Saturday, April 29, 2017


Bliss......I've been away with pals the last four day doing a dyeing marathon at a friend's home on Folly Beach, SC.  I'm considering weighing my stack of  fabric....surely it must be 10 pounds or more.....

Here's a sneak peak of some of my results.....more to come when I can take a breath....and stop itching from all the chigger bites!!  They LOVE me....and this trip I vowed to add another layer of protection besides the outside spraying my friend does.  My skin/clothing/and even hair was drowned in bug spray....and I thought I'd gotten away with only a few minor bites...not so....but worth every annoying itch! 
 Cotton long sleeve t-shirt that had been light tan, turned into a weird pinkish after accidently being washed with bleach in a load of whites.  Now, after some ice dyeing....I have a brand new t-shirt!!
 Ditto for this sweat started as a pale yellow...that always looked it has a new life....though I wish it would have come out more red.....I have an aversion to anything pink.
Hooray......3 white pieces of National Nonwoven's Woolfelt were ice-dyed, then overdyed with acid dyes.  Woolfelt is available in a variety of fiber contents.  The most common is 80/20.  One would think that means 80% wool - 20% rayon.  Actually it's the when dyeing with MX the results are generally beautiful BUT there is always a flim of undyed white wool fibers. Those wool fibers will take up color when over-dyeing in an acid dye bath and the results are so lovely.

Check back.....I'll be posting more soon.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


At the Fiber Junkie's March meeting, our focus was working with alcohol inks.  
 I'd read about using plastic sheets/transparency products and decided to see if the inks would adhere to some Xray film.  I'd unearthed more than a dozen big sheets from a past medical issue that were of no use to me now.

The inks didn't work.  Hey...a girl's gotta try right?  I gave some to Val because I just KNEW she's come up with a brilliant way to utilize them.
.....And she did!  Here's a prototype of a coaster.....a section of the film has been cut and adhered to felt.  I tried it out using a hot coffee mug....results "A+".  Next I'll see how it holds up to a glass filled with an icy cold beverage.

Kuddos to Val.....

Monday, April 24, 2017


This focus of this month's gathering was to play with printed images on transparency sheets which are then transferred onto fabric that has been lightly treated with a matte medium. 
The first step: Judy scanned our chosen images into her computer....while Gen and Kate watch.  She uses Photoshop Elements to manipulate the image if desired (darken/change size/etc.)  The image is printed onto a transparency using an ink jet printer.  It's then placed (ink side down) onto fabric that has been treated with a medium.  Next a burnishing tool or even the back of a spoon is rubbed over the image until it transfers to the fabric.  It's left to dry, overnight is best before rinsing.
Here you see the pile of images Kate brought to work with.
I actually hadn't planned on making any since I'm not fond of working with the type of 'hand' this fabric creates. However, Kate encouraged me to do one anyway....sharing one of her images...........
................and a rust dyed piece of fabric she'd brought. I ever happy she did..... I love it! Thank you Kate.....
 Val is such an accomplished are some of her drawings that she'll use to transfer to fabric.

Val got ambitious and used a color print.
....Which was transferred to another hunk of Kate's rusted fabric.  Val had brought some of her lovely painted fabric designs that she had planned to use.  However, we soon learned that this technique was not suitable...the medium wouldn't soak into the painted fabric nor did the ink-jet images stick.  That's what we love about our experiments....we always learn something!
 Denny brought some dyed fabrics for her backgrounds.
She's creating a series of images of the houses she's lived in....soooo clever!
We all went ga-ga over Gen's piece......the transfer was done with color, yielding  a great deal of depth and detail to her piece.

Next month's date is already on our calendars.  We will be heading back to Val's wet studio for some deconstructive screen printing.  We've done that a lot....but continue to find it one of the most fun and successful techniques to play with.  Happily, thanks to Val's generosity....we will invade her space from May to late fall, focusing on all the messy methods we enjoy.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Fiber Junkies meeting day is one we all eagerly look forward to each month.  We played with transparency transfer.....more about that in my next post.  Right now here's some eye-candy from our show and tell.
 Judy hosted us in her beautiful, well equipped studio.  Her design wall is envied by us's huge.  Her piece from our PTA retreat was displayed as she continued to tweet the color placement of some hexes.
 And another set of quilt blocks ready for their final piecing.
 Kate has been on a tear, digging deep into her stash of scraps......determined to use them!  Here she's utilized leftover strips.
 Cleverly showcasing some on the backing as well.
 Kate's small piece from a SAQA Traveling Trunk show was recently returned...we all drooled over it.  She combined marble printing with shibori for this colorful piece.
 Denny brought a fabulous piece that she made as her final project in the Hollis Chatelain Master class which she's been participating in for nearly 10 years.  It depicts the scene she experienced during the 'Women's March' in a park in Greenville, SC.
 Val makes the most wonderful books....this cover features acrylic paints applied over a quilted/stitched layers.
 The inside cover is on the left, the face page on the right.  It's made with hand-made paper.....which was eco & indigo dyed.
 Center fold of book - paper with rusted and eco-dyed images.
 Gen has been spending time following collage exercise guidelines (book below) to create these charming designs.
Check back for more Fiber Junkies adventures....won't you?!?

