Thursday, April 30, 2015


My creative side much prefers to design small wall pieces. However, the numerous boxes of batik fabrics my generous friend Helen gifted me call out for attention too.

Regular readers of this blog know patchwork isn't my favorite construction style.     Though I do enjoy hand sewing the binding....which most quilters try to avoid! 
 With that said, I'm doing a bit of stash bashing.  Am I the only one shocked at how small the dent can be, compared to what is left in whatever our storage space is (closet, open shelves, drawers, plastic bins!.....yikes they are still so full).  Actually that's a good thing.....with the cost of fabric these days, I'm relieved to have an inventory on hand! 
The amount and variety of greens/yellows batiks actually are quite low. Not wanting to waste these colors, I'm building this lap quilt row by row on my design wall.  First with the large patches, then adding the appropriate center strip.  I know, I know....stacked rotary cutting & chain stitching would be faster.  Heck, I'm in no real hurry so this works for me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Until I can find more outlets to sell my work, I may need to slow down production....they are beginning to pile up!  But of course stopping is so many of you, having a needle in my hand feeds the soul.
Ever since I did the final rinse of this small piece of ice-dyed silk noil, it's been calling me. 
Not so with this piece of canvas, painted with house paint!
However, they married well to highlight an embellished bone button that had been used as a workshop sample...already stitched to the blue felt.

Auditioning other elements......keeping the design simple to show off the gorgeous dyed fabric. 
I blogged (click here) about this painted/stamped Lutrador...gifted to me from  Canadian blog friend Jo Anne. Though I'd have liked to use bigger pieces....three small ones were the perfect backdrop for a few beads.
I had envisioned various hand embroidery patterns on the silk noil, along with section of metal beads.  NOPE....that didn't work and I honestly can't tell you why I persisted so long.  Probably because that was the only evening hand stitching project I just kept going.  As slow as it was to stitch it, removing took only a short time.

Now the fabric and the elements can be enjoyed equally.
ELEMENTS # 2   8" x 10"
  Artist ice-dyed silk noil, hand embroidered, and bead embellished.
  Gallery wrapped on cradled wood frame.
Here's a little P.S........often artists leave the back of their framed pieces open....but I prefer to finish them.  Yup, type 'A' personality decision!  Once the work is stapled to the frame, pieces of batting are cut to fill the 'void', then covered with fabric...1/4" raw s/a pressed to wrong side.'s the hard's hand stitched in place.  A curved needle works best if you can find a really slim one (not easy)....otherwise use a straight needle and cuss a lot. 
An ink jet prepared label with care instructions completes the piece.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Spring may have come to your neighborhood, but it eludes us up here at 3,200 feet elevation in Western North Carolina!
 On today's 'forced march' (90 minute hike with four 1,000 feet elevation changes) signs of new growth are just beginning.

It's been a chilly, damp, overcast morning.  The blooming dogwood trees in our yard are the bright spot.
And leave it to dandelions to already have flowered....and ready to spread more seeds with the first puff of wind!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


This blog began for the purpose of sharing my work; making it possible for students to have a better understanding of the techniques I taught.  Later, I recognized how useful it was to document the process of my work.  And now that I've retired, it continues to allow me to connect with customers, students, colleagues, and family.  Shutterfly books for each blog year will keep all these memories safe!

I had intended to create a stand alone blog just for family and will begin one in the meantime.....faithful readers.....feel free to hit delete or read on.....
We were blessed with only one child who lives and works in the tech community in San Francisco.  (Where I expect their lives will remain.)  Grandson Raiden will be 3 in two weeks.  He's posing for us during a visit to the San Francisco zoo.
Which meant 'gramma' had to look ridiculous too!
It was fun watching him at 'soccer cubs'....his Dad played and enjoyed that sport from a young age as well.
DIL Kelly and Rai (and a better DIL there could never be!!)
Mary Stori (left) Sandy Smith (right)
We've been friends for 50 years!!  We went to the same high school and were roommates in Chicago when we both worked at O'Hare.  We think the photos below were taken in 1966. What a treat to take this side trip to Clovis to visit!

My trip concluded in Eugene, OR where I was able to celebrate my youngest brother Richard's retirement, along with his wife Barbara (another Sheboygan, WI gal!) 

Now, it's time to get back in the studio and create!!!  

Thursday, April 23, 2015


My busy week long trip to San Francisco, Clovis, CA, and Eugene, OR, left no time to blog......and frankly, since this was a fiber free time.....most of you wouldn't be interested in my activities anyway!

So, I'm only sharing a snap shot of a tiny portion of my week.
 I love being a Grandma......despite living across the country from this little one, thanks to the efforts of our son, DIL and Facetime.....we are able to stay connected with 3 year old Raiden.  

