Friday, August 30, 2019


Fall is a busy season for Asheville's art galleries.  It's always so rewarding to utilize the wide range of my hand-dyed fabrics and other unique fabrics.  I've teamed them up with Ultra-suede which is used for the spines and closures, along with a 100 sheet composiiton notebook measuring appx. 10" x 8".  This is a sample of what I've created lately, available from me or at Woolworth Walk, Ashville, NC #235 - lower level.
 Ice-dyed vintage cotton damask (originally a table cloth).
 Mercerized ice-dyed cotton, overdyed with indigo.
Made from an antique quilt top, circa early 1900's that I had on display for over 20 years.  The exposed area was terribly faded so I retired it.  Now I'll use the good sections for book covers.  

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

Monday, August 26, 2019


Because this is a fiber related blog, I try to keep the subject matter narrow.  This is not fiber related so feel free to close this window now.....or read on......

For the last 2+ months I've referred to the turmoil we've had in our life: to move our aging bodies to a more appropriate home or address as many of the issues as possible that we have with this one.  So for many reasons, we chose the later.  

Because I've had numerous personal inquires asking for further details, I decided to unveil photos of the biggest changes that have been made so far.  Our decks, railings, & staircases have been replaced with maintenance free Trex products ....which very much changed the appearance of the outside of our home.  Here's before and after:
This was taken in 2011....before the landscape was mature.  The heavy log railing/posts are evident.  We liked it then, BUT not the expense and work of the constant maintenance.  Besides the two covered porches. there is a very large open deck in the back...sooooo much work!
Not the greatest after picture....but hopefully you get the idea......
 Despite our constant upkeep on all this wood, the front staircase was so poorly constructed that most of it had to be rebuilt.  We've also gotten rid of all the green exterior door colors, changing them to black to match the new deck posts.
Here's our new staircase....with added lights for safety and security.  Some of the wire cable railing is still missing in the lowest section....waiting on parts.  We are going to live with the green gutters and downspouts for now.....but they too were inferior and no doubt will have to be changed in the near future.
 And now some close up views....we love the open wire cable railing system vs. the previous massive logs that closed in the feel of the deck and obscured the view.

 We are again enjoying evening meals on our back deck.
 We've also had work done inside.....which is still ongoing.  To make the "man cave" bathroom handicap accessible, we replaced the original door (which opened inward to quite a small space) with a sliding barn door.  The reflections you see through the open door are some of the 15 small mirrors that I crackled painted the frames white and hung to make this windowless room seem less cave like.  
In this view, the door is closed, revealing some of the iron register grates we've collected as decoration.  Our previous home had about 30 of them on a large wall behind our freestanding Vermont Casting Woodstove.  The buyers coveted them so they stayed with our WI house.  These were some we had yet to install, so happily they got moved to NC with us.  I'm currently looking for a few more!

This whole aging thing is quite a shock to us....we don't feel old but sometimes our bodies don't agree, so we are taking the necessary steps to keep ourselves in an environment that is as safe and user friendly as possible until we find ourselves drooling in rockers somewhere else!!

There will be one more big change inside and I'll share that as it happens.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


Wet felting is always time consuming and messy.....but it's an activity I enjoy.....
Each fall I collect acorn 'hats' used to create these adorable colorful felted acorns.
 The challenge this time was to find a way to mount groupings for sale & display.  After what took way too long, they are now attached with thread to card stock.......
........and packaged in clear zip bags.  

Available soon at Woolworth Walk, Asheville, NC # 235.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


The creative process in studio is at a total halt right now.....but not for a good reason.  As the 'house refresh' continues outside, it has also moved inside.  Lightening and brightening with a fresh coat of paint.  Again, thanks to the recommendation of a friend, we've got a wonderful crew of painters here to make that happen.
 BEFORE  (Are you surprised to see such traditonal quilts displayed in my home??)
DURING  .......The 'AFTER' will be posted....well.....after it's finished.  Can you see why I didn't attempt to paint this myself.  I even got a free window cleaning!  And that's been awhile since it's been done due to the difficulty of reaching it.   

Now I'll have to find something to keep me busy during this process....the crew got homemade chocolate chip cookies yesterday....that allowed for a few hours of baking fun.  

Monday, August 19, 2019


Western North Carolina is a mecca for fiber artists and I'm very fortunate to be acquainted with so many talented ones.  I met up with pals Lynn and Arlene for lunch which of course included show and tell.

I was asked several years ago to provide suggestions for a challenge project that Lynn's SIL's Wisconsin quilt guild was undertaking.  It occurred to me that one of my older quilts would be suitable and easily undertaken since it was available as a published pattern: "Classic American Quilt Collection:  Schoolhouse"  -  publisher Rodale Press -1995  - pg. 40-47, 104-105.    Kay's quilt was a big hit, so much so that Lynn decided to make this one herself.

