Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Spending 8+ hrs. daily for the last 5 days in studio....driven!!! New piece in the works. Finding just the right shade of my hand-dyed fabrics is more time consuming than one would expect. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023


 It's fun to explore a style I rarely work with.  These deep and brightly colored hand-dyed cottons have been calling to me for years.  The addition of the black and white sashing really made them pop.

Hand-dyed cottons, pieced and quilted by machine. Faced edges.

Pieced backing with hanging sleeve.

Friday, March 17, 2023


 Annually, the middle of March marks 'New York's Asia Art Week'. Though this style is not my norm, a large stash of Japanese fabrics gifted to me by a friend led to many, many designs. Here are several that are currently available for sale at Woolworth Walk Gallery, Asheville, NC. Check my online gallery for complete descriptions. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


 Our youngest grandchild is a budding well as a skilled athletic....all at age 6!

We bought him a 3-D pencil for he is learning the techniques of this fascinating tool.

Friday, March 10, 2023

R & R

 After way too much of 'the husband's' 2022 year long health drama, a lull allowed me to attend our annual PTA (Professional Textile Artists) retreat, ongoing since 2009.

Bliss.....laughter galore, great food, ample bubbly, and a sewing marathon made it perfect.

This year we each got two narrow tables!!!  I was able to snag a spare one to use for a sewing station.  One negative...the chairs were so low, even with multiple pillows I couldn't achieve a good level to sew and press....lots of having to stand up between sewing seams.  I'm a press as you go sewer.
  My blocks are now arranged on my design wall at home in preparation for the black and white sashing I'll be adding between the blocks. 
Here's a mock up Lynne (and expert at EQ) made for me after I began to fool around with some simple black and white checkerboard strips I had sewn. I like the random placement of the fabrics better, so this is the route I will probably take.

Barbara's show and tell.....awesome isn't it?
Barbara worked on several's one
And here's another......
Cathy was working on this happy and oh so colorful 9 patch piece.  I should have gotten close-ups of her hand stitched accents.....just right additions!
Our meals were perfection again this year....we finally got smart and used paper products to reduce our kitchen chores.....okay it's not environmentally friendly, we get that!!  This is Shrimp Gumbo, and homemade brioche buns with what else?!?  Yes, bubbly.....
After several different approaches to meals over the years....finally the last two years Leigh Anne and Barbara pre-made most of our delicious meals.  Leigh Anne is an excellent and enthusiastic chef....she and her husband are embarking on their own food truck which will be stationed across from the Virginia Quilt Museum.  Don't miss it if you are ever in that area!!  (We may use paper plates but we do taken lunch time day 2.)

Marene's project had us all drooling......aren't you??

There were 9 of us this year, unfortunately I missed snapping photos of all the intent was I on getting my blocks made!!  

Thursday, March 2, 2023


 I expected the Scan N Cut to be a plug in and go.....ha ha.  These machines are so darn complex, taking a hammer to it had occurred to me many times.  

All I wanted it for was to be able to scan in a design, mostly nature based like trees/birds/weeds etc. And then have the machine cut it out pre-fused fabric to be used for appliqué...thus saving my ever problematic shoulder.

Thanks to follower Darlene and others.....I learned about several SNC Facebook groups.  Members of 'Everything Scan N Cut with Jennifer Brodie' hand held me through the most basic problems to a head scratcher.... 

I believe I'm on my way to better results as seen in these photos......

A few things I's necessary to have a complete outline of the motif (originally the lower trunk was not closed), switched to Heat N Bond Lite fusible (which I've never liked) learned to clean my mat properly, learned to starch my fabric before fusing....and on and on.....  

I was told over and over, every machine is different (why?!?) it takes a lot of experimenting to find the combo of materials/set up that makes yours happy.  BTW - most of the members of this group do not work with fabric....instead do the most amazing things with paper and vinyl but I can not tell you how friendly, helpful and encouraging this group is.

Sunday, February 26, 2023


 The (hopefully) miracle rotary blade for my Scan N Cut is now installed....and after about 90 mins. of testing...I'm getting closer! Tried cutting simple leaves before wasting fabric on trees.

I used batik fabric that was fused with Wonder Under, paper removed, secured to mat using a brayer roller, tried both fused side down (which apparently is recommended) and fused side up which my friend with an older machine uses.  

Clearly the first attempt on auto settings was a failure (photo 1) ....didn't cut all the way through. 

Increased pressure from auto to 1, (photo 2) cut again

Then increased to 2 which was pretty good (Photo 3) but still not cutting completely cleanly. Will try again tomorrow...time for a glass of bubbly, I earned it!!!
One more mat looks pretty chewed up on this photo...maybe that's the problem....hummmm.

Saturday, February 25, 2023


 The idea was to create an art quilt featuring a large number of small motifs which would be my incentive to learn how to use the Scan N Cut machine I received for Christmas.

It's now nearly March and I'm still struggling to achieve quality cuts.  However, with a recent purchase of a new type of blade cutter I'll be getting started soon.

The piece shown here was to be that project, but it took so long to get the blade, I ended up hand cutting the birds instead....all 45 of them. This newest art quilt has just been listed in my online on link in either the top or side bar.  


