Sunday, May 31, 2009


The challenge quilts I shared in yesterday's post from the Shady Ladies Quilt Show were so are some of the many other quilts that we all drooled over......

BEACH BLISS by Chris Kroot  42" x 45"  
FYI - this piece is for sale @ $900.00  if anyone is interested, I'm sure I could run down a contact for her....just email me.  (It looks like my camera picked up a small reflection of a label from another quilt...which shows up at the top in this my knowledge that image wasn't on the piece.....)

This delicate machine stitching was so perfect for the quilt.

BUTTERFLY GARDEN by Gail Baker Rowe    Pattern:  Black Cat Creations
This was a very eye pleasing quilt, executed to perfection.  Interestingly, she traced the pattern pieces and then colored the motifs with crayons....outlining each with hand embroidery.

Detail - Butterfly Garden

Detail - Butterfly Garden

THE GRAND CANYON by Deborah Morgan  32" x 26"  For sale @ $125.00
Machine piece and quilted

Saturday, May 30, 2009


This weekend the annual Shady Ladies Quilt Show, held at Lake Logan Retreat Center in Canton, NC.  This small local show is top notch!  For more info click here.

At each annual show, they unveil a new group of fabulous challenge quilts.  This year the challenge was EARTH AND SKY.....the rules were simple:
*  The piece must measure 12-15 inches wide
*  It must be 36-40 inches long
*  It must contain some 'earth & sky"
*  Pieces were not to be bordered
Enjoy their creations.....

Just Passin' Thru by Terry Williams

Terry achieved great background sky texture and color by using what looked hand dyed cheesecloth, layered over some sort of background.  Brilliant idea.

Red Sky Morning by Chris Regina
The innovative background patchwork made this quilt a winner in my view.  It was inspired by a stain glass window in a Jane Sassaman workshop.

Foxglove by Michelle Blatt
Michelle comments that here in NC we see a lot more green than her sky is only a tiny section.  Inspired by her husband's garden and a Jane Sassaman workshop.

Texas Twilight by Evelyn Case
This member spends part of her year in Texas where due to flatter land, the sun drops rapidly out of sight, providing spectacular twilight or afterglow. 

More photos will be posted tomorrow.....

Friday, May 29, 2009


My friend Janice unknowingly provided me with an inspiration that I simply could not get out of my head.  Several weeks ago, she shared this true story:

She had been out shopping and just returned when her neighbor called suggesting she check on her chickens.   Apparently they had been making a lot of unusual noise.  Janice said she never gets complaints from her neighbors about her flock, so this phone call was unusual. Additionally, the call included worried comments that a red fox had been seen in the area.....

Now, also hearing the commotion, she heads out to check on them.  As she entered the chicken coop area.....she noticed something shining on the she reached to pick it up....the chickens quieted.  

To her shock, what she found was her husband's wedding ring......which had been missing for nearly 5 years.  They had suspected he lost it while feeding the chickens.  They searched and searched at the time....but never found it.  She goes on to tell a cute story about how she flaunted the ring on her own fingers for her husband to notice when he came home from work......being a typical man......she finally nearly had to poke him in the eye with the discovery before he saw it.

I was charmed by this whole - almost Twilight Zone event.....and just had to make this little quilt for her.  Here's how it progressed:

I began with a hand-dyed whole cloth piece of which I machine quilted Hobb's Thermore Batting to the wrong side.  Next I fused the legs, waddle and beak.....machine stitching them in place.

The body parts are from a pattern I created years ago and use in my workshop "Funky Rooster".  They are created by fusing two layers of fabric - right sides - together....and cutting them out following my templates.  The idea is to make sturdy fabric motifs that are then 'bead appliqued' in position.  I love this approach....I'm appliqueing and embellishing at the same time....perfect for a fun, fast project.

In this view you can see the machine stitching on the waddle & beak........and the thread basting that initially holds the body parts to the quilt top.

Like the waddle/beak.....I machine stitched the legs to the background since they were too small to bead applique.

The next step was to attach the motifs with various beading techniques.  I ALWAYS use a hand held PVC frame when I bead.  It eliminates puckering and makes it easier to keep the proper thread tension while beading.

