Thursday, February 14, 2019


Our Fiber Junkies gathering this month was held at Gen's house. We all have different styles and preferred interests, inspiring each other to grow artistically.
 Denny (left) and Kate (right) have been making Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts.  We all know that if 10 quilters made the same pattern, they'd all look different....this sure is a good example.  Same exact pattern, different fabric/color choices! 
 Kate has been digging into her impressively large stash and has made another striking donation quilt.  She loves to piece and is not only fast at that task...she's very nice she shares her talent with those in need. 
 Susan has been on a roll working on table runners.  She has a knack for working with unusual color and pattern combinations.  It's impressive to see what she can do working on this small scale. 

 Most of the group worked with gel plate printing designs.  Here's one Susan made.
 Denny did some overlay printing on previously altered fabric. She took this design from an old photo that had meaning to her, transferred it to a silk screen, and printed full and smaller sections of the motif using various colors of fabric paint.
 Here's a shot of Susan's gel plate....just simple washers and string provided great designs.  
 Judy used a brick stencil to over-print a previously altered piece of cloth.
Another gel plate that featured a great design prior to printing.
I spent much of my time working with iron-on clear vinyl to make some temporary silk screens.
Gen....smiling as always....had a novel project.  She got out her very large machine quilted sample book and in honor of upcoming Valentine's Day...she painted the hearts.
What a clever way to repurpose samples.....

Fiber Junkies meeting day is always one each of us look forward to every month....come back and see what we tackle in March.  Or click 'follow' to have posts delivered to you!

Linking to:  Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Torrential rains are keeping me indoors....a great opportunity to add to my inventory of wet felted votive candle holders.

Sometimes it takes making a few to get back in the rhythm....two finished and fitted with yogurt cups to help them keep their shape while drying.

Monday, February 11, 2019


Spring hasn't quite arrived yet, but our warmish weather has folks out and about in downtown Asheville, visiting galleries and shops.  Judy Simmons, my booth mate and I, gave our space a fresh face.
 We are so pleased to have some of our bigger pieces greet shoppers at Woolworth Walk Gallery.  They are displayed on railings original to the historic F. W. Woolworth building and help to welcome folks to stroll down to the lower level where our booth (#235) is located.

 Judy now has her hand-dyed scarves more conveniently displayed on a large circular rack located to the left side of the large back wall.  We are splitting that space. My side displays quilts - 2 large and 2 small, while Judy's green/blue/back/white piece is her main focal piece.
 A view of a portion of the back wall and all the rest of my work on the far right side.
Judy utilizes the left side for smaller wall art and a card rack of her lovely eco-printed greeting cards. 

Winter is always a slow sales time so we are encouraged that the mild weather may bring visitors here soon.  Of course if you see anything that strikes your eye....holler we can arrange a sale by mail order

Friday, February 8, 2019


Now back at home with all my fabrics washed, pressed, and ready to fondle.
 Interestingly, I ice-dyed some Liberty of London solid light pink fabric that I wasn't planning on using for anything else.  The three pieces on the right are the results.....amazing how well that fabric took the dye!
 Here's some unsuccessful is the 'right' side of an older tan print...I often over-dye these dated fabrics with mixed results.....the 'back' side of the fabric is where the best designs are created. But even these two bottom pieces are pretty boring. 
 Here's an ice-dyed piece of 100% wool......I sure wish the appx. 15" x 15" piece would have been bigger!
Good results on this second batch of eco-printed wool felt.  The vinegar water had now had time to develop a rust tone after we threw in a bunch of rusted items.
You can see where this same fabric in the first batch has less brown/rust tones....both are pleasing to me.

I can hardly wait till next year....hoping I continue to be invited!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Ice-dyeing is normally best done on warm sunny was so cold and rainy here west of Phoenix that none of the golfer were even out slamming the ball around!  We wee worried about our results.

But of course that didn't stop us.  Out come the plastic trays, wire racks, soda ash soaked fabrics, ice cubes, and MX dyes......
Once all the 'ingredients' were layered.....the tray was covered with plastic, secured with clips and left for 24 hrs.
Then the fun begins....the melted dye-water is discarded, the fabrics are rinsed, and rinsed and rinsed.  When the water runs clear they are washed, damp dried, and pressed.  We got awesome results...maybe the cold weather requiring a long and slow melt is better?!?    

That's the end of my report......Now I'm headed back to the chatter, calorie filled snacks, fabric frolic, laughter, and of course bubbly.  Sound like fun?  Grab a buddy or two and plan your own girlfriend art camp!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


The cold and rain clouds that hung over me at Daytona Beach have followed me to Arizona!  However, that didn't deter us from enjoying our 8th annual Girlfriend Art Camp at a friend's home.  She's a snow bird, her husband is back home in MN working, so it was just us gals. 
 We started with a bit of eco-printing....using several varieties of eucalyptus
and geraniums.
 We brewed up some iron water using these rusty items to add color to our water/vinegar steam bath done in a turkey roaster.
 Various sides of dowels were used to roll our foliage laden fabrics before processing them for about 2 hours.
We use shrink wrap over the fabric which tightens as it heats, helping to keep the foliage in good contact with he fabric.
 As usual, I often work with wool, here's one of my better prints.....before the rust developed too deeply.
And a few more....
 And a view of more pieces that thrilled us.

