a fresh start

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It’s that time again. Back to School. For much of my life the end of August/ beginning of September was such an emotionally intense time — a mix of dread, worry, excitement, and rededication. As scary as a new school year (or new school) was, there was also the promise of new books, new teachers, new classmates. A chance to feel like a new person.

Of course, we can all benefit from a clean slate every now and again.  And even though I’m through with school, I still associate this time with beginning a new year, perhaps even more so than January. When Back to School rolls around, some deep-seated feelings emerge that I really ought to be in class.  My response is just to refocus my goals and organize my life for another year. I guess I need to remind myself to keep learning.

Now, I’ve always had a love of school supplies and stationery, and I still get a thrill walking down an aisle of pristine notebooks, rulers, and pens. And don’t get me started on Japanese stationery stores – my idea of heaven! So needless to say, I have plenty of school supplies tucked away to help me get started on my projects and goals for the year.

Still, I felt like making a new patchwork something, and I settled on a quilted book-cover, since my goals always involve a lot of reading. I couldn’t really find a pattern that exactly matched what I was looking for so, I modified one from this book. Basically I just added patchwork and quilting elements to the original pattern. Now having a cozy book cover makes snuggling up to a good book even better.

Here’s to a good year! Time to get to work.

kitty stationery

Getting ready for new things!

pencil bouquet

A bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils would be one way to my heart.

quilted bookcover

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playing favorites

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We all have projects we are especially fond of — those items that are satisfying to make, not too difficult, and result in something (hopefully) beautiful and necessary. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of these quilted pouches. They are modification of this excellent wristlet tutorial. I particularly like the softness and heft of quilted accessories.

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The nice thing about these mini patchwork pouches is the freedom of choice it allows you. You can have a different fabric for every square, or coordinate with just a few. I also like finding a cute lining fabric– something that will make you smile every time you open it.

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Most of these were created as gifts, so it was fun to choose fabrics with the recipient in mind. I must say, I no longer fear zipper application, but I don’t exactly relish the task. I know as long as I have my seam ripper near by, I’ll be fine.

tea

During a recent tea party, I realized I would like some little mats to use for a bit of tea and cake.

So I sewed up some patchwork teatime mats. I used fifteen 3.25″ squares. (I like to mix gingham and florals). After assembling the patchwork, I rounded the corners and added some lace I had on hand. The back is just plain linen. So far, they work pretty well–they even have the tea stains to prove it 🙂

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