As I was waking up this morning I was thinking about Martin Luther King Jr. – it’s his day, after all – and just how timely his words and his messages are right now. I wanted to do something to honor him, and ended up working on a portrait. This is something I have no business doing – portraits are not my thing – and it doesn’t really look like him, but I really enjoyed spending some of my morning poring over his powerful face. It turns out portraits are much harder than they look. Who knew! (Now I do…).


When I was a kid, the teachers at my school would play a record of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech on this day, and I remember loving to listen to his voice, and how powerful his message was then. But I also remember feeling that this terrible civil rights injustice had been solved. That it was history. Here we are, 40 years later, and his message is more important and more necessary than ever. Racism, and all the systemic injustices that spring from it, have definitely not been solved, and I’m shocked by how far we still have to go. But I do believe that the conversations that have been happening over the past years, and especially over the past 8 months since the killing of George Floyd, are moving us in the right direction. I’m sorry it has taken this long. Tonight Dave and Anabelle and I will listen so some of his speeches, reflect on his messages and wish him a happy 92nd birthday.

Reset, 2021


Hello, friends,


I started writing a new year’s post 10 days ago, full of light messages about fresh starts and blank pages. 2020 was a hard year and a wild ride for most of us, and although I found some solid silver linings to cling to, I was ready to wallow in the notion of a new beginning. Then I got distracted from my writing for a couple days, and by the time I returned, our congress was under siege, and I had a healthy reminder that our issues don’t just go away because our calendar has a new date.


Still, I feel hopeful. There are vaccines in production, important and overdue conversations about civil rights are happening, and we now have a government that believes in the threat of climate change and has vowed to address it. There’s a long way to go, but I believe we’re on the right path.


For me, 2020 started out looking one way: I went into the year feeling a little lost and burned out, and had planned to take a step back to reconsider the path forward. But then, along with the horrors of Covid 19, came a new reality and a new perspective. I got busy (really busy – thank you, customers!), which prompted me to get my creative cap back on and design new fabric. And for safety’s sake, I went back to being a 1-woman show, which reminded me how much I enjoy all the aspects of running this business. And then, being forcibly homebound has given me a much needed chance to rest and recharge. It feels almost wrong to credit such a terrible event with personal restoration, but I really needed this time to be with my people (while missing all my other people terribly), skip the errands and engagements, and stay home playing board games and working puzzles. If I were a different person I would grant myself those times without being forced to slow down, but apparently I don’t operate that way. It was definitely one of the silver linings I mentioned.


So now, as we start this new year, I’m feeling inspired and energized, and somehow more centered. I got to reconnect with some of the habits and projects that fuel my creativity, and I’m excited to share more of that here, a little more of the why (and also how) behind the fabric. Here’s wishing you a happy, creative, joyful and healthy 2021!


It took forever, but I finally got Anabelle to sit down with me and make some fabric face masks last week. She’s been a little sewing-resistant, but the lure of picking her own fabric, and the increasing sense of boredom with sheltering-in-place, eventually won out. It’s a really easy project for beginning sewists, and it’s quick, so there’s that immediate reward thing. She picked the Spots fabric for herself (pale pink with metallic gold dots), I chose There Be Dragons, and we used the Arrows print for Dave, who loves that red-orange color.

We used a combination of online tutorials, but eventually landed on a customized version of this one, with modified sizing. Although these are pretty good, I think I’m going to tinker a bit this week and try to improve, and maybe work on one using our knits, which are really soft and dense. I think they will make great masks, once I perfect a pattern.

Now that we’ve sewn some for ourselves, I’m getting ready to sew more to share. It’s a great project project if you have a machine, some fabric scraps and a little time to spare!

One of the first things I bought after moving to San Francisco many years ago was a tiny little potted olive tree that I saw sitting outside the Smith and Hawkins on Fillmore Avenue. It was just a twig with a little flounce of long, dusty green leaves, and I thought it would look nice in the window of my new apartment. It wasn’t until years (and several pot upgrades) later that I realized it could actually grow olives. I’m not sure why that hadn’t occurred to me – I guess I thought it was just ornamental, and olive trees do take a long time to fruit, especially if grown in apartment-dweller quarters.

