Buttercup Bag.

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When I left on my weekend retreat I was not as inspired for sewing as for knitting. As an afterthought I grabbed a couple of fat quarters from my fabric stash and googled "free purse sewing pattern." I came up with this, the Buttercup Bag. Using a fat quarter for the outside and less than 1/4 yard for the inside, it was the perfect bag.

I was suddenly very inspired for sewing. Funny how that works.

The only thing I didn't love about the Buttercup Bag was that it closed with a snap (which I wasn't into, because of my propensity for tossing my bag into the backseat of the car or onto my bed) so I modified my zip bag tutorial by substituting the buttercup bag pieced sides for the zip bag rectangles. The result was adorable – and the bag only took me an hour to complete.

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When I went to my local quilt shop before leaving on the trip (for the fabric on the bag below) I spied a lovely wallet pattern and brought that along, too. I completed the wallet with the scraps from the buttercup bag (plus a few other bits from my scrap bag) and my friend made me a matching checkbook cover. Perfect!

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And finally, I made a Buttercup for Lulu. She needed a place to keep her ballet shoes during the week and to store a snack during class. (And by the way, she picked out that fabric. Ahem. That's all I'll say about it.) I was going to make her a backpack but when my mama-retreat friend suggested I make this instead I loved the idea. Polka-dot lining and another zipper and this one was done is under an hour, too.

I am loving these little bags!

How to Sew a Fabric Bunting.

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I wrote a fabric bunting tutorial this summer (for the Saponifier magazine). I wanted to share it with you because who doesn't want one of these? Cute. Handmade. Simple. I use this one at my farmer's market booth but want one for the kids's rooms as well. I also made a more free-form version of a bunting with Sage when he was 4 that we use each year on his birthday. Ready to sew? On with the how-to.

How to Sew a Fabric Bunting

There are no rules for bunting size, spacing, length, or shape. Use my formula below, or just use it as a jumping off point for your own design.

Materials:
Fabric for triangles, of an assorted or single
Fabric for banner tape, 4” wide x your length as determined above
Fabric marking pen
Sewing Machine
Coordinating thread (if the color of your bunting spreads across a wide spectrum, light gray or tan works well for most colors)
Rotary cutter or shears and cutting mat
Straight pins
Measuring tape

Step 1: A Bit of (Easy!) Math

This step is optional, but helpful if you want to know how long your bunting will be. If you don't care, skip the math. If you care, dig in. It'll take you all of two minutes.

First, determine how long you want your bunting to be. To do so, measure the area you want the bunting to span. Add two 24” tails if you want to be able to secure the bunting to something. (like a curtain rod or table leg) and 10” for drape.

For example:

If your banner will span a 6’ (72”) table, you will need:

72” span + 48” tails + 10” drape = 130” length.

 

Across a 10’ (120”) tent you will need a span of:

120” +48” tails + 10” drape = 178” length.

Second, determine the number of pennants or triangles you need. To find this number, subtract your 48” tails, then divide by 10 (the span of each pennant) and multiply by two (the triangles are two sided).

For example, the 6’ bunting will require:

130” – 48” = 82”/10 x 2 = 16.4. Round up to the nearest even number. For the 6’ bunting we’ll make 18 triangles for 9 pennants.

 

Across the 10’ span you will need:

174” – 48” = 126/10 x 2 = 25.2. Rounds up to 26 triangles for 13 pennants.

Step 2. Cut Your Triangles

Cutting the triangles is fastest with a cutting mat and rotary cutter, but is still easy to do with sharp scissors. To make your triangles:

Cut your fabric into strips the height of the triangles (10").

Fold your fabric strip in half matching short edges carefully.

Measure in four inches from the raw edge and mark this point on the top edge of the fabric with a fabric pen.

Connect this point to the corner on the lower edge of the fabric. Cut off this scrap triangle and discard.

