Made :: Griffin's Quilt

I could have titled this post: Things I made before life got really crazy. But I will be choose to be positive, haha. I'm spread a little thin today...too little sleep, a cranky and sick almost 3 year old, and an almost 2 month old who spit up nearly everything he ate today (twice). When I say spit up I don't mean your average spit up by the way. No sir. I'm talking quantity - splashing when it hits the floor and having to use thick baby blankets for burp cloths - this is life with little Griffy. I'll be happy when we're beyond this phase.

Quilt for our boy (any day...)
Quilt front

I had wanted to make a "real" quilt for some time and figured what better occasion than for Griffin's arrival. I love sewing but am not so great at it - working on that! But I know the basics of quilting and what I was looking for so in many ways it came together easily. I had a specific little stash of fabrics I'd picked up from Hart's over the months. I'm big on red, aqua, orange...and am happy to have most other colors come to play as well, just in smaller quantity. I also very much appreciate white as a background color.

Dark photo sorry - arranging fabrics on my felt wall

I cut 9"ish by 16"ish sized rectangles and sewed them together to make a generous crib size. It took one of Bird's naptimes. Then another naptime was spent cutting out the fabric for the back (LOVE the AMH flannels - so soft!) and the organic bamboo batting and basting it all together. I finished the quilting and binding the day after that. My kind of project - super quick and love the results. And Griffin is currently napping on it.

Quilt for our boy (any day...)
My hummingbird print from school days

A quilt for our boy (any day...)
Yummy mix of cotton & linen, backed in flannel

A quilt for our boy (any day...)
Happy with my first (super simple) quilt!

I will definitely keep quilting! It's super gratifying to make your own objects of cozy & color. Next time I may try something more technical and would of course love to use my own fabrics. Griffin's quilt has just one of mine - a screenprint of hummingbirds from my days at RISD.

Tummy sleeper on his quilt
Griffy approves

Have you tried quilting? What's the best part for you? Picking out fabrics? (mine is!)

Hugs, Devon

Felt Garlands, Family, & Keeping Traditions

Felt Garland

We're fully recovered around here from a family Thanksgiving and, wow, now it's almost the 2nd week of December! To celebrate the season with at least one handmade item I cut 200+ felt circles and sewed them up into the most cheerful garland. There's nothing that can lift your spirits like stringing swags of colorful circles all over your backyard and taking pictures. Wish I could leave them out there - if but for the rain. Tonight the garland will go on the Christmas tree that we just cut down in the Santa Cruz mountains yesterday. I love traditions.

Our Thanksgiving was a flurry of family & food (much like most people's I imagine!). My parents flew in from Germany & my brother and his lovely wife were here by car from Florida in one leg of their road trip for upcoming work they have (and a move to Oaxaca, Mexico!). We had fun in Golden Gate Park in SF, went on lots of walks, and Bird had WAY more attention & audience than normal & took full advantage.


My parents stayed in my studio so I checked myself out from most work for the week (& blogging, & twitter, etc..). It was refreshing to have a break. And have more hands here that wanted to take Bird to the playground & help with dinner. How nice.


Bird is really pushing my limits lately with her 2.5 year old'ness and I'm having to adjust my attitude to compensate. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of this over the years. Wish I could just be happy and relaxed ALL day rather than feel my patience grow majorly thin by the time evening rolls around. I've definitely threatened out loud that I'm finally going to get the backpack leash - for REAL this time. It's exacerbated by being beyond 6mths pregnant and starting to feel the drag of the new baby on my body just a little more. Still, it's been awesome to feel pretty much as good as I did when I was pregnant with Bird. I'm still doing Zumba classes, walking every day with our crazy hound dog, giving Bird tosses in the air, and still have enough energy for the late night ceramic class I've been taking for a few weeks (which is crazy fun).

Today I have our super lovely babysitter here (this is why I'm blogging) & finally am getting some work done. I've got a series of patterns in the works for a new collection - they're based off a gorgeous little city in France we spent time in last May. I can't wait to show you some of it!

