Thursday, May 22, 2008

Channel 3 visits MAD

Jack Thurston and Andy Goodrich from Burlington's WCAX Channel 3 came to visit yesterday and film me cutting up clothes and making HotHolders.
"We'll have fun," Jack emailed me a few days before to ease my nervousness.
You know, nervous energy is a great motivational force when it comes to cleaning the place.

As soon as they arrived I was fine, though. They were great and felt like friends by the end.

For the past two years I've been amusing myself by pretending to be Jimmy from The Commitments and rehearsing press interviews (inside my head - not in the bathtub).
Lately I've been having to prepare better for the real questions, not just the fantasy ones BUST magazine is going to ask me some day. It's a good thing I talked to my mom after the Strictly Business article came out because it turns out she doesn't like the expression frugal Yankee.

"Making goods out of recycled materials - it's everywhere right now. Is that why you're doing it or are there some moral motivations at work?"

So maybe you'll see me talking to the camera about how I used to steal t-shirts out of my dad's dresser as a teenager, cut them up, and sew them into mini-dresses. Or how my parents have been committed environmental activists since the first Earth Day in 1970 (I'm so proud of them). Or maybe Jack will choose to show me using my high school French to proclaim "Voila! Finis," after completing a fireman HotHolder at the sewing machine.

Tune in to the Channel 3 nightly news on Friday May 30th and see!
See it here now:

<--- the set of the Channel 3 Made in Vermont story - my humble home studio.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

now at the Howe + NFM schedule

I don't just make things with hunky guys or other cute characters on them. When I was an art major in college 20 years ago I started to see the creative potential of piecing bits of cloth together. I always felt the cozy homey feeling that quilts evoke makes them a wonderfully accessible medium for expression, but my art professors thought I should stick to painting and photography. I sort of dabbled in making quilts after college for a few years until parenting overwhelmed my physical creative projects. This past winter (it is over, right?) I started a line of small ones so my collection of vintage fabrics and discarded clothing can play and form relationships together as one cuddly object. I have really enjoyed coming back to making quilts. Organic cotton batting gives them that slightly puffy texture. When washed it should shrink 5% which will result in that old-fashioned slightly scrunched look - which I like.

Some of these baby/wall/lap/back-of-the-couch quilts can be seen at the Howe Library in Hanover, NH until May 29th. The colors in the batch turned out rather preppy (Vampire Weekend was in heavy rotation while I was selecting fabrics - could that be why? I remember well that pink & green trend in the early-eighties.)

Also occupying the large case near the teen room are billfolds, a loteria belt, one of my favorite aprons, and a pillow I made for my daughter for her birthday. About ten HotHolders have a shelf of their own but I think the real focus is the quilts. In the picture to the left you can see some bindings (my favorite part) and peek inside to see the backing fabric too.

It took me a while to compose the case - an hour and a half maybe? Someone teasingly suggested that makes me a perfectionist. I did want it to be nice and just so, but I was relaxed about putting it together, and didn't take it down a bunch of times to start over or anything like that. What is a perfectionist anyway? I thought it was about procrastinating so much you don't actually get to a point of creating something that might not be perfect.

This is the "all done" picture. That old suitcase Richard got me makes it look like I'm waiting for a train. It was perfect for holding all the quilts and tools.

and just so you know...
Here's my Norwich Farmers Market schedule for this summer:
I'll be there on these Saturdays: July 26 and September 6, 20 and 27.
and also on Craft Fair Sundays: July 6, August 3, and October 12

I'll tell you some other plans while I'm at it:
I'll be vending at the Mad River Craft Fair in Waitsfield, Vermont on August 30 and 31 and
I'll be participating again this year in the Vermont North by Hand Open Studio Tour which will be on the weekend of October 4 and 5.
Please stop by and say hello!