Saturday, June 29, 2013


Sometimes I think I live in a cave.....I had no clue that Google was going to discontinue its RSS feed on July 1st.  But I do now, thanks to a post by Kit Lang (check out her great work here.)

So what does this mean?  If you are receiving my blog, or any others via RSS will need to switch to a new provider.  Everyone online seems to agree that is a good replacement. However I spent 2 hrs. yesterday trying to get it set up on my devices and with the exception of my ipad, I can't figure it out.  Perhaps my laptop and desk top's software is too old to be compatible.....  Geesh.....  I'm running on empty in the patience department for all the constant changes new technology is requiring!!'s another simple way for you keep my posts coming to you.  Go to my blog, look on the right side bar, about half way down...right below the gallery slide show.  Add your email address in the box, click and you will receive an email of every new post I write.  Or if you understand this RSS stuff can subscribe that way, just not with Google RSS anymore.

Do it now.......I wouldn't want to lose contact with you!!!

Friday, June 28, 2013


.......and the beading continues

Using the zig-zag single bead back stitch technique (shown in several of my bead books).....tiny delica beads were added around each of the cabochons out to where the blue quilting begins.  Even though in this photo, the blue stitched lines show up fairly so in I'm trying to pump up that area and get more movement by using larger blue seed beads.  

Nope...this isn't the answer....the beads are too close together and the big ole' circle of them is blaaaaa.
They were removed!!  Now using both seed beads and bugles beads stitched further apart, I plan to swirl the lines to connect the sections. Naturally, this is taking up my evenings nicely with all the stitching and unstitching I'm doing....but I think I'm getting there.  

Check back to see the results.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


......continued from yesterday....

 From my nose to the sewing machine.....the stitching I showed yesterday appeared quite visible. But when I placed it on my design wall, I knew I had goofed again with my thread color selection.  With this mottled fabric, I should have pumped up the colors a lot more. My solution....and really the only one I could think of since this is a one-of-a-kind piece of fabric....was to add more stitching.  Hoping that as it got denser, the color would show up more.  It did somewhat.
I'm now seeing that my original idea of pebbles like rippling in a pond has not been successfully interpreted and with no clue to answer the question "What now?"....... I turned my attention to beading three cabochons to the work.

There has been several attempts to incorporate another design element into the background now that the cabochons are attached but all failed.  So when in doubt, add more beads....which I'm doing now..... let's see what happens.....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


A short time ago a quilter friend lost her battle with cancer. 
A mutual close friend of hers shared a piece of mottled fabric dyed by our friend.  I'm setting about to make a quilt to honor Judi.
 Some of these small cabochons seemed like a good way to help express how each of us are enriched as one friend leads to another friend...thus expanding our circles ever greater and greater.  This seems especially true in the quilt world.
 Again, I'm having a terrible time obtaining a decent photo of a project that I want to share.....but I hope you'll be able to see the progress.  The focal point of the design will be three cabochons, surrounded by machine quilting.
The quilting has been done through batting only, with tissue paper on the back to allow the piece to feed more evenly through the machine.  The quilting is not showing up as much as I'd like. I def. still struggle with using colors that don't have high enough contrast.  You'd think after all this time, KNOWING that is a weakness of mine.....I'd be extra vigilant when choosing colors.  Apparently NOT.  

I'm thinking about what to do now......will report back.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Even though my days have been filled with household tasks, my fingers continue to be busy during the evenings.

This project began by stabilizing a small wool piece I nuno felted and gathering some beads & threads.
 A wavy/ruffled bead wall becomes the focal point.
 ......more beads are well as embroidery on the background with silk thread.
 Of course a LOT of time has already been devoted to this piece by now, but seemed to call for a finishing touch.  I hope you agree with me that the addition of this beaded fringe was just the right choice.  And finally, it was prepared for hanging and a label attached....ta da...... 
TIDE POOL  7" x 10" 
Artist nuno-felted wool, hand embroidered, and bead embellished.

Detail - Tide Pool

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I've chatted (complained) about the daily 'forced march' that has entered my life since moving to the mountains in NC.  I KNOW it's good for me, but even after 7 years, I don't like it!  Left on my own to decide to stay inside and sew or do this grueling 90 min. walk.....well....I'm sure you can guess what my choice would be!

Here's a peak at what I see as I huff and puff along our subdivision's scenic paved roads.  Due to the housing bust, only about half of the lots have been built on, so the area still has a very rustic private feeling.  From our home, our walk encompasses four - 1,000 ft. elevation changes!  This view LOOKS flat....but believe me it's's just difficult to get a good photo to illustrate the steepness.

 ....and up and up we go.....Sooty and 'the husband' leading the way.  We carry carrots for the horses corralled along the way, water for the dog, our electronic equipment etc.
              It pays to look around and see the beauty, often only just steps away.

It also pays to watch where you are walking!!!  We have had a marvelous spring/summer, with plentiful amounts of rain, which has encouraged the foliage to thrive......and unfortunately the poison ivy is taking over!!'s what you think it least this one isn't poisonous.....however there are plenty of snakes around here that are.  I'm wisely wary of getting off our roads.

 Moss and ferns flourish too.
 This is the view at the lowest elevation of our subdivision.....looking down Crabtree Valley.  The elevation here is about 3,000 ft....I live at 3,250 and it's over 4,000 at the top two cul-du-sacs here.  Who'd have thunk a Mid-West (flat lander) gal would end up here??

I hope your first weekend of the summer is glorious too!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


These last two weeks have been one huge organizing frenzy around this household.  We are in a 'use it or lose it' mood!

So, when it comes to my fabric stash, I was quite appalled at just how much I've accumulated.  Years ago my dear friend Doreen Speckmann exclaimed after seeing my stash, " Mary, how do you make anything out of this puny amount of fabric?"  Doreen had an enormous, not so much. 

