Somethings Wonderful This Way Came

Somethings Wonderful This Way Came
1970's Vintage Caftan in At Play

Friday, November 15, 2013


During the last 24 hours I have been seriously cogitating over the development of my Harwood Steiger quilt.  I definitely will use Arizona Sketchbook.  But, I want to show case the sketches, and not compete with them, thereby diminishing their appearance in the quilt.  I also want to be faithful to the period, so, traditional quilt patterns and antique patterns are out.  I think I've come up with an approach that will work in a Mid Century Modern way.  I remembered that I have some unprinted fabric from the Steiger stash tucked away.  These are pieces that Joan had saved to line garments that she made.  They are the original, same fabric Harwood would use to print on, but remain void of any design today.  It is so hard to even think about cutting this fabric.  If I fail, there is no way to replace it.  So, I'll think about it some more.  And, some more. And, some more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cleaning Up the Fabric Warehouse

It's been a solid 8 months of steady quilting.  This year's Summer of Sibling Quilts, produced a quilt for each of my sisters (3) and brother.  Just finished one for my niece, too---not to mention a special quilt for my dear old friend, Susan.  So, things in the fabric warehouse were a true mess.  Instead of putting fabrics away after auditioning them, I just stacked them up.  Instead of filing away patterns and books, I just tossed them in the corner.  It wasn't laziness---just eager to get to the project.  I am now faced with a major task of setting things in order.

I started with my Harwood Steiger fabrics, first.  I took each of them out of the designated Harwood Steiger cabinet and began a careful examination of their condition.  Then, I carefully refolded them and replaced them where they belong.  My husband calls this, "Petting my fabric."  He's right, you know.  I love my Steiger fabrics.  They are so very, very beautiful.  After all this time, it still amazes me to see the vibrancy of the colors.  Sixty years later, the inks look as though they were just applied yesterday.  Since Steiger mixed his own colors, they are unusual for the period.  The base fabrics were good quality, so they are still fresh.  The designs are so different and varied.  I am often asked which is my favorite.  It's like asking a mother, who is your favorite child.  I have no favorite.  They are all precious to me. 

I think that 2014, will be the year in which I finally make my Harwood Steiger quilt.  I plan to use Arizona Sketchbook for this effort.  It kind of cries out asking to be made into a quilt.  The little "sketches" depict Arizona lives, monuments and activities.  I just have to figure out how to best use them without getting lost in the quilt design.  A challenge to be sure.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Still Acquiring

Some new and recent acquisitions worth seeing.

                                                                     Spanish Iron

Idyll in an interesting color
Canyon Detail

Showing and Telling

Recently, I was asked to put together a presentation on Harwood Steiger by a group celebrating historic modern design known as Modern Tucson.  I worked for about a month pulling together known facts and photos.  I titled it, "I AM A HARWOOD STEIGER ADDICT" and structured it loosely on an AA meeting.  It went pretty well.  People laughed in all the right spots and I got lots of applause when it was over.  Enthusiastic folks came dressed in their Steiger garments and others brought their treasured examples to share.  It made me so happy to meet other people who share an appreciation of Harwood Steiger's work and his genius designs.  When my husband and I got into the car, he looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You're a rock star----a real celebrity!"  Well, I wouldn't go that far, but I did feel pretty good about it.

The next day, we drove to Tubac and visited my friend, Nancy Valentine.  She is a tireless promoter of all things Tubac and suggested that the presentation be given again at the Presidio where locals are gearing up for events of cultural interest. Winter is, of course, the high tourist season here and lots of snow birds travel through.  I got on the schedule for a January date and will be presenting in the very town where Harwood Steiger had his studio and shop.  Now, that is truly thrilling.

Yesterday, I was contacted by Alison at Modern Phoenix, who had heard of my Tucson success and she invited me to present in April during their week long celebration.  I couldn't believe it!  Well, yes, I can.  There are so many Harwood Steiger collectors and enthusiasts spread around.  I am honored to help bring the work of this wonderful artist to light.  Incredibly, last night I was contacted by yet another Mid Century Modern Design enthusiast, Mashall Shore, who invited me to present again in November 2014, for Wear Arizona.  When I told my husband about it, he laughed and suggested that I find an agent.  He's so funny.

I am truly thrilled to be able to share my knowledge and love of Harwood Steiger with others.  It makes me feel like I am giving more life to his amazing career and keeping alive his genius.  If you find yourself in Tubac or Phoenix, please plan to attend.  I'll do my very best for you.