This one wasn't wrapped tight enough, but I personally love the mysterious design.

Come back tomorrow.....we have more to show.....

Saturday, February 2, 2019


Fiber Junkies Founding member, Valerie McGaughey has gone on to set up a new FJ chapter in heaven.  We know she'll be keeping an eye on us and we'll be sending her good vibes as she continues to inspire new artists.

She was one of the first artists I met when I moved to Asheville.  Her friendship, generosity, talent, kindess, and unwavering spirit of life enriched my world beyond words.
 The FJ's only celebrate big birthdays...those that end in 0.  Val's was the beginning of our tradition of providing the birthday girl with a personalized crown and scepter to wear for the day.  

Val's artistic talent had us all in awe....ALL the time.  If we said it once, we said it a thousand time......we all wanted to share a table with Val.....hoping her talent would rub off.
Gen made all of us knitted hats for Christmas one year.....Val's joy in every single thing is evident.
As Val's health began to fail, she and her husband got a darling support dog for her.....both Skip (Mr. Val) and Halley became honorary Fiber Junkies.

Today there is a hole in my heart.....but I know it will fill with wonderful memories of Val and her kind, happy and humble spirit.

Friday, February 1, 2019


Quite some time ago my SIL shared a photo she took of her family strolling Sea Side Beach, Oregon.
 It's been in the back of my mind for a long time.....pondering about using some 'artistic license' to create a similar scene.
 As all of you quilters can take a surprising amount of time to find the right fabrics as one digs through their stash.
 And...just when you think you change your mind.
 Adding details/motifs can further alter your decision process.
But one keeps plugging away, adding - subtracting till the quilt gives the okay.  I'm NOT there yet (or should I say, my wall quilt hasn't given the okay). Do come back and see where this goes.

Linked to:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


It's been a busy time lately, thus the blog has been neglected.  We just got back from our annual trek to Daytona Beach, FL where we attend the Rolex 24 Hour Race.
 I normally spend more time reading my Kindle than watching the race....seriously these cars go so fast that when viewed from our normal spot right up against the fence in the Porsche actually can make a gal dizzy. It was so cold that even with 4 layers, hat and gloves I was miserable. I learned that the pages won't turn on a Kindle when wearing gloves! 

BUT...look....there are other things to amuse me.  A quilter will always recognize this name....however, it's not related to Pfaff sewing machine.  This is a Porsche  racing team from Canada.
 We've seen this event grow and grow over the years.  In my view, it's now like a trade show that happens to have cars racing too.  And what did I spot??  A screen printing set up that made me green with envy.  Four screens were placed around a central pole....almost like an upside down umbrella.  The operator would twirl and lower the one he wants onto his printing surface that is fitted with a t-shirt. He'd give a squirt of the colored plastic liquid, & squeegee it through the screen.  Lightening fast he'd remove the printed shirt and fold it with the design on top, then place it on a small conveyor belt to run it through a dryer!!!  
 The dude operating the silk screen magic was so fast I never did get a photo of the finished product.....but here's a shirt ready to get printed.
Printing another design....he had 4 different screens to choose from.
 When we arrived about noon on Friday there was barely space for a toothpick to fit in.  I've never seen it so crowded....this is the budget crowd, often arriving on Wed.  Many others are in major $$ motor homes.  I don't know how these tent camper's spots are selected (by them or assigned??) but these are right and I mean right next to the bathrooms.  There's no comment you can provide that wouldn't cover my thoughts about this!!
 We always get back to the track on Sat. (from our sensible hotel lodging) by 6:30 AM....very few of the garages are even open yet, for the 2:30 PM start of the race.  (Ya.....I know.....ridiculously early)  We cheer for the 911 and 912 cars.....of which the 912 came in 3rd in its class when the race was finally called, short of the 24 hours due to horrendous weather conditions.  
 By Saturday afternoon, the cold, windy weather worsened.....those clouds are just an indicator of what was to come.  
This view is daytime on Sunday.....looks like night doesn't it?  The rain was so intense the race was red flagged (stopped) twice...and run under a yellow (caution) for way too long.  Cars raced under the green (go) for less than 14 hours out of the 24 hours.  Exciting viewing for any spectators that managed to stay, but horribly dangerous for the drivers at speeds close to 200 mph without being able to see anything but water spouts and hydroplaning on the rivers that ran across the track.

Well...for us...another year in the book of attending this event.  I suggested we might have reached the end of this journey, but that wasn't well received by 'the husband'.