Monday, December 31, 2012

BYE BYE 2012!!!!

I've been sitting here at the computer reading the thoughtful posts my blog friends have published today......many revisiting the work they've produced over the last year.  I'm grateful for their organization and time spent gathering all those photos!

Me??? I prefer to show you all my biggest accomplishment for 2012.  Here's Raiden Hayashi Stori. I've managed to patiently wait many, many years for a grandchild..... Now the kids might not say I was all that patient, nor should I claim it was MY accomplishment.....but it certainly was the highlight of my year! 

 First haircut
Grandpa is taking no chances....  For Raiden's first Christmas, he's been  introduced to Porsches.

Fabric will always be just fiber......this little guy could change the world!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Okay this might be a stretch.....but's Sunday, football season, snow is on the ground.....AND......for once....the Packer's are on national TV!!!!

View from our porch

We will be joining friends to cheer on our Packers who play the Vikings this afternoon. A great Mid-west rivalry!  My contribution to the good eats is homemade garlic bread sticks.  (Similar to those found at Olive Garden.) keeping with my enthusiasm for all things green and gold....I've colored half of my dough green!!

 When the uncolored ones bake, they will turn a beautiful gold......

The perfect combo.......GOooooooo PACKERS GOooooo!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Oh my......round and round I continue to go on this resist dyed-felted wool piece which measures appx. 6" x 6".  Barely enough room to add embellishments to the already energy filled background!

Click here to review the start of the piece.....and compare with the new version below.

Hand embroidered lines helped to anchor and begin that next layer of design.....followed by some playful dimensional beading.  

 Playful (stressful) may be the key word/s......seriously it's not uncommon when developing new motifs to find that the general idea works.....but yet the technique needs further practice to become presentable.  (Yup, the ole' "A" type personality is in control!)

 The raised snail type motifs took some time to get right......not only refining the thread path, but the stringing order in terms of bead sizes and colors as well.
This one didn't get a passing grade and has since been removed....a new one should be in place and available for you to see soon.   See ya.....

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Did everyone have a good Christmas??  Hopefully you weren't one of the thousands of stranded travelers all across the country!

As you can see....the studio is dark....not much happening here as we've struggled with a bit of winter weather ourselves.  Thankfully, for the most part we've had rain....lots and lots of rain.  But if you gaze out my can see white stuff now on the ground.

We lost power about 5 times yesterday....making me VERY crabby!!  The sun is now beginning to shine again and with any luck the ice on our roads will melt quickly and it will then be safe for us to do our morning 'forced march'.  Some people enjoy daily exercise....personally...I loathe it but know it's something I have to do.

Mostly, I've been busy making kits for my upcoming workshops at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show in Hampton, VA.....and year end business paperwork etc.  Some evening stitching is taking place and I hope to have something to show shortly.  

Till then.....stay warm.....

Monday, December 24, 2012


Merry Christmas......and may all good things come your way in the New Year.

Fiber (and perhaps beads, grinning) are the threads that binds us. It's been an honor and a pleasure to be joined by all of you this past year, many of whom I  know personally, others I hope to meet in person someday. 

Goose Feather Christmas Tree   
16.5" x 20.5  © 2000  -  by Mary Stori 
Inspired by an authentic one my Grandmother displayed every Christmas.  Published in "The Stori of Beaded Embellishment", by That Patchwork Place, 2001.

Cotton background, Ultra-suede trunk and branches, embellished with beads, charms, and yes...unbelievably brass fishing lures!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Since moving to Western North Carolina mountain area we've made several trips to Nashville, TN to attend the Grand Ole Opry, held at the historic Ryman Theater in the winter months.

No shows were scheduled during Christmas this year.....but luckily our favorite, internationally known Bluegrass group, Daily and Vincent had a show at the Performing Arts Center in Franklin, NC.

Each time we see this group we swear they can't get any better....and every time they do.  So....sit back and enjoy this short video I took.....and catch the Christmas Spirit.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Okay....everyone seems to dream of a white  Not so much..... However, we have it....and I must admit it puts one into a festive spirit!

"Waiting For Spring"  by Mary Stori, 1998
30" x 30"

'The husband' however isn't all that happy.......

