Sunday, March 30, 2014


Do you ever get the itch to move?  Maybe there's no real reason to move....but the challenge of decorating all over again is compelling?  That's been me lately!

 Well....we aren't moving...even though AGAIN today we've got a terrific snow/ice storm threatening to blow the house down!  Spring...where are you??

Okay, my rant is over.....  We've had this almost identical wall of family photos in our last 3 homes.
 ...and it's time for a change!
"The husband" spent hours scanning and cleaning up several photos, then calibrating his computer screen to obtain a quality black and white print.

BUT....never, ever hang pictures with 'the husband'...enough said!!!
The lamp was removed for a cleaner look.....we didn't use it anyway.
Now finally, there is a place to display my bowl of hand felted faux river rocks!  It's up high...out of reach of our ALWAYS hungry black lab who ate the entire first bowl full of these time consuming to make treasures.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Here are a few more transparency transfers, made by FJ members....
Val transferred an architectural line drawing.
This technique won't damage the original image so Gen used items from an album of family pictures and postcards.
Here's her husband Ralph, now immortalized onto fabric!
Oops....turn your head sideways to admire Kate's.  She spent hours in Photoshop cleaning up the background of this line drawing in order to obtain a cleaner image to transfer.  Her hard work paid off.
Our newest member Denny is a great experimentor.....she opened up a new avenue for us to try by using some dyed sheer fabric.  Love the results!
Of course no meeting would be complete without show and tell.......Kate has been digging into her UFO stack and look at this lovely piece she completed.
And another one of Kate's.
Val spent a couple of months in FL this winter (lucky gal).....while there she worked on making books/journals.  I shared a large stash of vintage lace with her last summer. Oh instead of the laces aging further in a box in my closet, she's given them a beautiful new life. 
Along with the laces, Val used some embossed metal and a watercolor she did.
Now here's a really clever idea.....the lace image is printed onto the paper, maybe screen printed?? I wish I could recall how she did this....but what you see is an image of lace...not the actual lace.
And here Val used her vast collection of silk screens to create this piece.
Denny used a large number of techniques for her piece....painting, machine stitching, and image transfer onto sheer fabrics to name just a few.

Friday, March 28, 2014


This month the Fiber Junkies played with printing images onto fabric using transparency film. 

 Be sure to use "ink jet transparency film" - not quick dry.
 Judy led the group and suggested we lightly spray a piece of paper with 505 Spray and Fix and position it to the smooth side of a sheet of film.  This allows the film to run through the printer better. The textured side of the film, which is where the ink is printed is on top. (On our first try, we used just tape to hold the paper/film layers, but we found spraying worked better.)
 We each brought images we wanted to transfer to are two of mine.
 Using Judy's Epson scanner, we imported our images into her computer.
 Then using an ink jet printer, we printed them onto our paper backed film.  This time we placed small bits of tape at the top which seemed to help hold that edge as the printer grabbed the unit.

Next, fabric was taped to a smooth surface (cover your table with protection if needed)......and using a foam brush, coated the fabric with matte medium.
Now with the paper removed from the film, it was positioned....smooth side facing up...rough side facing the fabric.  Using the back of a large spoon to burnish the image, we rubbed back and forth until the ink transferred to the fabric.  Pick up a corner to check the process.
 Here's Judy's photoshopped image of sea shells that has now been transferred to a piece of deconstructed screen printed cotton fabric.
 This is mine....transferred to batik.  I think I may have used too much matte medium (or perhaps it was due to the batik fabric)....but when dry it was VERY stiff.
 This is another one of mine using a commerical cotton print.....which had a softer hand  
My image had more detail than what got transferred.  I didn't burnish it enough in the center......yes....I was too anxious to see the results!!!

I LOVED this process.....for those of use who don't own a thermofax or have a place to screen print, this process is a wonderful option!  

Come back again to see more results and our monthly show and tell.

I'm linking to Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday......where you'll enjoy and be inspired by the artists who share their work there every Friday.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


My favorite method of designing is to focus on a theme or subject.  Luckily ideas come easily to me....and that's the problem.  I have so many ideas my head is like a virtual pinball, bing, bing......jumping from one to the other. Years ago I discovered that to keep my over-active imagination under control, I needed to select a theme or subject and work within those confines.  It's a great way for stitchers to advance from following commercial patterns to creating their own work.

The Fiber Junkies selected a theme to help Val celebrate her birthday this week.   She once shared a fond memory of a piece of clothing that had images of Life Savers on it.....that's all we needed to develop a fun surprise for her (BIG birthdays require big celebrating!!!)'s the members of the Fiber Junkies that you've read about so often here on my blog.  Front row:  L to R -  Denny Webster, Val McGauhey, Mary Stori, Gen Grundy  Top row: L to R -  Judy Simmons, Kate Weston
 While the group was working on our monthly project in Judy's studio (more about that tomorrow) we took turns sneaking into her kitchen area to set up the surprise.....all focusing around the theme of Life Savers.
 Each of us created contributions to the party....  Here's a scepter made by Kate....on a hand dyed table cloth (blue the color of Val's clothing memory).  Denny made silk screens with Life Saver images....unfortunately, my photo didn't come out well enough to share with you....but what a fabulous idea!!
A crown was also made by Kate
 There were several Life Saver necklaces.....made by Judy and Gen....
 Party hats made by Kate...

