Sunday, May 31, 2015

DISAPPOINTING DECONSTRUCTED SCREEN PRINTING's the bad results of my deconstructed screen printing. It was clear after the first print, that using the right side of this white on white was not going to work. So I began printing on the reverse side.
 Reverse side
 Right side
 Reverse side
 Right side
You get the idea.....yuck.  This is the only piece that I didn't smear with additional dye after seeing how poorly the fabric was printing.

So....what went wrong?  Here's my suspicions.  First, though I've seen good results printing on white on white......the fabric pattern of mine was very densely printed...leaving very little room for the dye.  Apparently, the dye doesn't want to adhere to the white design.

I'm also guessing the soda ash wasn't able to be absorbed.....because even after batching, a lot of the dye washed out.

I'm not despairing......the fabric will be a great start for future Fabric Junkies technique play days.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Summer has arrived....and that means the Fiber Junkies will be getting messy for the next couple of monthly meetings.  The sun was shining, coffee was in hand....ready, set, go....
Some members were also doing disperse we had drying racks set up.....
 Here's Val, our gracious hostess and very talented screen printer with her extensive screen collection.
 Aren't we lucky??  Each of us has our own large table.
 After accumulating stacks of small, unrelated dyed/printed/painted pieces of fabric, I'm now determined to work in a narrower scope in order to create fabrics that coordinate better.
 As seen on this screen that's drying, my theme for the day was foliage.  
 Time passed quickly and pretty soon the driveway was covered with drying screens.
 After lunch and show and tell....we were ready to print.  The thickened dye paste is already spread onto my screen which is positioned on a length of fabric (previously prepared with soda ash.)
Sad to say.....this day yielded the worst deconstructed screen printing results I've ever had.  As you can's a mess. So I'm now in the process of smearing it with raspberry dye in hopes of perking it up.

Stay tuned, next I'll post some photos of the disappointments......and my analysis of what I think went wrong.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I mentioned that I planned to spend as much of my free time this weekend playing with felt.  Our original plans were altered at the last  What's a gal to do!?!
 I've seen mobiles featuring felted motifs and that got me to thinking..... Before tackling a project like that I decided to try to make one large textured object. Again, I'm fairly new to felting, but am dedicated enough to spend a lot of time learning.

Here you can see the beginning process of wet felting a large leaf.  I used an off white pre-felt batting and narrow cotton cording and began the initial forming on a plastic resist. After the first two front layers held together just enough, the resist was removed. (I already have ideas how to alter the process for the next one!)  
 Finally here's how it looked after a major amount of manipulation, throwing, rolling, and generally beating up on the fibers to get them to 'felt' together.
 Drying on a wire rack.
 After it dried, I felt the veins lost a lot of definition. It seemed to me that needle felting close to the cording would help the veins pop I spent quite a bit of time poking!  
It's mounted on a narrow rigid steel rod which I inserted into a piece of wood found on my daily 'forced' march.  
Back view

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Part of the fun of creating felted figuring out unique embellishment treatments. For way too long I've been fondling some beautiful sea glass  treasures sent to me by a New Jersey quilt world friend. The right project that would do them justice just hadn't appeared....until now.

Today I assigned a total of 6 pieces of sea glass to just completed bowls. Here's the first......   Thank you Jo......

Monday, May 25, 2015




Sunday, May 24, 2015


Ready, set.....go.......
 This weekend I'm determined to create an inventory of wet felted bowls....that will then be embellished with beads and thread....   
 Using merino wool, both prefelt batts and roving, this session is the first time I really feel I 'get' how to do this.  One change in my process was to place the 'design' elements on the resist, rather than adding them on the final layer.  It has helped so much in keeping the colors/patterns in position.
I'm also getting a real feel for how to properly and layer the wool....and not to rush the felting process.  Now the bowls are far more uniform in thickness and shape.  So I guess the old moral to the story is:  Practice, practice, practice!!! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Though (as I've said numerous times) North Carolina will never be 'home' to me........perhaps I'm becoming more local than I think.  Why??  Because the fabulous scenery and recreation options have too long been ignored.  A concerted effort is being made to begin appreciating all that this area has to other words, becoming a 'tourist' again. 
 There are zillions of places to hike.....though unfortunately the percentage that allow dogs is surprisingly small.
Waterfalls are prevalent here in Western North Carolina....and never fail to dazzle!!

This long holiday weekend may be your excuse to get out and explore your local attractions that perhaps you've been ignoring!!

Friday, May 22, 2015


 Well, this piece was a LONG time in the works.  It was one of those projects where an 'ahhhh' design just kept eluding me.  I had every intention of posting  photos of the entire process, but after seeing just how many there were and realizing how much whining and indecision would be exposed....I've opted to share only 3.
The project began in Nov. 2014, as a small piece of yellow silk noil. It was transformed using a soy wax resist and green, yellow, and orange/red dyes.
I'm inspired by the mountains that surround the idea was to hand embroider a mountain scene and frame it with hanging branches using two strands of floss.  (Which took a lonnnnng time!) Though I had not envisioned any other design often happens....the piece tells you to keep going....and so I did.  
Artist soy wax resist/hand-dyed silk noil, cotton batik, hand embroidered.
Detail - Appalachian Mountain Meadow

Check out how what other artists have been up to this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop, Whoop Friday, Richard and Tanya Quilts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


SO....for those of you who where surprised when viewing the recent episodes of Grey's Anatomy.....I must admit I wasn't.  We are big race fans.....and in the race world we KNEW this was coming.....