Thursday, December 20, 2012


The name of this blog is "The Inside Stori" best describes my reasoning for writing a blog.  The idea was to provide students & other fiber addicted readers a means to get acquainted with my work......and NOT necessarily just the finished project.  Rather, the steps taken in my own studio/life to create my wall quilts.

For the last 25+ years I've used the time around Christmas and New Years to prepare hundreds of kits for my classes.  When I was teaching a really full schedule this process allowed me to have a large inventory to grab from as I packed for each trip, making it so much less stressful.

With my slow retirement, I'm pretty much making kits on demand.....which is actually much more work but sensible at this stage of my career.  That leaves me to today's task.

One of my workshops  on 2/21/13 (Thurs.) - "Beading Basics and Beyond" at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton, VA will focus on beaded edging/binding techniques.  

I teach a couple of different classes on this subject, each highlighting specific techniques.  Students work along with me, watching a projection screen, as I talk them through the steps.  What a great way to learn!!!  They depart with a completed reference sampler similar to the one above and a real understanding of the subject.

When hundreds of these 'hot pad' or 'mock quilts' were needed, I hired someone to make them for me......but with retirement ahead I'm tackling that job as needed.  

It SHOULD be a good opportunity for me to practice free motion seems I'm always in a hurry and don't want to take the time to set up the machine, bla, bla, bla.'s my handwork for the next couple of nights.  Sewing the binding onto the mini quilts.  Yes, it probably could be done by machine however it's not as easy for students to learn to manipulate the needle in these areas that way.  

And you all thought this teaching thing was glamorous!!!  Here's some examples of how I use the techniques I've developed to frame and highlight my quilts.

  Note - this particular quilt is also a sample for my 2/23/13 (Sat.) class at this same conference.  In class we will conquer the even-count peyote stitch which can be used to surround and therefore capture beautiful stones, mirrors, cabochons to a fabric base.  It's a show stopper and it only looks difficult!!  

If you have ever wanted to get acquainted with beading or enhance the knowledge you already have..... here's your chance to register for one of three full-day workshops I'm teaching. I hope to see some of you there......

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


While I'm trying to find inspiration for the tiny 'Circle' quilt that has me attention got turned to another project.
On our 90 minute daily mandatory 'forced march' up and down our mountain roads, there's lots of time to view nature.  Last year, small piles of pine needles caught my attention and were ultimately used to embellish one of my hand dyed thick felted wool fabrics. 

I was very happy with the results and even more delighted to find more needles this year.  To keep them from drying out and becoming too brittle, I sprayed them generously with polyurethane.
I had another thick piece of felted wool that would show off the pine needles, yet help to keep the overall design clean and simple.
I'm auditioning the layout of the needles with a piece of rusted cording.
The wool has been stablized with Pellon non-fusible interfacing and the hand stitching has begun.  This is fairly tedious work done with a light hand because the needles are still a bit fragile.

 14" x 8"

Artist hand-dyed and felted wool, embellished with pine needles, rusted cotton cording and hand embroidery.
This piece would benefit from framing to protect from dust.  Artist will frame on request for buyer or ship as is if preferred.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


What a difference a day of reflection makes......

Yup...I ditched several hours worth of beading and stitching and am starting over on this circle design. happens that way sometimes......better to get it right then stick with an inferior design.  Perfectionist me?  Okay....I'll admit it.

Currently, my plan is to do some hand embroidery over the narrow lines that were created with hair clips during the resist dye process.  I'm not even sure my raised bead motif will remain in this piece.....  Puttering around till I'm happy with the composition will provide the answer to what comes next.  Stay tuned....

Monday, December 17, 2012


HIP HIP HOORAY.....THE PACKERS BECAME DIVISION CHAMPS YESTERDAY!!! back to the subject at hand..... I've begun playing with another tiny (6" x 6") felted wool resist dyed design.

 I really thought this one was going to go smoothly as I had a 'vision' for the embellishments.  
 NOT!!!!  It's a mess....totally!!
 One goal I had was to highlight some raised bead motifs that I'd recently been developing instructions for my workshops.  
As you can see....I've now removed many of the beads and added some embroidery on the right. But I doubt any of this will stay.  In my workshops, I make a point to encourage students to use the beading techniques I teach by integrating them into the design....not just plunking them down.  Which is what I've done here.

Again, when working on such a tiny's a challenge to develop a complement of embellishments when the background already has such high energy.

