Its been a summer for sewing over here and most of my makes have been from a book called Sweetly Stitched Handmades by Amy Sinibaldi of Nanacompany She has been a big inspiration for my getting into sewing in the first place. I was able to snatch up a signed copy of her book in January and I distinctly remember my mom asking me what I would make from the book. My answer: “I probably won’t make anything but it will be fun to look through”… Please laugh with me now!!! My first few makes were out of a need for a couple cute gifts and some handy bags for my boys.
Around this time I found out about a sew along on Instagram to go with the book. I was new to IG and didn’t know more than a few other crafters but I was eager to find people with the same taste for sweet zakka style handmades. I made my inspiration post of six items and hoped I would be able to make one every two weeks. Then an idea hit, what if I tried to make one “easy” project and one bigger one for each round. My first “bigger” project was the Starburst Dresden pillow. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the directions and at one point I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and decided to just trust that the instructions were right and even if I couldn’t picture what came next it would turn out in the end. It did and it was one of my favorite things to make! I so enjoyed the combination of appliqué, hand stitching and machine sewing that it was fun from start to finish!
It doesn’t hurt either that I love the greens and pinks and little Heather Ross frog in the center! It was such an honor to have my pillow along with others beautiful makes shown off on my favorite blog NanaCompany! What a surprise!
Along the way I also found the joy in sharing my work with others and getting their feed back. It’s one thing to creat something and show a few friends (who most likely will love it just because you made it) it’s a whole new feeling to have strangers complement your work! Encouragement and inspiration will take you to new levels in any craft!! The past 12 weeks have brought many new friendships that I never thought I would have, what a blessing!
The Stacked Hexigon Mug Rug was another favorite make of mine. It made a sweet gift for a new friend. One of my favorite parts of making is the fabric selection and with all these tiny hexies there are endless possibilities. By this time in the sew along I was starting to feel a bit more confident in my abilities but still couldn’t imagine I would ever finish all 18 projects by the end of the SAL.
More cute makes for more cute little people in my life. A miniature bear pillow for a new nephew, a Many Pockets house for twin nieces and a mini quilt with hand stitched animals from Mollie Johansons book Stitch Love.
Little by little and stitch by stitch I got closer and closer to completing every project in the book. It was a combination of a few free minutes here and there paired with long nights while boys slept and husband worked. What you don’t see here are a handful of other projects I somehow managed to whip up from other books or tutorials and LOTS of summer fun with my three boys, all squeezed into 12 weeks.
Looking back it seems a bit crazy to have made ALL 18 projects but this has been a huge learning experience for someone who didn’t know appliqué from anything. Some projects were harder than others (I’m talking to you on the spot trivet!) and some were surprisingly easy breezy, but all fun in the end! I’ve learned to trust my gut a bit more and to (mostly) embrace the mistakes and let it be a bit wonky. Most of all I’ve tried to enjoy the making process, to not get caught up in winning a prize or worrying about what others think or who’s tallent is far more skilled than mine but to just enjoy the process and where I am at now. I hope I have put my own spin on projects with out losing the beauty of the original design. I’ve come a long way these past 12 weeks in my sewing and it’s all thanks to Amy and her wonderful book, Melissa and Anorina for hosting such a fabulous sew along and to all the wonderful friends who have encouraged me and helped me along the way. Thank you! It’s been a blast!