owl color inspiration, a couple sneak peaks and stitch club test drive

Changes are afoot! The biggest is the brand new community. You can share what you’re working on, follow topics like the crow sew-along, the miss thistle society and finish line friday. 

What is finish line friday? At the beginning of the week choose a project or task that’s been hanging around in almost done-ness or not technically, actually started-ness, finish by friday and share with the stitch club community! It could be something super small – it’s all about momentum. Last week my FLF task was to fix the giant mess in the sewing/shipping room and it was magically tidy again by Friday. I sure do love a deadline

This week my task was pulling fabrics for an autumnal owl. The next sew-along will be the dastardly owl and the start date will be announced soon.  The pattern is available as a pdf or booklet and if you’re ordering the booklet you’ll want to do that pretty soon.  The fabrics I’m using are a mix of cotton, linen and light weight wool with lots of variety in texture and color.

There will be a group in the new community devoted to the owl and that’s especially helpful if you’re feeling anxious about trying the pattern.  The facebook group and stitch club members are superstars about helping and encouraging. 

The stitch club is still in the experimental stage but already a promising creative and supportive group, a bunch of friends who sew. There are currently over 400 members and if you feel like giving it a test drive you can sign up here.

so long kits

Kits are going away. Once the current stock is gone kits will be retired. As a stubbornly one person business the labor and expense of creating and shipping them has not worked. I’d rather spend that time creating new patterns or art work. The prospect of working 16 hours a day at the ann wood handmade fulfillment center (the little sewing/shipping room at the top of the post) again this holiday season is deeply unappealing. So many paper cuts…  I will still have booklets and soon some fabric packs. Find the kits in the shop while supplies last and then they are gone. 

new art work

It’s interesting how much framing affects how I think about the little paintings. The frames place them in another world, another time. They feel outside of me, who’s dark and dusty library did the swan hang in many years ago? That’s the feeling I want for them, relics from another life and time.

and story bottles

two little ceramic vases in blue and offwhite painted with and owl and a windmill

The imagery springs from the daily paintings. One thing really does lead to another. The bottles are wheel thrown stoneware, painted in underglaze and high fired.  The first collections of bottles and framed paintings will be in the shop in early November.

You can sign up for an email notification here.

ceramic bottles small - offwhite with blue painting in an early american style


christmas card with water color illustration of a mouse, seen through a baseboard mouse hole, decorating a tree

Also in the shopping department if holiday cards are on your list now is the time to order.

Are you ready for the owl sew-along? Also I’m rolling a couple ideas around for the winter including an ornament swap and a correspondence workshop for the soldier rag doll – meaning the lessons are delivered via weekly email to a limited number of participants and we have a dedicated group in the new community for discussion, videos and sharing images – is that something you’d be into? Let us know in the comments.



  1. Debbie Kureth

    I love a good kit and hate to see them go away. I’m 10x more likely to start a project if I have a kit. Perhaps you could offer just one kit at a time for the stitch along, or you could offer this as a business opportunity to someone else who loves fabric.

  2. Maryann Witalec Keyes

    I love Finish Line Friday. Due to covid and various changes in my life, I’ve been focusing on completing UFO’s and I really appreciate the challenge of FLF. But, I’m not sure how to submit a photo of a finished project. Do I simply respond to your post with the photo attached? Thanks. BTW, I totally support the decision to discontinue the kits. I also have a home-based business (I sell plants) and I understand that there are simply not enough hours in the day. Cheers.

  3. Susan Beer

    I hope you will still sell the little book patterns. It is nice not to have to print all those pages. Plus the size of the pattern books are so easy to travel with. I am waiting for the Elegant Woman to appear in one of those

  4. Hello Ann, I am anxiously awaiting the Soldier rag doll and would love to give the workshop a go.

  5. I love the idea of an ornament swap! A fabric scrap swap would be great too! I am a natural dyer and have lots of fabric scraps that I would be happy to send along.

    • Mavi Nadeau

      I would LOVE your fabric scraps!! I embroider and misc pieces of beautiful materials would be so sweet. My husband and I moved across the country last year, and all of my fabric is gone. So I’m starting from scratch!

  6. Denise Miller

    I would love to be involved in a a correspondence workshop for the soldier rag doll . That is right up my alley. I love cloth dolls, and my husband served 30 years in the service. Please include me in this workshop.
    Question: Who is the elegant woman?

  7. I love the direction you are taking! Running a business by ones self is very stressful and tiring. Culling what doesn’t work for you/your business may be difficult, but in your case it looks like it should be a huge step forward! The framed pictures and the new pottery are just lovely. I wish I could step back from my current obligations and just do a lot of “slow stitching” and doll making but I can’t as yet. I’ll have to continue to get my “fix” from reading your wonderful news letters!

  8. Robina Forfar

    My elegant rag dolls have been waiting with baited breath (and some impatient sighs) for the companionship of soldier rag doll and beg me to beg you to be involved in any way with the making of soldier rag doll.

  9. I completely understand the side-tracking of offering kits! My question is whether you will offer components – and specifically, the wool stuffing. I love your patterns so much, Ann!

  10. I have really enjoyed the stitch club even though I find the site a little difficult to navigate. I have my owl fabrics gathered but they aren’t in a box yet.
    I like the idea that the club will be open to everyone eventually. I’m wondering if the reason for a limited number of participants for the soldier rag doll email group is so that each person can get more attention than a larger group. I guess n a way it’s like attending a class in person. Those always have a limited number of participants.

  11. I love both your winter project ideas, count me in! I want to join in the owl making, I have all the materials, just need the pattern. Hugs, KittyAnn in NC

  12. With the kids going away, will the booklets, or at least the pdf’s still be available?

  13. So many wonderful ideas! The ornament swap sounds fun. I look forward to hearing more about it. Finish Line Friday — Genius! It’s just the motivation I need. I love the Stitch Club Idea, but I would have figure out a way to magically make my days longer or cut out sleeping in order to fit another stitch group in.
    Your story bottles are lovely!

  14. Marjorie Footitt

    I’m currently making a song bird but she has been ‘lying in wait’ for several months……..I.e, waiting for me to make her whole. Other projects have taken priority so I’m joining the stitch club hoping to get nudged into concentrating on work in hand and sharing ideas.

  15. I still have my lovely elegant ragdoll that I made in your in-person workshop at French General in L.A. in 2018. Man that seems forever ago! I named her Loretta. Each Christmas I try to make make her a new outfit for the holidays. So fun. She is one of my favorite possessions. I am busy making my macrame pieces for holiday sales, but I would love to do an ornament exchange! Please keep us posted!


  16. I would love to be involved in your winter project ideas. I am off to purchase the Dasterdly Owl pattern. I had so much fun making your crow pattern. I also look forward to the soldier rag doll pattern. The lovely rag doll pattern is on my desk on my “want to make pile”. I am enjoying the stitich community site as well. Thank you for all you do to inspire!

  17. Thank you for Finish-line Friday. It actually took until Monday but I finally finished one project and am well on the way to have another done by this Friday.

  18. Mandy walden

    I’ve just finished my crow, a little behind schedule for the crow sew-along, but I loved seeing everyone’s photos, especially different fabric choices. Looking forward to the owl one!
    Love the idea of finish line Friday- I need something like that to reduce the number of uncompleted projects on my table!

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