Monday, April 17, 2017


Uninterrupted studio time has been abbreviated lately....however with short sessions here and there a new small piece was born.
A small piece of resist-dyed wet felted wool, paired with National Nonwoven's 70/30 wool felt......
.........a couple of hours of hand machine stitching.....
IMPRESSIONS - 12" X 11"   © 2017 
Resist dyed felted wool, hand embroidered, beaded, machine quilted.

After concentrating on patchwork lately, it was a pleasure to spend time working with felt and slow stitching. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


In no particular's some snap shots of our retreat.
 Georgia Bonesteel just returned from a trip to NY.....her highlight was a trip to Mood (of Project Runway fame).  Like so many who've gone for the first time.....she found it so overwhelming that purchases were minimal.  She came home with only two packages of sew on snaps!!
 Linda chose to use her time at retreat to knit socks....this pair is for Kate who picked out the yarn.
The first year we did our retreat....we each brought a photo of ourselves as a baby and a 2nd one during our highschool days.  We had so much fun guessing which photo belong to which person.

That started a tradition of 'Q & A' held during happy hour.  We do one question each night......answers are put in a bowl. Barbara had her helpful bell to try to keep control of 10 women all laughing and talking at once.  The retreat center serves dinner at 6:30 PM.....thus the bell is necessary to keep us from being late.

 Questions #1 was:  When I come back in my next life - I want to be.....?
OH my gosh......even as well as we know each other.....we are surprised by some of the answers.  One member answered - Carter Cruise.....none of us knew who that was. The tiny "do not open" attached note clued us in. If you are interested, google it.  

Two members had nearly the same answer.....Super Rich and Filthy Rich!  We all decided we'd travel the world: Super Rich would provide the private plane and Filthy Rich would escort us on a private yacht.
 Kate (left), Mary (center), and Judy (right) showed off our ice dyed garments.  Mine was a night shirt....Kate and Judy dyed men's white shirts.
 This is self-explanatory..... is this....two like minded PTA members!!

Oh much has to be left unsaid here......all year long we await these 3 days.  They never disappoint.  Grab some of your like-minded buddies and plan a little escape for yourselves.

Monday, April 10, 2017


10 members of 15 PTA - Professional Textile Artists have survived their 9th annual retreat.  Like they say about Vegas.....some things must remain private....but here are some highlights I can share.

Let's start with the quilts.....
 Leigh Ann comes all the way from FL to attend.....she planned to stitch this cheerful quilt at retreat, but since she arrived early to stay with one of our members.....she got a jump start which turned into a finished top!
 This is the same Debbie Bowles pattern as above, Janice made it with smaller blocks.....
 Marene, our newest member who fits into our group like she was always there....started with a donation quilt kit offered by the Asheville Quilt guild. 
 Judy and Kate had spent one of our Fiber Junkies meetings using the Accuquilt die cut machine to cut half-hexes.  Judy wisely arranged and pinned all her pieces to flannel ahead of time at home to make it easier to keep track of the arrangment while she sewed. Stitching was a long process....made more challening given it's super difficult to concentrate with all the goofiness that goes on in (and out) of the sewing room.
 Kate started to arrange her pieces in a landscape orientation once she was set up in our sewing room, but soon realized she'd be happier if she had a wider range of fabric choices. She's basing her design on a photo she took along the Blue Ridge Parkway and will work on her wall quilt at a later time.
 Here's another version of the Debbie Bowles pattern that Janice and Leigh Anne worked on.  It's such a great choice for big print fabrics.
 Kate is the most efficient, fastest sewer I know.  Mistakes are rare....but she found herself ripping several times.  We were happy to know she's human!  But, many times have you sewed blocks, right side to wrong side too??
 She'd cut up a bunch of scraps to make this little quilt......her planning allowed for 4 blocks wide but after laying it out.....we all agreed she needed another vertical row.  Using the meager amount of leftovers in her plastic kit bag......she only had enough for 4 blocks.  I convinced her to use the remaining scraps by altering the block pattern.  This created two surprise blocks for the final layout.  (Upper right and lower left corners.)
 Leigh Anne has a knack of working with fabrics that (for me) are always surprising....but they WORK! 
 This is my piece....I arrived with 48 - 4 patch blocks.....I cut each into 1" strips on each side of the center seam.  The pieces were rearranged and sewed back together.  I came home with 4 more horizontal seams left to complete sewing the rows together.
 Barbara was doing some improv designing.....I just love her color combination and with the weaving patterns she created.
This is another one Kate made.....yes, I told you she was fast, yet very accurate.  The fabrics are my leftover plaids created by the cutting I did for my 6.5" squares.

More in my next post......check back....