#SewPINK: Sewing to Support Survivors

It seems to me that we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer these days. Co-workers, family members, neighborhood friends–it’s far too common. In those times when we hear of a loved one’s new diagnosis, we want to be helpful, do something kind and thoughtful.

That’s where the tutorial for the mastectomy pillow came in. I thought it would be a good project for those like myself who know people diagnosed with breast cancer and can sew. We did this a couple years ago for Sew Together Tuesday and since then many have reached out to say that they made one for a friend or family member.

But recently a viewer reached out to let me know that she’d made more than one mastectomy pillow. In fact, she made 52 of them!

Jennifer Roney is a breast cancer survivor and while she signed up to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser and walk, she wanted to do more. She bought a few yards of Cuddle® fabrics and got to work. She was able to make eight pillows out of every yard and kept going until she had made more than 50.

With each one, she printed out a note to explain her motivation, then gathered them up and brought them to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Jennifer suggests to reach out ahead of time, as she did, to your local hospital to make sure the donations will be accepted.

I love this idea and wanted to share with you because even when you don’t have someone specific that you need to sew for, you can share your talents with strangers that do. If we all work together, we can combat breast cancer and the toll that it takes on men and women.

You can find the pattern we created for Sew Together Tuesday here: Mastectomy Pillow Pattern and the tutorial video here: Mastectomy Pillow Tutorial You can also use my tutorial for the ByAnnie Bosom Buddy made with Cuddle® if you want to add a little something extra.

The #SewPink Initiative was created by ByAnnie.com LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer throughout the year. Our efforts culminate in an annual blog hop during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote self-care, awareness, early detection and support for those affected by breast cancer.  To learn more and see the calendar of events visit: https://www.ByAnnie.com/SewPINK

To find screenings available near you: 

This year we are again joining forces with Fat Quarter Shop to promote a fundraiser. Their goal of raising $20,000 to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

ByAnnie.com will match every dollar raised on the #SewPINK fundraising page.

Make sure to check out everyone’s blog posts this month for lots of ideas and inspiration:
Oct. 1 :ByAnnie.com Kick off

Oct. 3 : Emmaline Bags

Oct. 4: Hugs ‘N Kisses

Oct. 5: Clover and Violet

Oct. 6: Fat Quarter Shop and the Jolly Jabber

Oct. 7: Sewfinity

Oct. 10: Teresa Coates & Shannon Fabrics

Oct. 11:Beyond the Reef

Oct. 12: Sallie Tomato

Oct. 13: Suzn Quilts

Oct. 17: Snuggles Quilts

Oct. 20: Pat Sloan

Oct. 21: Knot and Thread Design

Oct.23: Sookie Sews 

Oct. 24: Mister Domestic

Oct. 26: A Bright Corner

Oct. 27: Sew Cute and Quirky

Oct. 1 : ByAnnie.com Final Wrap Up

Happy sewing!

Sew Together Tuesday at Pins and Needles (OH)

After eight weeks off the road, we had our first stop at Pins and Needles in Middleburg Heights, Ohio and boy was it a good one! More than 100 folks showed up for the livestreaming of Sew Together Tuesday. They were as excited to be there as I was and were just the cheerleaders I needed to get this season off on the right foot.

As you can tell, the store is huge! Owner Jan Brotek bought the building and converted half of the huge space in to a sewing machine and fabric store, while the other half became a classroom. It was amazing to get so many people in there, and they have it all wired up with microphone, speakers and a projection system so that everyone can take part. Ideal!

Located southwest of Cleveland, Pins and Needles sells new and used machines, including sewing , embroidery and long-arm quilting machines, as well as fabric, notions, patterns, tools, thread and much more. It was impressive!

Over the two days, I taught the Sweet Sixteen Pillow workshop, Self Binding Blanket workshop and the Sew Simple Blanket workshop to 50+ folks from all over the area. There were ladies who’d driven in from southern Ohio, as well as western Pennsylvania. What a fun crowd and some lovely finishes.

We managed to corral about half the class near the end to show off some of their projects outside the store (luckily it had stopped raining earlier!) .

Thank you so much to Pins and Needles for hosting Sew Together Tuesday and workshops with me. I had a great time with everyone and it was nice to see another part of Ohio! If you missed the show, you can watch via YouTube:

This week we’re live at Creative Passions Quilt Shop and Retreat Centers in Chesaning, MI. You can catch that one live Tuesday at 10amPST on the Shannon Fabrics YouTube and Facebook.

Happy sewing!

