Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a Happy and healthy Thanksgiving ...

 This year will will be one for the history books, but no matter what it looks like, or how you choose to celebrate....may it be filled with love....Stay safe...!

Saturday, November 21, 2020


As creative people, I think we all wonder about odd things that others may not give a second thought those little cups that come with laundry detergent and dryer sheets and oh yes....big candy bags that are empty. Surely there must be a good way to recycle them into something useful and cute.
Our pal Kate Weston from our PTA group headed up the annual retreat the last 2 years and came up with prizes for everyone....Well they were all wonderful, but secretly I know that mine was really the best. Kate took an empty Twizzler bag, laminated it with a laminate appropriate for fabric and made it into a pouch for carrying thread, scissors etc. 
It even had a zipper.....
and was quilted....and the cute! How clever is this....I could even see these as a cute bag for a younger person....just put a long strap on it.....
And the best HAVE to eat all the candy before you use the bag!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Craggy Trees & a Great Tip!

We are in my favorite "tree season". As much as I love the fall and the beautiful color of trees, I truly love "naked" trees for the wonderful configurations you see.

I especially love the craggy trees. There is a place on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC called Craggy Gardens. They have a wonderful hiking trail and lots of these trees with all the lichen and moss and stubby branches. They are so interesting. They are great subject matter for someone who does machine or hand embroidery ....what a field day they would have....

Maybe one of these days I will attempt to duplicate this...I especially like the upper right and left views as they are close in and you can get a lot of detail with thread, paint etc. There are also some beautiful color variations you can see in these very subtle pictures.

So here is a cool little tip which I've published in years past....I have used this so many times. Often a photograph is hard to break down into specific colors....especially those involving nature. The website CSS Drive Image to Colors Palette Generator will do that for you. Above you see my photo (below left) which has been uploaded to their click on a button and within seconds, they break your photo down for you AND in different cool is that. The official site is  Give it a try.

I think I would start with a digital image as a base and go from there...perhaps several of the same image printed on very different fabrics and layer them on top of each other, cutting away different parts on each layer. This is a technique I learned from the very gifted fiber artist Pat Mink.

Might be a cool way to start the New Year - 2021 which I think I can vouch for every person reading this....We Are So Ready For!!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Into the Woods

I started this piece a while ago. I found some fabrics I had created using deconstructive screen printing and other techniques. I really like working in a block formation which allows me to highlight some of the surface design techniques.
This piece also has some commercial fabric such as batiks. I find it hard to mix the 2 sometimes (commercial and deconstructive) as both have so much energy and tend to compete with each other but this time, I was able to get a good mix.
I laid it out to see where tweaking was needed. I laid paper patterns on top but think it's too much.

  The little strip of fabric (above, bottom) needed a little something so I added some stamping.....very subtle.
  The mushrooms on the fabric above were created with the process of deconstructive screen printing. Mushrooms can be hard to find and only certain times of the year. When I do see them, I pick as many as I can and get to work. They do make for such an interesting print.
Some printing with dyes and sponges on the small strip. Many of these fabrics I've had; It's a nice surprise when I come upon some that work so well together...especially a commercial with a hand dye.
I love to do hand stitching using 2 strands of DMC embroidery floss and you can always find a color that works from their large selection of colors. The ferns - another piece of deconstructive fabric has free motion machine quilting around the edges.
And what to name it....sometimes a name will just hit you and sometimes you have to think and think on it....I looked at this and thought of the days when I was a young child and living with my Aunt Cathy in upstate NY....She had 173 acres and lots of woods...My cousin and I would love to go into the woods and explore. We loved the stream that ran through it and the squishy ferns and moss under our feet....Think I just found a name...."Into the Woods".

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Blue Ridge Magic

Living in Asheville, NC has so many wonderful things going for it but one of the best in my opinion is the Blue Ridge Parkway which runs right through it. The parkway is a national treasure with breathtaking views everywhere you look. I will go out of my way to take the parkway rather than one of the roads more conveniently located...I never tire of it.
We do many long drives during all seasons but especially the fall with all the brilliant color. This is a culmination of more than one trip this season.

I get a lot of inspiration from the photos I take...I love the layering of mountains and think done in layers of organza would achieve a nice effect.
I also love the bright foliage close in to give it perspective.
I've always had a love affair with trees and this one is magnificent.  I store it in my picture file for trees and yes...there it was...a picture of if taken many times before. I must do something with this someday soon.
Another beautiful vista.....
We hit the highest point on the parkway at 6053 feet...mighty cold up there.

Looking Glass Mountain which does look like glass is always great to see and does stand out because of its odd shape and bald top.
Another fabulous tree for my picture file....

More beautiful vistas.....

Some good color...think we were a little too late on the higher points on the parkway and missed the peak....still pretty though.

The Asheville Water Shed you can see above surrounded by such wonderful mountains.

And 2 different weeks along the can see the difference in leaf change....It's been nice to get out and some beautiful cool weather and NO news to watch...a nice escape if only for a little while.

Friday, November 6, 2020

S'mores and More

Our last outside gathering of our PTA group met a short while ago in Barbara's driveway

Our masks were very welcomed as it was cold and they added a bit more warmth.

Linda and Lynne at top and right above our hostess Barbara and Dort on right.
Mary with her bag of wonderful show and tell.
Dort is very prolific and has made quilts for everyone in her family. I love the quilt above and the pattern. It's quite simple but so effective and a good way to use scraps...something many of us aspire to do.

The backs are as fun as the fronts.
In the quilt above, I love the border with the little touch of hot pink tucked in between the blocks and the border.
And another wonderful backing.
Lynne did a great job on her latest piece; she loves creating geometric themes. This lovely piece just needs a binding.

Mary continues to do a lot with her large stash of Japanese fabrics...all very lovely.
I really love the quilt featured above. When she finished the background I thought it could be finished as it was interesting in and of itself but then she added the bamboo which is just the icing on the cake...Love it.
And now onto the yummy part....Gary, Barbara's husband made a fire pit which kept us warm during the morning and then....
provided us the means for making S'mores...oh heavenly!
Messy, yummy and absolutely so delicious! A great way to end the day and as it turns out our last PTA meeting until the warm weather comes and we can gather outside....