Thursday, April 24, 2014


Besides embellishing rocks (which you've seen me do) I can't think of anything sillier to spend time on than making zipper flowers!  Yet, they are fun and challenging....
 Perhaps the challenge comes from not have the proper zippers....again instead of using one with large metal teeth, all I have is a narrow plastic one...but the color is right!

This time after taking it apart, I trimmed about 75% of the zipper's tape away....running a flame along the cut edge to seal it.  (It's poly so it melts). 
Next, the zipper was cut into 4 sections...sealing those ends with a flame as well.  Matching the color, it was paired with a piece of felted wool and hand stitched in place.
 The excess wool was trimmed away and each petal was auditioned for placement on my project.
Here's the completed flower.....

I'll be away with some fiber friends for a couple of days...doing what we do....playing with fabric/dye/eating/ general...having a big ole' time.  Expect a report in a few days....or sooner if I can figure out how to blog from my iphone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Occasionally, the Fiber Junkies take a trek to the South Carolina border off I26 to visit a fabric warehouse, which I've blogged about several times. We call it dumpster it is in a dark, messy warehouse, filled with bins and boxes full of fabric.  
 We will be going again at the end of the month....and that reminded me about a bunch of zippers I purchased on our last visit.  There was no plan for their use when they jumped in my basket.....but now I have one.
Zipper flowers.....I've seen some really interesting examples online...most made with metal teeth zippers.  However, I only have plastic so let's see how they will work.
Step one.....take it apart....and run some basting stitching along the edge.

 Gather the zipper tape and form into a flower.......
.....Tack in place and add some beads, leaves, and hand!!!  Perhaps I'll make more......

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


 It's been well over a week since my quest for a new floor lamp that can provide enough light and reach over the back of our pillow filled couch where I stitch at night.
Geneen suggested trying a 'head light'......which actually isn't strange because at that point I had already pulled out one from 'the husband's' workshop.  I was desperate.  But, it was impossible to direct the light to my work when I lowered my head to stitch.  

 In the end I ordered the monster light I showed here....but when I found out it couldn't be shipped until April 28 AND had to come by an over the road trucker....I suspected this lamp was really huge.
I cancelled the order and made a trek to Pottery Barn in Greenville, SC.  (I hadn't realized there was a store there or I'd have started with them in the first place!)  Instead, I purchased this lamp...which I LOVE.  I have to say Pottery Barn could do better with their online descriptions......this worked but reading the info you'd never know it could be adjusted to accommodate the needs I have.

Can you tell I really like it?  Here's three photos showing it off.......

Monday, April 21, 2014


A new floor lamp (for evening hand stitching) has not materialized yet, so I bit the bullet and spent time in the studio hand stitching during the day.  You'd have thought the world was coming to an end by the break in my usual daily pattern! Isn't it amazing how stuck we can get into our routines? 

Though I've previously posted some process photos of this piece, here's an overview since it's now complete.
 A gifted cabochon was the inspiration.  I REALLY wanted to use this piece of ice-dyed cotton, but in the end decided it was simply too busy to allow this beautiful stone to be the star of the show!
 Instead, out came some wool felt and an inkling of a design idea.
 Next the cab was beaded in position.  FYI - I place a dab of Beacon's Tacky Glue on the wrong side of the stone to hold it in place as I begin stitching the beaded cage that surrounds and ultimately holds it to the fabric.
 Then came some hand embroidery.
 And more pondering about the final design.
 Even though I really did know what I should took me awhile to make that final decision.  I cut about 7" off the right side to obtain a narrow piece, rather than almost square.
A few circles were stitched onto the background and a narrow edging was added which was further embellished by hand embroidery and beads.
AERIAL DANCE  7.5" X 11"
(Already spoken for)

Reminder....all photos can be enlarged by clicking on the image.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


This will mean positively nothing to 99.8% of you.......but if you are a long time follower of my blog, you know I'm over the moon about this.  Culver's,our favorite Wisconsin source of ice cream....which in this case is actually custard, is coming to Asheville on Airport Road.  I don't know the opening date but you can bet I'll be there.

Chocolate Concrete Malt (Chocolate flavored, malted milk, vanilla custard)tall(19.8 oz)231776032.51,354

This Wisconsin based fast food chain is also known for their 'butter burgers'....I can't comment because I go strictly for the Chocolate Concrete Malt......and either have to walk twice that day or skip a meal as half my total daily calories are used up in one delicious sitting.

