Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Hot summer reads

Here is a sampling of what I have been reading.  Some are keepers and others? Well, they are entertaining.

First, I am currently staying up late reading The Farm by Joanne Ramos.  If The Handmaid's Tale caught your interest, you will find this novel thought-provoking.

Also taking up space on my Kindle is Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio.  The story follows a woman recently released from prison, where she served a sentence for murdering her sister.  Did she do it?  Somehow, I think she was unfairly accused :-).

On a serious note, this title was recommended to me and others on a forum.  We were discussing resolutions and goals, and of course, improved mental health.  I have started it, but it deserves quiet study and I have yet to give it much attention.  It is good and contains both scientific background and helpful information as well as ways to improve one's mood.
The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb
As always, I keep art and craft references close at hand.  Two books which are providing me some spark are Stitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces, and Traces in Textile Art by Cas Holmes and Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith.  Both are beautiful and rich with detail and inspiration.  

What is on your nightstand or on your reader?  I am always looking for titles to add to my list.  
Tanque Verde Ranch, on the east side of Tucson
Wonderful place to visit, have lunch or stay on vacation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019



 Join me in the cabin at Mabel Dodge Luhan House, built many years ago, but still very comfortable. 

I was in Taos for a Design Outside the Lines retreat, led by Diane Erickson with guest teacher Bettina Matzkuhn. 

Diane designs both patterns and stencils and is a gifted teacher as well as an incredible artist. She is published in Threads, Vogue Patterns, Craft Stylish and Sew News.  Her work can be seen on her website  Diane Ericson-Design Outside the Lines.

 Bettina is a textile artist based in VancouverBCShe stitches stories and maps using embroidery stitches, paint and collage, with a  grounding in ecology, meteorology, and geology. Her website can be found here Bettina Matzkuhn                 

We spent a week playing in the studio, painting fabric, stenciling, doing slow stitch, looking at Diane's gorgeous designs, and watching wonderful slide shows of Bettina's work.  One of the fantastic parts of the week for me was seeing Bettina's maps, which are gloriously detailed and quite whimsical. 

Diane continues to inspire me, for her ability to see possibilities with almost any piece of cloth.  Her approach to draping is so intuitive and free-I admire her fearlessness!

Here are some pics of some of my works in progress from Taos.  I am assembling a book with pages of combined paper collage and fabric.  I'm still working out how best to marry these 2 textures and if indeed I really want to!  

Collage-paper on muslin with acrylic paint 


Painted linen with collaged frame

Painted landscape on linen with collaged elements and stitching


In sewing news, I have lots to share: a linen top with stenciled designs, a linen shirtdress which is sure to be a favorite, and a new riding top using quilting cotton (oh, the horror!).  :-)  Stay tuned and I'll get those pics up in a day or so.  Let me leave you with a pretty picture of the Rio Grande--->

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Digital sewing

Sometimes it is nice to just READ about sewing!

Knitting and Sewing Doodles

Rae sells the vectors on her website:

Ever wondered if a pattern company draft would be a good match for you?  
Good chart for your sewing room:
I love shirtmaking, and saved this graphic from Fashion-Incubator, Kathleen Fasanella's site.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Hope waking

I'm waiting.

Those who know me have seen how patient I am.  I will wait, knowing that I can amuse myself while change happens in its own time.  That is what I did.  Here is what came forth.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

RTW to pattern to closet



This spring, ties are everywhere.  Ties are found at the waist, hips, neckline.  Some are knotted while others are fashioned into bows.  I like the idea of a tie on a spring dress as it adds a casual vibe while giving some waist shaping on an otherwise loose fitting dress. 

That said, there is something awkward about these dresses.  I think each improves as the price increases, but still...they all look messy to me.  The top dress would be wonderful on a young woman but me? not so much.  The middle dress is draped exactly as my body drapes without support!  The last dress is wearable and would look best on a tall rectangle shape.  This is the opposite of my figure.

I want to copy this tie trend in a striped knit.  I am not sure if it will work at my waist since I am very high waisted (meaning not much room between waist and bust).  My plan is to use a jersey and look for a design which incorporates some vertical accents.

Here is what I found:
This is B6621 and I like all the views.  There are options for the tie-that's good.  View C looks like a wrap skirt which is cute.  I love the fact that the pattern has 2 sleeve lengths, and has a back seam for shaping.  The pattern photography shows the tie draped lower on View C.  I haven't studied the pattern pieces so cannot tell if that was intentional or a size/model mismatch. 

Another consideration is the length of the tie for View B.  It looks very pretty at the length drawn above but the line drawing shows it shorter.  I think that would make a big difference. 

My only striped fabric in sufficient quantity is a cotton-poly burnout.  It probably needs to wait for another project.  I do have 3 yards of a lovely jersey but it is not stripes. 

The jersey wins and I will be using View C with some changes to sleeves and tie length.