Thursday, October 29, 2015

OH, OHCG school was great!

A week ago (already) I left to teach a wide cut open class in Ancaster at the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild School. It was my fourth time teaching there, but every time, I am reminded of what a beautiful spot it is. A quiet little retreat (literally) in the middle of Ancaster, which is a quaint little village. Beautiful heritage buildings and all kinds of interesting shops and restaurants. A fun destination, even without the hooking.

I got to see another side of the village when we went to see the Blue Jays game on the Friday night. A lovely restaurant/bar played host to the Jays 'faithful'. We hung in until the rain delay and then made our way back to the school, finding out their fate in the morning.

My class was filled with 14 women with different experiences and just-as-different subjects.. The chemistry in the room was wonderful and we had a fun-filled time together with lots of laughter, learning and a fair amount of shopping in the rug store down the hall.

The mat topics ranged from a few kinds of flowers to primitive houses, a snow scape, a fruit study with beautiful grapes that changed from purple to green, a photo-to-mat of an extraordinary sunset/sunrise (I can't tell them apart), an exploration in plaid, a wonderful interpretation of a tile, a couple of fall leaf mats, a large bunny mat, and a brave geometric journey on the diagonal.

Here are a couple of pics taken by one of the students on the weekend.

On the Sunday morning, all the classes gather in the gymnasium and show their progress over the weekend. We were such a large class that Pat took the picture from the balcony to fit us all in. 

This is me working with Betty on her giant tulip mat. You can see all her yummy colours in the foreground. And if you look over her left shoulder, you will see a somewhat unusual poster. No surprise that there is a lot of religious symbolism in the old convent school, but somehow the Wanted poster seems a little strange to me. 

I look forward to sharing some finished projects with you as students send them to me. I think that is always the sign of a great class is that people actually do finish what they worked on with you. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

TWAS (The Wearable Art Show) Here I come!

I just finished my first sewing project in my new studio. And I am very happy - even if I have not-so-great photos of the outcome. I will be wearing this to a reception tomorrow night in Toronto for The Wearable Art Show. (Tickets still available for the show on Saturday - two for one if you purchase online - link here.) You will find details re venue and artisans on the site too.

I had no clue what to wear to something like this. I only knew that it didn't exist in my closet, so I decided to make something a little different. Not that mingling with talented artisans will be intimidating.

Last post, I showed you the pattern and talked a bit about my odd choice of fabric.  Here's the pattern:
And here's a picture of the fabric remnants, so you get some context for the photo of the finished tunic. It is a windbreaker fabric with a definite shinier side that I used for the 'good' side. The net result is that it definitely has the body I was hoping for. In fact, it almost looks like leather (faux that is). But windbreaker weight.

So here is a picture of the front - yes, the hanger is the model for now. Will try to get some shots when I wear it.

And here is a picture of the back. You have to love it when you look as good 'going' as you do 'coming'.

Which gets me to the real reason for this post. I have written before about the fabulous Tilton Sisters in Oregon - Marcy and Katherine. They are both pattern designers and Marcy designs for Vogue while Katherine designs for Butterick. They are awesome and I think if I lived closer, they would be my friends!! They have a knack for designing exciting clothing for women of a certain age and I love just about everything they do. So do a lot of other women who sew much better than I do - you can see a few of their followers on their sites.

This pattern truly represents the experience of sewing one of their garments. A little daunting at the beginning, cutting out all 19 pieces, but the journey was worth it. This was like a great movie or an engrossing novel that you just don't want to ever end. Every step delivered a great result and the step-by-step pattern instructions finished with a garment that looks just like the one in the picture. 

Truth be told, you have to have time to spend with these patterns. This is NOT instant gratification - which is usually my favourite fare. This is "slow sewing". And so worth it! I have had the same satisfaction with all their other patterns I have made as well - have even made some of them more than once (a true testament to a great pattern).

Now that my tunic is done, I am even happier with my fabric choice, because I think on milder fall days, I will wear it as a outer layer vest with a long-sleeved tee under it. Though it could be worn without a tee under it and look very funky and evening-ish with some awesome earrings.

Tomorrow night I will wear it with cropped leggings and flats - more like the picture on the left. I may opt for a body tee underneath, just because. But I will go through my earrings or perhaps model some for one of the artisans. 

And I will feel like I am wearing a truly "wearable art" piece that I created myself. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Studio Drought is Over.

Not sure if it is the cooler temperatures, or just feeling a bit more settled, but October and I are very very busy. The studio is firing on all cylinders - hooking, knitting, sewing. And we are both feeling very good about it.

A new Marcy Tilton pattern is my current sewing project, with an unusual fabric choice. Here's the pattern. A fun and functional vest pattern that I figured I could wear with or without something under it. But when it came to choosing fabric, I wanted something a bit different and that's what I picked. A light weight fabric that almost feels like windbreaker fabric. My rationale is that it has the body to reflect the construction of the 19 pieces in the pattern. Yikes. We shall see.

On the needles: I just finished a minion hat and mittens set for Jackson's first Hallowe'en. I figured he is too young for a costume, so a hat and mitts that make him look like a minion but keep head and hands warm all winter is probably a good idea.

And on the rug hooking front, I am happy to report that there is a newly formed rug hooking group here in Peterborough that will meet once a month at "Activity Haven", a re-purposed public school that is filled with, as the name suggests, activity. Line dancing, tai chi, rug hooking. A busy place. And a great turnout for our first day yesterday.

In anticipation of going to that, I ordered the William Morris "fox" Christmas Stocking for Jackson and spent a bit of time colour planning on the weekend. I have been wanting to do a William Morris design for some time and this is my change - albeit with a few liberties taken, such as mostly textured wool. It is an excellent pattern, so a big shout out to Christine Little at Encompassing Designs. 

I will share a picture when I get a little further along.

But it sure feels great to be back "making" again.