The 100 Day Project

I first heard about The 100 Day Project from Elisa Joy and was immediately into it. Doing something creative every day for 100 days sounds like a really fun 100 days to me! I've been thinking a lot lately about the practice of sewing, like a yoga practice, and this was a great opportunity to explore that concept. It didn't take me too long to think of a task to commit to either — the 111 blocks in my neglected Farmer's Wife Quilt seemed like a perfect fit. I don't know if I would ever complete that quilt without some sort of challenge like this. And so it began. On April 4th, I sewed up my first block and posted it on Instagram with the hashtag #100daysof FWQ. 

I told my husband over dinner that night and suddenly I was filled with doubt. What the heck was I thinking? A quilt block every single day for over three months? Am I crazy? What makes me think I could actually stick to that? 

That's why I've been hesitant to talk about it on the blog — I honestly didn't know if I would be able to follow through. Until now. I'm happy to say that today is day 53, over halfway through the challenge, and I've worked on my Farmer's Wife Quilt every single day. It's safe to say I'm in it for the long haul. 

I have given myself some grace on the block-a-day. I've made 42 blocks so far. Because I have a million other things I want to make, I try not to devote more than an hour a day to this project and some of the blocks are just too complex for that. There were a few that I cut one day and sewed the next. There were some that I completed one day and re-did the next day (or two) because they weren't right. I was also sick for a few days in there, so I did some construction planning in bed instead. I took a day to cut out all the paper pieced blocks. Things like that.

I don't want to talk too much about my feelings or lessons learned just yet. I'll save them for the end. But I will say that although some days are a real struggle, I am enjoying the process. Not only can I see improvements in my sewing and decision-making skills, but ultimately I'm giving greater value to the idea of everyday being a fresh start. Didn't like the block you just made? Oh well. Add it to the stack, you'll make a new one tomorrow.

I'm posting every day on Instagram, if you want to follow along and cheer me on for the next 48. 

Fashion Revolution Week

It's Fashion Revolution week. A week where millions of people around the world will ask Who made my clothes? A week that asks everyone to be curious, find out, and do something. A week to demand greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. 

This is a cause that I am pretty passionate about but rarely talk about. I think it's because I don't feel well enough informed. So, I've been using this week to learn and to speak up about what ethical fashion means to me. I've been doing this every day this week on Instagram, but I know not everyone is on there, so I wanted to share some of my story here with you as well.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, feat. Roasted Eggplant with Crispy Chickpeas

What should I make for dinner? 

Ugh. The million dollar question. I enjoy cooking most of the time, once the recipe and ingredients are laid out in front of me. But thinking and searching for recipes and dinner ideas, and gathering supplies for said recipes, is a constant struggle. A privileged problem, but a problem just the same. I can't be the only one. I would bet that even chefs are annoyed by the search for sustenance from time to time.

At the beginning of a new season, I'm full of excitement, busting out all my tried and true recipes that have been forgotten for months. Comfort foods in Fall, barbecue in Spring. But that passion doesn't last long. Within a few weeks, I'm back staring at an empty fridge and scrolling through Pinterest, wondering yet again, what should I bloody make for dinner?

When in doubt, open a book. Cookbooks, in this case. The OG of recipe inspiration. This winter I started checking out cookbooks from the library and making as many recipes as I can from them in the three weeks before their due date. Some books fail hard (I'm looking at you, one-basil-leaf-in-the-pasta-sauce Tucci) but others have multiple wins and multiple renewals as a result. The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman is a perfect example of the latter. Everything I tried became an instant favourite. Because this book isn't a new release, I was lucky to be able to renew it several times and cook from it for a couple of months.

2015 Quilts: Two Weddings and a Baby

When I redesigned the blog, I found this post buried in my drafts. I could've sworn I had published it ages ago. In 2015, to be exact. Mind you, I still have moving boxes to unpack from that summer, so it's not surprising at all that it fell through the cracks. What is surprising is that I found the time that year to sew not one, not two, but three quilts! Perhaps I'm motivated by extremely limiting circumstances. Or perhaps I sew to survive extremely limiting circumstances. Hmmm.

Keeping It Cozy

A Linden Sweatshirt, a crochet hat and a cuddly cat. If that's not a recipe for cozy, I don't know what is. Since we're back to winter temperatures again today, it seems like a good time to share two of my comfiest, coziest makes of the season. (Guest appearance by my crazy cat, Pekoe, who wouldn't leave me alone during this photo shoot.)

This is my very first Linden and I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to try. It's been out since October 2014! Perhaps I was just waiting for the perfect fabric to cross my path, because as soon as I saw this super soft, flecked fleece come in at Needlework, suddenly the Linden was all I could think about. I whipped it up in a couple of days after buying the fabric, and I've been living in it ever since. It was super quick to sew too, only took me a couple of hours. I'm thinking it's because there are no hems to fiddle with. Bands for the win!

And before you dismiss a boring old sweatshirt, my husband declared this his favourite thing that I've sewn in awhile. So there ya go. Bringing sexy back, one sweatshirt at a time.