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Marcy Tilton's Newsletter for Everyday Creatives #3 August 2005

Marcy Tilton's Newsletter for Everyday Creatives #3 August 2005

Topics in this newsletter include:
Time * Negative Space * Preparing Creative Foundations
Recent Projects * Upcoming Events
Shopping Opportunities

In perfect synchrony, my friend Alex sent me the following astrology forecast recently.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The average person throws out 19 pounds of garbage per week. Between now and August 24, however, you have license to exceed that figure by a large margin. In fact, Virgo, the cosmos would love you to carry out a Great Purge. So take full advantage of this opportunity to lighten your load. Get rid of every last scrap of dross and clutter, give away anything that has outlived its usefulness, and unburden yourself of outmoded necessities that have been sitting untouched in a closet or storage unit for more than a year. As much as you possibly can, free yourself of the unnecessary residues of your past.

Yes, I'm a Virgo, but this pithy tidbit is good advice for all. At the July Design Outside the Lines retreat in Taos, New Mexico I had several conversations with participants about the concept of negative space. One person was bewildered by that term, "I'm not sure what that means". Like negative ions, negative space is a very good thing. Negative space is the absence of objects, the open spaces in between things, words, sounds. Artists,musicians and designers recognize the importance of negative space in paintings, in music, in the design of a city, a room or a garden. Think of the pauses in music, of the openness of a Georgia O'Keefe paintings or the expansive feeling you experience in a vast public space like a museum or park.

For a quick and simple drawing lesson on negative space go to:

"Fill a space in a beautiful way." (Georgia O'Keeffe)
Georgia O'Keefe is one of my personal heroines. I've read biographies, visited her home in Abiquu, New Mexico, the O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, and read her own writings on the creative process. Her home in New Mexico, (left pretty much as she lived in it,) is a reflection of her personal aesthetic. It is spare and open, with nearly empty courtyards that highlight the simple adobe shapes, rooms with neutral colors, a few pieces of good (mid century) furniture and an absence of nicknacks. She painted using a glass palate, keeping each color separate and using a different brush for each color so the colors would not muddy each other. The New Mexico landscape is a study in negative space, with vast expanses of sky towering over the landscape, punctuated by the shapes of mountains and rocks.

After returning from Taos, I stepped into my house and studio and 'saw' with fresh eyes. Too many objects, not enough clear surfaces. The studio had filled up dramatically in the year since I moved into it. My dear friend & muse, Diane Ericson has been preparing her home for sale, a process called 'staging', that involves removing much of the 'stuff' to create an appealing blank canvas so the potential buyer has the physical and mental 'space' to see themselves in that home. During our phone conversations I would look around my own home and begin pulling things off counters and shelves, in preparation for making them go away. The combination of being in New Mexico and my conversations with Diane were a great catalyst to create change in my living and working environment. In the past few weeks I've painted my bedroom, office and part of the kitchen. These activities had a ripple effect that is showing up in my creative work now that the paint is dry and things are back in place. The first epiphany came when I cleared off the kitchen counters to paint the back splash area a rich chili pepper red and realized how much better it looked without all the stuff that usually lives on the counters.

In the studio, I've continued this Great Purge, culling fabric, books,patterns, jars of dried up paint, and getting my fall fabrics out of storage, organized and ready to go.

PLAYING WITH TIME: we all have exactly the same amount, and too often creative projects come last. Tweak your creative process by changing a few of habits. Here are a few tips I play with to expand creative time.

Gain studio time: Get up an hour (or half hour) earlier, stay up an hour or half hour later. Get up in the morning and go straight to your studio/creative space and play.

Multitasking Diva: I take my morning tea and smoothie while working, maxing out my morning time while having breakfast.

Schedule studio days or half days, just as you would schedule a hair cut or dentist appointment.

Schedule studio dates with a sewing friend. My work evolves differently when I am with another creative.

Have more than one project going at a time. When one thing bogs down, switch to another. I have simple no-brainer projects like pants, challenging projects (a raincoat), surface design: (a batch of purchased t-shirts I'm silk screening), pattern design (working out an idea for a new fall jacket, still in the pattern stage), and a 10 or more bags in different stages.

