Saturday, October 31, 2009


:: Happy Halloween from Cheetah Girl, Captain Realpirate (with light saber), Emma Goldman and Disposable Man. More photos tomorrow!

Monday, October 26, 2009

'tis the season

busAs scary as it is ( to me, at least--I still have to make Halloween costumes!), the holidays are less than 2 months away! Last year I was absolutely swamped with custom orders and, though it was fantastic to have so much business, I was really crazed for the whole month of December and wasn't able to enjoy my own holiday as much as I would have liked. To avoid a repeat of the insanity in our home I'm hoping to pace the orders a bit more. So, I've posted this announcement and offer in the shop:

I would be honored to make a custom book (or banner or quilt…) for your little one to open this holiday season and hope to be able to accommodate everyone who would like one. Please keep in mind that orders do book up very rapidly and, though I may be able to take orders after this point, I cannot guarantee holiday/Christmas receipt of custom book orders placed after NOVEMBER 30.

As an added incentive for people to get their orders in early I’m offering 10% off any custom book, quilt or banner orders placed before November 8. Once your order is placed and your payment received I will refund the 10% to you via PayPal.

Thanks so much, and enjoy the season!

100% recycled alphabet quilt

:Fair warning ;)

I'll also be stocking the shop soon with monogram eco-felt stockings (this year I'm offering a mini-version to hang for your pets) and recycled card sets, and may even find the time to open a little shop (evilolivedesign) for the crocheted earrings I make.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I recently finished up an order of three books for triplets. The idea of triplets alone is really exciting but I'm really excited about these books.

There's a lot going on with these, from the William Morris covers to the Houston/Texas theme, as well as a page in each book reflecting the parents' professions (dad's a librarian and mom studies speech). All in all I think these will be really special gifts for three really special boys.

Ben's book:

Alex's book (can't find the photo of his cover...):

Teddy's book:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

this kid cracks me up

Lyric is quickly picking up his sister's fashion sense.

Friday, October 16, 2009

reproduced in fabric

One of my very best customers has been ordering little shaped quilts from me. Each one of them is such a fun new challenge, I'm really enjoying making them. Here are my latest, measuring between 12" and 15":

1. Apple teapot

2. England

3. quilted house portrait

4. Globe

Thursday, October 15, 2009

e is for everything

E is definitely the most common first initial these days, right? Well, it's certainly my best seller!
My latest E book:

Friday, October 9, 2009

here comes science

We're way into science these days. Tigerlily comes home every day regaling us with stories from her science class and it's really sparked everybody's interest in what makes things tick. And, fortuitously, I discovered that there is a new They Might Be Giants called, of course, Here Comes Science. We have it on loan from the library for a few days and are digging it.

Though I so totally don't have the mind for it, I've always dreamed of studying astronomy. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to make a quilted solar system, complete with cool rocket ship.

I am in love. It hurts to send it off. But, luckily, I can make more! I'm thinking some solar system bed quilts are in order.

(Periodic Table quilt, someday I will make you, too...)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

patchwork and photo fabric

I love trying new things, and these days it's often my customers who spark these new adventures. My latest book is one of these fortuitous projects and I'm so excited to share the final product with you!

I received a note from a very lovely woman asking if I might be able to make a book similar to the one that Amanda Soule made for her daughter a while back (also featured in her wonderful book, The Creative Family). The book is made with sweet cotton prints with photos and text printed on fabric and sewn onto each page. Being a big fan of Amanda's and intrigued by the possibilities of printing on fabric (especially after reading about it again in this awesome book) I agreed to make a 10-page book filled with photos of her (very cute) little girl and the people who love her.

Of course, I wanted to give this book my own signature but wasn't quite sure how I would do it at first. It seemed too easy to make a book the way I usually do, with a single background fabric and the photo zig-zagged on. No, I had to do something a bit more interesting.

My customer had told me that she loves Japanese prints and put a few in her Etsy favorites for me to see and get a sense of what she likes. I honed in on one particular print (which ended up being the cover fabric) and decided to use those colors--pink, red, yellow, and white--as the color scheme for the book. I had some fabric that would work and ordered a few pieces to fill it out. I wanted to use some of my vintage calicos in the book, too, because I think they go so well with a lot of Japanese fabric and found that I had a lot in a red-yellow-blue/navy scheme, so I decided to add in some blue, as well. And since I had a lot of different fabric that all looked great together but maybe a bit disconnected by themselves I decided to do some patchwork!

I LOVE the way the patchwork frames look on these photos. I'm also imagining little Muriel picking out all of the little things there are to see in the little bits of fabric. A mushroom here, a house there....

And I put lots of other little embelishments in there too. I couldn't help myself, it was a lot of work, but it was also so much fun! Patchwork is what I started with way back when I was little and I really miss it. I can feel a pieced quilt coming on....

Happy Birthday, Muriel (and her Mama ;)!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

the gift of a lifetime

I don't like to make a big deal about my birthday (I turned 33 this week) and I wouldn't even have mentioned it, but then I got the most amazing gift that I have to share with you all. If you're not a sewist/crafter it may not seem like a big deal but I get weepy just thinking about it.

I've written more than once about my Grandmother Vincenza, whose old sewing machine I now have and use regularly. When she passed away earlier this year I wrote of carrying on the legacy of craft that she (and my super-talented Mom) instilled in me. I think of her often and am honored to continue using the tools she used to create so much beauty (and, of course, utility) and that I'm sure gave her such joy.

So last night my parents had us over for a birthday dinner. My Mom gave me my gift, a bag filled with such goodness--lots of fabric, a beautiful knitted mobius cowl (which I SO needed--it's getting cold!), and--gasp!!--not one but TWO pairs of Gingher scissors! I had mentioned that I was hoping to replace my old featherweight Ginghers with some real, honkin' dressmaker's shears, but I never imagined I would get them AND a brand new pair of pinking shears!! Yippee!!!
I was thrilled of course, but didn't have more than a moment to bask in the shine of my new tools before my Mom completely bowled me over with another surprise.

She handed me a cloth bag with the explanation that, when she was in Florida visiting my Grandfather, he asked her to give them to me. And that bag was filled with, of course, all of my Grandmother's scissors and shears!

dressmaker's scissors, pinking shears, dressmaker's shears, 4" scissors, applique scissors

I was, and still am, so completely moved. It's one thing to have her machines but such another to have these tools that she held in her hands for countless hours over her lifetime. I feel so amazingly honored, humbled, sad, overjoyed....

My Mom joked that he had to give them to her after she had already bought and wrapped the new scissors. I have more good scissors than I have hands!! But I also have two workspaces--my studio and my home sewing space, so a set will live at each.

the whole gang!