Monday, December 8, 2014

Mary Lachman opens an Etsy shop

I am very excited to have just opened my Etsy shop

I was inspired by reading Lynn Krawczyk's website and blog and I finally did it! 

So far this is the only fabric collage listed but my book, Moth at the Window, is also available. If you would like a signed copy it makes ordering easy!

Please tell me your comments. 

"Pieces of My Heart" by Mary Lachman, a fabric collage
mounted on acid-free foam core board with loop for easy hanging

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mary Lachman and CTFAC at the Hartford Public Library

The members of my art quilt group, the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective, are preparing for our Romare Bearden-themed exhibit at the Hartford Public Library that we are hanging on later this month.

My contributions to wall art will include the following three pieces.

"Spiraling Out" by Mary Lachman, 51"x20"

"Harmony in the Woods" by Mary Lachman, 16x20 on canvas

"Into the Eye" by Mary Lachman, 16x20 on canvas

In the display case I will have hats, scarves, and handbags all handmade by yours truly.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mary Lachman Design Half-Finger Gloves and Flanders Nature Center

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. I was luck enough to be cooking for family and friends. I brined the turkey, something I don't always do, but this year the outside temperature was slightly above freezing so I put the turkey outside in a gallon of water in which I had dissolved 1 cup of kosher salt and 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

Then I decided not to baste the turkey every 20 minutes (what I do if I don't brine) and I was so pleased that the cooked turkey was tender, moist and delicious. Note to self: remember what you did this time!

My creative fiber endeavors were postponed until Friday evening but I was able to finish my commission for the half-finger gloves this morning.  The client wanted purple wool with a little green accent. I started them three times and finally liked the subtle green placement at the wrist. They are not blocked yet, but here is a photo. The pattern is mine.

Half Finger Gloves - Mary Lachman Design
Remember to stop by the Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust,  5 Church Hill Road, Woodbury, CT.   The Artisan Marketplace is open 11-4 every Saturday and Sunday through December 21st.
There is fiber art, Nature Center honey, maple syrup, doll clothes, bat houses, and more. And yes they fingerless gloves! A portion of all sales benefits the Nature Center, open space, and programming.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fabric Collage - Spiral in Progress

I am working on a spiral using the fabric collage technique of Susan Carlson's.

Here are a few photos of the work in progress.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Susan Carlson Workshop

Sometimes a day off from work is just the ticket to a fun day. Friday was just that for me and the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective (CTFAC). We had a hands-on workshop with the much admired Susan Carlson.

Susan Carlson lives in Maine but travels widely throughout the United States giving workshops and trunk shows on her unique techniques for art quilting. She has published two art quilt technique quilts, one of which is "Serendipty Quilts". Her website is worth a look.

We had a full day of design and creative inspiration! Here are some photos from the event.

Susan Carolso explaining her design process

Susan Carlson's son Sam
Susan Carlson's son Sam

Around the World Blog Hop - Round 2

Last week I posted in the Around the World Blog Hop thanks to an introduction by Carol R. Eaton Designs.

Today it is my turn to introduce Diane Cadrain.

Diane is a lawyer and freelance writer who specialized in employment law.  She is a clever and highly creative Connecticut woman. She learned embroidery from her grandmother, but has also made clothing. Diane exhibits throughout Connecticut. Her artwork includes hand-painted fabric, felted wool, embroidery and beading. Please visit her blog: Stitching-It-All-Together 

Diane with her dogs Java and Mocha

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mini Mittens

This morning I was knitting mini mittens. I am using the pattern "Argyle Mitten Garland" I found in a book from the library: 50 Knitted Gifts for Year-Round Giving: Designs for every season and occasion featuring universal yarn deluxe worsted.

I am using a dk weight wool and size 7 double points.  So far I have only completed these 3, but I think it would be fun to add more color and different designs. 

