Sweat Shop

Posted by on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Every time I start to sew for a festival, I feel like I won’t make enough, and I’ll end up disappointing someone, and that really I should try to make some kind of dent in that huge fabric stash, and try to accomplish something already, for once.  Ahem.

Before you ask, no, my Mom was not one of those Moms.  My Mom is wonderful, and while she encouraged us to work hard, she wasn’t critical.  I don’t know where that inner voice comes from, but it does keep me working.


When paired with a few excellent audiobooks, things can get out of hand.  I made a lot of bags.  I added a couple of new designs.  I made some pieced  bags, and  I made some silk bags–both with interior pockets and shoulder straps.  I’m bringing 70+ bags to Rhinebeck this weekend, and I hope to come home with far fewer so I can do it all over again for the Knitter’s Review Retreat.


As my as-yet unfinished string quilt can attest, I love to piece strings. I love that it’s all about improvisation, and that foundation piecing allows me to use up fabrics I don’t want to see but can’t stand to waste.  I kept the color schemes of these first few prototypes pretty confined, but I’m looking forward to focusing on the color preferences of a few friends and trying to capture their palettes this way.


I’m still toying with size for these, and with visual chaos.  I may make the next round larger but with more solid spaces for the eye to rest.  I’m going to miss my sewing machine this weekend.


I’ll miss my dye-pot even more.  Dyeing silk might be the most satisfying thing I’ve done in my studio this year.  And then using minimalist quilting to attach silk to a sturdier underpinning, and building that into bags . . . so fun.  This is the only one that I didn’t dye, but, well, the hand-dyed ones got assembled after dark, so they’re undocumented.  I love the bronzey mauve of the dupioni, and I had to dig into my garment silks to pull out this lovely striped silk noil to combine with it.  I think this is the closest to liking pink I’ve come in ages.  I may have a fever, or consumption.  Aren’t consumptive women in Victorian novels always swathed in rose and peach?

I hope to see lots of you in New York this weekend.  Please come by the Spirit Trail Booth and see us.


Filed in knitting,sewing,Travel | 3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Sweat Shop”

  1. NutmegOwlon 13 Oct 2011 at 2:41 pm 1

    And whooooooooo’s color preferences are we focusing on? Huh? Huh? Inquiring owls want to know.

  2. bullwinkleon 17 Oct 2011 at 7:24 am 2

    So …that last one was for me, right? — Sorry you didn’t get this before Rhinebeck 😉

  3. gayleon 22 Oct 2011 at 10:27 am 3

    Love those string-square bags! I hope you sold lots and lots – they’re just beautiful!

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