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Tour de Friends

Today we get to be armchair travelers. In my last post (Homespun) I asked you to send me pictures of textiles in your homes. You did. THANK YOU!
Here they are. Sit on your favorite pillow and enjoy a Tour de Friends.

This was sent by Kitty Harmon in Seattle. The bee pillow (a gift to Kitty) was stitched by a women’s cooperative in Ecuador.

From Kate Harkins in Seattle – a kuba cloth from Africa made of raffia, a framed remnant of her grandmother’s Spanish shawl and a Swedish embroidery.

These narrative lace curtains are from the home of Karla Paschkis (in Cambridge, Mass), as is the couch (that she upholstered.)

From Gloria Urban , a collage from her sewing room in Chestertown, Maryland: 2 kangas from Uganda. An applique Tree of Life throw from Tibet. Silk screen of a Sagauro Cactus by Harwood Steiger used as a quilt back. Segments of 2 of her own quilts.

From Lynn Luck in Denton, Texas: her Christmas skirt, a silk kimono (made by her friend Butch from a shibori that Lynn dyed with indigo), a Zapotec rug, two moles from Panama and a quilt that her mother made. Lynn says: “My mother embroidered like other people draw.”

Clare Dohna and cats sent:

Betz Bernhard of Kirkland, WA sent a vintage kimono piece, and a hanging that she made. For more of Betz’s work, see this post.

Next stop on the tour is visit with Sigrid Jones in Eugene, Oregon. You can see fine quilting, and fabrics from around the world. Sigrid – why is the tea-cosy doll in jail?… She does look comfortable there. Cathy Bonnell invites us into her house in Phoenix, AZ. She lets us join her at her table. I am always hungry for stripes.


Marcia Paschkis (my mother) sent these pictures from Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. You can see a tablecloth in situ, and a piece of Belgian linen that was used as a backdrop for her pottery at craft sales.

Tony Burton from Edmonds, Wa. sent pictures of a quilt, an Indonesian batik,  a Syrian and an Afghani dress, and another quilt (made with fabric familiar to me)!

Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Seattle) has a dog lucky enough to use this placemat that she made. She also made the patchwork on the lazy Susan. Her couch includes African pillows.  (To see more African fabric please check out this post that Margaret wrote.)

Lisa Mersky in Austin Texas wraps us in her shawls.

And the tour ends with this Boomerang bag from JoAnn Early Macken. She made the bag out of a play tent that she had made for her kids. Now she makes bags with recycled fabric and leaves them in grocery stores for people to borrow.

Thank you all for sharing your fabrics. As well as being beautiful, the fabrics connect us to our memories, to our families, to our travel and to each other.

(I have been traveling, so if you sent something and I forgot to include it please tell me and I will update the post.)



Last month I shared Deborah Mersky’s tex-tiles with you. Today I’m welcoming you into my house.


Joe and I have lived here for many years. Fabric is woven into our home and life. Each piece of cloth tells a story.


It reminds me of the place where it came from, and of particular meals or celebrations.


Some of the fabric on the windows and doors is from around the world.


I made some of the curtains.

Paschkis appliquepaschkis applique

The quilt is by Sarah Mary Taylor, a gift from Ella King Torrey. Our friend Kay gave us the indigo-resist Hungarian deer. The cat pillow is from my sister-in-law Julia. Sigrid upholstered the bird and cherry couch with fabric that Roberta found. Almost every piece of fabric reminds me of friends and family.


And then there are tablecloths!


And more tablecloths…

All of this fabric makes daily life richer, and it feeds my work. Here are a few new still life paintings.

Paschkis still life

Paschkis still life - flicker

Paschkis still life-reflect

I’d like to take a textile tour-de-friends. Please snap a picture of fabric from your home or life that means something to you and send it to me at I will post the pictures on this blog. Thank you!



Howdy! I just got back from Texas. Here are some TEXtiles from that great state.

These are from the Rockefeller collection of Latin American Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
A very visible bird…

…hidden birds..

…woven fabrics…

…wild embroideries…

..and careful embroideries.

Joe and I were visiting our friend Deborah Mersky.
Her work is pattern-ful and soulful.
Here is a silver leafed window in her house, and a silver leafed wall.

This is a public art piece that Deborah did in downtown Austin.
See more by clicking this link to Deborah’s website.

Deborah’s home is rich in textiles. In her house you can see stripes and zigzags, pillows and tablecloths, curtains and rugs.

Deborah collects bateas: Mexican wooden platters. They aren’t textiles but they might inspire textilists (Textilians?).

