How lucky was I to get advance yardage of the beautiful new Tilda fabric line – Plum Garden? Because Jo could not contain herself when the rep showed us these lines we actually ordered the full line PLUS the accompanying...

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The Bagalicious Plum! and more...

The Bagalicious Plum!

How lucky was I to get advance yardage of the beautiful new Tilda fabric line – Plum Garden?

 

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Because Jo could not contain herself when the rep showed us these lines we actually ordered the full line PLUS the accompanying tea towel line and the dots and spots!  So we have it all…

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I think my favourites though are the combinations of soft and dirty blues, pinks and the musky browns… don’t they look so dreamy together?tilda-plum-garden-fabrics

So of course I started playing!  In payment for my advance samples I was to create a project using them to share in a Plum Garden Instagram showcase for the month of July. (mine is showcased today hence I can now show you this)

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I had done this stitchery (to test a new stabiliser – more on that soon) and hadn’t used it in a project, and luck had it that the Presencia Fincal Perle #16 thread colours worked quite well with the fabrics… So now I had a use for it!

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As I love to combine many of my loves into the one project (yes a downfall of mine is not being able to do anything simple) I also included a little applique using my HNK applique paper and the gluepen

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When it came to designing and making the bag I altered an earlier project I’d designed several years ago. Not having fat quarters on hand I had to modify it to work with skinny’s (that’s what I’d been sent) – which worked well as I could use 8 different fabrics instead of just two – and not being able to choose just two this made it much easier.  I mean, how could you choose just two from this lovely assortment? really?

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So there are four on the inside and four on the outer – OH and a 9th fabric along the bottom edge. The bag is very roomy and quite soft, light and drapey. I considered adding stabiliser – a thin one or even a bag foam to make it a sturdy more stand uppy bag, but decided on going just without so its very light and can fold up into a small space for travelling, but be large enough to carry all manner of things.

chat-often-styledThe straps also tie at the shoulder and are quite long – so you can adjust to fit your height or preference.

There have been some simply beautiful projects already shown in the showcase-  pop over and search #tildaplumgarden to find them…  some are just for inspiration and others are great patterns.tilda-plum-garden-flat-lay

Of course I have created a pattern for the Plum bag – and we have kits in the original fabrics for now you can find over on the website.. and the pattern includes an iron on transfer for your embroidery plus a sheet of applique paper.

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And we have the full fabric line in store at Quarter Inch or online also whilst stocks last… I believe our first customer was at the door on opening yesterday to get his fill!

happy stitching

hugs,

Helen

    



Guest bloggers this month are the team at Aurifil

The wonderful team at Aurifil this month have jotted their thoughts on why stitching is their therapy!

 

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Erin, creative director, Karen, master educator, Kate – Chicago office and Hilary, social media coordinator- have all spoken about their quilting journey and what it brings to their lives…

Pop on over to their blog and read it all here

As I partnered with Aurifil to create and provide a specialised thread collection for our Stitch Therapy 365 program they were an obvious choice to share the blog journey with.

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With the beautiful 12 weight threads on offer, the weight of this 12 wt thread being just perfect to cover my printed stitchery lines on the fabric panels.

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And be sure to follow them on Instagram and there may just be a giveaway coming up.

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Yes a Stitch therapy thread collection

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a Stitch therapy 365 panel and program to be won…

If you want to know more about our beautiful mindfulness project click on the picture below.stitchtherapy3655

If you’re already enjoying the journey we have just a few of our daily therapy mouse mats left. A great reminder to take a break from the computer and have 5 minutes of ‘you’ time with a needle and thread..

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Hope you get your therapy in today..

hugs from Helen

    



My guest blogger this month is the lovel...

My guest blogger this month is the lovely Bev McCullough who blogs over at Flamingo Toes.

 

She offered to write a post on what quilting and crafting means to her and how much of a profound change in her life it made after some struggles.  


Hi Everyone! My name is Beverly McCullough 

BevI have been sharing projects there for about 9 years! When I say that - I can’t believe how time has flown.

