New Jacket on My Board

In process, a new jacket!
I’ve had a very fun few days pinning all the bias tubes in place.
Next up, baste.
Then, hand stitch everything down.
Can’t wait!
App Trench

Posted in applique | 6 Comments

SAM, Peonies and New Projects

I love walking into art museums with no particular agenda. Last weekend I was able to do just that at the Seattle Art Museum.
One step in, right in the main lobby, was ‘Middle Fork’ an amazing piece by John Grade. A sculpture of a 140 year old hemlock from the Middle Fork area of the Snoqualmie River. John Grade Middle Fork
It’s made from thousands of tiny, reclaimed pieces of old growth cedar.
There is a short video about the making of it here.
John Grade Detail
The other end from the atrium below.
So cool.
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I came to a full stop in front of this gorgeous elevator screen from the Chicago Stock Exchange.
Louis Sullivan’s 1894 building was demolished in 1972.
A detail with shadows behind.
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A little Japanese screen with “Dancing Figures”.
Patterns!
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Back home, more inspiration.
My peonies.
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Inspiration for new work! My favorite time in the studio.
Piles of fabrics laid out. Big plans brewing for these guys!
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Posted in misc | 2 Comments

Beaded Plus

I had made a version of this beaded jacket a few months ago.
Judy asked for a similar jacket with a little more length. Plus a top to go under.
And, how about adding some beads to the top?
Yes! And Yes!
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Excellent idea Judy!
A close up.
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Posted in beading | 9 Comments

Spring Fever

Finally! Spring is here!
Since the early 1940s, only one other year has been wetter than this one.
It’s been rain, rain, rain, followed by more rain. And then some more.
[shhhh, this is a secret: I do not mind the rain. I’ve been just fine inside, right in front of my sewing machine.]
But, when the sun comes out and everything is sparkling and clean, it’s impossible to stay inside.
And besides, all these beauties are calling to me.
My Royal Sunset rose is just about ready to bloom.
I can’t wait. It has the best fragrance.
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I didn’t even know this one had opened!
The things you find out when you finally go outside.
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I confess that I was amazed to find how well the weeds have been doing.
This now liberated iris was about to be swallowed by unruly grass and other uninvited plants.
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A pretty rhododendron in full form.
This one wasn’t so sure about my yard. I’m happy to see it doing its best to adjust.
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And just wait, the peonies are about to explode.
Except for all the flowers that are also my favorites, peonies are my favorite.
I can’t wait.
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Next Generation

Every new jacket I make has its genesis from a previous design. One idea will spawn another. Or,  a new fabric inspires a new direction. Or a customer asks for a change that in turn sends me off into new ideas and new possibilities.
Sometimes the connection is obscure, it makes sense to me, but is not noticeable to others.
Other times, the parentage is obvious.
For example, the jacket below, which is similar and obviously related to the first, but is sewn with different fabrics.
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The original jacket below. You can see the similarities.
But different, like a mother and daughter.
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Another jacket, from the same family. I posted this one in process, here finished. This one uses the same fabrics, but instead of solid black the sleeves are pieced.
All three jackets are different from each other but related. Like members of a family. Like a mother and her two daughters.
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Generations, one follows the next, similar and related but new and different.
Happy Mothers Day!

Posted in beading, jackets, piecing | Leave a comment

Piecing Meisen

All last week I was piecing meisen……
‘Piecing Meisen’, doesn’t it sounds like the title of a novel?
Anyway,
My week.
I spent it cutting up the beautiful Japanese ikat fabric, meisen.
You remember meisen, you weave it, print the design, unweave and reweave.
Yep, reweave. For that soft edge on all the shapes. So cool.
I was cutting it into small pieces, then piecing them back together into blocks and finally, into jacket pieces.
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The one above ready to be sewn into a jacket.
The one below, not quite yet.
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I love this! Because I loose myself in the process.
It’s just me and my fabrics. We’re finding our way, seeing what shapes and patterns emerge.
It’s magic.

Posted in kimono silk, piecing | 1 Comment

Black on Black Swing

A quick snapshot before it was boxed and shipped to its new home.
A coat from all black silks, pieced into strips sewn together with a beautiful black wool.
I had started this a few weeks back and promised a picture of the finished coat.
Thank you Jackie for coming up with a great idea. I love it!
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Posted in jackets, piecing | 5 Comments

Workshop in Winter Park

I left Portland, where it was the end of winter, a few buds here and there and hints of spring.
And landed in Florida, with 90 degree days, a warm sun shinning and orchids thriving on the back patio.
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Louise Cutting had arranged 2 [!] retreats, each with fabulous groups of eager sewers.
We set up, machines in a row.
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I described techniques and showed examples.
My goal, give enough ideas so that no matter the skill level or taste, whether they’re the jump and hope to land or a careful planner, each student would find the technique that was right for them.
After a minute or two, projects began.
Fabric in piles, a good sign things were happening.
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Machines were humming,
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Shapes and designs emerged.
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I love the ‘Aha!’ moments. When people understand and begin to see results.
It’s the pride of making. I relate! It’s why I do it too.
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Some sewed stripes,
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some random ‘crazy’ piecing.
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I had put together color choices, each student chose their favorite: black and white, or neutral, or blues, or bright reds and orange.
The best part of teaching? When each person’s individual identity emerges.
Just black and white wasn’t always enough, “I need red here. Can I get some red?”
These people were after my heart.
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And at the end of each class, beautiful things emerged.
I can not wait to see the finished projects!
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Goodbye, for now, to beautiful Winter Park, Louise, Sandy, each and every student who came and jumped in and experimented, those beautiful orchids, sunny skies and these adorable kitties, in a bowl,
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And in a basket.
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Thank You Louise for making a most wonderful retreat!
I loved every minute!

Posted in misc | 1 Comment

Winter Park Workshop

Hosted by the amazing Louise Cutting, next week I’ll be teaching a workshop in beautiful Winter Park, Florida.
Teaching is an excellent brain exercise. You have to break down each part of the process into an understandable and logical order.
Normally three or four steps ahead of where I am, I’ll need to slow down and move logically from step 1 to step 2, to 3 to 4. No jumping around!
It’s the same with what to bring. No running to the other room for the example I want to use.
Below, the floor of my studio. Doing my best to think in a logical and strategized order.
workshop prep
Teaching is energizing.
I can’t wait to meet all the people in the class!

Posted in misc | 3 Comments

Black on Black

I have a system in place for my pieced swing coats and choose the colors carefully. So when people ask if I can make one in a different color way, I almost always have to decline.
However, this one intrigued me, black on black. Nothing but texture to differentiate the various fabrics.
Below, the coat in mid-piecing,
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After piecing,
It’s cool isn’t it? The reason you see the separate pieces of fabric is because of the way light is reflected from the surfaces. Very subtle.
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A detail so you can see the various fabrics.
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I can’t wait to see this one sewn into a coat.
Stay tuned.

Posted in jackets, piecing | 8 Comments
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