Tag Archives: denim

sun in sun out

It is one of the those days where the sun and clouds cannot agree. A sunny morning turns dark at noon.  A dramatic spattering of rain dries to nothing, and the sun reappears.  Then it darkens at two, to the point of needing to turn on indoor lights, thunder threatens, and a half an hour later, it is over.

But I think it is a good day for a graduation, if for no other reason than it is the day that graduation is scheduled.

I am working on the former cardigan panel, quilting up a storm.

The areas that I had tucked and gathered to shrink the shoulder span of the cardigan cannot be untucked without significant reworking of the sky, so I am edging over the bumps and quilting more than I might otherwise to make the dimples of the surface somewhat uniform.

Here, a piece of the red and white Irish linen dish towel finds a place.  Because it was out.  Because I needed it.

The bottom denim edge I am contemplating leaving as a pocket, a place where prayers or ticket stubs could be housed.

There are lots of ways for cloth to be useful besides covering our bodies.

Once I determined that this panel would become a birthday gift for K., I consciously selected some clothing to represent his (our) family.  That grey paisley wool was a sweater I wore to work last year, which shrunk terribly during a less attentive laundry moment.  The blue and white checks were either D’s or C’s pajamas.  The denim cuff came from a rejected pair of jeans of K’s (pants which after I cut the cuff of, I tried on – and lo and behind they fit! I will be repairing them for me). A piece of C’s shirt is not yet there, in the mix, but will be.

glue and interfacing?!

Gorilla glue on my fingertips from helping out with a science project last night (building a model of the levothyroxine molecule) means touching T-shirt knits and interfacing is horrible!! Everything is sticking to the dried glue remnants on my fingertips and feels awful, to boot!  But, I have to keep at this T-shirt quilt.  Have to. Have to.

Will google ‘gorilla glue removal’ and get back to it.  Last night, though, I took the pocket and collar off of this workshirt and am going to apply woven strips to the sides of the front plackets.

Also, I cut the landscape panel off of the cardigan that I had been stitching.  It wasn’t working.  And, proof that it was the right thing to do?  Now I love it.  More on that later!

Building a House with Supports


The boro sampler that I made awhile back is turning into a house — perhaps for another garden installation?

There is something satisfying in turning a rag-a-mag-tag piece into something functional, even if marginally functional.  A purely decorative piece based on a peasant tradition of patching holes to extend the life of a wardrobe rubbed me the wrong way… in the same way that basing a fashion trend on torn/refugee-like/distressed garments rubs me the wrong way.  Wearing out an article of clothing by LIVING in it seems so much more in accord with good value and good values.

The last felt house was constructed as a grouping of fabric panels first, and then the branches added, second.  This time, the branches are integral to the construction, creating some decisions about which way to push the edges.

“Having a spine” is a refrain, here.  And “building supports in”.

Denim for shadows; Peter Pan

Week 2 Quilt

Week 2 Quilt

To satisfy the revised rule of including one fabric from the previous week’s quilt, I used the navy blue with white dots.  As it happens, given that I found the little house all stitched up and ready to go on the floor — I also satisfied the supplanted rule of using fabric from there.  The piece is machine and hand-quilted and about 10″ x 13″.  It is not bound.  The backing of the quilt was laid down right side up, and left exposed for about 1/4″ all around.  I am still trying to find a way to not bind everything that I make.

One of the Faith Quilts is now pieced.  It turns out the canvas that I fed through my inkjet and printed the collage onto does not take heat well — it warped when I tried to iron the seams.  I don’t like the quilt, partly because I don’t like the feel of this plastic-y canvas, partly for design reasons, but I won’t let that stop me from finishing it.  Picture to come.  I can’t help but see the creative process as parallel to where I am at with faith/optimism/thoughts of the future.  I am also working on rearranging THOSE pieces.

This week, I will be helping my neighbor sew costumes for the elementary school’s production of Peter Pan.  It is good to be in the company of other sewers!  She brought out a huge box of threads that a neighbor had given her (when the neighbor’s tailoring dad died) and we both just oohed and aahed over it for a good long while.  How many people can you do that with?  And, it gets better.  Not only did we share this moment which few could have understood, she offered to share her booty!!  I will sparingly pick a few spools — the family of greens was particularly tempting.  A truly generous and completely unexpected gesture…

Also, it suits my poor garment-making skills to create clothing that need not stand up to wear and only has to look good at a distance.  Ruth is so skilled that she is (to some degree) casting pearls before swine.  Not that these young thespians are swine, mind you, but Wendy’s nightgown certainly doesn’t need french-tailored seams. Nor does Mrs. Darling need a reconstructed Victorian embroidered gown made with silk organza. It does my heart good to know that even someone with Ruth’s skills will resort to a glue gun when schedule dictates.