I love pink. 
It's true. I love pink the way other people love chocolate or the beach or sport teams. It's ok. I took years of feminist theory. I have analyzed gender roles. I don't think women should stay home or wear aprons. I don't think guys should have to love football or fix stuff. I hate the term "throw like a girl." I wish we gave every kid dump trucks and dolls and let them play in the dirt equally. I used to play in the dirt. I used to eat worms and play baseball.  But when it comes down to it, I love pink. I love sewing, and I love skirts. So my projects are not usually very gender neutral. 

That said, my best customers and inspirations as of late have been Drew's kids. They are boys boys. They are: jump off, push off, throw things off, punch into, dump out, climb up, build, crash, yell, kind of boys. Yet they both love my sewing. They love the things that I make and each time they see me at my sewing machine someone asks "when are you going to make that bag/mask/coat/quilt for my bunny?" So I made them quilts for Christmas. You probably didn't know there was flannel construction fabric or silver skull & crossbones cotton. But there is. And it will make you two cozy blankets and happy kids. Here they are at xmas. 

Lucas (4) with Construction Blanket
Owen (6 at xmas, now 7) with Pirate Blanket
And me, demonstrating, what I intended to do with the blankets: somehow fasten velcro or ties to make the blankets double as capes...next time....

Grow Baby Grow!

Updated Audrey &  blanket photos and this sweet note from Caroline: 
here are two uptodate images of audrey loving her quilt. it's funny, the buttery yellows in the quilt were so pretty we got her yellow sheets that match. see how contagious a great color is?


Sweet Baby in Yellow

Many many of my friends are entering baby mode which, for a someone who loves to sew small things, is a perfect reason to try out new projects. Last Winter/Spring I began making a series of "hooded" baby blankets with cotton on one side and flannel on the other and little reversible hoods. They were actually really easy to put together. They're reversible for warmer/cooler weather and babies can be swaddled tight or just play peek-a-boo with the hood. 
My wonderful friends Caroline & Tim, who I lived with in San Francisco, had baby Audrey in the Fall of 2007. Caroline sent me this photo of Audrey wearing my blanket, which I love. This was at the height of my yellow phase. This phase resulted in obsessive yellow purchases: a yellow bag on the way home from a conference, a yellow scarf on the streets of New York, a yellow cardigan from Target, a yellow dress from a store on Newbury St in Boston with Drew just before getting caught in a rain storm.  For Audrey it meant all yellow fabric; yellow calico on one side, yellow flannel on the other. 
  I had a perfect summer visit when them on the RI shore this August and met Audrey for the first time. She is a delicious baby with tremendous pouty lips and a curious and sweet demeanor. She is, what one might call, terrible birth control.


Summer Quilts

These are the summer quilts, or: What happened when I just gave in to the fabric. 

1. Sunburst: 
This quilt started from reading beautiful sewing books and finally accepting that I had absolutely no interest in following a pattern. I had swatches of fabric that I loved. I had memories of my mom blocking out queen size quilts and sewing perfect crisp patterns. Part of me wanted to do that, but most of me didn't. I wanted to make hundreds of baby-size quilts that were impossible to describe or make patterns for. So I just started cutting and sewing. 
I cut pieces without measuring and started piecing this soft puzzle together. 
Cotton and linen and flannel. 
Around and around and around. 
It was July 
I was in love with yellow 
It was insanely fun to sew
2. Sun & Grass
I began making this pinwheel sun and couldn't decide what to do with it. 
And then it seemed like there should be a landscape around it.
Which made sense because what could be better than
fields of green calico and silk.

3. Little Boxes
This was the closest I got to sewing a formal quilt. The little japanese house & bird fabric is ridiculously adorable. Seriously, don't your ovaries explode a little bit just looking at it? 
This was a very simple pieced quilt with larger boxes in the right bottom that tumble into smaller boxes. 
When it was finished, I spent car rides and hours on couches hand stitching around the houses. 
I fell in love with orange thread and the little orange birds flying behind the houses.

Milkweed & bobble-headed flower Quilts

Here are two of the quilts I was working on before the fluttery heart ones. 

1. Milkweed 
Inspired by some long skis outside. 
I think milkweed pods are so beautiful, especially in the winter.

2. Bobble Headed Green Flowers. 
I'm terrible at following real quilt designs so have started free-handing them. 
These little green scraps (mostly left over from Meg's wedding quilt) 
wanted to become flowers. 

