The Big Blog Post


Have any of you promised to make something for a fashion show and sale? If you have, you know how it can strike fear, excitement, and designer’s block! Last January, 8 local sewers were asked to donate their talents to design and sew clothes for the benefit show ArtWear in Fort Collins. We were given beautiful Kantha quilts that had been hand stitched by women who were saved from sexual slavery in India. The clothes that will be modeled at the October 20th fashion show (tickets at and sold October 20th-28th will benefit both these women and the visual arts in town.

Meeting these other sewers was absolutely delightful. The cool ideas were flying every time we met, and I have learned so much from them. I hope to take some photos at the fashion show and show you the diversity of designs that were produced. Each quilt was only about 36″ x 80″ and most items were made with only one piece. In addition the quilts are reversible so we tried to make the pieces reverse whenever possible. I had the task of making an entire outfit for the finale so I did get to play with 3 coordinating quilts  for the whole ensemble.

Thank goodness, my BSF Debra was one of the other sewists so we could bounce ideas off of each other. We bought a few quilts from ETSY to practice on first. I made a pair of palazzo pants, and Debra made this fabulous jacket. Did I mention that these quilts feel great on?IMG_0215

My first two items were fairly simple, but with these fabrics sometimes that’s best. This vest is a whole cloth with the arm openings placed asymmetrically.IMG_0113

This piece is an almost no waste kimono jacket. At the end of the post I’ll show some of the accessories we made with the few scraps left.
IMG_0111This next piece I may buy for myself! I just love the colors and the fun polka dots on the reverse. We used the finished edges of the quilts when possible, but sometimes used binding when needed. Most of the seams are flat-felled.IMG_1136



I also found this matching ribbon for the back seam.

The final piece has palazzo pants, a bustier (my first) and a wild reversible jacket.




This is the jacket reversed. You can see that the back tail has buttons and can be removed for a more casual cropped jacket. I might like this side even more than the matching one.


The jacket with the tail removed.

IMG_1187Finally here are a few of the accessories made from the scraps and they are all reversible.




Steel Smithing at Anderson Ranch

I just came back from a fantastic class at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village, CO. The mountains are beautiful this time of year and cooler than in Fort Collins. If you don’t know about Anderson Ranch you need to check it out. They offer 1-2 week workshops all summer. The ranch offers arts and crafts classes including painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and woodworking, and the topics and instructors change every year.

This year I took a class from Natasha Seedorf on steel smithing. I focused on learning skills, but still ended up with a few finished pieces. I plan on using my new skills for my encaustic, for example these rings will be a frame for a wax piece I’m working on.Steel-class1In sculpture I can use both hot and cold connections. Hand formed steel rings are at the top of the necklace and cold riveted bars on used on the bottom. The two pieces below on the left are bar steel torched while in a vice and then twisted while red-hot. I have to admit how fun it is to twist steel like putty! Far left is a “bead” for a future necklace and the long piece is an awl for woodworking. I can also use these connections for my fiber arts and sewing.
Steel-class2In addition, it never hurts to make a piece of jewelry once in a while! Below is a necklace and a couple of simple earrings.Steel-class3I went home and immediately gave away my Acetylene/Air torch and purchased a Smith mini torch that uses Acetylene/Oxygen to get a higher temp. I’ll keep you up to date on my future adventures with metals!Little smith