A few years ago, ensconced in a giant new pot and set in a sunny part of the garden, olives appeared. Just a few the first year, then more, until this year it was covered, and I decided I really needed to harvest them and try, for real this time, to make cured olives.

If you’ve ever tried an un-brined olive, you know that they taste absolutely terrible. It was really hard to imagine the olives going from deeply bitter to anything resembling what comes in a jar. I did a little research online, and found that really, all you need is time – and salt. Following the advice of a few different online recipes (like this one:, I prepared to treat my olives as if they were being lulled by the soft waves of the salty ocean while they hung off a pier in their brining bag. But instead, they just spent a month on the lower shelf of our kitchen island, submerged in saltwater.

First, I rinsed the olives and removed the leaves and stems. Then I cut a small slit lengthwise down each side, put them in a ceramic bowl and covered them with cool water. I used a small plate to keep them submerged, and left them on the shelf for three days.

After the initial water soak (which turned the water a deep, purplish-brown as the color and the bitterness, caused by a substance called Oleuropein, leeched out), you soak the olives in a saltwater solution for one month, changing the water solution weekly.

Drain and rinse the water-bathed olives in a colander, and return them to the bowl. To make the brine solution, dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 cups of water, and pour over the olives. Make sure the olives are submerged, and leave for 1 week. Repeat 3 more times, mixing a new saltwater solution each week. I did a little taste-test each week, and it was amazing how much more delicious they got over time.

Finally, after 1 month of leeching and brining, I enlisted my 9-year-old’s help and we did a last rinse and poured the olives into a wide-mouth jar (according to the Spruce recipe, this jar does not have to be sterilized). We mixed a solution of 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt to 2 cups water, added 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, and poured the solution over the olives in the jar. Voila – delicious homemade olives! I have to admit, I found the red wine vinegar to be a bit strong, so after a couple of days I poured the solution off and added straight salt water instead. I’m not sure if this will affect the preservation of the olives, but they’re so good they won’t last long.

There were a few olives left on the tree, so now we’re going to try a salt/oil curing technique on those. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

I’ve found myself with a little extra time to cook lately, not to mention a need for some dinner-time variety now that we’re no longer going to restaurants, and I’ve been using it to explore some of the gorgeous cookbooks I like to hoard- I mean, “collect”. I’ve been on a Middle-eastern food kick lately, sparked in part by the discovery of a fabulous Persian market nearby, and in part by my newest cookbook acquisition: Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan. Last night I put on some oud music and got started on a few of the recipes. Dinner was a delicious tabouli salad with fresh parsley, lemons and mint from the garden, homemade pita and flatbreads with za’atar, hummus, fresh feta and olives. Delish.

You can order her book here, and if you want to try the flatbread recipe, I saw it online here. It was very easy and rewarding, though it’s really helpful to have a pizza stone. I’m thinking of trying the eggplant kofta tonight…

Hello, from home! I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy. For weeks, month now, I’ve been feeling social media-averse, choosing to focus inward and on Real Life. Each time I’ve felt the desire to post, it seemed there was too much new information to convey, too much change to sum up in a sound bite.

But a funny thing happed when we were forced to slow down and stay home: I’ve started to love social media again! The community, inspiration and humor here has a beauty all it’s own, and I’ve missed being a part of it. It’s so needed right now. So I’m back. A little differently, though. I’m going to be posting about all the creative life stuff I’m doing over here, and not just fabric (though there will be some of that too). I hit a point last year where I realized I had stopped doing so many of the things I love to do, because there just wasn’t time for it all. But as a creative person, those little joys feed me and help fill the well I draw from to do my work. I’ve decided to take the time to explore those areas again – from cooking to gardening to creative reuse and herbalism, and to share those pursuits on the blog along with the fabric-focused ones. I hope you can bear with me. 

The fig branches in the photo are some that I pruned from our tree shortly before we were shut in. To my surprise, they seem to be very happy with their new accommodations, and have put down roots. (Can I plant them? And where will I find room for a new fig tree?) It feels like a good analogy, as we all try to settle in to home, and enjoy where we are. 

