Spiders and the Webs They Weave

Metal, spiked orb sitting on Colorful Webs Embroidery Project

Spiders and the webs they weave bring up a range of emotions in people ranging from fear (think the movie Arachnophobia) to awe – how does a spider weave something so beautiful!

Having been bitten by spiders a couple of times while gardening, I am not always their biggest fan. However, I love their markings and the geometry of the webs they weave. Thinking about how to interpret for an embroidered piece was great fun as I played with swirls, different stitches and colors. The resulting project is Colorful Webs, an embroidery class I will be teaching at Maple Home Market in downtown Downers Grove, IL on February 25th.

Below are several photos from the design process, including a spiked metal orb from Maple Home Market that also informed the basic architecture of the stitched web.

Learn more about the class and register here.

Different colors of pearl cotton laying on white paper in circular pattern
Playing with Color
Closeup of Colorful Webs Embroidery Project
Beginning to Stitch
Metal, spiked orb sitting on Colorful Webs Embroidery Project
Further Inspiration for the Webs – a Spiked Metal Orb
Colorful Webs Embroidery Project from the back
The Back of a Project is Often Just as Interesting as the Front
Colorful Webs Embroidery Project featuring three spider webs and one spider
Colorful Webs all Stitched Up!

Engaging with Nature – The Explorer, Artist, Kid in All of Us

I love trees and flowers in full bloom but… I am totally fascinated by what proceeds the color show and what remains at the end of the season. For that reason, “A Tree in the House: Flowers for Your Home, Special Occasions and Everyday” by Annabelle Hickson caught my eye. The stunning arrangements she creates from what she finds each season is wonderful – especially when she creates a cotton cloud over the table and other installations! The photography is beautiful and nothing is over the top – just pared down, simple settings where nature takes center stage.

Reading this book and watching spring unfold (with a couple of hiccups along the way like the freak heavy snowstorm the other night), I am waking up to the abundance of beauty around us – including the debris that I am carting off to the compost pile and the shoots that are poking up through the soil. Some of those twigs and seed heads will make it into the house to sit on the mantle for a week or two, others might even make it into a craft project or inspire a needlework piece.

So take a break from whatever is consuming your day and grab your kids, a friend, colleague, or significant other and go outside to play like a kid, explore like a scientist, create like an artist: Bring along a paper bag to collect some interesting branches and whatever else you might find, as well as a magnifying glass to examine the intricate designs that are not immediately apparent or the bugs that you are leaving behind but look oh so interesting. Then, bring it all home and set about creating your own artful arrangements! Have someone who can’t make the trek outside with you, like a friend who’s been sick or a small child? Share what you find with them – and don’t forget the magnifying glass : )

“One of the greatest joys of playing and experimenting with flowers is that it opens your eyes to the beautiful things growing around you. The ones that are already there, doing their thing, that you didn’t have to buy or water or prune. You start to notice them. Like words whose meaning you’ve just learnt (nadir and akimbo), you start, as if by magic, to see them everywhere.” – Annabelle Hickson

Connected Hearts, a Slow Craft Quilting Class

Change up your morning routine… Reconnect with your creative self and other makers in the community!

Join us on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019, from 9:30 to 12 noon for “Connected Hearts”, a slow craft quilting project for all skill levels.

The class will meet Upstairs@St. Andrews – St. Andrews Episcopal Church in downtown Downers Grove, Illinois, a space that is flooded with natural light and a creative vibe!

Registration is required. Class fee of $68 includes all supplies needed to make this wall hanging. A sewing machine is useful but not required to complete this project.

Learn more and register at https://connectedheartsatupstairsatstandrews.eventbrite.com

Reconnect with Your Creative Self – Understory Embroidery Class

Most days: We rush, moving through our task lists like we’re in a 5k, eating meals on the fly, sending too many texts to count…

Now imagine… What if you stepped out of the fast lane, just for the morning?

Join us Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 9 to 11:30 am to reconnect with your creative self and recharge.

Understory, a slow craft embroidery project for all skill levels, will meet at The TreeHouse, a shared creative space in Downers Grove, Illinois. The class fee of $48 includes all supplies needed for this project. The project is offered in two colorways: linen white and oatmeal linen.

