Today is the day! It’s my turn to reveal my creations for the Catch & Release Blog Party hosted by Mister Domestic (@misterdomestic) for Art Gallery Fabrics. This moment is a bit surreal for me. I’m a mostly self-taught sewing enthusiast and quilter, who has admired Matthew Boudreaux and his design work, tutorials and fabric for quite some time. I’ve learned so much from him, I’m a fan; and yet, he chose me to participate in his Catch & Release Blog Party. Me?! Yes, me. Great things happen when you show up and say yes.
In May 2019, Matthew put out a call to micro-influencers on Instagram, those with less than 5,000 followers, to participate in his fabric launch and blog party. As he told the story of his river themed collection, it reminded me of all the memories made with my family during summers at the beach. His story resonated with me and I jumped in. I submitted my proposal, crossed my fingers, and said a prayer that I’d be included. I hoped that my idea would be “enough”. Matthew sent me a reply two days later, “Love this idea and the story behind it. Yes please.” Wait, Mister Domestic messaged me? I may have re-read it several times and then there was shrieking. A happy dance ensued. Then slight panic, “oh my…this is real. I need to make it great”.
Catch & Release in the Two Terriers Studio = bags, bucket hats and babies. I wanted to highlight Matthew’s gorgeous fabric collection in as many ways possible. I needed (i.e. wanted) them all. There’s something so perfect about the feel of Art Gallery Fabrics. I wish you could reach through the screen and touch it. But you can’t, so you may need to get some for yourself.
The first thing I made was the Santorini Tote. If you’re spending a day at the river, you’re likely going to need a tote bag. Maybe that’s just me. The Santorini Tote is a pattern by Natalie (@sewhungryhippie), and it’s one of my favorites. Natalie’s patterns are clear and concise and also easy to modify for size or style, if you choose. This tote is large, fully-lined, has an interior zipper pocket and a zip-top closure. I used the Fat Jelly Braid, a foundation paper piecing tool, purchased from the Fat Quarter Shop (@fatquartershop) to create the herringbone panel. I felt that it carried through with a fish theme and was one way to incorporate all the fabrics across both sides of the tote.
When I think of fishing along a riverbank, do you know what comes to mind? It’s bucket hats. It seems to be required gear for fisherman. Reversible bucket hats? Even better! Oh my word, the combinations are endless with just three pieces in this pattern.
I tried to sketch a fish for the t-shirt appliqué and it was sub-par. I tried again and still didn’t love it. Third time was not the charm. “This IS for the blog party, it has to be right”, kept playing in my head. I turned to Sizzix (@sizzix_quilting) and lo and behold, they have a fish die-cut. Done! What better combination than the die-cut fish and those beautiful blue scales?
My family and friends call me “the baby whisperer” and I love it. With that said, it was only natural to sew for children in this project. Wait until you see them! First up, this handsome boy with the big blue eyes. How stylish is he with his reversible bucket hat and appliquéd t-shirt? I don’t think he could be any cuter. I know, I know…I spent days sewing all these accessories, but the hat, shirt and tote are all background noise right now. It’s OK… let’s just celebrate Baby W!
Next, Miss L. She is so sweet and this denim sundress features a pieced/patchwork bodice. Matthew recommended a few AGF Pure Solids and I incorporated them into this dress along with the prints. I have to add, these photos of her are candid; no coaching or posing. Just adorable.
My sewing has mostly consisted of two-dimensional objects, but I wanted to add something more. I don’t have much experience making toys, but I thought they could easily round-out this project. Remember that comment about my fish sketch being sub-par? Yeah, still true. Thankfully, I remembered seeing a pattern for “Catnip Fish” in a book, That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak (@sotakhandmade). I added a small ribbon tab so that I could string them up for the photo shoot, and later for wall decor.
It’s been a long while since I took care of toddlers around water and rocky terrain, but I quickly remembered that when THEY are done, it’s done. Special thanks to Liz for the extra set of hands and the zippered bag with toddler bribery treats.
And that’s it. My reveal.
If there were only some way for me to share my appreciation for the experience Matthew has given me. If you know him or have seen his tutorials, you have a glimpse of what the last four months have been for me. Matthew is joy, positivity, inspiration, laughs (my husband steps out of his office to say hi when he hears Matthew laughing on the phone!), mentor, photo coach and now, I’m going to say he’s my friend. Each week, Matthew has brought the team together in a face time chat. He asked us to rise to the occasion, not for him and this launch, but for ourselves. From 400 applicants, he chose 30, and by doing so connected makers from around the world. We are different in age, gender, geography, skills and interests. We are connected because we each took a leap of faith and submitted a proposal. And it was Matthew who said YES to US.
In my one on one mentoring call, I was embarrassingly giddy. In an instant, Matthew had a read on me and my business and sewing goals. His observation floored me. He literally looked me in the eye and verbalized what I’d been feeling for months. What I’d only quietly shared with my immediate family. He spoke about where this business of mine should and could be going. How? I still don’t know, but it was the validation I needed. If you’re not sure about showing up and saying yes, I’d encourage you to do so. I could never have imagined what I’ve gained from having a little faith in myself and taking that risk several months ago. Blog Party teammates, you INSPIRE me! Weeks of witnessing your creativity – I’m still in awe and I look forward to seeing what else you create. For Matthew, thank you so much for including me. For saying yes. It’s been fabulous. I’m grateful.
This is not a sponsored post; if I love something, I say so. All photos and content are property of Two Terriers Studio.