). I’m looking forward to shopping for supplies in France this summer.

There are more circus dolls on my worktable now – I’m playing with a giraffe and more costumes.  I think the elephant is may favorite so far- how about you?

the 2024 hundred day stitch book – day 99!

The 100 day stitch book project ends tomorrow!

Tomorrow you and I  will complete page 20 and move on to phase 2 – assembling the book. Congratulations on showing up for that process.

What happens when you stitch creatively for 100 days? What happens when you show up consistently even in a small way? You watch yourself think and work and you get insight into that process. That insight teaches you how to access your magic. You start a feedback loop and you give ideas a place to show up.

Creativity is showing up and trying again and again and again. Getting it wrong is part of getting it right. And by right I mean something that sings to you.

slow stich collage panel with shades of blue and teal - a white swan is centered and there are diamond shapes and a fleur de lis

day 99

The 100 day stitch book works because it builds on small, consistent effort. Those efforts compound and become something greater, both in terms of process and physical result. The daily practice builds on itself and gains momentum. You know you can show up because you’ve been showing up. The muscle keeps getting stronger. And the pages, all those stitches, the accumulation of many days, become a book. A substantial reflection of your efforts, a record in marks of 100 of your days.

assembling your pages

The directions begin here– they are in 2 parts – please read both completely.

I’m opting to leave my page edges raw again this year. It’s super simple to do and there is just one change to the assembly directions:

At step 11 in the making the sections tutorial you pin the fabric with the wrong sides together. And hand stitch around the edges. It takes forever. I’m hoping to get started on it this weekend.

Before I start to assemble I go through each page and look for anything I might need to fix- a loose stitch – I accidentally scorched a couple spots – stuff like that. Then decide the order I want the pages appear in, number them and use the page chart in the afore mentioned instructions to lay them out for assembly.

100 days flew by! I’m very curious about your experience. Was this your first time trying a daily practice or is that already part of your life? What did you learn? Will you miss it? (I will). Are you relieved it’s done? (I have some of that too). Let us know in the comments.

how to make a tufted titmouse : a sew-along

The tufted titmouse sew-along begins today! What’s a sew-along? Everybody works on the same project at the same time and shares images if they feel like it. That’s pretty much it.  You can share your images on instagram using #annwoodpattern or in the facebook sew-along group or join stitch club- the ann wood handmade community.

We are using the songbird sewing pattern.

Today we’ll get into the steps for making the tuft – the defining feature- and a couple body details.  First let’s talk about some other tufted titmouse features to consider:

  • the beak is smallish, black, short and symmetrical
  • the eyes are black
  • the tail is pretty short
  • the dominant colors are snowy white, soft grays, a little black and there is an orange patch on its flanks.

Make the bird body from snowy white fabric. For the tuft, wings, feathers etc. you’ll need a little black, a couple shades of gray and maybe some orange (more on that below).  All the fabric should be light weight. It’s also handy to have a fine black sharpie.

download the tuft templates

 

1. Make your bird in white and add a little black beak. Pro tip – make a few beaks and pick the one that feels just right for your bird,

2.  Mark the center tail 3/4 inch from the edge.

3. Trim to a point and stitch closed.

4. Cut out the crest and head cover pieces from gray and the little beak tuft from black. If you’ve made the cardinal this process is mostly the same with a couple details adjusted

5. Use the head cover template for the tufted titmouse. Pin and then whip stitch it in place.

6. Fold the pointed end of the crest 1 piece.

7. Pin in to the top of the head and stitch around the edge.

8. At the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base.

9. Pin the crest 2 piece the same way – on top of crest 1 and stitch around the edge. Again – at the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base. Feel free to stop adding layers here if 2 feels like enough for you – or – carry on with layer 3.

10. Add the third crest piece.

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new tutorial : make a mini foot stool

There’s a lot to talk about in  the tiny rag doll’s world including the roaring fires upstairs and down in the cardboard house. Pretty luxurious. Jump down to the end of the post for more on that. Let’s start with how to make the sweetest, tiniest, heirloomiest footstool ever.

A note on the house – there is no pattern but you’ll find the measurements and tips for building below.

a sneak peek at miss thistle’s house and tips for building with cardboard

The footstool is super quick and easy. You can make it plain or do some faux needlepoint. I can’t stop making them and have all sorts of plans for the imagery.