For now, here's a picture from the the Santa Cruz mountains searching out the perfect tree :o)

Santa Cruz Mountains

Have a fabulous day!
Hugs, Devon

Penguins, Owls, Wood, Ink, Fabric & Felt - that crazy time of year

WIPs for fall show & sale

So here's what I've been up to! Bet you thought I was just playing at pumpkin patches all the time based on my last posts ;o) All I can say is it's hard balancing being the cool, fun mama and the productive artist/designer, as well as keep up with other parts of life (did I mention all the renovation projects going on around here??).

WIPs for fall show & sale

I have a sale coming up on the 4th - I do it every year because it's just so fun. Basically I get to hang out with designers & architects & all sorts of other creative folks for a night of shopping & selling. And I usually do really well. I'm going on year 5 with them. This year I have more of what I usually offer (plushes, brooches, itty bitty hair clips, etc) with one BIG difference. All my sewn products this year are made with my own fabric!! Can you believe it? I can't!

This is a really positive step in the direction I want to go & I'm so excited to share it with you. I feel like even a year ago it seemed out of reach to get it together and design/print fabrics, much less end up with finished products in my hands to show for it. To be totally honest I was somewhat disappointed by my first round of prints from Spoonflower - many of my colors were deeper or lighter than expected, or bloomed in a way that I felt threw off the print. I also saw issues with scale and proportion. But really I needed to give myself a break and realize that this is part of the process & it's impossible to get it perfect the first time round. I don't know why I'm so hard on myself, sheesh.

Happily, I have enough fabric to put together a great group of new products and I'm thrilled with them. And a little cranky from the late nights working, haha.

WIPs for fall show & sale

My friend Cheryl reminded me (thank goodness at the beginning of the month & not at the end!) that I'm the featured artist for November for a gallery space in Santa Cruz. I had totally forgotten. Really. Where's my brain huh? So things are actually more busy than usual - I have several painted pieces on wood I'm pulling together (as well as some original watercolors & some pieces of framed printed fabrics) and will install on the 1st. Then I have the sale on the 4th, then the show opening on the 5th. Then I will crash & sleep on the 6th.

WIPs for fall show & sale

I've also been having fun catching up with family popping in unexpectedly & hosting another Creative Night at my studio with an awesome bunch of artists & designers. There's so much going on this time of year. Just need to hang on and go with it.

WIPs for fall show & sale

And this week puts me at halfway through the pregnancy! I've felt so much better over the last few weeks (just in time for all this craziness). We're already brainstorming on how to best design Bird's room to hold two kiddos (eventually - we'll have baby #2 in our room for first 6mths probably) and still be a place for fun & creativity. There is so much inspiration online - my favorite place to check out is Ohdeedoh. Definitely visit the site if you haven't before!

WIPs for fall show & sale

Now it's back to work for me...Bird's still sleeping so I need to hustle! Thanks so much for stopping by.

And I'm curious~ is this a crazy busy time of year for you too? What are you working on?


Sewing: Phylo gets a new collar

New collar
It's not easy to photograph a wiggly GSP who'd much rather be hunting mice who have been hiding in the garden (you should see the hole Phylo dug by the garage...), much less with a wide angle lens I have to hold inches from his face (counting the days till I have my Nikon kit lens back...SO over the wide angle). But here he is in his fresh new collar!

New collar
The collar was originally from
Annie's Sweat Shop on etsy - super cute, got it 3 years ago and it's been through the wash a million times, plus lived the GSP life. It was dangling by threads about a week ago. So I ordered cotton webbing, perused my fabric stash for durable fabric that would complement Phylo's lovely brown spotted white fur, and studied his old collar.

