Monday, January 30, 2017


After having this task on my 'to-do' list for far too long.....finally photos and measurements were taken of all the felted bowls/baskets/votive holders currently in my inventory.
This is just a partial look at the collection which is now waiting to be fitted with sales tags.  Need a gift for someone special (including yourself?  Visit my  online here to view.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Many happy hours have been spent with my buddies Kate and Judy ice-dyeing fabric.  We've all come away with loads of treasures....but what the heck to do with them??
The patterns are often so high energy, with colors that don't blend well with our existing fabrics.  Yet, who wouldn't love the results or wish to find a way to incorporate them into a quilt?
I've always been fond of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style of design.  His stained glass panels hit all the right notes for me.  That got me to thinking about how this fabric echoes the look of various types of glass used in making stained glass items.  I'm not a planner/drafter of patterns because I'm an idiot about math.  Plus so often my rotary cutting is inaccurate despite trying to be meticulous. (I blame it on the shadows from my overhead part quite true.)

And if you are a long time reader of this blog you already know that sewing patchwork is not my favorite construction method.....especially since my Pfaff died and was replaced by my nemesis a Janome 8900.

Yet I plunged ahead with this inspiration, the result is below. My next least favorite technique is machine quilting....which will be the next step for this piece when I can figure out what I want and am capable of doing.  

As I write this....I'm struck by the realization (though not for the first time) that machine work continues to be an area of quilting that I enjoy the least.  Perhaps that's why beading and hand quilting had become such passions for me! 
 quilt top 
With all this said, yes, I do believe a way to utilize this type of fabric has been achieved.  Since I actually just completed's the final look below. 
Ice-dyed cottons, machine quilted.

You can find work produced by fellow check them out here:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday,  Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Sews.


Sunday, January 22, 2017


Congratulations to the Falcons on an outstanding game. Best wishes for a successful Super Bowl outcome. 

The injury plagued Packers had nothing left and were reduced to playing 4th stringers.  Many starters suffered from the flu most of the week.  Not excuses....just facts.

Our team gave us an incredibly exciting now it ends.  You can be sure we will be cheering just as loud and enthusiastically when they hit the playing field again next season.  Till always..... GO PACK GO!!!


Well...this is it....another BIG game for the Packers as they play to advance to the Super Bowl with a win over the Atlanta Falcons.  Win or lose....we love our Packers!
Fingers crossed that their secret (not so secret) weapon Jordy Nelson will be back after being out with a rib injury.  He's been seen at practice!
This says it all....
Perhaps we will be seeing a Hail Mary to Jordy.....GO PACK GO!!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017


We welcomed 2017 with our first meeting at Gen's home. Each of us looking forward to another great year of creating & experimenting. After the usual coffee and goodies....we began with Show and Tell. 
Kate brought this awesome top. It was jump started at a recent meeting when Denny brought her many die cut machines....Kate got to work immediately cutting the patchwork.  Love her wonderful choice of fabrics, the various bands and how the white sets off the circle motifs.
We have a community i-spy box which is continually replenished by not only FJ members but others who are purging from their stash and are willing to gift us conversation type fabrics.  Judy made this darling, colorful baby quilt for a friend.  The polka-dot binding is perfect, one that almost didn't happen as apparently black/white polka-dot fabric is extremely difficult to find in our area.  
Gen, our master at everything, had our jaws dropping when she pulled out this piece made with decorator fabric samples.  The patchwork is simple yet her choices of placement and pattern is what makes this piece so special.
Gen also made this lap quilt.....Her skill in combining various fabric prints/colors/and unusual setting makes this one a winner too.
During a meeting about a year ago, we concentrated on collage and image transfer.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this piece that Kate made.  The inspiration was from a photo she took during an international trip.
Unfortunate family matters prevent Denny from her usual thought provoking pieces, preferring instead to use her limited time with what she calls 'mindless' work.  She signed up for this block of the month project, very unlike Denny's normal style. 
But the professor approach in Denny hasn't retired, though her day job is.  She cleverly decided to use a floral print for the copied the fabric, then photocopied the pattern over it.
This provided a helpful unit for her to play with colors before committing to fabric.  In my humble opinion, the floral background enriches this design so very much more than a solid could have.
The one thing Denny does reserve time for is participation in Hollis Chatelain's Ten-Year Masters Art Series.  It's a study of the basics of art. Above and below are small works that are exercises from her studies.  A design is repeated several times using various colorways.

The real purpose this month was to 'brainstorm'.  It's a repeat of last year's similar session.  The idea was for each of us to bring fabrics, UFOs, or ideas that we either didn't know what to do with or had started and needed inspiration/feedback to move further.

Judy brought this small marked floral design.  She'd begun thread painting with black wool thread and was now looking for input on how to turn it into a worthy finished piece.

