Friday, November 30, 2018


As mentioned on yesterday's post.....I'd cut a section from a larger hunk of ice-dyed silk noil for later use.  Well...I got to use it quicker than expected since the previous project was an utter mess.
The remaining piece is rather small, measuring only 21" x 15" which will become even smaller once it's squared and edges finished.  I created a larger 'marsh' themed piece last year that was the very first piece sold at my Arboretum exhibit, so I decided to experiment with a similar but different view.  

So far this is what I another idea began to brew....
I keep stumbling over my bin of black and white needs to find a good storage space, but my fabric closet is overflowing already.  Now this puny use of those fabrics won't reduce it by much, but this addition might be just what my little marsh piece needs.
I've never been all that keen about fusing......however, one must keep construction time in mind when pricing quilts for sale.  Fusing is such a time saver over hand appliqué.  Each section is separate and for the time being, just tacked together with a bit of glue stick until it's time to add it to the piece.

Stay tuned....and check out what other artists have worked on during this very busy past holiday week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


One of my favorite fabrics to work with is silk noil.  Which is why this material is usually my first choice to hand-dye when the opportunity presents itself.

The piece below was ice-dyed which yielded less of a all over color mixture than is usual.  It was a fairly large piece and thankfully a section was cut to use for another project.  I say thankfully because this is a MESS.

 The intention was to create a morning sky landscape theme.  Instead as I machine stitched, the results became big blobs of color and lots of distortion.
Silk noil is notoriously sort of flimsy so being very familiar working with it, I added a stabilizer on the wrong side.  However, I used a new (to me) top thread, King Tut by Superior Threads.  Clearly it was just too heavy for this fabric. I should have acknowledged that immediately, but foolishly forged on anyway!

Lesson learned....come back tomorrow to see what I'm doing on the other half of this fabric.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


"The husband" has always enjoyed the challenges of outdoor cooking....nooooo, never using a gas grill.  He's a wood smoker advocate.  After replacing our 30 year old Big Green Egg with a 'big boy' wood smoker....he can't stop experimenting.

His latest passion focuses on the very high quality meats from Snake River Farms where his first (but definitely not the last) purchase of American Wagyu beef turned him onto this resource that offers higher than prime quality meat.

 Kurobuta Rack of Pork right off the smoker
Frankly, I'm not much of a meat eater......and heck, with this huge amount we'll be gnawing on it for quite some time.  I must was very flavorful, tender, juicy, with a very impressive appearance.

Sorry....this isn't a fiber related post......rather, a glimpse of the other part of my life!

Monday, November 26, 2018


......I spent my holiday weekend finishing an I-Spy quilt for a family member's baby's arrival.  Such a nice way to think about the things I'm thankful of course tops the list.

 I-Spy measures 43" x 50".....I attached a sleeve to allow it to be displayed on the wall, the bright colors are sure to attract the little one's attention.  Then as he or she grows a bit'd be a great cuddle and explore quilt.
 I searched for many 'personalized' use.  For instance, 'the grandfather" (even past the age of 60) has the nickname of "Pork".
My family has always called me "Mouse"......even to this day!

Now the count down for the baby's arrival is on........

Friday, November 23, 2018


We all know the drill.....turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, etc.  And then there are the pies......  We humans are fed pretty darn well on Thanksgiving day.
 But, because we didn't actually cook a turkey this year, Sooty was giblet deprived.  But...wait.....she didn't go without a special treat.......
Instead of adding water to her dry dog food....she was slurping on Dog beer.  The numerous burps confirmed she enjoyed her meal!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


In years past when our families all lived close by, the Tuesday and Wednesday  before Thanksgiving found me in the kitchen. Not so anymore, so what the heck...I guess I have time for some patchwork sewing instead!
 Pals Judy, Kate and I pooled our novelty fabric some years ago when we each made I-Spy quilts for gifts during our annual PTA retreat.  Since then we've kept them in one large rotating bin....adding and subtracting as we needed to create another baby quilt.
It's my turn now and I have lots of new goodies to add to the bin after some subtracting of pieces to use myself.
 What fun....pawing through the collection to find just the right theme for this particular quilt and fussy cutting 4.5" patches.
Another friend, thank you Lynn, gifted me fabric containing the names of Wisconsin cities.  I've treasured it for a long time, waiting for just the right project.  

The traditional Thanksgiving Day food preparation at our home will be easy with just the two of us and that should leave plenty of time for Black Friday shopping which of course has already begun on so many websites!

Friday, November 16, 2018


The Fiber Junkies have been meeting monthly now for about 10 years. There's been a few changes in membership as life's circumstances have demanded....but we remain an enthusiastic, dedicated six member unit.  

This month we met in the dream studio of Susan Webb Lee , believe's the largest & best equipped one I've ever seen.
 If you read my last post, you may have already guessed what our subject was....yup, shaving cream dyeing.  It's a technique that's been around for a very long time, but surprisingly, Judy was the only member who had experience. A true pioneer of surface design, she used to teach it in a segment of her mixed media workshop.

Denny was the first one to jump in.....spreading the foam onto a plastic tray with short sides.  We all followed suit.

