A Report of Actions

30 04 2010

With all the details involved in moving from the UK and into my new/old house to be taken care of, there has been little time to make significant progress in further establishing my artistic presence in Charlottesville.

None the less, my job at Cottonwood has given me some outlet. Every day, I get to meet other textile enthusiasts. I get to see their work. I get to participate in fabric choices. I get to look at the new books and fabrics. And I learn about quilting details I never gave any thought to. I imagine what projects I might do, left to my own devices. My ideas of those expand daily.

Already, I have begun a crazy quilting project, which has inspired at least one person to do one of her own and to use the fabrics I used (chosen because the particular group of coordinates was not selling and it helps for people to see how they work with each other in a project.

I want to do an art quilt. I was considering using a book that would have had me doing some rather advanced piecing and applique, maybe both, but having gained considerable respect for the skills required, and having found a group of patterns that require modest quilting skills but yield impressively artistic results by relying on the artist’s color sense and skills, I now have a different plan. I will do a quilt using what’s called the French Braid technique. A picture of a French Braid quilt can be found here:


Meanwhile, having acquired a washing machine, a mob, a broom, a ladder, pruners, garden gloves, etc., etc., etc., we have finally begun the extensive project of fitting our stuff into our house. This is not easy, since the only furniture we have so far is a coffee table, a folding table, a mattress, and two chairs. We do have a rather large number of boxes, though, and my loom, of course, though it remains wrapped for the meanwhile.

Given the present state of the house and our very limited budget, which will accomodate only very slow (yard sale and charity shop) accumulation of furnishings, I have decided that one of the first tools to come out of the box into use will be the knitting machine. Why? Because it has it’s own support system to stand on. And because I have met someone who wants to learn how to use one and who wants to use cut-and-sew fabric I could use it to make if I get the patterning mechanism working again.

To that end, I have chosen to use my first commission for selling a sewing machine (A mere Bernette, not yet a Bernina.) to buy a highly recommended book on the design of knit garments. I hope it will improve the detailing of the garments I make. I do pretty good on the general shapes, but not so good on details like the edges and closings. I will do better.


Pocktorian Textile’s Second Saturday

12 12 2009

At the end of the day, after, what is it now, 12 days of listening to people tell us what a marvelous idea the textile incubator is and how they wish us a lot of good luck, Ruth and I are having a bit of a problem being gracious about it. Because the landlord is not going to accept all the good luck as pay for our space, and because it’s hard to maintain belief in the quality of our work and the prospects of the incubator without selling some things. We were discussing putting out a can with a sign on it saying we gladly accept donations from all those who wish us luck. But maybe we won’t have to resort to that.

I do have some prospective machine knitting students and weaving students and even spinning students (when I can recruit a spinning teacher). And this week, I got my bulky knitting machine up and running, mastered a new method of casting on that is much more consistent than the e-wrap, knitted two scarves, and knitted all the fabric from a snood, which I anticipate being the first project for my students.

And I may finally have made a contact that can hook me up with Norfolk shepherds, so that I can gain access to Norfolk wool and spin Norfolk yarn.

And several other nice things have happened today as well. I may not have sold any of my work today, but really excellent things keep happening day after day after day. Can there be any doubt that eventuallly there will be a way for this incubator to support me?