Friday, September 29, 2017


Twice a year my pal Judy and I have had the good fortune to spend a few days with our very good friend Kate at her place on Folly Beach.
It's common knowledge that I'm definitely the most directionally challenged person in the universe.....but wait....Judy Simmons is another one. Honestly, no matter where we go together....even if we've been there numerous times before....we always, and I mean always take a wrong turn.  Every trip from Asheville to Folly Beach, unless Kate is in the car with us....we miss the turn off to go over the bridge to Folly.....and we are always flabbergasted that we missed it.  This time we didn't.....and it's documented here. 

 BUT.....that didn't mean our trip was flawless, oh heck no! From Asheville to Charleston, it's basically a straight shot south on I26.  Alas.....somehow we ended up going West on I95...toward Savannah.  Seriously!!  No one can make this up. If there is a choice of roads encountered while driving....whatever I should ALWAYS do the exact opposite. Why I even express an opinion is a mystery since I'm rarely correct. But since Judy is no better, well....our outings are always good for laughs and logging unnecessary miles backtracking.  And before I go onto to another subject......I should confess.....we found ourselves going South when we should have gone we were driving home.  Totally true!
This is the view from Kate's deck.....what's not to love....unfortunately she still has a lot of debris left in the marsh from the recent hurricane.
Since we dyed fabric non-stop for 3 days, there's a lot to report....therefore I'll be sharing our results in several posts.  

So....what the heck is this??  Each of us (unplanned) dyed a garment.  My idea was to first dye the long sleeved white t-shirt in iron water and then over dye in indigo.  Instead of a pretty rust color I got a drab pewter/brownish.....still have NO idea how that happened.  
But after removing all the rubber bands, I dipped it in our indigo pot and here it is drying....actually it's really not too bad, though not what I was aiming for.
Here's Judy's....she had previously rusted her t-shirt and brought it to indigo dye.....lovely isn't it?!
Kate got into the act by accordion pleating a lightweight cotton cardigan.
A larger than desired white area remained on the back so she used a foam brush to transfer a bit more indigo dye onto it.  Clever girl!!
I also brought along a very faded and stained pair of shorts to over-dye.
Now I have like new indigo shorts....or will when they are dry.
We divvy up the meal responsibilities...and we eat well....This was lunch prepared by Judy.....peppers/tomatoes from her large garden, along with chicken and shrimp salad.
We all just love how the fading sun plays on the marsh grass as seen from Kate's dock.
The day ends.....we are happy, pooped, and have blue fingers.

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


......After a quick brown bag lunch we retired to Janice's large sewing studio and got to work sewing donation quilts.  Kate supplied ALL the kits.  She's a whiz at selecting fabrics and patterns, and equally quick at cutting and assembling kits!

We are a group of 14 but today 10 attended.  Four of us are also in Fiber here you'll see their names and faces too.
 Gen was a roaming helper.....pressing, sewing, and arranging on the design wall.
 Kate (standing) and Judy teamed up at one machine.  You've NEVER seen anyone like Kate who can put together a quilt quicker than I can even get two blocks stitched!
 My photo documentation is quite sparse. Marene (seated) and I teamed up but due to tension issues with her was very slow going so I missed snapping many of the ongoing quilts.
 Dort and Lynne worked on this one in an adjacent wonder they got so much more done....they weren't distracted by all the chatter.
 I 'think' this was the one Judy and Kate were working on.....
Here's another plaid quilt....Barbara and Georgia were working on. Again the fabric is from my large stash of samples that came my way when I was teaching.  I'm personally a sucker for plaids....but am so happy they will now be utilized!

Unfinished quilts were taken home for machine quilting....I'm the binder in the of the few that enjoys that task...and yes - by hand!!  So, photos will be posted as the quilts come to me to be finished.  You might be interested in seeing the great pattern ideas Kate used for these donation quilts. conclude the day.....look what was crossing the road as I was leaving Jancie's house.....Momma bear and two cubs.....glare on windshield makes seeing the cubs on the left difficult....but I wasn't able to open my window or attempt to get closer.  What's amazing is that Janice lives not more than 7-10 mins. from downtown Asheville!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


We had a super busy PTA gathering this month at Janice's house....first show and tell......
 Kate had her long arm humming lately.....she quilted this lap quilt made from plaids (samples I had from my teaching days).
 She has a real affinity for combing fabric prints and quilt patterns.  Too bad my photography is so poor.....the room we were in was fairly dim.  Squint and you can make out the terrific quilting motif she selected....on her newly upgraded computer assisted long arm. 
 Here's another where you can see the prints but not the quilting....sigh...
 This was my favorite....warm, rich colors, unusual setting and oh my...look what she did with her free hand quilting skills....see below...

