Sunday, August 31, 2014


Is it possible not to have show and tell when gathering with other quilters?!?  I think's a few items that knocked our socks off by members of Fiber Junkies.....
 Val has been VERY busy lately.....we all love how she combines screen printing with her own dyed fabrics.  This beautifully framed one features a piece of deconstructed screen printed as a background....with a silk screened image from her vast collection.
 Another example......
 This one Val silk screened some pods and used decolorant for the ferns.
 This piece combines deconstructed screen printing, silk screening, and decolorant images.....
 Our quiet Val tries to stay in the background but here she is helping Denny to show her quilt.  Denny Webster is our newest member and we are darn happy to have her.  The pieces she creates utilize many surface design/mixed media techniques, but all focus on a theme.....some serious, provocative, humorous, personal and political.
This piece is from her healing series.....she added a lot of text to support the images.  It a privilege to be exposed to these thoughtfully created pieces.

Friday, August 29, 2014


As long as we were going to be working with paint........I decided to bring some Wonder-Under along to try a technique that my Internet pal Robbie blogged about some time ago.  She learned this technique from the show Design Matters, an online subscription craft show.

 A piece of Wonder-Under was taped to a surface.....glue side up.  This is actually a virgin piece of the fusible are seeing previous paint and dye marks on the fabric table cover showing through.
I wet the 'material' slightly with plain water using a foam brush.  Next, using one of Denny's patterned rollers (like a firm rubber paint roller with patterns etched into the surface.) I rolled a couple of swipes coated with thinned black acrylic paint.  That was followed by two or three different colors of thinned paint.  The idea is to saturate it, which lifts the glue webbing from the paper....creating exciting textures and designs.
 Here's another one where I segregated the colors into 3 rows. 
 And another where paint is added after rolling a few lines from a different patterned roller. 4th piece.  Obviously they required drying.....which was quite fast because of our sunny day.  

The painted surface is handled just like you would with Wonder-Under....EXCEPT.....the painted webbing is placed on a fabric surface as an embellishment or a design motif, rather than beneath it.  

For instance, a leaf could be cut from the example above, placed glue side down on a fabric background, covered with a Teflon sheet and pressed until it adheres....the paper can then be peeled away.  Or peel the paper away first, position the painted webbing, again cover with a Teflon press sheet and heat set.  

I'm anxious to play with my papers and will report days seem to be disappearing lately without much stitching getting accomplished.  But, I'm guessing you all know how that feels!?!?

Thursday, August 28, 2014


After way too much time elapsing, away from fiber activities, I feel alive again!!!  Our August Fiber Junkies meeting is just what I needed.

The focus of this meeting was to be shibori, using textile paint....rather than dyes.
 We are an independent group.....using plain cotton fabrics as the base for shibori magic is not normal.  It's typical for each of us to utilize previous disappointing experiments.  Kate brought this fabulous marbleized cotton fabric....(as well as numerous other pieces) that brought howls from some of us who felt they were lovely as is.  Trading/sharing is a trait for this group and I was fortunate to go home with this unaltered piece.  Whining goes a long way with these generous gals.
 Kate's pile of fabric for potential shirbori treatment.
 If I'm not mistaken.....Judy saved this piece from further possible painting....considering it wonderful as is.
 Val....our hostess for every meeting this summer (we owe her big time) had prepared a piece of previously dyed fabric by wrapping it with string onto a piece of PVC piping.
 It was wrapped on the bias ......creating uneven pleats which yielded a striking design.
 Hummm.....I 'think' this one belonged to Judy......rubber bands secure the fabric to the PVC pipe.  The outer edges of the fabric will be painted with fabric paint using a foam brush.
 Denny....our newest member and biggest rebel (which we LOVE) began playing with mono printing plates and textured rollers.  Despite having a theme for the's rare for us to stick with it.
 The weather cooperated beautifully.....our projects dried quickly...allowing many more to be created in a short period of time.  
 Sigh.....aren't these wonderful???
 I've reported this so often......we ALL want to be next to Val's table to copy what she does.......since we can't manage that.....asking for her advice with color choices and design options is the next best thing.
 Here are some of Judy's.
 This is one of Gen's...the background in person was off-white.....making this a stunning usable piece.

My report continues tomorrow.....and it is linked to Off The Wall Friday, and Whoop, Whoop it's Friday

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Hope some of you are still with me after so many non-sewing related posts.....that's my life lately......bear with me.....

Thought I'd share a wonderful gift from a thoughtful friend.... How cool is this??  The ceramic mug has a sippy cup lid too.....perfect for those one cup tasty coffee pick me ups!

Thank you Lynn!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


So, while many of you were happily stitching away these last couple of days..... I was again being dragged to another car race.  This one was closer to home...only about 4.5 hrs. away but the track facilities can't compare to my favorite in Wisconsin. (if I had to pick one that is.) 
 We are Porsche fans......but lately haven't had much to cheer about.
The two long awaited for premier factory cars had nothing but trouble.  One (white) spun off the track in practice after hitting a oil slick left by another car.....followed by a Corvette that demolished one of our best hopes.  Worse yet, the accident broke our driver's arm.....he was to have surgery today.
The MOMENT the car got back to their began and continued all afternoon, all night and by about noon the next day it was ready to race again. The mechanics were like ants all over the car.  Unfortunately, neither of these two vehicles did well.......
 However other Porsche teams is Dr. McDreamy on the podium with his 3rd place win.  A BIG deal......this was a very hard fought race.
Yes....this is your eye candy........ (Patrick Dempsey of Grey's Anatomy)
And here's some eye candy and extra pounds on my hips......Amaretto cherry ice cream.....must I admit what time I had it?  Okay......11:05 AM.  But, when you know you are going to might as well get it over with and then walk around the track.....wracking up 5 miles on my Fitbit!

