June 23, 2012

Seahope Partners

I have a deep affinity for the South, I grew up in Oklahoma then went to grad school at Tulane in New Orleans & started my career at the Alley Theatre in Houston. Watching the coverage of Katrina a few years ago ripped my heart in two. 

That's why when my friend Margaret Jankowski asked if I wanted to go down to Houma, Louisiana after the BP oil spill I jumped at the chance to go down and help her start a project called Seahope Partners.  That week we worked out the pattern and construction of these great messenger bags made from used sails. Those bags are now being sold through the Seahope website and they help to fund community support in the gulf region. Check it out, they make great carry-all and would be a really meaningful gift.

June 21, 2012

They say that sewing skips a generation. 
Maybe not in this case, but I can tell you that most of the people who come to me for lessons say they didn't learn from their mother, but from a grandmother, aunt or teacher. 
Mothers and daughters don't communicate in a way that makes teaching sewing smooth and stress free. 
I make the machine available, and show how to thread it. But other than that I'm pretty hand's off. I've heard too many stories of someone's interest in sewing getting smothered in all the rules.  
Even still, we barely survived Halloween last year.

It was so stressful, I'm only just now writing about it, but it all turned out in the end. 
We made a witch costume, and I spent most of my time obsessing about making a tiny little steampunk version of a witches hat. 
Sometimes this costume bug is a curse. 
But I'm telling you that was one cute hat.

June 11, 2012

The Apron Lady

I wanted to tell you about this fantastic woman I met when I went to Denver to tape the Sew It All episode "Knockout Knock-offs."
Her name is EllynAnne Geisel and she is the author of several really great books on Aprons, so much so that her knickname is the "the Apron Lady." I was struck by her delightful way of describing her aprons and the connections that they give us to the past. So much like the stories I tell in my book about my connection with my Great Grandmother through the patterns I found.
We had a little weather glitch that day that allowed us to spend a little more time together than we might have otherwise and I got to know her a little on that day and we were instant friends. I got to watch her episode and she is so clever an funny I couldn't help but want to follow her around like a little puppy dog.
I love that she describes herself as a curator, because she has a traveling collection of aprons that has been all over in a lovely exhibit Apron Chronicles. She has three books: The Apron Book, Apronisms, and The Kitchen Linens Book.
As EllenAnne likes to say: "Tie one on!" an apron of course.