March 29, 2013

Cathedral Windows

Cathedral Windows quilts aren't, strictly, quilts.  There isn't the 3-layer fabric and batting "sandwich" that is the standard definition of "quilt".  The pattern is based on folding squares of fabric.  The folded squares are whipstitched together, and then small colorful squares are appliquéd over the joins, inside gracefully turned curves.


I like to think of the process as being very similar to the folded paper fortune tellers my friends and I made ad infinitum when we were 8 or 9 years old.  Does anyone else remember recess on sunny afternoons, choosing numbers and colors, and then getting a funny fortune?  Over and over and over?

March 22, 2013

Phantom Tollbooth

My next big costuming project for Thin Ice Theater is The Phantom Tollbooth.

We're producing the play by Susan Nanus, based on the book written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.  The book was published in 1961.  When I was in fourth grade, and the book and I were still both pretty new, my teacher read it to us, chapter by chapter.  It's been one of my top favorite books ever since, and both my kids are big friends of all the characters, just as I am.  I can't recommend it highly enough, so I am delighted to be part of this production.

March 11, 2013

Favorite Quotes #1 - Nora Naranjo-Morse

Years ago, at a show of Native American art, I fell in love with the sculptures of Nora Naranjo-Morse.  I also fell in love with this statement that was quoted in the description of her artwork.  It's become kind of a goal for what I want art to be in my life.

Asked if she is proud of her work, she says, "Yes....I think so, but even more than that - it sounds like I'm talking about my ego - but I'm amazed at what it does to me when I see it.  I am amazed at the person that I have become, that it makes me want to have character.  It says to me, 'I want you to have integrity.'  In that sense, maybe you should ask them, 'Are you proud of her?' ....  I can't take all this admiration thing too seriously because it's like some joint effort between them and some other force and I am honored to be included."

She is also a poet and a filmmaker.  A nice biography of the artist is here.  And a video made a few years ago at her studio is here.

Naranjo-Morse created a sculpture installation outside the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.  Here's an article about it, and here's a photo from the article.

March 6, 2013

New Old Clothes

The two items I recently posted about repairing are now up at the Basya Berkman Etsy shop.  Check 'em out if you want more info.

1950's cocktail dress:  my blog Beading on a Little Black Dress , at Etsy here

1950's wedding dress:  my blog Here's A Reason to Get Married, at Etsy here

March 3, 2013

Old Whites

This lovely star quilt came to me to patch a couple of places with brown stains.  It serves as a wonderful example of how hard it is to match old whites.

Old whites are virtually never pure white.  This is both because the original fabrics may never have been as white as ours today because they didn't go through the same intense bleaching processes.  And then, they have aged, with varying degrees and combinations of browning, yellowing, and greying.