Isn't she lovely?

My 1943 Singer Featherweight
Everything should be made like this machine. 
Classic, durable, lovely. 

I say, screw plastic.


Valentine's Day Quilt

I took Casey to the vet today for her check up. Then we went to Ben Franklin to buy some pink fabric for the new quilt. New Quilt. Those are great words. Here are some new pics. You can pretend you don't love hearts, but you should. 

Hearts & Cards

Nine years ago I decided to make Valentine's day cards for all of my favorite people. I didn't like Valentine's day with all of the expectations, horrible hallmark cards and boring red roses. But I loved hearts. And I loved paper. In my Boston apartment, I staged my own rebellion. Mass producing card after card. It was a lot of work. I had glue on my fingertips for weeks. I was up in the wee hours of the night finishing.  I was surrounded by scraps and clippings of paper. They stuck to my floorboards and showed up in my bags. I was tired for work and, like every project I start, I underestimated the time and was outstandingly overwhelmed in the end. I was pretty sure I wouldn't attempt a second year. But at the bottom of the work, I loved it. I loved addressing the envelopes to friends and family. I loved sending them to new friends and my oldest friends. I loved the idea of sending bits of love to people. It made me feel like I was living exactly the way I should be. I get so happy when I see them on friends' refrigerators. And people really liked them. So I continued. In my first year of law school I used an old legal dictionary as the back drop. When I lived in DC I walked to the post office laden with cards and the woman standing in line next to me said "you must have a lot of Sweethearts!" One year I cut out paper flowers with an exacto knife, another year I sewed string from side to side with tiny paper hearts slung on each mini-thread line. I'm always out of time, but I'm always excited beyond belief to get started. 

I will probably never send you a Christmas card, but I hope I will always send these mass valentine's cards. 

So it's year 9 and I hope you send me your addresses....(I'd also love if you sent back cards from years past if you save them, I'm always too exhausted to make an extra for myself.) 

Go Sew Yourself.

When I was little I used to sew. My mom helped me and before I could sew she made me things. Dresses and blankets and little dolls that were made to resemble me and my best friend, Sophie. I loved the sewing machine. I loved the way it hummed. I loved how crisp two new pieces of fabric looked after being sewn and ironed. I would think of little projects and sew sew sew until the sewing machine jammed. Then I'd stop. For weeks or months. I was that kind of kid. I would get lost in projects until something jammed, then I'd stop right in the middle and leave it for weeks. months. years. I went to college and wrote. Wrote, wrote, wrote. I never thought about sewing. I took a lot of feminist theory courses where women didn't sew. I went to law school where women really didn't sew.

Then, a few years ago, I found a beautiful singer featherweight sewing machine in an antique store. I didn't buy it. I left the store and couldn't stop thinking about it. So I went back. I bought it. I started new sewing projects. I sat in the sewing section of book stores. I was filled with images and ideas. It felt like Christmas lights inside of my chest. Idea, idea, idea, excitement. I started going to fabric stores. I went in the middle of the day when my old job stressed me out. The fabric made me sigh. It lowered my blood pressure. At home my machine made a beautiful humming sound. It felt like drinking cream instead of skim milk. It was so rewarding. It jammed and instead of abandoning it, I fixed it. I read the manual. I felt ridiculously proud of myself.

So now I sew, as much as I can. I make things for friends and friends of friends. I make things and they turn into piles of things made, which I think someday I'll give away or use to start my own store. For now I just sew. And since I've been sending out little batches of pictures of things that I make, I thought I should just make a blog so I can post and you can see and everything stays contained and woven together. A virtual quilt.

I'm naming this blog Sophie & Eleanor, which are my grandmother's names. I think they are beautiful names and they are beautiful women. I have come across my grandma Sophie's typed letters and my Grandma Ellie's paintings hang on my walls. Spending time with them made me want to soak in their early years. Like most grandkids, I didn't ask enough or enough of the right questions. But the things I have of theirs I love. Rather than keeping them boxed, I wanted to try to assimilate what I know, especially of their words and aesthetics into who I am now. We'll see.

Also, I love ampersands. Everyone in my family loves ampersands. How could you not?

Someday, you can visit me in my perfect little studio. Until now, there is this blog, and a picture of my old, perfectly cleaned sewing room. I think it's magic.