Friday, April 28, 2017

Ice Dye Du Jour


I have created some new ice dyed fabrics.

This is today’s one I want to share with all of you.

I never know what I am going to get when I do this as each one is a new experiment.

I couldn’t be happier about this one.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Knitting - It’s All About COLOR and TEXTURE

One of the reasons I enjoy knitting these afghans so much is that I love to work with color and use color flow in so much of my art. I am able to make these transitions because I have acquired quite a palette of yarn with more on the way.

The very first one I made was my attempt to use up some of the yarn I had. I soon had to start filling in colors to make it work. And now I have a lot more yarn than I started with!

Over the years I have refined and  improved the methods for the pieces I create. I can make them specifically for family and friends to enhance the colors they love. I no longer add fringe as it tickles you when you use them!
Coopers afghan 002
I rarely make them to coordinate to a decorating scheme and that is something that people change on a whim
The textures inherent in the yarns give me another way to make spectacular art. The yarns vary in weight and thickness which just adds to creating another degree of texture. I do seek out many novelty yarns in my quest as it adds even more interest.
I can also combine any and all types of yarn no matter what the fiber content.
Of course knitting (and most other handwork) is one of the most relaxing things we can do…unless it is one of those patterns we have to pay attention to for each and every stitch.
Since I only use garter stitch that is not a concern for me as I knit them.
This one is still a work in progress and I am awaiting more special yarns to finish it.
The finished pieces are soft, comfy and warm.
These are just a few of the 17 I have made to date and I am now working on number 18.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Back To My Color Roots?

My friend Mary Stori remarked that some of the current work I am doing reminds her of the colors I used when she met me 30 or so years ago.
Maybe it’s what comes around goes around.
Yet with the availability of today’s fabrics there is no comparison to what we had to work with 30 –40 or more years ago. I remember how excited we got when we found some of the newest most sophisticated fabrics at the time.
I remember Jeff Gutcheon telling me he would buy any yellow fabric he could find even if it was ugly! Yet, when I worked with him as he developed his first line of fabrics, there was NO yellow!
Autumn Rainbow was a break through piece for me. I used only solid colors which were extremely difficult to find at the time. I also included some lames. It was one of the first quilts I won a first place with. Yet more importantly it was the piece that developed my Tubular Spiral Patchwork technique that I went on to teach across the Midwest.
My Tree Of Life quilt was inspired by vintage quilts, yet was not a copy of anyone in particular. I did created kits for this as part of my Historic Concepts series. The kits are now collector items as I sold the last of them.

I designed and drafted this fan quilt. I taught it several times and it was not only a good learning experience in piecing and applique, but if was an excellent learning experience is using and balancing color and a variety of types of fabrics.
I remember my granddaughter Heidi who was probably 7 years old looking at one of my quilts and saying that looks like a “grandma” quilt. I thought she meant it looked like it was made my an “old grandma”. NO….that she meant was she could tell I made it as she knew the colors I used. (I had started her playing with color when she was between 7 and 10 days old. by the time she was about 3 she could arrange a box of 64 Crayola crayons in color flow order.
If you are following my recent color choices with my knitting and strip piecing I think you will see what Mary Stori was saying.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dyeing Silk With Color Hue Dyes

It has been a few years since I used my Color Hue dyes. I had already mixed many of them with water. They worked fine with no loss of color. One of the great things about them is they don’t loose their potency no matter how long you keep them.
They set instantly so there is no waiting period or color transfer to the cotton towel I roll them in to dry before I press them.
Since I didn’t have any silk scarves to try the dyes on I just used a piece of off white silk crepe. This can be a scarf after I serge the edges. I just did an allover spray with some dyes I mixed with strong values. When I did this with friends most of them preferred making pastel colors. 
I was not happy with the way I sprayed the colors on this one so I did a second application. For the second application I folded the fabric in triangle folds and dipped each fold in a different color. This started with a white very lightweight silk. I will serge the edges of this also. 
There are so many possibilities of different ways to use these dyes. And how exciting that they are permanent within such a very short time.
I plan on using more of these soon on silk scarves.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Strips Waiting To Tell Me Their Secret

These strips have been sewn together for a little while.
I used a lot of my really wonderful hand dyed and painted fabrics.
The fabrics that were TOO precious to cut and use…mostly created by me but some I purchased for big bucks.
Yet what enjoyment does one get from fabrics that are folded and put away??? NONE.
I know eventually I will be slicing (and maybe dicing) this strata.
It measures approximately 40 x 80 inches with some longer sections at one end.
Several ideas have come to mind, but I have not fully accepted any of them yet.
Time will tell.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Do You Do In Florida When It’s 86 Degrees


You turn on the A/C and you knit an afghan.

It has been quite a while since I have taken time to knit.

All these delicious gorgeous yarns were calling my name.

Each of the 17 afghans I have made in my signature colorful style are so different than any of the others.

Whether it is quilts, dyed fabric, polymer clay, clothing or anything else there is nothing like color to start my creative juices flowing.

Not only color, but texture makes these afghans so appealing. Once I start it’s hard to stop since I want to see what the next yarn is going to look like, and the next, and the next, ……………..

