Clothing for the Body & Soul

Jumping the Blues

One of the tasks that I set for myself this year was to go back and visit some of my earlier pieces. I wanted to see how well they had held up over the years, if and how my work had changed and if I still liked them. I had planned to begin with the Boxy coat, but today as I was organizing for a fashion show/lecture for the Annie’s Star Quilt Guild in Chico Ca, I came across one of my very favorite pieces.

Jumping the Blues

As I looked at it I realized that I could no longer fit into it and have it look the way it did when I made it 20 years ago. That led me to think about what does one do with pieces that you can no longer wear, but still appreciate.

When I made this jumper, I was still defining my style. I really like traditional quilts and I wanted to create a “wrapped-in-quilt look” using simple quilt blocks. I chose a row quilt style, simple patterns, African fabric and solid cottons. The quilt blocks in the center front of the jumper are Slave Chain. I used on ½ of the block to create the look I wanted.

Jumping the Blues Front Jumping the Blues Front Closeup

The back of the jumper has a row of pinwheels (one of my favorite blocks), a modified Seminole band and squares on points. I have seen these patterns return again and again in my garments.

Jumping the Blues Back Jumping the Blues Back Closeup

For the background I used the same tie-dyed African fabric from Mali. Instead of hemming the jumper it is bound off with English wax batik.

This piece is part is my series “Everybody Git the Blues.” It is an open series. I haven’t added anything to it recently.

I can’t say that I have an answer to my dilemma, however since I have crossed the 200-garment mark, I really need to think more about it as, I am running out of storage space and I still have many more garments to make.

Posted by kincy on Wed, September 1 2010 » Garments

2 Responses

  1. Karen Boutte September 1 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    Rachel,how about creating a traveling exhibit of some of your earlier garments? I am sure some of the newer designers would love to see your work and you can’t be everywhere. There are so many shows around the country that would benefit from a retrospect of your work.

  2. Robin West September 2 2010 @ 2:13 pm

    I agree with Karen. I think newer designers SHOULD have a look at what you have created over the years. It would be quite a fabulous show! Maybe a retrospective someplace, with models for your older pieces?!? Your work is and has been quite wonderful!

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