Pocket extravaganza!

And on with the cavalcade of pockets!!

Again, I sincerely apologize for my terrible pictures, but in all fairness, some of these puppies are hard to photograph.

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I recently met Laurie Tigner, first on Facebook, then in real life when she invited me to a dinner during last year’s Quilt Market/Festival. Laurie is a treasure and a delight to know.  Apart from that, she is a magnificent quilter.  She makes the most beautiful icon quilts using Inktense pencils and liquid lamé fabric. I still can’t believe that anyone would be brave enough to quilt liquid lamé, but Laurie makes it look effortless!

There is no way I could duplicate her style, but the idea of religious icons was too good to pass up. In honor of her work I made a pocket that reflects the rustic charm of traditional ex-voto style icons of the byzantine era. In this instance, I used gold silk dupioni that was treated with felt needles to give it a textured; tweed-y feel, then I quilted it in an undulating curve pattern.  I made several molds from old buttons and broken jewelry then cast them in gold polymer clay shot with glitter. Instead of using a specific, religious personality, I chose Moreau’s St. George and the Dragon. The painting is printed on Lisa Riley’s Artist Transfer Paper and then heat pressed onto white muslin. Normally, ATP leaves the texture of the fabric too stiff for my liking, but this time the rigidity was needed. The arch of the pocket was then outlined in seed and bugle beads and the outside edge was treated with a picot design of seed beads.  This pocket is HEAVY, but like most good Byzantine art, probably needs to be.

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My friend Shanni loves adorably sweet things when it comes to design. I met her through another friend and we quickly became buddies. Shanni’s family used to have a jewelry design company and at one point, I used to help her at a trade show in Atlanta. When she wrapped up the jewelry design, she gifted me a ton of beautiful beads that I have incorporated into several of my designs. For this, I can’t thank her enough. Yes, she is a bead pusher and got me addicted to embellishing my work. LOL

When I was designing her pocket, I knew it had to have two things: a bow and lots of pink! She is a big fan of Tarina Tarantino’s jewelry, so I kind of designed the main pendant around that concept. The floral cabochon is pink polymer clay that has been dusted with chalk pastel. The pearls and beads are all glass in white, clear and gray. I stitched the chain in a way that made it look like a necklace hanging from the bow, which is China silk. The background fabric and binding is hand dyed cotton. I kind of fell in love with working with these pearls. They are all uniform and the holes are large enough for multiple strands of thread.

If I ever have time, one day, I’d actually like to make this into an actual piece of jewelry.

Yes Shanni, I’ll put you on the list to receive one. LOL

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Before my grandmother died, she had been working on several, and I mean several, flour sack dish towels with hand embroidered motifs. My mom would press the designs onto the towels and Grandma would stitch them. I was lucky enough to receive several of these tea towels and use them all the time. I treasure each and every one of them.

When my grandmother was younger, she was a professional sample maker for a couple of designers here in Houston. Her sewing was perfection in thread. Even well into her late 90’s, Grandma could stich perfectly uniform embroidery stitches.  She had given up garment sewing because of the physicality of it, but the skills she honed over the decades, never left her fingers.

I doubt my embroidery skills will ever compare to hers, but I designed her pocket with the same style of embroidery that she completed towards the end of her life. She did a series of Southern Ladies tea towels and a few of them are holding delicate fans. I wanted the pocket shape to reflect this shape and that of a folded handkerchief. The base fabric is a heavy cotton shadow stripe. All of the embroidery on her pocket was done by hand using both original and traditional designs and motifs.

After the pocket was completed, the lace trim was sewn on. I really resisted the urge to embellish this piece since I knew that Grandma was a lot simpler than flashy sequins and beads, so in need of a center for the bow, I went with a solitary pearl bead.

OK, I’ll post the next bunch in a few days.

If you have any questions, ask away in the comment section.

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