Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SMALL TREES - continued...

.....I'm still plugging away on this little quilt as time permits....

 All the beading is done, and as I mentioned previously....the next step was to quilt it.

After much pondering because deconstructed hand-dyed fabrics have a surprisingly amount of energy to them, I decided to hand embroider the background instead.

The binding is on.....not blocked yet so it's a tad wonky in some areas.  It's always a challenge to square a quilt that has been beaded because the rulers won't sit accurately on the surface. 

After reviewing the impact of the piece this morning, I may replace the binding with a narrower one OR bead the edge to soften the impact a bit.  

It's good to be back in the studio playing......I dare not call it work!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Here are more inspired recycled treasures we found at the Screen Door in Asheville, NC (a really fun shop to browse and buy all sorts of truly unique items.)

 'The husband' would have loved to take this one home......if only we had room to display it!

 Here an artist (I couldn't find any business cards to acknowledge that person) is using pages from an old dictionary to make an unusual wall sculpture.'s another using catalog pages.  I loved the perforated edges the artist added.
Sitting down on the floor under a table in a nifty old wooden box were a pile of dried sunflower heads.  They were so full of texture and interest.....if the price would have been in my budget, I'd have brought some home.

 It's unusual to find newly made fiber pieces on display.  I gravitated toward this framed piece because it was hand appliqued wool.

This one may be difficult to see....the blue is the wall it was hanging on.  It's an unusual frame system....of which numerous configurations, colors, sizes were available. Basically, squares of old wainscoting were recycled and attached to another distressed plank of wood. What a clever idea to make it simple to slip a photo behind a piece of glass....allowing one to change the featured photos often.

Hope that if you are shopping on this cyber are finding great bargains of items on your Christmas list!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm not much of a shopper....but there are a few favorite shops I enjoy exploring.  The Screen Door is near the top of my list and one where I could easily part with some hard earned money!

Here's a sampling of some of the innovative artists whose work is on display.

This booth featured the most adorable wall art.....highlighting vintage infant and baby clothing.  It's creator is Erin Brittain of Fabrications Designs.  Her card did not have a website listed so if you are interested, connect directly with the Screen Door folks.

 This booth, Splurge design, was very intriguing....featuring a lot of cleverly recycled materials.  This lamp is an example.....  

And here's a closeup.....

In the same booth we found this driftwood or possibly just weathered sticks made into a large Christmas tree.  It was decorated with wired/beaded ornaments (sorry they don't show up very much).

More tomorrow.....rushing today to reorganize after our company has departed for home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO ALL......(a day early)   We have VERY special guests arriving tonight so I suspect I'll be taking a break from blogging tomorrow.

I'm thankful for my loving family and dear friends....for our happy and healthy life....and for the sacrifice of those serving our great country.

I don't have to remind everyone what they should be doing tomorrow at 12:30 EST do I???  Packer Nation will be collectively holding their breathe as the Green Bay Packers face the Detroit Lions. Our flag would be hanging even today if it wasn't for the monsoon we are having here in the mountains...but it ain't snow so I'm not complaining.

However, I suspect other two legged creatures will not be having a very good day tomorrow......chuckle....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Progressing slowly......

I think if you click on the'll get a better view of the beading I've now completed on this small quilt.  I'm pondering what's next....though I had thought I'd hand quilt it......I may add some background hand embroidery instead.  Let's see what happens...

Of course if your household is anything like ours.....Turkey Day preparations are already underway so my stitching time will be limited for a few days......

Gobble, gobble....

Sunday, November 20, 2011


GOoooooooo PACKERS!!!!!
WOW....what a season it's been so far.....really, after last year's Super Bowl win, every else has just been icing on the cake!

If Nelson & Jennings can do their magic today (no doubt Rodgers will!)....perhaps we'll see another win.

AND......of course this household is looking toward days of ole' when the Packers and Lions meet on Turkey Day....

#1 Packers.......yeah!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I shared the beginning of this still in progress piece here

With the holidays studio time will be while I have a minute now on this chilly Saturday's a peak at how this piece is developing.

The hand embroidery of these wonky trees is now complete.  The next step in my vague plan was the addition of beads along the stitching lines to provide texture and more interest.  My vision of the work is now becoming clearer and I'm anxious to move it along and will report back as it develops further.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


A great perk of travel teaching is the opportunity to experience delicious dinners with new friends.  The Sandhills Quilters outdid themselves with their choices of restaurants.  The last evening was extra special....unfortunately I don't recall the name of the place we went to near Pinehurst, NC.  But...I knew you all would love seeing the tasty treats....each one was presented in grand style.

 I ordered the Shepard's was outstanding...the lamb was tender and very flavorful.

 Shrimp and Grits

 This was a spicy lamb dish with roasted potatoes and yogart sauce.  It was delivered on a hickory board in a hot iron skillet and warm bread.  To die for!

 The restaurant is known for their elegant burgers.....great combos such as lamb, onions, and yogart sauce, angus beef with stilton cheese.....

