Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Book

For my birthday last month, I got the Alabama Stitch Book. I love love love this book. First of all, you can make the projects inside without buying any new fabric since they use old cotton jersey t-shirts. "Upcycle" is a catch word I've been seeing more and more this year, and all these projects are upcycled. What is better than taking something ugly or stained or ill fitting and making it into something beautiful? Will has way too many t-shirts, so I've been happy to clean out his drawers. I have a few t-shirts which are either too big, don't look good, or have holes so they've gone to the Alabama Stitch Project pile too. Natalie Chanin, the author, suggests starting with the bandana, but my t-shirts weren't quite wide enough so I began with the journal cover. I made patchwork covered Moleskine journals from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts for Christmas gifts this year, and thought the leftover boring brown journals would be the perfect thing for which to make a stitched and reverse appliqued journal cover. The second thing I love about this book, is that you don't need to be perfect. If your stitches aren't all the same length or a line of straight stitching isn't quite straight, it doesn't matter. Natalie also gives you the option of leaving your knots on the outside as a decorative effect. All these imperfections add to the Alabama Chanin look. I loved sitting on the sofa for the past two nights watching movies, sewing the outlines of my petal shapes, then clipping out the insides. When I sewed the last stitch on my journal cover, I was sad because I loved working on this project so much. I need to buy some more colors of carpet/buttonhole thread today since my hands want to get busy again.

2008 was a good year. Agnes was born, and we all love her more than I thought was possible. McLemore Auction Company had a lot of success and the path is continuing into 2009. Will is being recognized professionally and has some new exciting opportunities coming up. Ely started a Montessori school which he adores and thrives in. Listening to the US elect Obama was a moment I can't even attempt to describe. As for me, birthing a baby, becoming a mother again, and watching my children grow and change were all very special. But the unexpected I will take with me into the new year is a deepened joy of working with my hands. The world of craft blogs has motivated and inspired me to make, to sew, to embroider and to create.

I'm looking forward to filling up my new stitched journal with the details of 2009.