Work in a series. This week I am preparing a batch of small bags, a grouping of a half dozen purchased t-shirts to be screened and tweaked and a series of wall pieces. I hop from one project to the next, moving when I get stale or stuck.

Work in small time bites. You can cut a garment in a half hour or so, silk screen a yard or two in an hour, put in a pair of welt pockets in an hour and a half.

Clear the decks for your return. At the end of the day/studio time, take a few moments to clear my work areas for the next session. In the evening if I am too pooped to 'do' anything, I thread up the machine for the next project and lay things out in an appealing way.

Put all the fabrics for a capsule wardrobe in one place. Really get the selection down to your top favorites. Then try this: For one day pile them on the floor so you are constantly stepping over them and can see them in new ways. Go to my site and see an example of my fall fabrics for a capsule wardrobe. As the garments are completed, I'll post on the site:

Get a cordless phone and headset and return calls while doing rote studio tasks (you multitasking diva you)

Break the e-mail or sewing e-mail list habit and use that time for sewing and creating.

Watch less TV. Turn it off. Experiment with working in silence, with different kinds of music, with books on tape.

NEGATIVE SPACE: make more usable working space by clearing off as many horizontal surfaces as you can and keep them clear
on a regular basis.

DESIGN OUTSIDE THE LINES in Sonoma County, September 25-29.
There are still a couple of spaces left at our final retreat of 2005, held at the Institute of Noetic Sciences conference center. Our studio is a vast airy room perched on the top of rolling hills with a panoramic vista. The DOL retreats are hands on, with working studios and classes by Diane Ericson and myself with plenty of time for working on your own projects. It is a joy to see how people grow their work as a result of coming to DOL. Our focus at this retreat is garments, our theme is personal style. My teaching focus will include: inventing distinctive jackets and vests, my 'recipes' for out of the ordinary T-Shirts, Surface Design (silk screening, painting on fusible web), Miyake Inspirations and more. Give me a call if you'd like to join us: 541-592-2969

Design Outside the Lines 2006 Dates and Locations

La Casa de Maria
February 27-March 2, 2006
Santa Barbara, CA

Mabel Dodge Luhan House
June 19 - 23. 2006
September 27 - October 1, 2006
Taos, New Mexico

Institute of Noetic Sciences Center (IONS)
September 25 - 29, 2005
October 27 - November 1, 2006
Petaluma, California


Chic wrinkles. I've been experimenting with crinkle pleating.....a great way to add texture and a different fit to garments. See how to do this process: I did a white linen shirt/jacket, red silk tissue taffeta vest and silk organza vest, all using Vogue 8088. A 'MISTAKE' led me into the crinkle pleating. I made a natural color Miyake linen skirt that ended up too big and very unflattering. What the heck, I wet it, crinkle pleated it and love the results.

Sewing it forward. Back when I lived in Minnesota, August was the time I started on a wool jacket or coat. You'll really be glad in a couple of months if you get a head start on one key piece for fall. The big fat 800 page issue of Vogue just hit the streets and coats are a major fashion item this fall......and the prices for the clothes shown in this issue are mind boggling. Right now, I'm working on a raincoat and a felted wool vest, going slowly, stopping to think through the construction and sparingly adding surface design.

Bag-ology. Still in a bag phase, this past month, I am experimenting with metaphor and surface design. In my teaching, I often encourage people to use metaphor in their creative work, and the issue that kept popping up for me has been MONEY. So I started on a series of 'money bags', using real money as a collage element. I know, I know, it is illegal, but that makes it more interesting. See the first bag which uses $2 bills as an art supply at:

Check out the goodies, including my new pattern, Vogue 8088, that are newly added to the Shopping section on my website.

Silk Screens.
I've added three new kits to my line of silk screens. In my own projects I usually combine a grouping of screens with related designs in different sizes, and I've done that with the kits. Asian Flair has a Pacific rim fusion ambiance. Eclectic Geometrics blends ethnic and prime shapes. Techno-Romantic combines text softened with a sophisticated florals and a dash of curve. Each kit features designs with a different look, with the added bonus that the images from all the kits harmonize with each other. There are 8 screens in each kit, two large, three each, medium and small, a $96 value for $80. See them at:
Silk screen costs will be going up as of October 1 as my cost of the materials has gone up.

