Clothing for the Body & Soul


It has been a wild, wonderful roller coaster of a week.

Sunday, October 8th – realized that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. The coming week would include board and guild meetings, a lecture and a class to teach in Folsom, hosting friends from Alaska, a busload of quilters visiting the studio, co-moderating a fashion show at PIQF, a book fair in Palo Alto and ending with dinner with Kincy, Grace and the Grands. The week would also include cleaning the house and changing the September decorations to Halloween.

Did I freak? No! I simply didn’t have time that. I realized I needed to edit. Leaving the house before Tuesday was a NO! I canceled all meetings, social gatherings, set about cleaning and decorating the house, organized teaching materials and pack for the lecture/fashion show in Folsom.

Tuesday, October 10th – traveled to Folsom, excellent dinner with 3 quilters from the guild. I had a great time with the guild members. I had some very delightful volunteer models for the fashion show. These women came to the meeting having no idea they would be modeling my coats. They were all very good sports. I also had an opportunity to connect with some friends that had been in my home guild, as well as friends that I had made when I began teaching thirty years ago. Bone weary, I slept soundly at Lake Natoma Inn.

Wednesday, October 11th – Began the day by thinking I had lost my car keys. After searching for a half an hour, I unpacked my bag and found them in my tunic pocket. Whew! Headed off to teach my Seminole as Fast Piecing class. Successful class, students got several bands done, there were lots of laughter and good conversation. A special shout out to a terrific class host, Lori Long, not only is she organized; she brings coffee. Headed home about 4:30, traffic was not as bad as I thought it would be.

While I was gone, my Alaska friends, Corlis and Gayle arrived, rented a car, stopped at a couple of our favorite places, Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria, Many Hands Gallery, Crossroad’s Fabrics and best of all they did a bit of grocery shopping. By the time I got home Gayle had Zuppa Toscana soup for dinner. It was superb!

We did a bit of catching up, show and tell and sewing. Exhausted we fell into bed for a good night’s sleep.

Thursday, October 12th – Rise and shine! Gayle and Corlis headed back to San Jose to return the rental car and rented another car for us to use for the weekend. After a couple of hours at PIQF, they returned. Yikes! They can do some damage in a few hours. One of my sewing buddies Patty showed up to help me get some more work done in preparation for the bus tour. Thank goodness and blessings for good friends. Tasks for the day: Unload the car, fluff the backyard, the dining room, the studio, unpack the 25 boxes and label the garments for the fashion show, load the car, pack for an overnight stay in Santa Clara and have dinner. The leftover soup was even better than the night before. Yay Gayle!

Friday, October 13th – Last minute tweaking. Staging some garments stands in the living room and the backyard. With 5 minutes to spare the bus arrived. Played host to Barbara Lockwood and 40 plus quilters. I sure hope they had as much fun as I had. I was thrilled to share my space, my work and my home with the ladies. I expect to see some of them on a return visit. Thank you, Barbara and I will confess there were moments when I wondered what was I thinking to say yes to you. Turns out you were so easy to work with it and it all went well.

Barbara in the house

demoing how I organize a project










After about an hour, the bus headed off to the next stop.

Corlis, Gayle and I had a bit of lunch and headed off to PIQF. Dropped the garments off backstage, 45 minutes of power shopping, met Karen for the beginning of the big night. After a year of planning For the Love of Color, the fashion show was here and we were ready to strut our stuff.

We had chosen to celebrate a love of color by having participants choose a color from the Crayola box of 64 crayons. We began with 47 participants; in the end, we had 36 designers and 40 garments. The fashion show was a huge success. I have invited the participants to post photos of their garments on my page. The light in the theater isn’t very good for capturing the models from the stage.

Afterward, we headed to the bar for sustenance. We had chocolate cake, nachos, guacamole and non-alcoholic beverages. Did a bit of debriefing, laughing and sharing our favorite bits about the evening.

