Saturday, May 3, 2014


This is a textile I'm working on made of the edge strips  trimmed from the fronts of these two pillows and the tragopan bird pillow

The strips are sewn onto cotton muslin from this old curtain.
I'm using leftovers of textiles made of leftovers and even using up the old thread left in my mother's and grandmother's sewing stash.

There's an abundance of old fabric around here, and my sister, a Tasmanian devil of cleaning and organization,  has been excavating things from family storage which, fortunately (and sometimes overwhelmingly) for me,  includes an ever-increasing amount of vintage fabrics.

There are vintage velvets, 1920's-40's -- some silk?-- stashed in some pretty cool boxes.

A Japanese-inspired cotton print of peonies-- 1950's?, which, if  I'm ever in the mood for sewing clothes again, I'd like make to into a garment.

the "Mrs. Blume" collection of 1960's-70's fabric samples courtesy of my grandmother's decorator friend, Mrs. Blume.

-lots of Japanese and African influence in the designs.

a scrap from an old apron with a print that could be a great idea for an applique design

yards of large-scale cotton prints my grandmother used for curtains:

tiny prints that, when you look closely, contain some big ideas...

scraps of upholstery from a 1950's aluminum chaise-- alas, long gone.

and a strange peasant-people print which kind of creeps me out.

Definitely time for a break so I step outside to see what's happening.
My favorite tree top is leafing out....

...and a squirrel is on the roof ridge

....which brings to mind a letter we found that my grandmother wrote to my sister when we were little in which she talks about making a dress for my sister from scraps, what kinds of birds are out and about, and squirrels playing on the roof. She also calls my sister a "good house cleaner" of those traits that manifested itself at an early age, I guess...

Even good house cleaners need a break ... nothing a little magical realism won't cure.

When we found this hand-pieced pillow sham made of upholstery samples-- which I haven't seen since I was probably ten or so--  it went a long way in explaining my love for color-block paintings-- like "Elysium", by Hans Hofmann

or these by Sean Scully

I was looking through a book on Sean Scully recently and found this beautiful photo of the stone end-wall of a shack

It brought me back to thinking about humans looking about them and constructing something with whatever is lying around.

...physically lying around-- like a pile of scrap fabric, or like the burlap fibers and gauze I used to make the "light jackets"  a few years ago--

... conceptually lying around, like this Serge Poliakoff image I've been looking at for a few weeks now--I wonder about the connection between the stone wall and Poliakoff's big shapes....

...or even subconsciously lying around, like a dream I had this past week in which Otto Sander's angel character in Wim Wenders' film "Wings of Desire" says to me-- "Stop worrying. I have something else in mind for you."


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