Fabrics For Sale
Tender Fabric: $10/yard
Through a friend, I found 50+ yards of black wool knit, labeled 'tender fabric'. Looking like an airy wool jersey and cozy soft, it takes on a beautiful weight after 'felting' in the washer & drier. The felting process is super simple: wash in the machine using detergent and a hot wash, cold rinse and use a normal setting. Do use detergent. I tried one batch without the detergent and the fabric did not felt as well, so I re-washed and re-dried it. Pop in the drier using a normal cycle. The selvedge edges ripple a bit, but it presses mostly flat. One yard shrinks to about 24" and it looses about 12" in width. I've made two vests and love the weight and drape. I begin by felting 5 yards which is enough for a jacket or vest once it shrinks. I plan to do a fall cardigan using the fabric as is. Unfortunately the black finished garments did not photograph very well, but if you send me a SASE I will pop in before and after swatches.

Watch my website for a new collection of great knits coming next month. You can see photos of the beautiful Italian blue/white cotton knit that looks like a Japanese ikat and a great black and white cotton/lycra stripe now posted on my website:

San Francisco Design Tour
October 19 - 22, 2005
with Diane Ericson and Marcy Tilton

There are still spaces available in the October Design Studio tour. The May tour was such fun we've added another for fall. October is one of the best times to visit San Francisco, the summer fog is gone, the rains have not arrived and we've booked a great line up of designers, a visit to the stunning wearable art show Fashion:Anti-Fashion, and will conclude by attending THE legendary Artistry in Fashion designer sale at Canada College. Top designers from the Bay Area and beyond will show their wares, and this is the sale the designers anticipate for the opportunity to shop for themselves. Prices tend to be good, it is more a like a studio sale than a full priced trunk show, and it draws an interesting fashionista crowd. Check out the long list of designers who will be there at:

Check out more info and photos from the May tour at:

Organized by Marcy Tilton and Diane Ericson, the dynamic duo will make arrangements for 3 inspiring fun filled days of creative experiences, shopping, fine food and good company. We'll have an inside look at a major museum wearable art show, visit the incredible onc-a-year designer sale at Canada College, explore Bay area fabric stores and designer studios, uncovering sources for fabrics, supplies, art, design & inspiration. We will begin Wednesday, October 19 at 3 pm and end Saturday October 22 around 3. If you are coming in from out of town, plan to arrive on Wednesday before noon, check into the Mosser Hotel, and check out on Saturday. The Mosser (nip and newly renovated in a contemporary SF style), is conveniently located on 54 Fourth Street, a close walk to Union Square and many shops. You have an option to come in early or stay late at the same group rate: $142.50/day single or double, tax included. Single rooms have a queen bed, double have 2 twins.

Each day we will have a different itinerary, travelling in a luxurious motor van, visit studios usually not open to drop-in visitors and explore some of the unique resources and neighborhoods that make the Bay Area so intriguing for creative people. The tour begins on Wednesday afternoon with a visit to Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum with a docent guided tour of the incredible wearable art show called Artwear: Fashion and Anti-fashion. Other stops include, some of the Bay Areas great fabric stores, an inside visit to the studios of garment and accessory designers to meet the owners (sometimes we get a lesson), have a chance to see and buy their work. We conclude with the much awaited, once a year designer sale at Canada College in Redwood City, on the peninsula, south of San Francisco. In May, we visited
Cost: $695. includes all tours, transportation, museum fee, and 3 dinners. Eating well is part of the SF experience and we will pick dinner spots with good food and atmosphere.

Hotel accomodations, breakfast, lunch and wine/drinks not included. We have made arrangements for lodging at the Mosser Hotel, a small downtown European style hotel. We will make the group reservations with the hotel, but each person is responsible for paying her own bill. The Mosser has been recently renovated with contemporary SF design flair, go to to view rooms etc..

Ģ If you are a local/commuter, you 'll meet us at the hotel each morning and we'd drop you off there (or in route home) at the end of the day.
Ģ If you want to share a double room and need to find a roommate, let us know when you register and she try to facilitate that.

