Monday, May 31, 2021


 Memorial Day stands for more than a day off work and picnics.....let's remember the true meaning, to honor the men and women who died for us while serving in our military. To every soul that’s served, THANK YOU, your efforts and sacrifices were not in vein. We all need to remember, the price of Freedom is not Free!

"UNITED WE STAND"  - Artist - Mary Stori

Saturday, May 29, 2021


With little chance of rain.....pals from our car club suggested a drive.  As usual taking the backroads = curves galore.  Since it was a day before the Memorial Day weekend, we knew we wouldn't have the roads to ourselves, but the lure of asphalt overcame the guys. 

So, okay the weather man was wrong again......drizzle, downpours, gentle steady rain....we got it all.  It was fun seeing all the fisherman flicking their poles as they stood knee deep in the rock strewn rivers.  Try as I might, I was unable to get a viewable photo through the rain.

Our midway destination was of greatest interest to me.  One of our favorite eateries ..Caffe RELA Classic French Neighborhood Cafe, named after Chef Richard E. Long.  

He declares, "Our mission is "It's about the Food."  The Caffe is a teaching restaurant as Chef REL was fortunate to be mentored as a young man first by Russian Chef Peter Macheska.  Then by the great Chef Otto Indemauer, a third generation Swiss Chef. After seven years of training and learning he applied and was accepted in the renowned Greenbrier Hotel Apprentice Program in White Sulfer Springs, WV. 

Due to the size of Caffe REL no reservations are accepted. No Credit Cards are accepted because they use every dollar to support their team and produce an excellent product at a reasonable price for all to be able to enjoy. Hours are extended in season. An ATM is available next door at Hot Spot." 

No matter what one will not be disappointed....

Oh yes....did you read this carefully?  It's a small place....only 16 tables, no it's best to show up early....we arrived at 10:45 AM...they open at 11:00......and yes others were waiting too!  

You may not find it unless you knew it was located inside a Hot Spot Gas station, in Franklin, NC.

Friday, May 28, 2021

NO POWER, BUT.......

 We were without power for over 4 hours the other day......that means: no iron, no sewing machine, no lights, no computer.....  Grrr!  What's a gal to do.....well I don't need electricity for my rotary cutter.

I used the time to start creating a background for a new small art quilt utilizing my newly printed gelli printed fabrics.  Obviously, it needs to be pieced and a decision made regarding the motifs....anxious to get that underway.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


After appx. 14 years, health issues, relocations, and lack of enough places to host our monthly meetings has forced the Fiber Junkies to pause.  We hope from time to time we can still gather but for now we take great joy in the memories of the wonderful creative times we have spent together.

The itch to create with pals is great....fortunately several members of the Mountain Art Quilt group got together for an impromptu gelli printing day.
I've enjoyed working with this technique several times before...due to the generosity of equipment borrowed from Fiber Junkies members!  Happily a Christmas gift from our son/family brought me my own plates.  Lot's of Youtube viewing provided new insights and I dug in.
 A lot of time was saved by precutting fabric the appx. size of my plate. 
I learned long ago that in order to come away with usable fabric....I needed to work in a confined color palette ...otherwise I had lots of wonderful fabrics, but nothing that coordinated with each other.

Being as disciplined as this creative gal can be....the approach was pretty successful.
Other participants tried to be very purposeful too.....I loved this create a printed cotton design that could then be paired with a sheer overlay.......twice the success!!!

How about these Jason Pollack inspired pieces (above and below)  Fabulous!!

As is typical we get so engrossed in our fiber play, taking photos is almost neglected.  So this is all I have to share, but trust me......everyone went away feeling very satisfied with their 'controlled' 'purposeful' pieces.

Sunday, May 23, 2021


  There aren't many aspects of living in Upper Crabtree valley in the mountains of NC.  However, this year one has me totally grumpy.  It's the HUGE abundance of poison ivy.  I'll spare you photos of my nasty rashes.....beyond itching....they are painful.

I'm super sensitive to the stuff and we try very hard to stay away from it.....even walking Sooty (our black lab) on a short leash as this stuff is everywhere.

It's even growing in the middle of the paths we travel on our morning 'forced march'.  Clearly this is not a fiber subject and my rant is an indication of how crazy it's making me!

