Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Sewing Vacation~A Class and Some Clean up

Sometimes I like nothing better than to straighten things up.  Clean out a drawer or two, organize a stack of fabrics, it's probably just a chance to visit with my favorite things.

One such opportunity came after a recent trip to Oregon for a sewing retreat with a group of terrific women.  Each year, on the way to the retreat we stop at an annual garage sale.  The woman who holds it collects the best stuff all year and we are the happy viewers of vintage furniture, kitchen wares and often there are sewing related things. 
This year there were several vintage black singers with the intricate gold and colored paintings on them.  They were never going to be used again but would make great lamps or garden art.  Alas, I was flying home so couldn't get one...they were only $15!!!  Sigh....
I did find a baggie of old wooden thread spools though.  It had two aqua/turquoise colored ones in it, and I save that color in a big glass jar.  So I felt justified getting the whole bag for $5.
When I went to incorporate the rest of them into ones I already had (left from my grandmother, mother and me) I found my collection beginning to really take shape.  Now, I'm wondering what to do with them.  Any suggestions?  

One of my sewing pals, Janet, taught me how to make these clothesline bowls.  They are addictive!  If you want to make them (many of you have already, I'm sure, they have been super popular) there are plenty of tutorials online.  Be sure to get 100% cotton clothesline.
I made one for each of the 8 women at the retreat...and then I made some more.  Way addictive!  Another way to use scrap fabric.  I wish it used more of it.  The original technique, I think, is to cover all of the clothesline with the fabric, which would use lots more fabric.  But I prefer the off white with just a little textile peaking here and there.

We are so luck to stay in the beautiful home of Eloise W.  Way out in the horse country of Tumalo, between Bend and Sisters.  Yes, of course we had to stop in Sisters to visit The Stitching Post.  It's mostly quilt cottons but the selection is mesmerizing and of the best quality.  Plus they are stocking more garment fabrics so I picked up a wonderful woven cotton for billowy summer pants.

We always seem to arrive just when the irises and lilacs are blooming.

I took a class with Kayla Kennington last weekend.  She is one talented woman.  She had lots to teach.  I chose her new technique "Everyday Boro".  I wanted to use a pattern that was drafted from a RTW garment that I've used before.  It has several small pieces that lent themselves to piecing.
Of course I used only scraps. And for some reason, after finishing the garment, I still have the same amount of scraps...what the...???  Does that happen to you, too?


I really enjoyed Kayla's teaching skills.  Just the right amount of attention and not too much instructions leaving more time to just figure it out.


Most of the fabrics are knits with the exception of this cotton kantha-like textile that used to be a vest I got in Como, Italy many years ago.  It never fit right so I finally cut it up.  I love the fabric and have been using it for all kinds of projects.

On of Kayla's interesting details is a seam that is closed by using bar tacks.  I wanted to try that so here you see it with the little red tacks down the side seams.

A close up of the bar tacked side seam.  I used a lightweight dupioni silk for the binding.

And here is one of Kayla's pieces using another technique she taught us.  This one is tacked with a decorative stitch.  Her techniques are so eye-catching.  Not easy but certainly learnable.  I recommend taking a class from her if you can!!  Thanks Kayla!
I'm off to Tennessee with a handful of sewing pals to attend Shakerag again.  Last year was so fun we all signed up again...and a couple more added.
We are taking a class from Christine Mauersberger titled "Intuitive Stitch".  Hand stitching...here I go again trying to find a way to love hand stitching.  Will I ever get it?
There will also be lots of southern food involved, the chefs at Shakerag are THE BEST!!  So good, in fact, that I am bringing them back to Capitola in July for a Southern Nights stay where they will cook at Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria!

Enjoy your summer and thanks for stopping by, y'all come back now ya hear?




18 comments:

  1. I've always loved the idea of a chess set made with old wooden spools. and a few beads..

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  2. I have a small collection of wooden spools but have never seen the aqua/turquoise ones which seem lovely - any pictures? I've always admired Kayla's garments especially the bar tacked seams. Yours turned out great so they are on my list to try. Have fun at your retreat, Karen

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    1. My aqua/turquoise is the thread, not the spool...but that would be beautiful wouldn't it? Thanks so much for your thoughts.

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  3. There is something about wooden spools. I have a few and they're very precious though I doubt I'll do anything with them. They also have a certain odour that the plastic ones don't have.
    Love your bowls – so varied. Looks like a lot of fun to make.
    Your garment is wonderful. Yeahhh for scraps. You are well endowed!

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    1. Well endowed...now that's a good way to put it! Thanks, Barb!

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  4. A delicious read. Thanks Gayle. I am once again inspired to create OOAK garments for myself after seeing your photos and reading your words. Living in a backcountry mountainous home where the local "style" is T shirts and torn jeans I can forget that garments are fun, comfortable and expressive, and that style is delightful.

    I certainly have the fabric and scraps to make some fun wearable art! And yes, the mystery of the never ending scrap supply happens to me, also. It is probably a good thing, security to never run out!

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    1. Just so, Jane, arty garments can be wearable and comfortable and you will be surprised at how many people admire them and say they want to do it, too. Scrap security...that's what we have!

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  5. Hi Gayle! Beautiful things as usual from you...and how fortunate you are to attend such great workshops and find treasures in your travels. Here's an idea for your spools: why not fashion them into a heart shape and use as a sculpture piece for your studio? I saw something like this recently and the designer even used the colors on the spool label to make an ombre effect. The piece may need to be on the larger side for the eye to see the shape, but that gives you an excuse to keep collecting spools! Let us see what you decide to do.

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  6. Love your blog, Gayle.

    I’ll be in Tennessee next week als and look forward to meeting you!

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    1. Hurray. Are you taking Christine's class?

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    2. Yes! Also my cousin Martha Myers:)

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  7. Once again beautiful garments. What about a valance made by making strings of the spools strung with beads, etc on wire? Think of the old beaded curtains from the 70's, but shorter as a window valance instead?

    How do you hear about all these sewing seminars/retreats? I looked at Kayla's Website, and the only event listed took place in 2017.

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    1. I hear about them in all kinds of ways but one way to get hooked up with lots of very talented sewists is going to a DOL. You are then put on a mailing list after attending and it has lots of good connections. Thanks so much!

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    2. Hi Gayle. I was at the spring retreat with you at Ashland. I'll keep my eye on the Google Group. Thanks!

      Hey, I'm going back in the fall too, so I'll see you there.

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  8. Your sewing travels inspire me!!! I need a list of all the fun places you go to sew! I am heading off to Taos next week to see Diane and Carol again. I missed spring in Ashland, but am excited to see what Taos holds. Great stories as always....becky

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    1. I know you'll enjoy Taos with those two, it should be wonderful. I'm going to Ashland in the fall for coats, will you be there?

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