Fresh Projects and Fresh Strawberries

software sampler2This is a project I worked on at work and at home for the June Bernina Software Sampler, which I teach.  The project involved learning techniques for machine embroidery applique.  The bud of the flower is part of the tutorial, but I went ahead and incorporated other elements as well, adding the stems, leaves etc. to create a simple but “summery” table runner. Once again, I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.

No pattern available, but for those of you with embroidery machines and Bernina Embroidery Software 7, it’s a piece of cake….well, once you work out the dimensions.  The flower panels are 8 x 8 inches finished, and everything else falls into place after that.

(How many pairs of glasses does one sewist need? Hint: At one point I used them both.)

strawberriesOne of my favorite times of the year is when the strawberries are harvested at the local farm. Here’s a shout out to friends at Norton Farm.  They are an important part of our summer!  We’ll be waiting for the tomatoes, broccoli and finally the fabulous corn! I’m growing a few tomatoes and cukes out back, but the weather has been a little cool, so they are taking their time developing.

Here’s to the sweetness of summer!  May we always appreciate the bounty!



Adventures in Zentangles

I’ve never tried this til now.  In a project for work, we needed to create a few of these with the idea that zentangle doodles could be used for stitches or for machine quilting.

Drawing zentangles is a simple process from what I can decipher, though  I think it is supposed to be meditative. For me, it’s doodling with a purpose. Here are a couple of my zentangles, but if you are interested visit to find out more.

How crazy are these things?  The good news is that I don’t think I would ever sit down by myself to draw this way. Ever. Basically, you draw a squiggle line on a piece of paper and begin to doodle around the edges, letting yourself just flow with whatever line formation comes to mind.  If you feel like tiny small squiggles, great. If you feel like giant bold strokes, OK too. Miraculously, eventually, patterns emerge and no matter where I started, I was surprised by the ending.

Despite my original skepticism, I did find it calming. Like any repetitive task, it required just enough concentration to stay focused, but not so much as to cause frustration. And in a world where I spend very little time completely focused on one small task, it’s a refreshing exercise. In the end, I’ve created…well, I don’t know what I’ve created–something unusual from my hand and my brain.  Good enough for me!