Monday, July 24, 2017


New artists to Woolworth Walk in downtown Asheville, NC are assigned space in the lower level.  Often customers find so much to look at upstairs that they miss visiting half of the store!
 We all know fiber lovers will go out of their way to get their 'fix' of textile the work of Judy Simmons (left) - Mary Stori (center) -  Kate Weston (right) have the opportunity to greet customers as they enter the gallery space.
Judy works in a smaller format and her diversity is visible here with two of her wall quilts.
JAPANESE INFLUENCES #3 - 49" x 58.5" - by Mary Stori
Cotton fabrics, machine quilted

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Many thanks to my pal Lynn for alerting me to this awesome reminder....
Let me be the first to say this season.....GO PACK GO!!

Friday, July 21, 2017


This meeting was like having an 'independent study' day....with encouraging classmates ready to advise and assist.  Everyone brings supplies and it's all readily shared.....cooperation is one of the many keys for the success of this group.
Val worked on painting fabric.
Her keen eye for color is the envy of all of us.  We know this is just the beginning of another wonderful project.  I expect she'll be screen printing over the paint soon.
 By no means is this group competitive.....cheer leading for each other is common.....and Gen is doing just that!
Kate spent most of her time painting with dyes and eco-printing. She's scribbling with a dye filled syringe on white cotton.
Next she began adding paint with a brush. Denny's influence of layering designs has now been ingrained with all of us.  You can be sure this is just Kate's first layer.
Judy also eco-printed and did some deconstructed screen printing.  I LOVED this piece......the design comes from a place mat.
 My last post showed a table of supplies for eco-printing......Val also took the trouble of having fresh eucalyptus on hand....which prints beautifully.
 The photo is poor but squint and you can make out 4 bundles right out of the vinegar/water bath.  Both paper and fabric have been layered with leaves and other flat objects, secured with thin cedar shingles and binder clips.

 Honestly, you can not imagine the squealing that went on when we opened them.  Here's one of my pieces of felted wool that was a left-over from making baskets.  Interestingly, this same fabric was far less successfully printed when the metal disc wasn't seemed to provide enough of a chemical reaction to the vinegar to generate wonderful color.
Dress weight wool.....not felted....that had been previously over-dyed a yucky pale pink....but now....hey, I like it.
More small paper pieces drying....

NOW....a question for the readers in the hopes that someone might guide me.  Some of the paper prints have a strongish vinegar odor. Obviously, that can't be washed away......will time dissipate it?

Thursday, July 20, 2017


......Fiber Junkies July meeting continued....
It was another free for all gathering, yet not as uncontrolled as one might expect with 6 very excited attendees!  Val hosts our group in her outdoor studio from spring to fall.  Honestly, there are no words to say how generous she and husband Skip are. Here's a view of the supplies needed for eco printing....all gathered and organized for us to jump in and get started!
Kate is carefully pulling out our wood encased bundles after an hour in a vinegar/water bath.  Obviously it's hot so we let them cool before unbundling.
I very quickly made up two bundles for the eco-print pot (results in next post) and then turned my attention to the indigo pot Val had ready for us.  Did I say how very, very, very generous and thoughtful she is?!?
Indigo is a favorite color of mine and since my stash was nearly depleted of dyed fabric from previous sessions, I knew I wanted to concentrate on this activity for most of the day.  I'd came prepared with dowels, rubber bands, string and fabrics that I wanted to over-dye. 

This is my first piece which had been a light tan small checkered print.  I'm starting small just to test out the strength of the vat dye.  
As you may know, the fabric turns greenish when it's dipped in the vat.....when removed and hits turns blue.  This view is right after unfolding the fabric.
Here it is again on the left....drying in the sun on some bushes.  I think I'm in love!
Our son and DIL are so very thoughtful....they've picked up fabrics for me during their world wide travels.  If I hadn't been in such a frenzy to get started I'd have taken a photo of the selvage to document where it came from.  Large scale prints are difficult for me to use, as is this color scheme, so I over-dyed it.
Again, I was met with success and am over-joyed!
Here's a look at most of my indigo pieces drying in the sun along Val's driveway.
I'm not the only one who used the indigo vat pot.....Val did some clever folding with these great results.

Part 3 is next....check back in won't you?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


We begin our monthly meetings with coffee/snacks (hey we are treats are just part of any gathering) is Show and Tell. Inspiration abounds and I'm only sharing a glimpse of this month's eye candy!
Val has an enormous collection of her own silk screen designs...this fern is's printed over a deconstructed print fabric.  The color she chose is unexpected yet perfect!
Here's another piece Val screen printed.....I folded a section of the back over on the right side of this photo so you can see just how effective her screen printed design is. (Kinda a before and after look.)
Val's - layer #1 paint on cotton, layer #2 silk screen mesh design, layer #3, silk screen motif....again using robin's egg blue color.
Val's - painted cotton with silk screen image.
Val's - I just love the simplicity of this piece, painted with thickened MX dyes.
Kate brought this stunning large quilt.....straightforward piecing while her choice of colors and the addition of the black vertical bands makes it a real stand out.
Denny participates in several online classes.....and of course I can't recall the name of the one she's currently enjoying.  A bonus for the group recently was a pattern for this tote bag featuring houses that are also incorporated into the class quilt.

