Thursday, July 25, 2013

What I'm doing in my new space


Noting the inspiration in the very next room and under my feet.
...or even just out the front window
Letting my daughter entertain me...
...or terrify me.
Making sure all are happy in our new home.
 Creating again.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bundles, Bundles, Bundles

Ok, you have spoken and I have least this time. There are new a stitch in color bundles in my store. This is probably it though, folks.
 I will be making up some Simple Marks Summer bundles as well, but not for a couple of weeks.
Initially I said I wasn't going to offer international shipping, but someone commented that I should price the shipping accurately and those that wanted it would buy it. True enough. I based my decision on the fact that one of my international customers purchased 4 bundles and paid about $20 in shipping, but I was charged $48 in shipping. And this at USPS. Anyway, not-so-long, yet not-so-interesting story aside, I'm charging what is the going rate for international shipping.
Other than that, nothing's changed. Go at it, Grasshoppers! (think Kung Fu on that one)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I was looking through some of the photos I took this past weekend and came across this:
It was patterned by one of the students in my workshop last Friday. When I took the picture, i just thought that it was an interesting and graphic pattern. I really didn't see anything else.
Toward the end of the day, that particular student approached me and started to chat. She was pointing out some fabric she'd made and within a few minutes told me she was going through a very difficult period in her life. Based on what she told me, it's probably the most difficult time of her life. She's an elderly woman who has, in the past 4 months, been abandoned by her spouse of 38 years. 
I'd like to say I can't imagine what she's going through, but that wouldn't be true. So, as best I could, I tried to comfort her by letting her know that things would get easier and that she would come out the other side having discovered amazing things about herself. 
When I ran across this picture today though I was so struck by how different reality can be from our perception of reality. I remember noticing this piece of fabric, but entirely because I like text and graphic images, not because I thought someone was asking a heartfelt question of the Universe. 
I'm an avid collector of quotes and little truisms and this made me think of one whose exact text I don't recall, but it basically cautions against judging others because you don't really know their journey. And that's true even if you ask a person how they are. It takes a lot of vulnerability to lay bare your soul. Most folks just say that they're fine and leave it at that.
It's actually a blessing to get to be present for someone in a moment of intense honesty. I don't think it makes anything or everything better in that moment, but you have the opportunity to be part of their healing and that is way more important than teaching them how to apply wax to pattern and dye fabric. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I went all the way to Baltimore to answer your questions

Uh, not really. I'm here in Baltimore, though, right this second I'm hanging out with my nieces in Silver Spring, to teach two days worth of dyeing with wax resist classes.
I am, however, going to answer the questions I mentioned in my last post.
Several of you have asked about the a stitch in color bundles I sold a couple weeks back in the midst of my move. I'm planning on making more of those, though I don't know how many when I get back on Monday. Look for those in my shop on Thursday. One caveat though, I'm going to have to restrict shipping of those bundles to US only. It was so, so expensive to ship them overseas. I'm sorry to disappoint anyone, but a girl's gotta make a living.
Another recently posted question regards my sewing table. It's not custom built, but rather made by Arrow Olivia. Here's a link to it on Amazon, though I purchased mine at a local quilt store.

As for my recent teaching adventures. Well, they included two, one-day dye and patterning workshops, some of which were taught in a Yurt, and the opportunity to meet lots of terrific folks and, maybe best of all, capture those moments both as still and video images.
The first workshop was hosted by the Faithful Circle Quilt Guild and held in Deborah Gabel's amazing garage studio.
Day two involved a drive into the heart of Baltimore.
This workshop was hosted by the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and was held in an incredible, eclectic space. Actually, two spaces. One of which was this Yurt.
Both days yielded wonderful fabrics and fun, creative people willing to try new techniques.
...including Deb here who stamped some of her fabric with a daikon radish her husband harvested from their garden.
I made several short instagram movies during the class and am happy to say that all who participated were good sports and fun to work with. If you'd like to view those, follow the link in the top right-hand part of the page and check them out there.
Bonus: if you do, you too can watch Heather's video and learn the secret handshake.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I really like adding the prefix word super to things. I've noticed it here, but I've also noted it in my day-to-day life. It just makes urgency all the more urgent or fun all the more exciting.
So, super-quick, I'm popping in her to share an image from the past couple days.
It's nothing super-special, just a re-interpretation of this piece in the process of writing a pattern.
Unlike the original, I did severely (or is that super-severely) restrict my palette. It surprises me how much that changes the piece. I don't know why, but it does.
Both versions are crafted primarily out of my hand dyed and wax resist patterned cottons. A fact that is also super-timely because I'm off to teach 2 days worth of workshops in Baltimore.
If you're one of my readers and you happen to be in one of the classes tomorrow or Saturday, let me know, and I'll teach you the super-secret handshake. :)

