Beaded Swing Vest

She asked me, “Could you make this vest in a full swing version?”
And I said, “Yes!”
I pieced the grid and diagonal lines.
Then, I sewed on the beads. And then more beads.
And more beads and more.
In the beginning I thought I’d never finish.
But you know, after a while, well, after a long while, I did!
Shibori Vest Swing
The back of the vest is in the foreground and in the distance, the front.
Next up: steam flat, sew into a vest and send off to its new home!

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Layering Patterns

I love the play of pattern against pattern! A coat over a jacket over a top, each with a different fabric.
And layers of clothes make sense, add more if you’re cold and less if you’re warm.
Plus, it can look so cool!
Two grid designs, a meisen checked trench coat over a jacket with a flower patterned collar.
layered checks

For a different look, the same trench coat over a jacket pieced with the check and various shibori silks.
layered meisen

I look to the Japanese, who are masters of layering, as you can see in this 18th century print.
“The courtesans Hitomoto and Tagosode” by Kitao Masanobu.
Each woman is wearing at least 3 or 4 distinct fabrics, amazing!
The courtesans Hitomoto and Tagosode

My version, with 4 fabrics, a striped swing coat over a striped jacket.
layered stripes

Or this set, a trench with a cool woven design over a light weight jacket.
layered trench

A detail showing the 3 different kimono silks.
trench over hitoe det

Posted in kimono silk, piecing | 1 Comment


It’s that time of year!
When everything is exploding with new life.
The air is clean and fresh, it feels like anything is possible.
My favorite cherry tree.
Every year it does its very best to outdo itself.
cherry tree

A beautiful tree peony, it looks like one you might find on a hillside in a remote corner of China.
peony bush

A camellia, so many petals crowded into one flower. Amazing.

Little violets running wild.
I want to dip them in sugar and arrange them on a cake.

All this bursting forth, it’s inspiring!
Little squares laid out and ready to be appliqued.
mog 2

Another jacket, the idea is set, the pieces assembled, I’m ready to go!
spring jacket

New beginnings, refreshed energy, new projects!
It’s Spring!

Posted in jackets, misc | 1 Comment

New Trench

You know how much I love the classic Japanese designs, yes?
If I find a traditional old kimono that’s ready to be repurposed, I’ll take it apart and rearrange the pieces to make something new.
Japanese trench
I lay them out until I see the designs fitting together in new ways.
Japanese Trench Det
There was the original way, which was one way, and now there’s a new way.
It’s magic!
Japanese Trench bk

Posted in kimono silk, trench coats | 1 Comment

Portland Hill Walk

We had the best weather the last few weeks.
My friend and I celebrated with a hike through the hills of West Portland.
From Laura O. Foster’s wonderful book, “Portland Hill Walks”.
WIth spectacular views of the city and mountains.
pdx hill walk 3:15 2

Past beautiful old homes.
Pdx hill walk 3:15

Daffodils in bloom.
Portland hills walk 3:15

And into the woods along the Marquam Trail.
pdx hill walk 3:15 4

A magic place.
pdx hill walk 3:15 3

Up to the highest point in Portland, Council Crest.
We weren’t the only ones with this idea.
pdx hill walk 3:15 6

A gorgeous view of Oregon’s highest mountain, Mt. Hood.
pdx hill walk 3:15 5

Then back down, through back yard trails.
pdx hill walk 3:15 8

Past sweet dogs longing to play.
pdx hill walk 3:15 7

And a beautiful old wall.
pdx hill walk 3:15 9

We hit the right weekend! This one is soggy and wet.
I’m not complaining! It’s the Portland spring rain that keeps everything so green.

