Friday, June 30, 2006

A Class with Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe and his partner Brandon have come to the seacoast area to teach and give lecture/slide shows. Usually they are hosted in the autumn by Gretchen at Portsmouth Fabric and the classes are held at the Connie Beane Communty Center.

Kaffe has been my hero for about 10 years or more.
I am continually inspired by his use of color and simple designs.
I may own all of his books.
One can never have too many inspirational books.

The photo above is from one of the design walls during the 2005 class.

These two photos are during the "crit" at the end of the day when Kaffe offers constructive criticism to the day's work on the design wall.

His classes are no-sewing formats; his students cut and work on a design wall.
Fabric pieces are pinned into place and rolled into the flannel for transporting home.

Kaffe has lived in England for quite a few years moving there from California.
He designs in a range of fiber work from knitting to needlepoint to quilting; and also in mosaics.
From this trip to New Hampshire, he was going to Japan to teach and lecture.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

More New Postcards

Japanese Cotton and Japanese varigated thread
Hand-stitched in sashiko
Machine-stitched around the geometric shapes for "pop"
A sentimental view:
This one is made of antique lace,
an antique calling card was stitched on,
contemporary sheers under and
a hand painted dryer sheet

I love this fabric and so I did very little to it
A few snips and cuts
Some quilting
That's all for the Indonesian bird

Antique lace and vintage buttons
A contemporary sentiment
Tulle and thread work over all
(this card is on its way to Sherry in Newmarket NH)

Four new fabric postcards
1. Graffiti
2. Japanese Collage
3. Controlled Chaos
4. Silk on Silk

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

These pieces were used to protect linens for storage.
I don't know if they had a name.
Please enlighten me if you are aware of such.

This one is cotton, rather like a chintz, I think
although I have also had some that look more like barkcloth. They usually have cotton twill for tying.

I love the floral design ~
~ what some decorators are calling,
"shabby chic" these days.
I find these lurking in the bottoms of auction boxes of linens.
Sometimes they are still rolled.
Sometimes with the cardboard (card) still inside.

After ironing, the "housewife" would lay the linens on the pretty cotton,
roll and tie them into these lovely little packages.
This, to protect the linen fibers which tend to be brittle
and can break if stored folded.

Gina E. in Victoria Australia (Patra's Place) requested additional posts on my linen collection.

These four images are representative of embroidered linen I have found.

Above is an embroidered sampler from the American Thread Company.
35 cents was the original purchase price (first half 20th century?)

I just love the primary colors and beautiul stitching on the corner of this cloth.

This piece dates to the early 19th century, probably about 1812 or so.
It came with hand-written provenance. An exquisite find in an auction box
that I didn't know was there until I got home and found it lurking at the bottom!

Isn't this grand! An embroidered linen laundry bag.
Just imagine having the time to hand-embroider a laundry bag!

It is a pea-soup kind of day on the New Hampshire coast today.
We are socked in with rain and fog that is forecast to last the week!
And, I ask, "haven't we had quite enough of this". Such a soggy season.

Yesterday I began organizing a box of 18th and 19th century lace
purchased at auction. Lace caps, shawls, collars and berthas, flounces and trim
Fabulous handmade lace pieces from antique dresses and gowns ~
I am in heaven!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I've continued with making these small 4x6 art quilts mailable as postcards.
The African-influenced one above is my favorite of this group.

I'm quite pleased with this Asian-inspired one of "fabric bundles".
This one was an experiment in layering sheers with cottons, a faux suede and a kind of lame and lots of pattern thread work.
No. Maybe this is my favorite.
I am not a "fuser" but I experimented with fusing small bits that were left from other projects. And I like the results.

I really am partial to highly saturated colors and ethnic patterns.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Me mi ma

May moo mow mom

Many moxa mira miro math

Manny minion melody mirror maudlin million

Monarch McDonald malodorous magnificent millionaire

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Poppy season....

here and then gone.

Exquisite while they last.

Drink them in.