However, over the years a big thank you continues to go out to my friend Helen who has sent me boxes and boxes of her unwanted fabric. The majority is fabulous batiks (fat quarters and half yard cuts for the most part) and I'm determined to see if I can mix them with some of the hand-dyed fabrics I've been hoarding.

The goal here is to use I'm making some BIG lap quilts.  Sometimes the ole' brain doesn't fire as well as it used to, but I recalled the last time I worked with this brand of hand-dyes....they all bled like crazy.  So before I could begin having any fun at all.......I treated it all in Retayne.  Here's the greens......  

Fortunately, all that color loss didn't affect the appearance of the fabric.
 This process literally took me all day, since I did all the blacks/darks separately.  My washer regulates the temperate, so for big loads I used the machine. Unfortunately, I had to stand there during the fill, turning it on and off and back on again so it only filled with hot water!  What a time killer.  

And speaking of time killers, the pressing.....yuck!!!  Though that time was quite useful in catching up with all the 'Housewives' on Bravo......

With a 'plan' in my mind..........I began.....notice I'm not showing you any stitched blocks?  Why is it that the vision in one's head is always awesome, but the reality may not meet that expectation?  

The problem is that I don't have enough of any of the hand-dyes, except the black, to make large enough blocks for my was looking too disjointed.  

Now...DO NOT laugh......but yes, I went to the computer and ordered more hand-dyed fabric in sufficient amounts for my original plan.  BUT......I'm setting out to search for more scrappy design ideas for the next 'use it or lose it' project!!!

I'll report back on this one when there's something less embarrassing to show. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Our Professional Textile Artist fiber group has had a good working relationship with the management at the famous Pisgah Inn for a number of years.  It's located on the historic Blue Ridge Parkway, with breathtaking view from its 5,000 foot elevation at Mt. Pisgah.

Thank you Judy Simmons for providing these photos of the quilts our group currently has on display in the restaurant for sale.  It's been a good season so far as 6 quilts have already been sold...happily one was mine.  As we sell them, quilts replacements are added so I now have two more hanging looking for new homes!

In answer to questions some of you might be thinking about..... no, we've never had one damaged or stolen, and no amazingly none have picked up any offending odors.  We pay a commission to Pisgah Inn on any sales and consider this opportunity to introduce our work to the hundreds of tourist who pass through a win, win!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Sometimes a piece simply wants extra attention before it will come together....this is one of them!!  I've blogged about it several times and won't even bother to link to those past posts in order to spare you the whining and complaining!

Happily, I finally completed it today.  Be sure to click on the photo for a larger view.

MUSIC IN THE AIR  17" x 10" (art - with hanging device 23" W)
Felted wool, painted, hand embroidery, vinage sheet music, bead embellished.


Sunday, June 16, 2013


Our Professional Fiber Artist group (PTA) met at member Janice's house this month for our usual food and friendship fest.

 We began with show and tell......I tried using my iphone this time with pitiful I'm only sharing two projects.  The first here is Gen's completed quilt which began at our March PTA retreat.  For the last couple of years, 3 of us have done 'planned' scrap quilts....precutting patches and all sharing to provide diversity in the quilts.  Gen made it 4 this year to this method and we all agree her quilt is fabulous.
 Judy Simmons continues to create the most charming small pieces with a variety of printing techniques.
This vintage photo(a family member of her husband) was featured on her piece.   
This month we decided to sew up some lap quilts to donate to our Asheville Quilt Guild. We all came to our meeting with 9 patch blocks which were divided into piles of 4.

 Each block contained 6" cut patches.....4 white/beige - 4 colorful patches - & a black print in the center.  They were then sliced down the center, vertically and horizontally.
 ......and arranged into 4 quilt tops (two of them are shown here)  We stitched them together.  Backs were made for each.  Several members volunteered to machine quilt them at home.  I gladly will do the bindings. 
It was a fun and productive day for a very good cause......

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I apologize for the poor's certainly not the way I wish to show off my work nor probably as easy to sell these pieces.....but after spending 2 hours trying to get better photos I simply had to select the best of the worst.  Hopefully, you will 'see' their merits anyway!

 Cattails  19" x 10.5"
Hand-dyed cotton by Primrose Gradations, hand stipple quilted, traputo and glass beads.  Original design by Mary Stori

 Detail - color is more true in full size photo
Here's a view of all three whole-cloth quilts that are available....note this is the backside of Cattails.....the texture is even visible on this side!

Wild Flower   20" x 12"
Hand-dyed cotton by Primrose Gradations, hand stipple quilted, traputo, hand embroidery.  Original design by Mary Stori

 Detail - color is more true in full size photo

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Hand quilting....who doesn't love the look?  

I LOVE to hand quilt and have taught the techniques/tricks/and how-to's for 25 years.  Patiently creating hand stipple quilted and trapunto whole cloth wall quilts is my favorite style.  The results can be both simplistic and yet complex with the incredible texture that develops from these tiny stitches.

Since I'm in the 'move it out' phase of my quilt collection (and living in a home with very few walls to display).....I'll be posting several here and on my blogshop that are for sale.

I was honored that Spring Green 20" x 11" was selected as the cover quilt for Rodale's Hand Quilting Book.

....and featured in it as well.  I've showing several versions here since photographing whole cloth quilts without the proper equipment is nearly impossible.  This overview should be helpful to any collector who may be interested.

SPRING GREEN   20" X 11"  
The fern design was designed by Mary and was one of her many wholecloth stencils manufactured by Quilting Creations. 
$225 (shipping included)

The quilt features tiny quilt stitches, hand embroidery, and glass beads.