New collar
The sewing part was really easy actually. I drew myself little sketches to remember which way to loop the fabric through the parts & then (just like with a painting or any other project) proceeded carefully with each step. The final touch is a "silent tag"...attached to the collar using grommets (first punching little holes for the grommets with an awl). I love it! And it's adorable on our boy. The fabric is by
Etsuko Furuya and is a linen/cotton blend, nice and sturdy. I actually used a more lightweight webbing for the interfacing because my sewing machine frankly can't handle any more than that - and it barely handled this project. I got at least two "safety warnings" as I slowly prodded the needle through all those layers.

Now to keep him from digging holes and getting his new collar all filthy!
Hugs, Devon

My helper
ps: This is what not napping looked like yesterday - Bird helped me construct an ikea shelf. We had a really great time - my girl loves tools!!

New Fabric Patterns: Bunny Sunday & Nancy Flora

Since the beginning of the Summer I've been in a different work mode. No more murals. No more side jobs. No more plushes. Etc., etc., etc. It was a difficult, slightly squeamish decision but a good one. So what am I doing with my time (besides being with Bird full time save for a morning of babysitting 1x a week)? Well, thanks for asking! I'm finally working on fabric again. It's a wonderful exciting feeling. I'm meeting awesome fabric peeps on twitter & by visiting inspiring blogs and am trying to steep myself in the world of textile design once again. It really was a LONG time ago now that I was in school for textiles. I graduated in 2000 from RISD and it was only in my final year there that I did any textile work on the computer (using CAD for textiles) and only in my very last semester of school that I used Photoshop & Illustrator. Wow, that makes me feel kind of old :0

Flash forward to today...what isn't on the computer?? Really, the most important consideration is how much easier it is now to be a designer of textiles. I felt so stymied after school without a fancy CAD system. There was no way I could work freelance without having a space for hand screen printing fabrics (which I really wanted but never pulled off fully) or some kind of computer design support (which didn't really exist, at least not to me at that time).

Now we have amazing companies like Spoonflower (and Fabric on Demand which I haven't tried yet, as well as other companies - check out True Up's post on this topic) that enable you to easily print whatever you want to on fabric.

Last month I designed a pattern called Nancy Flora (Nancy is a city in France we fell in love with while visiting family). I definitely have some disconnect with the colors, and I feel squidgy about the pattern - it's not quite right, not balanced. It's also possible that the scale is off. But no worries, I'm moving ahead! It's so important for me right now to just KEEP GOING! There are so many distractions in my life as it is. Better to just keep being fresh, current, and inspired by a new day.

fabric designs June & July
Black & white sketch

fabric designs June & July
Sketch colored in Photoshop

Nancy Flora, Spoonflower print
Fat quarter of Nancy Flora, printed with Spoonflower on quilting cotton

Nancy Flora, Spoonflower print
2 printed samples of Nancy Flora, one on linen cotton canvas & the other on upholstery weight twill. There was a little oops! at the factory I believe but an understandable one - the samples were printed from two different files (with very slightly different color variations) so it's difficult to compare them based on base cloth.

I've been working on a new pattern called Bunny Sunday. This is a watercolor sketch that I scanned into the computer and then did modifications on in Photoshop.

fabric designs June & July
Loving blues & peach lately

fabric designs June & July
My original watercolor painting of the pattern

Bunny Sunday, in the blue & peach repeat

I'm still not sure what scale this should be...teeny tiny to match all the teeny details? Or each running bunny at 2 or 3 inches long? I'm also admittedly not satisfied with the current repeat...I think I'm just over complicating things. I may revisit. After starting a new pattern. Really - have to keep going with this momentum.

The most exciting news however (!) and definitely to feed the momentum is that I was moved from the waiting list onto the enrolled list for Heather Ross's class in Portland later in the month. It's a 3 day class focusing on exactly what I've been working on - creating textile designs using Photoshop and printing with an on-demand printer (we'll be using Spoonflower).

Pinch me!!

I feel so grateful.

Tthanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the new designs. If you sew/craft what would you use these fabrics for?

hugs, Devon

Drawing, Painting, & Granny Square Gluttony

We're getting ready for a trip to Germany (and France because we'll be so close & because we simply HAVE to!) to see my parents and get a little time off from the day to day. So things are busy busy as we prepare for traveling with our not quite yet 2yr old (which means she'll be in our laps for 10 hours :dread:) and getting things shipshape at home with house sitting, pet sitting, farm share picking up, etc, etc...makes me realize how many responsibilities we carry around on a daily basis.

I've been painting - yes! Joy! And working on a project specifically for my sister in law who makes custom purses. It's very exciting and I'll share more as it develops.

I've been so inspired by SPRING. Maybe because it's been dragging its feet 'round these parts. Maybe because I'm just a total sun worshipper and I can't help myself.

I've been so happy to sit at my work table with my pencil & watercolors and float colors across awesome heavy paper and make the images from my head pop into real illustrations.

It's like a big drink of water when you're thirsty.

Bird's long afternoon naps have been a huge blessing (we're still trading Peter for Paul though as she's been going to bed late & occasionally getting up at night, but 's okay).

It's especially sweet to see Bird taking an interest in painting too! Her favorite kind so far is coating the deck, adirondack chairs, garden beds, and our dog Phylo with a water soaked paintbrush. I give her a big fat one that holds a ton of water and she's thrilled. Too fun.

When my MIL was here a few weeks ago she renewed my love of the granny square, heh heh. They're SO addictive!! I figured it out that if I were to crochet one every night for the next 187 days I'd have a decent sized blanket. That thought made me feel like it was a deadline or something and I stopped crocheting for a few nights.

Happy Monday to you and hope your week is wonderful!

:o) :o)

Handsome Devil

Meet Benoit.

He's an owling plush I just made special for someone who was coveting her friend's owling plush (which was only the second one I had ever made).

His face fabric is cut from something I'd originally planned to cover an antique couch cushion with. It is much more appropriate for owlings I've realized.

Benoit is extra extra huggable. 

Just look at that girth. 

Only for an owling plush is it okay to carry such a wide load. There's no shame in it.

His back fabric is my very own. Vintage '99 from my RISD days in the textile department. It's a nice long rhythmic spot pattern with a hummingbird overlay - all screen printed by yours truly.

I miss screen printing so much. Not so much the set up. Nor the clean up. But the printing - oh, swoon! It's almost too much for my instant gratification button to handle.

And look into those great big blues...this owling is not only wise, but very sweet. He will be missed. He is brilliant on our LR sofa. If I wasn't so tired/busy/tired/unmotivated I would sew another. I couldn't anyway, actually. I have only scraps left of both fabrics. So Benoit is the last of his kind.

And sadly but not so sadly, Benoit may also be the last big owling I make for a long time. Last of all my plush actually.

If you've been contemplating getting a plush from me (owling, penguin, elephant, etc.) better hit me up now! I'm headed back to fabric design with some big, fun plans for my first collection

I can't wait to show you what I'm talking about. :o)

This afternoon I'm painting a little phrase on a client's back garden wall. Then we're headed to our friends house for a bbq. We used to live next door to them. It was fun...casual anytime visits, drinking champagne on the porch, the guys racing & wrecking their RC cars. Good times. Now they have two little girls and we have our one. Still good times, just readjusted a bit :o)

Have a terrific weekend!

Birthday Banner - done & hung!

Thought I'd share pics of the finished sewn birthday banner I posted about the other came out so cute & I very much recommend it as a project for a child's birthday or as an accent for their room.

It's not difficult sewing & if you're not comfortable free handing the text you can always use the freezer paper stencil transfer method that Alicia suggests in her book.

Such fun!

All in the details

Miranda's birthday was on the 8th, but her party is scheduled for this weekend.  I, of course, have dreamed up all sorts of things I'd love to do for her 1st birthday party.  I've whittled that wish list down a lot though as we're so busy as usual, and shoot, we're tired!  We have Jared's parents here which is SO wonderful and we're busy bee'ing it some more by building our backyard deck over these next couple of days.