A Visit to the Dairy Barn Arts Center

Sometimes I know just enough about certain places to want to go, but not enough to tell you why you should go, too. Dairy Barn Arts Center was one of those places until last weekend when I took the opportunity to visit since we were in the area prepping for the Sew Together Tuesday tour. I knew that Quilt National was held there and that lots of famous quilters go… so it must be worth a visit, right? Definitely right.

Nestled in the trees surround Athens, Ohio (known in some circles as the home of Ohio University), the Dairy Barn Arts Center is in fact an old dairy barn that was saved and converted many years ago and has become the home to a number of beautiful quilt events and displays throughout the year.

The current exhibition is Layered and Stitched: 50 Years of Innovative Art and is on display for just a few more days. The show opens with an amazing piece by Ruth DeVos called “Not Even Solomon.”

Not Even Solomon by Ruth DeVos

What grabbed me most was the interplay of pieced work inside of other pieced work and maybe some applique? The blending of colors and combos struck me as something I’d like to try, too. You can find more of her work on her site: Ruth DeVos

Not Even Solomon (detail) by Ruth DeVos
Not Even Solomon (detail) by Ruth DeVos

I’m ashamed to admit that I almost passed this piece by Jenny Hearn with just a cursory glance. Then I noticed some of the details and had to stop and look.

Pele IV by Jenny Hearn

The big stitches caught my eye first, then the more detailed cross stitching and embroidery fills. There’s so much texture and color variations–it’s a gorgeous blend of fabrics and threads and layers.

Pele IV (detail) by Jenny Hearn

Earlier this year I signed up for a couple of classes on Creative Spark and one of them was with Valerie Godwin, so when i saw this quilt I recognized it as her style. Turns out it was hers and absolutely wonderful to see in-person. I love her takes on map-making and layering, so I really should get back and finish that class so I can try my own hand at it.

African Burial Ground II by Valerie Goodwin
African Burial Ground II (detail) by Valerie Goodwin

I love when someone turns quiltmaking on its head, or–as in this case–into a head. This piece by Susan Else is like nothing I’ve seen before. The details, the placement, the perfection deserved hours of inspection, truly.

Family Life by Susan Else
Family Life (detail) by Susan Else

Looking more like a painting from afar, I love the combination of handstitches, portraiture, traditional quilt blocks and vintage fabrics in this piece by Leslie Gabrielse. Much of his work is this same combination, sometimes adding in paints.

Star by Leslie Gabrielse
Star (detail) by Leslie Gabrielse

Here are a few more that grabbed my attention, but truly all were just amazing works.

American Still Life: The Weight of a Nation by The Pixeladies
The Drifter by Mary Pal
Certain Restrictions Do Apply by Carolyn Mazloomi
Geometric by Fumiko Nakayama

Taking the time to slowly wander through the gallery, looking closely at the different pieces and investigating their techniques did my creative brain a world of good. There are new things to make, do and explore that I’ll hold on to until I get the time to sit down with a bunch of scraps and try them out.

If you find yourself in southern Ohio, don’t miss the chance to visit the Dairy Barn Arts Center and visit their website to learn how to submit to Quilt National (it’s open now!).

Sew Together Tuesday hits the road again

Here we are, back at it again with another cross-country trip. In the spring and early summer we made our way across the southern states and all the way up to New Hampshire for classes. This time we are starting in Ohio and heading across the Midwest and over to the West coast for the winter, stopping at a new quilt shop every week to film an episode of Sew Together Tuesday.

If you’re near any of the shops along the way, I’d love to see you! Our Lives are open for anyone to come (though you’ll need to sign up through the store first) and watch behind the scenes as we broadcast my sewing endeavors on Facebook and YouTube. If you’re at home, you can watch it, too, of course!

Join me for a Sew Together Tuesday LIVE or a workshop (or three) at these shops. Reach out to the store directly to sign up:

08/30 Pins and Needles (Middleburg Heights, OH)
09/06 Creative Passions (Chesaning, MI)
09/13 Always in Stitches (Noblesville, IN)
09/20 Linda Z’s (Arlington Heights, IL)
9/27 Patched Works (Elm Grove, WI)
10/04 Sew Trendy MN (Eagan, MN)
10/11 Calico Hutch Quilt Shop (Hayward, MN)
10/15 Red Roxy Quilt Co (Decorah, IA) guest appearance
10/18 Inspired to Sew (Cedar Rapids, IA)
10/22 KC Maker Studio & Fabrics (Mission, KS) workshop only
10/25 Quilt Cabin (Colby, KS)
11/1 & 11/4 International Quilt Festival (Houston, TX)
11/8 Quilting Mayhem (Snohomish, WA)
11/15 Hunter’s Design Studio (online only)
11/16 Montavilla Sewing Center (Lake Oswego, OR) open sewing
11/29 Green’s Sew & Vac (Medford, OR)
12/06 Tater Patch (Merrill, OR)
12/13 Cali Quilt Co (Rancho Cordova, CA)

