Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Please enjoy more of Nancy Bruce's fantastic 3-D wool felt art.



Tall vessel

Tall vessel


Nancy's finishing work is always detailed and done with care....look at the closure of this necklace.

Small clutch bag

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Nancy Bruce is a member of our Fiber Junkies extreme felter who over dyes her materials. She wasn't able to come to our last meeting so this month's show and tell really blew us all away.

This project began as a humble ready-made wool felt tote bag. It turned into a piece of art with Nancy's over dying and the addition of her embroidered and embellished focal center.

She also dyes all her own embroidery threads......sigh.....

The chick was made using over dyed velvet which was textured by using a smocking technique.

Nancy took a 3-D felting workshop at the John Campbell School and came home with many examples....I know she'll continue to explore these methods.....can't wait to see more.

This simple but very attractive over dyed felt cuff is hand embroidered & bead embellished. We were all fighting over this piece.

I adore boxes....and what could be better than this colorful covered felt triangular box......

We are already pestering Nancy to lead some hands on demos for our group. First we must continue our patience and wait for spring so we can work outside.......which simply is not arriving fast enough for us.

Monday, March 29, 2010


The Fiber Junkie's show and tell was awe inspiring as usual. Today I'm featuring Carol Sloan.
Be sure to check out her blog to see how she incorporates her dyed fabrics and paper into her work.

All the gals in this group, with the exception of me are so skilled at dying fabric......and they go way beyond altering 100% cotton fabrics. Here Carol has dyed some sheers and a loosely woven cheese cloth.

Detail - dyed cheese cloth

I'm going to have to start documenting the various dyes, inks, and paints that each of my creative pals use so I can do my own experimenting and get up to speed! This is one example.

Carol also dyes, stamps, and alters various styles and weights of paper as well. The top piece is an example of how she begins......with a simple color wash...followed by other colors.....

She'll then add design elements by stamping/stenciling with additional colors or removing color, using nail polish remover, within the stencil design to reveal one of the colors beneath. It was fascinating to hear about all these different techniques. the blue was removed in and around the circles, exposing the original yellow paint. What a great way to add depth and interest to a simple piece of paper.

On this piece of paper, Carol sprayed the wet paint with water which provided a pattern of both small and large splatters.

And....what is she going to do with these wonderful pages? Only Carol could think of this.....she's removed damaged inside pages of this old book found at a thrift shop and will replace them with her painted pages. It will become a journal once the pages are secured with strips on seen on the upper left in the photo above. Clever....yes????

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I've been an author with C & T Publishing since they published my book, "Beading Basics", in 2004. Six years later, I'm still delighted to be working with this forward thinking publisher of quilt related materials and where 4 of my solo publications continue to be in print.

For all you bargain hunters......go to the C & T website and check out their large selection of books on sale right now for $5.00 each......from all your favorite authors! Scroll down on the left side bar to the very bottom and click on sale/close outs.

C & T just published Inspired! Creativity Cards available here for $9.95. It's a collection of playing card size quilt photos and thought-provoking statements about finding inspiration, handling stress, and exploring your artistry.

The 36 secrets and quilts come from the world's most celebrated quilters. Pick a card, any card when you're in a creative rut, need a boost of positive energy, or when you just need a new idea.

Here's my card.....the quilt is 'Funky Rooster', a bead appliqued folk art style wall quilt.

I'm very flattered to be included in this collection.....but honestly I had to laugh when I saw what category my quote was given. Anyone who knows me, I'm SURE.....would not think of me as dispensing Wisdom! But, I stand by my statement which I've shared for years and years.....

Friday, March 26, 2010


The Fiber Junkies meeting this month, stamp carving, was led by our own Carol Sloan.

Here are a examples of some simple blocks she carved. Carol suggests using a Speedball Lino Tool which offers several different cutting blade styles.

Carol is showing two larger carved blocks that she claims were 'easy' to do.

Here we are...ducks in a row, hanging onto every word she uttered. AND....thanks to her organizational skills......we got hand outs to help us retain everything!

For those of us who can't draw, Carol demonstrated how a printed design can be traced onto the carving block material with the use of transfer carbon paper.