I have always loved sewing and embroidery. I remember making sweet little cross stitch projects and even my own outfits in junior high. I continued that love for sewing and creating all through my early married years and having kids.

Bev vaseSomewhere along the way though I lost my heart for creating. We went through some really rough things as a family and I was really just focusing on getting through all of it. There wasn’t any room left for being creative.

We ended up moving to another state and once we’d settled in, I started to feel like making things again. I started with a few small things and it was amazing how much it helped! It sounds silly but with each thing I made for the house, I got back a piece of myself!

Bev flamingoI decided to create a website, just to share the projects I’d been making with friends and family. I had no thought that it would turn into a business that I love! I just shared photos and projects - and eventually tutorials.

When I started the blog I really was just making projects I liked or simple things that I’d seen in shops. Over time though, I developed more of my own voice. I feel like creating and making on a regular basis helped me to find who I was.

Bev sewing machineI really feel like blogging, creating, sewing and stitching gave me my life back. And what started as a way to share projects with friends has turned into a business! As I mentioned, I’ve had the blog for 9 years. But I’m also an author, pattern designer, and a fabric designer with Riley Blake Designs. All of it a dream come true that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t stepped out and stretched that creative muscle that I had let go of.

Bev chairI’m far from an expert, but I really encourage you to take time for yourself and be creative. It was a form of therapy for me - and it still is! I love sitting down to sew or embroider new projects - and sharing those projects with people!

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I’d love for you to come visit me at Flamingo Toes! I share new projects all the time - plus I have fun new quilt and embroidery patterns coming out this summer, along with my newest fabric collection, Rose Lane that will be out in September. Come on over and say hi!


Yes again it is so inspiring to hear how stitching has made a difference.... and you just never know, when you are a kind, sharing caring person where it will lead you. Thankyou so much Bev for sharing...

If you would like to join in our Therapy project you can find all details here

And join in our sharing community on Facebook - all over the world, getting their daily therapy.

365 flat copyStitching hugs for today

Helen

 

    



Quilting changes Everything for Pat Sloan

My dear friend Pat has written our article this month...  I first met Pat many years ago in Houston demonstrating a sit down longarm machine - I didnt buy the machine but I never forgot who Pat was... Here's a little more about her...

Pat Sloan designer, author, lecturer, and with her weekly radio show... Pat truly is the "Voice of Quilting". She has a deep passion for making quilting fun for herself and everyone around her. Pat loves to hang out with quilters on the internet as well as visit you in person.. be inspired to get more done!

Sewing since she was a child and quilting for over 20 years, Pat eventually looked to her craft as a business. After a few years quilting she started to teach quilt making to others and then turned her skills to pattern designing. She found that she really enjoys designing and seeing how other quilters made her patterns. In 2000 Pat's designs became so popular that she and her husband Gregg formed a design and publishing company called Pat Sloan & Co. In addition to designing and publishing her work, they now travel around the country teaching and showing her quilts to quilt guilds and quilt shops. Also, Pat has had her designs published in all the national magazines, she has written 31 quilt books and has designed many lines of fabric for Moda Fabrics.

When Pat took her passion to the internet she built several quilt communities, the largest is her group on Facebook with over 55,000 quilters from around the world.

Over Five years ago Pat started a weekly All Quilting radio/podcast. I have chatted with Pat twice now on her show.  You can hear her interview quilt celebrities, historians, designers (that would be me) and authors from around the world, all on your computer! All the podcasts are available for download.

Visit her web site www.patsloan.com to see all things Pat Sloan.

 

Below is her take on the Therapy of quilting - note: Pat has included many links with offers to the things she loves. Please click on the links to see her favourite things.

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My wonderful friend Helen Stubbings is running a series this year on how we use quilting as therapy. She asked me if I'd share what that means to me, because for me, Quilting has changed everything in my life.

Pat sloan sewing

I've been thinking about this since she asked me. Each of us think of the word Therapy so differently. You might think of it in the healing. Therapy heals a broken heart or helps you through a difficult time.