It was beautifully and thoughtfully quilted by Loving Stitches Quilt Shop in Fayetteville, NC. 
Lynn's attention to detail is evident even in her label.....
Lynn is also an accomplished's a close up of a sampler shawl she just completed.  A great way to learn new stitches.

Arlene is also an excellent knitter as well as practically anything associated with sewing. She's modeling her newest shawl that took ages to complete....see why below.....intricate knitting with delicate yarn.
Lovely, isn't it?

Saturday, August 17, 2019


A very successful day indigo dyeing fabrics with the Fiber Junkies.  Enjoy viewing our results!

Friday, August 16, 2019


The Fiber Junkies had to cancel our scheduled indigo dyeing meeting two months ago due to bad weather.  But this week the weather gods cooperated....

I had previously folded, clamped, tied, and labeled my fabrics as did most of our other members, so in a blink of an eye we were raring to go.
Organized as always, Judy had color coded buckets of water for each of us to do a 30 min. soak of our fabric.  After which we placed them on the grass to drain of excess water to avoid diluting the indigo pot.
 Our hero Judy also prepared two buckets of indigo dye.  We left our fabrics in the buckets for about 15 minutes. 

 Next, they were hung from the 2 clotheslines Judy had strung with beautiful views of her many gardens.
 Of course the bundles could have stayed tied while they dried but none of us had the patience for that and soon we started the reveal process.  Kate used some Plexiglas shapes as resists with wonderful results.
 Because I had quite a bit of Liberty of London Lawn fabric - solid pink, I decided to overdye it as I really dislike that color.  Unfortunately, some of my pink fabrics retained far too much pink for my taste....
.....but after a quick dip in and out of the indigo dye bucket....this is how it turned out.

Come back tomorrow to see more of our results.....

Linking to:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday & Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Now that our deck is nearly finished.....we've been enjoying cool mountain breezes while having our evening meal on the back deck.  Along with a cold salmon salad.....we gobbled up these pretty impressive looking popovers.  

A conversation with an long time friend made me think of popovers (which we often enjoyed together)......Once the thought was there....I had to make some again.  


Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Linda was our host this month and passed out gifts like it was Christmas......
 She's been creating these wonderful organic pots made with Portland cement and two other materials that escape my memory.  She learned how on the Internet and says it's easy.  Her explanation flowed from one step to the next, I was grateful to be given a few pots instead of tackling the process myself.
 Of course the wine is already open as we are all smiles after selecting some pots to take home.  (L to R - Lynne, Judy, Georgia, Dort, Kate)
 Here are more.....
 ....and more....she had them everywhere....just so unique!!!
 Next a question came up about hot pots.....Linda has been known to do a months' worth of cooking in few days using a slow cooker.  Now she has a new passion.  It's amazing how many different foods can be prepared in this super fast method of cooking.  It's such a change from the way we often cook.....utilizing the complete opposite approach with a Sous Vide.
Linda's love of Boston Terriers and dedication to the Boston Terrier Rescue group is evident in her powder room....

Next month PTA will gather again with more fiber, friendship, & food.....

Monday, August 12, 2019


Our PTA (Professional Textile Artist) group met at Linda's house this month.  Show and tell was plentiful; an example of the wide range of talents and interests of our members.

 Kate just returned from a extended workshop by Carol Sutherland at Pro-chem where she learned many new techniques for dyeing silk scarves.  We were all in awe.

 Recently our group did a side trip to a new shop in Fletcher, NC that features the timeless Folkwear garment patterns, popular in the 1970's & 80's.  Marene purchased the one sleeve shawl pattern and is wearing her success!  (Note Linda in the background with an ever present Boston Terrier....she currently now owns 4).

Marene also dazzled us with this HUGE top made as a working sample while helping Georgia Bonesteel teach one of her workshops.

 NO....Marene wasn't finished yet....she and Judy challenged each other to create a small quilt utilizing techniques inspired by a Susan Cleveland lecture.  Tiny piping of course was featured in both.
 A family member of Dort's sent her this kimono that was very worn around the shoulder area....(see view of one of the print scenes below).  At first Dort thought she'd been given the piece to cut up and use in a quilt.....but NOoooo it was sent so she could repair it.  Typical of Dort's quilt making whimsy style....she added a mermaid along the top back....complete with tiny nipples beneath the tassels!!

 One of Lynne's newest pieces was awarded a ribbon at the Smokey Mountain Quilt Guild show, Knoxville, TX.  
 The quilt's inspiration was a challenge at her Modern Quilt guild where one blindly drew 3 crayons from a paper bag.  See crayon squares on her form.
 Georgia Bonesteel is modeling her split cowgirl skirt made from a Folkware pattern.  I'm very familiar with this hard to understand and construct pattern as I've made it for 2 of my show pieces, a real chore.  With the top flap buttoned at each side it appears as a skirt.
But, button the flap to one side & you'll see it's wide pants as well.

Come back and check out the next post.....I have more PTA fun to share...