Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Here is one of the projects that I've been teaching lately. I designed these placemats for the autumn theme of class this semester. The background is strip pieced and was a good beginner lesson. Last week I taught how to make the lightly padded pumpkins and the 3-D stems. This week we'll be covering the vines and leaves.
Notice how each placemat is different? I think they're more fun and definitely easier that way!

Here's a cloesup of the pumpkin on the table runner. Pretty fat and sassy, huh?
This is my latest work. I'm trying to put together some of my favorite 3-D techniques for a totebag workshop. I love teaching the curvy bias totebag, but my 3-D jacket is another big hit in the fashion show and it's always nice to have another option for a guild workshop.
The only problem is that I'm not particularly happy with how they look together. I had orginally planned to have some techniques on one side of the totebag and some on the other. Only 3 or 4 techniques on each side look a bit bare though. And 6 or 7 would be the most I could hope to teach in a 6 hour workshop. So I think I'm may have to revise my plan and only put the 3-D techniques on the "front" of the totebag (or let them repeat the same ones for the back). In this case I think 5 techniques would be better, but I don't know which ones to toss out. They're all fun! Any suggestions?
Here are a couple of close ups of the techniques I have so far. I had planned on black seperator strips, but now I'm not so sure. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Teaching, PIQF, etc. (long)

Oh my goodness where does the time go! Now I know how hard it must be for all those of you who work full- or part-time and still find time to create. I've been very spoiled, not having had a paying job (not that being a mom, school volunteer, homemaker, etc., etc. shouldn't BE a paid position, LOL!) in almost 20 years.

I've been busy teaching for Palomar Community College (over 200 students now!) AND I got to go to PIQF at the last minute! It was a terrific show and I had an absolutely fabulous time! I received many compliments on my jackets (with 65 jackets I had a VERY hard time deciding which ones to bring and I couldn't just bring one...) and bought LOTS of cool stuff that I can't get around here. Things like hand-dyed silk ribbon, hand painted fabric, holographic sequins, raw silks (at a great show price!), a portable design wall and an extra tote bag that attaches to my sewing machine tote-on-wheels. Who could resist? I even purchased a pattern which is a rarity for me since I prefer to do my own designing. My suitcase was MUCH heavier on the return trip and I'm VERY glad I talked my husband into letting me bring a much bigger suitcase than he thought I needed :-)

I arrived about noon on Friday and dashed over to the show for a quick run-through. I met up with my teaching partner, Wendy, for dinner, then we went to the fashion show. I thought Karen Boutte (sp?) did a great job. It was more organized than the last time I went and having 2 very different featured designers was just right. Not too much and not too little. This was followed by a parade of fashions from past featured designers. Great stuff! Maybe someday I'll be asked to do this (fingers crossed for luck)! But then again, my jackets aren't glitzy runway pieces, but designed for wearing anytime so maybe they wouldn't show well on the stage... Still they were very popular at the show, at least according to the number of compliments I received.

Wendy and I saw the show on Saturday. It was a stretch, but I think we hit the entire show and all the vendors in one day. I'd really recommend having at least 2 days though, as we were both really tired at the end of the day and we may have missed an aisle or two. Wendy was wearing the curvy bias jacket I gave her for Christmas last year and I was wearing Sunflower Sonata and we were both frequently stopped and complimented. One sweet woman said we were walking inspiration :-)

We flew home on Saturday night, exhausted, but happy and very inspired. We were laughing so much on the airplane that the stewardess had to come back and check on us. I think she thought we might have been drunk, LOL. We were just too full of happiness and inspiration and silly from being so tired! I'm sure you know the feeling :-)

And I came home to another fashion show contract (the word is getting out!) so that makes 2 shows this spring. There was also a funny piece of mail waiting for me from the Bernina Fashion Show. Previously they'd written to ask if I wanted to:
  1. be considered for the 2007 show
  2. keep my portfolio on file to be considered in the future, but not for 2007
  3. have my name removed and not be considered in the future

I selected choice #2 because I knew I was going to be teaching for Palomar and I knew it would be a real change getting my schedule adjusted to losing all that free time I had previously enjoyed.

Well, I received a very nicely worded rejection notice! What a downer when I hadn't even wanted to be considered! Of course I didn't submit an updated portfolio, but still... Oh well, it's a good thing because I may not have been able to resist doing it again and I really shouldn't this year.

Meanwhile Soleil Ole, my 2004 ensemble, comes home tomorrow. Now I'll have it for next year's fashion shows instead of just being able to talk about it.

But now I'm back to reality with a to-do list with 10+ items so I'd better get back to work. I'll post some pictures of my latest work soon since it's been much too long.

Lisa Coulombe

Everyday Wearable Art and Beyond