Saturday, November 27, 2010

Selvage Quilt Won a prize!

Several months ago, I posted pictures of this quilt that I made entirely from selvages.

It was for a show to be held in Burnsville, NC. I was fortunate enough to be in Burnsville in early August, when the show was held, so I got to see the show. There were several quilt shows around the Asheville, NC area at the same time.

(It was also the same week as the quilt shows in Berea, KY, where I did a demonstration at the Kentucky Artisan Center.)

I am happy to report that my selvage quilt won the selvage category of the show.

I have to confess that there were just a few pieces in the selvage category, and they were very traditional, as were most of the pieces in the entire show.

I have seen many quilts made with selvages, and virtually all of them were very linear, with lots of right angles and straight lines.

So I wanted to do something different, and made the water quilt with lots of curves. I also embellished it with beads.

I am still saving selvages, so maybe someday, I will get an inspiration to do another quilt with them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Here I am again!

The last time I wrote, several months ago, I lamented that I hadn't been doing much sewing...

In October, I went to my Monday night group at the Forget-Me-Knot quilt shop, and when they had show-and-tell, I had to say "I got nuthin." It was very difficult, because I almost always have something that I have been working on.

But after that night, I was determined to have something for the next meeting. Our challenge was to make a quilt based on a photo. The photo was a still life taken by Robert, one of our most talented members.

I did a very literal translation of the photo. I found some perfect blue and
white fabric for the teapot, and I enjoyed doing some thread painting on the lemons.

I was also pleased with the way the shadows turned out. I showed it to the group, and they made a few polite comments.

THEN, Robert showed his interpretation of the same photo, (photo shown below) and he got applause and practically got a standing ovation. But that is what is nice about our group. It is a very supportive and friendly group, and there are people in it at all levels of experience and accomplishment.

However, I was glad I showed mine first; his would have been a hard act to follow. A very masterful use of fabric, and wonderfully embellished.

I am still working, and have less time to sew than I did, but that is a reason I am sewing less, not an excuse. I am working on several Christmas gifts, and then I hope to get back to some of the other unfinished pieces I have, as well as several I have planned. If there is still anyone out there reading this, stay tuned.....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sewing again!

It has been over a month since I have done any sewing, and it has probably been even longer since I posted anything on the blog.

Is anyone still out there???

I had a vacation in early August, and of course, bought lots of fabric, but just haven't gotten back in gear.

I ordered some beautiful Japanese fabric from Waechter's in Asheville. It is one of the most gorgeous prints I have seen in a long time. When I ordered it, I wasn't sure if I would make a garment or a quilt.

I decided to make a vest. Even though I only had a yard, I was able to center the koi on the back, and get some good images on the front as well. This is as far as I have gotten, but it's a simple vest, and I will keep it simple and just highlight the print.

When I get a little more finished, I will post another picture.

I hope this is the beginning of more sewing. I have just been lazy. I have some unfinished projects, and some ideas for some new ones.

And I certainly have enough fabric!

Hope to have something to show soon!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finished a couple of birds...and a flying fish!

As part of the monochromatic challenge in my Monday night group, I made this flying fish, all in silver. I love the beads and the mirrors on his back.

I finished this flamingo, and it has already found a new home.

I love the fluffy feathers on his back. I have a lot of photos of flamingos, and the variety of colors, from coral to salmon and pink, makes it a fascinating bird for me.

I also finished my second three-dimensional bird. I ordered the silver legs from a place in Florida that makes bird legs for model makers. I think they usually get painted, but I left mine silver, because this bird was also done for the monochromatic challenge for my Monday night group.

We randomly drew bags of goodies, and I was lucky to draw a bag of silver fabric and silver notions.

I used a lot of the fabric, beads, etc. on the silver fish, which I think I posted a couple of weeks ago. I had two mirrors left, so I used them for the bird's eyes.

This was great fun, and Bob made the wonderful leaf that the bird is perched on...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010









Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I don't seem to have much to show lately. I finished this flamingo, one of my UFOs from a series of flamingos I did several years ago...

I have been volunteering two days a week at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and enjoying that.

It's been too hot to bicycle outdoors, and I've been too lazy to use my exercise bike indoors...

I can tell the days are already getting shorter, the light is changing, and the leaves are starting to drop. I do not enjoy these signs of approaching cold weather, even though I know it is several months off.

The oppressive heat this summer has made outdoor activities less pleasant, but I'll take warm weather anytime.

I'm going to make another silk heron, so maybe i'll have something to show soon...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth of July 2010 !

Hope all of you enjoy the Fourth of July weekend.

I have been working lately, but don't really have pictures to post yet.

These photos are from a little quilt I made for my Monday night group's Fourth of July challenge. I used fabric I had on hand, and enjoyed just experimenting with thread painting and embellishing with holographic sequins.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finished the Heron...

On my last trip to Florida, I got several photos of herons that I really wanted to translate to wall quilts using silk.

I actually used the legs from one photo, and the body and 
head from a different photo.

