Tag Archives: etsy

Toodle-loo row houses!

row housesI think I am finished with these. Made quite a few over the years. Sold most of them. There was a formula here that was calming, teachable, and they made terrific use of tiny “precious bits” of fabric. But, no more! Even if I find a half finished strip in my studio, I may let it go.IMG_9644What a concept – letting go… not just of an activity, but maybe also of the compulsion to finish a thing begun.
IMG_9649My flickr site features some of these creations:  Felt and Denim Huts and more general house-themed work here: Houses & Roofs. IMG_9658Here are a few older ones.Spring-VillageRed-Soil-slantfull-moon-fullhouse-pillow-rockersusans-pillowhut-as-holderThe “Purple Moon” at top is for sale. $150. I will list it on etsy by weekend’s end, or you can email me if interested.

Holiday sewing

Just listed these items in my Etsy shop — clothcompany.  I already have some wonderful balsam-filled sachets to list, so look for those – and there will be at least two Christmas Kitties next week, and — dare I say? — a batch of finished dolls.

We will be making these simple and yet charming tree ornaments in the December “Sewing for The Holidays” class at the New Art Center [Newton, Massachusetts].  Class meets for three successive Saturdays — Dec 1, 8, and 15 — from 12:30 until 2:30.  There’s still time to sign up!

Lining up

lower right section of Global Warming 7-footer

I keep going back and forth on this project.  Should I complete it as intended (roughly 7′ x 4′), or break it into sections and move the thing along?

This little section (photo above) floated upstairs today and looks complete to me.

But I’m not quite willing to give up the big design yet.

Because I am not a planner, at this stage of production I often find ‘log jams’, or areas where the rectangular pieced sections are not lining up and where I am not willing to chop or add to accommodate completing a rectangle.

Once I pinned up some green grosgrain to divide sections, it suddenly seemed (seamed?) do-able.  Note to self: remember that this is a visual process and that you have a visual sensibility (“DOH”).

There have been quilts that undergo enormous changes at this phase… quilts where I find myself swapping out some of the larger chunks.  This has been partially in service of making the rectangles fit (think “Tetris”) and partially  because it can be fun to see how things look when the design is a little less conscious.

This particular piece, however, has been in formation for well over a year and I am eager to get to the final stretch.  And, I am feeling a strange loyalty to the design as I have constructed it.

The edges will pose problems.  My plan is to use some of the cool-toned patterns (the Anna Maria Horner large blue floral and a shimmery green near-solid) to fill in and frame the edges where I need another inch or two.  I will TRY to avoid the temptation to keep piecing/adding complexity.

What will be fun is to create a slide show of the quilt in its many phases and see how it has changed over four seasons.

For the finish — instead of using a whole cloth back and pinning the entire thing up and shoving it through my Bernina with a great deal of cussing, I think I’ll quilt it in sections.  I plan to use some overlays on the back, perhaps even with raw edges, to connect up.

Given that one of the problems with this piece is its scale — I really don’t love working this large — then it is obvious that if I want to continue producing pieces of this size, I have to figure out how to do it in a way that works with my style, studio space, equipment, and temperament.

Which reminds me that my word for 2010 is ‘congruence’.

I am so, so eager to find both the style of working and the subjects & images that really line up with who it is that stands with the needle in her hand, with the scissors at her side, and with her particular demons at her back.

November Sunshine


Well, back to work, it is.  I’m going to bind this Village Quilt with some of the pretty African fabrics that my friend Sarah recently sent me — the one with the red, to pick up the accent color.


I’ll be showing (and hopefully, selling) at Newton Open Studios this weekend —

November 7 and 8
at Newton’s Cultural Center (on Nevada St.)
11 am to 5 pm

But, since I have more quilts than I could possibly show in the booth space allotted, I think I’ll post this one in etsy tomorrow (link on sidebar).


Along with this little friend —


I STILL can’t believe I found these nut ornaments on sale last January — they are the perfect scale for my felt mice!!

