The Alabama Stitch Book: My Calm Before the Storm.

I like to have smaller projects in the makes when I'm in the midst of something else that feels huge. Maybe it's the scope of it that feels so manageable with an end easily in sight. Maybe it's having something for my hands to do at the end of a long day when my brain is mush. Or maybe it's just the part of my brain that still believes it likes to multitask and switch from one thing back to another. Currently, I'm finding a few moments in my week to settle in with this sewing project from The Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin.

One side of the shawl is finished, sitting pretty with a slew of hand-stitched applique.

The other end is still waiting for the final stitches. The original pattern included roses and leaves but I swapped out the roses for my "tattoo bird" stencil and rearranged the leaf pattern too.

Pretty simple pattern, just a few thrift store t-shirts in gray, brown, red or the color palette that best suits your mood and a bunch of hand stitching.

This is my first project from this book, but I do adore it completely. It's quite a nice respite from the big huge project on my brain.

I like the backside of the stitches too. Makes me think of Lisa's beautiful embroidery with the knots on the upside and the smooth stitches facing down. Just a little bit of calm before the storm, I do believe, as we start rehearsals with the dancers this weekend. OMG!


  1. I love the idea of doing something with your hands to give your brain a rest... Or the idea that you just like to do things in different disciplines, so this is a small way of fitting other parts in.

    And the peek of the work itself, of course, is beautiful.

    I have been putting little quotes and notes,and small cut-outs from magazines and dreams into my little journal that you made... I love to think of you each night as I go to bed, and wonder what the day may have brought for you.


  2. It looks beautiful, both sides, I agree. The reverse of something sewn or collage too for that matter is intriguing. I also like to have a smaller project or two on the go when working on something larger.

    Good luck with it all.

  3. you know i'm a sucker for the backside :) [thank you for thinking of me]

    i have yet to get this book, but i think i might just have to :)

  4. maria: agreed! the hands need to give the brain a rest. and i LOVE that you are using that little journal to keep track of a few favorite things. and how it connects us in our thinking.

    gracia: yes, the little projects seem to remind me that the big projects are really just a series of little ones.

    elisabeth: thank you. and for your visit.

    lisa: of course the backside of stitching makes me think of you! always and forever. and i do recommend the alabama stitch book, the whole thing is just so darn beautiful.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.