Or, like me, you might think of therapy as what you do to keep your soul happy.   

There is a great saying 'Quilting is cheaper than Therapy'.  And I think we can all relate to that at some level.

Hexie flower pat sloan

My quilting is not just my small family business, it's also my hobby and my outlet, my therapy.

I used to do a lot of handwork and over years I did less and less. And I was missing that.  Helen's project got me thinking about WHY I was missing the handwork.

Doing hand work was the time when I would decompress. The time I would let the hamster wheel in my brain slow down and concentrate on stitching. And I found I missed that time. That slow repetitive motion of stitching by hand.

When started to hunt for a project that would excite me I talked to Helen about her Hexie papers, which are AMAZING! They stay in the project which  I love. This is a project I can take with me as it was very portable. It gives me a way to relax my brain and concentrate on something else.

Helen sent me her Hexie papers and a project was born.

Hexies pat sloan

I can take these babies anywhere and I take a few moments to stitch in peace.

A balcony with an ocean view is a nice place to stitch in case you need a suggestion, wink!

Splendid sampler pat sloan

There is more about quilting that has changed my life.

One of the amazing things quilting has done for me is connect to me an incredible group of makers.  People are make things are my tribe, we speak the same language of stitches, fabric, thread. We makers have a language that ties us together.

When I decided I wanted to do something for quilting and bring a large group of makers together, I turned to my friend Jane Davidson of QulitJane. We have run the Splendid Sampler project over the last 5 years with two books, Helen is in our 2nd book.

Bringing thousands of people together for a common project is therapy. It makes you focus on someone other than yourself. Big projects do that. And hearing the stories behind each block in booth books, is amazing, and wonderful. What is even more humbling is the stories you share with us when you make our project, that is priceless therapy.   We all connect at some level to every story.

** Quilt is Splendid Sampler 2 at Jane's house in Australia as she and a group of friends went about setting the quilt layout.

Crosstitch pat sloan

Recently I decided that I wanted the challenge of learning something new I could take as handwork. Learning new things is another way making is therapy. When you are concentrating on new things you really do push the other things out of your head.

I've only ever done one cross stitch in my life, so I am now learning to cross stitch. I have to force myself to focus, which lets the hamster wheel in my brain slow down and spin quietly, so that I can concentrate on how many I need to stitch. This is super therapy for me.  

It's about the journey when I do hand work. I take my time. I'm slowing getting back that peace I had when I sat and did hand applique for hours at a time.

** The cross stitch I'm doing  Aurifil Floss, and the darling floss minder flowers!

Stars quilt pat sloan
I titled this article 'Quilting changes Everything' because for me it really has. It not only is my saving grace, but it changed my whole life.  

Finding a passion for making quilts keeps me creative and fills my soul.

When I was little I knew I wanted to work for myself. On my first job I was already planning my business.  It took me 20 years to explore life and myself before I knew that I had enough passion to make Quilting my life's work. Not just my hobby, but my full income for my family.  It's wonderful to have something I love doing. It's not always rainbows and unicorns, but when it is, it's the BEST feeling every.

During my fireside chat the other week I asked people how they use quilting as Therapy.  Here are a few of the many things people said, you can read all the comments HERE

  • Sheila said Quilting is a therapy! When I’m sewing, it “calms” me. By that I mean, during the week, things get hectic with all the things we “have” to do, like bills, babysitting, cleaning, picking up grands, ball games and grocery shopping. Quilting is what I “want” to do because it calms me and feeds my creative soul! There is truly a satisfaction you get to making something by yourself.
  • Fran said Quilting for me is a way to connect with others who love this tradition. Quilters are a wonderful group of people who give their time to help others. Its a way to keep me grounded in what is most important in life and remember where we came from and what's important. Quilting definitely feeds my soul no matter if I'm happy or sad.
  • Lisa said Quilting/crafting/creating is my form of meditation. It calms the mind, reduces stress and fills me with joy especially when creating an item to gift to someone.
  • Karen said Quilting is my therapy by giving me new words to express myself when I make mistakes, when I am overjoyed that my seams finally match, when I've found the perfect fabric, when I'm finally done with my project, when I find a new pattern to make, and when I see the joy on the faces who've received my quilts!

