I can carry my wallet, phone, and keys in this bag to go grocery shopping, or throw in my favorite snacks to go when I go to my pottery class.
And these coasters are a great way to use up your scraps! Easy, peasy.
(Basically, sew around two squares right sides together with 1.5″ hole, turn inside out, press and top stitch all the way around.)
Now, if I were a more skilled sewist, which you may be, I’d be making cute summer dresses, more zippered pouches, aprons, bags, table linens etc. etc. Can you imagine making anything kid-sized with these?? SO ADORABLE ❤
You can shop these fabrics in 24 different materials in my fabric shop now!
Make fun things and share your photos with me 🙂 Tag your pics on social media with #honeyberryfabric so I can see them.
What’s cool about shopping your favorite fabrics on Spoonflower is you can choose from so many different fabric types (24 to be precise!) from basic cotton to flowy chiffon to snuggly fleece. The possibilities are truly endless!
Hope you enjoy 🙂
p.s. Be sure to use the hashtag #honeyberryfabric if you post your sewing project with my fabric on social media! I’d love to see what you come up with.
I took my mini sabbatical during the July 4th week, and it was so refreshing and relaxing.
(In case you are not familiar, I’ve been taking every 7th week off to relax and recharge since 2015. This brilliant concept was inspired by Seanwes.)
Mini sabbaticals are like staycations with intentions, and I try to do things that refuel my creative and spiritual reservoir.
I used to schedule a bunch of lunches and coffee dates with friends during my sabbaticals because I never saw them otherwise. But then I realized it was not very relaxing 😀 (introverts, you feel me.)
Lately, I try to keep my sabbatical weeks open and unscheduled as much as possible and decide what to do when I’m actually on my sabbatical.
It’s also a time for me to pursue things I normally don’t get to do – like spending hours exploring and organizing recipes online (which I’ve done during this sabbatical) and read books on my couch in the middle of the day.
Here are some of the highlights from my most recent mini sabbatical!
I’d been meaning to check out the exhibit for some time, and I’m so glad I went before it ended!
The show was absolutely STUNNING. I loved all the beautiful designs, colors, and art… Sigh.
And, what I appreciated the most about the exhibit was that you know they’re not trying to be like someone else or please everyone – they have a very recognizable style and that’s what makes them so iconic.
I sometimes feel self-couscious about my style, feeling it’s too simplistic. But, after visiting the exhibit, I felt inspired to keep doing “my thing” and be myself creatively!
2. Sewing with my new fabrics
I’m a fabric lover and love spending time at fabric stores ❤ I love examining beautiful fabrics and dreaming of all the things they can turn into.
However, I’m not very good at sewing (yet!) so I have stacks of fabrics I’ve collected over the years in a bin on my craft shelf 😀
I’ve recently created my own fabric designs on Spoonflower and ordered them to see what they look like in person.
I’m very happy with how they turned out, and it’s a special feeling to see your art come to life on fabric 🙂
I’d originally attempted to make zippered pouches with the new fabrics but realized it was a bit beyond my current skill level.
So rather than stressing about it, I sewed a few things that were easy for beginners.
This bag was really easy to sew! I could carry snacks or use it to organize things in my big bags.
Simple coasters with the grey and pink succulent fabrics! ❤
And even made these hoops – no sewing involved 😀
Pssst… If you want to know when my Spoonflower shop opens, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!
3. Block printing
After the Marimekko exhibit, I was inspired to create block print repeat patterns.
I came up with this original design when I was making my daily painting a few weeks ago.
An image of simple blue birds in flight came in to my head and I thought it would make a cute pattern!
I’d love to print this on a simple linen to make a scarf sometime. Or a T-shirt?
And I created this mushroom design – just because.
Wouldn’t it be a cute tea towel or tote bag design for fall?
Most of my sabbaticals go by really fast, but this one felt like it went by slowly.
It was a good combination of staying home to work on my creative projects and going out to see friends and family.
Since I’ve got a pretty busy summer coming up preparing for my very first trade show in August (!!), I really enjoyed this break.
Hope you get to have some creative fun this summer, too!
p.s. Wanna see what else I do during my sabbaticals? You can check out the archive here.
I took my sabbatical week off during the week of April 18. It’s been a couple of weeks, but I wanted to show you the block printing and sewing projects I worked on.
I take every 7th week off to relax and do things I don’t normally have the time to.
It’s kind of scary to take a week off so regularly, because, I often feel I need to be making $$ and can’t afford to take a time off. BUT, it’s important for me to make the time for reflection and recharge on a regular basis. It’s been one of the best business strategies I’ve taken! (You can learn more about what the mini sabbaticals are all about here.)