Numerous materials can be used. The Terra cotta colored piece is plumbers gasket from Home was the most difficult to carve. The smallest block shown above is Master Carve.....the very easiest to manage.

Being thrifty, we carved all sides of our Master Carve block. Here are the results.

I've used stamps quite a bit in past work, but not too much's time to begin seeing those possibilities again. The 'perfect child' bought these wonderful wood antique carvings for me on a trip to Indonesia.

He also had these very special one's made for me by a metal smith in London!!!

I feel so lucky to have met so many generous and fun artists in this area who help keep my creativity in gear!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today, March 24, 2010, I'll be the Guest Blogger on the Quilting Gallery Blog. It will be live at 9:00 AM EST.

It's a rather long post so, grab a cup of coffee, click HERE, then sit back and enjoy. Comments are welcome here or on the Quilting Gallery Blog....or heck both if the spirit moves you.

As always, thanks for joing me.......


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Since I so often speak about the 'perfect child', I decided to share a quilt I made for him. "Tornado of Memories In Chris's Closet", 51" x 54", 1993, appeared in my first book published in 1994 by AQS The Stori Book of Embellishing.

It was inspired by a Quilt National Exhibit where I was blown away by the quilt (I believe it was called) "Memory Jars" by Terrie Hancock Mangat. Its focus was small treasures and found objects placed in what represented clear glass jars, apparently her Grandmother had a memory jar.

I recalled a shoe box of items I uncovered when our son went off to collage, so I set out to save these memories for him. His bedroom closet had multi-colored blue louvered doors which I recreated with the strip pieced side borders. My original intention was to feature closet shelves with the 'treasures' tumbling off. However, my lack of drawing skills led me to create the tornado instead.


It was machine pieced, hand appliqued, highly embellished, and hand quilted.

Announcement: I'll be the Guest Blogger on the Quilting Gallery will go live after 9:00 AM tomorrow. Click here to join me.

Monday, March 22, 2010


We most definitely left our heart in San Francisco.......with our Grand dog Nali. I'm not very much of a pet a young child I witnessed an incident (dog vs child) that has uncomfortably stayed with me. So, I remain somewhat cautious.

'The perfect child' and 'perfect daughter' (in-law), spent 2+ months in Europe a number of years ago. We were Nali's caretakers.....that time is now known as Nali's Wisconsin vacation.

Sadly for us, but a very good move for them..... the kids and Nali moved to the West coast. Here's our girl at Baker Beach....she's a lab....and she LOVES water! What more could a dog ask for? A dog park on the ocean, with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge....though Nali's eyes are only on her B A L L. A word that often needs to be spelled to avoid a frenzy!

When the kids relocated to the Bay area after 'the perfect child' got his Master's degree from the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern.....Nali was kenneled and got a 'seat' in the cargo section. Here's her last walk on Midwest soil...cement......

The other day a friend was reminding me how positive and important pets can be to our lives.....yes....that's true.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The 'posting' of our development is now complete.....what a sense of satisfaction. When one studies the sides of the mountains around here, you can identify old roads such as logging, farming, and cattle paths. However, some were also used by long gone settlers. Several locals have told us that if you can manage to follow one of these roads through all the scrub growth and well eroded ground, most likely you'll come upon abandoned log buildings; small homes, shacks, lean to's for animals.

But you also find the beauty of an unexpected stream, moss covered rocks, and vistas that take your breath away. I'll let most of the photos speak for themselves.....

This photo may not provide the sense of just how steep some of the property is in our development...but believe me it seemed nearly straight down as I hung onto a tree and my walking stick to steady myself to snap this shot.

Yes, these last two are simply amazing....aren't they??? the car was not disassembled and placed around the's probably been there for 50+ years.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


How nice to know that quilters everywhere will be recognized today. Actually, I'd declare EVERY day national quilt day if I could.....meaning, I'd like to carve out a minimum of 6 hours each day to devote to my quilting.

That doesn't seem to happen anymore.....having a 'retired husband' underfoot changes one's routine....grinning.

You all have been so good hanging with me on this blog where I seem to be posting less and less about quilting these days. I'm trying.....really I am. Currently the project I'm tackling has me in a stand off...... The design is completed....but how I'm going to get this sucker together..... that's the problem. Stay tuned.