 And look at this......the dessert menu featured ice-cream.....with 'embellishments!"  What a great description for ice cream toppings!

 Both June and Nanette gave it a thumbs up.....
And....I'm happy that my two newest pieces below found homes in Pinehurst!

Visit my gallery shop to become a keeper of some of my other pieces.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I just returned from a nice trip to the Sandhills Quilters Guild in Pinehurst, NC.  It was a pleasure to share my work with their very talented members!

 Here's Rita, who creates the most beautiful beaded jewelry......she is now the owner of "Blackbird", my wool felt quilt, featuring a beaded blackbird.  It's always so special to have the opportunity to meet and spend time with the keepers of my work!

 Their 'raffle" door prizes were so unique and perfect for this time of the year.  I got permission from them to share their idea with faithful readers.  This fabric package was made up of 4 bundles of fat quarters, folded, wrapped, and decorated like a star.  Isn't this clever?

 There 'SEW and TELL'  (never heard that term before....and I love it!) went a lightening round on a game show.  Therefore it was almost impossible to get good photos of the many exceptionally designed and executed quilts.  But I tried....

Here Pat is showing a cheater cloth quilt that will be donated to charity. I thought it was so smart of this 'new to machine quilting' member to practice her machine skills on this type of quilt....a win for the quilter and for the lucky recipient!

 This group isn't afraid to make big quilts......this is one of many that was shown.

 What a nice way to utilize large scale prints!

 This lovely piece of redwork was finished by this quilter (sorry...due to the pace of 'sew and tell', I was unable to get names....) but teary eyed, she shared how she completed the quilt using materials from a guild member who had passed away.....everyone was so touched hearing her story.

 Pat brought this beautiful wool piece to show me at dinner the last night of my visit.  I was delighted to get the opportunity to see it up close.  Lovely machine and hand stitching!

Attractive 3-D flowers added to the charm of the table runner.

This part blew me away.....I'm always trying to come up with new ideas for edge finishings for my wool pieces.  I may have to 'borrow' this one.  Pat ran narrow wool strips of various lengths, butting them next to each other all around the outside edge.  They were attached with embroidery and a rotary cutter's decorative blade was used to add interest. Great job!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Finally....I've had some free time to tackle finishing this new small wool/felt piece.   If you are at all interested in my here and here to view older posts.

The goal was to avoid my fall back outer edge finishing.....which often consists of border strips that cover the edges of the whole cloth central design area.  In this case, the edges did need covering to hide and secure the machine quilting.

My stash simply didn't contain enough yardage of the colors I needed to follow through with any other method.  I tried placing the design onto a larger background piece of woolfelt but the physical weight was too much (and personally, maybe even the visual weight.)

 Yet.....I experimented some more, trying to stabilize the pieces by beading them together.....nope....sometimes my long time motto "bead it like you mean it", doesn't apply.

 The focal point is the beaded stone.....scattering beads around to aid in the construction just took away from the star of the piece.

9" x 9"    SOLD

Friday, November 11, 2011


Yes, our show and tell this month was as inspiring as usual.  Our 2012 PTA challenge is already underway and one member (Gen) who provided us with a template that will uniform the edges of our challenge pieces brought a sample to show.  For now our plans are under wraps.....but I will share as soon as I can. (Sorry....that's such a tease!) 

 I believe I even have a inkling of an idea for my piece.  If you've never gotten involved in a group challenge, consider joining the fun.  It's truly a way to stretch your creativity!

 Judy Simmons continues to perfect methods of digital photo transfer onto a wide range of fabrics.  Here she's printed tree images onto a background fabric and overlayed it with a sheer, also printed with a tree. 

 Another piece Judy has in progress features trees as well (interestingly, several of us are working on projects using tree images!).  Some of the fabric has been screen printed and other areas she's used discharge paste to create the motifs.  Her work is always so fascinating to explore.

 Those of us who teach have found our lives impacted by our students.  Sometimes they surprise and touch our hearts by contacting us after our time together is over.  Judy received such a surprise package the other day.  A lovely lady shared some of her fiber treasures collected from around the world.  This embroidered piece is an example..... is this cotton piece which I believe she said was from Australia.

 Connie Brown collects for her recent birthday one of our members found this clever apron made from a shirt!!!  Connie had to grab some props from Barbara's kitchen as she posed for this picture!  Click on the photo to see a close up view.

 And secure to the also ties in the back with the shirt sleeves.....

 Dort made this quilt as a gift for an elderly's a map of the roads near her home.  Clearly, it must be in NC where there isn't a straight flat road within hundreds of miles.

 Dort's quilts are always so full of charming could look at them for hours!

 Connie (of apron fame) is an AQS apprasier who haunts antique sales.  She found this beauty recently.  She explained that what appears as white dots is actually tiny holes, where the batting is now visibile.  The original fabric has simply vanished....probably due to the type of dye that was used in the fabric so long ago.

It was beautifully hand quilted through a very thin batting.