Friday, November 17, 2017

Classes and Retreats

Yes, I can't get enough of them.  For me, sewing with my friends is the best relaxation I can find.  AND, I get something done.  All good.

I've had a wonderful fall.  First I attended a two day marbling class at Center for the Book in San Francisco.  It was given by a professional and very talented instructor by the name of Pietro Accardi.

The first day we learned to marble on paper.  The second day, and this is what I came for folks, we learned to marble on cloth.  Yikes what a fun class.  I'm kinda hooked although I can't see myself making and wearing a lot of garments from marbled fabric.  But I love the color and design so much.

 Here's the start of a piece.  Paint is squeezed onto a gelatinous surface in multiple circles.

Then it is manipulated several times to make one of the multitude of designs.

This is one of the more traditional designs, ready for the cloth to be placed on top.

And then there are my designs.  If you try to teach me anything you'll be sorry because I never want to do exactly what is being taught.  It's hard wired into my psyche I guess.  

I love these big voluptuous designs.

One of the great things about this class is that you are able to produce so many pieces!  There's color and pattern's intoxicating.

I recommend this class to anyone, so fun and achievable.  I've done a bit at home, too (see results below).  I made bias tape out of one fabric piece and like it very much.  It's going to be good for gifts and to wrap around flowers I give from the garden.

Several weeks later I attended an annual sewing retreat in San Juan Bautista.  Great fun with 20 of my sewing pals.  I look forward to it every year.

I made this sweatshirt from a thrift store white cotton men's sweatshirt that I marbled.  It actually worked!  I had to cut it up first to fit it into the marbling tray, then sew it back together to fit me.

 Then it was on to Ashland to Design Outside The Lines with the amazing Diane Ericson. I'm always astounded by her abilities to create new shapes.  She's a combination of engineer and artist...a good combo indeed!

 Halloween hit while we were there.  Geez, I thought Santa Cruz went all out for Halloween but Ashland puts us to shame.  The parade lasted about an hour!  Here are three lovelies having a whooping good time.

Several of us got our hair cut by the talented Crystal.  Here's Sham's getting cute!

And here she is showing everyone her new do.

And then it was back to work!

Kathryn Brenne was the other teacher for the week.  Such a wonderful teacher and so talented.  Her garments are all couture quality and she's fascinating to watch and learn from.

DOL is so worth attending.  If you've been thinking about it you shouldn't wait, just do it!  And If you've never heard of it check it out!

And last but not least, I just got home from a day of sewing with my local pals.  We had a class from local artist, Diane Ritch.  A very talented woman who works in all kinds of different art forms.  

Today she was showing us how she makes her darling little needle cases.  She brought the inside parts, including a bevy of needles, to tuck in when we finished.  Here are mine sitting atop my new little darling...a pale green Singer Featherweight I got at a yard sale.  

This was her maiden (for me) voyage and she did very well.  This is going to be my travel machine from now on for simple projects.

Here's part of the crew setting up.  Diane is second from the right.

Here are the fabrics I brought to work with.

And here are our finished cases...minus Anne's who had to leave early.  Mine are the two at the bottom left and center.  The red one is home dec fabric I stenciled years ago.

The inside "leaves" are made of beautiful thick felt or felted sweaters.

Good times!


  1. Wow, Gayle, what a feast for the eyes! LOL Those pics of my hair journey are fun! What amazes me most are those marbled fabrics and your fabulous marbled top!!!!

    1. It's all you fault! I just signed up for the same 2 classes in the new year. Thank you! I do have a question. Were you able to marble the fabric in the top in class, or was that later at home?

    2. You won't be sorry. Be sure to take both days since you'll get the experience with the paper day and then be up and running for the fabric day. I did the sweatshirt fabric in my garage. In class he has lots of regular cotton to practice on, which is easier to work with.
      Once you've gotten the technique down with the cotton you can move on. Come on down for a marbling weekend with me and Lisa after you take the class!

    3. Yes, I signed up for both classes. The very next day I leave for LA for work, so it will be... challenging. I would LOVE to come do some marbling, once I've learned the technique!

  2. As always I love hearing and seeing the results of your MANY creative retreats. The jacket is fab! Karen

    1. Thank you, Karen. I haven't gotten up the nerve to wear it yet but hopefully next summer!

  3. I think I spy the wonderful Kay?

    1. You do indeed. We are lucky to have that darling gal in our guild. She always makes me smile and giggle.

  4. A feast for the eyes, especially welcome on a gloomy fall day!

    1. Thanks, Elle. Hope you get a sunny day or two soon!

  5. I love your marbled fabric – those big voluptuous pieces as you call them. And the sweater/jacket. Wonderful. How big are the voluptuous pieces of plain cotton? Stunning. I want to do that too. What did you use as dyes/inks for the fabric? The needle cases are delightful too. You didn't show us what you made in Ashland. Love to see that too.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Barbara!
      The pieces we did in class were good cotton and about 18"X24", the size of the tray. You use acrylic paint that has been thinned to the perfect consistency. It's a learning process to get it just right.
      All I made in Ashland was the muslin for a swing raincoat I'm making from a vintage Simplicity pattern. I got it cut out but ran into trouble trying to topstitch it due to using my travel machine which wasn't up to the task. More on that when I finish it!

  6. oh, that marbled fabric is fantastic. I can see it used for pillows or journal covers, as well as whimsical clothing. Beautiful work, as always!

    1. I think you're spot on. Using it i smaller doses is the way to go. Thank you so much!

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