Monday, February 25, 2019

Fun Day - Fun Friends

PTA meetings at Mary B's are always fun; she is a delightful hostess and always makes us laugh, feeds us well and makes sure we have a wonderful day.
 A little mini wine bar along with coffee starts us off.
 We always have a wonderful show and tell from so many talented members.
 Kate took a block printing class where she carved the block and made some prints. The Fiber Junkies that were also PTA-ers were so excited, we decided to do this activity at our meeting coming up next week.

Marene is always so productive and has new things to show us. Besides her beautiful quilting, she also makes jewelry - the piece on the left has wire work over a stone...something I would love to do. The piece on the right is from a workshop she took a while back...

and such beautiful machine quilting.

Mary is in a little quilting bee in her community and brings her hexagons to work on all done by hand. She is also making the cutest hats....
 using this - don't know what to call it..but I had one as a child on a much smaller scale. I used to make mile long snakes to do what with - I don't know...just fun to make.
 Well, Mary even has her teddybears donned in her hats.

Marene is also a knitter and made this beautiful vest which I'm hoping to make. I don't knit - well some scarves...but have always wanted to learn so this may be the beginning of my great knitting career.
 Every year I make a journal out of my blog through "Cutest blogs on the block" and realized when looking at the most recent one, I have lots of beautiful projects to see but not enough people....soooo...this time around, I'm overdosing with my friends...Here we are at lunch eating a wonderful salad from Mary's salad bar.
 Janice, Linda and kate...
 and Kathy...showing us how healthy she can eat...
 Marene's head, Georgia and Connie...
 and Mary showing us dessert....Carrot Cake...well yum...Wait a's Carrot Cake Oreos..well that's yum too and they were.

And Mary had door prizes for us...yes...don't know where she got this crazy thing but we all had a good laugh - it's a straight pin dispenser which you have to load and it takes forever to get a pin. 
Kathy was the "lucky" person to get this and already thinking about how she can disguise it so nobody will recognize it when she puts it in the white elephant exchange next year...Foxy Lady!

And the end to a perfect day, as we left, Mary gave us a long stem rose....

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


my friend Val who left this world a little over 2 weeks ago. Val was one of the first people I met when moving to Asheville. I knew right away she was a special lady. 

 She was an incredible talent, dyeing all the fabric for her quilts, making silkscreens out of her own drawings - she was amazing. I always loved this particular quilt of hers; I admired it every time I went to the Folk Art Center where it hung in their gallery of quilts for sale. I would report to Val saying "I can't believe that beautiful quilt hasn't sold yet".....and then one day it was gone. I emailed her to say.....Well Hooray, some lucky person now owns that quilt...little did I realize it was me. A few nights later my husband and I were invited to their home for dinner.....a beautiful night and on my way out the door, she handed me a package and said "open this when you get home." The thrill, the surprise in the moment I opened it and how much I cherish it now...It hangs in my studio where I keep my favorite things.

In Fiber Junkies, we have always celebrated the big birthdays and Vals was our first when she turned 70. During a conversation on a ride home, she mentioned a favorite birthday when her aunt made her a dress with lifesavers on it. I had an Ahhh Haaa moment that I tucked away and later used as a theme for her birthday. I later thought maybe Val was talking about lifeboat circles...oh dear...I never did find out but we had a blast and Val was covered in lifesaver candy and thrilled about it.

We had so many meetings at her home where her garage had been converted to a wet studio. We had our own table and being creatures of habit, from day one went to the same table each month. Mary and I had Val at the end of our tables; we felt so lucky,  we could watch her every move, do everything she did, use every color she used and hope for a masterpiece..... but the magic belonged to her alone, even with her willingness to share, it was never to find its way to us.

I remember the time my kids went to the supermarket with their dad and happened to meet Val for the first time. Upon arriving home, they announced that Val was probably the nicest person they had ever met. I heartily agreed with them. 
I know so many of you didn't know this wonderful lady but it feels so right to share stories and happy memories...thank you for reading with me. Val was a beautiful spirit who touched the hearts and lives of everyone she met; I don't know if she ever realized how much she was loved..... I hope she did....I know she did.....I will miss her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fiber Junkies Fun...Feb 2019

 Fiber Junkies met at Gen's home this month...first up was Show and Tell...Kate and Denny who live near each other, often do challenges together - this time a mystery quilt challenge using different fabrics.

So these are the same quilts side by side and you can see what a difference fabric choices can make.
 Both are beautiful and meticulously done.
 Susan has been working on smaller projects like table runners - a good way to use up scraps.
  Mary just returned from her annual girlfriend retreat in Arizona. She always comes back with treasures. On top some eco printing on felt and below some ice ice dyeing on felt and cotton.

I think it's interesting to see how different fabrics (felt on left and cotton on right) take dyes in the same process and batch...all factors were the same. The cotton has crisper edges and color a little more intense. The felt much softer but still great color...both are yummy.
And another lovely ice dyed piece from Mary.

We are working through Jane Dunnewold's Improvisational Screen Printing - I have the original version while Denny has the revised one. Denny has many colored pictures in hers which add to the impact.We both have real fabric samples which is so nice to be able to touch.

 This month we are working on paper and plastic stencils or masks. Denny brought extra gel plates that she made; they work really well.
 I had some silk charmeuse I dyed a while back and used a very subtle stencil on top. I just wanted to add a little texture.

This is Denny's wonderful screen of houses she created with a Thermofax.
Screening on top of an already busy hand dyed fabric adds so much texture and interest. I love this piece.

Susan was using washers to lay down on a geli plate and then print over for more texture - a great look.

 I was coating my geli plate with a thick paint like Lumiere and using a natural sponge, removing areas of color. You can see in the lower right.

It can look something like the above (Susan's) although it looks like Sue could have put 2 plates together with paint in between, pulled them apart and the suction created patterning.

So the top 2 are mine created by using a brick stencil, gold Lumiere paint and semi-successful eco printed silk noil which I felt needed more work. Bottom is Gen using a sample she made on machine quilting to fill in the hearts.

 Gen works a lot with paper and this is some of the things she was creating. I would love this done on fabric....might have to give it a try.
 Kate and Denny pondering...
Gen on left with her favorite book and the "lunch bunch" on right.
More lunch bunch and 2 of my samples I ironed when I got home...I was pleased with the way they turned out. Til next time...