I have not taken too many liberties with the pattern yet, but I am finding I want to. Eventually I will crochet a chain to connect one mitten to the next for a cheery winter decoration for the door or tree. Of course they could be adapted into functional mittens for a child or used to decorate presents. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by fabric artisan Carol  of Carol R. Eaton Designs. Carol creates amazing hand-dyed, stamped, painted, and stenciled fabrics that she sells online and at regional events. Her blog is a source of inspiration and step-by-step instructions for many fabric techniques.  

I am thrilled to introduce two artists that I have invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop: Ruth Anne Olson and Michael Scaramuzzino.

Ruth Anne Olson a friend and member of SAQA-CT. Ruth Anne creates textile art, quilts and home accessories with an eye for subtle color change and fabric. She frequently uses hand-dyed cottons. And did I mention that she is a mathematician too? Visit her blog at

Michael Scaramuzzino is an amazing young professional illustrator and 3-d digital modeler who will stun you with his designs. Originally from Connecticut, he now lives in Massachusetts and has a B.F.A. from the Monstserrat College of Art. Michael is also the cover illustrator for my book, Moth at the Window! Visit his website and blog at

 1. What am I working on?
I am usually working on several projects at the same time and  play with fabric paint, Indigo dyeing, and knitting. 

Spiraling Out - Currently on Exhibit 

Aerial View - hand-dyed and batik fabrics

Nuno Felted Wool on Silk Base

Handknit Fingerless Glove

My other blog is dedicated to my book Moth at the Window: Poetry of Grover W. Clayton and Recollections of Indiana. The book is a multi-genre book of poetry and memoir. View the website at

These are some more photos of recent projects.
Sugar in the Morning - mixed media

Playing with Shiva Paintstiks on hand-dyed cotton

Experiments with Indigo Dyeing

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work is evolving. I consider it a bridge between traditional quilting and the art quilt movement even though I periodically create pieces that can fit into either of those categories.

I like bright colors and bold patterns. I like the idea of combining pattern upon pattern. I love Kaffe Fassett’s ideas and his nontraditional approach to design in embroidery, knitting and fabric.

I also do not limit my creativity to stitching fabric. I spin and knit wool. I make felted wool hats, mittens, and wearable accessories.  I look to my garden, a sketchbook and painting (oil, acrylic, and watercolor) for renewal when the energy for one project is declining.

CheckerBlue inspired by a Kaffe Fassett pattern
3. Why do I create what I do?

I create because the process of making things is deeply rooted in who I am as a person. I enjoy the process (sometimes more than the finished product). I like blending materials and seeing what will happen. I suppose that is the scientist in me. I am happy in the studio where I can lose myself in a project and silence the inner chaos in my mind.

4. How does my creating process work?

I try not to overthink my ideas.   Instead I work begin to pull materials together, stitching or knitting or spinning to see what happens. I like following my own muse. I enjoy looking at the works of others but have no desire to copy the other person’s art. I am always thinking what I would change.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Felted Wool Hats

As the wind and rain begin to blow, and the leaves change to those brilliant fall colors I begin making felted wool hats.

I handknit them. I have, what some might call. an addiction because I have made so many. Without too many outside committments I can usually finish one hat in a weekend.

When I finish knitting the hat is huge. This one looks like a portion of a clown's costume.

Then I throw it into the washing machine with a pair of old jeans and a little detergent and it shrinks by about one-third.

Sometimes it is very difficult to judge what a new type of yarn (or handspun) will do. Ask me sometime about my-wool-too-far-gone.

Several finished examples 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wondering Where-O-Where is Mary?

Perhaps you are wondering what I have been up to in September....

Well, I enjoyed one last sunset on Lake Erie

and did my first author talk and book signing in Woodbridge
(more pictures posted on the Moth blog,

I also signed my book at the Connecticut Authors and Publishers booth at the BigE,
Add caption

Meeting with my art quilt group in Seymour, and

still making art!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Picot Edging and Indigo Hand-Dyeing

Finally finishing a wrap that I started last spring, not the way the directions suggested but with a decorative knitted picot edge. For this one I cast on 3 stitches and cast off 5 across the row. I will show you the finished garment when complete.