Pin cushions for Etsy Shop


Have spent some time updating my etsy store, ClothCompany.  The two figures above can be pin cushions, or not.  The faces are historical renderings of Catharine of Aragon, transferred onto fabric.  The smaller figure wears a chenille shawl that I made in a class at the Button Box a while back (meaning — I made the chenille).  It feels a little weird to stick pins into a human figure, but I think without any bad intentions, there’s no possible harm (and in this case, it’s hard to be deader than dead).


I have discovered that a pin cushion without ballast is a pain in the ass.  That’s one reason I love tea cup pin cushions.  They don’t move around.  The other reason I love them is that they’re so pretty!


You might think a pin cushion this small is not very useful, but I have discovered otherwise!



For the cupcake pin cushions, I recycled and felted some sweaters from the thrift store.  This is a project that is easy enough to do with elementary-aged crafters.

All of the pin cushions shown here are available in my store, and I’ll be posting more, probably tomorrow!

Solstice = ‘Standing Still’

looking-upToday I will go buy Lawrence Lessig’s book “Remix” as a gift for C. so that I can read it, too.  Heard Lessig on NPR yesterday on my way to a time warp in Wellesley.  Given that I have never texted a message or set up voicemail on my cell phone or downloaded pictures from it, it’s time for me to make a little effort.  I’d like to know how to make a transparent layer in Photoshop Elements,  create a podcast and understand the junk in the wordpress forums.  What’s incredible is that I can blog from this far on the other side of the generation gap!

Thank god for Terri Gross, because traffic was snarled up bad.  Never seen Rte. 16 like that.  Probably those folks who would have run around over the weekend put it off on account of the snow.  I had to drive laps in the parking lot and stalk an exiting shopper to land a space.  Normally, I’d be on fire with impatience.  Instead, I hardly recognized myself.   “Which blue cheese would you recommend in a salad with iceberg lettuce?”  “Will these rolls stay fresh until Christmas?” Days earlier, as if part of this approaching timelessness, my watch had gone missing.  I was wandering through the dairy aisle, where several languages were being spoken, supposedly efficient and instead, chatty.  “Is whipping cream the same as heavy cream?”  (I knew the answer, but I guess the approaching time warp was unnerving me).  “Hood, is all the difference.  Hood,” said the dairy guy, who was causing gridlock with his long metal cart.  A grey-haired wool-clad Protestant (I could tell she’d be entertaining for Christmas) nodded, “the same.”  Combing the freezers for puff pastry, I suddenly realized that I had no idea what time it was.  (Thank god for those unsalted pretzels causing such a stink at my house awhile back — I know now never to shop without my glasses).  So, I could see the time on my phone.  YIKES!!  2:38 and I still had to mail my most recent etsy sale box!  I left D. a message.  Then the phone started beeping to tell me it was dying.  And that’s when I knew.  It was the powerful turning of the year.   Standing in Aisle 7 of Roche Brothers in Wellesley, I dropped into a place of expanse, a place where time rushes, then stands still, and rushes again.  Where time, in other words, has no meaning.  It made me giddy.

Solstice, I re-learned reading Joan Hodgson in the bathtub the day before, means ‘standing still.’  How much we long, this darkest time of year, to enter the silence and be still!  And, yet, the holiday asks that we pound the pavement and wander around buying stuff and later rustle up tape, and lights, and nutcrackers from boxes and attics and then to clean and arrange and entertain.  Such warring impulses!  That’s how a little insomnia ended up serving the soul on December 21.






Merry Christmas readers!  Happy Hanukkah!  Blessings of the Solstice!


Lastly, to build on a previous post on fabric and FELT, let me refer you to an amazing etsy crafter ‘kjoo’ who makes felt chokers.


Check out her creations.  I want to know how to felt wool ropes like that so that I can try something along these lines (but my way, of course.  Not to steal). Does anyone have a felting how-to site they’d recommend? How would those felt coils feel around the neck, I wonder? Don’t they look primitive, African, and absolutely stunning?!