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Friends

My friend Denise brought her sister Deanna and niece Cadence over to meet me Monday morning.
We had a nice visit and enjoyed some time on the lanai.
I really enjoyed getting to know them and hope they’ll be back again sometime.
They are having an exciting vacation here in Florida.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Very Special Easter With My Florida Family

This is “baby” Andy who is named after Grandpa Andy, Mom Megan and Dad Ben. He is too cute.
Andy and Andy looking up
Baby Andy and Grandpa Andy were studying the dining room chandelier.
How many people have a merry go round in the middle of their dining room table? Baby Andy and Ryder were taking a few spins around on it.
Laney and Ryder were all dressed up for Easter.
BFF Sally and daughter Lauren. I’ve known Lauren since she was less that 2 years old.
Lauren, big brother Ted (hiding behind the Easter tree) and his wife Pam. I’ve known him also since he was about 3.
The weather was perfect, the food was delicious and plentiful and the company was the best.
My apologies to all of the family who didn’t make it into the blog….I missed taking a lot of pictures.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My Tough Work Week Is Over Finally

I have a tough job when I am in Florida.
It is called Ladies Who Lunch and this was the official Ladies Who Lunch Week so I worked Monday through Thursday!
Monday I met with my Free To Be Surface design group and we each bring out own lunch. A great group..Nancy, Robbie and Beth.
Tuesday my friend Carol Brum Gordhamer and I had lunch at our community clubhouse.
When I had lunch Wednesday with my long time friend Jean we were so busy talking, laughing and reminiscing we never got a current picture..So I am sharing this one from New Years many years ago. Jean is on the left and Ione is on the right. That was the year of the big snowstorm and all 6 of our friends had to spend the night at our house as there was no way to get anywhere. What a fun memory.
Thursday Lynn, Pat and I had lunch at B D Beans, an annual tradition for the 3 of us. Lynn and Pat and their DH’s are the inspiration for our decision to live here in Florida. Lynn was a local friend in WI and Pat and I were high school classmates in Racine.
And since I never remember to post food pictures anymore I had to share my Summer Salad with you. It has artichoke hears, walnuts, shopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, coconut and fresh greens. I am a creature of habit and I order it most of the time I eat there.

Friday, April 14, 2017

If Vanna Ever Retires, I Have Found Her Replacement!

When my friend Carol Brum Gordhamer came over this week I remembered to take her picture in front of the quilt.
She sure takes great pictures. You can see she has the motions that would make her a great replacement for Vanna on Wheel Of Fortune.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Year Is 2017 And Today I Am Making My 2017th Ever Blog Post!

I have been busy creating more ice dyes recently.
Each is very different than the others.
By trying many different ways of doing these I come up with a few really great ones, some that are quite good and my share of duds.
I was very pleased with this one. If you look closely you will see both equilateral triangles and hexagons. They changed greatly from the top to the bottom.
This is another piece I am pleased with. I love both the colors and the pattern.
The orientation of this one is quite different than most others. I love everything about it and a piece like this can fit in many spaces where nothing else could. I used a piece with a similar size and shape over one of the fireplaces at the Anderson Arts Center in my recent solo show.
I feels so good to be dyeing again and creating work with the help of serendipity. Each time I finish ironing a piece and look at it I enjoy seeing what has happened. It is really not until they are ironed that the true beauty makes its appearance.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ice Dye Different

I am always playing and experimenting as I ice dye.
I had a white piece of fabric I screen printed one of my original design thermofax screens on with brown paint.
The contrast was to great to make it something I was pleased with.
It called for some soft southwest colors in my opinion to marry the print with the background.
I am pleased with the results. The coloration is much lighter that my usual work.
Had it been darker the printing would have been lost.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Racine Washington Park High School Class of 1957 Early 60th Reunion

We always have such an enjoyable time at these small reunions we have in Florida each year.
This year we met at Pat and Ron Brodsko’s home where everyone always feels welcome.
I am not going to put names with these photos as I want you to see if your recognize the people in them!
How many of these people do you recognize?
Do you know these two ladies?
It is so much fun to reminisce and to catch up on what has been happening in our lives since we last saw each other which was only a year or two ago.
We had another one almost 6 years ago to the day.
If you weren’t there we missed you and hope you can make the next one.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More Ice!


More new ice dyeing for your viewing pleasure.
I hope looking at this makes YOU happy.

Monday, April 3, 2017

I’m Back

Dyeing time is here again. It's great to be continuing on this journey.

I am pleased to be creating new work and have finished some new ones.

Radiant Ruby

This is my newest mandala.

Each piece I create is one of a kind and I don’t have a formula. One of the keys is that I manipulate the fabric differently for each and every piece I do. There are also a lot of other variables as I work.

I believe that is one of the reasons why I have been christened “The Queen Of Ice”.

I did something I have never done before when I created this one and I am very pleased with the result.

I have several other ice dyes in various stages of completion.
Several are batching as I write this.