I have to say, my hands have never been softer at days' end!
 I got mine spread and started to drop dots of Dye-Na-Flow onto the frosting filled looking pan.
 Susan's husband generously made 'rakes' from wood pieces and nails for us to create patterns.
Isn't this pretty?  Now it's ready for printing.
 This summer we did some string printing.  Some of my rejects were the ones printed on wool felt.  Since I use so much of this material to make felted baskets, it made sense to see if better images could be developed on the wrong side.
This wasn't successful either.  What I learned:  use more color!
 But later by working with some of Judy's Createx fabric paint and felted wool, better results were achieved.  (Center pieces bottom row)
Others were getting good results printing on after using a LOT more Dye-Na-Flow........
  ........and other tools to develop patterns, I began to print successfully on cotton. 
 These colors were swirled with the end of a paint brush.
 Denny, the brilliant experimenter she is, brought some stencils to lay directly on her colored shaving cream.  Isn't this spectacular!?!
Then she tried some resists and thermo-fax designs.....we were blown away by her cleverness and fabulous results.
 Gen showed us some tricks she utilizes for her paper & fabric prints. She's dropped several different colors of Dye-Na-Flow onto a piece of glass.  The paint was then covered with another piece of glass, pressing the two together as seen above.
 When the top layer of glass is removed...the suction created these textured veins.
 A bonus method since one can obtain prints from both pieces of glass.

I've spared you from having to look at another 30 or so photos......hoping that just these few will inspire your own play day.  One tip....avoid the more expensive 'blue' sensitive skin shaving the cheapest cans you can find, they work great.

Visit these blogs to see what other artists have been working on this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday & Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


WOW....what a great show and tell this month.  Denny challenged herself to make 10 quilts in 2018.  She brought 5 tops to share with us. AND...these are complicated, detailed, colorful, large quilts.  I feel like I've been sitting still all year after looking at what she's accomplished.

Gen has been concentrating on paper creations for most of the year.  She says it's easy, kinda like working in a coloring book, but to me they are awesome.  Tiny, tiny lines and thoughtful color choices are prominent as she works with inks, pencils, pens on these designs.  I'm sorry I didn't get the name of the person whose paper 'blanks' she uses..... 

Here's a sneak preview of how we played after show and tell was over.  Our happy group, minus our newest member, Susan Web Lee who took the photo.  Left to right....Kate, Judy, Mary, Gen, & Denny
Do you know what this is??

 Be sure to check out my next see the crazy fun we had!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


With non-stop rain and foggy, foggy conditions, it's the perfect day to hunker down and create.  Before the holiday shopping begins in earnest, my Woolworth art gallery inventory of wool felted baskets needed to be expanded.
The Fiber Junkies have had a number of meetings lately working with acrylic paints. I took advantage of the work time to mono-print quite a lot of wool felt.  This piece was made using the edge of a hotel key card, dipped in paint.  
 The baskets are made by fusing two layers of felted wool, or in this case, the lining is ice-dyed bamboo rayon that I over-dyed with indigo using a shibori folding technique.
Some of my botanical printed wool felt was used for this basket.
 These last two small baskets are made using the same fabric combo as the first larger basket. 
It's more tedious than it looks because besides fusing, I've edge stitched the layers together and often times adding some dense stitching on the bottom.  

I have to admit....I didn't get all this done in one day.....some of the pieces were fused and cut out the day I said, it's time consuming...but really enjoyable.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


We've been doing a bit of updating to our house which all started with my 8+ year whining to have hardwood installed in our master.  We had that choice when we bought the house, but foolishly chose carpet instead........
.......and then we got Sooty....our rescue black lab who sheds, sheds, sheds despite the daily good brushing by 'the husband'.  It drove me nuts!  But, anyone who has done any sort of updating to their home knows that one thing always leads to others.  We had a 27 year old, very out of date plaid love seat in our room.  It turned into Sooty dog's nighttime bed for as long as it took for us to fall asleep, after which she would immediately and quietly join us.  I don't know why we are so surprised to find her on our bed most mornings!

Anyway, the love seat still has lots of life left, so it will be donated.  After removing it, we found Sooty pouting in the dining room, surrounded by all her comfort bones.  Oh dogs are so human at times.
 The replacement love seat was purposely inexpensive, but will probably become an expensive dog bed since I doubt we'll use it for ourselves.  Finding a small one was difficult....but eventually I found one online made by Serta.  We were dumbstruck when it arrived by Fed Ex in a big box.....and it became clear we were to put it together! 
 I've heard ads for 'chair or sofa in a box' but wasn't aware that was basically what we purchased.  There it was, all in one large box. Layer after layer of pieces, stacked like Legos.
 We organized the various units....and began assembling....surprisingly easy and quick.
 The back slid into metal channels on the inside side of each arm which we attached to the base in a similar manner.
 This view is the back of the love can see a small section of the back leather flap at the top.  It drops down and is held in place by Velcro.  This was done after we installed and tightened the big hand held screws that ran between the back and the arms.  We didn't even need a screw driver!!
The only thing that slowed us down was the impatience of 'the husband' trying to stuff the back cushions into the leather covers.  His approach was cram and shove which didn't yield very smooth results.  But that was easily resolved.
And here it is.....a leather Lego loveseat!