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, November 25, 2007

Jacket Class in Virginia

The real reason for my travels to the Washington area was to present a three day jacket class to the Waterford Weaving Guild in Springfield, Virginia. The class was held in a lovely empty town house owned by a relative of one of the group who was gracious enough to offer us the space. We had lovely fall weather all three days.
Everyone found their own little corner where they could work and set up their machine. On the wall is my explanation of where to put interfacing drawn on huge post it notes which don't harm the wall. Most people cut and fit several muslins.
The doors to the patio outside the dining room furnished wonderful light on the sunny days.

My clothes on a rack in the hall. There were also muslins to try on for size for the patterns I provided. The most popular jackets were the butterfly jacket, the quilters jacket and the bog coat.
The empty den made a nice room for ironing and cutting out patterns. My half size mannequin is on the left.

Having a kitchen was a huge plus. And of course we had to have snacks to give us energy....or something.
The little curve in the hallway provided a nice space for a cutting table. Since this was a group of weavers the fabric for jackets was usually hand woven which provided lots of challenges. I am eagerly awaiting photos of finished jackets.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Emissaries of Peace: The 1762 Cherokee and British Delegations

The main reason I visited the Museum of Natural History was to view this exhibit.

The Emissaries of Peace exhibit brings 1762 Cherokee and British societies to life with a wealth of items that comprised daily life – weapons, peace pipes, eyeglasses, uniforms, clothing, tableware, jewelry – even a pocket watch like the one Timberlake ruined by leaping from a canoe to wade ashore in unexpectedly deep water. Documents and pictures help tell the story, too ... excerpts from Timberlake’s Memoirs, published accounts of the Cherokees’ travels through Britain (they were most taken by mime performances at Sadler’s Wells, where the absence of an interpreter was, for once, not a problem), and drawings and paintings depicting luminaries and commoners alike – from King George III and Cherokee leaders, to unnamed foot soldiers and warriors contending in battles of the day.
Contrasts between the two societies become sharp indeed when articulate observers from both realms speak to the same subject. Consider Timberlake and the Cherokee, Corn Tassel, speaking on how their respective societies put food on the table:
Timberlake: “Were the Cherokees contracted into a fortified settlement, governed by laws, and remoter from the English, they might become formidable but who would seek to live by labour, who can live by amusement. The sole occupations of an Indian life, are hunting, and warring abroad, and lazying at home. Want is said to be the mother of industry, but their wants are supplied at an easier rate.”
Corn Tassel: “You say: Why do not the Indians till the ground and live as we do? May we not with equal propriety ask, Why the white people do not hunt and live as we do. The great God of nature has placed us in different situations. He has, indeed, given you an advantage in this, that your cattle are tame and domestic while ours are wild and demand not only a larger space for range, but art to hunt and kill them.”
From the council houses of the Cherokees to the pleasure gardens of London, “Emissaries” lets us see 18th-century Cherokee and British life with the fresh sense of discovery we might have if time travel made our visit possible. Nothing is assumed; everything is novel, and this viewpoint blows the dust off history and makes it pulse with passion.
Nothing makes history come so alive as a first-person viewpoint. By this measure, the exhibit “Emissaries of Peace” is doubly compelling. It presents two vivid, mirror images – Cherokee society in 1762, as seen by a British lieutenant and diarist, Henry Timberlake; and British society of the same period, seen through the eyes of three Cherokee leaders who convinced Timberlake to bring them to Britain to meet King George III.
Timberlake entered Cherokee country as a lone, British emissary accompanying 400 returning Cherokee warriors to cement a fragile, British-Cherokee peace. His notes from this three-month sojourn became the basis of his Memoirs – the best and fullest account of 18th-century Cherokee life. Now, in “Emissaries of Peace,” Memoirs provides the narrative flow that organizes and animates this exhibit’s amazing collection of artifacts.


Montgomery Weapons

The Winter Trade
Cherokee baskets
The gorgeous feather cape of the Beloved Woman. Traditionally an elder warrior woman who cannot fight any longer but is revered.
Cherokee male clothing.
Cherokee pipes
Ostanaco and Timberlake

Conne Shote

Friday, November 23, 2007

Museum of Natural History Washington

There was also an interesting exhibit of photos from Festivals in various Mexican regions:
I have been fortunate enough over the years to attend a few and the costumes and masks can be quite fanciful and wonderful.

Museum of Natural History

In the afternoon my sister and I attended the Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz exhibits at the Corcoran. No photos unfortunately but a great show. The next day I was off on my own to the Museum of Natural History. I had not been there in a number of years and was pleasantly surprised by the new exhibits on the main floor.
I loved this one of the tiger crashing into the gallery through an upstairs window.
Wouldn't these be great colors for a jacket?

On the second floor was an interesting Korean exhibit. Wedding clothes here.
And some interesting paintings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My 2007 Bernina Fashion Show Outfit

One of the nice perks of entering an outfit in the Bernina Fashion Show is the fact that after the show the wonderful coordinator, Marcia Barker, sends you a CD with all the poses of your outfit on a professional model. My dress is made of hand beaded heavy mesh, lined and banded with silk dupioni. I made the diamond clasp as I couldn't find one I liked and constructed the dress by hand as it seemed easier to me than plucking all those beads out of the seams. The model is wearing the hat at rather a jauntier angle than I actually had in mind. The skirt is pleated silver lame. And the dress ends in a short train to echo the coat.
The coat hat and muff are made of Hoffman cotton batik, scrunched and heavily stitched and beaded. The band of the coat and hat consists of a fringe made from several different yarns and silk ribbons constructed on a hairpin lace loom.
The coat lining is a jewelry correspond with the "diamond" theme of the show. The photographer couldn't decide if the skirt was supposed to be worn high or at the waist so they took photos of both views. Not bad but it makes the skirt a little short.

The coat has a little train in back. I was aiming at a very 30's look. The shoulder has another smaller beaded diamond with jeweled ribbons and diamonds at the end constructed from silver mylar.

Fabric closeup. You can see the stitching and cording, crystals and a row of beads toward the right.

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The Trip to Washington and Virginia

Last week I went to Washington to visit my sister before heading for Virginia where I was teaching a jacket class for a local weaving group. Our first stop on our sightseeing day was the East Wing of the National Art Gallery. A striking collage in the hallway.

We visited this particular museum to see the Edward Hooper exhibit. It is apparently quite popular as it was very crowded that day. I am fascinated by his use of lights and darks. This piece is called Nighthawks.
Chop Suey New York Movie. Almost no one in his paintings seemed to be enjoying themselves.

A beautiful piece I had never noticed before outside one of the Courts. We went to the Dupont Circle area looking for a gallery which was showing some Vietnamese Paintings. Beautiful architecture in this area.

Obviously built in the late 20's or early 30's. We arrived at the Gallery and found they had sold almost all the paintings. There were just three left.

A mural in a local school yard.