Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Catching up


Well, things have been happening around here, but I simply haven’t had time to post about them!!!

The main reason is that we are getting ready to head out on a three week adventure to Turkey.  Once again my husband will be working while I get to play….such a HARD life!!!!

One of the tasks for today was making sure that all of our electronics were charged up and ready to go so our bedroom floor looked like this…..


but at the end of the day we had charged up two telephones, two Kindle readers and a total of FIVE camera batteries.  Hopefully we are ready to pack tomorrow.

Packing day is always fun.  We each get out all of our clothes and lay them on the bed.  Then we go thru all of the stuff that has been stacking up on Michael’s futon and decide what gets packed and what goes into our carry on bags.  Then comes the trick of getting everything into the suitcases AND keeping them under 50 pounds each. 

This will be a harder task for this trip because we are traveling in an area that will be cool and rainy as well as one that will be hot and dry!!!  But, so far we have never had to carry an extra suitcase and I am hoping that this will be the same!!

On the sewing front, I have been working on a few things, mostly trying to get my studio cleaned up a bit.

I have been working on the scrap quilt that I started in the Pat Speth workshop and realized that I was going to have to lay it out completely before I could start piecing.  The problem was that I didn’t have a design wall that was big enough.

So, I packed up and headed for our local art center that has a wonderful fiber room and I camped out for the afternoon while I auditioned settings and then worked to sew them together.

My first layout kept all of the darker blocks along the outside edges…..


but it didn’t seem to sparkle the way this one did…… DSC02931

This was my set-up for the afternoon as I pieced along.DSC02933I plugged my new mini speaker in my I-phone and enjoyed piecing and singing all afternoon.

Here is the finished center section…..

DSC02980  My initial thought had been to add a fancy pieced border but will have to think on it a bit first.  I did lay it out on my bed and realized that it is probably one row too long so I may be un-sewing some before I continue.

My other fun project was making a tote bag to carry on our trip.  I always try to take a simple bag that I can put my computer in when we are walking somewhere and I don’t want to take the full backpack. 

I had one already…..

DSC02963 but, since I had owned (and used) it since 1977, I decided that it was time for another….notice the frayed handles!!

This was one of those projects that I thought “dont need a pattern….this is easy”!!!  Always the first mistake!!!!

My plan was to make the outside of the bag from one fabric and then line it with a second one.  Imagine my surprise when, after turning, I found that the bag had one fabric on one side and the lining fabric on the other!!!!DSC02960

….so much for my great planning!!!!   At least the fabrics went together well so I now have a double sided bag!!!!


Enough for now…..  the next posts should be coming from Kars, Turkey!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An evening with Judy Simmons



This post used to have lots of information, but I managed to delete it while trying to post the photos to my Guild blog….


Oh well, you can still enjoy photos of her wonderful creations…..DSC02868 DSC02869 DSC02870 DSC02871 DSC02872  DSC02877


DSC02850 DSC02851 DSC02852

Sunday, May 20, 2012

35 years ago…..


…..these two fresh-faced kids promised to love and honor!!! 

Little did we know the path that our lives would take or the fun that we would have along the way!!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fiber Frenzy River Challenge

Last Friday my Fiber Frenzy group met to disclose our “River Challenge” pieces and, as usual, there was a lot of variety.

Shirley was first up and she based her quilt on a Sawmill located up in the Georgia mountains.  She told us that it was done entirely from memory.  I love the small chain used on the posts……


Pat is doing a wonderful job of showing the beautiful sunset.  Her leaves have been worked with thread on netting and still have to be cut out and attached…..


Sue wanted to do something “out of this world” and ended up with a black hole sucking up her river.  We loved the look of the river and the skeletal fish….


Fay stepped outside of her box and made this cute fish quilt.  She said that her inspiration came from the blue and green stripe fabric…..DSC02918

Deb is working on a Frank Lloyd Wright interpretation.  I LOVE the colors and the mixture of piecing and applique……DSC02909  

Nancy tried a lot of different techniques on her piece and plans to add a few more things to her rolling river……DSC02912

Madeline captured the lazy days of summer.  The trees were thread-painted over a felt background and it gave so much dimension to the picture…..DSC02913

Francyne had always wanted to feature Blue Herons in a quilt and found this to be the perfect project.  All of the fabrics are commercial ones except for the water and she did a beautiful job of putting everything into perspective.  The little wispy white feathers on the Heron breast are actual feathers!!…..DSC02914

Jodie used her painting skills to add interest to the background fabrics and then used thread painting for the tree.  The trunk fabric was actually an “Aspen” fabric, but she was able to turn it into a pine tree using thread.  She said that the scariest part was doing the thread painted needles actually on the quilt top!!!


I have shown it before, but here is my contribution…..


We are hoping to be able to entry them in a local show and display them all with the river edges meeting up…..should be a fun display!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Newest travel purchase


When Michael and I travel, we often take DVD’s to watch on our computers when we are in countries where there is nothing to watch on TV….at least nothing in English!!!

The problem arises because the computer volume is not enough to allow us to be able to easily hear the dialog of the DVD’s.  We make quite a sight sitting close together and leaning toward the computer so that we can hear!!!

