I did it!

This has been a long haul, I’ve been mostly on the road non-stop since August.  There is one more brief venue I need to fly to in December, but my marathon is done.  I still have buckets of stuff on my plate, including the guild show and sale this weekend, and though I probably won’t have any work to show, I’m the treasurer, and will need to spend the three days locked in the kitchen of the facility processing lots and lots of sales.  And then the follow up.

But for now, as I drove up the Eastern Shore of Virginia into Maryland and then Delaware, over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, finally heading up the length of the NJ Turnpike, the leaves were at their peak, and the traffic minimal on a Saturday morning, and I listened to NPR Now on Sirius XM and all was well with the world.  I arrived home much earlier than I thought I would, in time to get my doggies from the Kennel, stop at a Trader Joe’s for my favorite yogurt, and completely unpack and put everything away, getting ready for my heavy calendar on Sunday.  I had a recorder performance in the morning followed by a rehearsal, and then theater tickets at my beloved Shakespeare Theater of NJ.  My daughter and I saw Charlie’s Aunt, and if you are in the area and want a raucous time, laughing until your sides hurt, this is a welcome diversion on all things political.  The perfect British farce.  

That said, I’ll say it now, OBX wins.  For those not in the know, OBX is an abbreviation for the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, coastal, Kill Devil Hills, near Kitty Hawk and the Wright Bros memorial and museum.  This is my third year teaching at this lovely five day retreat.  It is organized by Linda Ihle of Island Fiberworks, and she did a bang up job with this one, held at a beachfront resort called Sea Ranch. 

We stayed in condos, I got a beach view and every morning I woke up to this…

And went to bed looking out my balcony to this…

The view is lovely, but mostly I was in the classroom, from 7:30 when I went down to breakfast to well after 10pm each night.  So I didn’t spend my time sitting on my balcony listening to the surf drinking wine.  Actually I spent no time at all.  Sad.

The reason OBX wins is the participants, or rather their fabrics.  I have never seen such a combination of handwoven fabrics, the Blazing Shuttle influence is definitely here, but not everyone used hand dyed or hand painted warps.  I believe everyone but one student used handwoven fabrics.  And the one who didn’t has taken this class with me before, a couple of times, and used gorgeous handwoven fabric, but this time, she was interested in fitting a pile of test garments from patterns she brought, or ready to wear she wanted to copy, to presumably use eventually on handwoven fabrics later.

The gauntlet was thrown down and the first night I arrived after a long drive from north of Baltimore, I was greeted with a lovely spread of food and of course wine!  It flowed regularly and often (after happy hour of course!)

Participants spent the first couple of days with challenging layouts.  This is one of the toughest parts of working with fabrics that combine hand painted warps, finding common areas for matching across the fronts and backs of a garment.  I spent a number of hours the first night of the workshop with one student alone trying to find the best layout.

Because there were wonderful photographers in the group who hardly missed a shot, I didn’t take as many photos as I usually do, and so many of these came from Leigh and Natalie and some of the other students, I swiped them off of Facebook. Mea Culpa dear ladies, I hope it was OK.  There were some really fun pictures of me in action, I rarely ever get into the shot!

Margaret was the participant who brought her own patterns, and she cut out a number of them, including this lovely paneled dress, after I showed her how to copy a beloved piece of ready to wear.  She thought up the pocket treatment herself.  She used a Guatemalan babywrap for the fabric.  Then she made a purple linen bathrobe that will eventually have a belt.  She modified my swing coat pattern, creating more of a duster.

Elizabeth, Dornan, and Cyndi all made Daryl Jackets with the Shawl Collar and Gaila made the same, except without sleeves.  

The rest of the class dove right into my new collared vest pattern that zips up the front.  Natalie led the pack with fabric she wove using Blazing Shuttle Warps and a modification of my Chaos draft, available here. She was hilarious with her camera taking all sorts of documentary selfies.  She made me smile.

