Priscilla Kibbee

I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles to add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey where I also served as a judge at 2 of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for 5 Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Zebra Jacket

The pattern for this jacket calls for separate sleeves but that interfered with the prints so I changed it to one pattern piece for the front and one for the back while retaining the arm slope. It took me several years to acquire enough zebra prints. The band is velveteen which is bordered by a colored batik strip...strip pieced and topped with colored beads from a trip to Bangkok.
It is also lined with a zebra print. I usually use my least favorite print for this. The "bangles" which are sewn on the sleeves were a perfect coloration and are jewelry parts I found on a trip to Bangkok.

The colored bands between the zebra pieces give your eye somewhere to rest on all the busyness of the jacket. They are strip pieced in a number of colors from one of those "jellyrolls"..a 2" or 3" wide strip collection of a number of coordinating fabrics. A great way to easily acquire a lot of colors.
I love to incorporate needlepoint or other needlework in my garments. Because it is sometimes a little stiff it usually ends up on the back...often center back. But here I chose to place it on the bottom of the back.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Trip Planning Today

It was too hot to work outside today so I have been doing a bit of sewing...working on the aqua coat and continuing planning trips. I am disturbed by some of the news from Kathmandu, Nepal. where I will be going in three weeks. The Maoists called a strike against the schools and businesses a few days ago and I am hoping that it will be settled before my trip. I have been there during a strike before and the city literally shuts down. If your hotel doesn't have an operating restaurant you are just plain out of luck.

Street markets begin just several blocks from where I will be staying in Kathmandu and are always a riot of color. In Bouda where i spent a lot of time there would be small markets of 4 or 5 vendors all over town. It wasn't hard to be a vegetarian there after taking a look at the meat sellers. We would see them set up shop in the morning with their hopefully freshly cut wares. In the heat of the afternoon the shop would be closed. Then in early evening when housewives were returning home from work they would be back in the evening dusk with a candle set into the meat for light.

This was a really glittery shop about two blocks north of Durbar Square in Kathmandu.
And my favorite place of all, of course, the huge stupa in Bouda. In this photo trimmed with marigold wash.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Its Freezing in Wolcott!

Despite the fact that the calendar reads August 21st I have been debating turning on the heat for the last two days. Its been too cold to work outside so I have been continuing the tidying up process after QBL and my yard sale last Saturday. Those of you who have been following my blog may remember the sad state of affairs of my dining room table before I left for QBL...absolutely covered with stuff.................. Its all better now and returned to its more or less normal state. The cloisonne vase which rests on it when its cleaned off was purchased in Shanghai on my last trip to China. I used to purchase vases and such on every trip because they are so beautiful and make wonderful gifts. But over the years I found them harder and harder to find and increasingly expensive. Few Chinese go into crafts these days as they can make so much more money in other fields.

And I am absolutely fascinated with inside painted glassware...painted from the outside in with tiny brushes and is absolutely exquisite. On my last trip I could not find the glass balls anywhere. Just smaller poorly done pieces. Another dying art. Since I am a tiger collector I have several versions of this one.

On a trip to Hong Kong in the early 90's I found bamboo opium pipes which led to another collection of course. In Laos I am able to find exquisite porcelain opium pipes...some with tigers on them. I think they are illegal to bring home but I have never gotten caught.

I don't know how to use them but i am sure my friend Phonesay could explain it to me. They grow opium in the mountains of Laos where he grew up.
I am finishing up a coat made from crinkled cotton batik. It is the Folkwear Turkish Coat pattern I have made a zillion times and was supposed to be covered with molas. But when I began to place the molas on it they just didn't work so I added beads and cording and will finish it with a fancy trim made on a hairpin lace loom.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Patio Work Continues and a Sale

Work on the yard continues with the posts added along the side. This took the better part of the day as this is a long wall and retaining boards had to be measured and adjusted, then the concrete mixed and poured in the holes to the correct level. After the poles set for two days the man who will oversee the concrete arrives for a consultation regarding the proper pitch for the area to allow rain runoff.
In the meantime I am cleaning out the back barn for a yard sale tomorrow. This barn was much too convenient for storing things you didn't want to use but didn't want to throw away. It is crumbling and isn't worth fixing so it will be torn down next year. It is the original barn with the house (built in 1875) and I am told was the original home to the family horse.
My late husband loved to work with wood and had quite a shop in the garage. He would buy old lincoln rockers and other chairs which needed caning, then restore and re-cane them. I have 9 lovely examples in the house. These will hopefully be sold tomorrow at the yard sale. I also have an antique wheelchair which needed caning which I hope to sell tomorrow as well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Indian Trains

I find riding the trains in India to be a delightful (well pretty delightful) way to travel. As with any form of transportation there are a few quirks along the way. Anyone who has flown anywhere this summer can surely attest to that.

One of the things I really like about Indian Railways is the availability of porters. They will carry your heavy bags from the station entrance to the loading spot for your specific train with your heavy bag on their head. They bound up the stairs with you puffing away in the distance trying to keep an eye on your bag ahead in the crowd. They are licensed and have a brass plaque which they usually wear on their arm. In Delhi once I ran into a fake porter with an accompanying tout who tried to wrestle my bags from me and accompany me all over the station. It took a great deal of effort and nasty remarks to get rid of them.
There are usually snack stands along the station tracks and people also board the trains at stops selling water and snacks from baskets.
Day trains can be quite comfortable. On one I was given a bottle of water, and tea and cookies. How civilized. There are kitchens and pantries on most of the fast express trains. Your porter will load and unload your heavy bags onto the overhead racks. Oops. Wrong toilet. And there are no directions. But their are western style toilets on the higher class cars.

