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 Comments

Liberty and Melon For All

A while back, the members of the Central Coast Textile Artists (CCTA) (of which I am a member) decided to do a skinny quilt challenge. For my entry, I decided to go back to one of my favorite images, the watermelon. Since I had lots of strips left over from doing My Favorite Color and my last Bernina Show entry (Utterly Blue), I used many of them to create the background. Having done these two large blue pieces and Liberty and Melon For All, I still have a few of the strips left.

ClarkWatermelon_Full.jpg ClarkWatermelon_detail.jpg

Liberty and Melon for All

Posted by rachel on Sat, August 21 2010 » Quilt, Uncategorized » 2 Comments

Finance, Fashion and Wine Tasting

Last night, I went to an evening of Finance, Fashion and Wine Tasting. The event was held at a local Winery hosted by Brecek & Young Financial. The speaker was Tina Brown of Ilka Style. She was going to share with us the true elements of style and upcoming fall fashions. Now since I am a clothing person, I thought that I would learn something as well as enjoy the evening. I did, but as I sat listening to her share with the group, I heard two things that caught my attention: Love what you have (as in body type) and work with it and the second was that Black was OUT and the new neutrals this season are Navy, Grey and Camel. I started laughing out loud. It wasn’t because was oppose to the new neutrals, but that Black was out! Humm, half the room was wearing black and I was sitting up front black as you please. She looks over and without missing a beat she said; I meant clothing not ethnicity, which only made my entire table join the laughter all the while groaning, “Oh Rachel”.

As the event was outside and it get cool in the evening here, I knew I would need a jacket. I was wore “French Strips”. It is made of 3” wide strips cut from at least 38 different French Provence fabrics. The pattern is a 1946 vintage Vogue. I chose that pattern because I love the style of those topper coats. My mom had a pink wool one, when I was growing up and I thought it was one of the prettiest coat that I had ever seen. One day I am going to make a pieced pink one in her honor. In a later post I will talk more about vintage patterns and the fun I have playing with them.

Back to the evening, I didn’t think much of the fashion trends that she talked about, but I did appreciated her talking about the differences between style and fashion. I have known for a long time that I am more about style than fashion; it was great to have it affirmed.

French Strips Front French Strips Back French Strips Pocket Detail Vogue Pattern

Posted by rachel on Thu, August 19 2010 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Upcoming Event: 2010 Tennessee Presents Textiles

I am really excited about my trip to the Madisonville, Tennessee area in November, where I will be the featured artist at the 2010 Tennessee Presents Textiles Wearable Art Show. This year’s theme is The Power of the Pocket. My fashion show/lecture is Not Just Another Coat. I will be showing 25 coats, including (the finished coats from the “Out of The Crayon Box series and Alligator Swing).

I am looking forward to seeing some of my friends, enjoying some great food and having a great time.
The event location is the Tellico West Conference Center, 117 Grand Vista Drive, Vonore, TN 37885. For more information, check out the event website:

Posted by rachel on Mon, August 9 2010 » Events » 1 Comment

Working at the Grands

I was hanging out at the grands and working with Kincy on the website. I brought along Southern Greens because I have decided to hand-quilt it instead. I’m almost done. Below is a picture of when I finished piecing it and I’ll post a picture of the completed work in a few days.

Southern Greens

Posted by rachel on Sat, August 7 2010 » Quilt » No Comments

Ring the Bell!!

The RDKC Store has re-opened!!! You can now buy your favorite coat and quilt patterns and instructional booklets online! Tell your friends and neighbors! And a big shout out to Sue K. from Oregon for being our first online customer, even before we made this announcement. Woo-hoo!open for business

Posted by kincy on Sat, August 7 2010 » Events » No Comments

Behind the Scenes of "The Quilt Show"

Check out some “behind the scenes” photos of Rachel’s recent appearance on the “Quilt Show with Alex and Ricky”

Click the link below!