I sure am looking forward to staying home and getting at my projects again. I've got so many ideas whirling in the ole brain......

Friday, August 22, 2014


It's always fascinating when two separate, but otherwise unrelated 'things' come together in time to influence and inspire new work.  I blogged here about finding a white feather on my morning walk and how it reminded me how much I enjoyed beading feathers.

A few days later I read a passage in a American Indian mystery that described their belief that white feathers are 'kisses from heaven' or 'angels wings'. The piece I'd been working on now had an additional direction. 
I was so anxious and driven to complete the piece that I hurried it a bit too much.  I even went so far as to attach the embellished felted wool to fabric which was museum wrapped onto a wood frame.  In the back of my mind....I kept hearing a little voice,'s missing something...... needed clouds BUT how on earth am I going to add that detail at this stage??  And what material could I use?  Believe me when I tell you I tried EVERYTHING....gauze, sheers, hand embroidery, curly wool roving, batting.  I even experimented with paint on some spare background fabric.
Finally, I concluded that wool roving would work best.  It took numerous attempts to figure it out.  Fusible web was one of the failures....if it melted enough to stay secure on the wool....the fibers appeared too flat, if less than fully fused, it peeled away too easily.
Hand stitching is always my preference, rather than gluing....but there are times when its necessary.  One trick I use is to dilute Fabric-Tac with mineral it's less.....well....I guess I'd say....less gooky.
In order to give the wool roving a bit more body so it wouldn't collapse, I worked a small amount (wet) with my fingers. It's not felted, or even pre-felted.....rather the friction was just enough to keep the fibers gently stuck together. 

Using a bamboo skewer.....dots of glue were placed on the background....a tweezer helped guide the roving in place....  Now it is complete!

Artist hand-dyed felted wool, hand embroidered, & bead embellished.  
Museum wrapped with batik fabric on wood frame.

Check out what others have been up to this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, and Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

CREDIT CARD CASE - THE FINISHING TOUCH really can't make just one.....the beaded edging is the perfect finish....and a nice evening of stitching to finish this piece!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


A friend was in need of a little "I care about you" the credit card case I just completed fit that need perfectly. Oh ya, I guess that means I should make another one!
 As is my practice, to act as a stabilizer, Pellon's lightweight non-fusible interfacing has been stitched to the back of a piece of 80/20 National Non-Woven's Woolfelt.  The basting lines indicate the cutting line for the case.

A flat mirror is captured with beadwork....spiraling out to add a bit more interest and texture.
A freezer paper template will guide me when cutting the lining section, as well as the backing.  These three layers will be secured with basting during the final step of beading the edges together.

I'm STILL shredding nearly 10 years of records, receipts, there's been little to do much creating except these small, yet rewarding projects.

Monday, August 18, 2014


The collapse of the storage wall system in the walk in closet used for my business can't be ignored anymore.  As long as half of the contents are now cluttering up the guest room, it's time to get repairs done.  And that means disposing of A LOT!

Piles of paperwork....old business, bank, credit card records are slowly being shredded.  (A time consuming but necessary task in this day and age!) 

There were no takers on my wearable giveaway offer, so I've begun cutting them apart.  Once I got into it.....the task wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be.  So...I expect this will take up most of my week.....creative projects are on hold till this mess is gone and I'll have gained a new closet!

 But, idle hands don't belong to I began to make a credit card case from commercially felted wool (National Nonwoven's product - Woolfelt 80/20 blend). Using the even count Peyote stitch around a mirror made for relaxing evening stitching.
Years ago I began developing beading techniques specifically to embellish the edges or binding areas of quilts.  They provide such a nice frame and finishing touch.  In this case....the beads are also part of the construction.....holding the  layers of woolfelt together.

Now I can separate the ever growing selection of cards into ones used frequently, such as credit or grocery loyalty cards, and those used less often like my library card.

Perhaps you might want to use your favorite technique and make one yourself?!?

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I love Bluegrass makes me so happy! Fortunately, we have an abundance of opportunities to hear great groups right in our backyard.  The group, Dailey & Vincent continue to outshine them all.  Professional in every way and yet in the sold out concert I just attended....I'm sure every person in the 1,500 strong audience thought they came just to play and interact personally with them.

I took a short toe tapping video to share with you but for the life of me I can't upload it to blogger.  So....please treat here....and then click on the video link directly below the header on the right side to hear what the fuss is all about.   

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Our PTA Fiber group held their August meeting with a trek to downtown Asheville to view an exhibit, enjoy lunch, and some gallery strolling.

The Asheville Modern Quilt Guild has an exhibit hanging at HandMade in America through Aug. 19, 2014.  It was such a pleasure to view their work.  I hope you'll enjoy them too.
 Don't Fall Behind by Miriam Coffey
 For Gary by Allison Simpkins
 Step one Step Away by Emily Coffey
 Insta-Ville by Amy Anderson
 This piece was made by Connie Brown, who also belongs to our fiber group.  It's one of my favorites of hers...and it's so personal because Connie is a bee keeper.
 Detail - talk about clever.....she achieved the honey comb designs by 'stenciling' with a show tread.
Summer Spinners by Erica Kilgo