Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m Back

November 12, 2016

Yippee!!!  I’m feeling better, and can actually use my sewing machine again.  Everything takes a LOT longer, but I’m sewing.  There are improvements every day, and I’m focusing on each and every forward step, like being able to open a Ziploc bag again, and opening up the refrigerator door.

We so take our bodies for granted.  I am grateful that if I had to break a wrist, at least it’s my left wrist.  I am mega right-handed, and since I now know I’m not going to get full mobility back, at least it’s not my dominant hand.

The first project I completed was Comfort Quilt # 15:


This is the light colored version of Comfort Quilt #14 that I posted about earlier, and I’m happy with how it turned out.

Comfort Quilt #16 was started, and I’m rethinking the design.  Way too many seams have to match block to block, and I’m not sure I’m up to it.  I can’t pin anything easily right now, and I doubt these seams will match well without being pinned.

I also have two complicated, time consuming hand projects in the works – ones that require tracing around templates, and cutting the shapes out by hand.  They will probably take me a good year or two each to complete, but I’m downright dangerous with a ruler and rotary cutter at the moment.  The only way I can stabilize the ruler, is to bend from the waist, place my entire forearm and hand on the ruler, then carefully roll the rotary cutter along the ruler edge.  I can’t help but think this is not something I should be doing.

Monday, I see my physical therapist, and I’m bringing, fabric, a ruler, a mat, and my rotary cutter with me so he can help me figure out a better way to accomplish cutting fabric.




Missing in Action

September 4, 2016

August 8th, I managed to fall off our new front porch.  I did a real number to my wrist, and had to have surgery on August 17th.

I’ve had 4 different casts/splints since August 8th, and will be out of commission for a long time to come.

I’m now bionic – multiple screws and plates, and  let me tell you, they might be stabilizing my wrist, but they hurt like the dickens.

I won’t be posting again till I feel lots better.

My new mantra is “This will pass”.


Comfort Quilt # 14

July 10, 2016

I finally completed Comfort Quilt #14 for my local quilt club, Genesee Valley Quilt Club. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve made this number for donation, but am very glad I started taking pictures of them in the past few years. I sure as heck don’t remember my earliest donations, let alone have photographs of them.


This photo is truly horrid. I had to use the flash – in broad daylight no less – and the colors are dark. It is what it is, but I loved making this quilt:

Comfort Quilt 14


Judy Simmons shared this pattern (That’s a direct link to the pattern.  It’s free.), and it is oh so easy to make. I adore the woven effect you get. It looks like it was complex piecing, yet it isn’t.

It took me forever to make this quilt though. First I injured my shoulder, followed up by another injury on my knee – on the leg I use for my sewing machine pedal. Even with a few delays, this quilt was a joy to create.

All is better now, and the quilting and binding went like a breeze. I used decorative stitches for the quilting, and buttonhole stitch for the binding. I wanted to try both ideas out, and am glad I did.

I learned don’t bother with either of those ideas if you’re sewing on black fabric with black thread. Nothing shows. If you’re going to take the time to sew decorative stitches, let them shine. Use a contrasting color, or better yet, a metallic.

I actually thought about using gold metallic as the floral fabric has a touch of gold metallic outlining the motifs, but realized these quilts were going to get hard usage, and the metallic thread might not have held up. And honestly, metallic threads can be scratchy. Scratchy doesn’t fit with the concept of a nice cuddly quilt.

I’m going to cut the fabric for another one of these quilts using the same print, but a different solid color – a nice rich creamy gold.  I’m still deciding if the skinny strips will be the print, or remain as the rectangle shape.

This will be kitted up and brought with me when we travel back to Arizona. It will be very nice to have all the fabric cut, and just sit and sew. I’ll bring the backing and batting with me too, so I’ll be able to totally finish this on vacation.

Isn’t that oh so organized of me? 😉



Ice Dyeing Again

June 27, 2016

I was supposed to be with my friends today making covers for our electronic devices, but the heat and humidity got to me. I opened the garage door, and my stomach let me know to stay put, so I did.

On the plus side, I got to photograph the last two ice dyed fabrics:

Diane mandala

Diane 60 degree

A simple twisted mandala, and more complex to create, a 60 degree equilateral triangle. I don’t like the triangle piece at all, and the jury is out about the mandala.

I used a lot, and I mean a lot of Pro Chems Sun Yellow 108. Then placed some of Pro Chems Turquoise 410 next to it. I was hoping for some nice greens, and was worried the Turquoise wouldn’t ice dye, so added a little smidgeon of Dharma’s Cerulean Blue 23. Next to that, I placed some of Pro Chems Deep Purple 8147, reconsidered the purple next to the hoped for green, and added a thin line of Pro Chems Black 629 between them.

Where oh where did the black go? Can you find it in these pieces? I can’t.