The marvelous advantage of working with felted wool is that the material isn't negatively impacted by removing previously stitched designs.  I think I was so hot to get started on another handwork piece that I simply didn't allow enough time to develop a thoughtful plan of action....either that or I'm in a creative dry spell!

Let's see what happens next......

Sunday, December 16, 2012


The oldest rivalry in the NFL continues today as the Packers met the Bears for the 181st time.  We Cheeseheads would have appreciated having the game at Lambeau Field.....but hopefully we can still whip their butts in Chicago!

The Pack already have a Wild Card playoff berth....BUT as a spoiler they'd love to win this game to become NFC Division champs.

Our Sooty is now a fan.......admittedly she doesn't look thrilled about her jersey but she'll rally.  

Booooo'd think they'd offer this important game on TV here but alas we will be glued to the computer trying to keep up with the game here at home....

GO PACKERS GO...........  GO PACKERS GO...........   GO PACKERS GO........... 

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I suspect like most of is becoming very busy....and our sewing projects have been put on the back burner. Which means my latest wool felt wall piece has been slow going.

Here's an case you need to refresh your memory since we last visited this piece click here
Since the last post I've added a bit more foliage and did some machine stitching on the background to add more interest and texture.  Using a programed embroidery stitch on my sewing machine.....I randomly stitched various sizes of circles.  Believe me....this was very time consuming since the threads of each one were pulled to the wrong side and tied off.  

Compulsive on my part?  Okay....yes I am....
Now it's ready to be backed, trimmed and the edges finished.... 

9" X 12"
Woolfelt, lavishly beaded and machine embroidered.
(Try as I might.....I'm unable to duplicate the colors of this piece exactly in my photo.....the background is a warm heather putty color.  I used various styles of seed bronze beads.)  Email me if you wish some closeup photos.


The Fiber Junkies met at Judy Simmons home yesterday for our holiday party. Part of the day's activities was to plan next year's meetings....we will be exploring more screen printing (can't get enough of that!), fimo, felting balls/geos/faux rocks, beading, our list is long and our enthusiasm is great!

 Judy goes all out decorating her beautiful truly got me in the Christmas spirit.
I was afraid I was becoming an old curmudgeon....we haven't put up a tree for years now......without family nearby to celebrate with.....somehow I've lost my enthusiasm for all that extra work.  Thank goodness my friends still have the Christmas spirit cause it's catching!
 Our show and tell was a bit thin this month but Kate brought this quilt which made up for it.  Though she isn't a grandma yet....she's ready for that granddaughter if and when....  
The quilt features paper dolls....which brings back happy memories to many a viewer.  
Besides the fun of examining the dolls on the quilt....Kate doubles the fun.  She's pressed Pellon fleece to this yardage of items to dress the dolls.
 The fleece sticks to the quilt to provide an immediate new look.  Think of the fun a little girl would have with this treasure.
Judy is such a fan of paper dolls, she immediately plopped down on the floor and began to add clothing to the quilt!
And in the spirit of Christmas....Kate presented Judy with a panel so she can create a quilt for her new granddaughter.

What could be better....good friends, good food, and fiber fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I still don't have much in the way of sewing projects to share because my fiber social life is deliciously busy right now!  We do all love to gather and of course along with food is in the spotlight.

So today I thought you might like to learn a little bit about Southern mountain living.....highlighting the often difficult to understand accents and word/phrase definitions.  I must admit at times I still find myself staring at a local with a completely blank look on my face as I didn't understand a word they said!  I'm sure they must feel the same way about my Wisconsin slang.

One VERY popular food stop here is the Waffle House. I've yet to set foot in one......hard to believe since they seem to be on every corner.....

So check this youtube out for some giggles and perhaps a bit of education....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


After living here for 6+ years, we are still stunned to find ourselves living in the Asheville, NC area.  I must admit however, we continue to be dedicated Cheeseheads (for those who aren't familiar with that means a Wisconsonite!)

As my needle and thread took me to amazing places teaching throughout the US and world, I always wondered if folks in those locations appreciated the beauty everyday....or if it was so normal to them....they failed to be smitten with it?  So far, I'm not taking the stunning scenery here for granted....wanna see some w/o having to make the trip here?  Check out this fascinating youtube view of Asheville....and thank you to Val for alerting me to it!

