The winner is....

Sewing Green with Betz White

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Betz White, author of Sewing Green, 25 Projects Made with Repurposed and Organic Materials.  If you don't already have a copy of this book, I think you are missing out.  Betz has filled it with fantastic projects, aimed at the advanced beginner to intermediate sewer.  There is everything from a reversible skirt and produce bags to a car sunshade and log shaped draft buster.  We talked about two of the baby projects.

. . . . .

Erin:       Hi, Betz.  Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about your new book, Sewing Green.  I received my copy a few weeks ago and really have enjoyed looking through it.  It’s so inspiring!  There are many projects that I want to make.  I chose to start with the baby quilt because a dear friend of mine just had her first baby and I wanted to make her something special. 

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Putting this quilt together was fun and easy!  You did a great job on the project design and instructions.  I love that you call for organic materials for this quilt.  Why do you think using organics for babies is so important?

Betz: Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed making it. It’s very sweet! Organic cotton fabrics are such a natural choice for babies. Everything from the cultivation of the fiber to the production of the fabric is done without the use of toxic chemicals. (Inversely, the production of conventional cotton uses 25% of the world’s pesticides!) We do so much to protect our babies and their sensitive systems from the time we are pregnant to their earliest days and on through their youth. We feed them healthy and organic foods, wash their clothing in mild detergent, etc. Wrapping them in organic cotton is just one more way to be gentle to their bodies.

Erin:       When my girls were born seven and nine years ago, there weren’t many organic fabrics on the market.  The few options that were available were all very similar, as well – mostly unbleached and undyed cottons.  There are so many more choices now!  Both the darling aqua print on the front of the quilt and the snuggly sherpa on the back are organic cottons.  Have you also noticed that organic fabrics are easier to find?  Why do you think that is?

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Betz: I agree! My boys are the same ages as your girls and the market has definitely started to change since they were babies. However, there is still a long way to go. I encourage everyone to consider organics when buying new fabrics. You’ll be doing right by the environment and yourself. Money talks and we can increase demand for these sustainable practices by choosing organics. (Shown here: Aqua print by Harmony Art Organics. Organic sherpa backing from NearSea Naturals) Look for more organic fabric options hitting the market soon, including (fingers crossed) a line from yours truly!

Erin:   Really?  That's exciting!  The batting you sent me for the quilt is made out of corn!  So cool!  It was wonderful to use and it’s better for the planet than a traditional cotton batting.  Why is using eco-friendly materials a better choice?

Betz: Crazy that your quilt is made with corn, huh? The fiber is referred to as PLA, a polymer made from lactic acid found in corn. It’s manmade but 100% nature based, breathable, washable and biodegradable. Other batting made from poylester is not biodegradable, but there are some made with recycled polyester. Sometimes the most “eco-friendly” option isn’t clear, so it’s up to us to educates ourselves and be aware of false “eco” claims, otherwise known as “green-washing”.

E:       The stuffed dog is such a sweet toy!  I really enjoyed making it.  It’s made with a felted cashmere sweater.  I love taking something that was meant for one use and giving it a second life as something else.  I know you do a lot of that, too.  Can you recommend other items that can be repurposed for children and babies?

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Betz: A washed cashmere sweater has got to be my number one favorite repurposed material for babies. Dad’s soft sweats or flannel shirt are also nice materials for baby pants or tops.

Erin:       I think you did a fabulous job with this book.  After reading it, I find myself thinking twice before running out to the fabric store.  Instead I’m looking around me and seeing how I can use what I have.  Thanks for the inspiration and for taking time to chat with me.

Betz: Thanks for hosting me on the tour!

. . . . .

There's more!  Betz and STC Craft are generously giving away a copy of her book, Sewing Green.  To be eligible for the drawing, leave a comment on this post before Thursday, April 30th at 1:00 p.m. EST.  I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

As a side note:  I followed Betz's directions exactly on the quilt and the dog.  Everything in these two patterns - amounts of materials needed, directions, etc. - was completely accurate.

I'll be back tomorrow.



I just started sewing my first ever quilt! The new book looks great!