If you want to book a space, call/e-mail and send $100 deposit made out to Marcy Tilton to hold your place. Cancellation policy: now to 30 days prior, $50, less than 30 days, no refund. Full payment is due by September 15. Sorry, no credit cards. Mailing address is: PO Box 2161, Cave Junction, OR 97523.

Questions??? Please contact Marcy via e-mail at: or at 541-592-2969 or Diane at: 831-722-4157

Marcy Tilton's Newsletter for Everyday Creatives #4 October 2005

Marcy Tilton's Newsletter for Everyday Creatives #4 October 2005

Topics in this newsletter include:
New Handbag Pattern is out!
Marcy in Portland
2006 Retreat news
New Silk Screens
Wardrobe Artistry Month
Travel Update * Favorite Luggage
Core/Travel Wardrobe

Marcy's latest Vogue pattern has just hit the stores. Take a look at my new handbag pattern for Vogue:'marcy%20tilton'&page=1
This trio of bags has complete instructions for three great bags and how to do all the surface design techniques which include painting on fusible web, foiling on fusible web, dye discharge and the layering/collaging methods which ties it all together.

Marcy's most recent jacket/vest pattern, Vogue 8088 is in the top 10 best selling patterns for Vogue this month. If you have not tried this, it has a great cut, is VERY flattering, floats over the hips and looks great on all sizes. if you are short, it is simple to shorten it, and you have the easy option of adjusting the front and back independently of each other.

Workshops in Portland Oregon with Marcy

I am presenting a special one day session featuring two of my most popular classes for the PACC (Professional Association of Custom Clothiers) group in Portland, Oregon on November 12. Both sessions are filling up, register soon. I'll have a complete range of silk screens, patterns and other products for sale at this time.

Copying Ready to Wear
9 - 12:30
Learn to make patterns to duplicate a favorite garment without taking it apart. The result of years of research, you'll see the process, learn techniques and which tools make the difference.

Surface Design 101
1 - 4:30
Marcy's unique spin on simple and inspiring surface design techniques and ideas to use alone or combined for exquisite layering effects using silk screening, dye discharge, metallic foils & painting on fusible web. Whether you make clothing, quilts, home decor or paper arts, you'll go home with the tools, materials, techniques and know-how for all of your projects
Both sessions $80 (PACC members $65)
Individual Sessions $45 (PACC members $35)

To register, contact Tricia Crockett 503-491-9876


In 2006 I am co-conducting two separate kinds of Fiber-Arts/Creativity/Sewng retreats with my dear friend and colleague Diane Ericson.

NEW: Design & Sew Retreat in Canby, Oregon (Portland area), Mother's Day Weekend, May 11 - 15. $1250. includes double occupancy lodging, classes, meals in a riverside conference center.

This beloved retreat has been conducted by Diane and Lois Ericson for nearly 25 years, and I have taught at this wonderful event many times. Diane has asked me to co-produce Design & Sew with her this year. Design & Sew 2006 features hands on workshops with John Marshall, Nancy Shrieber, Diane Ericson and Marcy Tilton. Participants will select a 2 day and a 1 day hands on workshop with the instructor and class of their choice. Topics include: Making Japanese Clothing with John Marshall, Sashiko with Nancy Shreiber, Surface Design with Marcy Tilton, Inventive Jewelry and Embellishment Details, with Diane Ericson, a presentation with Lois Ericson and more....we are still working out specific details for this retreat. Call or e-mail for more details or to register. I will post more information on my website soon, and you will be able to sign up online.

Design Outside the Lines
Creativity * Design * Fiber Art * Sewing Retreats
with Diane Ericson & Marcy Tilton

Ignite your imagination. Get away from it all in the company of
kindred spirits.
Grow your work at Design Outside the Lines, a sewing and fiber
experience presented by Diane Ericson and Marcy Tilton.
This 4-day hands on studio workshop is a journey in discovery and creating.
Through formal and informal classes and time to 'play' in the studio,
you'll expand your perspectives on design, sewing, surface design and
Each location provides a unique experience with different themes as the source of inspiration for each retreat.

