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On this blog we share stories and ideas about the work we do at STC Craft and the craft world overall.

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Wednesday
Jan202010

My Winter Strategy

I'm one of those people who tends to get down during the winter, but I have a strategy for dealing with it that really does help. Here's what I've got going on inside my house right now.

 

 

 

These flowers don't make more sunlight, warm up the temperatures outside, or take away bad news, but each time I look at them, I pause for a moment and feel some goodness. Today I decided to take some photos in hopes of spreading some goodness around.

Monday
Jan182010

Get Involved in Craft Hope for Haiti

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Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Click here or on the image above to find out how you can donate or buy a handmade item in order to raise money for Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.

Monday
Jan182010

A Custom Knits Sweater for My Son / Finding Time to Knit

I know it doesn't look like much yet but this is the start of a Classic Top-Down Raglan Sweater for my son. Instead of following a pattern, I'm using the formula Wendy Bernard gives in her book Custom Knits. When I bought the yarn I was really motivated to get going but I haven't ended up working very quickly. This would be fine except that my son is growing fast, and I need to get this done while he can still wear it.  The yarn is Swan's Island Worsted, an amazingly soft and beautiful organic merino. I'm posting about this project and planning to post updates as a way of putting some pressure on myself (though, honestly, I don't really need more pressure in my life). This project is part of my resolution to spend at least 10 minutes each day crafting that I posted about here. (The skirt is coming along nicely albeit slowly.) To make some time for myself, I got a dishwasher last week (that will save me at least 10 minutes a day.) But I'm still finding it challenging to find/make free time. I'm a very efficient person but, like so many other people, I have way too much to do. If anyone has any great efficiency techniques they want to share, please leave a comment. Because life is definitely better when there's more time to craft.

Monday
Jan112010

Meeting Kaffe Fassett--And a Sneak Peek at His Newest Book

Back in the early 1990s, I was working as a freelance writer and editor and got the idea that I wanted to focus on crafts. I started seeking out and pursuing opportunities and was lucky enough to be invited on a trip to the Shetland Islands in order to write articles for a few different magazines. One of the featured guests on the trip was Kaffe Fassett, so I made arrangements to interview him. A short version of the interview was published in Fiber Arts magazine and a longer version in the Rowan magazine. I remember being nervous about the interview but, when it was over, thinking it had gone pretty well. I found Kaffe to be warm and friendly and was impressed by the articulate, clever, and poetic way in which he described the beautiful landscape surrounding us. I must have made a decent impression on him because I am now proud to say that, all these years later, I am the editor of Kaffe's upcoming book Kaffe Fassett's Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts. In SSSQ, Kaffe demonstrates how basic geometric forms--squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, circles, and quarter-circles--found in natural and manmade environments inspire his quilt designs. During our interview in Shetland, Kaffe said this to me: "I spend my life wanting to stand up and yell 'Hey! Look, we're passing through Paradise.' But everyone's too busy reading newspapers." Today he might say people are too busy texting or checking their email. SSSQ is definitely a wakup call. I guarantee that once you experience it you'll feel inspired to look up from your newspaper or whatever screen is absorbing you to see the beautiful shapes and colors around you. If you're a quilter, you'll likely want to incorporate that beauty into your quilts. But even if you're not a quilter, I think you'll still be inspired. SSSQ will be in stores in March. Today I'm happy to offer you this sneak peek.

Monday
Jan042010

My New Year's Resolution

It's 2010 and one of my resolutions for the new year is to spend at least 10 minutes crafting each day. Above is my in-progress Beaded-Applique Swing Skirt (also known as the Applique Rose Swing Skirt) from Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin. I'm proud to say I've worked on it every day so far.

When it's done, it will look like this.