Our new Festival collection of organic cotton fabric has arrived and is now shipping out to new homes around the globe! These playful prints are inspired by tropical flora and fauna, and feature elephants, tigers and leopards, peacocks and pineapples. The designs are printed on our premium cotton poplin, and is (as always) 100% GOTS-certified organic. The palette is vibrant and bold, and is designed to coordinate with our In the Mix blenders, which were first introduced with our Magical Creatures collection.

Our premium poplin is a wonderful, smooth and crisp fabric that we love for its versatility. It’s great for quilting, and is what we consider our standard “quilt weight”, but it is also really wonderful for apparel – shirts, lightweight skirts and dresses – as well as home decor projects like pillows and curtains. I’ve even used it to cover chair seats, and 5 years on it’s still holding up!

I’ve had several people ask me lately what it means for a fabric to be “organic”, so I thought I’d address that again here. I have a post in the archives that has a thorough explanation, but here is a review of the basic principles of organic fabric. All of our fabrics are made from cotton that is grown organically (without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or other harmful chemicals), they are printed with low-impact, AZO-free dyes, and they are processed without the use of formaldehyde, chlorine bleach or toxic finishing agents. There are also regulations on the amount of water used, disposal processes and fair trade standards, ensuring that the fabrics are ethically produced. Each production run is certified by an outside agency through the GOTS organization (Global Organic Textile Standard), and we have the certifications available on our website, or by email. Please feel free to email me if you’d like further information!

Hi everybody! Wow, this summer has flown by. Wasn’t it just spring?? I got to do a lot of little short trips this summer, along with a couple longer ones, which were so fun, but also made the time seem to speed by even faster. Now the girl is back in school, the tomato plants are starting to brown, and my thoughts are turning to quilts.


Months ago, I shared an image of a modified star quilt I made using our (then) new Magical Creatures collection of organic cotton poplins. I got so much great feedback, and a number of people asked for the pattern, or at least for quantities, so that they could make one. But of course, when I’m improv quilting to a deadline, I tend not to keep track of pesky things like the amount of each fabric I’m using, so recreating the pattern was a little trickier that it first seemed. Luckily, Mindy came to my rescue and recreated it for me. Here’s her tutorial. Thanks, Mindy!


Magical Creatures Quilt

finished size: 55.5” x 42” (lap/crib size)

Note: We are providing instructions to make the quilt exactly as shown, but feel free to play around with different combinations! You should have enough fabric left over to cut more pieces if needed.


Fabric required:

Magical Creatures fat quarter bundle

1 2/3 yd white background fabric

1 3/4 yd backing fabric

1/2 yd binding fabric

Other supplies:

quilt batting, cotton thread, rotary cutter, ruler, and mat


Cut the following:

Cut from Unicorn Dreams:

4 4 1/2” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Scales:

4 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

3 6” squares

Cut from Forest Flowers:

5 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

1 6” square

Cut from There Be Dragons:

4 4 1/2” squares

Cut from Mermaid Party:

5 4 1/2” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Dots Pink:

3 4 1/2” squares

2 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Dots Lavender:

4 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

4 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Checkmark:

4 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

4 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Shards:

3 4 1/2” squares

8 2 1/2” squares

4 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from the white background fabric:

5-2” WOF (width of fabric) strips for borders

6-2” WOF (width of fabric) strips for sashing, subcut into 17-2” x 12 1/2” strips

18-6” squares

24-4.5” squares

24-2.5” squares


Sewing instructions:

This quilt has two types of blocks: a nine patch and a star block.

Nine Patch

Each nine patch uses nine 4 1/2” squares – 5 with prints and 4 white.

Lay out the squares in three rows, alternating prints and background, and starting with a print.

Using a 1/4” seam, sew the squares into three rows of three, and press the seams toward the printed fabric. Join the rows, nesting the seams for nicely matched seams. Press the row seams to either side or open.

Make six of these blocks.

