V&A Patterns

I always love looking at books that showcase different patterns, so I was thrilled when I found out that that we (meaning Abrams, the company I work for and of which STC Craft is a part) would be distributing V&A Pattern, a series of pattern books from the publishers at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Each book includes over 65 pattern images, plus a CD with jpeg files of all of the images, ready to be viewed and manipulated for any non-commerical use. Below is a sampling of four of the patterns from each book. I love the idea of using these patterns to make customized stuff, such as gift wrap, note cards, notebook covers, screen savers, bookmarks, origami paper (or paper for nearly any paper craft), the list could go on and on. A few weeks ago my friend Hannah and I got together and made notebooks with patterns from the Fifties. I'll post a photo as soon as I take a decent one.


The Fifties      
William Morris      
Indian Florals      
Digital Pioneers      

Winner of the Kata Golda Hand-Stitched Felt Contest and Felt Photo Pocket Demo!

Congrats to Naomi, our lucky winner of a free copy of Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt! Thanks to everyone who entered our contest. Stay tuned for Naomi's answer to the question: "What sort of adventures will your felty mice have?"

In the meantime, as a special consolation prize, here is the felt photo pocket demo that Kata did at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, NY.

This is a re-broadcast, in 2 parts, of the live webcast demo. There were some problems with sound, but hopefully these 2 videos will help fill in the gaps. Enjoy! I hope you'll be inspired to buy the book for friends and family (I plan on making nothing but felt gifts this year!)!

Felt Photo Pockets with Kata Golda (Part 1)
Felt Photo Pockets with Kata Golda (Part 2)

Betz White's New Organic Fabric Line


Betz White, author of Sewing Green, has just released her debut line of organic cotton fabric called Family Cottage. Her inspiration:

I believe there’s a place in everyone’s life
real or imagined
in your mind or in your heart
in your backyard or far far away
where you are truly yourself.
Not defined by what you do or to whom you belong
but by the person you have always been deep down at the core.
The authentic you of your childhood, when long summer days stretched on forever.
When time stood still and there was nowhere to be but right where you were.
Fun and joy and life just happened.

To see more photos of the fabric and to read more about the collection, visit Betz's blog.

Betz White, Author of Sewing Green, On Blog Tour


Betz White, author of Sewing Green, will be making her way around the blogosphere for the next few weeks. We hope you will join her. To see a gallery of some of the images from Sewing Green, click here. To see some interior spreads, click on the book's cover in the right-hand margin.

 Monday 4/6 True Up

Q&A, giveaway

Tuesday 4/7 U-Handbag

Review, giveaway

Wednesday 4/8 Craftzine

Sandwich wraps, giveaway, and Q&A

Thursday 4/9 This 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

Eco-friendly lunch, giveaway

Thursday 4/30 Craft Sanity

Q & A, giveaway

Beyond the Obvious

I love being surprised by people and even objects. For example, I am always fascinated when someone who initially seems rather traditional or conventional begins to reveal extraordinary ideas, or when an object looks totally different from different perspectives.


Take this felt wall hanging with silk embroidery. When I first saw it I thought it was quite beautiful, reminiscent of other early 20th-century Central Asian wall hangings I have seen.


Then when I saw this backing fabric (a printed cotton cloth from Russia), I was really surprised and fascinated. I never would have imagined the front and the back together.


Now look at this  woman's robe. It's probably from Uzbekistan and dates back to the late 19th - early 20th century. And it's shown here inside out!  In Central Asia when this was made, it was customary to create solid-color silk robes and then line them with Russian cotton prints patchworked together. I love how extraordinary this robe is inside and out, and also the idea that the busiest and in some ways most complex part of it is actually kept rather private.


So often we pay the most attention to what is obvious. Personally, I'm often more intrigued by what isn't.

 (All photos from Russian Textiles: Printed Cloths for the Bazaars of Central Asia. For more on this book, see this earlier post.)

Russian Textiles

Recently, a friend of mine who is also an editor at Abrams (of which STC is a part) showed me a book she edited that fascinated me. It's called Russian Textiles. It focuses on printed-cotton fabrics created and manufactured in Russia from about 1860 to 1960, specifically for export to Central Asia, as well as the political, economic, and cultural ties between Russia and the Central Asian region (which includes Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrygystan). Here are just three of the nearly 200 textile patterns featured. The first two are linings from robes. The third one is part of a series of fabrics in which Russian designers tried to depict ways in which the Soviets had "improved" the lives of the Central Asian people.