Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Korean Quilting Show

A few years ago I took a class on pojagi at Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, OH. I met Leonie Castelino at the class. She’s an incredible fiber artist from Muhwah, New Jersey. We lost touch for a while. Then I saw her work on the internet. She does the most beautiful pieces and recently sent me information about her new show. If you’re in Seattle, go. You will love her contemporary use of an old technique.

Leonie’s Contemporary Pojagi, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is being exhibited at the Columbia City Gallery in Seattle, WA, along with the work of 10 international fiber artists. The title of the exhibition is: POJAGI NOW: Contemporary Interpretation of the Korean Wrapping Cloth. It runs until Sep 19, 2010. Here’s what Leonie herself says about it:"

‘Rhapsody in Blue’, 41” wide by 100” long, is pieced in one of the traditional pojagi seams—“gekki”—which is a triple hairline seam. The material used is polyester organza, where some of the pieces are flat, folded in lines or arcs, or sculpted to provide dimension.

Traditional pojagi (pojaki, bojagi, or bojaki) has its origins in the Choson Dynasty that spanned 518 years, from 1392-1910. Society was most rigidly controlled during this pre-modern period in Korean history. Women were severely repressed and forbidden any social status. Their only creative outlet from isolation was needlecraft in the exquisite piecing of salvaged materials to create breathtaking pojagis with which to wrap various objects. Cloth was used efficiently with minimum waste. Hence squares, rectangles, and triangles were pieced together.

This particular work of art, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, with its free-form of composition and asymmetrical structure, is a statement that reflects the contemporary society we live in today. It breaks all the rules associated with this uniquely sensitive and traditional art form.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Koos in ORNAMENTS Magazine and SNEAK PEAK!

The latest issue of ORNAMENTS magazine has a gorgeous 6 page article on Koos.  All the photos of his studio and fantastic garments are wonderful!  Our book, Koos Couture Collage, is referenced and I was surprised to be quoted in the article!

I've been to Koos' workroom many times. It is such an inspirational place full of interesting photos, objects, and fabrics. Read the article and you’ll get a glimpse of what it’s like to be there yourself.

Koos doesn’t teach very often, but this September in Michigan you can ake one of his rare workshops. He’ll be teaching at the American Sewing Expo. Check out:  It's a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some honest critique on making art to wear from a world-famous fashion designer.

Last, I have a special sneak peek from Vogue Patterns for my blog followers of Koos' next pattern.  This scalloped coat is available in October and is Vogue #1213.  I can't wait to get this pattern. I'm already collecting coordinating wools!

PS. If you're looking for any out of print Koos Vogue patterns, email me and I may have it.

To see more of Koos and his work go to his website @

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Guest Post: Vikki Pignatelli

Adventures in Denmark

article and photos by Vikki Pignatelli

Being a quilt teacher is possibly the best career in the world! I am truly blessed…fortunate indeed that I have the opportunity to follow my passions to make my living. My love of all art forms (quilting in particular), travel and teaching have all combined in the most amazing way.

In the past fourteen months I’ve taught in locations I never dreamed I’d have the chance to visit or teach: New Zealand (a month), Australia (a month), Ireland (a month), Denmark (3 weeks) as well as England, Hawaii and every corner of the USA.

I’ve met the most amazing people and I’ve discovered that quilters are the same all over the world. They are enthusiastic and eager to learn new techniques and ideas. They want to use their quilting not just as a hobby or business, but also a as self-expression to convey their innermost feelings, joys, passions and as a healing tool or personal therapy.

This spring I taught in Denmark for the second time in three years. My husband, Denny, and I stayed with our very good friends Lone and Teddy Schaadt. Lone is also a quilting teacher, Teddy, a fine artist. Lone and I taught dual classes, which is not only fun, but takes some of the pressure off of each teacher and allows some break time.

We taught two different sessions in Koege, a week retreat In Vigersted and in Viborg. As always the Danish students were terrific! Danes learn English in school at an early age and I’ve seldom run into any language barrier problems in Denmark. Some are self-conscience and hesitate to speak or make sentences but almost everyone understands English. Many of the programs on TV in Denmark are in English.

A week before we were to come home, the volcano in Iceland erupted. There were some anxious moments wondering when we could fly again….airports were closed and flights cancelled all over northern Europe because of the ash cloud. And we were flying on Copenhagen2 Iceland Airlines. As luck would have it, the Copenhagen airport reopened on an hour by hour basis… on the day of our originally scheduled flight out of Denmark and our flight was among the first flights out after the eruption. We were very lucky, many passengers were stranded for a long time.

Our tense moments were rewarded though when we flew into Reykjavik to change planes. We flew right by the erupting volcano…and it was on my side of the plane and I had a window seat!! What a joy! It is amazing and humbling to witness the most powerful force on earth. To realize what I was seeing brought me to tears….but not before I whipped out the camera for some terrific shots!

Teaching in Denmark is always a wonderful experience! Please check my website at and click on my “student gallery” to see some of their work.

Happy quilting!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big Sale at Dragon Threads

Cleaning out my warehouse, making way for new books! Head on over to:

DragonThreads Hurt Book Sale.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lake Sunapee and me. And quilts, of course!

Just back from a fabulous two week vacation to Lake Sunapee, NH where the boys and I rented a house and just relaxed on the water. The weather was perfect! Warm days and cool water with lots of boats to play with.

The closest town is New London where they have a very nice Historical society that consists of old buildings on a farm. It was my luck that they had a quilt show going on while I was there! Did they know I was coming?  The show was in a beautiful restored barn attached to an old house.  In the loft of the barn were many spinning wheels just waiting for agile fingers and some fleece!

A mix of contemporary and vintage quilts were displayed on the walls and furniture.   My favorite was this new one made of Japanese fabrics on some of the Taupe collection pieced background.  The hand-stitching sets off each circle beautifully.

On one of the beds was a new quilt that looked as it would have looked hundreds of years ago. The colors were very appealing.

On the way out I saw these old spools with hand spun wool displayed against a new quilt and loved the muted colors.

If you are ever in New Hampshire, Lake Sunapee is the perfect place to stay with a family who likes the water. It is also dog friendly. My beloved pooch Rio enjoyed swimming in the lake very much!