Now..... looking back to the beginning of my start in quilting......

Here's Frieda In was entered in AQS's 'Go Fly A Kite Contest' in 1989. There's nothing better then entering your first competition and being awarded a ribbon. All the pieces entered had to hang from the ceiling, like a kite.....have 3 layers and be quilted....

Now....switching subjects......'the husband' loves 'kids' cereals.....especially chocolate ones. 'The perfect' child & wife have been so thoughtful. On his/their travels they seek out cereals from far away lands for him. This one just arrived yesterday.......purchased somewhere in the Middle East.

'The husband' has eaten chocolate cereal from France, Argentina, Japan.....and perhaps a few others that I can't recall......

He's already had his sweet cereal this morning and (like a puppy) is standing by the door waiting for me to join him on our 'forced march' up the mountain.......

Happy Quilt Day to you all.....hope a needle finds its way into your hands today!

Friday, March 19, 2010


I hesitated to post about this today, but just maybe someone reading it will LISTEN TO THEIR LITTLE VOICE, when you hear it whispering.

Yesterday 'the husband' and I were driving into town, following a late model vehicle that was ALL over the road. Now our roads here in the mountains have already gained my respect and....well I admit it, downright fear at times because they are so narrow, often steep with lots of tight/blind curves. Locals drive too fast and don't stay in their lanes.

This is the second time in recent years that I warned/pleaded with 'the husband' to stay far back.....from an auto we were following......I JUST KNEW something bad was going to happen as a result of their driving.

And it elderly lady was at the wheel.....weaving from side to side along the road, often crossing the double yellow lines. I was about to call 911 to report it.....because we had no way to trying to stop or alert the driver....beeping a horn or blinking lights we thought might cause further distractions. Just as I again repeated to 'the husband'.......stay far back......she crossed into the oncoming lane and was literally driving in it. Unfortunately, there was an oncoming small truck. That driver did his best to avert an accident but he had nowhere to go with a guard rail on his side, river below. and with us approaching in the opposite lane.

They struck very hard.... glancing blows to both passenger side front/sides, debris flying everywhere. The truck came to rest on our side of the road about an inch (I'm NOT exaggerating) from the side of our car. The entire front wheel assembly had flown by us into the ditch.....which is probably what stopped the wheel....just the whole front end now digging into the pavement.

We suspect the elderly lady either had a medical problem or frankly, just shouldn't have been driving anymore. A total of three were taken to the hospital......the evasive actions of the truck driver, along with air bags, of the truck probably saved his live and his passengers. The big ole' strong car probably prevented life-threatening injuries to the other driver. We are thankful it didn't end as tragically as it might have.

I realize this post may be disturbing......but please......when you see someone on the roadway who is driving in a manner that you know is unsafe, adjust your driving to stay far away from them and call 911. In this the time I was able to call 911, it was to request emergency help.

The car keys had to be pried from both 'the husband's' parents and my mother. Never an easy thing to do. I especially thank my brother Chuck for his resolve in this issue with our Mom. We SAY now that we'll willingly give up driving when it's time.....but sometimes folks don't know when that is. Because everyone here knows something about everyone here....we've already learned that this lady's husband is very, very ill and no longer drives, they are half-backs from Florida and have no relatives in this one to help them make good decisions! Perhaps she had a sudden medical emergency, but it could be she just shouldn't have been driving anymore either.

So...'perfect child and perfect daughter'......even if we kick and scream.......take our keys away when it's time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The Asheville Quilt Guild's speaker this month was elinor peace baily (she does not capitalize her name), a very talented dollmaker. I've known elinor for years as a fellow national instructor, Fairfield Designer, and Bernina Artisan.

She demonstrated to us that her hair is not a wig and proclaims her dress attire is on purpose to generate attention. She succeeded!

Her trunk show lecture is such a treat for audiences.......she allows the dolls to be passed around the audience which is a wonderful way for everyone to examine and admire the details. Of course all of us had to peak at the panties and here....Naughty Nurse's other under-garments.

elinor really does make the most wonderful, detailed, and creative dolls. This one is her husband. Enjoy the rest......all photos presented on this blog are with her permission.