And this is the hand-dyed indigo t-shirt that I present to my friend Rosalind at the CTFAC meeting on Saturday. I think it will be a perfect fit.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

CheckerBlue - A Scrappy 9-Patch Quilt

I just love scrappy quilts and I cannot resist just making one more. In the next few days I will share my how-to for this scrappy blue. I hope you will check back.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I am in love with the deep, rich, and sensual technique of Indigo Dyeing. We were only introduced a week ago through Carol R. Eaton Designs but I know we are becoming fast friends. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Surface Design with Carol R. Eaton

The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective group

One of my pieces- dry dye sprinkled on fabric and sprayed with water
Folded Fabric with Indigo,  Shibori technique

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Little Bit of Shiva Paintstik or Something More?

I was at the courthouse today for jury duty but mid-way through the morning we were released. Hurrah!

Bonus day in the studio. I set to work on a piece that need an extra punch. These are just strips of commercial cotton of various widths that I sewed side-to-side and then cut at odd angles, sashed randomly in white and set them all against a black background. 

Here is the piece now. I think it needs a little bit more of something. What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How To with Shiva Artist's Paintstiks - Easier than You Think!

Last Saturday I worked in the garden transplanting hostas and daylilies. So by Sunday I was in need of some studio time.

I pulled out some hand dyed cotton that I wanted to add design to and set to work.

Shiva Artist's Paintstiks are oil paint in a stick form made by A Richeson Co. of Kimberly, WI. They are nontoxic, fade proof, permanent, and dry in 24 hours. They can be used for drawing, painting, stenciling, and rubbings.hey wash off your hands with soap and water (or a little vegetable oil, soap, and water) but are difficult to remove from fabric and carpeting (ask me why I know this), so wear old clothes and place a mat or dropcloth on the carpet where you are working.

Step 1:
Wash and dry the fabric you will be working with. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
Gather your supplies. In addition to fabric, you will need your Paintstiks, painter's tape, templates or stencils (I used plastic rubbing plates by Cedar Canyon Textiles

Step 2:
Iron the fabric. If you are new to this technique start with fat quarters or cut the fabric in 12" squares.

Step 3:
Tape the edges of fabric to your work surface with painter's tape. Mine is the blue stuff from the hardware store.

Step 4:
Select the paint stick colors you want to use. Scrap the 'skin' off the Paintstik using the blade edge of a scissor or a small knife.

Step 5:
Slip template under the fabric that is taped to table. Using one hand to stabilize your template through the fabric rub the paint stick on the fabric. It works best to hold the paint stick at a right angle to the fabric and rub in one direction rather than back-and-forth.

Step 6:
Repeat Step 5 with additional colors or using other templates until you are happy with the design.

Step 7:
Allow fabric to dry at least 24 hours. I used folding clothes drying rack.

Step 8: Heat set the painted fabric. Place the painted fabric right side up on the ironing board. Cover it with a thin scrap cloth (I use an old dishtowel). Press with hot iron. The painted fabric may stick slightly to the scrap cloth. If it does, peel it off after pressing. Now your fabric is ready to use in your next art project!

This is a technique is FUN. Even folks who think it looks difficult will quickly catch on and enjoy playing with.

I was enjoying myself so much that my son even tried it out!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Moth at the Window" by Mary Lachman

The final edits are complete and my book is going to press!

Moth at the Window: Poetry of Grover W. Clayton and Recollections of Indiana 
by Mary F. Lachman and illustrated by Michael Scaramuzzino
(ISBN#: 978-1-4990-2252-0 SC)

Moth at the Window combines intimate stories with original poems to re-creat the charm and simplicity of an amazing era, and brings to life the story of a small town dentist and his family.

Order Today!
Call 1-888-795-4274 ext. 7879
Order online at,,, or visit your local bookstore.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Italian Beauty

Earlier this month I had the good fortune to be in Italy. It was a beautiful experience and over too quickly.

Wherever we traveled we were surrounded by artistic design, blooming jasmine, and style.

Market in Portovenere

Everything was artful, even the cobblestones.