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Chess Set

 by Alisa My nephew turned ten-years-old earlier this year. He's adorable and amazing and I knew he was learning to play chess, so when I saw instructions  to make a chess set in the May 2021 Martha Stewart Living magazine I knew it was the perfect bday gift. The online instructions don't include what I think is the best part of the set -- the combo storage box/board. You make the chessboard/storage box from a 13" x 13" x 4" sliding lid maple box from Tilnic Box on Etsy and a 12" chess board stencil from The Stencilsmith online. Martha suggested spray painting the board, but I used acrylic paint and a stencil brush instead. I should have sealed the wood before stenciling, but I tell myself the bleeding at the edges shows the work that went into painting the design. I had already purchased all the blocks -- there are a lot -- suggested in the Martha Stewart instructions, so I got to work on creating the Chess pieces. I took some liberties with the instruct
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The gift quilt

by Linda Theil Steven, I am giving you this quilt because every stitch represents a step in your journey to become a board-certified, healthcare professional. This quilt is composed of blocks in the traditional log-cabin quilt block design, consisting of fabric pieces spiraling out from a central square that represents the heart, the hearth, the essential. Although the log-cabin design is traditional, the execution is modern because fabrics are chosen from cotton pieces the maker has on hand. The pieces for your quilt were gathered in a color palette of red, white, and green, accented with gold. Each block was composed according to the maker's esthetic at the time of its creation. For more information on this process, see AppletonDance post, "Scrappy log cabin blocks" . This improvisational approach is a current fashion in quiltmaking, influenced by "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" show in 2002. So your quilt represents the continuity of quiltmaking, setting an an

Eclectic Amplectic

 by Linda Theil I recently made several Spencer-Ogg "Amplector" crossbody bags as gifts for friends and since they have all been distributed, I can share photos of the projects. Panda-plector! Spencer-Ogg large-sized “Amplector” pattern in Tula Pink "Pandamonium Ink" fabric and Tula Pink webbing for the strap. Lining is from "First Light" collection by Ruby Star Society. Card pockets were added. Two-by-two-plector! New Spencer-Ogg large-sized “Amplector” using vintage fabric with a repeating Noah's Ark inspired print of unknown origin, purchased at Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild fabric sale in 2017. Card pockets were added. Posey-plector! New Spencer-Ogg small-sized (9.5 x 6-inches) “Amplector” using “Lavender Market” collection by Deborah Edwards for Northcott, with self-strap and h ardware by Craftmemore. Posey-plector II A second new Spencer-Ogg small-sized “Amplector” using “Lavender Market” collection by Deborah Edwards for Northcott, with self-st

Franken-plector

 by Linda Theil "Franken-plector" back slip-pocket in Tuscan scene fabric When I decided to make a new Spencer-Ogg "Amplector" cross body bag, I intended to use the Tuscan-scene fabric from the  "Bella Toscana"   collection by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics as the featured slip-pocket on the front of the bag.  For the lining, I chose a floral from the same collection from a fat-quarter bundle I purchased in 2019. For accents I found a brick-red solid in a box of "Ten Vintage Crayola Colors" in a box of fat quarters by Riley Blake Designs. I intended to use a tan webbing I had on hand for the long strap, and a bright orange #5 zip from YKK. But by the time the bag was birthed, it bore no resemblance to my original plan; instead, a Frankenstein's monster emerged. The trouble began when I decided to add a credit-card holder to the inside pocket of the bag. Since the "Amplector" doesn't have a credit-card holder, I sought adv

Menswear: bespoke cross-body bag

by Linda Theil I was inspired after reading Jamie Waters' stylish promotion of cross-body bags for men in the January 14  WSJ: "How Men's Hype Bags Became the New Sneakers -- Once a punchline, men's cross-body bags by brands like Gucci and Off-White have emerged as must-have status accessories, eliminating back-pocket bulges and any outdated stigma in convenient, hands-free ways". Waters said: "Recently, another men's accessory has begun to inspire a sneaker-level spirit; a sling bag that clings to the body like a baby monkey. Sold by brands such as Fendi, Prada, and Stussy, the bags convey a sense of smart and elan like a new pair of Salomons." His description perfectly defined my favorite Spencer Ogg "Amplector" cross-body design, so I decided to venture into men's fashion. If Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Botega Veneta can create practical, cross-body bags for men at meaningful price points, so can I. My menswear cross-bod