Friday, March 29, 2013


I've been grabbing moments in my studio to finish up this piece. I thought it might need a touch of red somewhere and decided a circle shape would fit with some of the other circles.
 I also decided to add just a thin line of couching thread along the side, it's very subtle.
 I tried the circle on the other side but it still doesn't feel right.
My son suggested a small, random splash of red rather than a specific shape, think I like it better.  
I added a top piece in white with a little Shibori on it and bound the edges in a navy-ish color, so it's done. I really liked working with these colors and hope to do more.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I started another piece a little while ago with the hopes of using some of the deconstructive screen printed fabric I have.  I love the fabric, it's just hard to work with.
 It's very busy but I thought of using just parts of it making it more do-able.
 I also found some mushrooms I had screened some time ago and thought they would work in the piece.
 And as luck would have it, there in my stash was some Shibori fabric I created a couple of years ago. I had the great luck of getting into a one day class with Yashiko Wada a couple of years back and am still finding treasures.
 Another piece of Shibori. - this one I created by using a smocking pleater.
 The above piece was created by placing a bean in the fabric and tying around it.  I used a heavy cotton thread and kept it in one continuous piece as I went from bean to bean, so now I have some Indigo dyed cotton thread also.
It's going together without too much fuss. I'm still working on the top area and hope to finish it up this week. Til then......Happy Creating.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Nice Surprise

My husband gets the mail every morning; it's left in the box overnight and on his very early morning hike, retrieves it to bring up the next day. Our very long and steep driveway has led us to this way of getting mail, not an easy chore. I was so surprised and happy to find this amongst all the bills and advertisements.
 A postcard from my student - Jeni DeRusha, the gal who did the larger, very subtle and pretty nature piece in a recent post. The postcard measures 6 1/2" x 9" - a great print with an organza overlay and some wonderful applique on top. It even has a postmark.
and postcard stamped on the back. It's staying in my studio, AKA my room of "treasures" - things I love the most. Thanks Jeni...You're the best!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Small Works - Applecake

I've been trying to finish up some smaller pieces I started way back when.  Some only need a binding or a label. It's a good feeling to see some instant gratification.
This piece is part of my small quilts series. I't's called "Applecake". There's a silk screen of a recipe for Applecake written in my grandmother's hand.  There are also drawings of a face my son did and a digital image printed on organza of a family member - so it was a toss up as far as picking a name.
I started with a piece of deconstructed screen printed fabric but it was a little subtle and I thought it needed more to liven it up. So I thought of running it through the printer using another image on top would help.  Next to faces, I love trees - so one of my favorite tree images was the first thing I reached for.
I also thought quilting around the tree with gold thread would sparkle it up a bit.
The picture of some ancestor (don't know who...but love the dress and hat) was printed on organza and used as an overlay.
And some writing from my grandmother's cookbook - I use this screen a lot.
Mylar threads which are the flat shiny threads can be wicked to use, but when they work, they work like a charm and add so much.
I also used a silver mylar to quilt the circles in the fabric above.
A fun little piece and best of's done!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Our 5th Annual PTA Retreat

I was away this week at our annual PTA retreat - 5 years and going strong.  It was even more fun than last year if that's possible. We arrived around 9:30 on tuesday morning and set up our stations.
 Some of us like to do the same thing so we decide on a quilt, all contribute fabric and pre-cut pieces.
 We also have a snack table with "healthy snacks"  ( - :  Right.....!
 Back at the house for happy hour, we forgot our glass markers so got very creative with ways to identify our glass.
 A carrot secured with a rubber band wins my vote for most creative!
 Our wonderful Mary Berry couldn't join us this year so every chance to toast her with champagne, we did!  We missed you Mary!
 Back at the community room where we sew, eat, laugh and do all kinds of silly things, there actually were some wonderful quilts being made.  Barbara was working on a beautiful blue log cabin.
 Leigh Anne was working on a Kaleidoscope quilt - think she said it was to be Queen size - wow!
 Janice had a beautiful Christmas quilt in the works.
 And 4 of us - Mary, Kate, Gen and myself were making a black and white with bright squares "scrappy" quilt which we all finished!
 This was definitely a no-brainer which you want for retreat. You don't want to think too much or you'll miss all the fun going on.
And at long last, we said good-bye to an old friend - better known as the bird.  This ceramic bird has been part of this group forever. He finds his way into such places as our closets, suitcases and under pillows to name a few.  Those with the great fortune of getting him, embrace him with a groan and half smile. It becomes their job to re-locate him without anyone being the wiser, so we felt it was time he retired.  We found a good home for him in a basket in the living room of our retreat house....Bet your bottom dollar, he'll be there next year when we return.
It was the greatest of fun with the nicest of people - as always

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Show and Tell

 I've been getting emails from students who took my workshops at Mid-Atlantic this year and last. I love this part of teaching.  I'm so excited to see their pieces and they're happy to share with you.
 Jeni DeRusha is working on this wonderful, very subtle piece.  I know I showed you some pics of Jeni's piece already but she has been editing and adding more. Above is the base which she added more design elements to.
 She also added more to the organza layer which looks great when placed on top of the base.