Next up is transforming a pink t-shirt. Somehow food spills manage to hit my t-shirt, before they hit the napkin on my lap, so I’ve got 3 that need ­­a little assistance.

For sure, one will be dyed, and the others? I’m thinking stamping with thickened dye for one of them, or maybe applying some lace shapes, or a little embroidery. All I know is I would like to be able to wear these t-shirts in public again.


Ice Dyeing

June 26, 2016

I’m currently taking the Ice Dyeing Revealed workshop by Susan Purney Mark and having a grand time dyeing fabric. Now I’ve been ice dyeing for a lot of years, but Susan shows how to create some wonderfully complex patterns pretty easily. It was definitely worth it for me to take this workshop.

I used Pro Chem’s Bronze #5193, Navy #412 and Rosebud #3216 for the following pieces:


Diane ET

Diane accordionThe ones on the left had the dye put directly on the fabric, then covered by ice.

Diane powder placement


I got deeper colors and lots of dye speckles by using that method, and that was not taught in the class. The ones on the right, used a tip that Susan shared, and then I placed the dye powders on top of the ice. The same colors, in the same proportions were used for both containers, and they were batched for a full 24 hours.

Quite a difference between the two sides, no?

The first picture features fabric that was crunched dyed – which is the only technique I’ve used in the past. You just rumple up the soda ash soaked fabric, and place it in the container.  I was happy with ice dyed crunched fabric, but over the moon with the results from the pieces using the folds I learned in this class.

More pieces are being batched right now, and I used different colors for those experiments. Can’t wait to see how they come out.





Improv Quilt Completed and Bracelet

May 27, 2016

My Improv piece is completed:

Improv finished

I removed the quilting from the upper left side and replaced that entire section with another piece of fabric and curved quilting. Now the piece seems to flow across the top and keeps your eye moving over the surface.

A friend (Thank-you, Jody.) suggested I add some light to the center of those floral shaped objects, and I went with it. I was going to bead it, but this piece is a mix of traditional and modern, and beads didn’t seem quite right for it. Instead, I mixed up a light yellow paint and applied it with a foam pen.

And here is a picture of a completed bracelet:


That poor bracelet has quite a story. It was finished in Arizona, and the first time I wore it, it fell off. I thought it might be too tight, so added another component.

The second time I wore it, it fell off again – this time in a friend’s driveway, and I didn’t realize it had fallen off. I actually drove over the poor thing. My friend’s neighbor spotted it in the driveway, and my friend gave it back to me. Thank-you, Jess.   Three of the components were damaged, and honestly, I should have remade the entire thing. It sure would have been easier to do, but no, I spent more time repairing the damaged components.

Process of elimination placed the blame on the magnetic clasp. This time I went to a bead store, and purchased a good magnetic clasp. Ta-da, now it stays on my wrist.

Another bracelet is being planned – a different design, and a Comfort quilt was also started this week, so stay tuned. There is more to come.


Improv Quilt Progress or Not

May 17, 2016

I’ve been steadily working away on my Improv Quilt, but have a dilemma. I love all the quilting designs I sewed except for the top row – where the cheerful flowers are rolling across the muslin at the top:

Improv quilted

Originally, I thought echo quilting would look great, but when I did it for the section on the left, those flowers are staring out from the quilt like a deer in headlights. Okay, maybe curved lines would look better. That’s what I did on the right top side.

Both quilting designs leaving me feeling “meh” – unexcited. I want this piece to sing. That top section is bringing me down.

So, I’m turning to all of you. Any and all suggestions would be deeply appreciated. My creative well has suddenly gone dry, and I really would like to finish the quilting on this piece, so I can block it, face it, and attach the hanging sleeve, and label.



The Prayer Flags are a Flying

January 12, 2016

This is my late wrap up for 2015, but I’m not going to say how my year was. I will say that I continued to destash, and got 135 more pounds of stuff out of my home for a total of 3,316 pounds since I started this process. Obviously, I’m slow as molasses with simplifying my life, and I realized, I’ve also been making purchases, so who knows if I’ve actually made real progress or not?


I could be completely rigid and weigh everything that comes in and everything that goes out, but who cares? I can’t believe I just typed that, but even I don’t care anymore, so how could you all possibly still care?


My goal for 2016 is to be happy. Easier said than done. I’ve kind of lost my way in this world. After my father passed away, I lost the caretaking role I played, and it seems, I’m not all that happy with not being needed.


Whew, that was a lot for me to admit, but it’s exactly how I feel. I’ve raised a family, had pets, and now no one really needs me. I’m free as can be, to do what I want to do, yet I’m floundering.


Don’t feel sorry for me. I have a good life. Heck, right now I’m in Tucson, the prayer flags that I made are flying in front of my home away from home:

Hanging prayer flags


and the sun is shining. I’m busy making Comfort Quilts for my quilt guild back home, the Casa de Los Ninos here, and enjoying renewing friendships with my Arizona buds.