PS I've gotten quite a few inquiries in the comments section about various things. Look for Sunday morning's post to include potentially random pictures paired with answers to those queries.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The view from my room

My sewing room room, that is.
And, like I previously mentioned, most of the windows crank open, so working here is a multi-sensory experience. I removed the screen on the right hand side, but left the other one, so I can enjoy a morning breeze or birdsong as I work.
Now, I'm not going to imply that everything is up and running, but I do have my sewing machine ready to go and I've decided to do something a little different in terms of displaying a couple of my quilts in my work space.
I'm actually using a pair of my shaped quilts as floor mats. I go back and forth on this. On the one hand there's really no other way to display/use them as both were designed as baby quilts and I don't have one of those. They look great on the floor and I'm pretty much the only one likely to step on them as it is my work space. I'm not going to lie to you though. I have noticed that despite the fact that I often walk around barefoot, I tend to avoid actually walking on the quilts. Now, they've only been there for a couple of days, so that could change. or, I could decide that laying my quilts on the floor is a crazy idea and what was I thinking.
I do know that I've started to work in my space and I love it!
Currently I'm working on some design projects for a magazine, but, in the process, I have managed to make this:
It's an 18" x 12" pillow cover much like the one featured in the banner at the top of the page. I'll be adding it to my shop in the next few soon as I unearth the form that goes with it.
Tonight my design walls go up, my hanging line from which I've photographed many a quilt and maybe some shelving for my fabric.
It's beginning to look a lot like a space to create in!

PS I found and have set aside the original "Postcards from Home" book. Look for those images here in the next few days.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I hear and see you

My kids used to ask me if I had to choose whether I had to be blind or deaf, which would I choose? I used to think I definitely preferred losing my hearing to losing my sight. It seemed like a no-brainer. I need my sight for my work and my work is such a huge part of who I am.
I'm not so sure anymore.
One of the things that sold me on my new place is the windows. The house has a lot of large, wood windows, many of which have cranks for opening.
It's perfect for Texas. Really. Early in the morning, before it gets as hot as the surface of Mercury, I like opening the windows and feeling the morning air. Mostly though, I like hearing the sounds of the city, the cars driving by as well as their the lack on the weekend, the different birds singing their songs, people talking as they walk a dog with a neighbor. It makes me feel a part of the world as it starts its new day. It make me feel grateful and inspired.
Thankfully, I don't have to make the sight/sound choice, so as I unpack to the sounds of NPR or my barking dog, or even my laughing girls, I've been taking some pictures of things I've owned for many years that, in their new home, seem fresh and different. Visual treats to accompany all that my ears take in.
Great Aunt Irma's China

These strange stuffed pods I found at Quilt Festival years ago
My quirky, little collection of Magnetic Personalities refrigerator magnets.
Pictured are Van Gogh, Shakespeare, Lao Tzu, Ghandi, and Machiavelli
My youngest's favorite plate. She calls it her "face plate".

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Postcards From Home

A few days ago I discovered a little artist's book that I made years ago. It was simple, spiral bound, and featured a series of postcards of my then home, copied in black and white and hand colored. Each page was a photo of some room in my 800 square foot apartment( it's a pretty small book). On top of each "scene" I collaged a black and white copy of an Annette Funicello paper doll and my then puppy, Sally. The back of each "postcard" had a word or two in greeting and explanation and was sealed with a large lipstick kiss. Despite the fact that the pages all stick together now, I love that little book for the snippets it gives me to a different time in my life.
I've started my next chapter, a statement I could rightly make any day of the week, and I thought I'd share a few snapshots from the past day or so. The move, that is the actual relocation of my stuff from one place to another, is complete. Now begins the unpacking and acclimating and discovering that is the nature of any big change. Hopefully, very soon, I'll have something crafted to share with you, but, in the mean time:
Yard art at a nearby coffee shop/smoothie place/ crepe restaurant.
More...yard art, that is.
Had a citron tree at my old place. It's only fruited twice. This one was on the tree the other day. Let's call it a good omen, OK?
Headstand to commemorate last moments in the old house.
Where I'm writing from today.

I'm going to end today's post with the same words I wrote in my postcard book all those years ago:
Having a great time. Wish you were here.
There really is no place like home.