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Timestamp: 2009-04-30 17:06:04 UTC
So, according to the random number generator, the winner of Sewing Green by Betz White is Mandy!
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Betz White, author of Sewing Green, 25 Projects Made with Repurposed and Organic Materials. If you don't already have a copy of this book, I think you are missing out. Betz has filled it with fantastic projects, aimed at the advanced beginner to intermediate sewer. There is everything from a reversible skirt and produce bags to a car sunshade and log shaped draft buster. We talked about two of the baby projects.
. . . . .
Erin: Hi, Betz.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about your new book,
Sewing Green. I received my copy a few
weeks ago and really have enjoyed looking through it. It’s so inspiring! There are many projects that I want to
make. I chose to start with the baby
quilt because a dear friend of mine just had her first baby and I wanted to
make her something special.
Putting this quilt together was fun and easy! You did a great job on the project design and instructions. I love that you call for organic materials for this quilt. Why do you think using organics for babies is so important?
Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed making it. It’s very sweet! Organic
cotton fabrics are such a natural choice for babies. Everything from the cultivation
of the fiber to the production of the fabric is done without the use of toxic
chemicals. (Inversely, the production of conventional cotton uses 25% of the
world’s pesticides!) We do so much to protect our babies and their sensitive
systems from the time we are pregnant to their earliest days and on through
their youth. We feed them healthy and organic foods, wash their clothing in
mild detergent, etc. Wrapping them in organic cotton is just one more way to be
gentle to their bodies.
Erin: When my girls were born seven and nine
years ago, there weren’t many organic fabrics on the market. The few options that were available were all
very similar, as well – mostly unbleached and undyed cottons. There are so many more choices now! Both the darling aqua print on the front of
the quilt and the snuggly sherpa on the back are organic cottons. Have you also noticed that organic fabrics
are easier to find? Why do you think
Erin: When my girls were born seven and nine years ago, there weren’t many organic fabrics on the market. The few options that were available were all very similar, as well – mostly unbleached and undyed cottons. There are so many more choices now! Both the darling aqua print on the front of the quilt and the snuggly sherpa on the back are organic cottons. Have you also noticed that organic fabrics are easier to find? Why do you think that is?
Betz: I agree! My boys are the same ages as your girls and the market has definitely started to change since they were babies. However, there is still a long way to go. I encourage everyone to consider organics when buying new fabrics. You’ll be doing right by the environment and yourself. Money talks and we can increase demand for these sustainable practices by choosing organics. (Shown here: Aqua print by Harmony Art Organics. Organic sherpa backing from NearSea Naturals) Look for more organic fabric options hitting the market soon, including (fingers crossed) a line from yours truly!
Erin: Really? That's exciting! The batting you sent me for the quilt is made out of corn! So cool! It was wonderful to use and it’s better for the planet than a traditional cotton batting. Why is using eco-friendly materials a better choice?
Crazy that your quilt is made with corn, huh? The fiber is referred to as PLA,
a polymer made from lactic acid found in corn. It’s manmade but 100% nature
based, breathable, washable and biodegradable. Other batting made from
poylester is not biodegradable, but there are some made with recycled
polyester. Sometimes the most “eco-friendly” option isn’t clear, so it’s up to
us to educates ourselves and be aware of false “eco” claims, otherwise known as
E: The stuffed dog is such a sweet toy! I really enjoyed making it. It’s made with a felted cashmere sweater. I love taking something that was meant for one use and giving it a second life as something else. I know you do a lot of that, too. Can you recommend other items that can be repurposed for children and babies?
A washed cashmere sweater has got to be my number one favorite repurposed
material for babies. Dad’s soft sweats or flannel shirt are also nice materials
for baby pants or tops.
Erin: I think you did a fabulous job with this book. After reading it, I find myself thinking twice before running out to the fabric store. Instead I’m looking around me and seeing how I can use what I have. Thanks for the inspiration and for taking time to chat with me.
Betz: Thanks for hosting me on the tour!
. . . . .
There's more! Betz and STC Craft are generously giving away a copy of her book, Sewing Green. To be eligible for the drawing, leave a comment on this post before Thursday, April 30th at 1:00 p.m. EST. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.
As a side note: I followed Betz's directions exactly on the quilt and the dog. Everything in these two patterns - amounts of materials needed, directions, etc. - was completely accurate.
I'll be back tomorrow.
Some Sewing Green,
stitching up camera straps,
and a small, on-the-go knitting project have been keeping me busy this week. It's been fun to sew by hand, with the machine and knit all in the same week. I haven't done that much multi-crafting in a long while!