Strawberries & Peas.


I LOVE the taste

the crunch the smell

the look of summer.

Tickles my senses.

Linens antique treasures blue lagoon
laurel lake Mom learned to swim after being thrown from a canoe
lampoon landlord landscape & sun spots Steve & Vivianne languages romance and

late, the Mrs lathe laughter laurel park law & order lawyers legal seafood

league of craftsWOmen leather work legionairre
lent libertine libertarian views
"O Liberty! How many crimes have been committed in your name!"

light lilac lion -ness literature loafer lorgnette love songs luxury

lunch luscious lover levi V Lynn library lazy day and

Leominster where I was birthed

Larry Larry Larry III

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A bright shiny penny of a girl, Victoria is 13. Plays soccer, softball and basketball.
A budding Sarah Burnhardt after her 8th grade experience with Little Shop of Horrors and a one-act dramatic competition. An honor student. A love of a child.

Yesterday we drove down to Massachusetts to watch Victoria's softball game, stay in our favorite hotel and see my sister, Donna today. (I don't have any photos of Victoria playing softball this year but here she is in a soccer game.)

Anyway, the game was postponed so we had a family dinner instead: Mike, Amy, Victoria and Anthony and Larry and me. What a great delight to engage Anthony (16) and Victoria in conversation. They are bright, funny, articulate. And nteresting.

I can't say I relished the IDEA of grandchildren before time but once they came to me I knew what it meant that:

perfect love doesn't come
until the grandchildren"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fleurs du Printemps

Each bloom that survived the downpours
of early spring are a miraculous blessing.

We purchased the daisy from the Portsmouth Farmer's Market one (read ONE) nice Saturday.
I love the way the bright sunny yellow plays with the chinese blue of the pot and the blue of the ageratum.

That Saturday of the Farmer's Market was a wonderful seacoast sort of day:
blue sky
dry air
light soft breezes.
It was a joy to walk around the Market.
Listening to live music.
Marvelling over the fresh produce, herbs and plants for sale. Enjoying the aromas of the Indian Cuisine.
After enjoying the sensuous-ness of the Market, we drove across the bridge for lunch on a dock facing Portsmouth
on the Piscataqua River.
A perfect Saturday in every way!

I'm particularly fond of this window box .
I love the lacey sail boats
as a backdrop for the orange flowers.

I worked at home today
preparing sponsorship letters for a fundraising
event in September.
In the middle of the day, I got the camera and walked around taking pictures of the flowers in bloom.
Nice interlude in the day.

A poppy!

A beautiful big white fabulous poppy.

Each big luscious bloom is a treat to behold.

Not all will give us as much pleasure as this one.

A lot of the buds are just heavy with wet -- water-logged

This one came from a bulb sale we had at school; the bulbs were purchased from Johnny's of Maine.

And the confession:
I love flowers but I am not the gardener.
It is Larry's hand that produces these lovelies.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kathryn Katherine Kathlene Kathy Kate & Katy
Kiss The Kiss Klimt Kahlil Karma
kaleidoscope kit/kaboodle K-12 K-Mart K-nine
Killing Me Softly . . . . .
Kong + Fay Ray

Monday, June 12, 2006

Made2Mail Fabric Postcards
Here are a few more examples from my flurry in the playroom

The postcard below is is a commercial print that I highlighted and outlined with thread and flat shell-like beads

The second postcard began with a layer of solid cottons both commercial and hand-dyed in values from soft and muted to medium.
These were sewn together in narrow strips with raw edges showing. A grid made of thread became the basis for building up cording with satin stitching on the sewing machine. A layer of tulle and embellishment of "eyelash" yarn

I had lots of fun with this one using a variety of commercially printed fabrics and lots of thread play

The next one is a piece of Japanese cotton with sashiko done by hand with a variegated Japanese cotton thread. I did a bit of machine quilting along the sashiko lines to accentuate it. My plan is to add a small bead in the center of the intersecting lines.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Another One.

