Monday, October 31, 2016


The kiddos have returned to CA....leaving us with such wonderful memories.  So, it was time for me to get back in the studio to create a few more Woolfelt baskets.  Surface design techniques include mono-printing, disperse/transfer printing, and machine stitching.


Sunday, October 30, 2016


If these aren't just the BEST Halloween costumes!  The Wilder family of Appleton, WI are the Chevrolet Packer Fans of the week!
Packers vs Falcons........GO PACK GO!!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


I'm like a thief, sneaking into the studio to steal a little time!
Overnight a lot of surface design ideas popped in the 'ole brain and I couldn't wait to apply some. Both baskets were made using altered National Nonwoven's Woolfelt.
 This one was printed with live ferns using thinned acrylic paint.

The inside layer of this basket was mono-printed with acrylic paint, the outside was a failed ice-dyed experiment, but brought back to life by acid dyeing.
There's really nothing really fast about making these baskets.....each took 2 hours.  Am I done?!?  NOPE.....lots more ideas to explore when I can get back in the studio.  The countdown is on.....the kids are coming from CA in 2 days....yeah!!!!  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Time limitations this week will allow only short periods in the studio.  But I did manage to create a small felt basket.  It's made using two layers of National Nonwoven's Woolfelt.
I'd been researching different methods of paper folding that might adapt to thicker fiber.  Okay, I'll admit.....this simple looking pattern took hours to create, even after finding a tiny similar diagram.  In part, math and this kind of concept is out of my wheel house.....
I began by fusing two colors of Woolfelt together.
The freezer paper pattern was pressed to the unit, cut out and a jeans stitch was sewn around the outside edges.
Next, a grid makes the base firmer.
Finally, a simple decorative stitch was added to each side. 
"The husband" suggested I make a couple of these for the many, many cheater glasses I have spread all over our house.
I can't wait to make more.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Views from Tuesday's 'forced march' (daily early morning hike.)
No wonder sleep escaped me last night.....there's a full moon.

Monday, October 17, 2016


It begins.....the reason so many tourists flock to the mountains of Western North Carolina.  These picturesque scenes are what I enjoyed on my morning 'forced march'.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


My pal Gen knitted these cozy socks for me......Packer colors!  My good luck charm for this weekend's game..... THE PACK vs The Cowboys. Hey, they've worked well so far. 
GO PACK GO!!!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2016


I had one of those 'life happens' week.....

This pitiful design was ditched after spending more time on it than I should have.  The background was pieced using some deconstructed silk noil.

Not much will be happening in the studio next week as we prepare for a long awaited visit from our CA kids.

Linking to:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Yeah.....the Packers vs Giants is the NFL Sunday night game....which means it will be on TV here. They are playing at Lambeau Field.....always a plus to have a home game.

So, by now you know the drill......say it with me .....GO PACK GO!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2016


Awhile back I blogged about an unusually challenging piece I was working on. It was one-half of a very flimsy linen/lace table cloth that I had ice-dyed.  

While the design itself came easily, implementing the hand stitching was time consuming, yet very enjoyable.  Since three of the four edges were already finished, common edge treatment such as a binding or facing wouldn't work.  Mounting on a rust colored silk noil canvas covered frame seemed like the perfect solution....unfortunately it just wasn't the right 'feel'.  You know what I mean, right??

After more thought, it was sandwiched with batting and a backing and machine quilted around the motifs.  Considerable time was spent turning a small seam allowance of the backing to meet the finished edges and hand stitching in place.  The top edge was a little trickier since two tabs were also incorporated. It now 'feels' right!!  I hope you think so too.

LUNARIA ANNUA  21" x 27.5" (as hung) 
Available here (larger photo)
Vintage linen, ice-dyed by the artist, hand embroidered and machine stitched.

Check out these blogs to see what other artists have created this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts.