Dr. McDreamy is no more....still Dreamy??  Yes of course.....but perhaps only to race fans.  We've seen him up and personal many, many times.....very personable and accessible to fans.......  as cute in person?   Yes!  But as most race car drivers are:  physically quite small....however the cuteness factor is still there as you can see!

Yup...this is fiber unrelated...guess that means I have nothing to report about that subject today!  Coming soon though.......

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I've already rambled on about how much I miss the in-person connection with students......I'll try to stop whinning about that...the decision not to travel teach anymore was valid for so many reasons......  However, I now realize I'm not living in a vacuum afterall.

Today a smile developed as I read Crafty Quilting with Pamela's blog.  I had been contacted by this New South Wales, Australia artist, inquirying about specifics of the resist dye felted wool pieces I've created.  The real expert is Chad Hagan, and I passed along her contact info.... and also shared some tips that I found helpful.

As they say....a picture is worth 100 words.....I'd say she's suceeded!!

Here are two of my pieces which have been embellished, finished with a backing and hanging device.
 Shooting Stars & Space Blossoms -  6" x 8"
Sunshine & Shadows - 8" - 5"
Available here (about 1/4 way down the page)

Monday, May 18, 2015


Even though we are trying to 'purge' all unnecessary 'stuff'.......thanks to my pal Georgia Bonesteel I inherited a nifty antique drying rack.
Georgia actually had it packed up ready to transport to Goodwill when she happened to mention this handy item.  PERFECT for my use....a portable and rather small rack.  It needed a bit of repair - 'the handy husband' took care of that. I scrubbed years of grime away and sealed the wood with varnish.
Next week the Fiber Junkies will be I'm preparing a cut up old white on white tablecloth (that I no longer use) with soda ash.  I'm a happy camper!!  Thank you Georgia!

Friday, May 15, 2015


Back in January I eagerly dug into a box of felting supplies, a Xmas gift from my son & DIL.  
 The luscious color of this batt of pre-felt is called watermelon.  Layers have been carefully placed and ready for the wet felting process.
After lots of rolling and throwing and with the aid of a variety of 'curls' and pencil roving, this small plaid design was the result.  It's more than a blank canvas yet it could still use more design elements.
 My initial idea called for a lot of beading with the addition of hand embroidery. However, the more I studied the graphic design the more I realized keeping it simple was a better plan.
PLAID-ITUDE  10" X 11"
Artist hand wet felted wool, bead embellished.

See what other creative folks have been up to this week at:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Whoop, Whoop, Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Richard and Tanya Quilts. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Declaration - spring has sprung into summer here in the mountains! The garden beds and potted plants are now nicely attended to (without much help from me I might add!) At this elevation, the Rhododendrons and Blaze Azaleas are just beginning their show.  They bloom from mid-May to late June.

Enjoy the season wherever you are.......


As along as we've been chatting about's my kinda patchwork these days.......let the fabric do the talking!!  Which is my excuse for being so impatient stitching blocks!

Excuse the design wall is a office divider which leans against the wall......therefore it's impossible to take a photo without getting distortion.  It is straight....but doesn't appear so here.

The quilting will be done on my home sewing machine....another activity I don't especially enjoy. So it will be straight lines which obviously won't change the look too much.....making this is the last peek of the lap quilt I'll be posting.  

 Sun Dabbled Forest - 53" x 60"
Commerical batik fabric

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


After my last post, I began reflecting upon my start in quilt making which began with traditional patchwork.  I still like the look and believe it or not, continue to decorate mainly with traditional quilts.

I'll admit the patchwork quilts I make now are MUCH simpler and faster because I'm anxious to get back to creating art quilts.  For you non-believers....yes I really did make traditional quilts.
 This photo of my living room appeared in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine's "At Home With Quilts - Oct. 1995 - issue #276.  The Thousand Pyramid quilt is a charm single fabric patch was repeated.  It's hand quilted.
 Here's a view of our great room at our river home in Brodhead, WI.  Note the "Little Red Schoolhouse" hanging on the right.  To this day, I continue to use antique ladders to display quilts.
Our current home in North Carolina has a 24' high ceiling in the great room and that requires a HUGE quilt to cover the large wall area along the stairway. This quilt features authentic batik fabrics my MIL collected on her many trips to Indonesia. It was made in 2010, specifically to hang here (allowing my other two very large quilts to rest between hangings).

Back when I started quilting in the mid 1980's I would never have dreamed it would lead to a 25+ year career traveling the quilting highway, nor would I have envisioned the type of quilts I'm creating now.  The skills I mastered back then to achieve accurately pieced quilts, meticulously hand quilted were the foundation for my journey.  I'm still enjoying that journey!