Sunday, July 31, 2016


As seen in the window of our local jewelry store.........

Friday, July 29, 2016


I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.  The inability for the time being and hopefully only temporary, of not being able to stitch well enough to do the precision handwork I demand of myself, has forced me to work with new construction techniques.

This is the piece referenced in this post. It's now complete and the world did not come to an end by not incorporating beading or other handwork!

Artist hand dye-painted cotton, machine stitched,
and surface design elements.

Hop over to these blogs to check out what other artists have been up to this week.   Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday,  Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and  Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


 Here's another beading technique from my book, "All-In-One Beading Buddy", featured on C & T's blog.  The post is credited with my name but I didn't write it, so I'm not sure what's going on with that!  But I am happy to be able to share it with you.

The book is no longer available in hard copy, however it can be purchased as an e-book at the C & T site.

It's a simple stitch but I can still remember how long it took me to figure out how to  create it once I envisioned it.  It was always a workshop favorite in my beading classes!

How to Bead: Captured Beads

Posted by 
Seed beads secure a larger bead in this decorative stitch, perfect for edging or binding. Use it on quilts, ribbon, trim, napkins, pillows, bed linens, or even curtains!
1. Come up at A on fold, string a 6° seed bead and 7 size 11° seed beads.
2. Lay 1st bead horizontally to left on fold, enter bead from A side of bead.
3. Exit bead, go down at B, travel through binding and up where next unit will be placed.
This wonderful bead trim is from Mary Stori's All-in-One Beading Buddy

  • HOW TO

Monday, July 25, 2016


Productivity has been lacking in my studio for far too long!  I'm grateful to those of you who have reached out asking whether my vision has finally improved after cataract surgery.  The answer is sadly and rather frightening, NO. I'm halfway through the "aggressive treatment" the doctor has now prescribed.  It's in the form of 2 different eye drops, 4 times a day, but has yet to help.

So, my love of handwork is now on hold until there is a solution.  Naturally, I can't just sit around moaning and complaining.....instead, my attention will shift toward pieces that can be completed mostly on the machine.  Certainly not my first choice in construction methods, but who knows this may lead to a whole new style!
 This hand dye-painted cotton was machine quilted to provide a 'water' background.  
Years ago while visiting an antique filled barn in Wisconsin, this goofy structured stainless steel fish caught my eye.  Well....not necessarily because I liked it, but because it's just the kind of offbeat item 'the husband' appreciates.  So it came home with me.

Perhaps the design has grown on me after all these years because it became the inspiration to feature a skeletal fish in my latest piece.  Obviously, this is just the starting point, where size, shapes, and colors are being auditioned.

I'm jumping ahead now in the process to show you a technique I'm in the process of incorporating. After the main elements were secured to the background, it became evident that a bit more interest/detail was needed.  Normally, I'd have hand embroidered underwater foliage and beaded more details.  Instead, it was necessary to come up with another method.
 What you see in this photo and the one above is the fusible side of Wonder-Under that has been stenciled and painted with acrylic paint.  I'd read about this ages ago and quickly painted up several large sheets but never used them.

The idea is to pull away the now painted fusible web from the paper backing, cut into shapes, and fuse in place.  HA!  Removable was VERY difficult, destroying about half of everything I tried.  Did I use too much paint?  Not the correct type of paint? Perhaps thinning it would have been desirable??
Fusing was an even worse mess.  Neither using Wonder-Under (waste) paper (saved from fusing other projects) or a Teflon Press sheet were foolproof ways of protecting the iron.  Also, more than half the 'weeds' pulled off the fabric (after allowing them to cool) when I   carefully removed the protective covering. AND for goodness sake, I learned to make sure EVERYTHING previously fused stayed covered. Otherwise the paint would melt right onto the iron if it hit one of the transferred pieces. 

I like the idea, but clearly there are tricks that weren't mentioned when I first read about it.  Have you used this technique?  If comment with suggestions, tips, ideas.....I'm sure all the readers would benefit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Despite busy summer schedules.....most of our members were able to attend the July meeting held at Barbara's house.  She's an excellent hostess who makes us all feel so welcome. 
Several important pieces were unveiled by members who were participating in a local exhibit through the Southern Highland Craft Guild.  They worked in teams....and in my humble opinion were super successful.