Joining up with Connie James we took off to our hotel for a night of rest. The ride to the hotel was uproarious. It was supposed to be 1.5 miles from the convention center. Even using GPS, after about 5 miles of driving, a series of turns and we still hadn’t arrived. We were thrown into a fit of giggles which I am sure was aided by punch drunkenness. In another 5 minutes and a U-turn, we arrived at our destination. The four of us shared a room that was about the size of a dorm room. It was all good.


Saturday, October 14th– We had a leisurely breakfast in the hotel dining room. Headed back to the show. We spent a fun-filled day looking at garments, shopping, looking at quilts, shopping, visiting with friends and shopping. We all have our favorite vendors we have to stop by. Some of my favorites are Cherrywood Fabrics, Ananse Village Fabrics, EZ Piecing   Private Source Quilting By the mid-afternoon, we were done and it was time to head home to Watsonville.

We had dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Watsonville, Cilantros.

Quilting friend Jan Sturtevant joined us at the house for an evening of Show and Tell as well as sharing highlights of the day. Corlis and I did a bit of sewing. We got some “What Not” wallets made.

“What not” wallets










Sunday, October 15th – We headed back to PIQF to check out what we had missed. We each had to see The Threads of Resistance Quilts and pick up some things that one of us had bought and the other didn’t get it.

In the afternoon, we took off for The Book Arts Jam in Palo Alto. The Book Arts Jam is a one-day celebration of the book, print & paper arts. They feature an exhibition of artists’ books, print & paper artists with work for sale and exhibition. Corlis and Gayle are both bookmakers. While I am not a bookmaker I have enjoyed going to the show. I really have come to appreciate the books made by Jamila Rufaro.

Birdhouse by Jamila Rufaro










This year they featured some garments made using paper.

Later, we headed to Mountain View for dinner with the Clarks. Dinner began with drinks and a cheese platter. Dinner followed with salad, French carrots and Kincy grilled some vegetable and Persian Chicken kabobs flavored with garlic and more chicken kabobs with a more citrus flavor. Dessert was a legendary coffee crunch cake from a San Francisco Japanese Bakery, followed by a bit of port or brandy. It was a splendid way to end the day and the week.

Headed home to Watsonville. After another round of show and tell, Corlis packed as she was leaving the next day and I made an ironing pad that rolls up into its own zippered pouch. I had purchased the kit from EZ Piecing and knew if I didn’t strike while the iron was hot, it wouldn’t get done.

Ironing pad pouch

Ironing pad with pouch






Monday, October 16th – Corlis headed back to Fairbanks. Gayle is getting some sewing done and I am not doing too much of anything.




Posted by rachel on Tue, October 17 2017 » Events, Miscellaneous » No Comments

On the Design Wall

The design is now off the wall. It is finished.  I am happy with the results. I wish it had presented itself with a title. Chose not to do any quilting instead I appliquéd circles on the border, the sleeves and the collar.

Front of the coat

Back of the coat





Posted by rachel on Fri, October 6 2017 » Garments, Uncategorized » No Comments

On the Design Wall

The piecing is all done. I need to ponder it for a while, considering whether or not it will need stitching or other embellishments. There isn’t a lot of time for it present itself as it needs to be finished by the end of next week.

As of yet no title


Posted by rachel on Sat, September 30 2017 » Garments, Uncategorized » No Comments

On the Design Wall

After Crimson Forest, I wanted to do something with less piecing, fewer fabrics and less challenging sort of a brain cleaning project.  Last year at PIQF I had picked up this incredible group of African wax batiks at Ananse Village booth, with the intention of making something that shows off the fabrics. I fell in love with these colors and the circles. I guess I was still trending dots.

I have 6 fabrics in the African batik color group, added 6 Cherrywood fabrics, 5 for accent and one the same color as solid jacquard. There are two other fabrics lurking on the counter hoping to sneak in. I don’t often work with such a limited number of fabrics but I thought that would be a fun challenge. Since I was keeping it simple, I decided to work with a pattern I had used many times before.

African Batik. one is missing from the group.







the jacquard. I had this on my shelf.