In the name of fabric economy you will cut your triangles by alternating point up and point down placement. Measure in 8” on the long side of your fabric and cut. Now measure in 8” on the opposite side and cut. Continue until you have the proper number of triangles, as determined above.

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Step 3. Sew the Pennants

To make a sturdy, two-sided bunting we will sew together pairs of triangles, then turn them right-side out. (You can also make your pennants one-sided and skip the steps below. Cut triangles with a pinking shears to discourage fraying but know that this type won’t weather quite as gracefully as sewn pennants. Still cute, but a bit less sturdy.)

With a ½” seam allowance, sew each pair of triangles with right sides together leaving open on the top (short) side.

Cut off the point of triangle and turn right-side out. Use a small crochet hook or larger knitting needle to push out the point.

Press each triangle.  

Repeat with remaining triangles and set aside.

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Step 4. Create Your Fabric Tape

You may choose to skip this step and proceed with grosgrain ribbon or store-bought bias tape. The choice is yours. I have done many variations on the bunting and my favorites used homemade fabric tape (or homemade bias tape). This is also by far the most affordable option. In essence you are cutting a long fabric strip, then folding and pressing the cut edges inside. You might recognize my fabric from the duvet I made for Lupine a couple of years back out of vintage bedsheets. Or you might not. Regardless, it is time to make some bias tape.

To make your tape:

Cut your fabric into 4” wide strips until you have more than the required length determined above. 

With right sides together, sew each strip to the next and press open the seams. You will have one very long strip of fabric. 

Finish the ends by pressing under ¼”, then pressing under ¼” again. Hem.

Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides facing, and press.

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Open the fabric and bring each raw cut edge in to meet at the center (press line) and press again. Here it will begin to resemble purchased bias tape.

Fold one last time along your original lengthwise center fold, and press again.

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Step 5. Sew Your Bunting
For the free-spirits among us, just wing it. (That is my usual process.) If you prefer to end up with a bit more predictability and precision in your bunting, follow these simple steps.

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Begin by finding the center of your fabric tape. Open your fabric tape (without unfolding the raw edges) and insert the raw edge of a triangle. If you made an odd number of triangles center your first triangle at this mark and pin into place. If you had an even number of triangles pin ½” to one side of the center mark.

Working in both directions from this center point, space triangles 1” apart and pin until you reach the approximate edge of your 24” tail (give or take). If you have a triangle or two left over don’t despair. Perhaps they will make themselves useful in a future project.

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Begin sewing at one end of your banner. With a ⅓” seam allowance, sew your banner. Topstitch along the upper edge of the banner as well and your sweet bunting is complete! 

You may choose to applique letters onto your bunting (like your child's name or an inspiring word like "play" or "happiness"). If you applique, do so on one side of a triangle allowing adequate space around your work before you sew the backs to the triangles.

Have fun, friends.

Love,
Rachel

An Upcycled Skirt. And New Serger Love.

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I had an old and dysfunctional serger that was given to me a couple of years ago by a neighbor who was moving away. It had been given to her and she didn't know if it worked. I was ecstatic. The possibility to sew on jersey (tee-shirt) fabric without wonky seams was just what I had been wanting. That (free!) machine was the answer to my prayers.

Or so I thought.

I've sewn with it only a few times in the past three years because the machine had a tendency to eat my projects and was a great source of frustration. (Understatement.) The few projects that did make it out alive tended to have stitches pulling out after just a few washings. Baah.

Fast-forward to late last month. While I was on my solo adventure I was attempting to sew a skirt on said cannibalistic machine. Inspired to break out the serger and sew some clothes while the kids were away, I thought that maybe without the distraction of my peeps I could determine what was wrong with it. And I had just thrifted a bag full of cotton jersey tees that I desperately wanted to turn into some new duds.