Here is another fabric postcard from the past week:
It has an acrylic- painted dryer sheet layered over a piece of cotton fabric.

Then it was play time at the sewing machine

Adding wool fibers.

A layer of tulle

And more thread play and fibers over top of all.

Lots of fun!

FabriCards (again and again and for the same reason ~~ What's up with the blog?)

Anyway, here is another sample of my play this week.

I like this one with its asian feel.

The fabrics are commercial prints; the background piece has been in my stash for literally years and keeps showing up here and there in projects!
The other fabrics are new and might be from Amy Butler????

The little fabric bundles and metallic "ties" will be complimented with some final embellishment ~~ yet to be conceived.......
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FabriCards (again)

For some reason I've had difficulty with getting more than one photo image on my blog this morning.

This is another of the fabric postcards from my week's "play".

This one is made from a piece of batik on which I spread small bits of silk threads and fibers from left over woven silks .

It uses silk hankies (mawatas) to entrap the silk threads. These actually are attenuated silk cocoons called Bombyx mori .

Lots of thread play with my Pfaff; cording made from yarns and satin stitches; and little satin stitch beads over silk slubs.

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I've been making fabric postcards this week.

This one has layers of antique linen salvaged from less-than-perfect linens from my collection. These have one or more flaws so that they cannot be used "as-is". Imperfect 20th century linens have no intrinsic value but are great for any number of fabric projects from pillows to wearable art and children's clothing.

Antique silk is set against the linens and lace; they add a nice counterpoint to the texture and monochromatic linen and lace. The silk bits are old, fragile and their colors, muted which works well on this little piece.

The final embellishment will be completed with a few antique beads.

The ephemera is a reproduction image on cotton that was stitched to the background.
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Stand still. Stand still and stop the sun." May Sarton.

We were living in a small New England village of about 300 souls when I discovered May Sarton. We lived on the village green which was surrounded by white houses trimmed in black with a general store, school house, church and library that was open on Wednesday and Saturday.

I was a stay-at-home mom then with two kids under three. We chose not to own a television. Not by choice we had only one car and it went daily to work with DH. The nearest town of consequence was about 30 miles away. There was no public transportation. Ever. To anywhere. So I tended children. Built a garden. Refinished furniture. Painted walls. Braided rugs. Sewed little girl clothes. Taught Sunday school. Put in a bid for selectWoman (the first such in the history of the town!). Did volunteer work. And I read and read and read.

One day I asked the librarian to recommend an author and she said, "May Sarton". "If you're looking for something with no sex and no violence."

And I never stopped reading May Sarton. I became a groupie. I believe I own everything written by her and nearly everything written about her. A prolific writer, she produced novels, poetry and journals. Her New England fans consider her their own: she lived in Boston, Nelson NH and York ME. She died in the early 1990s in her 83rd year. I considered her "mine" and when she came to read her work in a nearby town, I was appalled to see that others shared my love and loyalty! And felt like a jealous lover.

You might ask: "What about her writing so captured the imagination? Like no else, May Sarton knew a woman's soul; she knew about duality of solitude and wrote of its joy and pain. In her journals she wrote of the struggle to be an independent woman, to live the live of an artist needing time alone to create and needing the fulfillment and solace of companionship and friendship. She was an actress, a director and producer in the thirties. As a young woman she had a passionate affair-of-the-heart with Virginia Wolf. She needed a Muse for the work. Always. She was essentially European, born in Belgium; she lived part of most every year in Europe. Her loyalty, her cultural sensibilities were European. After she settled in Nelson NH, she became an avid, passionate gardener.

Early on I fell in love with her short novels:
The Poet and The Donkey; Joanna and the Donkey; Mrs. Stevens Hears The Mermaids Singing andthe journals and the longer novels. Hardly a winter goes by that I don't re-read favorite novels and poems. Here is one I love!

Now I Become Myself
Now I become myself.
It's taken Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before--
"(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paperIs my hand;
the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!
May Sarton