Tidal Lace Winner!

Hello! I'm back from teaching at Arrowmont, with lots to share about that soon.  I'm just popping in today to share the winner of the Tidal Lace giveaway.   The randomly selected winner is #34, Arianna.  I'll be emailing you next, and your fabric will ship out just as soon as you send me your mailing address.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

Tidal Lace...

One of the best parts of my life is meeting interesting artists as I travel around teaching workshops.   Last year (or the year before?) I met Kim Andersson, when she took one of my workshops at A Verb for Keeping Warm.  This year, at the Makerie, there she was again.  We had so much fun sharing meals and catching up, and talking about our shared love of California.  

I was so happy for her when she told me she was nearing the finishing point of her first line of fabrics, and eagerly said yes when she asked me to design a project for the look book.  

Fast forward to July, when a stack of fabrics came in the mail for me to work with.   Her debut collection, Tidal Lace, is beautiful.  

It's partly inspired by the beautiful California coast that Kim lives on.  My favorite prints are the sea gems and tide pools, both of which are waiting, just waiting, to be embroidered.  Those sea gems seem to be loudly asking for wheels of blanket stitch, and the star fish seem obviously in need of french knot embellishments, which is just what I did.  

I wonder, what would you do?  Leave a comment telling me which is your favorite, and Windham Fabrics will choose one winner to receive an entire pack of fat quarters.   Lucky you!   The comments will stay open until next Monday, September 29th.

New Favorite....

I try not to buy a lot of fabric.  My artwork is all made with found embroidery, and I don't tend to use a lot of prints.  However, I teach at a lot of places that sell beautiful fabrics, and occasionally, something makes it home with me.  I have been meaning to make a laptop case for a long time and  I LOVE THIS PRINT from Pins and Needles.  A little bit came home with me last night- Thanks Rachel. Get some while you can in their online shop!

I'll show you mine.....

Hello again!  It felt good to take a break from the blog for a little while.  I've been on a break from the studio for the last part of August, fighting back a cold and taking in the last few weeks of summer.  The kitchen has been busy, with an ever present pot of steaming water for sterilizing and sealing jars of preserves.  Peach Butter, Dilly Beans, Pickled Beets, Tomato Jam, Pickled Carrots and Radishes, and Tomato Paste are filling up the cupboards for winter.  At the risk of sounding like a jam blogger rather than a studio artist blogger, let me just say; I love canning.  It really appeals to the squirreller in me, just like thrifting for fabric does. 
While I was away from the blog I thought a lot about what I might talk about upon my return.  There's lots of new stuff in the works for the studio and the blog this fall.  One of the things I am most excited about right now is bright, loud, crazy intense fabric patterns.  For a long time, my artwork was pretty white.  I used found embroidery and stitched back into it, creating a new narrative.  While I am still excited about that work, and still collecting found embroidery, I am really interested in a much more saturated color pallete these days.  A lot of the work for Red Sky at Night was really bright (and even fluorescent), but I am finding myself wanting even more lately. 
These are some pictures of the fabric that I've been working with this summer.  I found all four of them at once, at a thrift store in Chicago a few years ago.  They were in the arms of someone else.   My heart sank, and then I decided to use pure will to get that person to put the fabric back on the rack.  I pictured it going back up where it belonged, and it worked!  I sound like a crazy loon just writing this, but it really worked.  Put it back, put it back!  I just stared into the back of this woman's head and then all of a sudden she did just what I hoped she would- and I swooped in and scooped up all four hangers of fabric.  Most of them are at least three yards of brand new, 1960's?  polyester screen-prints. I'm sure I didn't pay more than 2 dollars each.   I love them so much.   Chicago thrifts really are the absolute best.  I miss them so much.
In deciding to show you all four piles of fabric yardage, it struck me that it makes so much sense in relationship to the name of this blog and business.  I came up with the name based on the cloths that I lay down before I print fabric- the thing that protects the padded table.  But I also think of dropcloth as a way of talking about my studio practice; picking stuff up off the floor and piecing it back together into a new composition and story.  Today it's about dropping the fabric that I'm most excited about and photographing it to show you.  
I showed you mine, will you show me yours?  Leave a link to your favorite fabric- I'd love to see your wild patterns and bright colors.  Whatever you are excited about- show me what you've got! 

Studio Clean-Up & Stoop Sale

I spent the better part of the weekend cleaning out the studio.  It felt good to uncover things that I had given up on ever finding and to sort through heaps and turn them into better organized piles.  All the pencils are with the pencils, and all the pens have found their way back to the pens.  The reds are together again, and so are all the greens.    One of the reasons I wanted to clean up was to make way for a desk space.  I turned one of my racks into the perfect spot for my laptop.  I cut a premade countertop into the perfect workstation using my scroll saw, attached it with clamps and viola!  A fourth work station dedicated to my computer in the studio.
 Rearranging always makes me feel brand new, like I've magically moved into a new home.  I love it.  After the desktop was in place, I spent yesterday afternoon tackling a huge basket of fabric that I hadn't sorted through since September.  Which means, if you're paying attention, that it was packed and moved across the country as a total mess.  Whoops.  HOWEVER, it is now organized! There was lots to throw out, but there was also lots that I can't hold onto but is too good to throw out.  So, in the spirit of Brooklyn, I'm hosting an online stoop sale to get rid of it all and share the love.
Photographed on a real Brooklyn stoop!
There are eight bundles of fabric, roughly organized by color and or pattern, including hand printed and dyed cloth, new and vintage commercial fabrics,  embroidery, misprinted samplers, and more surprises.  All the pieces included in the stoop sale bundles are big enough for projects, and perfect for adding a fun burst of handmade color to your summer.

Each bundle comes wrapped up in a small flat rate envelope, packed to the brim with goodness.  You won't be disappointed!  Check out the dropcloth facebook page for more pictures of the stoop sale goodies, or to buy one, head on over to the shop.

Hard Telling, Not Knowing...

One of the most exciting parts about going to Haystack was the lobster dinner that was served out on the rocks during the middle weekend.  The work study students carried the feast nimbly through the woods and out onto the rocks.  There were no tables, no chairs, and no tools.  We used rocks and brute strength to crack open these tasty creatures. 

Here is my plate before I dug in.  With lots of help and laughter and butter I ate every last bite.  So much fun.  The next day, on a trip into the tiny little lobstering town of Stonington, I found this amazing lobster print at the V&S variety store:

I brought a half yard of it back to Haystack and asked one of my students, Mev, to over-dye it in a pot of turmeric that she had cooked up.   I love the butter background.  Not sure what it will become, but I thought I'd hang it out on the line today as a reminder of the cool breezes and sea treats of Maine.   I can't wait to return.