Getting to spend real time with family is so valuable. Here, Grandma and Raiden were having quiet time reading books, which turned into a tickle fest......Rai is VERY ticklish.
 My DIL has wanted to visit this unique bakery ever since she learned about it.  Happily we had the opportunity during my recent visit.  
This Fresno, CA store has been in business for over 100 years......learn more about this family's story here.
It's a tiny store with limited product.....the atmosphere is a mixture of old and older decor......and oh so fascinating.
 These old world sweets are made of a sweet rice flour dough wrapped around fruit or bean paste.  There's even a version stuffed with ice cream. The 'baker' begins her work in the middle of the night to make the treats in the traditional manner, rarely done outside of Japan. Only a limited number are made each day....when they are sold out...the doors close for the day.  
In no time at all, our son and DIL filled their cooler, ready for the drive back to San Francisco.

Another reason for the 3 + hour drive to this area was to visit our long time best friends who moved from the midwest to CA several years ago. They gave Rai this truck (Rai LOVES trucks of any kind).....he slept with it that night and insisted on holding it in his lap all the way back to San Francisco!

Just another memory for me to treasure until I can hug him in person again..... 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Last summer, blogger friend Jo Anne from Ontario, Canada shared a whole bunch of embellishments with me.  Her mixed media skill is evident in these goodies. 
 One of which was a stamped piece of 'black' Lutradur....several areas had been burned which added to the lovely texture!
The package of treasures has been at the top of my 'to-do' pile for the longest time. all know how that goes!  The other day I dug out a piece of ice-dyed silk noil that hopefully would be just the right companion.

 Here's the start....  The basting lines are my guide as I plan to wrap the finished piece onto a 8" x 10" canvas.  I'm liking it so far.
Now after two days of daytime hand stitching (which I rarely do) it's NOT working.  How could I have gone so wrong?  Plan B: most of the embroidery will be removed and I'll regroup.  Oh well, it happens sometimes.....making the successes a reason for a big happy dance.  Stay tuned.....

However, it's now on hold since I'm pausing for some family time.......  

My friend Kay (check out her blog....she's an amazing artist!) sent me step by steps how to blog from my if my older model cooperates, perhaps I'll share grandson photos.  You all want to see them I'm sure!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Though I showed the top recently, here's the completed quilt.  I didn't feel it called for a lot of fancy quilting (NOT that I could execute that very well anyway).  Instead, machine straight line quilting was sewn 1/4" of either side of the seams connecting the blocks, as well as in the ditch on seams of the center square.

I've had numerous comments and two requests for specific dimensions. The cutting instructions are below.  Think about trading fabrics with your quilting friends to increase the variety of theme fabrics.    Have fun!!

I-SPY QUILT  -  42.5" X 56"

LONG STRIPS - CUT  2" W X 7.5" L

Monday, April 13, 2015


Our April PTA (Professional Textile Artists) meeting was held at Gen's....she's pictured below.....  A limited number of members were able to attend, yet our show and tell was as inspiring as always.  
Gen has been sewing forever.....and she is skilled at every technique....really she is!  Her goal (like so many of us now) is to attack her vast stash and simply create with the materials at hand.  What's not to like about this outcome!!
She explained she's wanted to try this method for quite awhile....basically one selects a base fabric (in this case batik which is stabilized).  Lines of programed embroidery stitches are sewn vertically.  Spaces are left between, where hand embroidery has been added.
I liked everything about this piece.....especially the overall texture....which provided eye-candy without being too much.
Gen is also a member of a group I started years ago; Fiber Junkies. Our last meeting was spent microwave are her successes.  Great, yes??
We were thrilled that long time member Mary B. was able to join us.  She's been dealing with family health issues for quite some time so it was a genuine treat to see her.  

Of course she hasn't been idle......What an excellent reminder of how effective simple 9 patch blocks can be! 
Mary has also been spending time English Paper piecing.........
.......very impressive!!
Here's Mary (left) showing her English paper pieced hexi quilt.......
We are quilter''s in our DNA.  So what better way to display our sense of organizing 'pieces' than with Gen's fruit tray.  
We were treated to dessert as cream which everyone knows I adore.....topped with crunchy being a chocolate covered pretzel thin.  DO NOT purchase them if you find snack self control difficult!
Kate brought a gift from her ironing board cover.  Gen had one sometime ago that provided a 'reveal' when heated by the iron.  As we all stood there waiting to see how hot he really was....... well....nothing, absolutely nothing happened.  So, perhaps we had a dud?!?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


It's such a compliment when a fellow artist and follower of this blog purchases a quilt!  Really, it is.  I'll admit to becoming somewhat discouraged at how difficult it is to find a market for my work now that I'm no longer on the quilting highway. 

I investigated Etsy and was shocked when over 2,500 items came up when I searched for wall art quilts.  Yikes.....  Over and over and over I've been told photos do not do my work justice.....embellishments make that difficult, even for professional photographers.  So, placing work in galleries is helpful.  However, most not only charge 50% commission, but some also charge a rental fee for their space.....  That certainly elevates the price of ones' work!  What's a gal to do??

Well....I'm going to pull up those big girl panties and keep working at finding venues!!
Thank you Lucina for selecting this quilt to purchase as your own birthday present!!

Preparing my quilt inventory paperwork and updating my shop has been on my 'to-do' list for awhile.  I've added quite a few more pieces to my online's a sample of just a few.  Jump over there to browse.......