 Made for Janice and Bill Maddox, by Mary Stori
13" X 13"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


ANNOUNCING:           Viewed With A Smile - Humorous Quilts by Mary Stori

A one-woman show at the North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC   June 24 - Aug. 3, 2009

Free admission to the Arboretum is offered on Tuesdays....but any day is a bargain because there is so much to see!

I'm honored to have the opportunity to present a solo show and hoped you might be interested in seeing the work up close when the time comes.  Until then, here's a sneak peak of some of the nearly 30 quilts that will be on display.  The following pieces seem to be my 'people' phase......though not recognizable people!

But Doctor!

Pulled From Every Direction


Technology Gone Berserk!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


We attended a Songwriters Evening at Balsam Mountain Inn last evening.  This historic inn, outside of Waynesville, NC,  has been around for over 100 years and currently has 50 rooms/suites.  They proudly advertise having NO TV's, no alarm clocks, no internet......just peace and quiet.  

The public areas are vast.....this view is one of the dining rooms, located in a charming enclosed porch.

And this view is one of the numerous sitting areas sprinkled throughout the large historic hotel.

I'm not sure what this was used for originally since it's located in a hallway that leads to the dining areas.  It caught my eye.  Beadboard paneling was everywhere.....even on the ceilings.

Apparently several times a year the hotel hosts a Songwriters Evening dinner.  The three invited for this event all reside in the Nashville area and all seem to write and pitch songs to the big stars.  It was interesting hearing about how 'this ____  star' recorded their work, or 'this ____ star' has it on hold, or 'this ___ star' "ALMOST" recorded the piece.  

I noticed a striking similarity between creating fiber art and writing a song......inspiration is inspiration, good craftsmanship is good craftsmanship and most of all determination is required for both.   Their stories were as entertaining as their music which may or may not have been recorded by Alabama, Clint Black, Winonna, Chicago, and on and on.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009


For readers who live in CO (hi Jackie & Gwen) those of you who may be traveling through that beautiful state before August 1, 2009.....consider visiting the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, CO.  

'Reflections from the Past, Glimpses to the Future', is their current's a journey exploring the progression from early quilt making to the latest techniques.  

Additionally, the Professional Art Quilter's Alliance's 'Water Challenge', a collection of 75 quilts illustrating water's unceasingly changes, shapes, which transforms itself will be another inspiring exhibit to view.

Friday, May 22, 2009


'The husband' is preparing for a motorcycle touring trip......better him than me!  He loves to ride and I won't even get on the thing.

This trip has led to reviewing the safety and comfort gear he wears when riding.  I'm relieved he researches to find the best products available, especially where his safety is concerned. 

Which is why you are seeing a photo of two pine cones!  A new fabric, or what they call "intelligent membrane" c_change has been developed by BMW Motorrad together with Swiss textile specialist Schoeller.

The pore size of this material adapts to the ambient temperature to control the breathing capability of the clothing as necessary.  The membrane is based on the bionic principle of fir cones....their scales fan out at high temperatures and close at low ones.  This means the riding suit will "breathe" in the summer and insulate on cold days.

We gasp at the prices our quilting fabrics have don't even want to know what a jacket of this material costs.  I wonder if this is just a good PR scheme or if it works? According to 'the husband' (who clearly wants one) .....there are many positive testimonials online about this product online already.....interesting.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This blog wasn't intended for comments about anything political, economic, or frankly, especially any bad news of the day......

But I can't resist commenting....if you are listening to the news may think the sky is falling......sooo not so!  

My girlfriend Cindy Fitzpatrick has embarked upon her dream......she's opening "Conversational Threads Fiber Arts Studio at 8 S. 4th St., Emmaus, PA.  Following this inspirational journey on her blog.

Congrats Cindy!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Prior to moving to the Asheville area, I hadn't belonged to a quilt guild for about 10 years....though of course as a speaker, I attended guild meetings all across the country about twice a month.

I'm now a member of the very active Asheville Quilt Guild.  Martine House was this month's guest speaker.  You MUST visit her website and check out the gallery section. She's given me permission to post some photos taken by Tim Barnwell here.

Martine grew up in France, married an American, and lucky lives in this area.  She loves to do handwork, which is executed to perfection.  Her lecture led us through her transition from a beginning quilter to a contemporary fiber artist.  No picture will prepare you for how beautiful, complex, innovative, and well designed her work if you ever get the chance to see her pieces in person...jump at it.

