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  • World's Easiest Last-Minute Gift

    Handmade scarf made from Robert Kauffman plaid flannel. Handmade scarf made from Robert Kauffman plaid flannel.

    Now that we’re in single-digit days before Christmas, we’re sure that all of your gifts are all ready, wrapped, and under the tree. Er… not quite? If you’re in need of a last-minute gift or two, we have a fabulous (fast) project. A handmade scarf with gorgeous, cozy fabrics – for men or women – is easy to make and sure to get lots of wear this winter.

    Robert Kauffman's plaid flannels are cozy and come in lots of colors! Robert Kauffman's plaid flannels are cozy and come in lots of colors!

    We made our scarves from our Robert Kauffman line of plaid flannels, which are thick, cozy, and come in a variety of cheerful colors. We also made some lighter-weight scarves out of the beautiful Anna Maria Horner wovens, which have a luxurious feel, nice drape, and unique designs.

    Anna Maria Horner's Anna Maria Horner's "Loominous" line.

    First, get 2 yards of fabric. Next, cut your fabric in half length-wise, so you end up with two long rectangles. Each one will make a full-length scarf. Then, beginning at one of the short ends, start pulling the horizontal threads out to create the fringe. We found that a sharp thread tweezers work well for this purpose. Some may find this tedious, but others of us find it oddly satisfying…especially when paired with a favorite TV show. Once your fringe is long enough for your liking, do the other side the same way.

    Pulling out horizontal threads one by one. Pulling out horizontal threads one by one.

    Finally, press the long edges of the scarf under twice and simply stitch up. And voila, you have a beautiful, handmade gift to give away – and enough fabric to make a duplicate for yourself!

  • Big Day Coming....

    John Lennon sewing! What could be better? John Lennon sewing! What could be better?

    October 9 is an AUSPICIOUS day. How auspicious? John Lennon was born on October 9, as were his son Sean, and Tony Shalhoub! And....my new "baby" will also be "born" on October 9. The Confident Stitch will open a brick-and-mortar store in Missoula, Montana, and simultaneously launch a web store in seven short weeks!

    Both in Missoula and online, the shops will be welcoming places to feel inspired, supported and uplifted. The website will have beautiful photographs and detailed, fun descriptions of everything for sale. My website designers are making the site looks gorgeous and is easy to search.

    The hands-on shop, formerly an art gallery, will be appointed with beautiful fixtures, inspiring samples, and knowledgeable staff members.

    The walls have been painted. New carpet is next, then cabinetry and fixtures. The cardboard The walls have been painted. New carpet is next, then cabinetry and fixtures. The cardboard "furniture" is a button rack and buttons!

    I love the industrial ceiling and the lighting. The windowed enclosure will eventually house a seamstress. I love the industrial ceiling and the lighting. The windowed enclosure will eventually house a seamstress.

    I have spent the past year traveling to trade shows in search of the best fabrics, tools, notions and indie patterns from around the world. Many of the voiles, denims, linens, knits wools and sateens I have found are one-of-a-kind.  Others are the best from major fabric manufacturers like Robert Kaufman. 

    The Confident Stitch will also carry modern quilting cottons from great young designers like Cotton + Steel and Alison Glass, and from all-time favorite artists, such as Amy Butler, Kaffe Fasset, and Charley Harper.

    Most exciting for me is the back room of the store, which will be a classroom that opens onto a deck overlooking the Clark Fork River. I have taken many classes from Pati Palmer and Marta Alto at the Palmer/Pletsch School of Sewing in Portland, Oregon. I can't wait to teach Pati and Marta's methods and help people make beautiful, well-fitted clothes that will last forever.  I will also teach beginning sewing classes. And, as soon as I find a great quilting teacher, he or she will be teaching quilting classes.

    If you were to open your dream fabric shop and sewing school, what would you be sure to carry? what would you be sure to teach?

  • I OWN a building in Missoula!

    I am excited to announce I have purchased a building in lovely downtown Missoula, Montana. The building is currently Monte Dolack's art gallery. Monte is a beloved Montana artist who has painted most of Montana's beautiful places. The space is wonderful, and Monte will remain in the lower level of the building with some gallery space on the main floor. Double-win! I think the art of sewing will go hand-in-hand with Monte's artwork.

    Monte Dolack's painting of Yellowstone Falls. Monte Dolack's painting of Yellowstone Falls.

    The building is on Front Street, one block from Higgins Avenue, Missoula's main street. The parallel parking in front tends to be crowded (by Montana standards), but there is a public parking lot in the back, and four private parking spaces next to the back of the building for sewing machine drop-offs. The front room is a large art gallery, and the back has perfect space for a classroom. I plan to open in October. Please come visit!

    The gallery space. Just add fabric! The gallery space. Just add fabric!

    Looking out the front window. The dinosaur is made out of tiny toy cars. It's called, Looking out the front window. The dinosaur is made out of tiny toy cars. It's called, "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks." Ha!

    The back deck.  The back deck. 

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