 Jeni also moved the tree to the organza layer so it would be more obvious.  I love this piece and can't wait to see it finished.
 Loy Holt was in my Shaded Florals workshop last year at Mid-Atlantic and came to visit me this year  at the conference. She had a wonderful surprise to share - her finished piece.  I think it's a beautiful piece and I was blown away by the amazing border.
Denise Rhea Carter is my "whale lover". She admits to having many things start out as one thing and winding up as a whale.  When her Sew Bee offers up a challenge involving trees, her's become "floating trees" in water........whales.  I think she did an amazing job on her quilt.  I love the use of tissue lame on both the top and bottom layers and the edges turned under with facings.  And Denise, I love whales too, especially after seeing them in Alaska last summer!
Way to go...Jeni, Loy and Denise!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snowstorms and I've Been RAAK'D

The snow is here and I really do love it as long as it's not too often. I love being kept indoors in my studio with a fire going in the fireplace.  Our snow was nothing major but pretty just the same.  It's very cold outside and I'm happy to be housebound. 
 This is a view of the front, I stepped outside for just a second and snapped a few photos.
 Our Daffodils are in bloom right along the side here, probably not so anymore; I was looking forward to picking a bunch.
A winter wonderland!

 And onto a "gift" I received while teaching at Mid-Atlantic. At the end of each day, I would straighten my room, putting away, throwing out and get ready for the next day.  I came upon this small quilt on a table where I keep all the patterns and handouts. At first I thought someone had left it by mistake. I hung it up thinking the person who accidentally left it, would come back. By the third day, I asked my class about it as on the back was...
 You've been RAAK'D which is a Random Act of Art Kindness. I hadn't heard of that and was surprised and happy to think someone had left it for me.  This wonderful treasure has found a new home and is hanging in my studio where I keep my favorite things. It's a lovely piece and also makes me wonder who might have done this. I have a few thoughts on that, but for now I'll say, if you're reading this, Thank You.  I love it and cherish the idea that you thought of me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival

I've been home from Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival for a week and have been anxious to share my adventure.  
Our trip up to Hampton was crazy, crowded and lots of fun with plenty of food including homemade cookies to munch along the way.
We got in earlier than most folks as we were judging the next day, allowing us to pick rooms next to each other and also finding time for a little silliness.
We unpacked and everyone had to try on Linda's funny slippers - we all wanted "duck feet".
Being there early was great for seeing the quilts up close and personal. This was one of my favorites -  Green Miles by Peggy Kragnes.  It was truly breathtaking in person.
Euphoria by Marilyn Badger was a beauty also.
Being a nature lover, I fell in love with Coleus up Close by Sue Colozzi. It felt like you were looking at the real thing.
My Layered Nature-scapes was a new workshop;  I was anxious to see what everyone did as well as share it with you. It was amazing to see the great things these gals came up with, such an incredibly creative group.  They started with a base piece and painted silk organza to layer on top, something subtle so the base would show through.  Most of the following are the base pieces before the top layer.
They silk screened as well as created images out of fabric for the base.
This gal wanted a spooky moon which she created by adding paint to the fabric on left.
I was pleased to see how everyone painted their organza very lightly and subtle so their background would show through.
Jeni layered hers early on so you can get an idea of how the finished piece will look.  She was adding more images to the sheer layer.
I think it's going to be a wonderful piece.
Denise did an underwater theme with Humpback whales; this is just the base. Her top layer added so much depth and she actually finished it in time to bring to Show and Tell on Saturday night.  Show and Tell is the closing event for workshops at Mancuso shows. Students have the opportunity to show what that did and give others a chance to see what they might like to take in the future. It's great fun and always inspiring.
I must say I was prouder than a Peacock to see what all my students in all 3 classes came up with, such wonderful skills and creativity. I think every one of them stepped outside the box and I couldn't be happier. They made my week so my ladies....if you are reading this - Thank You! You are all amazing and I hope to see and work with you again.