I hoe you have a fantastic weekend. I am off to Chicago to reconnect with my high school friends at our 20th reunion. I'll be back next week with some shop news and to welcome Betz White when she stops by on Wednesday. See you then!
I hope you had a nice weekend. Ours was slow and easy, full of different projects and activities. We ended it with a family meal and the news that I do not have to go in for jury duty this week. That was a pleasant surprise.
I posted about Boomerang! late on Friday afternoon. This morning, I was introduced to The Magnifying Glass, a fantastic collaborative blog between Stefani and Eren. It's all about exploring nature and getting outside with your kids, something we surely could do more now that spring is here. Coincidentally, they are giving away some free Boomerang episodes on their new blog. You can read more about it here. What a fantastic opportunity!
I just got home from boot camp in the rain. I have wet shoes which make for cold toes. I think a hot shower and a cup of coffee are in order. And after that, I'm going to sew. That should make for a delightful day. What are you looking forward to doing this April Monday?
We downloaded an episode of this audiomagazine right before our spring break trip. Really, Fatty did the downloading because all things ipod related fall into his realm. He loaded it on Jane's ipod and my ipod for Kate. Both girls listened to it on the plane ride to Mexico. And then they listened to it again on the ride back home. Jane called it talk radio for kids and she's right.
I can see why they like it. It's educational and fun - kind of like NPR for the younger set. I liked listening to it and found myself learning a few new things as well. I knew the kids were sold on it and now so am I. I am going to subscribe - that's one issue a month. The bonus for me is that we can plug the ipod into the car stereo and all listen to it together while roadtripping this summer. Or they can put the headphones on and listen to it while Fatty and I rock out to something else. Sweet.
Go and check out the Boomerang! website. You can find out more of the specifics and see what it's all about. There is also a Boomerang! blog that is full of great ideas for things you can do with your kids. The easiest way to get Boomerang! is to buy it directly from the website - you can browse the episode list to get back issues, too. I am still somewhat amazed that this wonderful, kid-friendly, educational resource has been around for a long time and I didn't know about it. If you like it, please spread the word. I'd like to see Boomerang! around for many more years.
I love good mail, but surprise good mail is even better. Melissa sent me some cute potholders. They are so fantastic and were used pretty much as soon as the package was opened. Not only are they super cute, but they are well-loved. Just look at the melted butter stain. Thank you, friend. Your thoughtfulness made my day week.
I now have an overwhelming urge to stop camera strap production and whip up a bunch of potholders. Seriously. I already have the insulated batting and lots of fabric on hand. Hmmm....
Resistance is probably futile.
I know some of you are waiting for the shop announcement which I promised would be mid-April. It's about that time, isn't it? Yes, it is. I've been silently working on camera straps, getting them ready to sell. But I hate to tell you, I can't give you a date, yet. Production is right on schedule and all the other little bits are falling into place. That's not the problem. No, my problem is much bigger and beyond my control: Federal Jury Duty.
I've been on call for jury duty since the beginning of March and thought I was going to escape an actual summons. Until this past Friday when the letter came in the mail, that is. So it looks like next week, I'll be at the courthouse instead of here, at home, opening my little shop. I am not comfortable throwing the proverbial doors wide open and not being around my computer to handle any unforeseen problems. Additionally, the time I do have at home will be limited and I know my attention will be needed elsewhere. Something has got to give and this time it's the shop. Sorry.
I will let you know an actual date just as soon as I can. There is a slight chance I won't have to go in at all next week, but I am not counting on it. Regardless, I will give you two or three days notice before I put anything up for sale. Sound good?
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Ours was wonderful with too much candy and lots of good friends. The girls are off from school today and so far this morning have been reading their new books and puttering around the house. I am sure we will gear up to do something this afternoon, probably stand on a bench, but otherwise, it promises to be a mellow day. I like that.
Over the past week, I have been thumbing through my copy of Betz White's new book, Sewing Green. I was really excited to receive my copy of it. Betz is doing a blog tour similar to Heather Ross's. She has alread made a few stops and, lucky me, House on Hill Road is one of her final destinations! I encourage you to check out these posts - Betz has great tips and info to share and look, I see lots of giveaways!