I need to do more though. Haven’t decided what it will be, but when I do, I’ll share with all of you.


Till then, I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful 2016.



Prayer Flags

December 22, 2015

Last year I made a couple of prayer flags, showed them to some friends, took some pictures, posted them on this blog, and haven’t seen them since.  Sometimes things like this happen in life.

Well, I still wanted a set of prayer flags to wave in the Arizona breezes, so got busy and made some very simple prayer flags. No more stamping, hand beading, or fabric dyeing for these.   This time around, I selected machine embroidery designs I purchased, or received free from various generous digitizers.

I sewed out an eagle design on my hand dyed blue fabric for sky:


A feather on white fabric for air:


A fireman’s badge (my Dad was a fireman) on red fabric for fire:


A fish on green fabric for water:


And a cactus on yellow fabric for earth:


They will be displayed by our patio for all my neighbors to enjoy as they walk by our site.

And wow, do they ever need to be ironed, and the holes from the outline box on the cactus/earth flag need to be smoothed out.  It’s amazing how a photo shows every little oops.


The 3 Ds and My Telephone Line is Completed

December 10, 2015

Yup, it’s a 3 D day here – dark, dreary and depressing – weather wise, but I’m riding a caffeine high, so happy as can be.

Lots has happened this past month.  I had a trunk show at Genesee Valley Quilt Club, and was welcomed with open arms, and a very hospitable planning committee.  There was a beautiful table setting with real china, and a pot for hot water and a nice selection of teas.

My lecture was well received, and it was oh so much fun for me to talk about,  and share the quilts I’ve made during the last 39 years of my quilting journey.  Thank-you to everyone who was involved in making my trunk show go so smoothly.

Then the following Saturday the 2015 Whisper Quilts Challenge was revealed from my Fiberistas group.  What an emotional experience that was.  We learned a lot about each other, shared our highs and our lows, and there were some tears along with lots of laughter.

This group of artists is not only talented, they are also supportive both in our artistic and our personal lives.  It is an honor to be part of this group.

Here is a photo of each of the 9 quilts made for my Whisper/Telephone line:

1 Diane

This one started the whole thing.  You might remember I made this 12 months ago for the beginning of the line.  It was inspired by the sew by number cards I played with as a little child.


2 Mary

Mary got that first piece, and took a trip down memory lane to 1955 and remembered how much she enjoyed playing with paper dolls.  McCalls is kind enough to have all the issues with the dolls on their website, and Mary made a quilt using that idea.

The little doll is removable, and so are the clothes.  Mary put little tabs on the clothes, just like the paper dolls from years ago, but these are fabric.  She made hangers out of paper clips, so I can change my little doll’s wardrobe.  How cute is this?


3 Steph

Steph was inspired by the year 1955.  She looked it up on the internet, and a coral reef park in Florida was established.

I have to admit, when I opened the envelope from this piece, my jaw dropped open.   It was hard to see how this piece was inspired by the paper doll piece, but once the connection to 1955 was made, I got it.

There is a lot of thread work on this piece and a tulle overlay, with shells attached.  It is a textural wonder.


4 Janet

This piece was made by Janet, and she followed the sea concept, and it too has a lot of texture created by layer upon layer of lace.  Shells, stones and a piece of rusted metal were added.

Janet added metal to each piece she made, and did a wonderful job of incorporating it into everyone’s quilt.


5 Sue

Sue’s piece was next, and she was inspired by the diagonal lines.  There are layers of interest with textiles, and paper, and she stamped the bamboo onto linen fabric.

It’s eerie how this piece actually ties into the first piece.  You see I sat on the floor in my living room, sewing away on my cards with bamboo printed drapes covering the windows.  What a coincidence that she used a bamboo stamp on this piece.


6 Frances

Frances was inspired by the diagonal line also, and this piece is actually doublesided, but I didn’t get a photo of both sides, so here is the one with the highest contrast.

She thought she’d create a stone path, and it does look like one, doesn’t it?



Julie saw the stone path, and immediately thought of a garden path, ending at a brick wall.  Now I have a beautiful garden that will never need to be weeded, and be perpetually in bloom.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

8 Kathi

Kathi was inspired by the flowers, and did her version of broderie perse.  It’s a much looser version than the traditional, closely spaced buttonhole stitching used, but it is perfect for this untamed, out of the box flower arrangement.

9 Beth

And this last one was made by Beth.  I love the Oriental feel of this piece, and the fabric used for each element.  The vase has sewing related text, the floral arrangement reflects back on the bamboo curtains I grew up with, the blue color was used in the first piece, and the 3 triangles on the left make this composition sing.

I can not get over how this ended up becoming a cohesive collection.

Thank-you to each and everyone of my friends for taking the time, and using your skills to create such unique pieces of art for me.