The cartoon. One-half of the back












Posted by rachel on Thu, September 28 2017 » Garments, Uncategorized » No Comments

Crimson Forest

Crimson Forest is finished!

Decided I didn’t need to embellish it with beads or buttons, instead, I added some machine stitching of a variety of trees silhouettes

When a coat has a more quilt-like effect I tend to bind it off and/or face the bottom rather than a turned up hem.

Front of the coat with concealed button closing.











Back of the coat









Stitching detail


Stitching detail

Lining and faced hem











Posted by rachel on Sun, September 24 2017 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Crimson Forest

Fronts and back completed

The foundation piecing is completed on the body of the coat. Now I only have the sleeves left to do and to decide if I  need some embellishment before I construct the coat. I am considering adding some simple stitching. I don’t really machine quilt, but I could stitch outlines of some trees and add a few red beads.

Posted by rachel on Tue, September 19 2017 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Crimson Forest

The blocks are attached to the front. On to the back!


Posted by rachel on Thu, September 14 2017 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Crimson Forest

Completed the blocks for the front.

ready to be attached to the foundation

Posted by rachel on Wed, September 13 2017 » Garments, Uncategorized » No Comments

Moving along with Crimson Forest


I got side tracked for a while. I couldn’t decide which pattern I wanted to use for Crimson Forest. I was torn between two pattern styles. My preference was the swing coat, but I realize that I wanted to wear my coat this year.
I am accepting that while I love coats our winters have been rather mild. I can toss on a shorter coat and not feel conspicuous, but with the longer ones, it is a different story.  I finally settled on using my A-line coat pattern. I modified it to add a little more fullness and I decided to shorten it as well.The muslin has been cut out, fitted and marked up.
The strips have been cut to create strata for the background blocks. I have divided them into groups.

Strips-cut from all of the fabrics

Stripe fabrics, one dot and one check

Strips cut to mimic strips

Strips- solids

I am ready to begin building strata to create the blocks for the coat.

Muslin-marked up. The front of the coat


Posted by rachel on Mon, September 11 2017 » Garments » No Comments

Crimson Forest

After my interview with Sandi of Crafty Planner, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the process of planning and working out the details of a garment so I thought that it would be fun to document from the beginning to the end of making a garment using this space.

I have this blog and I was not regularly posting on it. I spend a lot of time posting on Facebook, about a lot of different stuff, but not necessarily in any kind of order of how and/or why I am making a garment. So for now, I am going to use the blog to post about the work and Facebook for all my other meanderings.

Sometimes when I begin a new garment, it doesn’t have a name. I can spend lots of time trying to come up with a name. With this latest garment, the name was right there, Crimson Forest.

My friend, Marguerite Snow sent me a bunch of red, pink, orange and purple batiks. Altogether in that box, they were so hot and luscious, as soon as I laid eyes on them I knew I wanted to use them in a coat. I hauled them all the way to Alaska, thinking I would work on them there, I didn’t, but I did add a few more fabrics to the collection.

fabric collection

Now that I had this collection, I had to decide how I am going to approach getting the fabrics into a coat. I decided to go with a scrappy look. I remembered that I had purchased a pattern Carnaval Quilt from Maryline Collioud-Robert Now, would be a good time to take a look at it to see if it would work for this project.

After reading through the pattern, I decided that I could adapt it for Crimson Forrest. In the past, I have used a similar technique for some of my garments; I appreciated how she had a recipe for cutting. I changed some of the numbers for cutting the strips, I didn’t want some of my strips as large for a coat and I replaced her smaller blocks with my tree blocks. She used stripe fabrics; I only had a couple, not enough for my project.  So, I built some stripe fabrics by sewing strips together to use the same way she used the stripe fabrics.

31 tree patterns

Trees fabrics

the trees are all done

stripe fabric

Now that I finished building my forest, I will cut my strips to make my blocks.



Posted by rachel on Mon, September 4 2017 » Garments » No Comments

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