Friends help Friends
Patty Murphy makes a super quilt with a few tossed in recos from an ombré nut (me!) who can't keep her mouth shut...Yup, this post is about Patty Murphy's Aether Quilt which will dazzle the honey bees and make rainbows jealous! She is a gem of a human and a color maven- once you study this quilt, you'll see why!
Patty and I are cofounders of Create and Sustain. We talk a lot via Zoom about the environment, how to help our industry be greener, be more conscious about our impact on the earth and important issues like that. So she had this WIP Orange Peel quilt in the background for a few of our sessions that kept morphing around as WIPs do. One day, I asked her, "Hey Patty, are you putting white in the background or doing something different?" I waited for a reply as my mind was dancing seeing those big bold florals of Kaffe Fasset/Anna Maria Horner types.
She says, "I am not doing a traditional white background, but pondering a batik" I say, "What batik?" and she shows me. "Oh" I squeaked. I was literally sitting on my hands and biting my tongue until I couldn't take it anymore...My mind was swirling in SKY ombre (shocker). I had to restrain myself from just blurting out SKYYYYYY: So I took a pause and said, "Hey Patty, remember those 30 half yard cuts of my SKY Ombrès I sent you, have you thought about using those? They may be really something mixed with those florals". I had been wondering for months when someone out there might start mixing big bold prints with my SKY and here it was right on Patty's design wall. She had something else planned and confessed that opening up the special bundles was a big deal. But we now know she did and the results are much more than the sum of two parts. My jaw dropped to the floor next time I saw her design wall. Seriously...
The M A G I C is real!
Watch this cute clip of Patty and Kermit moving around the pieces to get it just right. Watch the IGTV interview to hear about her process, get her pattern on Etsy and the fabric from my shop (Sunrise and Sunset HTHI towers)
So that is how the story goes and from there, she was like a wildfire with the cutting up of ombre, playing and placing and having a grand ole time being so so creative. It's all about that juice!
There you have it. It's stunning and has had a HUGE response on Instagram so if you are just on my email list and don't give a mice's butt about that stuff, don't feel like you're missing out (except the videos, they are fun)
Finally, drum roll please: I have very exciting news that also makes me bite my tongue and sit on my hands because OCTOBER 8th MY NEW 16 SKY OMBRES LAUNCH with Robert Kaufman! I have a few videos and a 34 page lookbook that is dropping and it's drop dead gorgeous! Lots of very special makers showing their talents with new SKY. Can't wait to share. I will be posting about that next week! Off to Madeline Island to teach next week, you'll hear from me via IG. Be well and keep the ombre fire sparkling.
.The holes got so bad at the elbows that I could no longer put my arm into my studio sweater without catching my hand. You could push a melon through it, it was so cavernous. After years of love, service and being run over by my studio chair wheels a thousand times; the soft, whisper light cashmere cardigan desperate pleas for help were finally answered. I love this sweater. It was perfect for all weather. I would not dispose of it. I am trying to do a whole lot less of that! Plus I was about to guest teach on behalf of Create and Sustain at University of Berkeley to a class called Politics of What We Wear and I wanted more samples of mending to share with the class. Deadlines always get me going. So....who in your closet is crying for attention? Asking for a some snappy mends and bright yarns to spice up the party? No one wants to land in the dump. Just ask your clothes.
I am sharing this rustic and imperfect process to let you know anyone can do it....We look at our clothes differently when we really care for them. CAL students were asked by their professor to bring clothes they love and needed to repair into class...Something they would fix themselves. We mended pants, t-shirts, camisoles, stitched designs and sewed on missing buttons and fixed runs. I think they enjoyed the mindfulness of just sitting, stitching and showing a little love and attention to what they wear. Their class discusses issues of fast fashion, the politics of the clothing industry and how can we be more sustainable. A broad topic I was thrilled to offer a small bit about a maker's take on the clothing we wear.
Shows the simple and imperfect way to make the hole smaller. Using 50wt Aurifil and quilting needle, I pull the hole tighter but not too tight. Second step is choosing a yarn (mine was a ombre hand dye from Australia) with a chunky hand. I needed a bigger needle and took length long pieces and just started stitching up and down, then left to right to create an integral patch. All part of the sweater. I did a few rounds to beef up the elbows and make sure my patch area was beyond the mended hole. Sorry I was so engrossed in making that I forgot to film!