La Casa de Maria
February 27-March 2, 2006
Santa Barbara, CA

Mabel Dodge Luhan House
June 19 - 23. 2006
September 27 - October 1, 2006
Taos, New Mexico

Institute of Noetic Sciences Center (IONS)
October 27 - November 1, 2006
Petaluma, California
Registration: $1250
Includes 4-day workshop,lodging (double occupancy), most meals
Complete workshop info and registration is available on-line.: and
Call or e-mail for more information
Marcy: 541-592-2969
Diane: 831-722-4157

New Flora and Fauna Silk Screens
I've just posted a batch of new silk screens with a leaf theme. Some are made from real leaves and are absolutely gorgeous. I've used these screens with dye discharge, Lumiere paints and adhesive foils. Layer the real leaves with the line drawings or use portions of the leaves for an abstract effect. The cottonwood leaf is a stunner. I used it to screen dye discharge on dark t-shirts, and am planning a pieced silk dupioni duvet using a leaf theme as a winter sewing project. See the new screens at:

Silk Screen prices will go up in the near future, so now is a good time to order.

Earl Green Tea
If you place an order with me before November 7, I'll include a sample of my favorite Earl Green tea with your order, and starting soon, you can purchase this wonderful tea directly from my website. Whenever I serve this tea or give it as a gift, people clamor for more, ask, WHERE can I find it. I found my first cup at the Creamery Bakery in Healdsburg, California, (owned by the former pastry chef from renowned Chez Panisse). I drink it plain, every morning, get 2 pots of tea from one batch of leaves and drink it iced in hot weather. The tea dealer gets the leaves directly from the tea plantations and blends it themselves, so it is rare and hard to find.

In my last newsletter I talked about the power of clearing out your studio space and stash. This month, the focus is on doing the same for your wardrobe. You'll find a month's worth of activities are part of the seasonal cycle I use for keeping my own wardrobe and sewing projects current. I want to wear what I make and to have an ongoing grouping of garments that can be worn together, layered together AND, that work in my own life. As my life changes, so do my clothes, and so does my shopping and buying.

The Everyday Creatives Wardrobe Artistry Month Activities
a guide for the next month to whip your wardrobe into shape

Fall is the perfect time to take stock of your wardrobe and reconsider you relationship to your clothes. What if everything in your closet and drawers were something you love? What if you arranged your closet and drawers so when you get dressed you feel pampered and luxurious and utterly complete. You have everything you need, and you love everything you have. Do one piece of clearing each day, be it a large or small undertaking, as the week unfolds you are sure to have a renewed sense of liveliness and accomplishment.

Week 1 Focus: Clearing
Ģ Get ready for the clearing by doing you hair and make-up, wearing good foundation garments so when you try on garments you look and feel your best.
Ģ Clear your drawers and closet. As you eliminate garments that are stained, ratty, don't fit or flatter, make a want list of replacement items.
Ģ Try things on, find different combinations
Ģ Organize your drawers and closet by color and type of garment.
Ģ Make an appointment for a new-look hair cut.
Ģ Go through your cosmetics and make-up and discard what is old or not being used. Book a make-up lesson and invest in new makeup that reflects the season and the way you feel.
Ģ Note what you wear and how you feel.. Have friends and family take photos of you over the course of the week for you to use a guide in what works and what doesnt.

Week 2 Focus: Completion
Ģ Complete a half finished garment.
Ģ Wear something you have never worn before....create a new look by shopping in your own closet.
Ģ Put together several different outfits that you can wear right now....cleaned, pressed, that fit, organized down to accessories and handbag and hung on a hanger where you can see them .... and wear them.
Ģ Go through your fabric stash. Put away out of season fabrics and projects. Make a list of garments you wish you had made this season, and store the list with the out of season fabrics and projects. Add the fabric or pattern that you need to complete that wished for garment/outfit to your fabric want list.
Ģ Make space in your sewing studio for new projects.
Ģ Pull out a small grouping of patterns and fabrics that have you excited for the upcoming season. Create a vignette so you can feast your eyes on them as you complete other projects and clear the sewing studio area for new ways to play and create.
Ģ List 10 changes you'd like to make for yourself from the small to the significant ("put a light in the closet, make a wardrobe of lace tops, develop a flattering full pant pattern")
Ģ Select one small item and make it a goal for the week.
Ģ Now do that item.

