the vacation sewing box, mini stitched mushrooms, and the finished 2023 stitch book

meditative stitching

Simple hand stitching is an ideal activity for percolating ideas. It occupies me but doesn’t require too much brain power and lets my subconscious do its background magic. That background magic is key to everything and there is a lot to percolate! I’m working on new projects to share here and getting ready to head to Squam to teach a workshop all about having ideas…

a box filled with hand stitch projects prepared- it's pretty messy

This box of stitch projects is built for that, a vacation from thinking. Decisions are already made and you can just pull something out and start sewing. My box is lots of mending and mini mushrooms.

a red and white mushroom mad from fabric photographed in nature.

I made the spotted guy from the cut off part of some recently hemmed pants. The soft cotton twill was splattered with bleach first. Now I’ve got a mushroom that matches my pants and I’m positive that’s going to come in handy someday.

finishing the 100 day stitch book

It’s finally assembled! Two big differences for me this year are leaving the edges raw and thinking of the pages in pairs. 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. Especially when I wasn’t 100% happy with what I’d done, putting the idea aside for a bit helped a lot. Checkout the final assembly of the finished pages in the video below.

learn more about the stitch book project here

Don’t see the video? Click here.

plus the mr. socks photo challenge winner!

Congratulations Diane! (@lubydiane on instagram). I love that your mr. socks had a friend on his adventures and all the photos were fantastic. A bundle of scraps will be headed your way! Check out the full reel on instagram. So sweet!

two tiny cat rag dolls posed playfully by a pond

Let’s wind up the summer with another photo challenge

Show us your mushrooms! Are they poisonous? Enchanted? Do they magically appear only when the moon is full? Stitch up a mushroom and take a photo. Please use #annwoodmushroompattern to share on instagram or facebook. Post your photo before the end of September. A panel of esteemed judges (me) will chose the winner of an awesome little bundle of scraps in early September.

a very small indigo capped stitched mushroom captured in the wild

Do you have a travel sewing project? Are you ready for September?!
Are you an over-achiever already working on holiday stuff? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Your stitch book is absolutely wonderful! Mine turned out very bulky, doesn’t lay flat at all and I don’t like it. I think I may unassemble it and see what comes of the pages after.

    Thank you for your ongoing creativity and inspiration!

    • Good luck with your stitch book re-mix! That’s the spirit!

  2. Is that a miniature washing machine behind the weentsy fly!? Or a porthole box? I would like to see it close up and maybe make one with assorted items inside that could tumble as the box was turned…my mind is all a-froth with ideas!

  3. Mila Milliorn

    love the mushrooms especially with the bleach spatters! cool!

  4. Bonjour j ai commandé le patron de la petite poupée ma commande a été approuvée et débitée
    Pouvez vous me dire quand ma commande me parviendra?
    Merci bonne fin de journée

  5. Jane Mullenix

    Yes i always have stitching with me when I travel. Right now its cross stitching.

  6. Heather Smith

    Yay, a newsletter day on a Wednesday! I’ve got a vintage cafeteria tray with my tiny stitch projects on it that follows me around the homestead. It’s very helpful to keep me making. Congrats on the finished stitch book! I’ve been collecting linen fabrics to make another one now because I miss the fabric sketchbook aspect of it. So many ideas and new ways of sewing came out of that practice.
    I’ll assemble first like I did last time.

  7. Jane Cudmore

    The way your stitch book goes together is so very clever! To me it is a complicated puzzle, but I enjoyed watching the ease with which you assembled yours.

    I never considered leaving the edges raw. it will be a good way to keep the pages from being too bulky. Important to me because I used some twill for some of my pages.
    Interesting that leaving the page edges raw can be a functional choice or a page design choice

    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  8. Your stitch books keep getting more interesting. I have made two and they are most cherished.

  9. Sally Berg

    Hand stitching and reading your lovely post as I wait for my flight! Very grateful for hand stitching! I channel my inner Madelaine Albright who used to knit as she flew around the world as Secretary of State.

  10. Shirley Morgan

    Hello Ann and everyone who may read this. I’m in awe reading these comments. I have Ann’s mushroom pattern (among others of hers) and am yet to make some. My mind is happily bursting with exiting thoughts now after dealing with aftermath yesterday, when frost burst water pipe here in my space in Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia.
    I love being in this mind space I’m in now. Anyone looking at me would not see where I’m at and I would smile and walk by.
    Thank you Ann.. you made my world today. Enjoy an awesome day everyone.

    • Thank you! Bursting with ideas is a wonderful place to be – condolences on the burst pipes – so awful.

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