odds & ends

i have been doing a fair bit of travel lately and it has really cut into the time i usually spend making skirts and updating my journal. luckily, i have been able to visit many quilting shops across the country and find fabrics i have not seen before to add to my collection. it is the nicest thing is to find a treasure trove of batik or calico and come home with an armload of fabric after being away for a while.

parchment ink & sealing wax was inspired from the days when i was in junior high school and i discovered a love of calligraphy. i spent many hours practicing my hand and decided the best way to practice was to write notes to all my friends in calligraphy. it turned out that one of my friends was already very into calligraphy and illumination and joined me. we spent many hours constructing elaborate notes about music and local events, who we liked, difficult classes and such in the most elaborate ways we could: crisp parchment, dark calligraphy ink & rich, glossy sealing wax.

calypso was a custom order for someone who liked my cinco de mayo skirt but wanted it bigger and longer. it was such an exciting skirt to create with all the brightly-coloured fabric all over my cutting a sewing tables. i simply adore the way it turned out, so brilliant and vibrant.

sorbetto sundae was inspired by my adoration of sorbetto. there is a small cafe i visit frequently in the spring and summer that has the most delightful flavors. my favorites tend to be watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon, honeydew… all sorts of sweet pastel fruits. i tried to create a skirt that put me in mind of a whole sundae full of pretty sorbetto scoops.

and spring flowers is yet another rainbow skirt because i cannot stop making them. i am working on a long rainbow skirt right now and it just makes me smile every time i glance at it.

all kinds of rainbows!

since i had so much time on my hands waiting for my new iron to arrive, i went a little overboard making rainbow skirts. at first i only had one, then i added two more, then another… it is probably for the best i stopped when i did, my sewing room looked like a big rainbow explosion at one point.

at first i was just working on the rainbow whirl skirt. i had just finished cutting the patches when i thought: “why don’t i make two rainbow skirts?” then, as i was laying out the patches for rainbow riddle, i thought: “why don’t i make another…?” so i started laying out more patches in reverse and prism puzzle came to be.

after i was through with both of those, i got an idea to make a “rainbow-themed” skirt. i was thinking about the many times i had visited silver creek falls and marveled at all the beautiful forests and hidden pools of icy water… and rainbows forming across the mist from the falls. i wanted the bottom of the skirt to be rich green, teal, aquamarine, turquoise, jade… and so emerald waterfall was created.

waiting and waiting… and waiting some more

after twenty years, my trusty iron finally gave out. i spent some time looking over more modern irons and found one i think will suit me. i went ahead and ordered it… three weeks ago. it has still not shipped as of this writing. so i have six skirts sitting on my sewing table that cannot be completed just yet. on the one hand it has been nice to work at a slower pace. but on the other hand, i am very eager to finish these skirts up. fingers crossed that my iron ships soon.

my first panel skirt

after so many years of quilting and sewing and just playing with fabric, i have amassed a mighty amount of scraps in every colour imaginable. i began one afternoon just stitching together long strips of similar colours and before i knew it i had several large piecework panels in a rainbow of colours.

i started working on this skirt months ago but it was so labor-intensive i only just completed it this week. humorously, one of the most challenging things was coming up with a suitable name for it! i kept thinking to myself how the sound of singing tends to have similarities in every language. a joyous song just sounds joyous even if the language is unknown to you. so my first paneled skirt became every song in every language.

i am surrounded by pine trees where i live and the mysterious sound of the wind in the pines late at night always sounds like voices inviting me to come outside and explore. voices in the night is dark grey and black with just the tiniest hints of white. i greatly enjoyed working on this skirt and want to do more is such dark shades.

wildflower bouquet is a skirt that i have been wanting to make for almost a year. each of the fabrics is a pale green, blue or purple on a white background with delicate patterns of flowers, ferns and vines. it has an understated, country chic feel to it.

and finally, victorian garden. i have never really known if i like green because it is the predominant colour in any garden or if i love gardens because they are predominantly green. regardless, every victorian garden i have visited always seems to have ivy covering some corner of the gazebo, twisting around the stone birdbath and crawling along a flowerbed as a ground cover. there are also patterns of pines, hostas and other garden greenery to balance the ivy on cream design central to this skirt.

custom orders

one of the nicest aspects of having a small business is being able to take custom orders. the rainbow skirt below was one such. i was already thinking of making a nine-yard rainbow skirt when i was contacted by someone who wanted me to create one. this skirt is actually custom in another way, it has a slightly longer binding hem than my other skirts for an impressive 39 inches in length.

the honeycomb apron was a special order from a dear friend, the color scheme was her idea and i just loved making such a bright, cheerful piece. the snowcone apron was made with leftover fabric from the urban garden skirt i made. i decided that i really wanted an apron for myself in those fabrics.

paperwhite bouquet was inspired by a friend who said she wished she’d had something pretty and feminine to wear after her wedding. at first i contemplated doing a pure white-on-white skirt (i have a huge stack of white on white fabrics) but i went with pale creams instead. i liked the antique look and feel of the fabrics and feel it would be well-suited to an after wedding outfit or just an afternoon spent picking flowers.