It is very common to find people sleeping in the train station when you enter to board an early morning train. This was the station entrance in Varanasi. There are usually Ladies Waiting Rooms inside the station by the tracks (with toilets) where you can wait for a train.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Progress is Being Made

Michael cuts temporary boards which will hold the fence posts in place while cement is added to the holes and dries. The poles leading out from the house apparently are the most difficult to do as they need to be exact. The poles on the side will go much faster.
It was handy that it was easy to drive the van out into the yard so the heavy cement bags didn't need to be unloaded and could be extracted as needed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Back Yard "Boys" Are Back

During "vacation" the ferns began growing in the backyard again. The monkeys can't be far behind. The site director/contractor (also known as son-in-law) supervises his helper, Clinton pulling a shrub out from under the back door which will lead to the new construction.
The timbers are being bolted on and set in the ground to frame in a back door to the concrete pad. There used to be a deck in the back here, extending from the porch out about 10 feet or so but I had it torn off when the garage was "fixed" last year. The sun always hit it in the wrong direction and it was too small for a table and chairs with an umbrella.
I have been cleaning out my garage getting ready for a yard sale, a couple of quilt show and winter, when I want to be able to go out here and find something without freezing. This wall has one tall row of boxes full of FABRIC and the row in front is all the things I sell when I have a sale table somewhere. There is more fabric and findings on other walls. All this is in addition to two rooms full upstairs. Do I have enough now?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Traveling Around

In some countries after you leave the "big" city, the only way to get around is on a "chicken bus". In Mexico and Guatemala, for example, these are old school busses from the United States sold south and painted up within an inch of their life. The driver usually adds religious symbols, hoping to ward off bandits, road crashes, and falling off a cliff among other things. A boy accompanies the bus, yelling the destination out the door to attract customers and collecting fares somehow in the jam packed aisles. While the seats (designed for children) were designed for two...three adults usually crowd in...the last one sort of hanging off the side. And, of course, there is no knee room for North American adults. And there really are chickens on "chicken busses".

In India I prefer to take the trains. Although you hear once in awhile of terrible train wrecks ...considering they handle millions of people every day the numbers are statistically very small...much smaller than road accidents. And there are porters in most stations to carry your bags to the train, find your compartment and load your baggage on the high racks. The stations are often chaotic and crowded. Even in Jodphur I found people sleeping all over the floor when I took an early morning train. Your porter will re-check your ticket against a list posted on the platform. He will know exactly where your compartment will stop and wait with you there. You can now buy most tickets over the internet from home but it often takes hours to get through the maze. But its worth it to be sure you have seats on the trains you want when you want them and not have to go through the hassle in India which would be worse.

This is a Second Class Air Conditioned Sleeper with the bunks not made up. There are curtains across each one for privacy and linens and pillows are provided. In the daytime the top seats are flipped up. There are two more seats at the other side of the aisle which also become bunks. And there is an American style toilet at one end. Very comfortable.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Friend Phonesay

When I first traveled to Nong Khai Thailand in 2001 I was working with an Australian teacher who ran a web site and sort of travel agency on the side. He made a few bookings for me and introduced me to his friend Phonesay Silivan, a monk residing in a Thai monastary but originally from the mountains of Laos. We became fast friends and Phonesay accompanied me on many trips across the river into Vientiane, Laos and all around Issan, the Northeast province of Thailand where I was visiting silk weaving villages. He speaks Loatian, Thai and English which he pretty much taught himself. On one trip he took me to his University in Nong Khai where he was supposedly learning English from a teacher who did not speak it nor did he use it in class. His father died when he was very young and his mother remarried. She had twelve more children. His stepfather didn't want him so he was raised by his grandparents. The only way he could acquire an education was to become a monk. I would take him to a restaurant to eat lunch when we were out touring (which had to be before 11 am...monks can't eat after that) and the first one I took him to was the second restaurant he had eaten in in his life. During this period he was able to pass back and forth freely between Laos and Thailand and lived in monastaries in both countries.

About three years ago (after 10 years as a monk) he decided to return to private life. He wanted to live in Thailand but couldn't get permission. At first he worked as a travel guide in Vientiane and then went to work for an NGO which was clearing away land mines as a translator . He was making $200 a month which is an excellent salary in Laos. It enabled him to buy a motor scooter, a computer and some land outside of Vientiane where he hopes to open a college someday (which actually is quite possible in Laos)

Late last year he married a girl he met in one of the villages where his agency was clearing land mines. She is half Vietnamese.
And tonight i received a photo of his beautiful new daughter. I hope to see him in January when I return to Vientiane. He is talking now about opening his own travel agency.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Quilting By the Lake...Take Six

All right class...its my way or the highway.
Yes, I can thread this needle. Just watch me.
Most of the teachers decorated QBL aprons to be auctioned off the last night before Class Show and Tell. I am explaining how I made mine through the generosity of my wonderful students. I borrowed Wendy's hat and swung a boa around to drum up bidding. Katie Pasquini Mauposat (on the right) bought the apron. It was great fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Quilting By the Lake--Take Five

These are just some of the jackets started in my class. Barbara Aicher used some beautiful fabrics from her stash and again did a wonderful job of putting interesting fabrics together.

The back view of a kimono style jacket. The green jacket back is also hers.
This is going to be a gorgeous long vest. This was also a second piece by Lynn.
Rhonda was making a jacket from some fabulous african pieces.