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Friday, September 30, 2011

Marcia Derse Studio Tour- Oh Baby Baby

*Edited 10/3/11 to include the name of Carolyn Griffin's pattern, Crossroads...see below.

I'm so backed up in my blogging I'm embarrassed...but what can a girl do?  I'm working toward more balance in my life and that may mean delays...guess it is time I accept I'm not super human!!

Back on Sept. 15th I had the privilege of going to Marsha Derse's studio and her home.  Marcia is a  fascinating person.  Her "artistic" process seems to mirror her creativity and willingness to play and stay open to that creative process.    
 Here Marcia is in her studio giving us a demonstration of how she creates/plays with paints and inks.
(the faces are blocked because I didn't get  permission to photograph them and I don't have time to call everyone today :)
 These are some of her toys that she plays with....yes that is bubble wrap over a piece of wood.
Marcia took some "ready to dye fabric" and used a paint brush to cover the fabric with paint.  She then  put her finger through the paint to create the grid...then wiped off the excess with a paper towel.
Next she used a plastic spoon to spread the second coat of paint.
The first layer shows under the second....very cool ay?  There are many more steps of course, I just wanted to show you the basic process so you could see how she creates such beautiful fabrics. 

Marcia is a re-purposer....a green gal....a bargain hunter....and a garage/estate sale enthusiast.  Many of her tools and fun things in her home and studio come from her "green-ness"...for lack of a better word...LOL.
This is Marcia's studio inside her home.  Check out the wall between two side windows...those are fabrics she has made.   I think every one's eyes were glued to the wall when they entered. 

 Marcia is holding up a photo-shopped picture of her mother Gerta.  All of her lines of fabric are dedicated to her mother and they have a tag that includes a photo of Gerta and Marcia's fabrics.  Absolutely wonderful and so creative.  The clothes on the line are Marcia's fabrics.
Ok, this cabinet is to dye for....I'm telling you my mouth waters when I see those fabrics stacked so beautifully in that lovely cabinet.  Each fabric is a sample of  Marcia's dyed fabrics.  Marcia said at one time she used to catalogue the fabrics and dying process.  Now she isn't into the science of it....and she just gives herself freedom to play.  Don't you just love that?
This just so happens to be one of * Carolyn Griffin's quilt patterns,  Crossroads.   (make sure to check back...Carolyn is a great model in an upcoming blog post :)

This next quilt looks like a doozy to piece doesn't it?  Guess what?  It's not pieced!  It is two panels put together with sashing and a border.  Now that's what I call a "quilt in a day"!!!  Yes, I did buy them...and lots of other fabrics...I couldn't help myself.  You'd think I would have some restraint because she only lives about 20 minutes from me....but nooooooo.....guess I some issues (join the club right?).
Two long tables fill the center of Marcia's studio loaded with pre-cuts....and I think I touched every single kidding :)
On one of her walls, she has bolts of her fabrics.  Wonder if she locks her doors?  Do ya think I should sneak back over and hide in the bushes?  Geez....I would.... but I'm not really into prison food :)

While walking through Marcia's home, I filled my heart with lots of beauty and playfulness that I see as Marcia's style.  To respect Marcia's privacy, I'm only going to show you some of the things I saw.
 I just love this the caption below the photo ...well....below!

 More of Marcia's work displayed in her house.  Don't you just love the color and designs?  I know I do.
 These are pieces that are on a's like being in a very hip museum.

I received so many gifts that day.  Not only was I invited to this wonderful tour but I was able to spend time with several wonderful women and Taylor and Lola got to join us (my sister and niece).  I felt delight in my stomach because Marcia's process is so open and free....she seems to give herself permission to play and see what happens.  What an enormous gift for me....I typically don't allow myself those freedoms and I am always saying "I'm not an artist."  After reflecting later in the week I can see my talents differently.  I am a very creative person and I love to be playful....and I've not given myself permission to enjoy my gifts because I was hung up on the word "artist."  Permission to play and see what amazing gift...Thank you Marcia!   (check out Jean's 3-part blog post on Marcia studio tour....we were both is an excellent read)

 While in PA "fishing" I made what Jean calls a "Derse Purse" (pattern is actually called Carmel)  MJ set me up well with her Bernina about sewing in high style....I felt like a gal about town!
I marked a basket weave design on the front and back ...I used the Sewline Air Erasable Roller Ball Fabric Pen....a funny story about that at the end.

And here is my "Derse Purse"....I'm in love with it.  I even walk more proud when I'm carrying it.  I learned so many things while making this purse.  MJ and I thought the pockets were flat on the inside and would not be open enough to hold the things I carry and remove them easily.  So I made the pockets on the other inner panel extra long and sewed puckers into the bottom so the pockets would provide more room.
See how the back is flat and the side facing you is more open?  That's so I can put my camera in one side and my lipstick bag in another and my glasses...a pen...etc.  Then I added the little loop (lower right corner) and my cell phone clips into my more searching through the bottom of my purse.

Now the funny story about the Sewline Fabric Pen:

I used some long white paper to draw out my pocket design.  I laid all the things that I wanted pockets for on the paper and drew around them.  Smart ay?  LOL  Since I had used the Sewline Fabric Pen to mark the basket weave design on the outside of the bag it was laying right there on the table.  I used that pen to draw out my design.  The next morning I looked everywhere for the pattern I had drawn.  I could not find it anywhere.  I picked up the long white papers I had laid on the chair and no design.  Well I was so tired of looking and I was complaining to MJ about being absent minded when it dawned on me.....the ink disappeared....just like it is supposed to.  I laughed my butt off.    I know I've blogged about how much I like the Sewline Fabric won't believe it unless you use is really all that and three bags of Frito's!



  1. Too funny Kelly......I have one pen that disappears way to fast that I don't like to use it.

    Enjoyed your post and all of the dyed fabrics....looks like you had alot of fun

  2. How wonderful that must have been!! I love her fabrics and had to have them in my shop...Just love the colors so much!!

  3. How great that you got to see her wonderful studio! Your purse looks beautiful and I keep wanting to make something more modern and abstract. Too cute about writing with the Sewline Fabric Pen!
    Quilting by the River

  4. lucky you...I love Marcia Derse's fabric. I only discovered it last year. I eagerly read this post as wanted to know more about her. Did her mother also design fabric?

  5. Oh! Fun tour, fun fabrics, fun purse, funny story!
    Thanks for sharing it all with us.

  6. Gosh Kelly I thought I was the only one who did things like that (story about pen). Love the purse. Sandra

  7. Awesome post, Kelly! I had the pleasure of meeting Marcia and her DH (and he is REALLY a DDDDDH in the way he speaks of Marica & supports her creativity!) in Madison last month. She's just so down-to-earth fabulous! I love her fabrics but so far I haven't been able to cut into them other than to give to a friend. OH, one of these days I'll find the courage!

  8. Fantastic post, Kelly! I just love Marcia and her fabrics and feel privileged to have been there with you! I rec'd so much inspiration that day! I came home and sewed up a storm. I can't wait for her holiday show! Love your Derse purse! Glad you are back from fishing! LOL

  9. LOVE the Derse Purse!!!!! You rocked it! Thanks for letting me tag along to visit my favorite artist.

  10. Oh, how wonderful the fabrics are. I just couldn't look. Like you, I would want to wait in the bushes. Prison food might not be so bad.

  11. It sounds like you really enjoyed seeing her in action. I am all about patterns right now. Hopefully one day I can be more creative.

  12. What a wonderful post, Kelly! Sounds like a wonderful studio tour and I love your bag!


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More Later-Beth


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