She works with sheers quite a bit....after suggesting painting the motif, we all wondered if an overlay of a lightly dyed sheer would be useful.
This sheer, belonging to Judy was created during a fabric dyeing session at Kate's place on Folly Beach. We tried eco dyeing....after poor results we placed our unsuccessful tied fabric rolls in a iron bath (rusty water) and simmered them for about 90 mins.  

We agreed a good marriage would be to place Judy's (below) shibori painted fabric beneath the sheer.  And perhaps to outline stitch the pattern through the sheer to provide texture and more definition.

Here's another piece Judy brought.  It was a color study using sheers.  She wanted to throw it out.  We all howled....noooooo.  All it needed was some thread work which Judy is more than capable of doing to turn this into a finished piece.

For some reason the only photos of our brainstorming session were of Judy's materials.  We got so engrossed into the 'what if's' that I forgot to continue documenting.  I must say, this was a very valuable exercise.  One some of you may want to plan for your small group to kick around ideas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Walking before the sun comes over the ridge is rewarded by these beautiful views.  It's why our area is called the Smoky Mountains. This morning the mist/fog rolled up the valley and soon enveloped me, other times little fingers rise straight up.  Always a fascinating sight to behold!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


PTA (Professional Textile Artists) started out the year by meeting in Georgia Bonesteel's neck of the woods.  
 First we met at Curb Market in Hendersonville where Georgia and Gen Grundy have just opened a booth.  Georgia's spirit always shines through.....see her peeking through the merchandise?  PTA member and good pal Judy Simmons featured our visit on her blog....check it out here.
 We adjourned for lunch and show and tell at Georgia's house.  Here's a new piece she's been working on.  All those curves make me shiver but not for Georgia who is a true pro with her Bernina. 
 Judy brought several examples of her recent snow dyeing...using folding methods to create the pattern.  I love the images.  Interestingly, they have less fracturing than ice dyeing and we assume that's due to how quickly the snow melts vs ice.

 Kate has been BUSY.  We have a community i-spy box of fabrics....constantly being refreshed.  Isn't this a great way of using those larger conversation type fabrics and a wonderful baby gift?!?
 She used Minky blanket fabric for the backing.....a cozy finish for a baby quilt.  However, she said it was a challenge to sew.
 Kate has dedicated a lot of time lately to UFO's.  Creating small wall art is an excellent way to utilize those large blocks that will now never make it into a big project!
 We welcomed our newest member Marene to this meeting.  This is an invitational group and's been about 10 years since anyone was added.
She created this stunning Bargello quilt as a gift.  Wouldn't you like to be her friend?
We all love Dort's charming pictorial quilts.  This is just another example of how well she incorporates print fabrics in her whimsical themes.

Monday, January 16, 2017



GO PACK GO.......Our heroes

I nearly didn't survive the stress....what a game!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Well....another Sunday and another huge game......but the Packers have St. Vincent on their side.  Here's the story behind St. Vincent.....  If you are a Packer fan, you probably already know it....if you aren't you the linked article.
There are no other words today except:   GO PACK GO!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017


I've hardly said a word all week.....well not here anyway!!  But with only one day to go before the Packers take on the Cowboys....well the tension is building!!  If you are a fan, the following will be self explanatory....if not......why not?!?                                        GO PACK GO!!!

 Looks like that illegal Giants' hit will cause Jordy to miss the game....just hope he's okay and that there will be another game in his future this season!
GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2017


A rewarding 4 days of wet felting wool votive holders.
 Appx. sizes 3" x 4"
Close-up - votive holders still drying, fitted with yogurt containers to retain their shape.

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Winter finally arrived in our NC mountains.....too much snow, ice, and brrrrrrr temperatures.  What's a girl to do?  Why, stay inside and get creative!
 Thanks to 'the son & DIL' I was gifted a hefty amount of felting supplies.  This is a tool I've had my eye on for some time.....pricey enough that I didn't jump at it immediately.  BUT....gosh now I'm glad I own one. 
 The disc, with its generously sized handle and grooves in the bottom was reported to cause less hand strain plus faster felting. So far, I'd give it a thumbs up.
My first attempt to make votive candle holders combined a pre-felt batt topped with roving.  It was successful, yet I was looking for a more uniform, thinner wall.  I didn't yet own the felting disc.
Left-  white with blue stripes  -  Right - white with green squiggles 

The felting disc helped achieve what I was aiming for.  Excuse the photos, good photography is difficult with lights out to showcase the flickering candle. Though wool doesn't burn easily, each holder is fitted with a battery operated votive candle.  
Here are three more with their yogurt container forms inside as they dry.

I'm planning to develop a dedicated section in my gallery shop for wool vessels....that is, when I can figure out how to do it....ahhh technology.  But if anyone is truly interested in purchasing using link on right side bar.

Monday, January 9, 2017



 Dallas lookout here we come!!