Friday, May 30, 2014


To conclude sharing all the activities the Fiber Junkies managed to cram into one's some show and tell....  Though, I didn't do a very good job getting photos of every one's printed fabric.....
 We all ALWAYS say we want to be at Val's table and simply copy whatever she is doing......her design skill is impeccable.  Here she printed over an already dyed fabric.
 And lookie at this one....a narrow strip of white fabric that turned into magic. using only two pressing items.
 Denny created a dynamic motif.
Kate recreated a previously dyed fabric with simple, but so effective, straight lines.
 Right after lunch we shared some of the projects we made since the previous meeting.  Gen added one of my beading techniques on the edge of her piece....naturally it was wonderful.
 Here's the full view of of Gen's art quilt.
 Denny wowed us all by showing a bunch of antique quilts that a friend gifted her.  Take a look at these beauties....

Thanks for hanging with me over the last 4 days of postings about the Fiber Junkies.  If you are joining me for the first time......scroll are sure to get inspired by the creativity of this group.

Also, consider jumping over to these links to see what others have been up to this past week:
Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom's Finish It Up Fridays.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Continuing the Fiber Junkies May Report.....
 We worked in covered patio....each of us had half of a large raised table to work on, prepared fabric covered work surfaces were also provided!
 We dug into the 4 'texture' containers that I mentioned in the first of these posts to find interesting objects to place beneath our fabric to yield various shapes/patterns.
 Oh...did I mention Denny held a position as a university professor for many years......which may explain the well thought out placement of supplies and work stations.  Tucked in one corner she used old typewriter (or perhaps computer stands) that held all the water soluble products you could possible think of.
 The lower shelves stored the matte medium we used for printing and black plastic bowls to be used as 'slop' bowls.
 Are you sighing yet?  Honestly, this was like entering a candy store where the owner says, "Help yourself".
 This was a good opportunity to use some previously dyed fabrics that, well.....weren't very interesting.  Here I used a combination of a rubbing plate and a black rubber circle coaster.  The medium I chose was pastel oil 'crayons'.
Once the designs are in place, the 'silk screen' is placed over the fabric.  Matte medium is pressed through the screen and the fabric is hung to dry.  The 'hand' is surprisingly soft and the fabric requires only heat setting before use.
 For this one I used a textured rubber floor mat....first rubbing with brown pastel oil, followed by yellow.

 Here's a section of a deconstructed screen printed fabric that didn't quite have enough interest on its own.  The red zig-zag tool is nothing more than a hot pad, while the yellow plastic is a rubbing plate.
 Here's my failure.  It's dyed batting.  I began by rubbing chalk on the other side....which barely showed and flaked off almost immediately.  So I turned it over and used oil pastel.......again, the rough surface of the batting didn't allow the texture to properly develop.  
This fabric had been previously dyed, then painted (using dabs of paint to use up leftovers at the end of a day of working with acrylic paints.  So....I began to do a makeover! 
 Using a pressing plate changed the look of the piece and I know this new design will find a way into something in the near future.
 Denny used an old umbrella stand to make a clothing hanging system for us.
Here's an overview of the great space we had.....two to a was heaven!

Are you still with me?  One more post tomorrow to share the show and tell......

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


We weren't just visiting Denny to ogle her studio/s.....the focus of this month's meeting was to create our own silk screens and to print fabrics using water soluble chalks, paints, pastel oils, crayons, etc.
For the first step, we worked in Denny's garage which was set up with tables and all the supplies each of us needed.  All we brought was our fabric and colorful duct tape!!  This is Denny's sample that we copied.
 We began with a simple adjustable screen from a big box store.  It's the type that fits into a window that otherwise wouldn't have a screen.  The sides can be expanded to the correct width.  Meaning....1 'screen' will yield 2 frames.
 It's surprisingly simple.....look for the corner where the 'rubber gasket' meets.
 Remove it.
 Replace with sheer nylon.  Denny suggested looking in resale shops for curtains that can yield a lot of yardage for pennies.
 Here's the nylon material, snugly secured into the frame.
 This handy tool was indispensable for easily pushing the gasket into the track.

 The next step is to secure duct tape, covering the edge and frame on both sides.
The idea is to create a well on the inside of the frame on each side.  When screen printing, the paint, dye, or matte medium is placed in the 'well' located at the top of the silk screen frame.  This 'liquid' is pulled down and through the screen using a squeegee.