What an elegant bird... I really hope that they are not affected by the disastrous oil spill the way the pelicans and other wildlife have been.

I did thread painting and beading for extra dimension - the
 grass is silk, also, as is the sun...

I plan to make another similar one, with slightly different colors.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Bee's Knees

Had an interruption from "real life" to deal with thousands of honey bees that are trying to find a new home in my house. What you see in this photo is just the tip of the iceberg!

When you open that little gray door, there are THOUSANDS of bees, about one cubic foot of honey bees.

We called a beekeeper, who was flabbergasted, and is going to help them find a new home, hopefully in one of his hives.


Unfortunately, he was not able to get the queen, but he is still hoping they will move into this box, so he can move them to his place of business.

They have temporarily moved the entire swarm to a tree in the yard next door. 

I find their behavior very interesting, but would rather watch a documentary on IMAX. Observing their behavior in my kitchen and basement has been a little unsettling...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

I started a new volunteer job today, and I really enjoyed it! It is at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, on Main Street.

I loved being in such beautiful surroundings, and working with such nice people.

Today was extra busy, because it is the opening day of the Glass Art Society Conference, which is a big deal. There are  many people in town for this conference, including a number of famous glass artists.

There are three shows on at the Museum, including a wonderful collection of Glass Jewelry. The other two shows are by two glass artists who are receiving awards from the society.

Although this chair and table are not glass, I am including the photo for my friend Anita. She is a wonderful quilter and quilt artist, but she is also talented at making art using cardboard. (This chair and table are laminated cardboard)

I had a busy but wonderful day, and I look forward to my next day there.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not a Quiche, Not a Frittata

A while back, a friend gave us a delicious apple pie. I wanted to return her pie plate, but I have a rule never to return a food vessel empty.

So when I knew we were going to see her today, I decided to try a new recipe using some fresh summer veggies.

It is a recipe that appeared several weeks ago in the New York TImes Magazine, one of my favorite sources of recipes. It is a recipe from 1977, but not full of heavy cream like many recipes from back then.

It is basically a cross between a quiche and a frittata, with no crust.

One could use any fresh summer vegetables, and I used fresh asparagus, country ham, and fontina cheese. It also has slices of red bell peppers, and parsley. I used to make frittatas all the time, using zucchini, squash, onions, whatever I had on hand.

I have more fresh asparagus, along with the other ingredients, so I think I will make another one to keep.  It is a good source of protein, and a good way to cook something ahead that is appetizing and good for you...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Selvage Quilt Finished!

I just finished sewing the beads and binding on the selvage quilt.

I am really happy with it; it is so different from anything I've done, although the fish motif has been one of my favorites for a few years.

It is a combination of fusing and machine embroidery and thread painting, done completely using selvages.

I was determined not to make it a traditional log cabin, like many selvage quilts, and I wanted some curves instead of all right angles... 

I had been saving selvages for years, with nothing particular in mind, and
 when the Needle Me This Quilt Shop in Burnsville, NC announced a Selvage Challenge, that was all I needed!  Some friends also gave me some of their selvages, and they can play "Where's Waldo" looking for theirs in the piece.

Burnsville is very close to Asheville, one of my favorite places. It is a combination of artsy and craftsy, and in an area with a wealth of outdoor activities. We get there as often as possible, and hope to go this August, when there are several quilt shows going on simultaneously in Asheville and Burnsville. 

I had enough selvages in different colors to do the background (33 inches wide by 28 inches tall) in shades of  blue. 

Then I chose red, orange, pink and yellow for the fish, so they would contrast and show up well against the background.

I sewed lots of beads on the blue  background, and a few sequins on the fish.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quilt Show in Bowling Green KY

I headed to Bowling Green, KY this morning to see the quilt show at the Kentucky Museum and Library. It is a Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society, and this year the theme is "Quilts Based on Books."

Unfortunately, there was a fiery accident on I-65, and the highway was closed for many hours. So we turned around and went to Glendale for lunch and a gallery visit to True Kentucky gallery.

Since I didn't get to take photos at the show, I will post the photos from their website. (My quilt is the puffin quilt, actually a little fabric book based on the book "There Once Was a Puffin", by Florence Page Jaques.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Fractured Sunflower is finished!

My Monday night Group met this past Monday night, and everyone brought their finished quadrants for the sunflower.

We had agreed on each quadrant being 10" x 10", and the finished quilt was to be based on this photo (notice the bee in the lower right hand quarter.)

This is my part, and I really enjoyed sewing the beads in the center, and using fusible on my green leaves, and machine embroidery.

My petals are hand-dyed fabric fused to some other yellow fabric, with wire in between to give them some dimension.

Here is the finished product, mounted on a black  background. It was such fun seeing the pieces going together.

The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

I really enjoyed this project, and can't wait until fall, when we will talk about another collaborative project.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More Black and White....

