Friday, January 31, 2014


It's now fixed!!  I posted the problem issue here...and I'm happy to say I'm satisfied with the results.  It's now ready for a new you have one??

 BLACK AND TAN  15.5 x 20"
Wool embellished with hand and machine stitching and beaded coconut buttons.


I'm linking to Nina-Marie Sayer's Off The Wall Friday.....stop by and see what other creative stitchers are won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


My apologies....this post isn't sewing read on....or not!

For the last 10 years 'the husband' has dragged me to Daytona, FL in January to attend the Rolex 24 hour car race. read right.....crazy teams of 3 or 4 drivers and a host of support help compete in this race. I couldn't venture to guess the cost of having a car participate in this event....except to say....moola bucks!
Our favorite manufacturer is back this year with 2 in the garage, it often looks like a surgery suite, with tools and doctors working on their patient! (They mess around qualifying and testing the cars for several days before the actual race.)
Here 'she' is all ready to go.....pretty no???
The whole country seems to be in a deep freeze and FL was no exception. Everyone was bundled up.  Me included....seriously the first day I wore 4 layers, plus gloves, and a hat!
 Rows and rows and rows of fancy motor homes provided comfort for their owners......
....but this was how mere mortals camped....I've never seen it so crowded, tents were often only inches apart.  We, on the other hand wisely stay in a hotel!!
Some brought their couches to relax and enjoy a brew......this 'decorated' tree photo was taken on the 2nd day we attended....the day the race began. It wasn't so well balanced the day after!
 Here's a crew member taking in a few zz's about 15 hours into the race.

....AND HERE'S OUR WINNING TEAM.....The 3 drivers on the left in the 911 car won 1st place in their class on their first race.  Yeah!!!  We were lucky to hear their strategies when they made a pre-race appearance at the PCA hospitality tent where we hang out.  2 cars = 6 drivers from 6 different countries!  The 2nd car had a mechanical issue and didn't finish the race.  This isn't unusual, 67 cars started and only two thirds might finish. 

 Unfortunately, there was a very bad crash involving 2 cars just as the sun was setting, (average speed is something like 170 mph) both drivers were badly injured but miraculously survived.   

Final report....Dr. McDreamy's (Patrick Dempsy of Grey's Anatomy) - another Porsche sponsored car, finished 22nd in his class.  They too had mechanical issues and some driver error problems too.   Yes, he's as cute in person as on TV....but quite the little shrimp. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


 ......This quilt will be going to sunny California, thus the color scheme...not to mention the idea for the quilt is to wrap some warm love around my friend!
For most of you, the piecing of these simple blocks could be done in a day....but I've been puttering with it for several days.
The blocks are now finished, waiting to be assembled, quilted, know the drill......  Just now it dawned on me......the problem of what quilting design would be best suited.  Considering my only option is straight line, stopping only at the edges....I guess a grid will be the choice! I hope to post a photo before I send it off.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Three friends, in as many months have been diagonsed with breast cancer.....if I haven't mentioned it before....please sure to get your mammograms.  They were all alerted by this simple (if not uncomfortable) test.

 So, what's a quilter's first response.....make a quilt and deliver some food!!  One quilt is finished and delivered.  For this next quilt, I've dug into the boxes of beautiful batiks my friend Helen gifted me.

And began piecing some very simple, graphic, yet hopefully cheery blocks...stay tuned.....

Friday, January 24, 2014


  My love affair with wool.....most specifically felted wool, began as a result of one of my quilting cruises.  This time our 7 day cruise was on a steam paddle wheel boat along the Mississippi river, from New Orleans to Memphis.

I wanted to create a workshop project that might reflect the era when trade along the Mississippi was the life line for so many.  After a bit of research, Penny Rugs caught my interest.  Soon I was hooked enough that it led me to writing another book.  AND......I've been experimenting with felted wool ever since. 