I got as far as half of a seam and it was over. Done. Kaput. The seam was skipping and my fabric sucked into the feed dogs somehow. I took a deep breath, extracted my skirt from the feed dogs, and went to bed. (It is likely that I made a gin and tonic sometime between the Incident and bed but I'm not certain.) The next morning I put the serger outside with a "Free – take at your own risk" sign and sat down at my computer – Craigslist. Huskylock Serger. Let's see what we get.

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And I found one.

A Huskylock 936, over a decade old, but ridiculously modern by my standards. (My sewing machine, inherited from my grandma, is from the early '60's.) A beautiful, marvelous, high quality serger for a ridiculous bargain. I jumped and he agreed to ship it to me, sight-unseen from Minnesota. It arrived this weekend. We had guests, so I left it in the box, knowing I'd need some quiet space to figure out where to begin. It has been a long wait.

Last night I finally had time to figure out my new machine. Sewing with a new serger makes me feel like a sewing newbie for the first time since grade school. I got out the manual, learned how to thread it (no small feat), and pulled out the skirt I tried to make on the old machine. (I first sent Pete and the kids to the park to reduce the likelihood of me freaking out in front of my family while learning how to do it all).

After cutting away the damaged bits on the skirt, I started sewing. And it worked. It worked! I figured out the basics and within an hour of opening the box I had a new favorite skirt in my wardrobe. I feel a new obsession coming on. I can't wait to get sewing again today.

If you are new to sewing, serged seams are the kind inside every t-shirt in your closet and down the legs of your blue jeans. They prevent unraveling and allow fabric to stretch. They make for faster, neater sewing. You can also wear serged seams on the inside or the outside, depending on what you're going for. (See above and below.)

So. Very. Happy!

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Back home (and sewing already).

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We're home! The Midwest Renewable Energy Fair was amazing, as always. I love this show. Really, truly. Old friends, new friends, great conversations, and inspiring ideas. And the critical mass of homeschoolers is astounding.

Sage was in his element, running free (with a walkie-talkie on his hip in case he (read: we) needed something) with new friends and old, playing, learning, exploring. Lupine was happy to explore and play as well, hand in hand with Pete or me. She packed her bumble bee tutu (yes, to wear to the Energy Fair) and someone there gave her a bee antenna headband to complete the ensemble. She was, well, very Lupine. Ask anyone who was at the fair. They likely saw her. She was pretty hard to miss.

Thanks to all of you who visited (or sent Wisconsin-based friends and family our way in your place!). It is lovely for me to put faces to both readers here and long time LuSa Organics customers.

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We got home just in time for our team member Nina's last day (above left). Nina has worked for us since 2009 and now she's headed for Asheville, NC. (Also pictured are: Chris O., production; Karen R., shipping; Lupine, my girl; and Raina, Karen's daughter. Pete and I are at Right with our son Sage who needless to say was not so into the photo shoot.)

Nina came to us when she was 19. I got an email and then a phone call from a very together sounding young woman who wanted to apprentice at an organic soap company. At 19 I wish I had thought to do what she was doing. I was impressed already. So we met and I adored her and Nina came to work for us for "two months" of soap-making training.

Somehow two months quickly became two-plus years and Nina moved from apprentice to intern to part-time production specialist with grace. (If you use LuSa product you have surely used something made by Nina.)

Because she's moving cross-country, I didn't want to burden her with a gift that wouldn't serve a useful purpose. But I wanted to make her something to say thank you for her time, her work, and her friendship. Since like us, Nina uses homeopathic remedies on occasion I thought a little remedy roll-up would keep her blue vials organized on the road.

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I sewed two pieces for Nina: a roll-up to secure her remedies (a simple elastic band instead of pockets to help keep the labels visible) and a zip bag to hold any extras and to keep the remedies from jumping out of the roll-up along the way. I even silenced my fabric-miser self and picked three favorites from my stash for the project. I'm glad I did. 