Saturday, May 22, 2021


 Hurrah.......after more than a year our PTA (Professional Textile Artist) group met in person, almost all members were in attendence.  The meeting was held at Georgia Bonesteel's house, gathering on her beautiful patio.  We chatted, snacked, chatted, enjoyed beverages, chatted...yes non stop talk. and laughter!!!!

Of course the highlight is always Show and Tell.....this is only a brief was quite sunny so many of my photos were too disappointing to post.

Dort is a skilled illustrator.  Her work is usually in a folk art style and always so charming.  These are a few of her 'bad dog' series.....such detail and fun to view.

Janice made the quilt above and below....she's an excellent piecer and works with commerical fabrics.  I marvel at her ability to combine so many different prints with such interesting settings.

Gen (seated) brought one of her scrap quilt masterpieces.  The paper hled on the left is the color her bedroom is now being painted to coordinate with this quilt.

No one wanted the day to end......and everyone is looking forward to next truly did seem like forever....but here we all were, unmasked and having such a great time together. 

Friday, May 21, 2021


 It's a happy day when a Mother feels needed!  Our son requested a few more lap quilts for their Tahoe vacation home which can get chilly in the evenings.  I'll be creating more but this is #1, extra long for the male members of the family.

48" X 72"
Commerical and hand-dyed cottons....many are fussy cut 
for the enjoyment of the younger family members.

Monday, May 17, 2021


Gas is slowly returning to our state but as of this morning, over 50% of stations are still without gas.  All the excuse (not that I need one) to spend excess time in the studio.

My project is now assembled, backed and basted.  The quilting begins.  I don't generally wish I had a long arm, but when working on pieces this big, it'd sure be nice.  Quilting will not be super dense because it is basically a utility quilt for our son's family, and not designed as wall art.

Today I played bobbin chicken and won!  My machine doesn't have a low  bobbin thread alert which is generally okay with me.  My Pfaff did but it left so much thread on the bobbin I tended to ignore it anyway......always thinking I'd remember to check in a few minutes but of course I forgot!

Thursday, May 13, 2021


Now that Covid restrictions have eased, we are again isolated in our homes without gas to travel anywhere. 78% of gas stations in NC are w/o gas, and that figure was as the evening of the 12th. There is none to be found here in the mountains. What's a gal to do?? Oh about continuing work on the lap quilt for our son's family.....they need longer ones for the males in the family. Dashes of earth colors punctuate the black and white fabrics....many are fussy cut to highlight interesting motifs. 

Friday, May 7, 2021


I was so pleased to receive a commission to create two small pieces in my silhouette series.  This is the 2nd piece.  The buyer expressed a desire to include a black lab in each....which was easy to do since we have our own black lab that we love. 

NIGHT SKY -  13" x 13"
Hand-dyed cotton, layered sheers, Ultra-suede, hand appliqued, hand embroidered, and hand beaded.

Note - this is the first one:   
Hand-dyed cotton, layered sheers, Ultra-suede, hand appliqued, hand embroidered, and hand beaded.


One of the many perks that came my way while I was a full time instructor on the quilting highway, was the generosity of the many businesses that supported our industry.

20-25 years ago hand-dyed fabrics were rather new.....small companies popped up and were eager to share their products.  Now I work mostly with my own, but coming across two dozen bundles of gradations of a variety of colors in my stash perked my curiosity.  What could I do with them?

I realized from past experience that most of these fabrics probably had never been washed more than a casual rinsing, (not so much the case now with dyers).  

The project I had in mind was for a family member and would certainly require washing from time to time.  So before I began, I selected two colorways to test.

Sure enough, they bled like crazy......and I spent the rest of the day washing and pressing as many bundles as I expected to use.

You all know how time consuming that can be, especially when many were 6" squares.....  But it was necessary and so now...let the designing begin!

Saturday, May 1, 2021


I've been hunkered down......working away on a commission for a pair of small art my silhouette series. I purposely have stayed away from 'developing a series". Of course working in a series can be very helpful for artists looking for their own voice and to refine techniques and ideas. And honestly, I am sure I could benefit, it's just that after 30+ years as a professional in the quilt world, not to mention my age, it's not how I want to spend my time. My choice is to just get on with whatever ideas come into my head. My work is now made strictly for sale and it's clear (at least in this area) that one needs a variety of color, size, themes, style, and prices in order to stay out of the red.

1 of 2 is now complete and framed: SHOOTING STARS - 13" x 13" - Hand-dyed cotton, layered sheers, Ultra-Suede, hand appliqued, embroidered, & beaded.