Tuesday, October 31, 2017


"The husband' refers to leisure drives in his 'boy-toy' car, as "getting SEAT time".  Well, I've had some 'seat time' myself at the sewing machine this last week as I begin a new project.

Regular readers know I don't do much free-motion stitching. Though I greatly admire those who have mastered this technique, I'm not one of them. Okay, I'll admit the desire to have this skill but I guess just not enough to practice it enough to meet my (probably) unrealistic standards!
 So, I work with the skills I do have.  I'm creating about a half dozen patches with wild flower images, stitched with black thread onto stabilized white fabric.  Instead of marking the motif directly onto the fabric, I prefer to stitch following pencil lines which are drawn onto tracing paper, and pinned to the fabric.  This approach requires removal of the paper after sewing, but any oops moments of stitching that didn't exactly follow the line are eliminated when the paper is ripped away. So, no messy marks need to be removed from the fabric. 
The pile of indigo fabric created this summer at our Fiber Junkies meetings has been calling me.  It's my favorite color.....bar none......therefore I'm having a wonderful time developing a new wall quilt design.

Stay tuned for further updates as I stitch, rip paper, cut fabric, and stitch some more....

Friday, October 27, 2017


After testing several approaches to add texture/interest to a Japanese theme fabric, a plan was formulated. (Refer to previous post.) The fabric was spliced vertically into sections, interspersed with black flanges that were manipulated/twisted. 

LOOKING EAST  32.5" x 23"
Commercial cottons, machine stitched.

Follow these links to view what other artists have worked on this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


As long as I had piles of Japanese theme fabric spread over every surface after completing "Oriental Dreams", it seemed like a good time to see if anything else caught my eye.
Why yes.....something did.  Though this style isn't the type of fabric I'd ever purchase....a gift of several boxes from a friend continues to challenge me.  After more thought than I care to admit, this scenic panel gained the interest I was seeking after I pleated a couple vertical rows.
 BUT....translating that idea into a quilt eluded me.  On some practice fabric I strip pieced in a narrow flange.  Perhaps that might be interesting if using a different print....it sure didn't work on this one.
 Next I pieced two solid black narrow flanges (about 1/4") between strips of fabric (cut 2.5" wide).  Nope.....nothing special here.
Finally, I pieced in a larger solid black flange....cut 1.5" wide.  This is a take off on Caryl Fallert's High Tech Tucks, made popular in the 1980's.  Now the question is.....will it provide the interest/texture I quested after on the fabric panel in question??  

Stay tuned.....

Friday, October 20, 2017


NEW WORK......
Commercial cottons, machine stitched

Follow these links to view what other artists have been working on this week:

Thursday, October 19, 2017


The fun continues.....my hand wet-felted/ice-dyed wool yields various sizes of embellished pouches.  Available in space 235 - Woolworth Walk, Asheville, NC 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Nose to the grind stone.....I've been utilizing all kinds of mono-printed, indigo-dyed felted wool to make a bunch of new baskets for sale at Woolworth Walk, downtown Asheville.

They are more time consuming than they look because reinforced bottom and edge stitching are just some of the finishing touches I can't seem to skip!

Monday, October 16, 2017


Packer fans held their collective breath after QB Aaron Rogers went down because of a LATE hit by the Vikings.  Word finally came back, he has a broken right collarbone.......which pretty much means he's out for the season, which pretty much means the Packers are too.

Packer fans are definitely crying in their beer.....what a shame! 

Friday, October 13, 2017


.......Our focus this meeting was printing with gelli plates.
Since I don't own one, I brought some felted wool to mono-print. I'm using one of Judy's home-made screens....thank you Judy!  White acyrlic paint is applied through the screen with the use of a hotel key card.
I'm gearing up to make more folded felted baskets for what I hope will be brisk holiday sales at Woolworth Walk....and these leaves will be so attractive on a basket. 
 This isn't a novel idea......it's borrowed from the internet. The tongs of a fork are dipped into acyrlic paint and transferred to fabric.
 Sometimes the designs I create are used for the inside of the basket, others for the outside.....a lot depends upon what other felted wool I have to combine it with.
 A stroll out the back door of Gen's house yielded numerous interesting leaves which were painted with a gold metallic paint.....
 ......and printed onto a piece of brown felted wool.  
My attention was so devoted to what I was doing, I was remiss in getting very many photos of what everyone else was playing with. This was one of Judy's.  She was working with fabrics that had previous been printed/dyed and not to her liking.  I LOVE what she's created here....using a gelli plate and a 'crackled' stencil. 
 Kate used white fabric, printing it numerous times with paints and textured items.  It really came to life when she used Judy's chair stencil.
Gen's work station illustrates the great number of stencils everyone brings to share.
This is Kate's area.....as she layers and layers various paint colors on the gelli plate.
This is her first printing....it will be altered again with more printings and perhaps even stenciling.