Just listed in gallery

Hand ice-dyed cottons & batiks, appliquéd motifs,

thread painting, embroidery, & densely quilted.

Faced edge finishing & fabric hanging sleeve. 

Friday, February 24, 2023


 Recently I mentioned how gratifying it is to learn why a quilt was selected for purchase......often there is a special reason besides just liking the design.


The buyer shared with me that her father was a life long dairy farmer and his name was Clyde.  I created this piece  living here in Clyde, NC.  Amazing how such omens bring about a quilt sale!!

Sunday, February 19, 2023


 We've attended the well known Blue Grass First Class festival every February in Asheville, since we moved moved to NC in 2006....haven't missed a  year except for the 1 year cancellation because of Covid.

Indoor bluegrass in Feb. sure does pick up one's spirit....non-stop music from 11:00 AM - midnight for two nights with only a dinner break of an hour.....bliss.....

One of my very favorite groups The Grascals were back this female banjo picker ever......again total bliss.

We've now worked out way up to front row seats each year....doesn't get any better!!

Thursday, February 16, 2023


I'm still struggling with my Scan N Cut machine.  I've tried EVERY tip on EVERY tutorial I can find to get my fabric to cut cleanly.

It reminds of men's razors......razors are modestly priced.....but razor blades and other required accessories are NOT!!  So now after buying another mat (which works no better than the first), I've just dropped $50 purchasing a rotary cutting blade.  Clever marketing by have to buy a whole kit which includes stuff I'll NEVER use) just to get the blade and holder!!

Look how nicely my 'test' triangle was cut.....yet when I cut an actual's a shredded mess.  I've thrown away soooo much fused fabric after testing all the various suggestions.  Hoping this new cutting tool will solve my problem.

So, my current project has come to a halt while I wait for the new blade in order to cut more motifs.  I ended up hand cutting half of the bushes/small trees shown on the lower edge of this art quilt.  I'll be tackling our USPS delivery person each day till the blade arrives.     STAY TUNED......

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


 Such a beautiful view as the sun starts to rise this morning as viewed from our back deck. Clearly one can see how my work is influenced by my surroundings.

Monday, February 13, 2023


 Creating a background to scratch the itch of better understanding my Scan N Cut machine. Wonder if anyone cares to guess what the focus of the cutting will be?

Saturday, February 11, 2023


I'm still dipping into a huge bag of wool batting a friend shared with me.  I've had to curtail my wet felting for quite some time due to an ever present achy shoulder that now is not even responding to steroid injections.  So this may be it for awhile.  

The wool fibers are really coarse and no matter how hard I work and how careful the layering process doesn't yield a smooth surface.  However, the rough one is interesting in its own right and will be enhanced with hand embroidery when they are fully dry.

Thursday, February 9, 2023


 The holidays, illnesses, and life in general had gotten in the way of our monthly Fiber Frenzy meetings......therefore a day of microwave dyeing was looked forward to greatly.  

Cotton fabric soaked in soda ash, topped with ice, and sprinkled with Procion dyes....ready for the microwave.
After 7 mins. (much longer than usual due to the low power) the ice is melted and fabric ready to be rinsed.
I was very low on reds in my stash so very delighted by this piece.

The microwave we used was small and not very powerful which led to a lot of standing around & chatting while we waited our turn.  Kathie on the left, Susan on the right.
At the last minute Judy came down with the bad cold that's making the rounds, so we "toasted" her by text!
Kathie over-dyed a previous pink with too much white piece and this was the fabulous result.  Do-overs can be great!!

Far left is a rayon scarf Kathie brought for each of us.....the rest of my pieces were all over-dyed commercial tone on tone white and pale yellow.  Bliss!!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

HARVEST MOON - new work

 I set out to create an art quilt, designed around a tree I drew, scanned, & cut with my Brother Scan N Cut machine.  This project was easily a three week commitment, concluding with a successful result.

If you'd like to give it a home, contact me directly.   Free shipping for a limited time.

HARVEST MOON - 19" x 15 -  © Mary Stori

Hand ice-dyed cottons & batiks, appliquéd motifs,

thread painting, hand embroidery, hand & machine quilting. 

Faced edges, fabric hanging sleeve attached.


Friday, February 3, 2023


A fiber group friend asked for my help getting started making landscape art quilts.  She's ready to add some handwork so I offered this tip, perhaps it can help you too.

 I developed this method years ago to keep hand embroidery, quilting, & beadwork distortion free. I ALWAYS work in a Qsnap frame....(square or rectangle) preferring to secure fabric on-grain rather than using a round hoop which stretches the bias. 

The addition of a (homemade) fabric sleeve (or more than one if the project is small) is used to pin and hold the edges secure.  This provides stability when your stitching reaches the very outside edge of a piece.


Thursday, February 2, 2023


 A local friend who doesn't belong to any of my groups has often asked to bounce construction/design ideas off me.  Honestly, I'm flattered and happy that all the knowledge I've gathered for so many years can be passed on.

She surprised me with this knit and then felted scissors case.....isn't it terrific??  Thank you Arlene!!