About me

Hi, I'm Patti. I've always been a maker, and I especially love to gather with friends to make things. I'm happily married, and have two awesome children...well, adults now, but I guess I'll always think of them as my babes.

I've painted walls and furniture; made and taught mosaics, sewn curtains and clothes; soldered copper pipes for garden art and jewelry; taken metal smithing classes and ran a jewelry making business; fused glass and silver; molded clay for ceramics and PMC for jewelry; knitted, felted, and done paper crafting. I enjoy cooking, and using local, organic ingredients whenever possible. I feel especially thrilled when I can repurpose something, saving it from the refuse and giving it a new life. I'm an Alabama Chanin Certified Sewing Instructor. I'll be travelling around and happily spreading the joy of hand stitching!

I hope you'll join me in my endeavors, the newest is the world of blogging, where I can share any interesting tidbits about Gathering & Making. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Of course I will join you!
    Catherine Witherell

  2. Wonderful ~ you are a most valued art buddy for sure, Catherine!

  3. Just discovered your blog and love it. Your work is amazing!
    I have never heard of a certified Alabama Chanin sewing instructor. What is it and how do you become one?

    1. Hi Iris~

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      About five years ago I collaborated with Alabama Chanin, visited their Factory a number of times, attended all of their workshops, and completed extra training to become a certified Alabama Chanin sewing instructor. I taught a number of workshops in the Pacific Northwest, working with them and using their kits. Unfortunately, they're no long supporting the certified training.

  4. Hi Patti,
    I just found your blog, right after midnight here in Florence, Alabama. I was at the factory yesterday, getting ideas for a going away present for myself. I took a hiatus from making for a while and now I am back sewing and creating again, as well as moving out of the area, thus the going away present. I am interested in creating a stencil, specifically what would be a good backing once I have it digitally printed, and wondered if you could tell me a less expensive way to create one? I am trying to bring the cost of making the Factory dress down to less than $250. It's worth every penny, but I am on a budget. Any other tips are appreciated. I have made a skirt before, when I lived in Ecuador, with the resources I had on hand but that was several years ago. Thank you.

  5. Hi Chante~ Welcome! I'm very happy you found Gather & Make. Lucky you to be living in Florence, and so close to the Factory. It's such an inspirational place. Where will you be moving to?
    Yes, you can get your costs under $250. To make your own stencil, I feel the easiest way would be to purchase the artwork from Alabama Chanin. Since you're still living there, I wonder if they would print it out at the Factory for you? If not, go to an architectural or map printing place. I had a 3'x 4' B&W print out for $4. Does AC still sell pennant felt? If not, I've used very stiff, nonadhesive interfacing that worked well. I purchased that at my local fabric store. Or perhaps you could find a pre-made stencil at your local craft store or Michael's that might work, though you have to be careful because sometimes the pattern, though pretty, may not be very good for a sewing project.
    You can stencil/paint your fabric with a sponge and fabric paint; or use spray fabric paint from a can; or use a Sharpie to trace the pattern onto the fabric.
    The fabric is the bulk of the cost. I believe The Factory dress calls for three yards per layer, so six yards for a double layer. You could purchase your fabric from AC. Their fabric really is wonderful. Some people purchase jersey sheets for yardage. Using t-shirts may prove difficult for the Factory dress. Organic Cotton Plus (online) sells affordable, high quality organic cotton jersey. It is slightly lighter weight than AC's mid weight. Nice that you can purchase all your AC items now and save shipping.
    If you have other questions or need clarification, feel free to ask. I wish you every success in making your dress! Please keep me posted on how it's going.
    Happy stitching~ Patti

  6. I really appreciate you getting back to me so promptly. I just ordered swatches from Organic Cotton Plus. I don't think that AC sells pennant felt any longer, they have cut back on some of their supplies. However, I like the idea of using the stiff interfacing. Last 2 questions: 1. What fabric spray paint do you recommend? 2. How do you weigh it down to make sure the stencil doesn't shift around on the fabric? Thank you again!

    1. I've been using Tulip Colorshot fabric spray. Simply Spray has a larger can of upholstery spray paint that works well also. Use repositionable adhesive spray on the backside of the stencil and press it onto the fabric to get good contact and prevent shifting. Here's a link to one of my blog posts that gives a quick rundown of my painting process. Being organized is a key. Once you begin, things get a bit messy, and you'll be glad to have everything you need within arms reach.


      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Have fun!!