Archive for January, 2014

January 6″ x 6″ Piece Completed

January 19, 2014

Here is my completed 6″ x 6 piece made from the January Fiberistas meeting, along with a book mark:

Jan Stitch 6x6

I really disliked the piece I made last week, but with a little judicious trimming, the composition improved. Then it was attached to some waffle fabric with a decorative stitch on my sewing machine and metallic thread. The waffle cloth frays nicely so I pulled threads to create a mini frame. Voila, now I am much happier with the piece. This look appealed to me so much, I made a bookmark for myself, and saved the rest of the small pieces to make more when I wear this one out.

Look for “Stitch Play” to appear at the upcoming RoCo auction later this year.



A New Year for the Ogden Art Group Meeting

January 17, 2014

Everything seems so fresh and filled with so many possibilities in January. Our Upstate New York weather cooperated for the first meeting of the year, and we enjoyed seeing each other again. Show and Tell was good too.

Jan is back home and has taken some glass classes and metal classes:

Jan glass metal foam pieces

You can double click on the photo so it will enlarge for you, but the glass class was taken at Corning Museum – I think. The detail on the butterfly pieces is exquisite.

The metal clay pieces were stamped and then put in a kiln. I loved the patterning she got on those pieces and would love to try this sometime.

The leaves were made with foam and painted. This was quite a nice collection of small, creative pieces. It will be interesting to see what Jan does with them.

Janet showed us a jacket she recently finished:

Janet jacket

Janet takes orders for these jackets, and does a very nice job fitting them. They are not your normal boxy quilt jackets.

Karen wore a beautiful crocheted scarf she made, and Lucy made the machine embroidered, bead encrusted floral pin for it:

Karen scarf<

Sue showed a tiny notebook cover she made:

Sues notebook

And I showed the piece that I posted about yesterday.

Then on to our workshop. We all brought in design books we’d purchased, and looked at the ones we didn’t already own. Then we did a series design exercises we had prepared ahead of time for the group. A couple of us will be purchasing some new books, and all of us enjoyed stretching our design skills with the exercises. We enjoyed doing them so much, I suggested we start each meeting with a short design exercise from now on, and everyone agreed.

We will be honing our design skills, expanding our creativity, and after Karen’s exercise should never ever experience a creative block.


A New Year with Fiberistas Addendum

January 16, 2014

I finally caught up with the group project, and learned quite a lot about the first technique we tackled this year. Painting with Fabric Stitches was published in Quilting Arts Fall 2005, and written by Carole Redlich.

This is the collage I created for my fabric base:

My collage

And this is how it looks after being stitched:

My collage stitched

There was a book marker in my magazine, so it was definitely something I wanted to try, and am very glad Frances selected it for our January project. Do I like it? Not really. I did too good a job of matching thread to the fabric – the instructions did say to match the thread to the fabric.

The largest red piece has the exact same stitch design as the only purple piece of fabric in the collage. The thread matched perfectly for both pieces of fabric, but I selected the triple stitch option for the purple fabric, and the stitching does show up more, but not enough for my tastes. It takes a lot of time to do all this stitching, and you really can’t see a lot of it.

The variegated thread stitching was my favorite. It showed up the most. I used all rayon threads.

You also end up with a ton of thread starts and stops, and a pretty stiff piece of fabric. If I was ever to do this again, and I’ve learned that just because I’m not crazy about a technique today, doesn’t mean I won’t like it at a later time, I’d use solid color fabric or hand dyed fabric with thread that did not match the fabric so all the stitching is showcased.


New Member of the Family

January 13, 2014

Presenting my new grand dog, Cody:

Cody in kitchen

Twelve weeks old, 25 pounds of English Cream Golden Retriever has entered our lives. It was a present from me to my daughter because this Mom wanted to bring some joy into her life.

He’s a sweet, affectionate puppy, and I was so pleased he came to my house for a visit before he went to his forever home with my daughter and her husband.


My Happy Place

January 7, 2014

You’d think after living in this house for 38 years, I would have had a wonderful sewing studio. No, my sewing space has always been something that has been fit in a corner. My knitting machines always had prominence. Now I have 2 sewing machines vs 1 knitting machine, so the sewing machines have finally gotten their turn to shine.

I consider myself one lucky fiber artist to have an entire room dedicated to sewing, and am very grateful. These pictures were taken while I was sitting in my chair ready to sew. The first photo is what I see when I look slightly to the left:

front window

You can just see the corner of my cutting table, and I have a lovely view of the evergreens we planted 38 years ago. Our 13 acres was a corn field when we purchased it, and my husband and I have transformed it into a mini forest. Lots of oxygen is being made here. 😉

Straight ahead is my little TV and a plastic storage unit filled with fabric fat quarters:


For a person who wanted quiet when she studied in school, it has surprised me that I’ve changed so much, and like background noise when I sew. It can’t be music. If music is on, I’m up on my feet dancing.

