a little preview

hi!  how has your week been?  i’ve actually been grabbing some sewing time here and there (which feels great), and i have a few posts in the works, but i can’t start posting them until next week (they involve upcoming patterns and pattern tours, all very hush hush…or not so much).

sooooo thanks for your continued patience while i move at a little slower pace these days.

here’s a preview because i appreciate you stopping by – more next week!  😉

sneak peek // skirt as top

P.S. the A Modern Thread Pinterest board is shaping up nicely and our awesome giveaway is open until Sunday the 9th, so be sure to throw your hat in the ring!  


baby is here!

little C decided to join our family last week!

new baby

official stats are 7lb 8oz, 20in long, born at 38 weeks exactly.  he waited until the snow and ice had cleared a bit before coming, good boy!  he arrived a week earlier than his siblings did, so this last week has felt a bit like a dream to me.

new baby

lots of people told me third babies can be unpredictable, and his labor turned out to be a bit of that.  it started slowly but ended with a super quick transition and delivery – the whole labor was about 14 hours but the part that felt like strong labor was only the last hour or two, and boy was that intense!  i’m happy to have given birth naturally again, and i’m so very grateful he played along.

new baby

Em is looooving being a little mama to him.  she couldn’t be happier to have a baby in the house and wants to help all the time.  it’s so fun.

new baby

O loves him too but, you know, 3 year olds are more concerned with whether mom and dad are still there for THEM, which we’re sensitive to.  all in all, though, the transition to three has been pretty smooth so far!  my husband has been home which is great, and we sure do love snuggling and relaxing with this little guy.  he’s pretty sweet.


posting around here will be sporadic for a while, needless to say – it took me a few hours just to write this and i ended up writing most of it with a baby sleeping on my arm.  i did a TON of nesting sewing before he was born though, so that will filter through here and there.

also, thank you all soooo much for the sweet comments on my polka dot sherpa coat – they were so nice to read and i appreciated them all, just haven’t gotten a chance to reply!  ahhhhhh babies.

back to snuggling!!

in progress and contributing

i’m so happy you enjoyed film petit’s comeback – it was super fun to get that going again and i’m already looking forward to (and brainstorming) it for next month!

so…i didn’t do very much sewing this weekend.  the main reason is that i asked for (and received – thanks mom and dad!) a gift certificate to take a knitting class here in town!  i’ve wanted to learn how to knit for a few years now, and for some reason my brain does not grasp it via book or youtube video.  i need an in-person teacher to show my hands what to do.  my friend Erin taught me enough so that I made a cowl and a hat last year, but she lives out of town, and i was ready to learn more NOW. the class is going to be awesome – i’ve learned so much after just one!

knitting class

the thing is, and i knew this from dabbling last year – knitting takes FOREVER compared to sewing.  i took photos every few hours or so to compile the collage below – i knit while watching movies with my husband in the weekend evenings, while at Em’s ballet class, while the kids are in the bath, any chance i get.  HOURS, guys.  i’ve gotten pretty quick at sewing so this is an adjustment – totally could’ve sewn a scarf in a half hour, but it’s the process, right?

honey cowl progress

i’m making the honey cowl and i love it – knitting is extremely addictive.  i’m 27 weeks pregnant and starting to physically slow down as i get bigger (O was almost 9 lbs at birth and this fella looks very similar from a belly standpoint), so it’s the perfect activity to keep me sitting and relaxing but still doing something, which i kinda need mentally.

27 weeks

oh also – after i did the welt pocket tutorial, Liesl asked me to post as a contributor more often while she wraps up her spring 2014 patterns. like…twice a week!

so if you haven’t been following along over on the Oliver + S blog, i’ve kind of been there a lot.  i’ve written posts on holiday inspiration for boys and for girls, a new series where i invite die-hard Oliver + S fans to write about their favorite pattern, coordinated other guest posts, and did a brief interview of Liesl as part of another new series called Ask Me.  it’s been a huge learning experience, one that should continue through December, and it’s been a lot of fun too!

how was your weekend?  got any in-progress projects?  it’s funny – i’m not sure how knitting bloggers do it if projects take 10, 20, 50 hours to complete…do they just have multiple projects going on at once?  more in-process posts?  is it a slower blogging pace than sewing blogs?  got any must-follow knitting blogs i should check out?  

i’m all ears (and belly)!  🙂

girls’ trip to gilroy

first of all, thanks so much for your kind words and well-wishes from yesterday’s post!  i really appreciate it.  🙂

okay.  so i know i’ve mentioned a few times recently that i went to visit my friend Jess from Craftiness is not Optional.  today, it finally works out that we can post about it!