I love the contrast of the strength and softness that happened here.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Changing Up Seldom Inn’s Entrance

I think this is much more welcoming that the previous entrance decor.
A friend had bought this at our community sale last year and decided she didn’t need it and I was pleased with the bargain I got. It had different cushions that were like new but they didn’t go with my colors so I got new cushions that actually cost more than what I paid for the table and two chairs.
I hope you will come and sit a spell when you are outside.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

To Thine Own Self Be True

I see so many beautiful quilts and can appreciate quilts that are so different that what I do. I have no desire to make certain types of quilts. Does that mean I don’t like them? Quite the opposite. I can love and appreciate all the different types of quilts others make.

I know there are many quilters who want to do it all. From the beginning I have leaned toward doing quilts with a geometric style. That does not mean I haven’t tried many different things.
I also have always had a love of color. My use of color has been refined over the years and it is now something I am recognized for. Colors get my creative juices flowing.
My quilts may have changed over the years but many of my friends can still spot a quilt of mine from a distance.

For years I had no desire to dye fabric. I loved the hand dyed fabrics and purchased them from the people who were dyeing fabrics as I did for this one.
Today most of my quilts are made from fabric I dyed or painted.
And of course one of the best types of quilts are FINISHED QUILTS!
I have learned to never say never along this journey. I only took a 1/2 day miniature quilt class so I could tell my students WHY it didn’t make sense to make miniature quilts.
During that class a light bulb went on and I made my first miniature in a technique I developed then and there. I went on to teach my techniques both in my local classes and throughout the USA.
I even made the world's smallest quilts as documented in Quilter’s Newsletter.
Over the years I have learned to never say never, but always keep an open mind and say maybe.  One never knows!
As you look at this post do YOU see anything all my work has in common?

Friday, March 31, 2017

What’s Been Happening Today?

I think it is about time to get Mr. Bunny gourd out of the cupboard or Easter will be here and gone and he’ll still be in hiding.
Never one to share negative happenings I will have to say my IT company did an awesome job getting my computer back where it was when I messed up EVERYTHING while cleaning the keyboard with a paintbrush.
You may or may not know I have joined Facebook Anonymous. I think they want me to come back as they are sending me links to people I should friend. This includes just about everyone who I have ever had a conversation with, the nurses at a large medical facility,  a Dr. who I once saw, just about anyone who I do or have done business with, anyone with a name similar to the last name of one of my friends, anyone on my contacts list, or anyone of my friends family.
This picture as taken the very first time my friend Robbie Porter Payne came over to visit.
While I was writing this my neighbors came over and checked all through my garage and assured me the 3-4 foot long snake that was in my garage when I opened the door earlier is no longer there since I left the door open for him to escape. How lucky am I to have such great neighbors.
Since I didn’t want to go out in the garage and meet the snake I accomplished a lot of things on my To Do list!
You may or may not remember when I was looking for the CC? Well I guess the bunnies have been standing guard.
So it is a great day even without talking about the beautiful weather today.  Of course lunch was out on the screened porch and that should make my middle child happy as he says it is not a lanai!
No, not on the lanai. Fine dining at La Cuisine a while ago.
So lots of Happily Ever After Stories today.
If you are wondering why I am posting all these photos that seem to have no connection, they all were taken today’s date but in different years.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Words I Live By

This title may not sound very exciting.
Will you keep going and see what I have to say?
I am currently on a hiatus from Facebook. You may have asked me for how long? I do not know the answer.

The word is SIMPLIFY!
One reason to use a computer is to simplify our lives and make it easier. It is easy to fall down a rabbit hole and waste precious time. And when they work smoothly that is true. When they don't, not true!
Although this quilt may not look simple I used the fabric to it's advantage and created a shaded very complex looking quilt quite simply.

That is another way we can waste time.
I had to make a decision on what to do with these pieced diamonds and it only took me 18 years to decided this was the one!

Two positive words I live by are SERENDIPITY and INTUITION.
They both come from very similar parts of who I am.
I am not one to make long range plans and goals. I found it is too easy for me to get sidetracked if I do and never achieve them.
But if I let SERENDIPITY take over my life goes forward and many wonderful things happen.
I needed something to help deaden the sound in our sunroom. All of a sudden a bolt of lightning hit and I thought maybe this quilt I had made years before and had planned to display in a totally different way might work. I played with it on the tables in my studio to see if I could make it fit the space. It worked perfectly. It is a 2 sided quilt so I was able to loop it around the pole I used to display it.

INTUITION may send me on a journey that I have no idea about why I am heading in that direction, yet when I make that journey the result is often a great reward.
Lest you think my life is only about quilts, my family and friends are a most important part of my life. I had great friends from years ago when we lived in Ohio. We had lost touch with each other for over 40 years. I did remember they had moved to Ocala, Florida so I let my intuition and a little bit of detective skills go to work and I found them. This is the "My Florida Family" I mention often.

Not only did I find my friend Sally (on right) but with a little more detective work we found our other BFF from Ohio....Grace, who lives in Nebraska on the left. What a great feeling after we hadn't been together for 50 years and find it's still the great friendship it was many years ago.

There are some exciting new things that will be happening in my life that I will be sharing with you soon so stay tuned for some announcements when I am allowed to make them.