Me-Made-May 2016 Post #7



I have been participating in a global sewing challenge this month called,                  “Me-Made-May 2016”.  My previous posts have featured garments I made for this spring and summer. Today’s post features something different: make up bags!

Our daughter is graduating college this month and to celebrate her and her BFFs, I designed these bags. Back when she was in high school I also made cosmetic bags for her friends and they were such a hit!  I received thank you cards and emails from them saying how they loved their bags and had them perched on desks and dressers in their dorms. They said their bags which were a sweet reminder of home and their friendship. SO, naturally I wanted to create a fresh, new look for this limited edition, college version!

I decided to Shibori dye three yards of snowy white, canvas fabric a dark navy/indigo color, T’s school colors!  Wooden blocks, clamps and hemp were used to bind the cloth. All the bags have a zipper closure with a bit of vintage ribbon as a zipper stop. I lined the bags with a purchased indigo, paisley gradated printed quilting weight cotton (Joann’s). For embellishment, my very dear, talented friend Lisa spent the greater part of a day helping me design a zipper pull. We used pewter “2016” and “Handmade” charms (Oriental Trading) and an assortment of glass beads including Lampwork “Wise Ol’ Owl” Beads (from Michaels), adorable! I tied a Sashiko inspired printed ribbon (from Joann’s) through the wire loop. For the finishing touch, I hand stamped “2016” and a mini Peace sign, using a blend of Gold and Brass Jacquard Fabric paints.



Looks like we are ready for the commencement festivities to begin!

Congrats and best wishes to all this year’s Grads!

For  more info on #Me-Made-May2016, click here.


New Year Dyeing & Stitching Journal


25 Days of Make & Give- Day 25!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We made it! Congrats to all those who put their creative abilities to worthwhile and charitable uses this season!

Doesn’t it feel great to make and give?!

For my M & G on Day 25, I am gifting my two children with my annual handmade Christmas Tree ornament. Someday when they have their own Christmas trees, they will each have their own collection of hand mades to decorate with (if they like? no pressure!).



This year’s ornie was inspired by my Shibori fabric dyeing adventures this summer and fall. For this ornament I used fabric that featured the “Arashi” binding technique where you wrap the fabric around a PVC pole and bind it with twine. Next, I layered the dyed organic cotton twill fabric with batting also dyed. Never dyed batting before…easy peasy!


I then stitched the sandwiched fabrics in a heart shape and used some of the dyed twine for the hanging loop. Waste not want not?!

The last part of the process was using Sashiko hand stitching. I’m pretty excited to continue to expand my knowledge and practice of this very simple but impactful “little stabs” or “big stitch” needle art form. In my 2016 workshops I will be combining both Sashiko stitching and Shibori dyeing. Can’t wait!


But now it’s time to slow everything down and enjoy my much look forward time off with family and friends.

Thank you all for following my 25 Days of Make & Give for 2015! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!. Be inspired!

25 Days of Make & Give- Day 23

“Measure twice, cut once”


This is Craig. He is my go-to guy at The Home Depot. During the summer and fall I held 6 Shibori fabric dyeing workshops. For each workshop, I added a new technique for binding the fabric to create a resist for the dye. I went to THD to buy an 8′ length of wood and hopefully get it out down into blocks for my workshops. Craig, not only walked me through the proper wood selection process but also meticulously measured and cut 4″ square blocks for me with a smile and a “oh, it’s really no problem” attitude. What a guy! I stopped by to thank him and gift him with a cloth feed sack towel that demonstrated the use of the wood blocks (that would be the design on the top). He was so surprised! Surely, it was my pleasure!



Fall Dyeing-Shibori Style!


Last Sunday as the temperature took a nose dive into the upper twenties/low thirties I braved the elements and taught another  Shibori Workshop out-of-doors at my dear friend, N’s home. Pictured above is the Shibori Journal I made for each student for note taking during our workshop.

As usual, my students brought their dyeing “A Game” and we continued our dyeing practice with a couple new resist techniques: using clamps, wooden blocks, wooden sticks alone and in combination with pleating, binding and stitching.

We set 7 dye pots, an all time high! For colors: indigo (always a fave), dark green and we added a cranberry and inky blue green!

The results were incredible! We decorated the Shibori Tree with our colorful work. With rosy cheeks everyone went home with a bounty of unique and gorgeous dyed pieces.



And yes, we had two snow squalls! I think I had three layers of clothes on that day!


I personally experimented dyeing with white cotton jersey knit and cotton flannel and was thrilled with the results! My intent is to make scarves and pillowcases from my dyed fabrics as samples for my holiday sewing workshops starting after Thanksgiving.

Once home, I washed and dried my fabrics and set them up to show you some of the beautiful details! The design, below left, in  indigo, was created by folding the fabric and stitching semi circles then drawing up the threads. This binding stitching technique is called “OriNuri Karamatsu.









The above and below pieces were created by using wood blocks and folding or pleating with clamps “Itajime” or binding with twine.

This lovely to the right in cranberry features the “Kumo” technique. Below, top left, in dark green is a lattice design with triangular folding using square wooden blocks and twine to bind. On the bottom left, the cloth was pleated, sandwiched between wooden blocks and then bound with twine. The bottom right was pleated and bound between wooden sticks and finally tied with twine.

Dyeing days are always so gratifying!  I feel so fortunate to be able to share my knowledge with like-minded creatives and to watch my students’ excitement and delight in both the learning process and the always surprising and breath taking final product!