** DOWNLOAD Quilt is a FREE Pattern Oh My Stars

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I loved reading Pat's story and all of the comments from her Fireside chat.... stitching and quilting certainly gives us all different therapies and in so many situations and life experiences is a saviour for many.. My passion around this mindfulness and therapy aspect of stitching is growing exponentially. I was raised to make a difference, I may not have the dollars or wisdom to take on the world as a polititician, philanthropist or wealthy businessperson, but I can take the skills I do have and use those to change peoples lives just a little bit... 

and my Stitch Therapy 365 project is doing that for many many women around the world (come on guys, join in).  At the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne last week I lost count of the people who came up to me to say how much they are loving their project and how good it is making them feel - there's nothing like that sort of feedback to realise that this is making a difference... and that makes me happy too..

If you feel like you need some therapy or want to join in the fun - all the details can be found here.

Stitchtherapy365

 

hugs for today

Helen

 

    


Our February Stitch therapy guest blogger is Lyn Carson Harris

This month's guest blogger is Lyn Carson Harris who contacted me with an offer to tell her story and why she creates...

Here is a little more about Lyn's background

Lynn lives in Michigan where she creates art, raises chickens, and grows vegetables. Both of Lynn’s parents grew up on farms and, like the little red hen in the children’s story, she was taught to do things from scratch and to never let anything go to waste. Her thrifty upbringing led her to her current style of working with scraps and the desire to use “every last piece.” Her quilts have been juried into international shows and gallery exhibits and her work is in private collections around the world. She is the author of Every Last Piece and has also been published in numerous books and magazines.

She writes:

I create textile art using the techniques employed by past generations of my family to create utilitarian objects such as clothes and quilts. I connect the past to the present and honor the beauty and artistry of the handmade. My most recent work is a series of small scale abstract designs inspired by the experiences of someone I love and care about who is in an abusive relationship. My wish is that these pieces of art can help to prevent domestic abuse by increasing understanding and awareness of this pervasive problem. While all of my pieces are original designs, I turn to the geometric patterns of antique quilts for inspiration. My art often evolves dramatically from the start to finish of a piece, and I find as much pleasure in the process as in the completed pieces.

Here is Lyn's story surrounding her therapeutic quilt:

Childhood's End 1

 

Years ago, when four of my family members entering nursing homes, I decided I needed a travel sewing project for time spent in the car traveling and visiting with them. I prepared an intricate appliqué piece and had it basted and ready for any stitching time.  I stitched on that piece for months and as I neared the end of the appliqué three of those four family members died- in the same week.

 Childhood's End 1

I went on to finish the piece. I hand quilted it and entered it in a national quilt show. When I got the quilt back from the show, I folded it and put it in the closet in my sewing room. About ten years later, while cleaning that closet I pulled out the quilt. I unfolded it completely unprepared for my reaction when I saw the quilt again. I was instantly in tears. That quilt held a lot of memories and grief. Unknowingly, I had parked my feelings and emotions in the stitches of the quilt for a time when I would be better equipped to process them. It was quite a moving moment. Childhood's End 1

I am currently working on a series of quilts that is serving a similar purpose.  A member of my family is in an abusive relationship. After many years trying to help my family member and trying to come up plan after plan that would never help, I finally came to the realization that people are allowed to make decisions that are not in their own best interest. I am now working on a Domestic Abuse Quilt Series to raise awareness of aspects of domestic abuse as well as a form of therapy for myself.

You can see more of Lyn's work on her blog and read about her Abuse quilt series and the therapy they bring.

 

If you'd like some stitching therapy of your own, with everything provided for you then join in our Stitch Therapy 365 project - all the info can be found here.

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If you have a story to share about how Stitching (and sewing, crafting, quilting etc) has affected your life, we'd love you to share it with us..

hugs for today
Helen

 

    


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