This is what it looked like before I tied off the loose ends. Below shows detail of the yarn. So pretty right?
Create and Sustain non profit was thrilled to be asked to share our vision about what that means in the quilting and sewing industry. How are we accountable? What can we do better? How do we spread the word and inspire others? How to we get our suppliers to do better? Be more transparent and accountable? By presenting to a college class majoring in political science is one of the ways. We were delighted to share what we know, dive deeper into what we don't and keep on teaching and doing. The students were engaged, inquisitive and even if they had never even threaded a needle, the jumped in and started sewing. It was thrilling....or at least I was thrilled ;)
Have a great weekend everyone. Stay balanced, laugh and breath deep! And promise me you'll mend something in your closet or goodwill pile to give it new life. Below are a couple of links I like and there are hundreds more! Find one to suit your style.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/436989970095625692/ Shows so many samples!
Summer has been beautiful... It's time to look back and reflect on a few highlights for this post. Today's focus is on color in nature and quilts...I hope you enjoy this photo montage. It's less about my words and more about what I see. Nature is at the core of my inspiration, what I design on fabric and how I am inspired through quilting. I also highlight makers who are simpatico. Our natural world is so incredibly precious...We must protect, preserve and promise to be better stewards to our planet.
Summer isn't over yet, I am cherishing the last days of long light before we settle into fall. I still have spaces left in my SKY OMBRÉ MISA Retreat in La Point, WI on Madeline Island October 4-8. It's going to be wonderful. A week long delicious retreat diving into OMBRÉ SKY using patterns from my book OMBRÉ QUILTS as the colors change on the trees. We will be surrounded by Lake Superior, working in red barns, eating wonderful food and unleashing the mystery of a 1,000 colors at our fingertips! Daily talks about design, learning in-depth techniques on color, value, creating glow coupled with tips and piecing techniques sure to inspire. Please join me. Below is a 5 min video explanation plus I am doing a live Instagram Q&A Thursday at 11am PST so tune in with questions! You deserve this... So treat yourself :)
Catch me on Instagram @jennifersampou...for current meandering! Stay safe and hug your loved ones. Xx
Weekend Inspo- Rosie Lee Tompkins Quilt Exhibit, BAMPFA Berkeley California.
A post on a Monday afternoon from me?? Hasn't been done but I couldn't wait until Friday to send this to my peeps. I am so inspired by this weekend's trip to see the most wonderful quilts (some never shown before) of the incredible Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective that I have to immediately share it. And shout out that if you can go see this in person...YOU MUST! (until July 18th). BAMPFA is the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive located on the campus of CAL (University of California, Berkeley....Golden Bear territory) and honestly speaking haven't checked it out often enough over the years. One of the silver linings of COVID for me is that when I CAN'T GO somewhere, I really miss it...it's the wanderlust DNA in me. So the first things I am doing with my free time...(starting with celebrating my assistant's 3 month wonderfulness) is rebuilding my creative MOJO by soaking up museums, music festivals and general public hang out seshes with street performances that seem to be popping up everywhere....The Alameda Flea is in three Sundays...Squeal! My soul has wings ready to fly right now! No more moss growing on me!
Rosie Lee Tompkins is the art pseudonym for Effie Mae Martin Howard, a brilliant African-American quilt maker and fiber artist of Richmond California who is a renowned artist of the 20th century. BAMPFA has a slide show about Rosie Lee that is informative and celebratory, sharing her command of color, composition and finishing one top to go to work on the next. She believed her artistry was a gift from God and her quilts reflect a deep reverence for spiritual life and beauty. Quilters such as Irene Bankhead, often finished her work to become actual quilts. Eli Leon (1935-2018) an African American quilt collector was a friend and patron who met her at a flea market in Oakland in 1985. Below are all her quilts I photographed while at the museum over the weekend with some details showing her love of velvet, mix of flea market finds, new fabrics and various ephemera used in her appliqué work. Enjoy these if you can not see in person....But if you are hankering to get out of dodge, come on by! Your cotton "I'm Quilt Crazy" socks will be blown off! Pace yourself for all 30+ images below. CELEBRATE COLOR AND QUILTS!
Until next time. Get out to museums, live music venues, lunch with friends, flea markets and visit your favorite places to soak up humanity, full of inspiration of culture and color!
The contemplation of beauty causes the soul to grow wings. -Plato
Stories from the Studio
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel