Tuesday, April 30, 2013

218812–I Know You Don’t Care………

But I do!

I love Palindromic numbers and my blog just had it’s 218812 visitor according to Neocounter at 10:49 on this last day of April 2013!

ORANGE!!! It’s The New Go With Everything Color


It is so much fun making my amulets as I get to work with just about every color. All of these have orange in various shades and amounts.

I also get to put unexpected colors together.


Now you can see the same amulets against a white background.

I get to work with colors I haven’t worked a lot with.

I get to put unique shapes and canes together.

It is a creative outlet and while it takes some time to make each one, it is still quicker than making a quilt.

Many of the same design principles apply.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blue Moons


I started with a half yard of fabric that had been previously dyed a mottled blue. I cut it in half and had two fat quarters.

I folded and clamped this and overdyed it with black dye. Some of the blue marks you see come from  the clamps resting against the fabric. I have clear moons and “misty” moons!


I overdyed the remaining fat quarter with a mottled black. I have two pieces that coordinate and may or may not be used in the same composition.

Sunday, April 28, 2013



I had a little Strong Orange dye I wanted to use that was probably 20 years old. It certainly didn’t loose it’s potency!

My idea was to do the washout and then overdye with something else to tone it down. That is what I will be doing when I get back to dyeing. It is possible I may keep one of two pieces that I won’t overdye – time will tell.

I am on a little break right now as I work with polymer clay as my finished clay items are getting very low.


Although is is probably not a good idea to put cotton and silk in the same dye bath, I did put two silk scarves in the same dyepot.

The silk turned out just fine although it was slightly lighter than the cotton. I also will be overdyeing the scarves.

It never ceases to amaze me the results I get each time I dye fabric.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Black Dye Over Burgundy Dye


I had a piece of fabric that had been dyed by someone else. The color was a dull burgundy with a purple cast.

I overdyed it with black. I am pleased with the results.

BUT-The colors had not been set properly.

Some of the red component in the dye ran a little on my other fabric where it was supposed to be white.

Another lesson learned…….Don’t trust any hand dyed fabrics you purchase….the colors could run…….both in another dye pot or in the project you create.

I will be doing a proper washout on all the fabrics I bought from this particular seller/dyers.

One of the keys to a proper washout is soaking in cold water to remove all the soda ash.

The other important one is to wash in HOT HOT water.

The water temperature on my washer can be set as high as 205 degrees F.

After I have done the complete washout with Synthrapol I do one more rinse and add a Color Catcher sheet to that rinse.

If there is any color on the Color Catcher sheet, I do a second HOT wash.

This is the second dyer I have found whose work runs a lot.

Before I started dyeing fanatically I bought a lot of hand dyes from other dyers. I am now overdyeing many of those boring pieces!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Art From Our Fiber Artists


This month our fiber art group displayed their work on the bulletin board in our art/craft room.

Many of these pieces were the result of methods and techniques we studied this year.

Although I don’t have a piece of my work on the board, several of the members used the facing technique I shared recently.


Beth created two separate designs for this composition. She then cut them up and wove them together. It was quite a challenge to make everything fit. She did a masterful job with this piece.


Carol’s piece has a lot of texture to it. She has used paper and threads that most of us would throw away.

The composition is strong and something most anyone would find appealing.


Rusting fabric using steel wool was another subject Carol shared with the group. Our other Beth made this piece. She also used colored pencils and a lot of stitching and quilting. She used the facing technique I shared to finish the edges. She let the piece tell her what to do as she worked and it is quite evident she listened.

I am enjoying seeing the development of the work by the members of our group.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today Is International “Ladies Who Lunch Day”


I started celebrating early with my friends on Wednesday.

The weather was perfect for a lunch outside at our clubhouse restaurant.

Not only was the weather perfect, but the food was delicious and the company was superb!

I intend to continue to celebrate today with a late lunch with another girlfriend.

If you haven’t planned your celebration for today it’s not too late to call a friend and enjoy lunch together.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Purple Projects



On Sunday I also did a small batch of purple dyeing. I had a purple mixed dye that I had never tried and wanted to see how it worked.

This is one unit from an ecru cotton bedspread I am dismantling. I prewashed it with Synthrapol and soda ash.

I was pleased with the color I got. I have no idea what I will do with it. I may have to block it, but that was one of the problems with the original bedspread……it wasn’t blocked and I’m not sure if it could have been. I think the crochet was done either too tight, too loose or with the wrong side hook.


This is a square of Candle Wicking I did probably 20 years ago. I used Roclon Perma-press muslin. It was not prewashed before I put it in the dye pot. You can see there is one area that didn’t take the dye at all. The thread took the dye a lot better than the fabric but even that had areas where the dye didn’t take. I will attempt to overdye this with a similar color and see if it will take the dye now that it has been washed out. this is a good example of why it is best to use PFD fabrics when you are dyeing. Any finish can prevent the dyes from taking well.


This was the biggest surprise of all. I had drawn on a piece of prewashed Gutcheon Classic fabric  with Elmer’s Glue straight from the bottle. I am not even sure if it was regular Elmers or the school glue. I did this at least 10 years ago. I can’t tell you how many times I put it in the garbage and then took it back out! After I dyed it and was ready to put it in the wash machine the glue was still thick on the surface. I rubbed it together, put it under running water and VOILA! it came out leaving a pretty clear print!. I may have to do more of this.

Each one of these was in the same dye pot and handled the same way. I think it is shows some of the things you should and shouldn’t do when dying.

I am pleased with the colors I got from the purple mixed dye and will be using it again. I am always amazed at how far a jar of dye goes and I have enough at hand to do 100’s of yards of fabric if I so choose. I could also overdye clothes in my closet. That is a story for a different day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dye Magic or Tragic?

There really are no absolutely tragic dyeing results since you can cut any hand dyed fabric in smaller pieces and make it work.

I did have my share of challenges in my last two dyeing batches.


This is the fabric that turned some of my fabrics a pale pink where they were supposed to be white in my Sunday dyeing.


This is what the fabric looked like before I did the black shibori dyeing over it.

When you don’t set your colors by using soda ash you lose a lot of the color you have painted on.

I really AM pleased with the resulting piece and the different levels of black I obtained.

Stay tuned as there will be more dyed fabrics coming soon.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday Was Funday

I procrastinated and finally got the poles in the dye buckets in late afternoon. Because I started so late I didn’t finish until almost 1 a.m.


This was my favorite piece of all the fabrics I dyed.


I had at least 40 pieces of fabric ready to dye. See that red one?  I thought the dyes on that one had soda ash added.

When I put it in the dye pot I realized it had only been underpainted without soda ash. By that time it was too late to do anything about it and some of the fabrics ended up with a light pink cast where they should have been pure white.


This was another favorite. I did something had not done before. Can you see the curved line down the center? You can also see some of the pink cast on this one. I think the ones that got the pinkish cast were close to the red pole.

I had far too many poles in the dye pot. I was trying to fit them all in and that was a mistake. It was very difficult to manipulate the fabrics every 15 minutes which is the recommended way things should be done.


I love the texture on this piece. I think it was the only piece I dyed dry in this batch.

I have more poles wrapped and waiting and will do a few more and then today or tomorrow will do another black batch.

After that I will do a few more colors that are missing in my palette.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dinner Is Served


Last night I had the pleasure of having my friends Beth and Pete here for dinner. I like to keep it simple so I served roasted chicken and a medley of roasted asparagus, sweet potatoes and baby portabella mushrooms. Appetizers were Honey Goat cheese with assorted crackers. Dessert was black raspberry sorbet with chocolate chips drizzled with cream de menthe.


Beth and Pete brought the wine – which was a perfect accompaniment to the meal. I don’t know how they knew that my favorite wines are the German ones and this one was amazing.


Can you see what is in the gift bag?


It was one of the 4 food groups – chocolate!

These are brownies on a stick coated with chocolate, nuts and white chocolate.

I had fruit earlier for breakfast so it was time from something from the chocolate group.

I can attest that this was absolutely fantastic. (I only ate one of them – saving the other one for my next chocolate fix)

Beth and Pete have a knack of finding the very best of absolutely everything.

And when Beth finds something and doesn’t know where to buy it Pete is an internet sleuth who can find absolutely anything to buy!

After they got home Pete emailed me on of Beth’s recent finds and I went on the internet and ordered two of them. You’ll have to stay tuned to see them when they arrive!

I have the best friends.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Next Whole Cloth Quilt Fabric


This is the newest fabric I have designed as a whole cloth quilt fabric.

No need to cut up fabrics and sew them back together for a quilt.

You will save time and money using my designer fabrics to make quilts.

Of course it is perfect for a wall hanging too.

One of the things I love about this one is the quilting stitches are visible and you get the dimension from the quilting.

It is not yet available to purchase.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Youngest Florida Friends


They came over to play a little golf today and have something to eat.

It is SO much fun to cook for them since they eat hearty.

When they got here they finished off half the batch of brownies and then had a big plate of Mexican dip and a bag of Scoops.

They went to the driving range and hit balls.

Came back and after we talked for a short time they were ready for supper.

A salad and pizza fondue.

Another little break while Sarah and her Dad did a little golfing.

Then it was time for dessert.

Brownies topped with Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

I forgot to take food pictures and took this one outside in the dark as they were ready to leave.

Of course I sent them home with a bag of food too!

Dad and Drew were competing to see who could look the strangest in the photos, but fortunately I got one good one. Sarah looked great in all of them.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Giving Talent A Helping Hand

Earlier this week my friend Mary Stori wrote a very complementary blog post about me.


I met Mary at a quilt show in Wisconsin where she was modeling in her mother-in-law’s Wearable Art style show.

After the style show she came my our booth and showed me pictures of her quilts, all done on her own without help from anyone else.

I could see she definitely had a lot of talent.

I invited her to our Quilt Guild meeting in Illinois, which was where she lived at the time.

When she showed up at one of the meetings I invited her to sit with us.

She became very active in the guild and her quilting skills blossomed (as did her involvement in the guild).

She became an internationally known quilt celebrity travelling to share her talents.

She also wrote several books. won contests and led many quilters cruises to various ports.

All I really did was ignite the spark and Mary herself, with her numerous talents is the one who made it all happen.

I have always felt that if is important to encourage others, and it takes nothing away from what you yourself are doing when they soar to great heights.

So thanks Mary for singing my praises and giving me more credit that I really deserve, as you deserve most of the credit for how far you have come.

If you would like to see what Mary is doing these days you can visit her blog at: http://www.marystori.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Little Trip South

I left on Monday to visit long time friends Sharon and Fred.


They are the kind of friends who even if it’s been a while since you’ve see them, you can pick up right where you left off.

We had a lot of catching up to do as it has been 2 or 3 years since we had seen each other.


On Tuesday we took a boat trip in Naples. This is one of the mansions we saw. Sharon is a great activity planner and we have been on so many boat trips with them.


Another home on the water – each one seemed to be bigger than the last one!


I loved these two BIG old trees in this yard. I don’t know what they were. They were the largest trees I observed along the water.

NOTE: I got the answer from Sharon. They are Banyan trees.


I was amazed by the amount of construction that was going on in this area. I guess  people who can afford 50 million plus homes have not been hit by the current recession.

Normally the boat trip does not venture out into the Gulf of Mexico. Since it was so calm we were able to head into the Gulf for a while.


As we headed into the Gulf these rocks were a gathering place for pelicans.


When we were in the Gulf we could see Marco Island which was 10 miles away- can you see the buildings?

We finished our visit to Naples with lunch at The Boat House restaurant on the water. The coconut shrimp Sharon and I both had were indeed giant – as they were described on the menu! They were the best coconut shrimp I’ve ever had and I order them often.

I’m looking forward to the next time we get together.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Favorite Hostess Gifts


For many people bringing a bottle or two of wine is a customary hostess gift.

I like to make fun potholders to bring as hostess gifts.

I make them BIG and thick so no one burns their hands. I do not add a hanging loop as I don’t expect the recipients to hang them up.

I want them to use them and wash them as needed. They get better the more they are washed.