One thing I did decide to do for the Bird's party was make a birthday banner. In this case a banner that can then be hung in her room and add to the cuteness. I love Alicia Paulson's book "Stitched in Time" and got the idea and most of the instruction from there (I say most because I almost always look at the pictures then make my own hybrid). In this case I end up with the same look but did different construction methods (sewed scallops right sides together then flipped right side out and top stitched, rather than sewing wrong sides together then edging with pinking shears). I also drew the letters on by hand instead of using freezer paper stencils. I picked my standby favorite font "one forty seven" for the letters.

I still have to cut and sew the binding that will hold the letters together. Tomorrow. Hopefully. The ends will have loops to enable it to be hung from wherever. I'm thinking of hanging it from one of our big trees or from the patio umbrella. And when it's in the Bird's room it can stretch sweetly across the space (like those adorable sewn flag banners you see around).

Fun project!

A Party Dress

Miranda turns one tomorrow today!

I've been preparing a few things for the Bird's birthday party in a couple of weeks.  One thing I wanted to do was make her a cute something to wear for her party.  I had picked up the book "Weekend Sewing" by Heather Ross a little while back and fell in love with the super easy smocked sundress pattern for babies & kids.

I also love love love Heather's fabrics. Especially her latest line which is printed on double gauze (delicious) and named "Far Far Away".  Awwww :o)  I went with unicorns on lovely peachy orange.

The fun thing about the sundress is that it's essentially just a rectangle of fabric that's given shape by sewing with elastic thread (pseudo smocking).  I picked up elastic from Joann's online (Heather's site has a link to a shop selling a huge amount on a roll) and, as instructed, hand wound it onto a bobbin (yes, you sew with it in your bobbin & not as your needle thread).

It sewed super well, absolutely a dream to sew with.  And sure enough, the fabric pulls right in and it looks like smocking! Awesome!  I can see using the elastic for other things too...closures, waistbands, cuffs, decorative details, etc.

I still have to finish the bottom dress hem.  Trying to decide if I should make the dress a little shorter than average and pair it with capris.  It'd certainly be easier for Miranda to crawl in that way.  Then again, she could be walking any day...

Besides the smocked sundress, I definitely plan to try a few other patterns from the book - bloomers, pants, sundress for me...  Really, it's a rad book that's chock full of projects that actually look doable (at least for this beginner/intermediate self-taught sewer).

Next up, fabric name banner!

Oh if only there were more hours...especially napping and bedtime hours ;o)

xo, dh

ps: Nearly forgot to mention this...which tells you how deteriorated my brain has become these days...there is a video showing exactly how to make the sundress - it's Heather Ross on the Martha Stewart show actually sewing it up herself.  She's so great!!  Enjoy.

Shop Update::Wooly Flora Brooches

In the shop now!

4 new Wooly Flora Brooches

Made with my own handmade felts (and some Belgian flat felt) - all 100% wool and super soft and pretty.

Teeny stitches and french knots, with layered felt leaves, and pinbacks to finish them off. These totally make an outfit!

As usual, hard to resist keeping one for myself...

Have a lovely day :o)
xo, devon

And here we go

Off to Florida for my brother's wedding...

Ready to get dressed up (still have to finish Mbird's headband - there's a peek below), enjoy the ocean and some sunshine, and have a little vacation...goodness knows we need it! I know it may not be restful, but at least it will be something different.

Hope you all have a lovely Easter :o) See you in a week!
xo, devon

My 1st etsy sale!

Maggie the Owl Plush has found a home in NYC! I hope she enjoys the city life and has lots of adventures ahead. Thanks to India y La Luna shop on etsy for putting me in her treasury list and therefore getting me noticed so soon into my etsy days! Please visit her shop and check out her beautiful work - earrings which I will be buying a pair of soon, and the cutest little baby rattles. And of course check out my shop too - I'm going to be posting more plushes in a couple days - 2 whales and a penguin and more mini owls.