• Interior Design,  Sewing

    Sewing in Self-Isolation

    llama pillow - ellen baker for kokka stencil llama fabric

    Even before all this practice, I’ve always been fantastic at self-isolation. There are very few things I love more than hiding inside with a pile of projects and sewing away, with occasional breaks for yoga, walks, or snacks.

    sewing room during self-isolation

    So it should come as no surprise that this is what my sewing room table looked like a mere 48 hours into enforced isolation. I cut out a quilt! I made cushions for my mid-century lounge chair! And I made a very happy new couch pillow.

    sewing room during self-isolation

    The front is a fabric I snagged as soon as it was released, llamas as part of the Stencil collection by Ellen Baker for Kokka. I never buy fabric online, so this was a rare exception!

    As usual, it was hard to cut into one of my favorite fabrics… but, as always, I’m so glad I did because now I get to look at the pillow every day, instead of the fabric sitting buried in a bin.

    alpaca pillow - ellen baker for kokka stencil llama fabric

    I made my own piping using store-bought bias tape and some tiny cording that’s meant for Roman shades. I feel like piping elevates a simple project like this pillow so much, and it’s really not that hard with the right tools. I finally caved and bought this set of piping feet… it makes all the difference in the world.

    The back fabric is a remnant I brought back from Japan on my recent (pre-pandemic) trip. I’m really happy with the way the colors coordinate with the llamas without being overly matchy.

    alpaca pillow - ellen baker for kokka stencil llama fabric

    I can never hide a happy colored zipper, so I left this one exposed rather than using a lapped installation as a couch pillow “should”. No-rules sewing! I’m such a rebel.

    Especially when I’m spending so much time at home, it’s fun to change things up. I’ve been wanting to make new couch pillows for ages, and this one adds such a nice dose of brightness to my white couch! Are there any overlooked home projects that you’re diving into with this extra at-home time?

    Fabric Design: Block Printing course by Jen Hewett for Bluprint

    I often sew in silence, but lately I’ve been listening to audiobooks from the library, or watching through classes from the Bluprint Creative Care Package. Bluprint is offering unlimited free classes through April 9 to help with social distancing. It’s free to sign up, you don’t even need to give a credit card! Jen Hewett has a new block printing course for Bluprint and even though I’ve taken her class in person, I’m planning to listen through it to soak up even more the second time around.

    Improve your paintings: luminous watercolor mixing course

    Full disclosure, I am a Bluprint affiliate, but I’m also taking advantage of this special they have right now and I’m excited for the opportunity to learn some new tricks.

  • Travel

    Gratitude During Uncertainty: Thankful for Travel

    chiang mai flower and garden festival 2020

    Before I start, here’s my disclaimer: I know that our global pandemic is an enormous problem. There’s the primary pain of loss of human life due to the illness, and thousands of secondary pains to medical workers, small business owners, local restaurants, wage workers, and so many more. I’m not celebrating by any means, and I ache for the many people who are suffering. But I can’t change our current reality, so I’m practicing gratitude for what I do have.