April 28, 2010


These are the best dressed bricks in town! Now our interior doors won't slam shut when our windows are open. Why didn't I make these before?

I gathered bricks, batting, glue, pins, needle/thread, scissors and fabric. The fabric is a memo sample of silk taffeta from Janice.

I covered the brick with leftover quilt batting so the edges would be soft. Fabric glue holds it together.

The outside silk took a little more futzing because I wanted the doorstops to have clean lines and no lumpy areas. I cut away a lot of excess fabric that would otherwise be on the inside.

I did a lot of pinning and hand stitching. I'll also admit that I spent far too many hours working on this project, given they'll be on the floor, but I'm happy with the outcome.

Even after all that hand work, the stitches were covered with felt. The felt protects the fabric from wear and allows the doorstop to slide on the floor.

April 20, 2010

Playing with Heat

This is nylon netting ready for the heat gun. I used rocks to hold down the netting on an 18" x 18" tile (rather than burn my fingers).

This is one of those things that teaches me to be open about results, because I just never know how it'll turn out. A detailed shot shows how the edges look: melted and uneven. I love it!

April 19, 2010

"Migi Kata Agari"

Masami has been visiting this week! What a treat it is to spend time with my friend. The last time we saw each other was in Kyoto in 2007, but we regularly talk, thanks to Skype. I have known Masami for 23 years now. She is precious to me, so much fun and always a joy to be with.

This is the proper orientation of the 60"x30" wall hanging. As I explained to Masami how the strips came to be laid out and stitched as they are, she taught me a Japanese phrase which is SO appropriate to this work. Literally translated, migi kata agari means "right shoulder upwards" and refers to advancements in career or personal growth. It's just too perfect!

I got the idea to ask Masami to write migi kata agari on narrow strips of silk. They will become small flags sewn to the final layer of the wall hanging and my dear friend was pleased to contribute to the piece. The silk strips were ironed to freezer paper to make writing easier.

April 10, 2010

Ribbon Iron

Don't laugh too hard: I'm ironing ribbon with my straightening iron! It heats up in 30 seconds and the wattage is 75% less than my regular iron. Pretty funny, eh? and practical too.

Starts and Stops (repeat)

I tore Japanese silk kimono lining into strips and laid them out until I was pleased. As I arranged them, I realized the strips represent events in my life, with all the ups and downs, starts and stops, and sometimes going two steps forward, one step back. The beauty is the feeling of progression, in my life and in this piece. This wall hanging will have a horizontal orientation.

Stitching is immensely satisfying for me, esp with rich colors and materials.

April 7, 2010

Kicking My Ass

Our friend Benzo was here this weekend. Maybe you remember me talking about him previously; he's an interior designer -- we call him the "Minister of Our Interior." Super-creative and talented person that he is, he was on me the whole time to make a wall hanging for our house. He came up with appropriate dimensions, then kept throwing out ideas, sketching things on paper, pointing out details, and making me think. Well, IT WORKED, and I started remembering how to stitch/create/explore. On the drive to the airport, I figured out what the background fabric would be -- oh JOY! After dropping him off, I was so engrossed in thought that I missed my exit. I went into the house and started pulling things from my stash.

The background fabric is pieced: one portion with horizontal stripes and the other, vertical. The purple bolt is velvet that will be incorporated, and the lavender/black piece is vintage Chinese embroidery and the intended focal point.

Up close, the background fabric is sari fabrics, torn into strips and woven into this textural cloth.

These are the first few things I pulled. There will be edits and additions. Tomorrow I'll make a trip to the yarn store(s) for deep red and purple chunky yarns. I've got couching in mind for them.

I also ordered this yummy mohair wool from a yearling, purchased from Dyeing For Color on Etsy. She always has GREAT stuff!