She's been focusing on a series titled "Offerings".  Bellicosa is one of these treasures.  Each piece is unique, with clever designs which open to a special item within.

In the base of the open can see an 'offering'.....

It's a stunning beaded necklace.....her jewelry is as well crafted and beautiful as the artwork itself.

'Materna' is another style in the  'Offerings' series.  Martine creates small complex cabinets using heavy mat boards covered with silks & velvets which are dyed, painted, heavily embroidered, embellished with beads and other objects.  One could study them for hours and not be able to take it all in.

In this open view you can see another necklace and begin to imagine how detailed these pieces are.  My appreciation for handwork has always been high.....but that has reached a new level after seeing Martine's extraordinary work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Many quilters love to knit.....and I've been toying with the idea of attempting a sweater.  I have only a vague memory of how to load a needle (oh, wait a minute.....I think that's called 'casting on'??).....but think I can recall the knit and perl (or is it pearl??)  stitch.

My friend Marilyn realized she was going to run out of the yarn she was using for a lovely knitted sweater/wrap.  This of course required a shopping event at Fiberwood Studio in Milwaukee, WI. 

I sure wish I had this shop close to me......the owner was incredibly helpful......and the store was delicious.  We were luckily enough to be visiting at the conclusion of her shop challenge.

Here you can see a photo of the different yarns each person received on pink paper flowers. Displayed next to them are the completed projects.  I was awestruck!

Perhaps I'll have to go out and get myself some knitting needles again!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I'm a big Emilie Richards fan.  Her Shenandoah Album Novels are a must read for any quilter.
Check out the quilt studio section of her website.

Sister's Choice will be released in paperback next month.  Other series releases are:  A Lie for a Lie, Feb. 2009, and Happiness Key, July 2009.  

Thanks to Emilie's blog I learned about Good Reads......a free website for book lovers.  I'm an avid reader so I'll enjoy exploring all the book reviews.  There are way too many people using our local library which makes it difficult to get all the titles I'm interested in.   I'm currently reading 'Water For Elephant's', by Sara Gruen....(waiting over 6 weeks to get it!) 

So, lately I've been considering buying a Kindle....the new model makes it even more tempting. I'd love to hear comments from anyone who owns one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


It's been great being back in Wisconsin.....though the cold weather, despite being mid May has made realize my blood has thinned.

If you know my know I have a very special fondness for's a good thing my travel home is via air.....or I'd have dropped the nearly $200 for this adorable folk art metal sculpture!

You know you are in Wisconsin when you find yourself listening to polka music at a Friday night fish fry.  We enjoyed a fest at the Bavarian Inn outside of Milwaukee.

It's totally natural for Wisconsin women of all generations to kick up their heels together.

My friend Jan nearly knocked my socks off when she revealed her tattoo...yup it's the real go girl!  I liked the iron street grate she was standing on too.

Friday, May 15, 2009


One of the biggest bonuses my mini career has provided is the friends I've met all over the world.  Two long time pals, Jan & Marilyn who live in Wisconsin, have traveled with me many, many times on my cruises and tours.

It's been ages since we had the chance to spend time together so this trip to the Milwaukee area gave us the opportunity.  Today we spent bumming around.  Marilyn took us to visit this unique home on the North side of Milwaukee, along Lake Michigan.  It's on the historic registry.....unfortunately, it's not open to the public.  I had to stick my hand through an opening in the chain link fence to get this photo.......and ya gotta ask yourself why would anyone decorate their property like this.

There was no way to get a better photo of what looked like a fence of cement was both amusing and disturbing!

Next we headed to the charming town of Cedarburg.  Our first stop was the Ye Olde Schoolhouse, one of the best quilt shops I've ever seen.  Obviously, as the name's located in an old schoolhouse.  The fabrics and style of quilts featured are what I began making when I first picked up a quilting needle and someday when I retire, these are the type of quilts I'll go back to making.

I could have wandered around for hours and still not have had time to take in all the clever ways the owner used to display their samples and products.  This shop is crammed with fantastic fabrics, samples, patterns, & notions......

Antique book cases were used to store small size bolts which were the ends of larger bolts.....what a clever idea.


Just one of the many, many tasteful and creative displays.  If you are ever in the area......don't miss this shop!