Week 3 Focus: Connection
Ģ Style Collage: Collect a stack of 10 magazines which you will allow yourself to tear apart. Setting a 30 minute time limit, tear through the magazines, collecting any images or words that reflect your life, interests, personal style....images that reflect your past, present, future....images that you like. Now take a sheet of paper, Bristol board or cardboard and glue, staple, stitch and arrange your images in a way that pleases you. Give your collage a place of honor in your creative area and notice how you see it in different ways and can use it as an inspiration.
Ģ Go shopping. Alone. Take no checkbook, no credit cards. Dress the are going to go into the finest stores and try on the clothes you love to your heart's content. Take a small notebook and tape measure if you wish. Note what you love, what you hate and what surprises you. Keep your eyes open, be full of wonder and curiosity. Take yourself to lunch or for a cup of tea and write/draw in your journal about your discoveries.
Ģ Go through several fashion magazines and or catalogs. Isolate your 'eye' by looking at the same magazine several times, looking for colors, accessories, design details, proportion, line.
Ģ Begin planning your core wardrobe. Use things your already have, assemble patterns and fabrics in your stash, draw, take photos, pull ideas from catalogs. Think of yourself as a designer planning their spring line, building on the past, looking into the future with fresh color combinations and lines, styles, details from what is current.
Ģ Take yourself fabric shopping. Buy nothing on the first expedition, but collect swatches of all the fabrics you love. If you MUST buy, purchase 1/8 yard cuts.
Ģ Narrow your pattern and fabric choices to one outfit or one garment that completes an outfit or fits with your Core Wardrobe. Begin here. Do the pattern work on new patterns so they are ready to cut.

Week 4 Celebration
Ģ Begin sewing your first outfit in your core wardrobe. Pull out all the stops and do your finest work every step of the way.
Ģ If you need shoes or a bag for the new season, begin shopping. Be very discriminating about what you buy.
Ģ Put together a week's worth of potential things to if you were planning for a trip. Include at least one new element in each outfit. Be outrageous or witty or elegant....experiment with stretching your personal style.
Ģ Plan ahead for fun: book appointments for a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, make-up lesson, haircut, walk in nature. (You can do all yourself except the massage and hair-cut.)
Ģ Keep writing, drawing, collaging in your illustrated design journal.

Planning for a trip or for a core wardrobe are basically the same, though a trip provides a convenient deadline for pulling things together. I begin planning for a trip (and packing) by putting up a lightweight clothing rack which holds the 'possible' garment being auditioned for the trip. This includes shoes and accessories. I use the following 10 piece capsule wardrobe (posted on the wall) to keep my sewing and buying on track, and try everything on before hitting the sewing machine to make something new. Keep to a color scheme and make everything work with it. Brown/Black/Grey are what I am working with. Living with the garments on the rack helps avoid the last minute stress of what to pack, the decisions are made over a period of time, i can see what goes with what and what pieces I might want to make to fill in the gaps.

Filling in the wardrobe gaps
This week I am making not one, but two raincoats while listening to French language tapes. Coming up next are a couple of surplice wrap t-shirts and a cashmere cardigan. Check my website in a week or so, I'll post photos of the finished garments and the travel wardrobe as things are complete.

Capsule Wardrobe

1. Jacket/coat or rain coat that goes over everything

2. slim line pant

3. soft pant in a silhouette and length that flatters your figure

4. surplice wrap t or top or both

5. 2-3 basic ts or shell (knit or bias) that has your best neckline, shaping and sleeve length

6. vest/sleeveless jacket that fits under the coat and jacket

7. distinctive jacket that layers under the coat, over the vest and cardigan.

8. thin, sleek cardigan that goes over the t-shirts and under the jacket or vest

9. skirt in a shape and length that works with all of the above tops

10 shirt jacket --- jean jacket, a Miyake-esque shirt or your version of a classic shirt that dresses down everything, works with the t-shirts and tops---ideal if the vest slips under or over this piece.