Jess and i both had to back out of going to Sewing Summit this year, her due to a nursing babe, me due to first trimester total lack of energy, but we both reaallllly wanted to meet each other and i had some saved up airline miles, so we decided to plan a trip when timing worked better!  AND since Em and Sadie have become such cute little long distance buddies, we thought it’d be extra special if she and i went to visit the CINOs together.  a girls’ trip!

oh boy was Em excited to go play with Sadie in person.  we had an EARLY flight but i had never seen her jump out of bed so fast!  i’d never taken a solo trip with her before, but she was so proud and happy to be going, travel was a breeze.

girl's trip to gilroy

we flew down the second weekend in October, at a time where Portland weather had already turned to fall, but central California weather still felt like summer!  no chill in the air at all, it was so nice.

girl's trip to gilroy

we hit the park, and the girls played dress up/my little ponies/barbies pretty much nonstop all weekend.  it was super fun to have them all wearing handmades, and to see Jess’ creations in real life!  at one point, Em, Sadie, and Charlotte were all wearing roller skate dresses.

roller skate trio

hehe i think Charlotte and O are twins with their “slow to wake up-ness.”  😉

i slept in Jess’ sewing room, a pretty amazing place to be – girl has a seriously enviable fabric stash!  once we finally got the girlies to settle down and sleep at night, she and i pretty much talked blogging and sewed until it was time for us to crash too.  here’s Jess serging with her hand on the pedal whilst dodging my suitcase.

girl's trip to gilroy

it’s always more fun to sew with a friend, and though i was super slow because of all the chatting and unfamiliar setup, i did manage to sew most of this blouse while i was there (and took photos of her in her version too!).  Jess cut out like a million leggings for KCW (which she posted about here).  oh and we also fabric shopped, of course, at a store we don’t have in Portland – Hancock Fabrics.

girl's trip to gilroy

we picked out a joke fabric challenge for the other one to sew with, so look for that at a future date.  Jess posted our stacks to Instagram and people guessed right away which stack belonged to which blogger – i mean, i HAD just found out i was having another boy, so i guess it’s pretty obvious, eh?  😉

and then i went animal style at in-n-out for lunch.

girl's trip to gilroy

last time i’d had those burgers, i was newly pregnant with Em.  i wasn’t sure if i had built them up in my mind as being better than they actually were, but they did NOT disappoint 6 years later.  SO FREAKIN GOOD.

on Sunday, i got to hang out with my pal Cherie and her lovely family, including her new baby girl, at an amusement park nearby while Jess was at church.  Em and Yuki rode a ride together!  such a fun bonus to see Cherie and visit with her while i was in town!

girl's trip to gilroy

the week before the trip, i went on a little sewing frenzy and made little gifts for each of Jess’ girls and Jess herself (plus a couple little gifts for Cherie’s girls that I didn’t get photos of, gah!).

here’s the CINO rundown at least…

a simple doll blanket and doll diaper from this free pattern for Charlotte, the 3 year old little mama.

doll blanket and diaper // skirt as top

the diaper has a buttonhole to pull a tail through, just in case she’s more of a stuffed animal gal than a doll gal (like I did for Em here).  it’s made out of fanfare pink elephants, with some toweling on the inside.  the blanket underside is a pretty gray gauze.

doll blanket and diaper // skirt as top

an apron for Sadie (the 5 year old) to cook in (found out Jess is one of those “purple haters” while i was visiting…HA!  oh well, DEAL WITH IT, JESS!!).  😉

fat quarter apron // skirt as top

the fabric is anna maria horner’s sinister swarm in blueberry, with a michael miller cotton couture in violet pocket.  it’s made out of a fat quarter and i keep meaning to do a tutorial, it’s a quick and fun little kid apron and great for gifting.

fat quarter apron // skirt as top

for Ava (the almost 1 year old), a briar rose crickets skirt with bias tape finished hem.

briar rose skirt // skirt as top

i figured she’ll be walking soon and it’ll be skirt wearin’ time!

briar rose skirt // skirt as top

and for my hostess Jess, a foldover clutch out of violet craft domino dot in clementine, with yarn dyed black essex linen contrast panel.

foldover clutch // skirt as top

clutch tutorial is my own, with contrast panel supplemental tutorial over at you & mie.  it has a minty green zipper and lining.  thought it’d be a good date night purse for Jess.