The answer came to me while reading Bonnie Hunter’s blog.  She wrote about having a small external speaker that travels with her.  I went to Amazon and started searching, having two main criteria….

….firstly, that it had rechargeable batteries that were charged by using a USB plug

…..secondly, it had to be SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT!!!

Enter the “X Mini II Capsule Speaker

It is 2.4 inches  x  2.4 inches  x  1.7 inches and weighs  2.9 ounces!!!!


….and even better, it can be collapsed down to this…..DSC02926

It arrived today and adds a whole new level of sound to our computers and I-Phones so we are looking forward to using it on our next trip….only three weeks till Turkey!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A fun gift…..


Our guild President gave small gifts to each of her chairmen…..

DSC02903This little case is about 2 inches square and contains a small box designed to hold…… 


….pain killers. 

This little case sure beats the zip-lock bag of Ibuprofen that currently resides in the bottom of my purse!!!!


Her comment was that she was giving us an Aspirin box because she had been such a “pain” during the year.   On the contrary, she was a gracious and effective President…..thank you Ruhanna!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fun Decorations


These decorations were set up at our local Art Center……


What a fun use of netting and funky little slinky type things…..

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Some Assembly Required

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my Mother is 88 years old, lives independently and is a magnificent quilter and needle-worker. 

As she has aged, she has found it hard to come up with projects to do, so that is where I have tried to step in.  We have finished one quilt together and are in process of a second.  She has gone thru a drawing phase, a Jigsaw Puzzle phase, a “paint-by-number” phase and I am hoping to trigger another phase with her Mother’s Day present.

After categorically stating on this blog and to my friends that I really didn’t like needle felting, I decided to give it another try, and of course, I love it!!!!   My biggest problem was that I didn’t have an idea of what to do and I am not very good at  just putting wool roving down and turning them into something.

Much of the impetus for this project came from just having completed my River Challenge and being fairly happy with how the wool roving looked as the background. 

So, for this project I started with a piece of wool felt and started adding bits of wool roving to create a meadow scene.

DSC02795I particularly like how the variegated  roving looks.

I then took my hand punch and started working the threads in using a foam block for the base.

At one point, I decided to add a bit of purple roving to the sky thinking that it would add interest…..


But, after I had felted it, those accents turned into far off mountains….I LOVE IT!!


I was afraid that the bits of roving that punch thru to the back of the felt might bother Mom so I fused a fine interfacing to the back.  After trimming, I zigzagged a single line around the piece to help hold any loose roving on the edge (this will be trimmed off at the end)….


I am sending this to my Mom, along with these threads…..


….and the instructions that this meadow needs trees, flowers, rocks or whatever she can think of to add.  

I am hoping that this will encourage her to look thru her embroidery books and plan a beautiful meadow!!!

So much for the Mother’s Day gift that has ”some assembly required”

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fiber Frenzy – DeColourant


Several weeks ago our Fiber Frenzy group met with Francyne helping us to explore the world of DeColourant.

DSC02662 She began by explaining that DeColourant is a product that is used to discharge the color from fabric and that it is better than bleach products because it is not as hazardous.

She then talked about DeColourant Plus which not only discharges the color from a fabric, but then re-dyes that fabric with a new color!!!

The DeColourant can be applied to fabric in an infinite variety of ways, including stamps, resists, stencils or simple painting.  Once painted, the fabric must be allowed to dry completely.  The actual process of discharge and re-dye doesn’t begin in earnest until you apply heat with an iron or other source.  The hotter you heat it, the more discharge happens.

She showed several examples…..


….and as usual for her, provided tons of tips and helpful advice.


These stamps were made from found objects applied to insulation board….


When getting ready to use these stamps, she painted a thin layer of “paint” onto her pallet and then dipped the stamp in the paint…..  DSC02674

….much easier than using a brush to daub the paint onto the stamp.

She also suggested cutting down the simple foam brush so that it has more of a blunt point that doesn’t have as much give as the normal brush…..DSC02659

She talked about using daubers to apply the solution to stencils, resists or other areas.  The one on the left was made from a cosmetic sponge…..DSC02660

This is what she used as her stamping pad…..


…..a commercial product that has a cutting mat on one side and a pressing board on the other.   By covering it in plastic she could use a damp rag to wipe up any bleed thru so it didn’t affect the next piece of fabric……

But her best tip (which had nothing to do with DeColourant) was this wonderful trick….DSC02664  …..use a bread wrapper closer to keep the tape ends loose and ready for use!!!

Several of our members came prepared to try out the technique but I wasn’t one of them!!!  I am anxious to try the DeColourant as a discharge, but probably wont use the color-added product.

Thanks Francyne for a wonderful demonstration!!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One more watercolor

The other night I was sitting on the couch and started staring at the basket of flowers that were sitting on the coffee table…..


After a few minutes of thinking about it, I got up and grabbed my sketchbook and started having fun.

I actually “finished” the painting several times, but then would go back in and add a “little something” to it.

I wish that I had stopped with this one….


…because after I added the borders, I think that it completely lost the perspective…

DSC02785 ….once again, not wonderful, but a lot of fun!!!

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