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So yes. Easy, sweet, and useful. That's pretty much what I need out of every project. And this one took just a bit of elastic, some fabric, a zipper, and some vintage ribbon. Nina's remedy kit holds 10 Boiron remedies, but you could make yours any size you wish. (I actually had to reference my own tutorial to make the zip pouch. I couldn't remember how to do the zipper and get my choice fabric on the outside. Total geekdom.)

Safe travels, Nina. We love you! Thanks for bringing your spirit to the LuSa family.

A Boy and His Sewing Machine.

Yesterday's flurry of emotional, sincere comments was absolutely lovely. If you haven't read through them yet I encourage you to do so. You are a wonderful, inspiring community. Thanks for your words. 

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We're getting ready for a big LuSa Organics show this weekend. I needed some vintage product displays (small suitcase? vintage doll bed?) so the kids and I headed to a nearby thirft store to see what we could find. We don't thrift much anymore so it was novel and fun for us all. No fussing, no asking, just looking and talking and hanging out together as we searched for the perfect something to display our gift sets in.

Sage discovered a sewing machine table there – something he has been wanting for over a year for his own machine. It was $5. We measured the pins that hold the machine and went home to measure. (When Sage turned seven I gave him a vintage machine for his birthday. He loves it but it is too heavy to set up on his own, so he often uses mine instead of his when he has a project to do.) It was a perfect fit. Sage counted out his change and had enough. He begged Pete and I to let him get it. We of course agreed (okay, I of course agreed and Sage and I worked on Pete until he too agreed.) Sage was ecstatic.

We drove the 15 minutes back to the store, and Sage, my normally cautious and reserved-among-strangers boy went in and made the transaction himself. Through the open window I could hear him chatting politely with the thrift store ladies. Heading his voice drifting out across the gravel driveway and realizing that without Pete and I pushing Sage was developing into a confident and capable boy made my heart swell. We've never forced the "please"s and "thank you"s and hand shakes becuase they have not come easy for Sage. These courtesies have been down right painful for him. Right up until yesterday. No, I'm sure he didn't shake any hands and he might not have officially said "thank you" but the interaction was easy and free. It was momentous.

And that cabinet? He washed it. Set up his machine. Rigged up the vintage power cord from his old case. And he's been sewing ever since. This morning he's almost done with a new pair of camouflage shorts. Sure, he's sewing but he's my all-boy-all-the-time kid these days. What better to sew than camo? (Above he is wearing camo shorts, a camo shirt, and yes, even camo underwear. Turns out unders aren't uncomfortable at all if they are camouflage. Who knew?) Sage used the pattern he drew up here and added a deep pocket on one side to "hide lots of stuff." Awesome. That's my boy. And I love that boy so very much.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Today we are loading the LuSa Organics trailer and heading to our favorite event of the year – the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. Hope to see some of you there. In the meantime I'll be reposting some kitchen tutorials that I know you'll love. Based on the enthusiasm to yesterday's post you're ready to take it up a notch in your kitchens. I hope these tutorials will do just that.

Love to all,
Rachel

Tutorial : : How to make a lined zippered pouch.

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Making a handmade zip bag sounds complicated, doesn't it? Sure, you can buy zip pouches. But handmade pouches are affordable, simple, and easy easier than you might imagine. (Yes, even with a lining and a zipper!) While at first glance a pouch of this style seem like complicated sewing projects, put in truth they are quite simple to do.

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I created this lined zippered gift pouch using a contrasting zipper and some scraps of fabric from my stash. I chose polka dots for the outside and lined my bag with a piece of vintage bedsheet. (If you've been coming here for a long time you might recognize the lining fabric from my duvet cover tutorial from a while back.)

I originally wrote this tutorial for a professional soapmaker's publication, the Saponifier, so pardon the shameless self-promotion of my organic baby care products. Put what ever you want in your pouch. LuSa or otherwise!

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I will provide instructions for a 6”x7” pouch here but the variations are limitless. Once you have the hang of it, modify to any size you wish.

