Tag Archives: Quilting

Home and gone again!

Finally home from Florida, and very happy that my family is so strong and supportive during this time of sorrow. I’m also so very glad that we are an irreverent bunch that can find the humor in any situation. We cried a little and laughed a lot and said a final good bye to my mom, with all the love we have.

And now I have to organize myself to go and teach two workshops and give a lecture in Grand Rapids, for the West Michigan Quilter’s Guild. I bring quilts when I do a lecture so I haul a LOT of stuff. That got organized today…I think.


The stuff I bring for classes usually only takes a small box–nothing compared to the pile of stuff for the lecture. I am so thankful that I never had to do this for a living. My admiration for those who do raises each time I pack up and go. Of course, that’s the reason many teachers are forced to present slide lectures. There is just no way you can fly around the country with a bigger suitcase for your samples than you need for your clothes!

Haven’t had a chance to re-introduce myself to the concept of needle and thread, and may not be able to do that for a while. My studio had never been the shining example of neatness and organization that some people enjoy, but right now it’s too bad for even ME!

studio-mess-2 studio-mess-1

Every where I turn I see messes like these and it must be addressed before I can function again! I’m always complaining about how much ‘stuff’ I have and whining about needing to get rid of some of it, but I think I have truly reached my limit. It seems to be a common theme right now among many of the bloggers I follow and I think we all suffer from the same disease…addiction to beautiful fabric!

My schedule is very light after Thanksgiving, all the way through Christmas, so there will be action taken! I don’t promise to have a total studio makeover, but I will return the space to functional!

It will also be a time for me to take stock of my intentions. What is it I truly want to do? Certainly I have changed directions over all the years I’ve been a textile addict, but I know that there are things I will not revisit. That’s where I need to start at least.

In the meantime, I get to teach again! Hooray!



Filed under Art Quilts, Fabric, Family news, Life, Teaching

Same thing, different day!

Still frantically looking to get things finished for my Showcase next week. I’m opening drawers and bins that I haven’t touched for months! I found a few Christmas themed items that just needed a little bling and a finished edge, so I jumped on that boat! Remember putting sequins and beads on styrofoam balls to make ornaments? Well, somehow I acquired someone’s leftovers from a lifetime of those ornaments…it had to be a lifetime because no one could have that many leftovers from just a few ornaments!


Then I had a nightmare moment! I remembered my Rainbow piece that I had folded up and put on a shelf and it NEEDED to be done. And I couldn’t remember how much I had left to do on it and didn’t think I could possibly get it done!

So today was devoted to conquering the panic nightmare. I found where I had stashed the piece and found that I only had 6 more strips that needed embellishment and then an edging. HUGE sigh of relief, because that could be done today. And it is!


Well, except for a label and hanging sleeve, but I have several things that need those little details. Oh–here are some details from the rainbow.

rainbow-detail-2 rainbow-detail-1

Now if I can only remember what I had for a title, I’ll be all set and breathing a big sigh of relief!



Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Color, Handwork

Love workshops!

When you go to a new city and teach a workshop to women that you don’t know and that don’t know you, it can be a challenge. But when you start the day with a great facility like this


you know that things are going to go well! Look at all that space!

I will preface the rest of this by saying that I forget to take pictures during the day…because I’m teaching! I can usually take a few shots at the beginning of the day and catch a few when everyone is packing up, and that’s what happened here at the Common Threads Quilt Guild in Lafayette, IN.

No one brings the same fabric selection, but most everyone brings plenty of fabric.


They got an awesome start making elements in non-traditional ways.

lafayette-4 lafayette-2 lafayette-5

And started putting those elements on their design walls


This artist started with a combination of warm and cool colors


and came to a design that kept them separate on the edges and blended them visually through the center.


She knows where she’s headed with this and is confident of her techniques as she continues forward.

And Tammy, I think, started with more traditional fabrics


and is working towards this much more dramatic piece.



Drama again, and combining curves!  Well on her way to her goal of creating a great piece for fall.

There were so many wonderful pieces and I always forget my camera until half the class has packed up and gone home! What a wonderful group! Everyone was so eager to give everything a try. Enthusiasm was the word of the day and my day working with these lovely ladies was wonderful.

And THEN one of the ladies, Anita, shared part of her work with me. She took me to a co-op gallery of which she is a member and it was spectacular! She brought part of the Marie Webster exhibit, recently held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, along with some new pieces to the gallery. It was beautiful and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

And then it was time for a quick run home to change suitcases and hop on a plane to Florida. Trying to visit my mother as often as possible and when the airfares are cheap and you have the time, it’s off we go!!! That means you may or may not get any posts for the next couple of weeks!

Time to board our twice-delayed flight…sheesh…driving next time!





Filed under Art Quilts, Learning New Things!, Quilt Design, Teaching, Teaching Quilting

BIG problem–solved!

And it’s not my most recent issue with the fused, not-square, impossible to bead piece!