She loves the size as it fits this clever Lap App. It's a padded device that sits on ones' lap to create a comfortable height for hand sewing or reading.
When not in use, it collapses and fits nicely in her tote bag!

Here's another piece Denny made....she's the queen of layering......
Gen continues to play with alcohol inks.....doing a bit of 'tangle drawing'...these are awesome!

Visit again when my next post unveils this month's successful activity.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


After taking about 100 photos....this is the best view I could's puzzling why documenting the color of this piece was so difficult.....but alas it was.....

However, it's finished and I'm pleased with the new life this little hankie now has!  I hope you've enjoyed following its transformation. 

 RED BERRIES  15" x 18.5" MARY STORI © 2017
Vintage hankie, eco-dyed, hand embroidered, mounted on linen.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


......The embroidery work is now complete. 
 Red berry motifs are being auditioned.
 Fortunately, my stash includes two bins of ultra-suede scraps which translate well for small motifs where texture is beneficial. I like to trace the design onto  freezer paper, press it to ultra-suede and cut out using a very sharp small scissors. If necessary, a dab of glue can be used to hold the item in place as it's hand appliquéd in position.  
Once the accent motifs were in place, as much of the stabilizer as possible was trimmed away.  Next, as you can see by the needle and thread, I began the tedious task of carefully stitching the edges of the hankie to its background.

Stay tuned......

Friday, July 14, 2017


Back in 2015, two pals and I tried our hands at eco printing.
After mostly disappointing results, I decided to abandon the idea of printing with leaves and instead to process some vintage textiles that I'd brought along in an iron water bath.  They were squeezed into fabric balls, contained with string and simmered for about an hour.
 I can't tell you how many times I've pulled them from my stash, only to put them back after being unable to move forward with a workable design on their small size, about 9" x 10".  Finally it came to me.....perhaps they could be transformed and then mounted on pieces of dyed silk noil or ????  Why did they have to be stand alone....which was my original thought?!?
Of course every bin and stack of fabric I own was gone through before finally settling on an approach.  This piece is still in the it will be interesting to see what the final decision turns out to be.
 A lot of thought went into how to stablize the embroidered/lacey textile and yet retain the details.  Pellon non-fusible light-weight stabilizer, as is often my choice, was placed on the wrong side of the piece.  I plan to cut away all exposed sections beyond the center section where the motifs will be placed. 
 The biggest hurtle was developing a way to transfer the design lines to the fabric!  The use of pencil or other such tracing material was out......too risky in case I changed my mind about location etc.  Removing those marks may prove to be impossible.  

Here's what I came up with.....borrowing a transfer method I often employ when beading.  With tracing paper over the hankie, the outline of the center section was recorded.  Next, I spent a good amount of time auditioning small scale foliage designs within the marked boundaries using pencil and eraser. 

To transfer the final design to the hankie, the paper pattern was positioned on the right side of the fabric and secured with small silk pins.  With thread to match, I machine stitched a line down the center of each branch.  Carefully the paper was torn away, revealing a guide for the hand embroidery. 
As the first line of embroidery was added for every branch, the guideline was removed.  This approach eliminated all possibilities of having offending marks  on the work.  Stay tuned....I'm gearing up to add the remaining designs....

Check out these links to explore what other artists have been working on this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, July 10, 2017

THE MARSH - new work

After spending more time than I wish to admit trying various embellishment details to complete this wall finally became obvious that it was already finished. Sometimes, less is more.....

THE MARSH - 24" X 23" © 2017 
Shibori hand-dyed silk noil, machine appliquéd batik motifs, machine quilted.

Friday, July 7, 2017


A new week and the beginning of another new project.  I don't keep track of the time spent on each takes whatever the design/construction requires.  Period!  I can say however that a good 6-8 hours each day is average....till it's finished.
Much of my work incorporates my hand-dyed fabrics.  Time spent dyeing would be impossible to factor for each individual piece, nor honestly do I want to know!  For instance, this piece began life as a piece of white silk noil.  It was accordion pleated, secured with clips, dyed and then over-dyed in acid dye baths.  
The dyed fabric reminded me of a murky marsh, so my thoughts were directed toward marsh plant materials. Naturally, out came piles of green fabrics.

The design is being born. A number of years ago, I designed a line of trapunto stencils for Quilting Creations which I revisited for these cattail motifs.  I'm simply playing with cut fabric on my design wall......lots of adding and subtracting, a normal process for me.
The fused appliqué motifs will be finished with machine stitching.  I'm very picky  in regard to construction and had always preferred hand appliqué since it was tidier. My pal Linda Cantrell, known for her fabulous hand appliqué has now turned to fusing due to hand pain.  She introduced me on to 'Fray Block' to tame those cut fabric edges. It can almost totally eliminate those unsightly threads that poke out after machine stitching.  It doesn't stain the fabric as long as one follows the manufacturer's directions.....basically the tube is warmed in hot water for 10 mins.  I like to apply it using a very thin paint brush. 
Because of all the layering of the grasses, the machine stitching was done in's a look after all the motifs have been secured. More soon when the piece is complete.

Let's see what other artists have been working on this week, visit:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Sews.