Registration is required. Learn more and register here.

Connect and Make – August Sunburst Quilt

It’s February and it’s Chicago. It seems like everyone I talk to is either just back from someplace warm and sunny or getting ready to go. It is with this in mind that I began thinking about the warmth of a hot August sun and what that might look like in a quilted piece. The result, August Sunburst, a 10″ square quilt suitable for hanging or placing anywhere you need a slice of summer!

Join us to connect with other makers and stitch the August Sunburst quilt on Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 9 to 11 am at The TreeHouse, a shared Creative Space in Downers Grove, Illinois. This class is suitable for all skill levels from the beginning to the experienced quilter.

The class fee of $48 includes all supplies needed to complete this hand-stitched project. Learn more and register here.

The Craft Sessions – Understory

There is no skirting around the issue here- it has been a VERY long time since I posted on this blog! I’ve also been busy making, designing, sewing, embroidering, raising kids, and, oh yes, busy with the day job – basically, living a life like many of you.

What’s in the works: a new website and new classes, the latter of which I am calling The Craft Sessions. They are about learning new skills and techniques, making a particular project, but just as important, about connecting with others in the community- because for centuries, women especially have come together to share their skills, exchange stories, forge friendships, and walk away a bit more refreshed and inspired than when they walked through the door.

So, join me and others at The TreeHouse, a beautiful new creative space (with great lighting!) in Downers Grove, Illinois, for the first Craft Sessions class – Understory, an embroidery class suitable for beginners and experienced stitchers.

In the class, here’s what we will learn:

  • How to prepare and mark your fabric – including using a running stitch to mark rule lines
  • Overview of the materials we will be working with – linen, thread, etc.
  • Design building blocks – a word about color and negative space as it relates to this project; this is especially important because the flowers themselves are stitched freehand (no markings to follow)
  • Stitches – including seed stitch, running stitch, and backstitches
  • Ideas for adding a few more details to make your project even more unique

Materials and supplies:

The Understory kit is included with the price of the class. It includes fabric, thread, and needles. Hoops will be available to purchase if you need one. You are welcome to borrow a hoop to use during the class.

Other supplies for you to bring to class: an embroidery hoop if you have one, a favorite pair of scissors, your eyeglasses, and a notepad/pen for taking notes.


The TreeHouse in Downers Grove, Illinois, about 20 miles west of Chicago. Please note: This class in on the 2nd floor, which is accessible only via stairs. If you are interested in taking the class but stairs are an issue please email me at yvonne@YvonneMaloneStudio.com – I will keep you posted as to when the class is scheduled in a more accessible space. Parking is available on the street.

Class Dates:

This one session, two-hour class is being offered twice in the next few weeks:

  • Wednesday, October 18 – 9:30 am – 11:30 am – Registration closes at 6 am on October 18th.
  • Wednesday, November 1 – 9:30 – 11:30 am – Registration closes at 6 am on November 1st.

To register, click here.

Modern Flower Box

Please join me for A Journey in Quiltmaking, a 6-week class that will meet on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 pm, beginning May 12th and running through June 16th.

The project, “Modern Flower Box,” measures 33.5″ x 14″ and can be used as a table runner or wall hanging. We will learn the basics of quilting making, start to finish; discuss design basics; and learn to flex our creative muscles through several exercises.

The pattern will be provided at the first class; you are welcome to use your own fabrics, or purchase a kit on the first day of class.

To register, please visit www.MayslakePeabody.com.  See you there!

Doodle, Reflect, and Plan

If you typically throw your calendar into the recycle bin at the end of the year, you may want to reconsider …

The other day, I walked past my daughter’s room where she was quietly embellishing last year’s wall calendar using a magenta Sharpie and a ruler; she has continued to work on it over holiday break, taking her time and carefully considering how she wants to fill in each square.

While it is a wonderfully simple creative exercise – treating each square as its own canvas, each page as its own gallery is a nice scale to work on (I say having just completed a full-size bed quilt) – it is also so meditative.

So go ahead, retrieve last year’s calendar and pick out your favorite Sharpie color, then find a quiet place to think about the year just past and set intentions for the year ahead. And for my readers who quilt or embroider, you might just discover a new pattern in those doodles!