 Asheville is located in Western North Carolina....about 3 hrs. from Atlanta and Charlotte, 90 mins. from Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, and 2 hrs. from Knoxville, TN.  I actually don't live in Asheville....and my 'burg' isn't even shown on this map because it's located about 45 mins. west of Asheville, and only about 24 miles from the TN border. 
Among the notable attractions this area has to offer.....the Biltmore is probably the best known.  But as noted by the youtube video, bricks and mortar are not the best reason to visit our mountains!!  Consider putting Western North Carolina on your 'to-do' list for 2013~

Monday, December 10, 2012


My good friend Darra Williamson over at See How We Sew blog alerted me to this wonderful opportunity.  If you are looking for a holiday gift for your favorite quilter (please include yourself too), consider the following.  It will help to educate and inspire, plus the monies earned go to a really great cause.

She's involved with Why Quilts Matter: Politics, Art & History, the nine-part documentary produced by The Kentucky Quilt Project: The series has aired on 200+ PBS stations, and is also available on DVD. 

•             They are running a special holiday promo of FREE shipping (US and Canada) for the two-DVD set, a newly published companion Discussion Guide, and a DVD/Guide package: This offer is available through orders placed on the WQM website only. Here’s the link:  

•             They offer a special discount of 40% on orders of four or more DVDs to quilt guilds: (This “bulk” discount applies all the time, not just for the holidays.)
•             There's also a weekly blog that currently publishes a new post every Monday: Recent post topics have included a virtual quilt show of holiday-related quilts; quilts made by quilters for comfort and healing (featuring the Hurricane Sandy Quilts & Blanket Drive, the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, and the Quilts of Valor Foundation); wool quilts; a report from Houston 2012; and various noteworthy exhibits (e.g., Civil War quilts at the New England Quilt Museum, the High Fiber fundraiser at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, and an exhibit of politically themed quilts from the American Folk Art Museum at the Boca Raton Museum of Art).

•             Profits from sales of the DVD, Discussion Guide, and DVD/Guide package are returned to The Kentucky Quilt Project to fund new educational resources for quilters and quilt scholars.
The WQM website has lots of info about the documentary, including trailers for each of the nine episodes, an image resource guide that identifies every image shown in the documentary, and much, much more.

If you are reading this far in my post.....close your eyes and see if you can imagine me jumping up and down, cheering the Green Bay Packers on during last night's football game against the Detroit Lions.  PACKERS WIN.....AND THE BEARS LOST YESTERDAY.....HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


A new wrinkle on the annual white elephant exchange.......a savager hunt as part of one gift.

 This note was found on the gift that Linda selected....
 Inside the package.....she found this note....
 Linda dutifully retrieved the bag which weighed about 20 pounds......
 It was filled with fabric and this note......
 Here's just some of the fabric from the bag.....and the green box....which was also filled with fabric.  Hummmm.....was someone cleaning out their stash!?!?
 Another very large gift bag was left till almost last....everyone was avoiding it due to the size.  It was truly the gift that kept's one of the dozens of items from the bag.
 ....And this.....
 ......and this bird that Gen is holding.  The 'bird' has been a mascot of the PTA group for got broken on a trip to Paducah...and has now been glued back together.  For awhile the location of 'the bird' was a new 'bird' took its place.  I suspect both of them will be turning up in unexpected places.  For instance....perhaps it will be left in some one's pantry when she wasn't looking!  The 'birds' make the rounds....  After I found it in my car trunk (thanks to Georgia Bonesteel)......I passed it on by hiding it in a member's bed at our retreat!
 .....did I say this gift bag contained treasures??  Or would you consider this pure junk??  By now tears were streaming down our faces as more and more 'stuff' came out of the bag.....
Yup.....Gen's still digging items out of the bag.....she was a good sport, but ya gotta wonder who on earth had all those awful things in their house?  Perhaps a creative PTA member went shopping at the thrift store!?!?

SEWING COMMENT:  I've been working on the fern wool piece that I posted recently and now have a plan how I want to finish it.  I hope to have time today to continue, however there will be no stitching tonight.  It's Sunday night football......Packers vs Lions......  Faithful reader Robbie from Michigan has graciously said she'd cheer on the Packers since the Lions are out of the playoff race this year.  The Pack needs to win to keep up with the Chicago Bears PACKERS!!