We had so much fun......it's been decided we will continue working with gelli plates next month!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Combining coffee time and Show and Tell at the beginning of our gatherings is supposed to help us get into the work room more quickly.  But sometimes there is so much to go gaa gaa over!!
 Kate has had a very productive couple of weeks......this small center piece was a study from a dye workshop she attended.  Her beautiful and thoughtful machine quilting turned it into a real piece of art. I love how elevated the look became by mounting it on a chiffon covered canvas.
 AND WOW....so clever.....I'd given her this piece of fabric which I'd created using molding paste designs.  Having zero idea what I could do with them.....Kate found a way by using it as a backing.
 She dug out some of her marbled fabrics made at a Fiber Junkies retreat several years ago.  Again, Kate's skill with free motion quilting brought the pieces to life.  Though the picture doesn't show it.....she added beads to the top one which added so much motion to the work.

 Denny continues creating huge Gypsy Wife quilts....which utilizes UFO blocks and scraps.  It's even more colorful and interesting in person than what I could depict in this photo.
 She also brought a pile of dyed fabrics for us to gush over. These started out with what she calls clown fabric.....previously dyed/painted etc. fabrics that were disappointments.  Over-dyeing with indigo gave her these beauties!
 I hosted quilting cruises and tours for over 10 years. For each trip I created 3-d embellished pins for the participants.  One year our trip fell over Halloween.....so everyone got two pins....one theme based on our destination and the other one was a Halloween pin. I had access to everyone's room numbers......so while all the quilters were in their cabins dressing for dinner......I donned my Halloween costume and went trick or treating...passing out candy and a pin to each.  I came across a few leftover pins the other day and had just enough for each FJ.
 Gen had this lap quilt on her wall...it was one of the many our other group - PTA Fiber Artists worked on at our last meeting.  Several members like Gen, brought kits home to make additional ones.
Gen never fails to amaze me.....honestly I swear she can make her sewing machine stand up, walk across the room, and take a bow....that is how skilled she is with the sewing machine.  Isn't this smashing??

Stay tuned......next up we look at our gelli plate designs.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Packers 35 - Cowboys 31

3 + hours of heart stopping action....

GO PACK GO !!!!! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017


I've been surprised at just how much attention my space at Woolworth Walk in downtown Asheville requires.  Happily my sales have been respectable, in part due to the steady stream of felted items being sold.
 Believe me I'm not complaining.....the 55 min. drive each way is especially pleasant at this time of the year as the leaves begin to turn their glorious colors.  My space has been restocked, tidied up and ready for tourist season.
 Kate's drive all the way from SC is much longer but worth the effort as her wall also reflects the coming season.  I absolutely love her large quilt....the machine quilting is fantastic...this piece should fly off the wall!
Judy added a number of her stunning 3-D pieces.  Using her hand-marbled and machine stitched fabric to cover canvas covered frames, she highlights them with life like silk leaves.  The image derives from real leaves, scanned into her computer and digitally printed onto the fabric....stiffened with wire to provide dimension.  Masterpieces, each and every one!

Friday, October 6, 2017


Perhaps this should read....the tourists are coming, the tourists are coming.....
Leaf peepers throng to our mountains in the fall, and happily there seems to be a pickup in sales at Woolworth Walk.

I say goodbye to these two quilts.....Growing Strong is a favorite piece of mine.  If there had been a place to display it in our home, it would have stayed there!
 Growing Strong
Japanese Influence #3
 Sales tend to generate a lot of enthusiasm on my part to get cutting and stitching.  A dear friend gifted me a nice supply of Asian style fabric.  I've said it before (many times) patchwork is my least favorite construction style.  But heck, I have all this fabric to use......

I'm VERY persnickety about accuracy & workmanship.  In order to take advantage of fabric pattern designs, I literally cut each block with an eye to where they would be sub-cut.  Yup...they are all placed on my design wall to make sure I don't mix them up! FYI - The 2nd and 4th rows are spliced on the bottom and right side of their blocks.
 Not all blocks are sub-cut the same way.....so each of the setting strips and squares have been pre-cut. I worked on only 1 block at a time...no chain sewing.....I'm way too easily mixed up.  Each of the block pieces were arranged before stitching.
Of course I still found myself having to use the seam ripper.  I guess my attention roamed too far as I was enjoying some Project Runway binging at the same time.

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


 In between indigo dyeing, we eco-printed.....ahhhh the ups and downs of this unpredictable technique....
After soaking this length of cotton fabric in alum....I sprayed the back side of each leaf with iron/water and rolled tightly onto a wooden dowel.
It was then wrapped tightly with string, followed by shrink wrap...also tied tightly....processed in iron/rust/vinegar water bath for about 2 hours.  It's cooling here before removing the string.
Alas.....nothing good happened.......big sigh....
But, all was not lost.....I over-dyed it in indigo....see why we love indigo so much??
 Not deterred.....I positioned leaves onto a piece of wool, sprayed tons of iron/water on and covered with a 2nd layer of wool and clamped wood pieces on each side.  In order to fit in the pot...the 'package' needs to fold....so in this case, individual sections of wood worked better than 1 large piece.
Now....this is more like it!
 Not all eco-print attempts failed....Judy transferred sumac onto water color paper.
Kate used a variety of leaves, positioned between folded sections of cloth.
 You'd think we'd be prone after being outside on our feet all day.  Oh no....not this group.  Judy brought along supplies to play with wax batik designs.  The wax is beginning to melt in this mini electric pan.
 Various tools are used to apply the wax.

The pieces were indigo dyed the next day....The bottom one is right out of they indigo pot and has yet to turn blue.

Our three days came to an end.....and we take away wonderful fabric, good memories and extra pounds.