Wednesday, June 29, 2016


The C & T Blog continues to highlight my techniques published in All-In-One-Beading Buddy.  The book is out of print but and ebook version is available at their website.  (and your purchase will earn me about .35 cents) Yes, really...but as they say, you don't do this for the money....rather the love of sharing and that's very true.
This design adds energy by drawing the eye around and out.
1. Use the Washer/Nut Method to attach a large and a small seed bead.
2. On wrong side, travel about 1/4" away, come up at B, attach a seed bead using Single-Bead Backstitch.
3. Travel again on wrong side, come up about 1/4" away at C. Repeat, adding beads around center unit, making as many rounds as desired. 
Washer/Nut Method
1. Come up at A, string a large bead and a smaller bead (larger than the hole of the large bead). Pass needle back through hole of large bead at B, through to wrong side, bypassing smaller bead. Tie off.
Single-Bead Backstitch
1. Do a lock stitch, string a seed bead.
2. Go down at A, one bead width from where thread last came up, toward 12 o'clock. Bead will cover lock stitch. Stitch length should equal exact size of bead.
This design comes from Mary Stori's book, the All-in-One Beading Buddy

There are so many methods one can use to incorporate beading into your work. Here are a couple of small mounted pieces featuring my altered fabrics and a variety of beading techniques along with hand embroidery.  Available for purchase at my gallery shop.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


While I was waiting for my eyes to heal and unable to sew, the timing seemed right to reorganize my fabric closet.  My stash is quiet modest when compared to some, yet ridiculous  when viewed by others, especially beginners who have yet to be infected by the fabric bug.
I haven't purchased fabric in years....really.  Well....with the exception of fabric blanks for dyeing.  Also, my dear friend Helen is reducing her stash and generously gifted me at least 8 boxes of batiks and Oriental fabrics. That alone will keep me busy!! So, like many of you, the goal now is to create using only what I have on hand.  
I store all my altered fabrics on this hanging shoe rack.  It's now layered 5 deep in places preventing me from accessing anything easily.  That MUST change.
 While reorganizing the shoe rack section, I came across a hunk of dye painted fabric.  If I recall correctly, it was hand pleated into large and small sections, and painted using a foam brush.
Our (Judy, Kate, and myself) NC Arboretum exhibit has two more weeks to run. We've had great sales which is so encouraging.  Visitors seems to enjoy work that depicts the feel of this region and I will continue to concentrate on that theme.

I'm a self-taught artist who can't draw......depth & perspective are difficult to interpret, a reason I mainly stick to clean simple minimal designs. 

Here hand-dyed blue fabrics have been basted to the background in preparation for machine stitching which will appliqué and add texture to the mountains.
The red section of the dye-painted fabric inspired this stylized view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset. Now....the machine stitching begins.  Stay tuned....

Friday, June 24, 2016


Happily, I'm back to stitching again.....still having some issues with the eye post cataract surgery, but improving daily.
 While digging in the boxes of batiks my friend Helen gifted me, I came across a long 6" wide strip featuring bamboo.  Since I'm actively focusing on nature themes for the ongoing NC Arboretum exhibit I'm involved with, I dug further and paired it up with another piece.
 Recently I've read about Terial Magic, a new (or new to me) liquid stabilizer that when generously used, can render fabric into a paperlike material.
My pal Kate shared a large linen sheet with me which I ice-dyed. It was perfect for my bamboo design, BUT even with the aid of Wonder-Under (my preferred paper-backed iron on stabilizer) I suspected those nasty little frayed edges would appear during the machine applique process.  

So, I decided to try Terial Magic. Rather than creating a stiff paper-like material which one can do, I lightly sprayed the fabric and pressed until dry. It worked but not without some negatives. It's advertised NOT to leave debris on the iron or stain fabric.....both of which I experienced.  Now could that be because I was working with hand-dyed fabric?

Now back to that first picture.  Next, my concern moved to the stability of the lighter than usual weight of the center batik section.  I repeated the process on it.  Disaster.....I was VERY careful when I pressed it....but it distorted terribly, so bad in fact I had to remove the borders, recut the center, straighten the borders and start over.  As I was ripping out the stitches I noticed the off-white thread was now pink!*!*

I'm not at all sure what the heck happened, except to think the center fabric shrunk and the color ran.  Perhaps I learned a lesson.....pretreat the fabric BEFORE working with it!?!? For the most part, the raw edges of my design behaved quite well and I had very little staining with this commercial fabric. So, I need to experiment further before giving this product a thumbs up....and's pricey. $14.95 for 24 ozs.
Oh well....onward.  Here's the start of auditioning bamboo images......check back soon for the results.

Follow these links to see what others have been working on this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts.


Friday, June 17, 2016


I haven't been very productive lately, still coping with the aftermaths of cataract surgery which has been a disappointment.  I'm still hoping that because my body appears to be a slow healer, in time I'll be rewarded with my patience.'s a beading technique you might find fun to incorporate into some of your work.  The following appeared in C & T Publishing's blog, my publisher for well over a decade.  But first, take a look at how this technique was used to add interest to one of my wool felted bowls.