Barbara excells at pieced backgrounds, Judy's strength is her ability to work with many surfaces design elements.  Together this fabulous triptych, each panel mounted on canvas covered wood frames, was the result.
I'm sorry about the poor quality photo of this person it's STUNNING.  Georgia Bonesteel and Linda Cantrell combined their talents to create "Roots", an appliqué quilt.  It depicts each member of our PTA group and offers a visual peek at the things we associate with that person.  The motifs are Ultra-suede which was machine appliquéd to a white background.  The large building represents Lake Logan's Lodge where we hold our annual retreat.  And there's the starving dog we found wandering around in the freezing cold one year.  We named him Logan.....and found him a home!
This section is dedicated to our FL member. Even though she's moved away from Asheville, she remains a permanent PTA member. Fortunately, she visits a couple of times a year.  Leigh Anne loves her cats, works on a computer for her day job, loves wine, and has had more than a few relationships. you can see....there's one silhouette that stands apart from the group.....changing the ditty....'3's the charm' to '4 and done'.
With 14 of us, birthdays aren't specifically celebrated.....but Mary B., our most mature member had a birthday the following day so we couldn't help but acknowledge it! 
Dort has a very keen sense of how to effectively utilize print fabric into scenic quilts.  Here's a work in progress long view of our mountains in the fall. 
And another on a foggy day.
Barbara (like so many of us) has begun to dig out UFO's to finish.  This will be a good seller at the holiday craft fair she participates in annually!

We all departed with full bellies after our delicous Pot Luck and smiles on our faces...full of inspiration and friendship.

Monday, July 18, 2016


My internet pal, Robbie Payne shared a BIG box of wood chips that she's been using in her eco-dyeing experiments.  Learn about her results on her blog...but continue reading to enjoy the talent she displays, no matter what the construction style she chooses! 
 When Robbie generously offered to share some of her stash with me, little did I dream the gift would be so vast.
The containers hold wood chips from many sources, such as Bolivian Rosewood, Sumac, Sassafras, Sourwood.  I can not WAIT to get some fabric (rolled with leaves and flowers) steeping.  I'll report back when I get this going.  A huge thank you Robbie!! 

Friday, July 15, 2016


I need to update and revamp my online gallery shop to reflect the recent sales from the NC Arboretum exhibit.  So before beginning, I decided it was a great time to have a FLASH SALE!!!!  The Arboretum is a wonderful place to display quilts yet their hanging system makes it very difficult to hang mounted pieces.  An issue I'll keep in mind for our 2018 show and a happy one for any of you who've been eyeing one of my embellished mounted pieces.  All gallery wrapped pieces are finished on the back with cloth and fitted with hanging devices. Other specifics are posted below.  Click on the photo to enlarge your view.

All prices include free shipping in the US.  If interested, email me (link on right side bar).  I can bill you via Paypal or will accept a check. Don't hestitate to contact me if you have any questions.  This offer is good until July 18th - noon Est  
                         FOCUS ON NATURE 14" X 11"   © 2016
Deconstructed screen printed images on silk noil, bead embellished, hand embroidered. Mounted on canvas covered fabric backed frame with a hanging device.

*Note - the beads around the agate appear reddish, however the color more closely matches the pale orange dyed scrim. 

 MAPLE LEAF - 9 x 12" © 2015 
 Artist hand-dyed, shibori printed, ice-microwave dyed, & mono printed wool featuring bead embroidery.  It's mounted on a canvas covered frame, fabric backed with a hanging device.

THE COLOR OF FALL - 12" X 9" © 2015
 Artist shibori printed, ice-microwave dyed, & mono-printed wool, machine needle lace embroidered leaves. Mounted on a canvas covered frame, fabric backed with hanging device.
INDIGO BLUE - 10" X 8" © 2015
 Artist indigo dyed linen, printed with natural foliage, bead embellished agate, and hand embroidered.  Mounted on a canvas covered frame, fabric backed with hanging device.

ELEMENTS #2 -  8" X 10" © 2015
Artist ice-dyed silk noil, hand embroidered, bead embellished. 
Gallery wrapped/cradled wood frame.  
Back view.  All my framed pieces are finished on the back.
PURPLE AGATE  10" X 8" © 2014
Artist marbled cotton, hand embroidered, bead embellished, featuring a beautiful purple agate. Gallery wrapped on canvas frame, ready to hang.
AGATE INSPIRED  8" X 8" © 2014
Marbled cotton by the artist, hand embroidered, agate and bead embellished. Gallery wrapped canvas.
LIGHTNING AT SUN SET  8" X 8" © 2014
Artist deconstructed screen printed wool, hand embroidered, bead embellished, featuring a laser cut metal motif.  Gallery wrapped on cradled wood frame.
Though I work in many different styles, I'm especially drawn to simple, clean, minimal designs.....featuring a focal element which is quite visible. It draws the viewer in for a closer look where other details keep their interest. 
                     WAVELENGTH    10" w  X 8" h   ©2014
Artist ice-dyed wool, machine stitched, hand embroidered, and bead embellished.  Gallery wrapped on wood frame.

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

Thursday, July 14, 2016


This piece was begun back in early June when I tried a new stabilizing process for the applique motifs, you can read about it here.

So, now it's finished. It feels more tropical than our local scenery but believe it or not, we have quite a bit of bamboo here in the mountains.

