A Cummerbund Art Experiment Finds a Good Home in Australia!

A Cummerbund Art Experiment Finds a Good Home in Australia!

Back in the early 90s, I took a class with quilt artist Susan Carlson at Portsmouth Fabric Company in New Hampshire. Portsmouth Fabric is one of the few remaining independent fabric stores. Their fabric selection is luscious and I want to snuggle with almost every single bolt. Susan's artwork is spectacular, and her teaching style is so calming and soothing. Every student leaves her class feeling like a true artist.

Susan has written two books, Freestyle Quilts and Serendipity Quilts. I'm tickled that she included two of my pieces in the student showcase section of her Freestyle Quilts book. Susan now travels the world teaching her unique approach to making art quilts. If she is coming to teach a class anywhere near you, I highly recommend that you sign up for it. Taking Susan's class changed my life and how I think about myself as an artist.

The first art quilt I made was during that first class I took with Susan and I titled it Snow Day. At the time I made the quilt, both my husband and I taught in the same school district,  MSAD #60. The clock at the head of the bed shows the time as 5:45, and the local weather man, Paul Cousins, is the face on the tv. Underneath his face the screen reads, "SCHOOL CLOSED MSAD #60." I still love snow days, and this quilt still hangs in our bedroom even though neither my husband nor I have taught for years.

My first art quilt

I have made numerous art quilts since that first class in the 90s. I've also experimented with making clothing from or embellished with Susan's technique of art quilts. Here is a cummerbund that I made which, as of last week, now lives with its new owner, Marcus, in Australia.

Cummerbund worn by
my mannequin
and headless studio
companion, Chuck

Zoom of the face of the
cummerbund.Around each piece of
fabric in the collage I
stitched very close to the edge.

Detail of the face of
the cummerbund.
I was inspired by the hand
dyed fabrics that I used
for the petals of the two pink
and one yellow featured flowers.

This is what the back of the
cummerbund looks like.
I think it's as cool as the front!

Inspired by some hand dyed fabric, I made this fabric collage cummerbund as a kind of an art experiment. It recently sold to a gentleman from Australia. When he received it last week, he sent me this picture and note:

Dear Lisa,
Your beautiful cummerbund has just arrived in tropical North Australia today and is much appreciated. Your talent is significant and I will wear it with pleasure when I am at an event or ball. My wife and I really feel it will be a unique accessory to spruce up my look and that it is artistic not gaudy and exquisite in its making. I wish you well and will look to order of you again as well as we circulate your good name.

Warmest regards,
Marcus from Darwin Northern Territory

When I asked Marcus if I could share his words on Facebook and/or in my blog, he sent me this response:

Hi Lisa,
You are welcome to use my name and I will value your beautiful cummerbund and think kindly of you each time I wear it.
Warmest regards,

This is PRECISELY the feeling that I want my customers to have about my work: they are happy with the quality, derive pleasure from wearing it, and have a positive feeling about the entire purchase experience. Thank you, Marcus for your kind words and your appreciation of my work!

For more than 25 years Lisa Eaton has been designing and making men's bow ties, suspenders and neckties from silk and cotton. She is the owner of the Maine based company Bowtie.com.