I love that quilt! The projects look so great, I'd love to win the book! Thank you Erin! Organic fabrics are SO wonderful :)


I love the projects you did from the book! What fun to see them - I'd love to see this book!


This book sounds awsome! So many wonderful to make! I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'll be the happy recipient!


Oh I love the quilt. So sweet.

A friend to knit with sent me.....sounds like a neat book!


Would love a copy of this book! Thanks!


I so want this book...I love that the projects are made from repurposed materials.


Love the projects, hoping I win because I have a baby on the way and would love to make some of these projects!


I've been really interested in her book. I think I'm going to have to buy it and check it out. Thanks for the great interview!


My favourite colour of all is Green.

Lisa Q

Seems like there are so many great things in this book. You did a fabulous job on the baby blanket and the dog. What a nice gift they will make. Thanks for sharing.


Need book, its awesome!


This book looks so fabulous!


This is one of the multiple books that tried to come home with me from the bookstore the other day. My wallet had to politely ask her to return to her spot on the shelf and promised to come back to get her as soon as there was money to spare.

Stacey S.

Thanks for the interview. I can't wait to get my hands on that book.

Julie Tiu

Really enjoyed the interview and the peek into Sewing Green! I like that the experience level spans advanced beginner to intermediate, too. Can't wait to try out the ideas in the book!


What a lovely book filled with fabulous things that make me want to sew.


These projects look terrific. I'm not nearly the sewer you are but it looks like a fun book! Thanks for the great giveaway.


That book looks amazing! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Yvonne in southwest Virginia

What a terrific book...dealing with one of my favorite topics: repurposing! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


I would love a copy of this book. My baby is due in May (three more weeks) and I am really going green with this one - cloth diapers, cloth wipes, hand me down clothes from big sister and natural birthing. Thanks for the chance to win the book.


It would be great to win this book!


Very interesting to hear about organic fabrics - I'd never considered using them before.

City Farm Girl (Jenn)

How fun that you got to interview her! Love her stuff... and yours!


The quilt and dog are adorable! It's always so nice to hear when the patterns are accurate. I tend to trust designers, but sometimes things get switched in the layout/editing, and it's frustrating to learn the hard way.


Just signed my daughter up for preschool *sigh* and need to bring in a blanket for naptime. Some time ago, she found a soft pink remnant at the fabric store and requested I make a blankie with it. I now plan to also use scraps of thrifted, felted, wool sweaters to make a fun, special blanket for her to have when she is "on her own" at school. Maybe it will mean more to me than it does to her, but that's okay!


I would love to win this book! Both projects are adorable.


This book sounds great! Isn't it amazing how much we can do with what we already have!? Super-cute projects, btw.

katie Leonard

This book sounds soo great. I can't wait to begin going through it... whether I win it or order it soon.


I've seen the book in the bookstores and it's lovely. Fingers crossed!!


the puppy toy is adorable! you did a great job with the interview and the projects, erin. thanks for sharing so much of yourself with all of us.


I love what I've seen from this book, and can't wait to get a copy. Hopefully I'll be lucky here!


I'd love to get this book!


How gorgeous! And so inspiring! :D

Hannah Johnson

I would love to own this book!! I have been eyeing it, and would love to have it in my collection. Thank you!


This book is now on my amazon wish list!!


The book looks so great! I'd love a copy. I am very much into reusing and upcycling these days.


Oh, yes, sign me up! LOVE the dog!


Great interview Erin! Love that little dog, so cute. x


Even as a cat person I love this dog!It's cute.


Oh, I have babies needing prezzies. What a great looking book!


Great interview! I just saw this book and loved it! So many great ideas.

Dawn Suzette

Great interview! It is so good to see more organic options out there. This book is on my booklist... I would love to win a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!


what a great interview! thanks for sharing ! my little one would just adore that dog toy! it's soooo cute :O)


The dog is so sweet. What a great give away.


Looks like a great book. Love the little puppy:)

sarah s.

I've been eyeing that book! Would love to win it! Thanks for the giveaway!


That is such an adorable dog! I have some sweaters that I am figuring out how to repurpose.


What cute projects! I'd love to win!


I love the dog and have just the right friend for it. Thanks for the interview and the great review of the book.

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