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Gather Your Supplies
7” x 8” fabric rectangles: two in outer fabric, two in liner fabric
Coordinating 7” zipper
Cutting mat and rotary cutter (optional)
Sharp sewing shears
Matching thread
Sewing machine

Make it:
The first lined zip pouch I made (last winter) ended up – after three tries – with the lining on the outside and the main fabric inside. I threw up my hands and pretended that it was supposed to look like that. To save you that frustration I promise to make this simple and easy to understand. We’ll take it one step at a time and soon you’ll be making them by the dozens. Okay. Maybe not, but you could if you had enough zippers.

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Step 1: Make a zipper sandwich.
Lay one piece of your exterior fabric right side up.
On top of it lay your closed zipper wrong side up (you will see the bottom of the zipper pull).
On top of the zipper lay one piece of lining fabric wrong side up.
Align top edges and pin in place.
Open zipper three inches or so.

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Step 2: Sew your first seam.
Move to your sewing machine. Using your zipper foot (check your machine’s manual if you aren’t sure which foot that is or how to use it) sew beginning at the top (open portion) of the zipper. Sew two inches. With the needle in fabric, raise presser foot and zip the zipper closed. (This will prevent your seam from having a burble in it from your presser foot wiggling around the zipper pull.) Jostle it about until you talk it into closing. You’ll get it. Now put your presser foot back down and complete your seam.

Your off to a great start. Your project should look like this:

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Step 3: Repeat.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your remaining two pieces of fabric and the other side of the zipper. Now if I’ve been clear and you’ve been paying attention you should have something like this:

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Edited to add Step 3b: Topstitch

Sew a seam along each side of your zipper to hold down the fabric and to prevent it from becoming stuck in the zipper. I did not do that on this bag, but now (late 2012) I always do. It's easy and makes the bag even more of a joy to use.

With your zipper foot still on just add a seam that sews through your lining, your zipper material, and your outer fabric. (Confused? Feel free to skip this step and move on to 4.)

Step 4: Clear your mind.
This is the part where if I think too hard about it I confuse myself. Just focus on the steps and let the bag sew itself. When we’re done it’ll be a little bit of magic as you turn your bag right side out and it all works perfectly. Trust me. It’ll be a good time.

Ready? Fantastic. Here we go.

Step 5: Sew the main seam.
Flip your fabric so that the main fabric pieces are right sides together on your left, the zipper is in the middle, and the lining fabric is right sides together on your right. Unzip your zipper ⅔ of its length. Really. I mean it. Unzip the zipper or your bag will not be a bag at all because you’ll be unable to turn it right side out.

Peek inside to make sure you have your pieces in the right place. Your bag should look something like this:

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Pin around the edges if you are into precision. (I am not but you bag will probably be prettier than mine if you pin.) Sew a seam around the entire bag in one swoop (the lining and outer layer in one long seam). Leave a 3” opening in the center bottom of the lining, back-stitching at both ends. Sew right over the non-toothed ends of the zipper close to each end.

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Clip all four corners close to the seam. This will give you more crisp square corners when your turn the bag right-side out.

Step 5: Turn your bag.
I love this part. Reach in through the opening in the lining and pull the entire bag right side out. You will end up with something like this:

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With a point turner, crochet hook, or chopstick reach in through the opening and poke the corners out on the lining and the outer bag. Using a blindstitch (or any discreet stitch that works for you) sew the opening in the lining closed. Now push the lining down into the bag and marvel at your skills.

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That wasn’t so bad, was it? And how cute is that bag? Success!

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Monday Musings.

Just a quick note to all finding their way here through a link on Pinterest. Welcome! Click my header at the top to see my most recent posts. Have a look around and enjoy. Peace, Rachel

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Hi all. How wonderful you were when I unloaded my hard Friday morning on you. No, I never made – or ate – that sorbet, but I did manage to spend most of Saturday in my jammies which helped immensely. There was one more layer after I posted, in that my cat was attacked by a stray and ended up with a crazy infection and lots and lots of wounds. Ug.

