eight by eight

cozy patchwork sampler for February, which can also be called good crafting therapy… by Blair
March 2, 2008, 9:16 am
Filed under: Blair, finished | Tags: , ,

I have a story around what came out of this month’s theme. First of all, the colors of what you sent just jumped out of the box with all their vivid-ness. They were a welcome surprise (although I don’t really know what I was expecting, which I guess is part of the fun). I formed an idea of what I would do immediately. Then a h u g e project landed on the little lap of our small business, and everything was put aside. Everything. I found myself working not only while the kids were away at school each day, but at night after they were in bed, and sometimes even through dinner. I can’t say its put me in the best mood. Feeling as if I had no time for anything at all and most definitely no balance…well…yes…I was pouting a little. Anyway…

Just as I was about to go to bed the other night, I switched gears and decided to jump into my eight by eight project instead. I suddenly felt the urge to do something completely for me, and let me tell you, this was the perfect thing. Funny how sewing all these little stitches created such a total calmness in me, I immerged from my studio feeling so much better about everything, immediately calmer and just more “me”. I love having a pre-defined size and a pre-chosen set of materials to work with (that I did not choose). This month especially, it just seemed like the best kind of crafting therapy.


Looking back at the original pile of bits I got in my box, I was most interested in the felt dots and immediately called them my favorite part. They definitely fueled my initial inspiration. I found it most fun to use them as a foundation to play with different embroidery stitches. As for the fabrics themselves, they all seemed to come together as a patchwork, with the dots on top. I loved how the polka dot corduroy balanced with those round felt dots.


The wool roving you sent stumped me initially, but then I decided to pull out my needlefelting supplies and create pom poms (you can see these pom poms inspired other aspects of my crafting this month). I have wanted to do some needlefelting again for a while now, and while this is not a huge amount of work, my hands immediately remembered how theraputic the process can be (well, when I don’t get poked). I sewed these onto the corners, and this all suddenly felt very pillow-like to me. You know how I love the pillows. I added some stuffing, added a backing of red felt, and present you with a very tiny, eight by eight (actually a bit smaller) patchwork pillow.

On to March, a surprise color pairing is on its way to you!



February: Finished Project by daria
February 29, 2008, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Daria, finished | Tags: ,

Dear Blair,

I really loved the materials you sent for COZY*, & started thinking about layered organic shapes just about as soon as I opened the box.


I worked on the little pieces separately over the course of a few days, then had to set the whole thing aside for a while. When I picked it back up, it was pretty obvious: I’d been making a (cozy) box of chocolates. I’d thought I was just being inspired by the shapes & layering of this amazing quilt, plus the imaginary Martha Stewart article I was talking about, but then my husband came home talking about a Japanese craft book of tiny felted desserts he’d seen, plus it turns out that a big half-price box of post-Valentine candy got in there too.


So I totally went for it.


Down to the little gray salt sprinkles.


After all the fussy embellishing & quilting I did last month, this project felt very sweet & simple. I had the perfect candy paper brown corduroy for the background, & I kept my quilting to a minimum, just doing a couple of echo lines around each “chocolate,” then edging with a wide zigzag.

And now, onto Color Pairing!

*Just like last month, I posted larger images than usual for the big reveal but looks like our template cuts off the sides so be sure to click the pictures for full size or check them out on the 8×8 flickr.

my inspiration is out there somewhere, I just know it by daria
February 15, 2008, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Daria, inspiration | Tags:

Dear Blair,

Those felt pictures are unspeakably fabulous.  (Successful trip to Kinokuniya?)  I think my favorite thing might be the pompoms on the box, though the dots are indeed excellent.


Yes, I’m up to my neck in competently managing my roles in a bunch of other stuff right now, but I’ve also had this month’s project on my mind almost constantly, because I opened the box & almost instantly knew what I wanted to do, plus I have this feeling that in one of my MSL back issues there’s the exactly perfectly visually inspiring pink + brown article, only I haven’t had time to dig through the collection & see if it’s true or if I’m just imagining it or if I’m just half-remembering the background colors of some other completely different article, like artfully photographed spoons or something.

On the other hand, it’s possible that the nagging possibility of the article is actually more inspiring to me than having the actual magazine in front of me would be, which is a pleasantly lazy solution, & I could use a little laziness about now.

cozy inspiration by Blair
February 12, 2008, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Blair, Etc., inspiration | Tags: ,

felt box

Dear Daria,

You are in complete auction, gocco-love mode right now, arent’ you? As busy as life is, I had to share these images with you while we’re thinking about inspiration for this month’s theme. I *love* the way the dots are sewn onto that felt box, don’t you? The dots you sent in my box this month totally brought this image to mind.

felt chair pads

I envision a future dining room of mine definitely needing these chairs and chair pads. Oh yes!

COZY by daria
February 8, 2008, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Daria | Tags: ,

Dear Blair,

I have given up patiently waiting for some decent natural light for photographing this month’s box.  Maybe in March.


Texture was definitely the idea for me this month, & I wasn’t very surprised when I opened the box & found your much more genteel version of the rowdy felty wooly colors I’d sent.  Also, I have to say, I am completely in love with that seam binding.

(I can just drink the tea, right?)

February::cozy by Blair
February 7, 2008, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Blair | Tags: ,

my february package from Daria

Dear Daria,

What a bunch of bright color to open up on a gloomy day! You package contents just glowed when I opened them (which was actually at a stop light while driving). I knew a theme of “cozy” would bring us to felty, wooly, sweatery textures, and the woolen dots are going to be so fun to experiment with. This all quickly inspired a trip to the Japanese book store (sadly, I came home empty handed, but filled with ideas nonetheless).

Oh the possibilities!