The last stop in our Texas tour was Austin. Joe, Deborah and I had a show of small works at Yard Dog Art. You can see it on-line here.

We stayed at the Hotel San Jose. Serendipitous serape sightings!


I leave you with this thought from the parking lot at the San Antonio Museum of Art.


Bjorn Wiinblad

When I was little my family had a big poster of Vanitas by Bjorn Wiinblad. The curls and swirls and panache of the drawing entered my bloodstream then.

In high school I lived in Scandinavia for a year and saw his work in Copenhagen.

Last month I renewed the acquaintance at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. It was a small show, but choice.

It was fun from the minute you stepped over the checkered threshold.

Wiinblad worked in many media.
He made paintings,



and ceramics.

The ink drawings are still my favorite work of his.

Lately I’ve been on a bit of an ink drawing splurge myself. I’ll be showing some of this work at i.e. gallery in Edison, WA next month. I hope you can stop by for the opening on Saturday December 2nd from 4-6 pm.  The show will be up from December 2-24th.

You can sniff for echoes of Wiinblad in the ink.

paschkis ink drawing

Full Moon, New Scarves

In January I asked you to speak to me of scarves. I wanted your opinions on fabric, size and designs. (You can see that post and read the comments here.)
I showed three designs and the winner was this one:

In honor of tonight’s full harvest moon I am announcing the arrival of the New Moon Blue Moon Scarf, available to buy at Julie Paprika for $52

I started with a shape like this –

and put it together to make this –


Kept going, filled in the holes, and then experimented with different borders –

and ended up with this.

I ordered samples of different fabrics and chose 70% cotton and 30% silk because that fabric had the most saturation. The scarf looked good on both sides.
Now you can wear it and walk out under the October moon.

I also produced a scarf that wasn’t part of the survey: Acrobaticats.
It is 70% cotton and 30% silk, 34″ square, also $52..
These cats can go anywhere.

Please stop by Julie Paprika. Visit the cats, howl at the moon and consider getting a calendar to benefit the ACLU. THANK YOU!!! Thank you for your input many moons ago, and your interest now.

Big Little Roses

painting by Joe Max Emminger

Today my friend Julie Little left a big beautiful bucket of roses on our doorstep. Swoon. I emptied the bucket and filled vase after vase. Now the house is overflowing with roses.

I will share this year’s bucket with you. Here are red roses on a red mola.

Yellow roses in a yellow jug on a yellow tablecloth.

White and pink roses on a piece of Russian embroidery.

Purple roses on orange Mexican oilcloth.

Pink and red roses with a stuffed animal from Peru

Roses outside – on a bench painted by Joe Max Emminger.

Roses inside – on stripes, in light and shadow.

This post is light on fabric and heavy on flowers. It’s summer: time to smell the roses and savor life.

Ice Cream by Julie Paschkis

Julie Little has given me roses for several years. In 2014 I wrote a post about the roses that she left. I wrote more about fabric in that post: here is a link. I didn’t include her name then, but I am now because I want to thank her out loud for her buckets of generosity.


painting by Joe Max Emminger




Sarah Jones

The Bitters Co. barn is about an hour north of Seattle. Katie and Amy Carson (sisters) have created a design workshop, warehouse, and occasional event space there. Come now to see a wonderful show of work by Sarah Jones (textiles and multi-media) and Jasmine Valandani (glass, installation).

I’m going to share Sarah’s work with you here.  She works with fabric, old lace, paper and ephemera.

The work is layered. Threads hang and the fabric is torn or stained in places. The damaged materials are treasured and honored with careful craftsmanship and with attention to detail.

The work celebrates the beauty of flaws and irregularities.

“Her work examines what is barely there. One must look hard to see it. She focuses on transparency, lightness and whiteness.”

The work looks out at the world.

And it looks in.

One piece is a diary, created each and every day for a year. Each 3″ square is a record of one day – of days lost and found, celebrated or forgotten.

The barn is dark with many shades and textures of rough wood. It is also airy. It is pierced by shafts of sunlight. Swallows fly through. It holds memories.

Sarah’s art and the barn are in a conversation about the passage of time, and about the beauty found in imperfection. These ideas are whispered not shouted.

And there is a conversation with Jasmine’s installations of glass and light.

Here is Sarah’s writing about the show.

Come see for yourself!

July 8- 23rd. Monday – Saturday 12 – 4 PM at the Bitters Co. Barn, 14034 Calhoun Rd., Mt. Vernon