Sadly, I’d been sick with a cold for a couple of weeks and was behind on some work stuff, so I ended up working a little bit during my sabbatical.
But I also made sure to do something just for fun!
You probably know I’ve been practicing block printing on fabric for a while now.
I love the whole process of designing a block to seeing the prints on the fabric. Time just flies by when I’m engrossed in block printing!
But I’ve also been feeling a bit burnt out on making block printed products, like tea towels and bags.
Considering all the hard work that goes into it, it’s not very profitable, and frankly, printing the same things over and over got old pretty quickly.
I was afraid I was losing the joy of block printing.
While I continue to focus on developing my art product lines, I’ve been focusing more on producing things that are easily replicable, like art prints and greeting cards, and moving away from block printing for production.
But a lot of people like the block printing aesthetics, so I started teaching block printing on fabric workshops recently at a local art studio, and I really enjoy it!!
By the way, if you’re in Seattle area and want to join my class this summer, I just posted new dates on my website 🙂
With that being said, I still love to do block printing and want to continue practicing. I think for now I’ll be teaching more and block print for personal enjoyment rather than making products.
For this sabbatical week off, I decided to make a garment from my block printed fabrics!
I’m not good at sewing – I’d hemmed my pants and made simple tote bags before. But beyond that, it seemed really intimidating.
Sewing a garment seemed particularly challenging because you can’t just wing it, right? You need to follow a pattern, cut the fabrics nicely, and all of your pieces need to match up…
I like to do all of my creative work very loosely and wasn’t confident that I could sew something I’d actually want to (and can) wear!
But, I was inspired by two of my printing/sewing heros – Sarah Golden and Jen Hewett (check out her Print, Pattern, Sew project from 2015 – It’s really gorgeous and inspiring!) and decided to finally tackle this!
I got this Japanese sewing book, titled “Making Garments by Sewing Straight Lines” several years ago when I was visiting Japan. I was naturally attracted to the title 🙂 and all of the pieces looked adorable. I’d been just admiring the pictures until now and I’m glad I didn’t throw it away!!
I chose one of their patterns for a top that seemed pretty easy.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for the project, so I went fabric shopping at Goodwill as per my friend Sarah’s recommendation. If you’ve never gone fabric shopping at thrift stores, they’re awesome.
I looked around their fabric section, bed sheets, table cloth, and curtains. I saw so many cute fabrics there and was tempted to get them all! But I wanted to start small in case I hated sewing 😀 and bought two fabrics.
I wanted the color and pattern on the fabrics to work well with my block print design, not compete against it. So I picked a simple grey and white porka dot cotton bed sheet and a light weight cotton ready-to-sew blue flower pattern skirt.
And I got so much material for $5 each! Score!
For the block print design, I thought it would be fun to carve my recent obsession – poppies.
After I hand carved the pieces, I test print on a white cotton fabric. This is where I see areas I want to tweak and refine.
Once I was happy with my blocks, I started printing on the actual fabric I was going to make my top with!
For the fabric design, I decided to do just a simple block pattern. I toyed with the idea of incorporating the leaves too, but it just got too complicated… I believe in simplicity!
It took forever to print my poppy design on enough fabric to make one top, y’all. Then I had to air dry it over night and heat set with the iron before cutting into it. Phew.
Though I picked a very simple sewing pattern, (and the book promised it was “easy” and “quick”) there were so many little steps, and it was still pretty challenging for beginner like me. I mean, I still can’t sew straight lines, you know? 🙂
But, I didn’t quit and finished my very first hand printed garment!! Ta da!!
And, I love how it turned out! ❤
Of course I see all the flaws and mistakes, but it’s good enough to wear around the house 🙂 It fits quite loosely, so it would be perfect during the hot summer months.
I just hope it won’t come apart when I wash it in the washing machine… 😀
For the ready-to-sew skirt, it was a lot easier because all I needed to do was to adjust the waist and the length. No pattern required!
I printed the poppy and leaves along the bottom. Honestly, I didn’t have the time or energy to print all over on another big piece of fabric and thought it would be a cute design anyway.
Since this was going to be a more dynamic design, I incorporated the leaves to add visual interest and movement.
I sewed and attached the shoulder strap and made it into a multi-purpose dress and a skirt!
It’s super light weight and again perfect for hot summer days ahead.
It was a lot of work but (or maybe because of it) it was also very satisfying to make my own clothes with my hand printed fabrics!
I always had respect for people who can sew, but this experience definitely made me appreciate the craft 100x more!! Bravo, you sewists out there!
I’d love to continue practice sewing and deepen my block printing practice in the future.
And I can’t wait to share my process with you on this blog 🙂