 Dort has been working on a special request quilt for a family member.....the subject matter focuses on natural disasters.  I didn't hear the back story but perhaps this person works in the recovery or some kind of assistance program. 
Left - earthquake   Right - drought.
 Left - tsunami   Right - forest fire
 Here Georgia Bonesteel is showing the class project for her annual quilt retreat at the Nine Quarter Circle Bar Ranch in Montana.
 Students were encouraged to make a cowboy boot block for an exchange....Georgia's is the top right.
 She partners up with Charlotte Warr Anderson who designs and teaches the most amazing realistic applique quilts.  This is just a sample of the massive handouts her students received.
Georgia took Charlotte's class this year.  Unfortunately she didn't have a photo of the finished quilt which is a duplication of a photo of a scene near the ranch. Here the background is completed with a plastic placement overlay depicting a zillion little detail pieces.  Can't wait to see it finished.
 Georgia and Gen have a space at Curb Market in Hendersonville, NC with lots of their work on display.  Georgia has been creating small matted landscapes that visitors appear to be snapping up!
Barbara is modeling a scarf that Janice made.....many of our 14 members knit as well as quilt.  Janice was kept too busy ringing the bell to keep us on track during show and tell that this was the only item she was able to share!!

More tomorrow.......

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Enuff said.....  GO PACK GO!!!!

"The husband" and Sooty, the rescue lab, will be holding down the fort as Judy and I head to Folly Beach to Kate's place.  We'll spend time dyeing everything we can get our hands on. Check back won't you.....I will return with lots of photos.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


In conclusion......this is how I spent my time....followed by Val's eco-dyed paper masterpieces!
 Of course I forgot to take a before photo.....this hunk of previously ice-dyed bamboo/rayon felt actually wasn't ugly....just sort of, well....not remarkable.
 After a dip in the indigo-dye pot.  Nice right?!?
 I needed to add to my inventory of image enhanced fabric for the fold-manipulated felt baskets I make for our space at Woolworth Walk. This piece of National Nonwoven Woolfelt is being printed with circles created with acrylic paint from the edge of a small plastic cup.
 The result.
 As is always the case with every Fiber Junkie.....WE SHARE.  This is a stamp that Gen carved....which she allowed me to use for the very first time!
 The result.
A small foam star stamp is being used to add elements to another piece of Woolfelt.
 Look at these last three photos.......gorgeous eco-dyed images on paper made by Val.

Next month we move back inside and we plan to do gelli-printing.  

Friday, September 22, 2017


 Last month I had a lot of success over-dyeing previous surface design 'failures' with indigo....

This month it was Kate's turn to fall in love with indigo as a rescue medium.
 Here's her first piece - right out of the dye pot. It's piece of cotton that had been decorated with wax (ala batik).
Look at this masterpiece as it dries.
 This is a piece of cotton homespun that was a result of our decolorant play day that I made sometime ago. It was sprinkled with powdered bleach. Pretty awful. But Kate, who loves to rescue failures, accepted it at that time.....and it's being brought back to a FJ meeting to get transformed.
 She folded it on the diagonal....
 Here's another one of my pieces I foisted off on Kate, AFTER at least two surface design attempts.  It started as an ugly grey pin dot print.
 One of the techniques was mono-printing with acrylic paint using this lace/ribbon frame.
Look how great they turned out after Kate indigo dyed them.  AND....gave them back to me!!!
 She got so enthused....she took of her white cover-up shirt, knotted and secured with rubber bands.......
 And dyed!!  We all started examining what we were wearing to see what else could be dipped!!
 She did so much dyeing.....these community gloves fell apart when she took them off.
This is my favorite....another piece I turned over to Kate....which was once a white on white table cloth....that had been ice-dyed (I think....not really sure but it was ugly).  Now...look at this gem after indigo-dyeing!

Stay with more post to go.....