Hi. : )

As per usual, it’s been a little while. Okay, it’s been a long while. If you’re still reading, I’d like to give you a hug. HUG. Thanks for sticking with me.

I’ll do my best to catch you up. In the past 7-ish months of so, here’s what’s been going on at ye olde Hip to Piece Squares:

Yellow Door Art Market

By far, the most exciting thing for me was being picked to have my sewn goodies have a new home at the Yellow Door Art Market in Berkley, Michigan this spring. It’s a fabulous and well loved shop that has goods from about 60 Michigan artists on display, all the time. My spot is a cozy little green table near the register…just perfect!

Yellow Door Featured Artists

In March, I was Yellow Door’s featured artist of the week, and had a whole week dedicated to me and my work on their blog. I even had a spot in the store’s front window for the whole month. That may be the closest I ever come to being a celebrity.

back from the repair shop

In April, just as I was starting to get ready to start getting ready for summer shows and keep my table at the Yellow Door full, my sewing machine took a dive. I was without my machine for two whole weeks. I borrowed a friend’s machine, but it wasn’t the same. Thankfully, my machine feels like it’s in the best condition since it first came home.

crazy list

But while my machine was away, I went to crazy town and started making my patented, crazy lady, color coded lists. I actually lost it a little when I misplaced my orange pen (which was used to cross off checked items) and had to make a special trip to the store to buy one. Ben asked if I could just use another color, and I may have looked at him like he had two heads. OF COURSE NOT. ORANGE IS THE COLOR OF CROSSING OFF. I found my original orange pen two days later at work. Now I’m all set!

pouch stack

But all that crossing off with the orange pen meant that I got a lot done! I sewed what seemed like hundreds of bags and pouches this spring. Maybe it wasn’t hundreds, but it was a lot.

triangle pillows

Pillows were also on my to-do list this late this spring. I want to do patchwork projects, and they can be hard to fit in with my other sewing obligations sometimes. I’ve been in a half square triangle mood for the past few months, and I imagine it’ll continue. They’re just so much fun to piece and quilt.

Redford I-Art Festival

With the arrival of summer, also came my craft show season. I did A LOT of shows last year…12 total. I decided early on this year, and especially with the addition of the Yellow Door to my workload, that I would cut back, and only do my most favorite shows. This summer I participated in three shows, including Maker Faire Detroit and the Redford Michigan I-Art Festival. Great times were had at all, and now I’m looking forward to starting my fall shows.

Hudson is sleepy

The pets had a busy summer too. Hudson was a lousy guard dog most days at the sewing room door.

Audrey as a penguin

And Audrey pretended to be a penguin. They’ll have lots to tell their friends when they go back to school in two weeks. (Wait, that’s me. I go back to work at school in two weeks. Crap!)

Laura's wedding party!

I also was a bridesmade in my friend Laura’s wedding this summer! All four of us originally met at our now disbanded Brighton Modern Quilters group several years ago. The group might not have worked out as a whole, but I made some amazing friends there that I still continue to see and sew (or knit) with. It was a beautiful and fun (but hot!) weekend.

mistake pouch

One beautiful thing about 2012 so far is that I have felt so creative! I can’t fall asleep at night because I keep thinking of all of the things I want to make. New ideas don’t always work out, but on the whole, I feel like this has been one of the most creative years, ever. The discouraging thing is that I don’t physically have time to do it all, and that’s when I get frustrated. This pouch came out of an hour of pure sewing experimentation, and although I don’t think it’s quality enough to sell, it’s quality enough for me. Sometimes I like it when that happens, and I don’t feel bad keeping the items I make.

Chevron Pouch

So that, pretty much, is it for the past seven-ish months in a nutshell. Keeping this blog is by far, the toughest part for me. I love to write, I love to take pictures, and I LOVE to sew and make things, but it is SO hard for me to just say it. There are those who do it so much better than me, and it’s hard to compare yourself to that. But, I can look back over these notes and snapshots that I’ve taken over the years and know what I’ve accomplished for myself. I still have a long ways to go, and a lot more sewing to do.

Hey! You know what’s cool again??

and suddenly, I'm 10 again

Okay, so I don’t know if they’re cool with EVERYBODY, but they’re cool with me! I saw a post the other day on The Purl Bee, that featured old school macraméd friendship bracelets and I decided I had to make some immediately.

I can so clearly remember taking home the free, peel off instruction sheets on how to make the various bracelets from the Piece Goods Shop at the mall in about the 4th grade. I worked for hours on them, and would use my allowance to go back and buy more of the colorful floss to make more and more. I never really thought of it as doing a craft back then, but now I think about how these were part of my start in loving to make things for myself and other people.

Plus, they’re super fun. And I make way good ones. AND, if you’re my friend, I just might make you one!


Despite winter being AWFUL right now (the windchills were so low today we couldn’t even go out for recess today at school) it was finally sunny, all day long. It helped break up the monotony of what has felt like weeks of cold, gray depressing-ness.

I rushed home to take some natural light photographs in my warm kitchen so that I can begin listing the items that I have left over from my holiday shows in my Etsy shop this evening and through the weekend. I only got about 5 items photographed, but the sun felt so good through the window while it lasted.

I hope you too find warmth and color on this winter weekend. Happy Friday.