Kindly, Lupine is sharing her antibiotics and both are on the mend. In the Lyme disease front, her rash is gone, her sparkly/feisty mood is returning, and she seems normal in every way. We're hitting the probiotics hard in hopes of keeping her gut flora healthy while she goes through weeks of antibiotics. What a ride last week was.

As for the weekend? Well that was stupendous. Pete and I decided we were on the wrong trajectory with so many things going amiss and we had to get happy and straighten it all out. So we did. I spent almost the entire weekend sewing. Really. A friend loaned me a serger and it's been on our kitchen table ever since. We're eating around it as I only have it for 2 1/2 days and don't want to miss a moment of sewing.

I made underwear for Lupine. Skirts for my Etsy shop. A little cream colored gnome with a jingling bell hidden away inside (also for the shop, up later today). A bunting that I can't decide if I want for the hallway or my farmer's market booth. And finally, I made a set of pads I've been wanting to try out for my cycle.

And I finally caved and set up my account on Pinterest. And I am swooning. Remember my manifestation board? It's like that, but on-line. Love, love, love it.

And then the sun came out and near summerish temperatures returned and we got into our car and rolled out into the country for a little time under the blue sky. Thanks for all the love! xo Rachel

 

Why I am Sewing Quilts and Giving Them Away.

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I keep rewriting this post. For some reason it is a tricky one to get right.

Let's give it another go then and see if I get it this time. 

I finished the quilts for Craft Hope Project 13. The second quilt is still waiting on a binding, but I'll finish that in an evening. Then off they go to two families in crisis to create some sense of security in an insecure moment of their lives. Seven years for one plus four years for the other and the quilts are finally done. I'm giving them away.

In truth, these two quilts are stitched to some of the most insecure moments in my own life. They don't carry the heaviness of the crisies we've weathered along the way but they are linked inseparably to that time in my life. Above all else the quilts carry my heartfelt and honest belief that everything is truly okay. That we are going to make it through. That no matter how unreal it may seem right now there will be a silver lining somehow, somewhere.

I hope that is the energy they bring to the families to whom they ultimately end up. That yes, this is a frightening and unsure time but you are safe and held in love.

Our story goes like this…

When Sage was two he ended up in a pediatric ICU, unresponsive, intubated, and hooked up to more machines than I can remember the names for. There had been a prolonged seizure and a Flight for Life and a spinal tap and lots of rushing about by furrowed-browed specialists. There were so many wires and monitors and so many hours of simply not knowing how this was going to turn out. Indeed, we stood there at that precipice that few parents do, wondering which way it was going to go and holding fiercely to the believe that everything was going to be okay despite the fact that nothing seemed to be looking that way. Somehow we never let go of the belief that we were going to be all right – all of us – and that our family was going home together and that our life would come back together just like before somehow.

But it was hard in that sterile, unnatural environment to not get shaken. Friends came steadily with homeopathic remedies, flower essences, amazing food, massage and chiropractic care, and their standing by us with the same belief – he was going to be okay. There was no other option. As one friend put it, "This is not Sage's legacy. This is not his story. He is going to be okay."

But the quilts. Back to the quilts. On day two in the ICU I left Sage with Pete so that I could take a shower. When I returned our stark hospital room had been brightened by a handmade quilt -just his size – that draped his still body.

It was from Project Linus, delivered by a volunteer during the few minutes I was away. I stopped in my tracks in the doorway of our room, staring at the quilt. Somehow that blanket transformed my experience in that hospital. Seven years later I still vividly remember the first thought I had upon seeing it: He is coming home. He has to come home. Someone made him a quilt.

