Monday, September 17, 2012

Hats on the Way

This past weekend I focused on two things (instead of running errands or working in the garden):
#2 - Cleaning up the studio so I could see the floor again.

This year CAW asked me to provide them with a dozen hats. However, since life is crazy and I am a runs-with-scissors-kind-of-girl it wasn't until yesterday that I knew I could meet their request. I love making hats and this year I decided to try a few new ideas. I hope you have a chance to go to the exhibition which runs from October 27 through December 24, 2012.

Most of my hats are knit of 100% Peruvian wool, felted in the washing machine and shaped by hand. Wool is naturally warm and weather resistant and renewable. 

Here is an example of a traditional felted wool topper accented with a grosgrain ribbon band and vintage button. 

In this one I added embellishments of handcrocheted flowers and vintage buttons.  

This hat is made from recycled wool garments (a vintage skirt and a handknit scarf). It is lined with fleece. 

Here the flower embellishment is made from the trim of a recycled wool sweater. 

All tagged and ready to go to New Haven.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Felted Wool Hats

The summer has slipped away and I am finishing hats for the 44th Annual Celebration of American Crafts 2012 at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT .

The gala exhibition and sale runs from October 27-December 24, 2012.

Here are a few examples of my hats. These are hand knit of 100% wool and then felted to form a warm dense fabric that is resistant to wind, rain and snow. They are available in small, medium and large sizes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Slice and Dice

This week I decided to give something new a try. Sort of a cut-and-sew, but I think it is more aptly termed slice-and-dice.

I randomly pieced together some scraps, then decided to add some gold strips by stitching them in and then cutting the main fabric and stitching the gold strip down on the other side.  I repeated the process until I had a maze like configuration of blue and gold. Then I did the same with multi-colored batik strips.

This bottom photo is the completed piece. What do you think? Now to name that piece. Initially I liked Yellow Brick Road, but now that the batik is added that doesn't seem right. It will come to me. Do you have any suggestions?

Tomorrow I will travel with friends to Lowell, MA for the quilt show and the Brush Gallery exhibit where friends Diane Cadrain and Diane Wright have pieces. It should be fun!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fabric Dyeing and "Boys"

Today we had a day in the sun as the CFAC group and friends learned ice cube dying from Carol Ludington and confetti dyeing from Carol Eaton.

I was so tired when I got home that I just floated around the swimming pool in an inner tube listening to "Selected Shorts" on WNPR. One of the stories by Rick Moody entitled "Boys" was particularly poignant. Here is the link to one of the first times it was broadcast back in 2010.

Did anyone else hear it? It made me think of my sons and with the younger leaving for college later this month I was rather melancholy.

The following are photos from today's hand dyeing workshop.
Carol  demonstrating how to layer ice cubes, fabric and dye.
My cooking pots

Carol V. in uniform

Confetti dyeing

Confetti dyeing

There was even some crocheted pieces that made it into the vat!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Class of 2012

 "Cabin Fever" for Clark
I have been finishing graduation presents for my son's friends these past few weeks. James has a close set of buddies and they all graduate from high school today! Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

"3 More Hotels Please" for Zack (who has beaten us so often in Monopoly that we won't play with him any more)

"Poppy Garden" for Lili

"Yeladim Days" for Adena

"Starry Night" for Griffin

"Touche' " for Joe

"Autumn Batik" for Matt

Friday, June 8, 2012

Come to the Gallery on the Green in Litchfield

I am stitching like crazy in preparation for the 39th Gallery on the Green Arts and Craft Show in Litchfield this Saturday, June 9th from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm.

For those of you who have never been there, Litchfield is a great day trip and when combined with the art show it only gets better! There will be food, ice cream, kids activities, and of course the art show/sale.

Here are a few things that I have been making---pincushions and table runners!  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Early Morning Time

I woke up before the alarm today and coffee in hand headed to the studio...and yes it is a mess. So what else is new?

The cutting table this morning

Here is a piece I am working on....destined to become a table runner. I am in a table runner phase at the moment. Maybe that is the result of my thrill of mastering mitered corners.

Project in progress

"Eye of the Storm"
This is my completed Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective 1st Anniversary Challenge piece. We were each given a bag of scraps (below) containing the same fabric and fibers. We challenged ourselves to create art from these items.
Please go to to see the works of other members!

