Thursday, May 31, 2012

unexpected boro opportunity

as all y'all know, i've been taking another of jude hill's amazing workshops, contemporary boro 2. i've been struggling with ways to incorporate her techniques into my own garments with an eye on actually being able to *wear* them afterwards. "what's the problem?" you might well ask. well, most of the inspiration found in this workshop is just too...well, um...*girly* for me.  i can't see myself tromping around with the boys in a shirt that's had the cuffs torn off and re-purposed into plackets, much less had salvaged lace or skirt fabrics boro'd into place here and there to create a stunning moonlit scene. ha! it's a sad, but true fact: men's clothing is decidedly boring in the modern age.

the other day i did happen to notice that my favorite jeans with the blown out ankles were getting a bit too "blown out". mind you, i actually *like* blown out ankles on my jeans. it's one of the reasons i purchase them so long. that and because i like the way the extra cloth bunches on the front. but, with time, they become *too* far gone.

i was about to toss them into the scrap basket when an idea hit me! contemporary boro. duh! clearly, i have been stuck inside the envelope lately... so, i dug around in my overflowing scrap basket and found another pair of jeans whose knees had blown out so bad that i couldn't see wearing them anymore. at least, not without getting arrested for indecent exposure since the tear had ripped nearly through to the crotch! tearing my eyes away from that frightening possibility, however, i also noticed the cuffs were only mildly worn...just to the point of the beginnings of seeing some fringe. one of my favorite stages before going into all out FRINGE!!

as you can imagine, ideas began whirling about and out flew the shears as i began hacking away at them, deconstructing seams, and digging around in the thread box to begin basting my little heart out...

next step: kantha, kantha, kantha!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

spring interlude

"in the spring,
at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt."
-margaret atwood

my baby grass is finally beginning to look like toddlers. soon, they will be teenagers and ready for their first haircut. looks like i ought to have put down more seed, though. will probably have to plant more soon...

there's been a lot of rain lately. in the fields behind my house, the grasses and plants are practically growing into the animals' mouths!

it's been a good week for planting shrubs and trees and trying to make my yard seem a little less barren. less rectangular. less void of personality...

i love the smell of fresh dirt. but i am beginning to miss the touch of cloth and thread...


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

an ode to was

photo: janet at art journey
the most amazing tribute
to an amazing feline friend
of an amazing artist friend
by a most amazing artist!

you simply MUST click through to janet's blog entry!


Monday, May 21, 2012

a stone's throw

"love does not just sit there,
like a stone;
it had to be made,
like bread,
remade all the time,
made new."
- ursula k. le guin

i spent a part of tonight stitching together five stones for jude hill's magic feather project where she is now gathering stones "to balance the lightness of sky and feather." since montana is an agricultural state, some of my stones are sharp and what some might label "unnaturally shaped." i chose to add this aspect to a couple of my stones since the plow often breaks stones, giving them less smooth shapes. they are stitched from natural fibers (cottons, linens and rayon). the second stone from the left is made from a scrap of my rusted fabric. the others are comprised of hand dyed scraps or bits salvaged from old clothing.

it was a pleasant break to create these little stones for jude's project... it is always a pleasant diversion to work on something different. but, now i think i shall go back to working on my human furoshiki while i await the morning's return of the sun.


Friday, May 18, 2012

enlarged to show details

i've been hermiting a lot lately. poking around in my brain. remembering. connecting. digging aimlessly through scraps and threads.  been feeling disconnected from the community around me. but not yet ready to venture forth into the thick of it. so content myself with fingering salvaged bits of cloth that once clothed neighbors. and strangers from town. scraps culled from known and unknown quilters' fabric dross. while feeling a sense of community amidst these salvaged fibers, a thought filled my mind about creating a human wrapping cloth. a product, i'm quite certain, of my journeys with jude... but also, perhaps, a gesture to pay homage to the longing to feel connected to those around me.

last night the dark skies became crowded with rolling spring storm clouds attempting to cool the day's heated edges while i sat in my tiny house filled with a giant dog and too many big dreams and stitched together remnants of cloth. of community. an attempt to slake this thirst. i'm not ready to spread the emerging cloth out for eyes to peck at like hungry birds, so you will have to be content with these folded excerpts.

this is just the first row of soon to be many. it will be flat. i think. but still a human wrapping cloth. not intended to lazily stretch itself out across the expanse of a bed, but to embrace and cuddle the human body. constructed primarily of 6" squares and 6" X 12" rectangles and soon to be joined by circles (moons?) and smaller squares, if only for good measure. being much larger in scale than i've been working in of late, i've pulled out the old treadle sewing machine again and done my piecing therewith. though i quickly found i missed the texture and interesting bits of color afforded by hand-stitching the seams open with variegated threads... to that end, i am now going back and needle chanting them in place while contemplating my community and how these scraps may have once fit into the lives that once held them.

this morning i planted another oak tree in the front yard. a 14 foot twig, really. some day i hope to bring my treadle out and sit beneath its spreading branches to sew in its cool shade. but for the moment, i am content in its infancy and am delighting in its twigginess.

i'd like to say that i will be getting back on track to posting every other day. spreading my own creative branches once more. offering cool shade to wanderers. my own ideas enlarged to show details. but for right now, i am sitting within my own twigginess...


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

frenzied feline and a new project

synchronicity is a strange thing, you know. i came across this little frenzied feline while trying to figure out how to describe this past week. he demonstrates exactly how my week has been... chasing about, trying to fit unexpected work shifts into my schedule. trying to stay ahead of everything so i don't get run over. all the while, uncertain how my little paws are actually reaching the pedals!

needless to say, i haven't done a lick of stitching this week. though i have been gathering raw materials for another project. remember that i started remodelling my studio a while back? i came across a little idea that i like so much, i'm thinking of including elements of it throughout my house!

pallets? is that seriously a stack of old pallets? yes. yes it is! i've been gathering pallets like a mad man (and i'm quite certain my neighbors have all decided that i've taken leave of my senses as they've watched me haul these buggers in by the truck load). now, before you begin nodding your noggins and agreeing with my mislead, but well-meaning neighbors, you have to see this:

the wall in this picture is constructed entirely of pallets! keeping in mind that i have been slowly but surely turning my home into a rustic getaway with barn wood, vintage artifacts, plank flooring, and the like... i think this wall treatment will be absolutely perfect to finish off the effect!  of course, it's going to take a lot of time and a lot of work...dismembering pallets, sorting slats, mixing colors, installing and so on. but i'm going to simply approach it as though i'm salvaging fabric and creating a story cloth. though, perhaps, of a much larger nature, and in this case, one slat at a time! so, if you see project updates interspersed between the cloth whispering, you'll understand...and hopefully not send those nice young men in their clean white coats to take me away in a butterfly net!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

a place to be flying

"we have always been
dreamers in montana."
-brian schweitzer

while the weather here has been tumultuous at best, we had a couple warm(ish) dry days and i just couldn't stay inside. i've been dreaming of flying down some back country road on my vintage kaw kz900 restoration project! he was roaring like a lion again and itching to eat some asphalt, so who was i to deny him? he's been couped up too long in his garage. waiting for the weather to change. waiting for some repairs. both managed to manifest at once, so out we went. two glorious days of freedom! 

now, the rain has returned. my crazy work hours have encroached (we are short two staff members at the moment...that's nearly one fourth of our staff...lots of open shifts that have to be covered). not to mention that i've been promising jack a new paint job... i'll miss him while he's getting groomed and polished. but i have plenty of cloth whispering to do in the meantime...