Let’s make it – it helps to read through the directions before your start.

download the template

  • the template – download above
  • felt – wool is best
  • embroidery thread
  • glue – i love -ALEENES CLEAR GEL TACKY
  • cardboard
  • stuffing
  • small wood beads
  • craft paint and brushes
  • a basic sewing kit

make a dollhouse foot stool

1.  Pin the template to felt and cut out.  Trace the rectangle onto cardboard and cut 2. Round the corners of your cardboard rectangles.

2.  Optional – embroider the center of the felt  – I made some super simple flowers and leaves.

3.  We are going to fold the felt at this notch.

4. Match up the edges and whip stitch them together (whip stitch means stitch over the edge). Use small tight stitches. Stitch the notch and then continue along the side – stop about 1/2 inch from the point – shown in yellow above. Repeat this at the the three notches.


tiny rag doll sewing pattern

Get the tiny rag doll sewing pattern

She’s just 5 inches tall and fits in the palm of your hand. Perfect for a doll house or somebody’s pocket. And she has a tiny wardrobe: dress, reversible pinafore apron, bloomers and camisole – all included in the pattern.

 


 

5. With all four sides stitched your piece should look like this.

6. Turn it right side out – use a chopstick or similar to gently push the corners all the way out.

7. Add a little stuffing.

8. Optional – add a penny- the little bit of weight gives it stability.

9. Insert one of your cardboard pieces.

10. Stitch the edges of  triangle flaps together to close the back.

the finished back and front

 

11. Paint your wood beads and the edges and one side of your cardboard.

12.  Apply glue to the entire surface of the unpainted cardboard.

13. Glue the cardboard to the back. Press it firmly and place something on top while it dries.

14. Add a drop of glue in each corner and place the beads. Let them dry completely.

Finished! It’s so dear.

make a miniature fire

flames cut from coffee filters and painted orange and yellow - cardboard wood stove in background

The fires are mini led string lights and painted coffee filters. The lights are fed up behind the fireplace and into the wood stove – it was awkward. Also – I cut 3 sides of the wood stove door to make it open and painted the inside black. I so wish I had a flameless flickering votive on hand. It’s on my list… The coffee filters are painted with watercolor in bright yellow and orange on both sides. After they dry, trim them to flamey points and bunch them up a little. Arrange them in front of the lights and you’ve got a miniature fire.

So cozy on a March morning to come home after your tiny chores to sit by the fire with your tiny feet up. Do you need a mini footstool and  roaring fire?! Let us know in the comments and happy spring!

the 18th blogiversary, a titmouse sew-along and outstanding customer projects

18 years of ann wood handmade

It started as a blog and the only goal was to try something new. It’s still a place to experiment and share what I learn. It’s a celebration of imagination. There is no match for it – human imagination. Big, weird, human imagination. I spend hours and hours in this sunny spot imagining, experimenting and trying stuff. Not a bad deal.

Since I started, the scale and pace of the internet has gotten pretty crazy but my little flag still flies here and I so appreciate everybody who continues to show up and make the experiment possible. Happy 18th Blogiversary!

onward!

ann

 

tufted titmouse sew-along

Such a cute bird!  The titmouse sew-along begins April 5th.

There will be a blog post here to help you transform the songbird sewing pattern into an adorable tufted titmouse. Grab the pattern and wool here.  Check out the bird and keep your eye open for titmouse appropriate fabrics – light weight cottons and linens – shades of gray, ivory and white and a little orange. We’ll also need gray and black paint for the legs.

You can post your bird on facebook or instagram with #annwoodtitmouse and in the free facebook sew-along group or join the (not free but awesome) stitch club community. April is also the perfect time to get outside and photograph your bird in the wild.

Find more tufted titmouse images here.

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what to make in march, feather scrap packs and wabi sabi vessels

hand holding small stitched vessel

In today’s post: ideas for march, feather scrap packs, a new stitch club sew-along and we’re nearing the halfway point of the 100 day stitch book. Before we get into all that:

I was thinking about the odd names there are for some animals in groups – parliament of owls, murder of crows, etc and it occurred to me I had no idea what a group of ravens is called. The answer is so strange and surprising and I can’t believe I didn’t know it.