The contents of my Challenge Bag---from whence the storm came!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Old Maine Class - May 12th

Saturday, May 12, 2012 I will be teaching "Old Maine" and my original variation on this scrap quilt  at the Levi Coe Library, 414 Main Street, Middlefield. The class runs from 10:30-12 noon.  The class is suitable for beginners and experienced quilters. Please register by calling: 860-349-3857 x 204.  The cost is $15, supplies not included. Please bring a sewing machine, scrap fabric and join us!
Old Maine Variation, designed and pieced by Mary Lachman

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Make Mitered Corners on a Quilt with Double Borders

Mitered corners are beautiful and elegant.  This past month I decided to get serious and learn to make a proper mitered corner. I hope this mini tutorial will help you put them on your next quilt.

Let's get started!   

Step 1: Sew your double border fabrics together lengthwise.  (Sewing multiple borders on one-at-a-time is not efficient and the end product is not as nice as if you do it this way.)

Step 2: Sew double borders to adjacent sides of the quilt top. Stop stitching before each piece intersects with the other. In this image the vertical border is on top of the horizontal border.

Step 3: As you look at this next image, the vertical border is folded back onto itself and the horizontal/top  border is turned down on the vertical border. Press the seam between the 2 fabrics in the border so that at this corner, the  seam between the 2-fabrics of the border is pressed down toward the inner fabric. (In this example, my inner border is the multi-colored fabric).  Remember the mantra "top-down" and "bottom-up". 

Step 4: Return the horizontal/top border to the original right-side up fashion and place the vertical border on top of it. 

Step 5:  Turn the vertical border under (and free-edge out) at a 45 degree angle. The inner border on the vertical border should be pressed up toward the outer strip (or "up" in this image).  Again, recall the mantra, "top-down, bottom-up".  (Remember the "top" is the horizontal border and the "bottom" is the vertical border in this image.)  Because you placed the seams in opposite directions at the intersection of this corner, when you stitch the mitered corner from outside free-edge in to center the fabric will nest itself perfectly and you will have a beautiful and elegant corner!

Step 6: Press the corner seams with a hot iron.  Option: pin the fabrics together at the free-edge near the pressed crease.

Step 7: Turn the vertical border strip on top of the horizontal strip. You will be able to see the crease in the fabric made by the iron. 

 Step 8: Stitch in the creased area from the outer free-edge in toward your quilt top.

Step 9: Clip excess fabric from seam and corner.

Step 10: Press right side of top.

Step 11: Press underside. Pressing the seam open at this point will reduce bulk.
Repeat all steps at the remaining corners of the quilt.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quilting Demystified

 On Saturday, March 24th, I demonstrated basic quilt making techniques at the Levi Coe Library in Middlefield, CT  It was such a great space for a workshop---lots of tables and comfortable chairs for all the attendees. Thanks to all who came and asked questions! Thanks also to Loren Weber and her staff for help setting up.
Here I am demonstrating how to make a basic 4-patch.

Here I was discussing the best alignment of a strip so the seams interlock nicely. 

There was quite a bit of interest in my Old Maine variation. We hope to have a second workshop where participants can bring their own machines and sew along with me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

War of 1812 Bicentennial Commerative Quilts

This year the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center is celebrating the Bicentenial of the War of 1812 with a Quilt Show.  The main celebration is this weekend but there are plans for a national tour and a book. 

2012 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show

March 17-18
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Seaway Trail Discovery Center
401 W. Main St.
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685

My entry is "Scarlet and Gray" in celebration of The Ohio State University, my alma mater. It was tough to tone down my color choices in an attempt  to work in historic reproduction mode. The pattern was my design. Here it is prior to completion laid out on my studio floor.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's a Floral Thing - Norfolk CT

"Flower Garden"
Mary Lachman - 2012

There is an art exhibit at the  Norfolk Artisans Guild from February 3 - March 31, 2012 at Station Place in Norfolk.  My piece, Flower Garden, will be on exhibit there.   Check out the Artisans Guild on Facebook

The pieced cotton batik base was inspired by the appearance of my scarlet azaleas blooming as the spirea put out fresh almost fluorescent green foliage each spring. The blossom overlay is a fused applique. The machine stitching is intense, something that can be appreciated up close.

I hope to see you at the opening reception, February 5th from 1-3PM.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be Mine

I am working on my challenge piece for the upcoming show of the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective and am just about finished. I think it resembles a fancy box of Valentine chocolates (without the calories)!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Under the Sea

This quilt is part of the Bamboo Challenge for  Heritage Quilters of Wallingford. It is also currently on display through January 2012 at the Southbury Public Library as part of the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective exhibit.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Time Flies

I just finished this small quilt entitled, Time Flies.  It symbolizes the end of summer as seen from the shore of  Lake Erie as the sun sets. I wrote a little poem to go with it:

Time flies-
And the sun sets
On the bike rides, fireflies
Roasted marshmallows
And shooting stars,
As summer ends.