Linda, Peggy and Leigh also wove gorgeous versions of my vest, all with fabrics they wove.  

Mary combined my jacket pattern with the collared vest pattern and made this gorgeous jacket.

And Victoria, who has also taken my class a couple of times before, experimented with working on some of her vast collection of smaller cuts of fabrics, thinking of pillows and bags, and then at the end of the class, brought out the walking vest she made two years ago, to finish it up.  It is one of my favorites of all the fabrics, as a matter of fact, I got some of her scraps and am having another pair of clogs made from them.  I wish I had gotten better photos, it looked really lovely on her.

Kathrin Weber came in a few hours before the end of the class, to begin the transition to her class which followed mine starting this morning actually.  As I was packing she was laying out all of her dyed warps for her students to purchase.  I got a great shot of us, she is wearing the collared vest I made, using fabric I wove from a class I took with her last year.  Or was that the year before…  Time flies when you are having fun surrounded by glorious color.

I’ll be back next year, last week in October, all of you who are booked for 2019 in other classes in the country, this one will be a hard act to follow!  

If you are in the area, the Jockey Hollow Weavers Guild annual show and sale will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Mendham NJ, Saturday and Sunday, the 10 and 11, 2018.  I’ll be in the back all weekend doing the numbers!

Stay tuned!

I’m Home!

Actually, I’ve been home for a couple of days, but I got in really late Tuesday night, and I hit the ground running Wednesday morning, with very little sleep.  Could it have been the caffeine I consumed to keep me awake for the four hour drive Tuesday night?  Duh…

Anyway, I spent Wednesday morning with my 16 year old daughter at the local county college, where she was taking advantage of a HS challenge program and signing up for a class in Japanese.  Her five text books cost $125.  She was very excited to think of herself as a college student.  Of course she still has two more years of HS…  But it is a great opportunity and she will get college credit for the course.

I spent the rest of Wednesday unpacking, doing the laundry, actually working in the yard for an hour, which felt wonderful.  I haven’t spent any time, either working on or enjoying my lovely gardens this summer, and playing in the dirt after such a grueling six weeks of conferences was healing.  My husband, bless him, has done an amazing job keeping up the gardens which I assure you is NOT a one person job.  There is a ton of weeding that needs to be done, to be sure, but he has kept the worst of the weeds at bay, and installed a ton of downlights around the ponds, which glow like fairy pools in the late evening.  I’m looking forward to the fall, which is usually glorious in NJ.

Last night, my husband and I bought tickets, right before I left, for Noises Off, at the NJ Shakespeare Theatre which is housed in a gorgeous building at Drew University in Madison, NJ.  We bought the tickets based on the Newspaper review, which was stellar, and we laughed through the entire performance.  I adore British farces, lots of door slamming, flawless timing, as only a Shakespeare Company can do, and we enjoyed the show so much, we bought additional tickets for Twelfth Night, and The Grapes of Wrath, which close out the 2009 season.  In addition, we just received the season tickets for the Papermill Playhouse.  So much live theatre to see!

So today, I looked at my poor neglected house, and decided that I needed to spend the day, really cleaning it, which meant all sorts of detours, including cleaning out the snake cage.  Don’t ask.  I worked straight through the day, and only managed to clean one floor.  That’s what happens when you leave for a few weeks, the house gets dirty without you.  I’ll continue it tomorrow, but tomorrow, being the end of the month, is paperwork day.  I have a huge stack, all the accounts and bills have to be addressed, and that will be my priority tomorrow.

Since Project Runway starts in half an hour, I thought I’d post the photos of the jackets from my class at the Felter’s Fling.  They were amazing.  I had five students, and they were working like crazy right up to the end, there are still a lot of pins in the jackets, along with tailor’s tacks, and errant threads.  But everyone was really thrilled, they learned so much, and I heard from more than one student that, “they enjoyed this so much they might even start sewing!”