Please continue to visit see what we did next.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Here's a peak at Fiber Junkie member Denny's amazing studio where we met this month.  Her organizing ideas may just be what you need to keep your supplies at hand too.
 Smart, smart idea......she's taken wire shelving, hung them vertically from the top edge of her biofold closet doors.  Now Denny has her hand made fabrics visible and ready to use!
 These wire metal storage towers contain drawers for her vast collection of thread.
 Here's a wider version of over the door storage rungs for special fabrics...this one is made from wood and serves the same purpose....storing, yet allowing the fabric to be seen for further inspiration.
 Though this photo shows only one wall filled with tall heavy duty wire shelving units, it wasn't the only one she had!  Notice the containers are clear plastic making it easier to see the contents, plus they are also labeled. 
 I stopped counting at about 4 design walls!  Most were BIG since Denny often works in a large scale.
 I also lost count of how many rooms she commands.  This one was her sketching/drawing space....with copy machines, Thermofax, etc.
 This is her wet studio....I'd guess the space as at least 15' square or larger.  Every square inch was filled.
 The garage holds more....isn't this a clever way to store those huge rolls of batting?
 Denny is such a talented technique or task is beyond her capabilities.....this tool wall with work bench is hers.....not the man of the house!
 Her sewing machines can be found in yet another large, (very large) room.
This is an example of her ability to think out of the box.  She has drop ceilings which aren't compatible with the clamp system many quilters use to hold quilts off the table during the quilting process.  Instead, she bought several metal bird feeder holders that are clamped to her table.  With bungee cords and clamps, she's able to raise the quilt, thus reducing the weight that can often make a quilt drag during the quilting process.
It may seem impossible, but she's set up simple book cases for storage in every nook and cranny.  This one was located in a little used large bathroom.

With all you've seen, don't misunderstand.  Denny isn't a hoarder.  She knows where everything is, everything is organized, and most importantly, she utilizes all her supplies.  Again, visiting her house is like walking into a commercial art studio....and aren't we...the members of Fiber Junkies..... lucky to have Denny as our newest member!

Sunday, May 25, 2014


The Fiber Junkie's met in Greenville, SC this week at the home of our newest member Denny......
 There are not enough words to describe her studio space....or should I say studios, plural spaces.....WOW!!!  However, I will try in posts to come.

As an example of her creativity and attention to detail....don't you just LOVE this ancient rusty sewing machine which is displayed outside her garage?
These are not 4 trash, no, no.....  They are containers for an amazing amount of resist/texturizing materials for printing, screening, and rubbing.  
Here's a peak into the containers....storing everything from rubber coasters with swirl designs, to cardboard puzzle pieces, and orange construction fencing.

Seriously, the variety and amount of supplies Denny has accumulated over the years is eye popping. We felt like we walked into a commercial art school. Make no's not for show....she utilizes everything as she creates her creative mixed media art quilts.

Stay tuned......

Friday, May 23, 2014

ZIPPY FLOWERS - NUNO FELTED WALL QUILT's Friday.....though honestly, almost every day is the same to me since I don't work a 9 to 5 job!  Here's what I have to share this week.
 After gathering the supplies to embellish a nuno felted piece....a bunch of previously purchased zippers caught my eye.  I blogged about them here  and also here.
 Here's how it looked with just the flower zippers in place.  Notice...I was working horizontally....

So.....after adding more embroidery and lots of beads, somehow the direction of the quilt changed to vertical. still needed something......
To attach a backing (which presents a tidier appearance to the buyer, not to mention it hides and protects all the threads), I normally blanket stitch the layers together along the outside edge OR use my very favorite method - a beaded edging technique.  I transferred many of the techniques I'd previous developed for edgings on garments to my quilts in about 2000.  You can find how to do most of them yourself in my various books published after 2001. guessed it......I added seed beads for the final touch to frame the piece.  It's getting to the point where I'm not sure whether a piece REALLY needs them or if it's so natural to add beads that a piece looks naked without them!?!?

For now this piece is back to its working horizontal orientation. It's puzzling to me why I have these last minute dilemmas over which way to display a piece.  But to be safe, I'll add 4 corner (hanging) triangles to provide options for whoever gives this piece a home.

Artist Nuno Felted wool, hand embroidered, bead embellished, and featuring zipper flowers.

Visit these inspiring links to see what fellow artists have been up to this week:
Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday,  Crazy Mom,  Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday, and Richard and Tanya's A Finish Friday.