 Penny Rug designs usually feature birds, flowers, animals.....not abstract as this piece is.  But wanting students to have a choice of styles, many different samples were created.  
So...what's the problem??  Well.....I've learned a lot in these last 10+ years.  #1.  NOT all wool is equal.  Some wools will felt up nicely, some won't.  The denser and more compacted the fibers are, the less stretching and distortion you'll have.  Wall art in particular needs to be properly stabilized....that can be with a product such as an interfacing or by adequately stitching the layers together.  

Over the years of taking this piece to workshops and hanging in my studio from time to time, caused the top layer to develop a lot of bubbles.  You see.....the weight of the beaded coconut buttons tended to pull it away from the backing.  Lesson learned.....the layers were not sufficiently stitched together enough to prevent this problem.

Solution..... Spend hours and hours and hours cross hatching the two layers together with 1 stand of embroidery floss.  The technique is working well to draw up the excess (stretched out) fabric.

BLACK AND TAN - 15" X 20"

100% wool, bead embellished coconut buttons, hand embroidered

I'll admit, it's now getting a tad boring......but worth doing to rescue the piece. The wonky shape is an illusion....caused by taking a photo on a design wall is full!!  It will soon be available in my gallery shop (for a very reasonable price) since my workshop samples are slowing finding new homes as my teaching concludes.  If you think you might be interested and don't want to wait, name your price and email me now. More photos available upon request.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


It's hard to tell just how much snow fell yesterday....but you can see by the photo is was 'a blowin' and a driftin'......

Today it's 7 degrees......and what a PERFECT excuse to hunker down in the studio where I'm trying to finish up two projects to share with you..... check back tomorrow.......

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Introducing......Sous Vide....
"The husband" became intrigued with this cooking process......basically cooking in a constant temperature water bath.  Restaurants use this method to cook and retain food at its perfect serving quality.  This is the home version....and quite a toy which requires a bit of a learning curve.
This eye of the round roast was seasoned and placed in a vacuum sealed bag.  Then it was submerged into the water filled container which was brought to the required low, low temperature.  The lid gets closed and you walk away...... this was left slow cooking for about 36 hours.  Ya, I know how crazy that sounds!!  All the tasty juices are retained in the bag...which were incorporated into the dipping sauce I made.
 The roast sat for a few minutes before slicing to reabsorb any further juices. The meat was cut into thick slices.....which were unbelievably tender, yet it didn't crumble apart.  Again.....crazy as that sounds!
The slices were enclosed in my homemade french bread and served along with sauteed fresh sugar snap peas and the dipping sauce.  YUM......

I know, I know....this isn't sewing related....but perhaps you found it interesting anyway?!?

Monday, January 20, 2014


Remembering when......Time has sure gone quickly

Friday, January 17, 2014


Phoenix, AZ will be my destination in early Feb. while teaching/lecturing at AQS's newest show.  Several of my beading classes are being offered (as well as a hand quilting class....yes I love to hand quilt and really.....I know more of you would too if you were satisfied with your stitches. It's all about learning the proper hand movements and PRACTICE!) 

Anyway, I'm using a new batch of cabochons for my full day class on Feb. 6th...see details here.......
I LOVE the stones I found for the workshop kits.  When teaching the peyote stitch, it's helpful for students to have a guideline for the number of beads required for each round of beads that are added........
 So, of course that was reason enough to begin a new project to show off a cabochon!  Because of the weight of the stone and the small size of the project, I decided the finishing would include mounting on a canvas frame.  In preparation, I marked my stabilizer with the top outside measurements and where the bottom edge drop would fall, allowing a generous amount to be wrapped around the back.
 This marbleized fabric is one I created during a Fiber Junkie retreat where we marbled everything in sight for two days.  I began designing with some hand stitching and quickly realized the fabric was far too busy to show off much of anything!
 My quest began....and ta my stack of marbleized fabrics was this sheer.  The right side of the sheer is on the left, the back on the right.
 I placed the sheer, wrong side up over the cotton fabric and secured it in my Q-snap frame (I always bead in a frame...except on bindings or outer edges.)  I switched gears and went ahead and beaded the cabochon first....rather than the hand embroidery I had started with.  
 The newly layered piece reminded me of a my cabochon turned into a turtle.
...... And hand embroidery began again......