After doing my two snow crane pieces in black and white, I was still in "black and white" mode, and decided to reduce my extensive black and white stash. I picked 12 fabrics from light to dark, and started cutting and sewing strips for a bargello. (There are 13 in the picture, but I eliminated the one on the left.)

I had done a bargello a couple of years ago that resembled an Oriental rug, and I wanted to do that again with some changes...

I really like the way it turned out. I added two columns on each side, so the white diamond shape that starts in the center of the top would be completed all the way around...

I took it to my Monday night group last night for Show and Tell.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Outdoor shot of Copper Pheasant

Here's a better shot of my latest bird.

After I finish some other unfinished pieces, I'm going to try another 3-D bird. 

I have some beautiful silver bird legs purchased from a craftsman in Venice Florida, and I'm eager to use what I learned on this one to try to do a better one next time! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Long-legged Pheasant

On April 25, I posted a few picturres of the beginning of the construction of this bird.

I finished it yesterday, and it turned out pretty cute! It's too windy out today to get a good picture, but I will post another one when I can. 

This was for the challenge for my Monday night group. The challenge was to create something "structural" or three-dimensional. 

The legs are copper rod,  wound with copper wire. I stuck with copper colored fabrics. The tail is made of feathers from a cheesy Thanksgiving decoration, and the feathers on the head are real. It was a lot of fun, and a real challenge to get it to stand up reliably. (Thanks, Bob, for your engineering help.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cranes Deja Vu

Back on April 4, I commented how nice it was to have my Japanese Snow Cranes piece in a show at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. The show runs from April 3 until around August 21.

A few days later I was notified that my piece had sold already, which is good news for me and for the Center.

What I didn't know was that the piece was taken away by the buyer. I know that is unusual, but the Artisan Center is about selling, not being primarily a gallery.

I was asked by the director if I had another black and white piece available to replace it in the show. Well, I didn't, but I got busy immediately and started another very similar piece, using my leftover silks that I had bought for the first piece.

One thing I wanted to try was to include a little patch of color on the second piece, and also to add some authenticity to the cranes.

However, I was told that other applicants for the show had been rejected if they had any color other than black and white.

So, the red caps on their heads was replaced with black ones, and I finished the piece several days ago and delivered it. I actually like this one better, particularly the moon and the branch at the top.

The third picture here is the new one.....

She said a number of pieces had sold, and the artists had also replaced them. Some were photographs and prints, which are relatively easy to replicate.

I am glad the show is doing well. I have already optimistically started another black and white piece, this time a bargello, to replace this piece in case it sells, too.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"Cute food"

We're heading to an "Oaks" Party in a few minutes, and I offered to bring an appetizer.

We made these adorable little stuffed pattypan squashes.

It is fun to make, but at the same time labor intensive. With help from Bob, we scooped out these little squashes (about 1 inch across), and made a stuffing.

The stuffing has garlic, diced carrot, chopped spinach, currants, diced tomato, and romano and parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

The recipe is from the head chef at Vincenzo's restaurant, and you can tell it's Sicilian because of the currants.

Aren't they cute? 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's Derby Week in Louisville! Today is the best weather day yet.

We headed down to the riverfront for some of the festivities leading up to the great steamboat race. (It won't be the same without the Delta Queen, the historic steamboat that has been Decommissioned)

There were derby hats, such as the one shown here with horse and jockey on top. There were also lots of costumes, many worn by people competing in the  various races and competitions.

This picture shows someone competing in the " hamster" race.

But this last photo is the best of all, taken in the Derby "Chow Wagon"

         FRIED BUTTER!

(But don't worry, it was fried in olive oil)

Have a great Derby and keep your fingers crossed for good weather and a safe ride for everyone.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Copper Bird

Our Monday night meeting was one of our best meetings ever.

I love seeing the work of other people, and learning new things every time.

But I guess my favorite part is the challenge for the next meeting. Our challenge for next month is "Do something structural - something three-dimensional."

That's it - very broad, no size requirement, no rules. 

I love working with copper, and haven't done anything with it in a while, so my "structural" piece will be a wading bird with copper legs and copper colored fabrics.

I started by forming the metal feet, with a quick lesson from Bob. I then wrapped them in copper. I made a quick trip to the welding supply store, and bought some 1/8" copper rods for the legs.  I wrapped the  legs with copper wire for texture.

I started the bird's body with several layers of Timtex bonded to some  fast2fuse  heavyweight interfacing. 

I found some feathers on an old Thanksgiving centerpiece that I could cannabalize. I used those for the tail feathers.

I grabbed all the copper colored fabric I could find in my stash, cut and applied some feathers, and got a lot done in a short time.

This bird will be two-sided, and the feathers on each side are completely
 different from the other side, except for the tail feathers.

I still need to apply the eye and beak on each side, and glue the legs in place. I formed the Timtex and interfacing around the rods, so I can slip them in and glue them when all the fabric work is finished.

Although I consider this just a prototype for a free standing bird, I think it is turning out pretty well so far. I still have some embellishing to do, but it has gone together well, and has been total fun.