We also have a good number Florida folks that the locals dub 'half-backs'.  It's the reverse of the term 'snow birds'.  Most have retired in Florida from the East but escape the summer heat here in the mountains.
Commerical cottons & ice-dyed linen, machine applique and quilted.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Our curious dog, Sooty thought this large snapping turtle might be a good play mate.  Black labs are always so friendly and she is no exception.

What a surprise to see this very large turtle wandering along side of our road this morning while on our 'daily forced march'.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Given the cost of our fiber materials, it's always so satisfying to come up with ideas to utilize as much as possible.
The bits and pieces of the mono-printed Woolfelt that remained after making numerous covered boxes were like an itch that needed to be scratched. They needed attention!  So, they were cut into a variety of shapes, backed with card stock, and will be used as gift tags.  YEAH!!!

UPDATE:   I'm always surprised  at the interest you readers exhibit!  So because I've already had two questions about this little project let me explain further.  The small left-over pieces of painted felted wool were glued to cardstock with Scotch Super 77.  

It WAS MESSY due to the need to handle all the pre-cut small pieces. They were placed upside down in a shallow cardboard box, sprayed and then at first using my fingers but later I tried a tweezers which was too difficult to manage, turned them right side up onto cardstock.  I covered that with a piece of plastic (grocery store type) and pressed down firmly to provide a good bond.  It was allowed to sit for several hours before cutting away the excess cardstock.

I'm not a fan of spray adhesives for many reasons but my experience has taught me that neither Wonder-Under nor some of the liquid glues would bond well enough to stay secure for any length of time.  The porous nature of the woolfelt can be an issue when bonding.

Also, after spraying my first batch, I placed a sheet of tissue paper in the bottom of the cardboard box to cover the sticky residue before positioning more felt pieces.  Do that each time you spray otherwise glue will remain on the front of the mono-printed fabric. A box used help contain the overspray!
A large-eye sharp crewel needle worked well to attach strings to the gift tags.
Here's my pile of completed tags.....  Hope this provides you with the info necessary to create your own boxes or tags.

Monday, July 11, 2016


The most recent Fiber Junkie play day found me focused on printing National Nonwoven's Woolfelt using stencils & acyrlic paints.
 This is one pleasing example. 
It was turned into this covered box. I'll opt for working with larger pieces of fabric in the future to cut down on the small leftovers pieces. 
It was such fun, I made more.......

Friday, July 8, 2016


Handwork is still an issue for me right now and that has given me the push to reorganize my studio and spend more time at the sewing machine.  
This piece of folded/dye-painted cotton was uncovered in the tidying up process.    The horizontal bands nudged my design toward a landscape.  This was far more time consuming a project than I ever expected.  In part because finding the right blues in my stash to depict the Blue Ridge Mountains was a bit of a challenge.  In the end, paint sticks and variegated threads were a big help!
I also learned that just because I was using the sewing machine.....the massive amount of stitching still took a lot of time.
Dye-painted & hand-dyed cottons, heavily machine stitched.

Check out what other creative folks have been up to this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


The most valuable bonus of my 25+ career as a quilt professional is definitely the folks I've met along the quilting highway.  It's only natural that once the travel stops, contact with so many drops off.

So when a package arrived in the mail from my friend Casey in Baltimore....well it certainly put a smile on my face.  How very thoughtful that during her first visit to the famous Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame that she remembered me.

"The husband" and I had just remarked that the first Packer game is only 1 month and a day that's a true blue GREEN fan!  Until then.....remember these words   GO PACK GO!!!!

Thank you Casey!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Not wanting to sound like a broken record......but I will vision issues have gotten worse, which has obviously been pretty darn upsetting.  The good thing is the surgeon thinks he now knows what's wrong and I'll be having a special scan before the end of the week.  This will provide some answers which hopefully will be a guide to treatment.
This rainbow was visible on our 'forced march' today, so I'm taking this as a positive sign......

Monday, July 4, 2016



Sunday, July 3, 2016


Besides spending creative time together at our Fiber Junkies meetings, all 6 members are constantly producing new work.  We share our work to inspire, get feedback, and general brain storming each time we gather.
Judy brought several 3-d mounted pieces this month.  Each features techniques such as photo transfer & screen printing.
Besides trees, her favorite subject is leaves.....not surprising when you see her masterful use of color, design, and texture.
Every detail is considered, she even incorporates 'back art'.

Gen has kept her sewing machine purring as she continues on her piecing marathon.  Careful use of scraps make for such happy quilt tops.

Denny's denim/scrap backing of her quilt made us all smile.
Yikes.....correct me girlfriends....was this Kate's or another one of Gen's??  How great is it that our show and tell is so expansive that recall is difficult once I get home! (Or how bad is it that my memory is so poor?) 
Above and below - Perfect for that 'off to college" gift.