Rent an apartment in Paris
Right now I am planning my wardrobe for a trip to Paris with my sister to celebrate her birthday. We have 10 days in Paris, have rented an apartment---costs less than a hotel with the advantage of having a kitchen. Google in 'Paris vacation apartments' and you'll find hundreds of choices and it is very entertaining to see the possibilities---one intriguing studio had been used by Modigliani in his student days (we decided it was too expensive, too remote, and had too many stairs). We used this site: and picked a studio apartment on the Ile de la Cite, the island in the Seine, smack dab in the center of the city, just a block from Notre Dame, and will pick up the keys from the French owner. Paris-apartments is the central agency who manages the booking. I'll keep you posted on how this works out in the next newsletter.

Luggage/Packing Tips
I travel a lot, and my luggage is an important tool. After the wheel fell off one of my big teaching suitcases on the 5th floor of a Brooklyn walk-up, and I had to drag the thing the thing for the rest of the trip, I started to research which luggage to buy. With new airline weight regulations, weight and durability are crucial factors. The brand I wholeheartedly recommend is Eagle Creek---VERY lightweight, easy to handle and built like a Mercedes. If you saw my travel article in Threads a few years ago, there is a photo of the Eagle Creek luggage that has seen 5 years of heavy use and is still in great shape. The is the size I recommend to start, is a 22" wheeled piece (legal carry-on size for domestic airlines) with a tote or duffel designed to slip over the handle of the wheeled piece. I got the largest size slip-on duffel (18") and have never regretted it. These are the most functional and versatile pieces to begin with, just about the largest size for domestic carry-on, and small enough to slip down the aisle of planes, trains and airport busses, haul over cobblestones or gravel. I have traveled in Europe and Japan for 3 weeks with these two pieces. Though the line shown in the magazine is now discontinued, I am gradually upgrading my luggage 'wardrobe' with Eagle Creek's Tarmac line in different sizes. I wanted a slightly larger bag for Paris: just the one stop/shlep, and I will probably do some shopping, so the bag I got for this trip is a 25" size, which you can check out at: I use and strongly recommend the Eagle Creek envelope and packing systems too---keeps clothes organized and easy to find and takes up less space than a stack of folded clothes. I use one large envelope for bottoms, one or two medium size for tops, one medium size for pj's/sweats and a half cube or two for underwear. They make a great hanging toiletry bag too. I get no discount or percs from this company either, but am a great fan of their quality and well thought out products. I bought the bag online at a 20% discount and free shipping at:


New Flora and Fauna Silk screens
15 new designs including some not on the website. Send a large SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) for a sheet with the new leaf designs to: Marcy Tilton, PO Box 2161, CAve Junction, OR 97523

Tender Fabric: $10/yard
Through a friend, I found 50+ yards of black wool knit, labeled 'tender fabric'. Looking like an airy wool jersey and cozy soft, it takes on a beautiful weight after 'felting' in the washer & drier. The felting process is super simple: wash in the machine using detergent and a hot wash, cold rinse and use a normal setting. Do use detergent. I tried one batch without the detergent and the fabric did not felt as well, so I re-washed and re-dried it. Pop in the drier using a normal cycle. The selvedge edges ripple a bit, but it presses mostly flat. One yard shrinks to about 24" and it looses about 12" in width. I've made two vests and love the weight and drape. I begin by felting 5 yards which is enough for a jacket or vest once it shrinks. I plan to do a fall cardigan using the fabric as is. Unfortunately the black finished garments did not photograph very well, but if you send me a SASE I will pop in before and after swatches. I have a limited quantity of black and a grey-taupe still in stock.

DVD: Woman's Work - Making Quilts * Creating Art
An inspiring documentary that speaks to anyone who creates, collects or just loves to look at fabric art. Tracks the work of a group of art quilters from the SF Bay Area (including the filmmaker), and shows the creative process, studios and individual struggles and triumphs of 10 women whose journey speaks to me deeply. I love this........only 2 left. $35 includes shipping. E-mail me to order.


wishing you a creative and joyous fall,

Marcy Tilton

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