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Beaded Jackets

I love the sparkle and glitter of little beads, especially when they’re scattered over beautiful kimono silks.
A last look at beaded jackets from the Baltimore show.
Beaded Teal Ume
A beautiful teal color silk, with painted blue blossoms. The coral dots look like beads.
I’ve added my own, the glass variety, for texture.
Beaded Teal Ume Det
It always surprises me, how different the various whites look when they’re sewn next to each other. Some are white white, others a creamy pink or a pale yellow.
Tiny square beads at the corners to highlight the pieced sections.
Beaded Creamy Bold
Blue beads follow the curves of the watery wave and stream lines.
Beaded Waves and Stream
What is it about little sparkling things that is so appealing?
I must have a bit of crow in me, the birds who love and collect shiny things.
You know this story, yes? About the Seattle girl who has a collection of gifts brought to her by the crows she feeds.
crow gifts

Posted in beading, jackets | 1 Comment

ACC Baltimore 2015

It’s the big one! The Baltimore Craft Show, put on every February by the American Craft Council.
It’s a wonderful show and always an honor to be included.
I headed east with 3 suitcases full, a carry on and my good friend Elisabeth.
We set up the booth and arranged the clothes.
Balt 15

Scarves were hung and ready to go.
balt 15 1

Day 1, we started off with a bang! Lots of people and friends. We were busy, busy, busy.
In a quiet moment I snapped a picture of sweet Blue.
balt 15 5 blue

Day 2, started normal, all was good.
And then, curiously, the aisles emptied.
balt 15 6

Here’s a clue.
Can you see? Those are icicles on his beard! And snow in the hood of his coat!
balt 15 2

Outside it had snowed 6 more inches!
It was another snowstorm for poor Baltimore!
Nina and Elisabeth pose in the winter wonderland.
balt 15 3

The courtyard outside our window.
balt 15 4

Day 3, although there were still piles of snow [that’s Elisabeth’s head, peeking from behind the top of the snow-pile], it had cleared up enough so people were able to make it to the show.
We were back in business.
balt 15 10

Despite one snow day, overall we had a great show in Baltimore.
Our last day, we headed back home.
A grand send off as we waited for the plane to take off.
balt 15 7

Goodbye to snowy Maryland!
See you next year!
balt 15 8

And hello Portland!
One last look at the Portland airport carpet. Old and tattered it’s being replaced. [PDX Carpet]
balt 15 9

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New for ACC Baltimore 2015

New jackets for ACC Baltimore 2015! Finished and ready for viewing.

You saw the one below in process a few weeks back.
Remember? It was pieced from left overs from earlier projects.
“Jet Remainders”
Jet remainders

The purple one below was pieced from 7 completely different fabrics and kimonos. Silks either hand-painted, shibori-dyed or stenciled. They go together so well! Like long lost family members.
“Purple Ume Dots”
Purple Ume Dots

A striped jacket made with the coolest kimono silk ever. It’s a weave with a sort of a pond design, each one surrounded by pink dots and scattered shibori spots. Cut and pieced with a wave design.
“Black Dot Stripes”
Black Dot Stripes

I was working on this one a few weeks ago. Now ready for Baltimore!
A piecing technique based on the old ‘log cabin’ quilting design.
“Polka Squares”
Polka Squares

Another very cool kimono silk. A hand painted wavy stripe, washed through with zigzag lines.
I’ve cut and pieced it with a beautiful polka dot silk.
“Grey Stripes”
Grey Stripes
These 5 and so many more, I’ll be bringing to the ACC Baltimore Craft Show.
Next weekend February 20-22.
See you there!

Posted in jackets, kimono silk, piecing | 3 Comments

Kimono Silk Scarf

Hey! Who is that handsome guy?
It’s the amazing Valerium! The oh so cool guy who cuts my hair.
Wearing his brand new Ann Williamson kimono silk scarf.
I’ll be bringing my scarves to the ACC Baltimore Craft Show, this February 20 -22. Except not this one, it’s taken.
I can’t wait!

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For ACC Baltimore 2015

They’re coming together.
Jackets for the ACC Baltimore Craft Show.
Only a few more weeks! February 20 – 22.
mist and shadow
A pretty pastel kimono silk, cut and pieced to highlight those cool black leaves.

Posted in jackets, kimono silk, piecing | 1 Comment