And a lemon cheese cake made by me.  A fun time was had by pick a theme or subject for a project or a party and start having fun!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Mother Nature apparently has not declared the end of winter....we awoke today with 4" of snow on the ground.  Thankfully, the warmer weather, which warmed up the roads, also kept the snow from sticking.


UPDATE....We had a out and out blizzard overnight......there's now about an inch of ice on the one will be getting off our mountain anytime soon.....   Conclusion:  When we left Wisconsin 7, going on 8 years ago, we didn't move far enough South!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I'm back from my teaching trip with wonderful memories of new friends.  Seriously, kuddos my hostesses and friendly students were outstanding. I was treated so was difficult to pack up and head home.

The executive board of the Fan-Tastic Quilters Guild in Crossville, TN is now my 'dream team'. they know how to run a guild meeting!!  For those of you have attended a guild probably understand what I'm referring endless slow shuffling of committee members to the front of the room to make their slow and unnecessarily long reports.  This no nonsense group keeps everything short and sweet.  Don't misunderstand me, the information is there.....but ONLY the necessary information is conveyed.  This group needs a shout out too for how many charitable projects they organize...FAN-TASTIC!!
 I loved this idea...... Each month a cupcake stand is filled with artistically arranged fabric in paper cups, complete with a candle, for members to select for their birthday. 
It's only one of the many clever ways the guild acknowledges their members.  No wonder when the co-presidents asked for volunteers for a couple of committees....hands popped up all over the room!!!

Thank you everyone, and especially Janice for making my visit so special.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I've been a guest blogger this week over at 'And Then We Set It on Fire'......  My posts have leaned toward technical aspects.....helpful hints, etc. ....rather than any sort of long attempt to explain why I love hand work.  None of them have been repeated on my blog, so you may wish to check them out.

March's focus, hosted by Beata Keller-Kerchner, is hand stitching.  Beata invited 5 guest bloggers, along with her wonderful insights and work to provide an inspiring month of posts. Do take a few minutes and visit both links.

Here's a piece made by Beata, one of my personal favorites!

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm leaving today to lecture/teach at the Fairfield Glade Quilt Guild.  "The Husband" and Sooty, our rescue black lab who now thinks she's human, will hold down the fort at home.  I'll be back before you know it or miss me!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Obviously, I didn't add all this stitching since I last posted.....the piece actually has been 'under construction' for about a week...but with not enough time to devote to it. (Sound familiar?)'s a tad time consuming....but enjoyable.  What's the rush I ask??  This isn't a sprint....sewing for me is a marathon.

I'll be away teaching for a quilt guild in Crossville, TN at the end of the week and through the weekend......but will update the progress as it happens.

FYI - photos are all clickable for a closer view.

Monday, March 17, 2014

HAND EMBROIDERY TO ADD TEXTURE's a dreary, foggy, chilly Monday morning here in the mountains, but I have that warm and fuzzy feeling like we all get when a project is coming together....just like we hoped it would.
The background for this piece is ice dyed cotton.  I've been fondling it for such a long time!  In July I'll have another opportunity to exhibit nature based quilts at the North Carolina Arboretum. This fabric was calling as I begin a few new pieces for the show.

The red tree shapes, made from deconstructed screen printed cotton fabric, were fused.  Fusing is not a method I use often, however for this design it was the right choice.
 Some simple machine stitching provided more details. now I got the preparation over with, and the fun can begin. I plan to hand embroider the entire background using some simple stitches.  Here both long and short stitches, using size 12 Valdani thread, highlight the rusty color areas.

I hope you'll keep reading and watching the progress.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Of course the purpose of the retreat (besides the obvious giggles, food, and fun we have) is to gain some uninterrupted time to stitch.
 Kate always makes three times as many pieces as the rest of us....she's an amazingly fast and accurate sewer.  This is a view of her not quite assembled trip around the world quilt, using PTA member - Georgia Bonesteel's many shortcuts for this challenging pattern.
 There was time for some to get a knitting lesson.
 Gen made this small wall hanging.....which I totally covet!!!
 Judy Simmons also worked on two projects....we all loved these soft colors and beautifully combined prints.
 The facility we rent even provides irons!  We all LOVED this one....a cheapo.  It was light weight, but oh my gosh did it put out the steam. The name is  "Continental" steam iron.....made in China - for about $10.00.  How long will it last?  Probably as long as the $25-50 ones I throw out after 6 months! I long ago gave up spending $100+ on an iron!  I've ordered one and will try to remember to post about it again in the future.
Leigh Anne also did two is her darling cat quilt in progress.

Given my rapt attention to the 110 block quilt I was piecing, I sort of fell down on the job of photo taking....but jump over here to see Judy's post which shows more quilts.

A fun time was had by all......such as seemingly trite saying but it's so true!