foldover clutch // skirt as top

i interfaced the outer fabric so it has some nice sturdiness to it, and am pretty happy with how it turned out.

foldover clutch // skirt as top

Jess overwhelmed me with gifts for me and my little ones (including baby!), which you need to go check out in her post today!  she is quite the fabulous gifter.  here we are doublegramming (side-by-side stolen from Jess, hehe thanks girl).


it was really an inspiration to see Jess in action.  the girl just gets stuff DONE, ya know?  i’d always wondered how she does it all, and basically she doesn’t seem to procrastinate or hesitate to do anything.  she finishes a garment, gets photos, edits them quickly, blogs it.  she wakes up, starts breakfast, cleans up immediately.  there is just an efficiency, motivation, and positive attitude to her both in blogging and in life that i really admire,  she’s an amazing mother, super patient and sweet with her daughters, who are in turn really sweet to each other.

three little girlies

she was such a joy to be around, especially in the mornings.  whereas i stumbled groggily out of bed and made some tea to wake up, she already had crepes halfway done.  🙂

i came home with a new outlook on how to blog more efficiently and less “in my head” like i tend to do.  plus i just really love what she’s built with her blog and we had some really great discussions about blogging in general.  it was cool.  i LOVE meeting blogging pals in real life, and for our kids to meet too was icing on the cake (speaking of cake, she is really an awesome baker – whips up all sortsa stuff like you wouldn’t believe).

thanks sooooo much for having us, Jess, and thanks to Rory for allowing two strangers into your home for a weekend!  we had a blast, and we’re already talking about how Jess and Sadie can come visit us next time and we can do a “tasting tour of Portland.”  🙂

check out Jess’s post about our trip here!

my quilt market story

i’m gonna start at the beginning. and yeeees i should probably split this into two posts but it’s been quite a while since market already, so i just want to get it out there NOW ya know?

about a year ago, Rae let me know that Quilt Market was going to be in Portland in the spring of 2013. i got super excited – and i didn’t even really know what it was! i just knew people on instagram went and all met each other and you go to see fabric. basically this is all i knew until i was actually AT quilt market. it’s actually “just a trade show,” but none like i’d ever been to before – the purpose of the show is for shop owners to preview new fabric lines and place orders to stock in their stores, but almost all of the fabric designers actually go to it, and lots of meetings are being held, and it’s a very social weekend, too.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 10.31.34 PM

valori wells wish floral voile // monaluna summertime colors and elephant print! // heather ross strawberry knits

then, one day in March, i got an email from Liesl Gibson asking me if i could help set up the Oliver + S / Straight Stitch Society booth, and if they could ship things for the booth to me ahead of time, etc etc. now I’ve said before that i learned to sew from my mom when i was little, but Liesl through her Oliver + S patterns as an adult, and that her comment on my first sewing project really made me realize that the whole posting-photos-on-the-internet thing was fun. meeting her was going to be a huge thing for me. HUGE. like couldn’t believe it was really happening. and look, she’s real!


in person, Liesl could not be nicer, or more creative, or more insightful. when i met her, she came right up to me and gave me a huge hug. it made me so happy that the gal behind one of my favorite companies is just as wonderful in person. and then Heather Ross, designer of some of my very favorite fabrics, came up to Liesl and gave HER a huge hug, and my brain exploded…just like these flowers here.


Liesl’s husband/business partner Todd (seen below opening one of millions of paper flowers) is a perfect balance to her, also very passionate but in a more business-y way. i felt like i sort of got into market with the ideal duo – well-respected and liked, and the people to learn from and meet people through.

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 11.07.53 PM

the whole weekend actually kind of blew my mind. i know we’re in this geeky little subculture, sewing bloggers – and the reason blogging is so great is there are really not that many of us that live near each other but we all inspire each other and some people get to be friends even though we’ve never met. an event like quilt market brings us together in real life, and it’s awesome.

there’s also a certain “celebrity” that some of our community has (Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, Heather Ross, Liesl herself) and seeing all of those gals in one place was a bit surreal.


i also got to meet many blog friends (or just gals i was a fan of), and pretty much everyone I met was just like their “online persona,” which made it fun. for instance, i didn’t get a photo of Jeni Baker but i was so thrilled to meet her and i thought she was just the cutest. i’m way excited about her new line, Nordika.