Monday, 4/6, True Up, Q & A and giveaway
Tuesday, 4/7 U-handbag, Review and giveaway
Wednesday, 4/8, Craftzine, Sandwich wraps, giveaway, and Q&A
Thursday, 4/9, This is Love Forever, Furoshiki, giveaway
Friday, 4/10, Knotions, Thrift shop savvy for knits, giveaway
Monday, 4/13, Craftypod, Review and giveaway
Tuesday, 4/14, Crafting a Green World, Review and giveaway
Wednesday, 4/15, Freshly Blended, Review and giveaway
Thursday, 4/16, Etsy Storque, Announcement of Etsy Lab Tyvek project
Friday, 4/17, Make Grow Gather, Q&A with photos, giveaway
Tuesday, 4/21, Philly Etsy, Review, Q&A, giveaway
Wednesday, 4/22, Whip Up, Applique tips and tricks, giveaway
Thursday, 4/23, Wardrobe Refashion, Thrift shop savvy for sewing, giveaway
Monday, 4/27, Morsbags, Review and giveaway
Tuesday, 4/28, Heart Handmade, Inspiration and ideas, giveaway
Wednesday, 4/29, House on Hill Road, Organics for baby, giveaway
Thursday, 4/30, Craft Sanity, Q&A, giveaway
You can find additional information and updates to the tour on the STC Craft|Melanie Falick Books blog.
OK - that's it today. I have camera straps to make and a house to get in order. Have a fantastic day.
Thank you all so very much. I am so touched by your kind words and encouragement. Parenting is hard and it's good to know that everyone has those bad days. Yesterday was better, not great, but better. And I have high hopes for today, too. I refuse to give up even though there are moments that make me want to. I wish I had time to respond to you all individually. Please know I read all my comments and really appreciate the time you take to share with me. Thank you.
Good things for today:
- Fatty was home a little later this morning so we got to spend some extra time together.
- Both girls said, "I love you, Mom" on their way out of the car.
- Dinner is mostly made and the house is picked up.
- I have finished 27 of 96 single girl quilt squares - over 1/4 the way done!
Hope you have a fantastic Thursday!
Yesterday I never got to my want-to list.
It was a bad parenting afternoon. The kind where they aren't cooperating with me and I am letting them know it and it does none of us any good. I was in a pitiful state by the end of the day and most of it was my own doing. I feel like I am failing my daughters, that they need more from me, but I don't know how to give it, or more precisely, what exactly to give.
Sometimes I worry that I give the impression that it's all bright and shiny here, that there are always pretty things to look at and that I have no worries. I admit that I put my best face on when I am in this space. I try to keep a positive outlook here because negative thinking really gets me nowhere. Well, nowhere good, that is. Life is life, however - there are ups and downs, good days and bad. And I am not exempt. I have my struggles, too.
Today is my good thing is that it is a new day. I get to start fresh. I can focus on my children and try to parent them in a way that works for all of us. It's a have-to and a want-to - top of the list in both categories. If I can end the day on a good note, with everyone cared for and happy, I'll call it a success. If not, I'll try again tomorrow. And again the day after that.
I've been so busy - I am still working through my have-to's! I am pretty pleased that all the laundry from our trip is officially done. Woot! Maybe I will get to the want-to's later this afternoon.
And the first good thing for this Tuesday? I get to wear my February Lady Sweater one more time before putting it away for the winter season. The second good thing? Whole Foods actually had ground turkey so dinner should be a breeze.
All this positive thinking must be working. I don't even care that it is 40 degrees and kind of snowing. Happy Tuesday!
Hello there. We're home from the sun, getting back in to our routines. Yesterday morning, I woke up and decided that I need a plan to tackle everything I have to do and still have time to do the things I want to do. You know what I am talking about....that elusive thing called balance. I started by mapping out my week - writing down all the commitments, sports practices, etc. Then I planned our meals and made a grocery list. After I went to the store and cleaned up from lunch, I escaped up to the sewing room and frittered away the afternoon. See? Have-to and want-to, all in the same day. This morning, I cleaned the cat box, returned some phone calls and then cleared my desk and cleaned out a closet. I put dinner in the slow cooker and did some dishes. Now I am going to treat myself with an hour of sewing before I have to get the girls from school. It's my own little reward system. Have-to first. Want-to second. Hopefully, I can keep it up and manage to get a lot done in the meantime. I'll let you know how it works out.
Heather is posting good things about each day on her blog this week. I love this idea because it focuses on the positive which is so much nicer to think about than all those negative things that can get us down. Good things on this Monday:
- Kate was up and dressed, ready to go before I even got out of bed. She said she wanted to make my morning easier. Love that.
- I cut all the daffodils from the yard and they are making me smile.
- I am happy to be home because I love it here.
I hope your day is full of good things and that you get your have-to's done so you can have some want-to's also.