Custom work filled many summer days at the studio this year. Completed projects are now delivered. Before I completely shift into next season’s work, my hands and mind are revisiting techniques and tools: a bit like a family reunion.
Grandma Alice showed me how to tie quilts when I was a teenager. My fingers readily repeat the old motions. I enjoy adding this simple bit of thread into textile art. Seen here, knots added to wall hanging used in the worship space of The Legacy, Staunton, VA.
My father, a farmer, finished August dinners and suppers by filling his emptied plate with sliced tomatoes. He liberally sprinkled sugar over the juicy rounds, then ate them all. This is a clear childhood memory for me, and my brother shares it.
What I don’t know is if Daddy liked tomatoes or not. Did he relish his sweet crop or was he eating because there was plenty more on the vine? I am asking too late; there is no one living to answer.
What I learned from my father is to use the resources at hand and to be seasonal. There are seven bags of fabric, processing dye, out in the garage. Today I harnessed the heat of early September to turn white yardage into the stuff of fabric art. It is good work.
This stack of drawers on wheels accompanies me to craft shows and art demonstrations. The new straps serve two purposes; they keep the drawers in place and create a carrying handle. The virgin voyage is this evening. Not all creativity in the studio is artistic.
There is a new designation for this production drawer: quick completion. Projects that need an obvious and speedy finish are here for warm up and cool down action in the studio schedule.
Pleasure arrived this week in the form of using what I know. I anticipate hitting the finish line on several projects soon.
I have cut with these scissors for over 4 decades. I trust my capabilities when I use them. I began my library of figures nearly 2 decades ago and have added four new figures this year. Familiar tool, familiar forms, but a fresh design.
Brown couched cord creates a clear image, but is warmer than black. A photograph of this choice from several years ago eliminated thinking about yarn color. Of course, I did remember to refer to the photograph.
Hand painted and printed fabric appear in woven strips and leaf shapes. Now that I have a larger stash of my own fabrics, I readily use them with tried and true techniques and patterns.
Do you choose a full apron made of a cheerful print with good pockets?
Do you prefer this half apron made of upcycled fabric, with extra long ties and good pockets?
Do you want an apron like mine, an apron much-loved through use?
Do you need an apron that is just right for you? Bill wants a full apron with good pockets and extra long ties that go around and meet in the middle. He does not like to tie an apron behind him. Bill is a baker; he needs a serviceable apron. He asked me if I would make one for him. I am.
Aprons are available at fibergig; click the icon to see the shop. Please convo us about custom orders.
Empty wine glasses. Three cashews in a bowl. An abandoned sweater. When the guests have departed, I remember bits of conversation as I load the dishwasher. The owner of the sweater will need to claim it; I don’t know whose it is.
Stencils on the table. Fabric tossed in a bin. Invoice filed. When I deliver the large commissioned work, I am at a loss. I want to play with color and texture on my own terms. Just for a day.
I make sketchbook covers.
What do you do when the party is over, when the work is done?
I listen and observe when artisans speak about the tools in their hands. Passion infects the speech. The tool is clearly an extension of the hand.
The hair stylist demonstrated scissors that rotate with her hand, reducing the chances of injury. The gardener quickly cut tree branches with a lopper that has gears, not a spring. He proudly explains it was a gift from his brother. “Best gift, ever,” he declares.
My friend watches me snip around the appliqué shapes. “Aren’t you afraid you will cut those threads?” I hold up these scissors and smile, “Expertise, and good tools.”