Continue reading “Sew Together Tuesday hits the road again”

Road Trip Reads: “This Long Thread” by Jen Hewett

I heard about This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection late last year and have been looking for it at quilt shops ever since we hit the road, but it wasn’t until I got the opportunity to visit Gather Here in Cambridge, Mass. that I finally found it. (They also have Jen’s Print, Pattern, Sew book!)

This Long Thread is the compilation of survey responses and essays from women of color about a variety of topics–some I can totally relate to and others that are a brand new perspective for me. The book is broken down into sections relating to the politics and history of crafting, the business and teaching side of it, the personal why of crafting and more. Each provides insight by women of a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and professions.

Continue reading “Road Trip Reads: “This Long Thread” by Jen Hewett”

Sew Together Tuesday: How to use Cuddle® Minky to Self-Bind a Cotton Quilt

This week I’m talking all about using Cuddle® on your cotton quilt, in particular about how to wrap the backing around and make an easy binding with Cuddle®. I’ll be live at 10am PDT/1pm EDT on Tuesday, June 14.

To help you out, I’ve made this PDF for reference to know how to make a mitered corner with Cuddle® and how to figure out the sizes to cut both the batting and backing.

Download the PDF: How to Make a Self-Bound Quilt

Continue reading “Sew Together Tuesday: How to use Cuddle® Minky to Self-Bind a Cotton Quilt”

Sew Together Tuesday: Ask Us Anything

When Hawke and I show up in shops, we often get asked the same questions each time, so we thought it would be fun to answer them for everyone and not just those that can get to our workshops. We had a handful of questions that had been sent in and then took live questions from folks. We had a ball and hopefully you’ll enjoy this look into our crazy lives.

We’ll be back next week at Bobbin & Bolt in Richmond, Virginia (join us in-person!) and talking all about embroidery with Cuddle®. Join us LIVE every week on YouTube or Facebook.

Happy sewing!

Quilts & the Museum of Appalachia

There are places I never knew existed, places in America that I didn’t have the slightest understanding about. One of those is the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee. We visited the museum and spent hours wandering the grounds, exploring the varied log cabins that are open to the public and admiring all the beautiful, handmade, and well-loved quilts.

Tied four-patch with sashing at Museum of Appalachia
Continue reading “Quilts & the Museum of Appalachia”

Self Binding the Glam Clam Quilt

Several years ago, I got a stack of fat quarters from the then-newly-released Grafic collection by Latifah Saafir. Immediately I decided I was going to finally put that Clammy ruler to use and make myself a clamshell quilt. First I made a few patchwork squares, then cut those and the rest of the 10” square pack into clamshells.Then I stacked them neatly and put them on a shelf…where they would live for the next five years.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who planned to do a Glam Clam quilt and never actually finished it because in 2021, Latifah started a Glam Clam Finish Along. Brilliant! Lots of folks signed up to cheer each other on and it was just the push I needed to start putting it together.

Continue reading “Self Binding the Glam Clam Quilt”

Old Dog, New Tricks

For years, I’ve played at the edge of hand-stitching without ever fully indulging in it. As a teenager I loved cross-stitch and made plenty of Christmas gifts for years using a variety of patterns. The first quilt I made was from a pattern using cross-stitch to make the focal clowns.

But then I sort of let the hobby go. I made a few store samples when Alison Glass’ Appliqué: The Essential Guide to Modern Appliqué (Lucky Spool, 2014) came out. I fawned over the Alabama Chanin patterns and books online. I bought, and actually stitched, a couple of kits from the Brooklyn Craft Company. I’ve been hand quilting my great-grandmother’s quilt for nearly a decade. I brought along embroidery hoops and the few floss colors I had with me in the RV. I signed up for Badass Cross Stitch’s Year Of Stitch on Patreon, then never visited the site again.

I’ve dabbled in hand stitching and needlework for decades.

My great-grandmother Emmie Mae Massingill pieced this quilt top by hand; I’m (ever-so-slowly) quilting it by hand.
Continue reading “Old Dog, New Tricks”