We used these print combinations:

Dots Lavender, There Be Dragons, Scales, Mermaid Party, Forest Flowers

Unicorn Dreams, Scales, Shards, Dots Pink, Dots Lavender

Checkmark, Forest Flowers, Dots Pink, There Be Dragons, Unicorn Dreams

Dots Lavender, Mermaid Party, Scales, Checkmark, Dots Pink

Scales, Forest Flowers, Checkmark, Mermaid Party, Shards

Forest Flowers, Checkmark, There Be Dragons, Dots Lavender, Shards


Star Blocks

First make half square triangles using the 8-at-a-time method. Lay out a printed 6” square, right side up. Place a white 6” square on top and mark the 6” white squares with diagonal lines going from corner to corner, crossing each other in an X.

Stitch 1/4” on each side of the drawn lines.

Cut the squares in half lengthwise and crosswise, and cut on the marked diagonal lines. Press the seams open to avoid bulky seam intersections. Trim the half square triangles down to 2 1/2” squares.

Now you can start assembling the star blocks. Lay out the blocks as shown:

Sew the blocks into pairs, press seams open, sew the pairs together into 2×2 blocks (4-patches), and press seams open. Trim 4 patches to 4 1/2” if needed.


Lay out the squares into a nine patch as shown. Sew into rows of three, press seams open, sew the rows together, and press the seams open. 

We used the following print combinations (listed as center square, star points, triangles, corner arrows):

Unicorn Dreams, Dots Lavender, Checkmark, Shards (shown in photo)

Mermaid Party, Scales, Dots Lavender, Checkmark

There Be Dragons, Checkmark, Shards, Scales

Mermaid Party, Checkmark, Scales, Shards

Unicorn Dreams, Dots Pink, Dots Lavender, Forest Flowers

Forest Flowers, Dots Pink, Shards, Dots Lavender

Lay out the quilt into rows, starting with a star block, and alternating with nine patches. Lay out the 2”x12 1/2” sashing strips and 2” square cornerstones between the blocks. Sew the blocks and sashing strips into rows, and sew the sashing strips and cornerstones into rows. Press seams. Sew the rows together, and press seams.

Cut 2-2” WOF strips to the width of the quilt for the borders. Sew the borders to the edges of the short ends of the quilt and press the seams. Piece together 2-2” WOF strips to the length of the quilt (with the short borders sewn on). Sew the final two borders to the long edges of the quilt. 

The quilt top is now finished! Quilt and bind as desired, and enjoy!!

Simple Water Bottle Sling

Summer officially hit hard here a couple of weeks ago, and I needed a little refresher on heat-management. We don’t have air-conditioning in our house, so once it gets hot, we get into a routine of opening all the windows in the evening when it cools down (which it usually does here in the Bay Area), and then closing them all and drawing the curtains once it gets warmer outside than in, around 9 am. I also had to change my lunchtime hike habit to one where I got my outside exercise earlier or later, when the sun wasn’t as hot. And I needed to bring water. Which has always been a challenge for me because I hate carrying things when I hike, and didn’t really need a backpack for my 90 minute excursions. So, as I was heading out on one particularly hot day, I took a pause to sew this little water bottle sling. It took me about 1 1/2 hours, but I was figuring it out as I went, and I used some of our new Terrarium organic fabric (from the Saturday Collection) paired with organic hemp muslin that we have in the shop. It worked perfectly! I think it would be even better with an added pocket, which you could easily add. Here’s the simple tutorial. 


Fabric and Notions

-1/3 yard sturdy fabric for bottom, base and strap (I used the hemp muslin for this, but you could also interface quilting cottons, or use a canvas, denim or similar heavier fabric.

-1 10×13″ piece of printed fabric for top (poplin, quilting cotton or canvas works great)

-1 small scrap of interfacing or stabilizer (can be an extra scrap of fabric)

-1 long ribbon, cord or scrap of fabric to make the tie, 24″+

-Eyelets or grommets (or you can just sew two buttonholes)

Cut Pieces

Bottom: Cut 1 4″ circle (I used a wide-mouth mason jar as a template, giving 1/2 of space around the edge)

Base: Cut 1 5×13″ rectangle

Top: Cut 1 10×13″ rectangle

Strap: Cut 1 5×34″ rectangle (Note: this size worked for me as a comfortable cross-body length. However, because the strap won’t be adjustable, use a measuring tape or measure a string to 34″ and make sure this size works for you. If not, adjust accordingly.