Today Mary Stori, author of the All-in-One Beading Buddy, shares the branched fringe stitch, perfect to use within the body of a quilt or garment and along the edges or bindings. 

Work this method as a single fringe unit, in bunches, or a row.
1. Come up at A, string a length of size 11 seed beads.
2. Pass needle up through next to last bead, B, travel 3 beads and exit at C.

3. String 4 more seed beads, re-enter at D, pass through "branch" and re-enter central stem at E. Repeat to top of original string, varying number of beads and location of side branch.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


This falls under the category of 'having too much money' OR 'are they nuts?!'
This Porsche Design Tower is supposedly the newest & hottest property in Miami.  Auto-obsessed residents park their supercars inside their $6 to $30 million dollar penthouse apartments.  Adjoining additional garage space can be purchased for a mere $1.8 - $2.5 million!!
Sure it's a beautiful view....but where would you display your quilts?
Oh....that's right, cars are 'The Art'.
In the center of this model you can see where an elevator brings the car up from street level.  The floor rotates to face 'your personal' elevator it and drive your precious vehicle into your 'home'.

Now I've seen it all!!!

Monday, June 13, 2016


While growth charts were on my mind......I added the finishing touches on this one designed for our great niece Olivia, who is 8 months old and loves giraffes.

Friday, June 10, 2016


It's been a very frustrating couple of weeks after embarking upon cataract surgery, first for one eye....then two weeks later for the other.  My friends caution me to be patient, that it will be worth it.  I'm counting on their advice because right now I regret the whole thing.

If you are like me.....NOT being able to sew is like not breathing......thus my frustration.....with that said, I actually (slowly, ever so slowly) finished another piece.  Sales at the NC Arboretum exhibit that I'm doing with two pals, Kate and Judy, have been good and replacements are needed....yeah.
Our 5th annual Girlfriend Art Camp in Phoenix in February yielded numerous pieces that I was anxious to work on.  Our first ice-dyeing session was disappointing.....not failures, just unexpected paler than usual results. This was supposed to be PFD rayon/cotton fabric but I suspect it wasn't.
This is one of my pieces that was reworked with mono printing using thinned acrylics & stencils. After stabilizing and sandwiching with a thin batting, it was machine stitched.  Now I love the simplicity of this piece.
SUMMERTIME  15.5" x 21.5"
Ice-dyed and painted cotton rayon, machine stitched. 
Edge facing and hanging sleeve complete this piece.

Check out these links to see what others have been working on this week:  Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


There has been both major and minor distruptions in the lives of FJ's members so this meeting was so looked forward to when everyone was able to attend. YEAH!!
Despite the forecast of rain....we had a dry sunny day which allowed our deconstructed screens to dry quickly.
A plastic table cloth is the gathering point for our materials....many were in use when I snapped this picture.
My day was not productive at all.....I had numerous failed ice-dyed wool felt pieces that needed another opportunity to become attractive, so I mostly mono-printed.  Here I've pressed a plastic sink mat, coated with thickened dye, onto the fabric.  I won't even bother to show you the finished look......there wasn't enough contrast/color to make much of a change.

That's the extent of what you'll see from my day.....not only was I having a super hard time trying to see with one eye filled with dozens of black dots from my cataract surgery, looking through eye glass prescription that was no longer viable, on top of all that I developed another bad cold.  Have you ever tried to dye/print/work when one's nose drips every 2 mins.....wearing dye covered rubber gloves!  ENUFF said.....

Judy too was having an off day......she's all set with thickened dyes....plant material, her screen etc.
But when she printed.....ugh....there were areas of nothing along with a huge blackish mass.
This group is so very clever and optimistic.....Denny suggested using the bleach crystals she had found for us to save the piece.  
On the other hand, Kate was on a roll......she created screens so quickly she decided to wave them back and forth to get them to dry faster!
By lunch time I was feeling even sicker so my photo review of our day is pretty slim.....but on a happier note.....The exhibit Kate, Judy, and I have at the NC Arboretum is having wonderful sales.  We continue to add new pieces and this patchwork piece and the one below are some of Kate's new additions.

Judy had been busy marbling.....she had piles of these beauties to show and happily shared a few with us.......thanks Judy!

This is another stunning piece that Val designed......I feel that her work tends to have a very dream like quality and no one can combine unexpected colors better than she can!

If you've read down this far you'll know why I may be absent again for awhile as eye #2 ungoes cataract surgery tomorrow. So far, this has NOT been a cake walk, and I'm truly hoping it will have been worth it cause right now all I can say's not!  With that said, I am NOT a good patient, because I'm not a patient person. However, now that I'm appearing so grumpy with this admission....hopefully the next procedure will have me doing a happy dance......I'll be back before I'm missed......

Friday, June 3, 2016


 After many years of wondering if we'd ever have grandchildren....we are now blessed with two darling boys.  Being a long distance grandma keeps me creative.
Raiden just turned 4 and as fast as he's growing, I wonder if his growth chart should have been taller!?!
Last fall we welcomed grandson #2 and I made this quilt for him.
Now it was time to create Elan's growth chart. I continued with the airplane theme.
Our two cuties....taken several months ago......

Visit these sites to see what other fiber artists have been up to this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday,  Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Sews.