Friday, April 18, 2014


This project was blogged about in March, so instead of providing all those links....I'll cover the highlights again.

I've completed another nature theme wall quilt.....a subject I've been concentrating on of late.
 I ice-dyed the background cotton fabric and love the results....however I was a bit concerned about the high energy level it presented.
 Adding red trees with similar shapes seemed to help settle it down. That fabric was cut from a piece of my deconstructed screen printed cotton fabric.  I don't do a lot of fusing in my work as I truly do prefer the look of hand work, but in this case I fused.  Machine stitching details were added to help anchor the motifs and to provide interest and texture.

Then for me, the fun part came next......many, many long evenings of hand embroidery!   

 I hadn't planned quite so much hand embroidery, however once I became clear that the piece would benefit from more and more.

 RED TREES 17.5" X 14"
Artist hand ice-dyed cotton, deconstructed screen printed cotton, machine stitching, hand embroidered.  Edges clean finished with a facing.

To see what other quilters have been up to this week.....I'm linking to the following blogs....hop over for a visit.  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday, and Sara's Whoop, Whoop Friday

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I don't have a whole lot to share with you today.....except these signs of spring finally coming to the mountains......a welcome sight!

A new floor lamp is on the way....though I'm worried about the size which I fear is too big.....but my choices were this one or none.  I'll let you know how things work out.

In the meantime......those bindings that need hand sewing will be completed in my studio during the day....after all I need something to keep your attention!!

Monday, April 14, 2014


After my happy dance, finding the solution to my poor lighting problem while stitching on my machine......the very next day my floor lamp in our great room literally fell apart.  

I've been spending hours and hours and hours online trying to find a replacement. Really, I've done very little for the last couple days after embarking on this mission!

Our open great room (with a high beamed ceiling) allows for only one placement of our furniture. I hand stitch sitting on our denim couch, with a floor lamp centered behind the sofa, over my left shoulder.  The problem is that our couch is very deep....meaning the lamp needs to have a very long arm (no less than 22") ...with a min. of a 100 watt bulb.  

 98% of the lamps look like this....short reach and a 60 watt bulb!
OR GIANT super expensive ones like this......
All my hand stitching is done at night......projects are piling up....cause I can't see and yes, I'm getting grumpy.  I'm sure the issue will be solved....just not fast enough for me.  

Have you faced similar problems?  How have you solved it?

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Each year, from April through October, our small Professional Textile Artists Fiber Group is fortunate to be able to display quilts for sale at the Pisgah Inn Restaurant.  It's located at the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, NC. 

 At 5,000 feet elevation, the vistas are breathtaking.
 We were able to access the facility before it opened for lunch.....marveling at each others pieces and how well they were displayed.  Below you'll find some closers views.

 You can see why visitors love this restaurant.....again, the views are amazing.
Though it was a bit chilly, we decided not to disrupt all the diners with our show and tell, so we moved outdoors. was colder than we Judy is shivering as she shows her finished quilt retreat top.  I gave up taking photos after that as it was windy and quite bright...and of course I wanted my hands in my pockets!

If you are in the area.....consider putting a visit to the Pisgah Inn and the Blue Ridge Parkway on your list of'll be glad you did.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I'm constantly fussing about the lack of adequate lighting in my studio.  Though there's a lot of space, it's located in a loft area with a vaulted tongue/grove ceiling (no reflective quality there!) and not very many windows.  

After much research the only lighting system we could find was a hanging track system. I have light....BUT....I also have a lot of shadows, no matter how I position the individual fixtures!  I have 13 lamps...the photo shows a portion of the track.  I think if I added more, I'd burn the house down!

 Recently I read about this LED light for sewing's a plastic ribbon,(with adhesive backing) fitted with lights.  
 Installation was easy.....the machine was turned over onto a towel.
After cleaning the surface, and following the manufacturer's instructions, the ribbon was pressed in place.....along with a on/off switch which was adhered to the back of the machine.....
And in less than 5 minutes....I had light. This new light source will be so helpful.  The cost with shipping ran just under $25.00.....a real bargain!

"The husband' found it on  Its maker has his own cottage industry, (Summer House Products).  It was developed in response to a request from his quilter wife who was also in need of more light when sewing at her machine. Click here for the Amazon link.

I'm linking with Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday......head over to see what the talented folks there are up to this week.