I have found some people are using them under a hot dish on the table or the counter too.

I had enough of the lime fabric to back both the potholders and also make a bag to hold two bottles of wine and the potholders.

Monday, April 8, 2013

When Does 1 - .95 + 2 - .8 = ONE?


This may make sense to you if you follow my blog!

The quilt I made with my fabric I designed used about 95% of the fabric I had.

The quilt I made using my hand dyes used about 80% of that group of fabrics.

So when I put the leftovers from these two quilts together I got ONE new quilt.


The red strips in this quilt are a scant 1/8 inch wide. I put the pencil in the photo to give you a reference point with the lead from the pencil.

There is a very small amount of the fabrics from these quilts left so don’t bet on seeing them again soon!

This is another one that will not be quilted until I have time to study it and decide what I will do.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ladies Who Lunch Meet A Man!


Robbie Payne and I had lunch on Friday at one of my favorite places…B D Beans!

It was so much fun to share what we both have been up to with our fiber art.

We go in different directions, but we each tend to be perfectionists. She loves hand work and I prefer the machine,

Wait until you see a photo I took of her work!


She had this beaded butterfly professionally framed. It does justice to her fantastic beading.

The frame has a metallic finish – gorgeous.


I had to share this close up of the butterfly so you can appreciate her intricate beading.

You can see more of her work at:


She brought along a lot of her work and also the quilts from her groups projects. What amazing artists, one and all.

Of course we had time to catch up on what else we were up to and our schedules. We had a hard time setting up a date for lunch but I am so glad we made the effort. We had a wonderful time.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Another Hand Dyed Quilt Top Finished


I am pleased this top is done.

Working with my shibori dyed fabrics is interesting, fun and often a challenge  - as you are going where “No quilter has ever gone before”.

I know I couldn’t do this without a design wall and the ability to stand back many feet and look at it.

I usually keep my design wall in my great room as most house activity goes on in that room. This gives me the opportunity to study the piece and fine tune what I think might work.

I will put off quilting it for a few months (or more)!

Often I have to study a piece for a long time to decide how I want to quilt it.

There are two considerations as I am deciding how to quilt something:

1. The quilting must complement the design of the quilt

2. The quilting should be the simplest possible design that will do number 1.

In the quilt world there seems to be an emphasis to do as much quilting as possible in the most ornate way possible on many wonderful quilts.

That is not my style. No offense to those accomplished quilters who are doing that type of quilting meant.

I have quilted long enough to see styles of quilting, fabric, design, embellishment, etc. ebb and flow in popularity.

I also know that I need to be true to myself and not follow the pop trend of the day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ladies Who Brunch



I was so happy to see my friends Debbie and Donna. We had brunch and then I shared my “studio” with them.

We did have some catching up to do as we haven’t seen each other in a while.

Debbie moved back to Albuquerque and has been spending about two months in Florida teaching and vending at shows.

Donna is Debbie’s friend I met last year when she hosted a reception for Debbie.

Perhaps you remember seeing them on my blog before!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Proud As A Peacock – Close Up


Yesterday I shared a picture of a yard of this fabric.

Today I am sharing a close up view of approximately an 8 by 8 inch square of the fabric.

I think this gives you a clearer idea of the detail on the fabric.


This is the overall view from yesterday.

It is now available for sale at:


Remember, I would LOVE to see photos of what you make with my fabrics!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Introducing…….Drum Roll Please…….My Original Whole Cloth Quilt Designs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make a quilt top without having to piece it when you are in a hurry, yet need something very special for someone?


Proud As A Peacock

You can see a clearer image and purchase this fabric at this link:


This shows one yard of fabric – enough for a baby quilt or wall hanging.

It is an economical use of your time and money to make a quilt with a whole cloth fabric.

It can also be purchased as yardage,  a fat quarter,  a swatch, wall paper or a wall decal.

This is the perfect fabric to have on hand when you need a quick baby quilt or gift.

It would make a gorgeous purse, tote or scarf.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Quilt “Sketch” With Fabrics


This is how I sometimes begin a design.

I call it sketching with fabric.

Usually there are many twists and turns along the way.