It’s been at least three weeks since my craft show, but I figured I should at least make an effort to post about it. Especially since it ended up being an awesome show!

table at the Redford I-Art Festival

Despite rain the first morning and um, breaking the tent Saturday night before we left, (oh yes I did…and then I duct-taped it back together Sunday) I had a fantastic weekend. I was super pleased with my set-up, which included two nifty racks that I acquired for $1 at a garage sale a week before. One of them held patchwork journals and two of my pouch baskets and the other was a shoe rack that I used to hold my new slippers. They worked like a charm!

view from my seat

The rain mostly held off for the rest of the day on Saturday and we had perfect weather all day on Sunday. I had fantastic visitors (I’m looking at you, Rebekah, Allison and Heidi!) and got to spend the whole weekend with my favorite crafty friend, Amie.

It was a good weekend. Indeed.

super happy!

Why am I smiling like an idiot? Because I found out today that myself and my friend Amie Miller of Enamor have been accepted to vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair this September! I’m seriously excited.

These next two months are going to be full of lots of sewing!

I know that it seems like I’ve yet again, abandoned the blog, but alas, I am here. Sewing my brains out!

Green Journal

I’m getting ready for a show next weekend, and these are the latest edition to my goods that I’ll be bringing along with me. Journals! For as much as I’m obsessive compulsive about writing everything down, these have been perfect for me to make. Once I fill up one notebook, I can slide it out and put a new one in.

yellow and gray

I’ve been using different colors of linen to line the outside, with three pieces of cotton to make it all pretty-like. I’ve also found a bit sturdier of an iron on interfacing that seems to work really well. I’m not sure of the name; so far I’ve been able to pick it out based on feel.
**Side note: Am I the only one who does that with interfacing? All the women at the craft stores don’t believe me when I ask for other interfacing than what they have on display, and they’ll tell me, “Oh honey, these are the only kinds they make. I’m sure one of these are what you need.” And I’m all like “no, I can tell the difference by touch, and this isn’t the same interfacing you had last month when I was in the store. I swear there’s a conspiracy.

inside the notebook

So, these, along with oodles of pouches and bags and other sewing have been keeping me busy this month. Next Saturday I’ll be back in Ypsilanti, Michigan for the Summer Shadow Art Fair at the Corner Brewery. It’s always a really fun day, so if you’re in the area, stop by, look at crafts and have a beer! (You’ll have to buy your own, though.)


I’m in a really frustrated mood this week. I’ve been thinking that on the whole, the week itself has been good (a free iced coffee from the new coffee shop in town for lunch yesterday, a phone call from my very best friend, Kate, and my summer break only a few weeks away) but I think I’m feeling out of touch with my creating. Instead of feeling inspired, I’m feeling run down and out of new ideas.

I need to build up my confidence in new projects, and be happy with those that I want to finish. I feel as though I base my success solely on the opinions of others, and I just think I need to move past that.

This, apparently is what a gloomy, chilly, rainy day in May does for my confidence.


The posting is a little late, but here’s my report of my first craft show of the season!

This show was in Flint, Michigan and was at the cutest little sandwich shop. I loved the place–it had brick walls, pictures of customers, and a really sweet owner. The day overall was a little quiet (it was raining most of the day, and I was a little bit out of the main loop of sellers) but everyone who came by was so nice and positive about my work.

My Table

I’m really feeling like I’m getting the hang of the whole show thing, too. I was able to get set up in just a few minutes, and I had time to relax before people started coming by. I’m really starting to enjoy doing these more and more.


Overall, it was a great day and it got me really excited to do more as the summer goes on.

Red Button Pouch

P.S. I do have a lot of bags and totes left over from this show though. So if you’re interested in a tree pouch or tote, or just some of my other patchwork totes and Japanese fabric pouches, check out my Etsy shop over the next few days. Thanks!

Red Button Pouch

Stupid, Stupid Me

I should have no-brained this one. I have a 6 month old puppy and a very excitable year-old cat, so why would I have ever left a partially filled glass of water sitting next to something I’m working on?

Because I’m lazy.

Empty Glass

Who could have ever knocked my glass over? Who runied the bag I was so close to finishing?

Could it be you?

Toes McGee

Or maybe you knocked it off the table?

Toes McGee

Ugh…Either way, I’m off put my dishes in the sink, and remake my bag.

First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who left a comment or sent a message in the last week about Kasey. It’s been a week of adjustment, and it would be an understatement to just say that I miss her. It’s unreal how much a dog can become a part of your family. But each day is better, and knowing that she’s no longer sick is a relief to us. So, I really do appreciate the kindness of everyone who has reached out to me. It has meant more than you could know.

But now for some better news, alright?

Way back in the fall of 2006, I was asked by super crafter, Susan Beal, to contribute a tote bag embellishment project to a beading book that she was working on. Today, Bead Simple has finally come out!

Bead Simple

Not surprisingly I decided to do a button tote. My friend’s mother had just given me a heaping bin of some amazing vintage buttons, and I knew I had to use some of them. I had some friends over, and after consulting about what looked best, this is what I came up with:

Circle in the Square Tote

I had no idea what to expect with this book, but it’s so lovely! I’m one of 39 guest designers, and all of the projects look like they’ll be so much fun to make. I love the fact that even though it’s a beading book, there’s a ton of other projects that aren’t exclusively about jewelry. It’s just a really beautiful book all the way through.

Circle in the Square Tote

So tomorrow, to help celebrate the book and my project, I’ll be posting a tutorial of how to make a simple tote. I know there’s a lot of patterns around for bags, but I my goal is that this tutorial will be simple enough for even beginners to figure understand and use. That’s the plan at least!