It’s an unkindness! A group of ravens is called an unkindness.  And as if that’s not enough! It is also referred to as a rave, conspiracy, treachery, and super basic – flock. I really love conspiracy too…

And Speaking of ravens and crows I’ve just added some feather scrap packs to the shop.

scraps of dark antique clothing

They are wretched, faded, frayed and fragile scraps from antique clothing, perfect for creating crow and raven and owl feathers. They are for the most part not suitable for body construction. Each little pack (roughly 5 ounces)  includes a variety of sheens, shades and tones. Combining them into layers of feathers creates a remarkable effect. Each pack is different. These would also make great feathers for songbirds.

They are in short supply but more will be available soon. I’m collecting more antique garments now. Find them in the shop here. This batch is gone – more soon!

Check out some crows made by customers using the crow sewing pattern.

stitched vessels

little containers made form scraps

hand holding small stitched vessel

Also new for March- a sew-along / tutorial in stitch club. The community creative spark for February was “vessel”  and it inspired these little baskets made from scraps. Word of caution, it’s the kind of process a person can get obsessive about – as in laundry piling up and eating only popcorn for days obsessed about… So much fun and full of possibilities.

The first lesson drops next Wednesday the 6th. This is exclusive to stitch club and included with your annual membership – you can join here.

what to make in march

– Eggs – These eggs are super cute and easy to make – find the DIY here.

– Spray Starch  – Take your recreational ironing next level.

-Whisk 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 and ½ cups water. You’re already almost done.
-Bring the mixture to a boil, boil for about a minute while stirring.
-Remove from the heat and let is cool to room temperature, add a couple drops of scent if you like and pour it through a strainer into a spray bottle.

– french hens in nesting boxes – an annual favorite – get the details here.

– boxwood shamrock – Why not?  Such a charming idea. Find the tutorial here.

– fabric basket – I love the print interior with simple exterior. There is a full tutorial here.

simple basket with handle with a white exterior and pink rose print interior

– nice bunnies – add long ears to very nice mice to create your own tiny bunny parade. Find the nice mice pattern here. The bunnies below are by @paper__thread  (who is also my very talented sister)

handmade felt bunnies

100 day stitch book

Time is flying – we are already on page 9.

9 collage stitched pages

The stitch book page above is by @butternut_plaid – I love everything about it.

suggestion box

March fires me up like nothing else. I’ve got such spring fever. I’m so ready to start the garden (lots of flowers this year) and open the windows and organize absolutely everything. I’m in the same mode with the community and website – working on streamlining and efficientizing everything and planning fun stuff for the year. If you have a suggestion or question you’d like to share you can add it here.

Is March your favorite? Are you ready for spring? Are you making a 100 day stitch book? Did you know a group of ravens is called an “unkindness?!  Let us know in the comments.

the international scrap festival – 10 ideas for your scraps

small sewing projects made from scraps in a basket

small sewing projects made from scraps in a basket

Welcome to the 6th annual international scrap festival (this is a thing I 100% made up)! The time of year when we celebrate our scraps a little extra. I’ve gathered 10 awesome ideas for your treasured little bits of fabric.

Over in the stitch club community we’ll be sharing our favorite scrap projects, plus there’s an international scrap swap and a new free pattern coming later this month.

learn about the stitch club community here

 

In addition to the 10 ideas below the free pattern page here has tons of scrap friendly projects (everything in the basket above plus more) and past scrap festival posts are a wealth of ideas too:

2019
2020
2021
2022
2023

10 ideas for your fabric scraps

vintage wool sweater mended with cotton print fabric scrap patches

1.  mend a sweater
If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  I came across this non-traditional and very visible mending idea on pinterest. I love the make-do, holly hobby feel of it. It’s perfect for this moth eaten wool hoodie.

2. stuffing
Did you know that historically scraps were used as stuffing and batting? I’ve definitely come across a quilt within a quilt (a worn quilt used as a batting for a new quilt) but the idea of scraps as stuffing is new to me. There ‘s a DIY video about how to turn those little bits of fabric into fluffy stuffing here. And the video where I first encountered the idea is here- the little packages are fascinating

quilt blocks made with vintage scraps

3.  foundation blocks
By the end of 2024 this quilt will cross the finish line. I’m using the foundation method and cotton scraps. I could probably knock this out in a couple weeks if I machine sewed everything but at the moment it’s an easy thing to take with me to hand sew at random in in between times.

fabric scrap tassels in bright colors

4.  fabric tassels
Festive and easy – and sweet to make with little folks. And a perfect companion and scrap festival favorite – make some twine too.

5. 9 patch quilt
An ideal project for really little scraps. Find a tutorial here and for inspiration checkout KZ Stevens glorious naturally dyed 9 patch here.  If I wasn’t already working on a scrap quilt I’d be starting one of these… I’m probably going to start one anyways.

mini fabric flags in ivory linen with slowstitches and patches pinned to antique ribbon

6. mini bunting
Love these slow stitched little flags.

tiny scraps of fabric and paper with charms and buttons stitched to string

7. even minier bunting!
It’s so dear and so much fun to make. You could go on forever with these little strings of tiny scraps. Wind them around packages or hang with mini twinkle lights. Magic.

8. slow stitch collage
Not ready to commit to the 100 day stitch challenge? Test drive the idea with one page. Gather your scraps and spend 5 days stitching for 15 minutes today – see where it takes you. You will be surprised.

long pin cushion in warm vintage prints with other patchwork sewing kit pieces

9. long pin cushion
You need one! And it’s a perfect way to celebrate scraps. Make it with the free tutorial here. The super sweet example is by @bricolosdulundi

hand stitched pouches with more in progress- made from small prints and linen

10. patchwork pouch
Make it from scraps and take it with you everywhere. It’s just the right size for a mini needle book and a few spools of thread. Find the sewing pattern here.

Do you have a favorite scrap project? Does tiny bunting make your heartbeat a little faster? Were you today years old when you found out about scraps as stuffing? Let us know in the comments.
onward!
ann

stitch book challenge – day 15 update

3 stitch collages and scraps on my work table

3 stitch collages and scraps on my work table

We are on day 15!  That finishes 3 pages and a new page starts tomorrow. You can see lot’s of pages on instagram and the group in stitch club is really remarkable.

These are my first three pages. I’ve still got today’s 15 minutes to do on the third – bottom right above. This is my third year challenging myself in this way and I’m finding the same pattern appears. In the first three days I create a problem for myself (compositional problem) and on the 4th and 5th days I work on solving it. I love this kind of thinking.

My pages are not always abstract but that doesn’t seem to make a difference in this rhythm. And I don’t always succeed. Last year I found thinking of the pages in pairs helped immensely. I loved having a second chance at compositions by treating 2 pages as one image/idea. And I mostly did not work on them consecutively – having some percolation time in between was key.

Stitch Club member Heather Smith said this about the challenge:

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE 100 DAY STITCH BOOK

I wrote this while getting ready for this year’s challenge and reflecting on my creative accomplishments from last year.

1- With community support I CAN do something every day for 100 days. (or 98 days or whatever was close enough to count).

2- Working 15 minutes a day on a part of a project is quite a different challenge than making a little finished piece of art every day. So much more do-able than those kinds of challenges.

3- Letting go of overthink. It’s ok to start without knowing exactly where the art is going to take you. This was a HUGE change for me, unlocking years of being Afraid To Start.

4- Ideas like company. If you put a few of them together they make more ideas. It’s like propagating plants. And if you put those ideas in one place they become your own thesaurus of ideas, little seed starts for later.

5- A middle aged craft lady in motion (really) does tend to stay in motion – Ann Wood. This momentum has kept building and helped create a nearly daily practice.

I love everything Heather has to say – and seeing this process work for people is satisfying and motivating.  15 minutes a day matters. Find Heather’s instagram page here – there’s lots to see.

 

hands holding stitched mushrooms and text overlay - welcome to stitch club and join button

 

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”
Linus Pauling

 

There are so many ways to approach making this book and growing creatively through that effort. Working in an improvisational way is challenging and so worth the effort.

When you start without knowing where you’re headed you create space for ideas, for possibilities and happy accidents. You observe and listen and connect. There is no failure, only information.

daily practice matters

It keeps the wheels turning and the machinery well oiled. The minute you do something, take some action, a feedback loop begins. You get information. Begin, listen and respond. It makes you ask the second question and the third and the fourth etc. etc. that will lead you to new places, lead you deeper into your imagination and your magic.

A couple notes :

Is it too late to join/start?

Nope – you can choose to start whenever you like. Catch up with the schedule or work with your own start and end date. There is nothing you need to join – stitch club membership is optional. To participate please read this page carefully and follow the link at the end to the tutorial for making the pages and book.

Is it free to participate?

It is.  You can choose to support the project with a donation here.

Are there daily prompts

Nope- the daily stitching is self directed.

Will you do it again?

Hopefully – this time next year.

Good luck with your stitch book challenge!