My last photo is what I see when I look to the right:

side view

As you can see, it’s winter here in Upstate New York, but trust me, come spring, all those limbs are covered with green leaves and lots of lovely lilac blossoms. There are 50 bushes bordering our lawn, yes, 50 of them. I wish you could all be here in May. The entire yard is infused with lilac scent. Even my UPS driver has commented on them.

Every morning I go into my new sewing studio with a sense of anticipation and delight. What will I make today? No more sleeping in late. I’m up with first light, looking forward to stepping into this room.

Content – I’m totally and completely content.


A New Year with Fiberistas

January 6, 2014

Saturday was our first Fiberistas meeting of the new year, and it was a great meeting.

Frances led the group this month, and we explored using the decorative stitches on our sewing machine over collaged fabric. You start with creating lots of fabric samples with stitch variations, then move onto the collaged fabric. So many of us have sewing machines with lots of built in stitches, and hardly any of us use many of them. That will no longer be true.

All sorts of threads were used, and some bobbin work was done (heavy weight thread or yarn wound in the bobbin, and sewing from the wrong side of the fabric), and a circle maker was also making the rounds. It was interesting to see everyone’s approach, and I think you’ll all enjoy seeing the variety.

Beth tried some Madeira threads, and started with straight line sewing, then branched out to spiral and free motion stitching:

Beth black pieces

Frances used very subtle thread colors on her piece:

Frances subtle

Janet used one decorative stitch to start and then lowered her feed dogs and went to town with free motion work:

Janet EKG

This looked a little like an EKG pattern to me, and then she really branched out and did some gorgeous swirls and blossoms. Unfortunately, my finger accidentally deleted that picture.

Kathi fell in love with a very basic stitch but repeated it many times to create fabric:

Kathi buttonhole stitch

Lots of possibilites with this one!

Julie explored the circle maker, and laid ribbon on top of her fabric:

Julies circles

Mary had lots of thread from Canada. She passed the box around for us all to see, and was very lucky she went home with those threads. This is what she was working on:

Mary black with circle

Stephanie had to leave early, but created some great lines on this piece:

Stephanie blue

And Sue got the most done:

Sue blue piece

I especially like that pop or orange stitching against the blue.

I did not want to drag my sewing machine to the meeting, so worked on hand embroidery, but will most definitely be using this technique soon.



January 5, 2014

My wonderful Grand dog Reilly made the journey over the Rainbow Bridge this morning.


He entered our lives as a puppy almost 13 years ago, and was a dear right from the beginning.

He will forever be in our hearts.

Sewing Studio – III

January 3, 2014

My cutting table has been moved into the sewing studio, and the Ikea wire basket system I use to store some of my fabric fits perfectly underneath it. The room still has no window treatments, so the fabric needed protection from the light.

With practically no thought, I measured the system and made a nice neat cover. I even bothered to make flat felled seams so no threads would come loose. Now that was total overkill for this project. It fit perfectly, which is great, but I didn’t think about what I was making. Big mistake. Yes, the fabric is protected, but to get to the fabric, you have to roll the cart out from under the table, and totally remove the cover.

I can do better than that, and I did, today:

Fabric storage covers

All the cover needed was flap on the end – not sewn to the rest of the cover. That flap flips right up, and I can slide each wire basket out to select fabric without removing the entire cart. The well designed cover is on the left. The other cover, which works, but will be a PITA to use, is on the right.

This is what happens when I don’t take the time to think about what I’m making, and how it will be used. In my defense, I was so excited to be sewing again, I don’t think my brain was operating on all its cylinders. That’s my story, and I’m going to stick to it. 😉


Happy New Year

January 1, 2014

I am so glad 2013 is gone. There was something about writing 13 for 365 days that irritated me. It’s not that I’m particularly superstitious, but it’s a real pleasure to be able to write 2014 from now on.

Lots of new things will be starting in this year. I’ll be getting my first social security check for one – well maybe I will. The application was filled out online, and it was acknowledged via email, but everytime I try to open an account, the site won’t recognize me. If I can’t get registered tomorrow, I’m going to make an appointment to talk to a human being.

My sewing studio is still a work in progress, but I can sew, and have been busy making covers for my Ikea baskets. There will be minimal window treatments in the room, and my fabric needs to be protected from sunlight. It’s so good to have access to my sewing machine again.

Destashing is still a priority for me. It has been since 2005. I’m proud to announce 3,088 pounds of stuff has left my home – 217 pounds in 2013. Some was sold, some donated, some placed in the recycle box. I wonder how long it will take to reach the 2 ton mark?

Keeping track of what I move out of here is about the only thing I’m keeping track of anymore. I used to make lists of everything I made in the year, and I used to make lists of what I wanted to make. No more. It turns out it’s more fun for me to go with the flow. I was losing the present, thinking about what had been done, or what needed to be done.

Best Wishes to everyone for a Happy and Healthy 2014!!!