Closing Time

After much thought, a few tears and nothing but happiness as I look back, Stitch Machine is closing its virtual doors. 

Thanks for 8 great years! It's been an amazing journey and I'm so happy to have met so many incredible people as a result of running Stitch Machine. Seasons have changed and I'm ready to take on new challenges that have been knocking for sometime. Thanks again to everyone who has supported me over the years!

*Any orders that have been placed in the last couple of days are shipped and should be arriving shortly! Please feel free to contact me at


Trees, Pets, Rock & Roll- iPhone July Photo Drop

Here are some photos I took with my iPhone this month:  photo JulyiPhoneDump14.jpg
⬆trees blooming in my brother's yard.⬇  photo JulyiPhoneDump13.jpg  photo JulyiPhoneDump12.jpg  photo JulyiPhoneDump07.jpg  photo JulyiPhoneDump05.jpg  photo JulyiPhoneDump01.jpg
⬇patriotic guy in Charlotte on july 4th  photo JulyiPhoneDump10.jpg  photo JulyiPhoneDump06.jpg
⬆ I redesigned the business cards for my mom's farm this month. She sells her goods at the Durham Farmer's Market.⬇  photo JulyiPhoneDump15.jpg
⬇goofy friends  photo JulyiPhoneDump02.jpg
⬇me & my cat cheezeburger
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⬇ black baby kitty silhouette on a vintage sofa  photo JulyiPhoneDump08.jpg
⬇A mastiff puppy named Reese & my brother's HDMI converter.  photo JulyiPhoneDump11.jpg
⬇ Photo-bombing strangers at Snug Harbor. This photo showed up in a friend's Facebook feed because he was tagged playing drums. He was surprised to discover he knew the photo-bomber (me). He messaged this photo to me. It's not often you get this type of gratification.  photo JulyiPhoneDump09.jpg
Amigo playing at The Milestone  photo JulyiPhoneDump03.jpg

Dakar Textiles

Story and photos by guest blogger Amy Hanna.  photo 725725cd-26a1-4cba-9b0e-2d1848089218.jpg
Before my recent trip to Dakar, Senegal, I read a lot about it being a bustling, brightly colored example of ‘cosmopolitan Africa.’ During my stay there, I found that nothing embodied this reputation more than women’s clothing.  photo IMG_3768.jpg
Walking down the street, I would pass countless numbers of women wearing custom-made outfits and head wraps sewn by skilled tailors out of traditional fabrics.
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The Senegalese also have a reputation for not liking to be photographed so I wasn’t able to get as many pictures as I would have liked, but I tried to snag a few.
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The designs, colors, and patterns were amazing!  photo IMG_3884.jpg

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The market was full of fabric shops, which were literally stacked floor to ceiling with beautiful patterns and prints.  photo DSC03815.jpg  photo DSC03814.jpg  photo DSC03816.jpg  photo DSC03812.jpg  photo DSC03813.jpg

The most common type of fabric for sale was batik wax-resist printed, a technique where wax is applied to the cloth before patterns are dyed over it. The result is a beautiful, durable, brilliant fabric, which seemed to be most commonly used for women’s clothing in Dakar. For more about the complex history of this technique and the increasing popularity of this type of fabric in fashion, read this.  photo IMG_4743.jpg  photo IMG_4741.jpg

Needless to say I couldn’t resist buying a few brightly colored bolts of my own to bring home. I was able to limit myself to six different designs, but it was a difficult decision:  photo IMG_4734.jpg  photo IMG_4735.jpg  photo IMG_4740.jpg  photo IMG_4737.jpg  photo IMG_4739.jpg  photo IMG_4736.jpg  photo IMG_4738.jpg Now I just have to decide what to make with it!

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Amy has blogged here before, and is currently an English Language Fellow in Potchefstroom, South Africa. To see more of Amy's great photos, visit her Tumblr: Pedagogy in Potchefstroom.


Seeing Ybor City

 photo 97916c28-a9fc-4cdf-8060-95e3126271bb.jpg While visiting my husband in Florida last week I took an afternoon trip to Tampa's historic neighborhood of Ybor City (pronounced E-bor). It was a true melting pot of the vibrant Cuban, Spanish, Italian and Eastern-European cultures. There were so many colors, aged textures, patterned tiles and a lot of wrought iron. Ya gotta be touristy in your own country every once-in-awhile, and I felt like the quintessential American tourist with my sneakers, backpack, sunglasses and camera.  photo IMG_0360.jpg ⬆ Can't cage these bad ass street chickens.  photo IMG_0354.jpg  photo IMG_0358.jpg ➡ Here is how Ybor City originated, according to Wikipedia:
Ybor City was founded as an independent town in 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers led by Vicente Martinez-Ybor. The original population was mostly composed of Cuban and Spanish immigrants who worked in the cigar factories. Italian and Eastern-European Jewish immigrants following shortly thereafter, predominantly founding retail shops, farms and grocery stores, and other businesses which catered to the cigar industry. The city was annexed by, and became part of, Tampa in 1887.  photo IMG_0345.jpg  photo IMG_0352.jpg ⬆ The colors and pattern of the tile floor of La Creperia CafĂ© really struck me. Wouldn't this be a beautiful fabric pattern?  photo IMG_0349.jpg  photo IMG_0362.jpg ⬆Do I really have to say it? ⬇I'm adding this to my "inspirational color pallet" file!  photo IMG_0348.jpg  photo IMG_0359.jpg
Ybor's familiar revitalization story reminds me of the neighbor hood where I live, Plaza Midwood. The timeline isn't exactly the same, but the events are.  photo IMG_0351.jpg
Ybor saw late 19th and early 20th century prosperity, followed by a steep decline after the Great Depression. Years of decay and crime in the 50s/60s and failed Urban Renewal initiatives by the city in the 70s left a shell of a town with dirt cheap property values. After re-inhabitation by artists in the 80s/90s there was economic recovery and growth by the early 2000s and soon a vibrant restaurant & nightlife presence arose. Pair that with mid-income habitation by a young & hip crowd, and finally you have an area attractive to high income housing developers and inevitable gentrification by wealthy residents of all ages.  photo IMG_0353.jpg
The bad thing is that if you get just a few blocks off of Ybor's trendy 7th street, there are people living in poverty. I clearly saw this on my drive into Ybor and my walk around. The new economic growth has left many of the long-time residents out (either pushed them out or just forgot them), which is true where I live also.  photo IMG_0355.jpg Moving on to lighter subjects...  photo IMG_0366.jpg ⬆My husband and his co-worker cutting up.  photo IMG_0350.jpg
⬆⬇Some parts are obviously newer but are still interesting.  photo caae3c7c-e9db-4eea-9fe5-c516cdf224ed.jpg