Probably the oldest unfinished object on the to-do pile, I had a lot of concerns on how to fix the issues with this one. I checked and this one was last worked on in February…that’s a long time for me to leave something sit.

FL paint leaf 17

I think you can tell from this next picture that there’s a bit of warpage going on after my intense quilting.


I tried every stretching and blocking technique I knew and there was no hope to make it flat. So I decided to cut it and overlap the stem and leaf sections. What did I really have to lose? If I couldn’t make it lay flat, I could always cut it into sections and use them for backgrounds for something else. But it still took a deep breath before I could make that first cut!


I overlapped and flattened and pinned and proceeded to quilt it down in the circle area. I am so careless sometimes! I had the wrong color bobbin thread in–really wrong!– and had to spend a couple of hours ripping out 10 minutes of quilting. But the second time, I did a better job of it!


You can hardly tell where the overlap is, until you get really, really close up.


I added heavy couching around the cut leaf parts along with couched leaf centers and a heavy center stem. It worked quite well!


You can see that it really makes a difference in how big this piece will be when I finally square it up. It will be more like this when finished.


The whole piece started out at about 45″ square and will probably end up about 34-36″. There is more quilting to finish around the outside edges, which I can happily do now that I know how big I’ll make it.

Decisions still to be made…edge finish. I can go conventional with binding, non-traditional with cording, even a sculptural corded edge, or faced. Original plan was corded, either straight or sculptural and I’m probably going to stick with that idea.

Original plan also was to add lots of beading. I’m not sure if I want to do that now. I’m kinda liking this just the way it is. AND I want it to be done, done, done!!! I’ll finish up the quilting and go ahead with an edge plan because this one can definitely still be beaded after the rest of that finishing work. OR I may quit right there, depending on the mood of the moment when I get those last stitches in!



Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Quilting, surface design

More orange…kinda!

It’s actually rust colored silk, but that’s in the orange family. And since orange makes me so happy, I had to work on this piece while I cogitate on my recent disappointing studio day.


Rust, slate blue, sage, turquoise and royal blue fabrics


looking good with shiny, royal blue beads.

Working on this one makes me smile!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Color, Handwork

Boring, boring, boring…

The background pieces for my damask pieces will be all the same. However, it will NOT be the lovely plaid of my original idea. Nope–the background needed to be a solid color and I happened to have the perfect color of teal……………….lots of teal!

Boring background 1

And I’ve already used yards and yards of it in a drapery project for an office! Don’t know for sure what the fabric content is, but it doesn’t wrinkle. I layered it with the light turquoise wool, of which I also have lots and lots! No batting–a simple straight stitched thin and drapey ground on which to put each beaded napkin. Hope to actually do that this weekend.

But I have to tell you, this was the most boring stitching I have ever done in my life! Four large squares of simple, straight-ish lines, up and down, up and down, up and do…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Boring bakcground 2

I really don’t ever want to do that again! But I know that I’ll be happy with the finished product because the color really is perfect–and I’m all about color!

And today was dye day! I will have things rinsed out tomorrow or Saturday and I’ll let you know if anything exciting comes out of the buckets.

BUT I couldn’t wait to see how my wine-bottle shibori turned out. Yes, that’s right–wine-bottle shibori! I had a piece of fabric that I wanted to wrap with string but the only pipes I have are very long and buried in a storage hole that I didn’t have time to crawl around and get. So, improv is my life! I used an empty wine bottle and wrapped the fabric and squished it down and it looked just the same as using the PVC pipes. I filled the bottle with water to make sure it wouldn’t float in the dye bath and used a coffee container for the bucket. Easy and it worked!!!!


This isn’t rinsed out yet, so it will most likely end up lighter, but being able to do this on a small scale is great.

Always good to end the day on a high note!


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Dyeing Fabric, Quilting

Next in the series

Continuing on with the damask napkins, I’m at a point where input would be appreciated! I need to remember that the point of this was to combine traditional quilting designs, non-traditional colors on the luscious damask, hand stitching and beads.

Damask scroll 1

Notice how the thread on the edge has picked up the turquoise color? That will be finished off with a much darker color, no matter what else I do with this.

Now, what do you think —does this area need more beading?

Damask scroll 2

And there’s overall too much empty green space. Here’s what I’m thinking–cut a square out of the top right area, which I’ll mark with the little glow sticks before I actually cut! Add more beads in one of the following configurations, dark stitched border around each piece, mounted on a dark teal background. Ready for your opinions and comments–go!!!

Damask scroll 3 #1

Damask scroll 4 #2

Damask scroll 5 #3

I have done a lot of self-talking on this one and I have reasons and opinions on each configuration. I’m very interested in how others feel about them.

In the meantime, I have one more of the smaller ones to bead and then one larger piece, same colors, different fabric, to bead before I move on the final finishing decisions. I feel like I’m making slow but steady progress and that feels good!!!



Filed under Beading, Color, Designing Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts