cloth, a podcast interview and spheres – a free template to experiment with

I love cloth.
I always have – as a child it was something I had in abundance and I learned to think well in stitches. I especially love old cloth. Lovely old cloth. I love it for it’s simplicity, it’s commonness, it’s possibilities and meaning.
sri threads :old cloth

I spend happy hours considering and choosing – today I’m gathering bits of indigo for an owl. I love the textures and patinas that comes from decades or centuries of life and use and I make things that celebrate it as I find it – all it’s scars and mending apparent. And I add my own patches and mends and visible stitching – I love the sewness, the make believe. The fragility and other unexpected qualities of very old cloth send me in new directions, new ways of doing things. I used some of my most treasured scraps from Sri Threads to make these toadstools.

sri toadstools

indgo sri toadstool

I love the little guy. You can find all three in the shop today.

As I was working on them I was thinking about constructing shapes in cloth and what a fascinating process that is. If you’re experimenting with that kind of sewing, especially if you’re just beginning to play with three dimensional sewing – spheres are a great place to start. When I teach a workshop I almost always give away a pattern for three and four part spheres. You can download that pattern here if you like.

And speaking of patterns – more are coming soon – fabric boats, tiny dolls and the flamingo kit. I’ve hit a lot of snags and complications putting that together, it’s been a bigger mountain to climb than I expected but it’s almost there.

And in other news:

A new podcast interview! My second ever. Find my conversation with my good friend Elizabeth Duvivier (founder and director of Squam Art Retreats) here. I loved our chat – Elizabeth is a smart cookie, a truly curious person and I love her new podacast. Two of my favorite episodes are with Suzan Mischer and Kerry Lemon. I hope you check it out.


  1. Thanks so much for the free PDF template. I’ve been wanting to make jellyfish for a long time, I think this pattern will be helpful. The mushrooms are awesome!

    • You are so welcome and I’d love to see! That is a perfect example of how useful a sphere can be.

  2. Penny Baugh

    What a fun filled posting today. So much going on and I’m loving all of it. Thanks for the template. I truly love your discussion of cloth. I have many of the same thoughts. Somehow, working with cloth soothes me in a way no other surface can.

  3. Oh how useful Ann, thank you! You read my mind actually… I have been wanting to make a hot air balloon for an age 🙂 – bet the jellyfish will be good too Nancy 🙂

  4. Have just listened to your chat with Elizabeth, and thoroughly enjoyed listening you and putting a voice to the name and face Ann! 😉 It was really lovely to hear about where you came from, where you are now and a little bit of where you want to go!
    Thanks for the free template and I love the way your toadstools have evolved. 🙂

  5. What a great make. Thanks for sharing. Love to make my version of these toadstools and place them on my windowsill when Autumn comes.

  6. Laurie Sharp

    thanks for sharing the sphere templates! Looking forward to listening to the podcast, too. Your posts are soothing to my soul!

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