Thursday, October 6, 2016


Long time followers of this blog may recall that 'the husband' is an auto race fan.....sports car racing that is.  And guess who gets dragged along?!?  
The noise is deafening....the weather is either too hot, too cold, too windy, or ________  (fill in the blank).  Why he wants me to come is beyond me since I have a tendency to whine.  But I do try to be a good sport....really I try.  People watching is fun, and look what I spotted here.....  Elan is the name of our 2nd grandson.  Grandson # 1 is already a car/truck/engine nut at the age of 4....maybe Elan will be too.
You see the most clever license plates too.....the car isn't bad either!!

.....and what do you know?!?  There are other quilter auto race widows like me too.  Mary Lee (left) lives in Ohio.....she contacted me about a week before Petit LeMans, hearing from a friend that I attend the race.  So we met up at the Porsche hospitality tent and spent the fastest hour I've ever experienced at a race chatting away about art quilts.  Now that we are acquainted, I sure hope we can meet up again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


......This is the final report about our 3 day girlfriend fiber retreat on Folly Beach.  We explored 3 different dyeing methods; eco-dyeing, acid dyeing, and our old favorite: ice-dyeing.
In order to have plenty of ice on hand, we loaded a cooler in the golf cart and made an ice run.
We spotted a newly built 'little house'. It kinda looks like a tree house doesn't it?
We've ice-dyed so many times that we now have a stream lined system in place.  We bring tons of MX dyes to choose from.
Judy (always organized) has dyed & labeled fabric samples of every color which makes selecting color combinations so easy.  We'd been kinda stuck using the same combinations for quite some time. However this trip, a new (to us) color became a
One of our discoveries during our last ice-dyeing session was how much easier it was to use a window screen to hold the fabric/ice......
My talented fiber blog friend Robbie gifted me a hunk of velveteen.  Each of us got a third and each was ice-dyed in a different combo of 3 dyes.  The results were stunning!
 On our last batch we decided to try some folding methods, rather than simply scrunching our fabrics.  Kate's was a real winner!!
After the ice-dyed success of my nightgown.....Kate and Judy got ahold of two white shirts and dyed them. Aren't they adorable?  (Hopefully they won't mind that I shared this photo!!) 

I hope you enjoyed this travel log of our dye retreat......and perhaps it will encourage you to organize one with some of your best fiber buddies too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


After the failed attempt to eco-print this piece of silk, described in my previous post, I turned to acid dyeing. The Pro-Chem website is a great source to learn more about this method.
The fabric was gathered into a ball, contained with rubber bands.......
.......then lowered into the dye bath, simmered for about 10 mins., turned over to simmer for another 8-10 mins. 
The results looked so positive when the bundle was removed.....
.......but when opened....ahhhh....more disappointment.  The blue dye didn't  penetrate all the way.
 Well....darn if I'm going to give up.  So we mixed up another look what happened when I dipped the length of fabric into the dye bath for about 30 seconds.  I'm in love. all know this ditty....'if at first you don't succeed.....try, try again!!'

Monday, October 3, 2016


On our recent 3 day retreat, we again attempted eco-dyeing/printing with plant material, steeped in various types of wood chips.  They were gifted to me by talented blogger friend Robbie....see her work here.
Another good fiber friend in Arizona passed along a couple of yummy yards of fabric.....several being silk.
After our first failure with this method, I spent hours and hours again studying different approaches to natural dyeing.  We decided this time to use an Alum mordant for the fabric AND the leaves.

We placed the wood chips with such appealing names, Brazilian Rosewood, Osage Orange etc. in large plastic containers.
Next, we added our prepared fabric that had been rolled onto wood dowels.  Finally, we added boiling water and covered the containers with black plastic and let steep in the hot South Carolina heat for 24 hrs.
Well, dang......we opened one of the rolls and this is what mine looked like after all that effort!!
We don't give up we moved the contents of the container into a shallow metal pan and simmered it for about 4 hours.
By now I had my hopes up.....but most of mine still had barely any I took all of mine apart and acid dyed them.  So there!!!  I will share that experience in another post. Here are several of Kate's and Judy's organzia fabrics where pale color from the wood chips is visible.  If there is any impression of a leaf, it's merely a resist....the spots you see on the lower piece were created by blueberries that Kate added in her fabric roll.

More to come as I go through my photos....I was a picture taking fool on this trip!