Having finished knitting the Silk Garden scarf, I’ve turned to another form of stitching to keep my hands and mind active. In a rare flurry of exuberance one snowy weekend this winter, I pieced together some fabrics from my stash into pillow tops, intending to machine quilt and do the rest of the sewing up over the following week.
And of course that didn’t happen. While it would have been nice to have the finished projects by now, the delay gave me time to consider the quilting, both in terms of what I wanted as a result and what I wanted to get out of the process. I realized I’ve become more drawn to hand-sewing lately. I tend to look forward to hand-stitching hems of garments, and have even turned some silky fabric remnants into scarves with hand-rolled hems. So hand-quilting seemed the way to go with these as well.
It was the right decision. I love the look of the stitches, their smallness and their imperfection. I have been calmed by sensual details of the making of them — the syncopated rhythm, the movement of the needle, the sound of the waxed thread as it slides through the fabric. This will take longer than the original plan, but eventually these pillows will be complete. And when they are, I will have all these memories of their making.
The challenge this week on Project Project Runway, was to create an avant garde look that can stand up to rain.
I found a wonderful large scale abstract print vinyl — it was in my stash, actually, a plastic beach kite I bought but never used in PPR Season 12 Episode 3 . The design uses strategically cut sections of the print for a Pop-Art inspired gown with umbrella-shaped elements in the capelet and double overskirt — a very different interpretation from Kini’s winning umbrella-inspired look on the TV version of the Rainway, My model, Lagoona, who’s part mermaid (check out those darling fins on her forearms!) and practically grew up in the water, didn’t have any problem walking the runway in the drenching rain. She’s known for her signature barefoot runway walk, which was a definite plus on the Rainway. It also meant I didn’t have to fret over the Perfect Look shoe selection (or lack of it) — we kept her accessories to a jaw-dropping ring with a stone that looked like sunshine glinting through the rain.
Zac liked the use of fabric and construction but wished I’d taken the design a little further to the edge to be truly avant garde. Nina was crazy about the fabric, and could see a very editorial shot in the magazine with the overskirts channeling the water away from her feet. Heidi would have gotten rid of the capelet and wished the skirt was shorter. (Doesn’t she always?) I think I’d be safe again this week, in large part due to the way I used the awesome fabric.
I’m joining the Project Project Runway challenge over at Just Crafty Enough for the second season in a row. I had a lot of fun last time — it was a great way to push my creativity (and, truth be told, a nice excuse to recapture a bit of childhood playing with dolls for a while.) For the first challenge of the season, designers were asked to create a spring look that they could include in their collection for Fashion Week if they won. There was no budget for this challenge — we could only use materials from our existing stash.
Here’s the look I put down the runway earlier today.
I’ve culled my stash down significantly recently, but still not in danger of having not enough to choose from for this challenge. I wanted to create a look that I would include in my Spring Fashion Week runway show, but I also wanted to make something that my model might actually wear. (Robecca Steam is not your run-of-the-mill muse…) I combined a deep pastel orchid midi skirt with a over-tunic in an edgy orchid and black on ivory print, and topped the whole look with an orchid hand-knit mini-capelet. (Robecca and I both hail from New England, where Spring doesn’t actually equal warm weather.) We made some accessory choices from the Aldo wall, but ended up using Robecca’s own booties in the photo shoot, because they looked just *so* good.
I’ve been doing a lot of loose journal pages lately, and needed to come up with a way to store and protect them. I spent a good part of Sunday making this portfolio — hunting through my (much-to-huge-for-someone-who-really-doesn’t-quilt-much) stash of quilting cottons, sketching the design, cutting and strip-quilting the pieces together. It’s big — 9 x 15 inches — and the inside pocket (see below) should be able to accommodate at least an inch and a half stack of pages.
Now — what to do with the index cards and 3 x 3s?