Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Embellishment Pack Give Away

Visit us on Facebook to win this NEW exclusive hand dyed fiber embellishing pack.

Happy Stitching

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a very Special Holiday Season surrounded by family and friends. I am delighted to be spending mind with Kelly, Jason and Aimee.

Best wishes to all

Monday, December 12, 2011

Portland, OR

I have been in Portland visiting my son Jason who started school at the Oregon Culinary Institute in late October. As Jason was in school during the day I caught up with two friends here in Portland, visiting fun shopping areas and eating at wonderful local restraunts.

Betty and I go back many years. I taught for her here in Portland 12 years ago when she owner her own quilting store. She has since retired and now teaches many classes at Pioneer Quilts www.pioneerquiltshop.com
It so happened that this Saturday was 'Spargonian Play Day' and she ask me to make a quick visit to her class. I was delighted to see all the students working on one or more of my projects. The classroom was full of color!

They were so enthusiastic stitching away on bags, pincushions and many on my Flowerbed Quilt. The store also has a wonderful display of my patterns and many finished projects.

I love the many versions of my Victoria Tote each of the students had made. Some bright and cheerful and others made from ethnic fabrics.

One day Betty and I also visited Shipwreck beads in WA and found a few treasures there to add to our quilts.

I was amazed at how many of my quilts Betty had made. The store was just an array of color.

Jason and I also spent some fun time with my friend Susan visiting a wonderful Asian market, great bead and furniture store and eating at fun restaurants.

Many thanks Betty and Susan for taking such good care of me while Jason was in school. I love Portland and I am so happy that I now have an excuse to visit.
Jason is doing well and it makes me happier now that I know where he is living and that he is loving school. The added bonus was that I got to sample a couple of good meals that he cook for me in his little studio apartment.
I am flying home tonight and need to now focus on the holidays.
I just can't believe how fast life is passing by!
Take care

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Philadelphia - 'Workt by Hand' Get together

I just spent 5 glorious days with Melissa, Sally and Alice in Philadelphia. Melissa relocated to Philly a few months ago and we thought this would be a wonderful place to gather to plan for our upcoming 8th annual 'Workt by Hand' retreat.Which is held in Tipp City, Ohio April 25-28, 2012. 
We spent the first couple of day planning for our retreat then we hit the road for a little fun.

 Saturday evening was spent in Elfreth's Alley in downtown Philly for the annual Deck the Ally. It was fun start to the Christmas season. The alley is our nations oldest residential street and the homes were open to the public.  www.elfrethsalley.org

Sunday we set off for Washington DC to visit the Textile Museum. What a treat! There was a fabulous African Kuba Cloth exhibit as well as a Repurposed exhibit. No photographs permitted but wonderful inspiration. www.textilemuseum.org

Monday off to Delaware to the Winterthur Museum. www.winterthur.org This wonderful estate was owned by the du Pont family and houses an outstanding collection of Americana. We first did the Christmas tour.

We then spent most of the afternoon in the museum absorbed in wonderful Southeast Pennsylvania painted furniture and four centuries of embroidery.

 The Plimoth Jacket was also on view in this exhibit. It is a fascinating project. I have included a little reading material for anyone who is not familiar with this project.

The Plimoth Jacket: A Paradise in Silk and Gold

On view in the With Cunning Needle exhibition 

beginning September 3, 2011

On loan to Winterthur from Plimoth Plantation, the Plimoth Jacket is not an exact reproduction. Rather, it was re-created from two examples in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. One was chosen for the cut and construction of the jacket and the other for the design of the embroidery. Both originals date to the 1620s.
In the 1600s this type of embroidery would have been done in professional workshops. The creation of the Plimoth Jacket has led to discoveries about the technology for making threads and spangles as well as about stitching techniques. The project has also resulted in important insights into 17th-century workshop practices, where large numbers of embroiderers (both highly skilled laborers and apprentices learning their trade) would work together to create expensive and decorative clothing like this.

The Plimoth Jacket Project
More than 300 people spent over 3,700 hours to create the Plimoth Jacket. Some worked on the silk embroidery and gold plaited braid, while others stitched on the “oes,” the term in use in the 1600s for the round sequins. The project was conceived and managed by Jill Hall, former head of the colonial wardrobe department at Plimoth Plantation. She was aided by a team of experts in embroidery, lace, metal-smithing, and weaving, including Dr. Tricia Wilson Nguyen, Wendy White, Carolyn Hastings, Mark Atchison, Justin Squizzero, and Denise Lebica.
The sewing, embroidery, and lace were all entirely done by hand. The lace spangles (the tear-drop shaped sequins hanging from the lace) were created using tools made specifically for the project. The tools and techniques replicate those from the 1600s. Even the lining was hand-woven and dyed with natural indigo.

I now have lots more inspiration for new quilts as well as embellishment. I hope these photographs inspire you to be creative. I travelled earlier this week from Philly to Portland to spend a little time with my youngest son Jason who just started Culinary School.
Take care

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stitch, Ontario Canada

In early November Cathy and I drove to Ontario Canada for my last teaching contract of the year. This little store owned by Jocelyn Chamberlain is the best kept secret in Eastern Canada! It is a haven for the creative minded beautifully decorated and stocked with a wonderful array of knitting yarn and sewing fabrics.


Jocelyn was a delight and made us feel so welcome. It was fun getting to know her and her lovely friend Linda during the weekend. In class I had 23 students for two days of creative stitching. I began with a trunkshow sharing my quilts and talked about how my travels and my life have influenced these quilts.

We spent time journalling and exploring all the possibilities for creating leaves and berries in wool quilts using a wonderful array of different stitches, threads, beads and textural fabrics.

It warmed by heart to see a version of my Ginger Grove quilt displayed in the store. A very creative student made this quilt using mainly cotton fabrics. She also took images from my quilts and made this wonderful banner.
This was a very special place to finish up my teaching for the year. Many thanks to all the wonderful students and a very special thanks to Jocelyn and Linda for taking such good care of us. I look forward to returning to 'Stitch' to teach next year.

This has been an amazing year and wish to thank my family and friends for their unconditional love and support as I continue to explore my creative path.
Take care