  1. Sew the strap: with right sides facing, sew the long edge of the strap with a 1/2″ seam allowance to form a long tube. Turn and press. If you’re not familiar with tube-turning, a chopstick or other turning tool can help with this. I have one that looks like this.
  2. Join base to top: with right sides facing, sew your base fabric to your top fabric along the 13″-inch edge. Open and press the seam down toward the base. Then, on the right side of the fabric, topstitch 1/8″ from the seam on the base side, securing the seam allowance in the stitching. This will strengthen the seam and keep the seam allowance pinned in place.
  3. Create fold lines for later step: at the top edge, fold the edge 1/4″ to wrong side and press, and then 1 additional inch and press, creating a channel. Do not sew yet (this will make it easier when you get to that step).
  4. Create the tube: with right sides facing, sew the side edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance to form a tube. Press seam open.
  5. Sew the tube to the bottom circle (including one end of the strap in the seam): with wrong sides of the side tube out, slip one end of the strap inside the tube and center it over the side seam at the lower edge, matching raw edges. Then, sandwich the strap between the lower edge of the side tube and an edge of the bottom circle and pin in place. Continue matching the lower edge of the side tube to the edge of the circular base with right sides facing and pin all the way around. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  6. Insert grommets, eyelets or buttonholes: using water-soluble ink or chalk, mark the center front by flattening tube and marking opposite center back. Apply fusible interfacing or stabilizer the the center front, just under the second fold line. This is where you will insert 2 parallel grommets or eyelets, or sew 2 small parallel buttonholes, to accommodate the tie. I used a grommet kit that I had on hand (probably purchased from Joann’s). The first time I tried, the grommets pulled out because I was using lighter fabric and hadn’t used stabilizer, so don’t skip this step if using grommets on lighter fabric.)
  7. Sew the channel (including top edge of strap): Once your grommets are inserted just below the second fold line, with wrong side of the sling out, fold the top to the wrong side along the 1/4″ line, then again along the second fold to form the channel. Pin in place. Being careful not to twist strap, pull the loose edge up and slip it underneath the lower edge of the channel, centered over the side seam of the tube, and pin in place. Stitch close to the lower edge of the channel, making sure to catch the strap in the seam. Turn the sling right side out and topstitch the upper edge of the channel over the strap to hold in place.
  8. Make the tie (optional): if you are not using pre-made ribbon or cord, cut a long, 1″ wide strip of fabric that coordinates with your print. Mine was about 36″, but it should be at least 24″. Fold each long edge 1/4″ to wrong side, so that edges meet at the center. Press. Fold the strip in half the long way so that the edges are encased and the strip is now about 1/4″ wide. Stitch close to the open edge. This will be your tie.
  9. Using a small safety pin, thread the ribbon/cord/tie through one grommet, around the channel and out the other grommet. Tie knots at each end of the tie.
  10. Fill up your water bottle, sling it on your back and get out there!

Saturday Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Our new Saturday collection has arrived! The fresh fabrics finally landed at our warehouse on Monday, and we’re busily shipping them out to shops and designers who have been patiently waiting while they made their slllooooowwww progress through customs. I’m so excited to get to work making with these fabrics! It’s a funky little group of designs that all evoke for us a relaxed, creative weekend vibe.

Saturday Organic Fabric Patchwork

These designs have all been printed on our premium organic poplin, which is our most versatile substrate. It’s wonderful for quilting, adding a smoother, softer hand than traditional quilting cotton, and it also works beautifully for many apparel projects, pillows, tote bags and all kinds of other sewing projects. As always, the fabric is 100% GOTS-certified organic, which means that the farming and production processes meet very strict environmental and social standards. If you’d like to read more about the certification details, you can view the guidelines here.

We had a chance to work on some patchwork projects like the quilt and pillow above, and this Market Bag (by Noodlehead) using the small amount of sample fabric that we had before the shipment arrived, but now I’m ready to get to work on some more projects. I started a cute wrap skirt using the Cruise print (bicycles!) and the mustard Shards print, and I’m going to try a Sutton Blouse (by True Bias) with the Terrariums. What would you guys make from these prints? If you’d like to see more, you can hop over to our website to view the full collection, or place your order!