Posted by kincy on Sat, August 7 2010 » Events » No Comments

Hot Flower Power

This coat was made for the 2008 Pajaro Valley Quilt Show. We were celebrating our 30th year as a guild (I’m a charter member) and one of the guild members was in charge of the wearables. She challenged us to use a pattern from the 70’s and some fabric from that same period.

I chose to use Marimekko fabrics as the genesis of this coat. I remember Marimekko from the 70’s being a very popular fabric used in sheath dresses. If you don’t know what a Marimekko is:

Marimekko Corporation is a leading Finnish textile and clothing design company that was established in 1951. The company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality clothing, interior decoration textiles, bags and other accessories under the Marimekko brand, both in Finland and abroad.

If you can read Finnish, check out their site. If you’re like me and don’t, check out their English site.

People used to buy their fabrics, put a yard of it on a wood stretcher bar, hang on the wall and call it art. Along with my chosen fabric, I added a green Ikat, a pink/red/orange check, a green & red striped fabric, a green & red plaid, a purple and green African pattern, some psychedelia (featured on a cape) and five other solids or read as solids. For the piping and binding, I used a batik.

Hot Flower Power Front Hot Flower Power Back Hot Flower Power Detail

Posted by rachel on Wed, February 4 2009 » Garments » 1 Comment

Utterly Blue

The Houston International Quilt Festival has decided to not host the Bernina Fashion Show. Having done five garments, beginning with the Fairfield Show, this is the last piece that I created for the Bernina Fashion Show.

Utterly Blue Front Open Utterly Blue Closed Front

My garment was inspired by the wood carvings on an African door. I chose to work with cotton, wool, linen, silk and some hand-dyes in different shades of blue. The vintage pattern that I used is a cape from 1937 with shaped shoulders. The orange hand-dyed jacquard that is featured in the lining was created by Adebayo’s sister in Nigeria. I made the sleeveless blouse and pants to complete the ensemble. You have to have an ensemble when you do something like this and I basically threw them in there.

  Utterly Blue Back Utterly Blue Detail

The center back panel of the cape is embellished with beads and buttons.

Posted by rachel on Tue, February 3 2009 » Garments » 2 Comments

Caped Madness

Rachel’s grandson attends a cooperative preschool in San Francisco. (Which brings up the question, do preschoolers “attend” anything? Don’t they just “go”?). Anyway, Glenridge (the name of the school) had been running low on capes. The kids use them for “dramatic play”. For those not rearing 21st century children in the 21st century, dramatic play is what used to be called “dress up”, “playing house”, or the hopelessy anachronistic “cowboys and indians.”

So, Rachel was volunteered to provide the Glenridge Cape Stimulus Package of 2009 (formerly known as the Cape Bailout). After some carping about boy colors and girl colors, we settled on a package that kept both sides of the aisle happy. In typical Rachel fashion, she couldn’t resist tucking in a few earmarks of her own.

The first cape was a fairly standard cape that used blue fabric featuring glow-in-the-dark stars. Since it was bedtime for the aforementioned grandkids, it was an instant hit. We’ll call it the “Glow Cape”

glow cape glow cape detail

Next up was the Star Cape. This feature would be a another simple blue cape with black stars, meant to appeal to the dramatic playing superhero set. However, Rachel couldn’t resist adding a yellow triangle to the back of the cape.

stars cape I star cape detail

The last one for the night was the Psychedelic Cape. No one knows where Rachel acquired the fabric, but it inspired a lively debate about its origins. I argued for the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine as inspiration, my wife went for a 50’s suburban island-fantasy and Rachel did the sewing. We took some action shots of the gathers and her granddaughter modeled it the next morning.

making the Psychedelic cape 1 making Psychedelic cape II making Psychedelic cape III making Psychedelic cape IV the Psychedelic cape

The final cape, created the next morning, was a traditional red cape, with a high neck and light blue ribbon. Unfortunately, all the models were in bed, so I got to velcro it around my neck.

red cape detail red cape

Posted by kincy on Mon, February 2 2009 » Etcetera » No Comments