......Along with more beading.  In case you will be attending the AQS show, this ruffle stitch will be taught in my Friday morning workshop, Dimensional Beading.  
TURTLE POND   8" X 10"
Marbleized cotton with marbled sheer overlay, 
hand embroidered, and bead embellished. 
 Mounted on canvas frame.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Our small group, the Fiber Junkies, is all about play time.....experimenting with new techniques and revisiting old ones.  Out newest member Denny, organized this meeting...preparation is her middle name.  She brought EVERYTHING we needed....and I mean EVERYTHING!  As they say here in the South... Bless Her Heart!!!  She made it so much fun and easy for us!
 The goal was to create a collage of goals/ideas/subjects to explore in 2014.  Denny's huge stack of magazines were a great resource to put our thoughts into pictures.
 Kate created hers on cloth....and it's soooo Kate.
 Denny used photocopies of pictures that spoke to her, attaching them to black poster board.  It opens like a book or brochure...providing lots of space to express herself.
 Another view of Denny's piece.
 Gen was dreaming of travel as she attached her visuals to black poster board.

 Judy used a sewing theme.....with a lot of vintage looks.
 I decided to simplify and make a 4 sided over-sized Valentine card for our grandson.  The visuals, for the most part were not overlapped in order to make it easier for a 2 year old to recognize the subjects.
And this would be his favorite subject.....the kid LOVES his food and isn't the least bit fussy about what he eats!
 Show and tell was brief following a busy month+ of holiday activities for everyone.  Judy finished this fun colorful 'eye spy' quilt for her granddaughter.
 Kate brought some note cards she created using 'paper cloth' that she made.  I love how she cut the edges and attached them to cardstock with machine stitching.
Here Kate added some extra texture with netting.....oh the possibilities!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Sitting in my studio, coffee at hand, while checking my email first thing this morning.....I glanced out the window to the East as dark began to turn into daylight......

We live in a mountain valley.....surrounded on 3 sides with tallish mountains, elevation 3,200 feet.  The Southern side is fairly open to long range views of numerous really tall mountains.....   I nearly tripped over myself as I dashed out on our porch to take this picture.....  Of course it's a reminder that we really should be taking time each day to stop and appreciate our matter where we live!  Mother Nature puts on a show daily!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Our PTA (Professional Textile Artists) fiber group had its first meeting of the year at Barbara's.  She's so gracious to allow us to invade her home on an all too frequent basis!  Thank you Barbara!!

Unfortunately, there was a glitch during the download of my camera so I only have one photo to share.....however, Judy Simmon's blog covered our show and tell very well.

This is such a diverse and talented group of jump over to see what we've been up to.

Here's Linda Cantrell working on a sweater.  She's new to knitting but taking to it with great zest.

You'll notice NFL playoff talk is gone from my is over for me this year.  Sore loser you ask??  Nah.....just not interested when the Packers aren't involved.  They will be back next year and my chatter about them will be too!  Thanks for putting up with my enthusiasm....

Friday, January 10, 2014


 The new year brought me some extra time to finish up several projects.  I blogged about this one way back in Sept. 2013, and it pretty much sat from then on as I tried to figure out how to save it.

Isn't it great to find that the passing of time provides better insight to just what needs to be done?!?    So....what did I do?  Be sure to read the link above which continues now with the addition of herringbone dyed wool leaves over the paint stamped originals.  Machine stitching with wool thread provided the detail they needed and quite of bit of hand embroidery punctuated the look of the sunset. (click photo for a larger image)

Artist hand-felted wool, dyed & sun printed, stenciled with live ferns, 
hand & machine embroidered.