We still have that quilt. It's red and black and white with cats and mice on it. Know these days as the "better-maker-blanket", it is requested only when Sage is feeling under the weather. He loves to snuggle under it so that it can work its magic on him. "Where did I get this again?" he asks occasionally and I tell him that someone we never met made it as a present for him when he was not feeling well and it made us all feel wonderful. 

That week in the hospital shaped my parenting forever. In so many ways. Much of what you see here I suppose you could say was born of that week in the ICU. And the power of that simple gift of stitching together some bits of fabric into a toddler-sized quilt has been profound for me too.

So that is why sewing these quilts became so important. The robot quilt was begun during that time in my life, just before Sage ended up on his helicopter flight alone to the hospital. The cowboy quilt I started when someone else in our small town found their own two year old boy hanging in the balance as well. So their roots are similar, and the shared vision of every stitch is the same: Hope.

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Sage came home with us in just under a week that October. Things were not back to normal, especially in our own hearts and heads. Worry bordering on obsessive was the norm. But then, ever so slowly, things mellowed. Within a year our worry began to lessen. We began to believe our own story that everything was going to be okay. In the meantime we took exceptional steps to insure good health. And we've never looked back. In the end, I guess that journey was a blessing. While I'd never wish to repeat it, the experiences of that week led us down a path of finding better answers to questions pertaining to our own health and safety. Because of how dire it became we addressed issues that had been there all along. Issues that connected to food and allergies and spectrum behavior and sleep disturbances and… then everything changed.

And now – poof! All of a sudden the worry is truly gone and it is seven years later and everything is better than okay. It is fantastic.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

If you are interested in sending a blanket or quilt to Project 13 I would be thrilled to hear about it. The deadline is coming up in under 2 weeks, so you'll have to sew fast! There are plenty of simple options from receiving blanket types to new-sew fleece. No need to get all fancy-pants. Just make something! If you do send me an email after you ship it and I'll send you a LuSa Organics coupon code. Just for you. With gratitude. If you are local, bring it to my booth at the Dane County Farmer's Market on Saturday and I'll ship yours with mine (and give you a free LuSa gift to boot, for niceness.)

Thanks for listening to my story. It is a big one that I try not to tell very often. But it is important. It has shaped us. In a good way after all. So really. Thanks for listening.

Love,
Rachel

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Can I too, take a moment to thank the closest network of support during that time? Your love and attention during that time was more important that you know. PR, IL, KD, LJ. I could not have made it through that dark place without your laughter, light, and unwavering belief that all was well. Aunt Joye, you helped bring Sage back in. I know that. It was amazing. Mom, Dad, DS, AB, MZ, and so many others, and the community that gathered to hold space for Sage in Baraboo that Saturday. We haven't forgotten. Not for a second. – love – R

Twirly-Girly Circle Skirt and Ruffle Blouse.

I haven't made time to hang with my sewing machine for several weeks. Then somehow this weekend I carved out time to start and complete four pieces of clothing for Ms. Bluebird. Four!

It started when I was falling asleep one night and had a vision of a rainbow circle skirt made of pieced patchwork wedges. Becuase I had no pattern to go from I first made a solid circle skirt as a "pattern" to take measurements from for the pieced skirt. Lupine loved the prototype so much that I added a second layer and some ruffles… and then a matching blouse. It seemed like a better option to finish this one rather than just toss it into my scrap bin. And while I'm not a big pink/pastel/ruffles kind of mama, Lupine flipped over the uber-girlieness of it all. She looks like she's off to a square dance somewhere. So girlie. So Lupine. Swoon.

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Once the "pattern" was made I got to work on the outfit I was really wanting to make. The rainbow skirt is still girly as can be, still crazy twirly, but a bit less country and a bit more crunchy. Gnomes. Fairies. Bikes. A little fabric from my Grandma's stash. Lots of favorite pieces in this project. (Pardon the wrinkles. I couldn't bring myself to iron this morning.)

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  Cute? Cute. There might be a mama-sized version of this in the works soon.