Look at that border print on the tote bag!


meeting people was so much more important to me than seeing the fabric, as pretty as the fabric was. i became obsessed with people’s height, since you don’t get a good sense of height on blogs!

there were quite a few people i actually didn’t feel like i knew very well from their blogs (fabric designers don’t tend to be very regular bloggers, it seems, and some blogs were just new to me) so it was neat to meet those gals in person. i’d only recently discovered April Rhodes, currently taking blogland by storm with her staple dress and she was a delight (and shorter than me)!

and here’s a photo of taller-than-me Rae and Rashida Coleman-Hale (Rashida’s booth promoting Tsuru and Koi was one of my favorites – i could’ve lived there).


isn’t it so pretty?


Rae was promoting her line of flannels for Cloud 9 – it’s called Fanfare and it’s ADORABLE – go see it here. she had a bunch of strike-offs in her purse and as an experiment we gave them to Em and asked her what her favorite was. she stopped dead in her tracks at the pink elephants and was ready for me to make something from it right then and there (except the sample was “too small!”). hehe.


gratuitous photo of “buff stuff” Rae, who was a total kick to hang out with and a force of nature in that amazing Tsuru Washi dress – she got SO MUCH ATTENTION! i want to hang out more with Rae, she’s fun.

some more pretty booths, just because…


Tule by Leah Duncan – so serene and gorgeous – love the colors.


Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics!

Friday morning, my pal Cherie from You & Mie (who i had met a couple times before) flew in to stay with me for the weekend, and I’m so glad she did, because we could experience the whole thing together. after i picked her up from the airport and dropped O off with my sister, Cherie and I went to Market and met up with Rae (spotting Melody Miller and her cute pink hair on the way in), then met up with fellow local Gail and perused the market.

where was our first stop? Oliver + S, duh!


after we were done at Market for the day, Gail had to take off – but Rae and Cherie and I went to Bolt and Pine State Biscuits (they both ate it all, don’t worry about them).


they came over to my house afterwards, and i sort of proved what a small town Portland is by having them randomly meet a good portion of my family throughout the day (even ran into my inlaws while out for drinks after a party at Modern Domestic). on Saturday, we joined up with Robin for a little more fabric shopping at Cool Cottons and lunch – check out this four-girl selfie!


i have never been so surrounded by handmade clothes, or looked up and down (in a good way) as often, as at Quilt Market. Rae said that when she wore her original washi dress to market it sort of launched the dress/pattern, and i totally believe it.

case in point – i wore washi two on sunday and got a whole bunch of compliments – i think the dress was recognized more than i was – and when Cherie and i went over to the dear stella booth (the fabric is dear stella) they got so excited!  i almost didn’t wear it because the fabric is faded from so many washings, but i’m glad i did.


it was also cool to see Cherie’s sunburst picnic blanket rolled up (see it by my left elbow?)…of course i made her pose with it! she didn’t actually sew this one, but still…she designed it, so that’s very cool.


this nest quilt by Carrie Bloomston of Such Designs was incredible…


and there was real grass in heather bailey’s booth! loved that.


on Sunday, after helping break down the Oliver + S booth, Cherie and I got to tag along to an amazing gourmet dinner at Racion with Liesl & Todd. We had amazing conversations with Kelli from drygoods (a shop I must visit the next time I’m in Seattle), and Margaret from Form and Fabric.


i ate things i had only known about from watching Top Chef, and it was wonderful!

sometimes i felt like i didn’t really belong at Market. i’m not a shop owner, i don’t sell patterns or fabrics, i don’t feel “influential.” this isn’t my real job, it’s a hobby for me – but the people that were there are all making a real go of it as a business, and i think that’s so great.  i mean, i just make stuff that makes me happy and i blog about it, but now i feel even more responsibility to remain true to myself, honest with my readers, and open in crediting inspiration and fabric and all that. it’s so important to support each other in this, to lift each other up!

it was cool to be included in conversations about authenticity, creativity, business, fabric design, pattern making, originality, book deals, fabric lines, collaborations, future plans…it was motivating and exciting and made me want to do even more to be involved. not sure how…but somehow.


pure elements by art gallery

and there ya have it. my small novel on Quilt Market. i’ve had so many thoughts and feelings it’s been hard to get them down. thank you so much to Liesl for letting me help out and for being such a cool gal! what a neat experience that was.

P.S. check out Cherie’s post for more of the “how it made me feel” stuff – she really hit the nail on the head with it, and said a lot of things i meant to say here…

P.P.S. OH! and i have another washi dress to show you – i made it just for Market! it’s my favorite yet and somehow i don’t have any even teaser photos of me wearing it! i’ll try to get that posted soon. 🙂