Saturday, May 2, 2015

mostly paper play....

So many exciting new ideas in Karen Ruane's class Reinventing the Page that I spent most of the week on paper play. I'm getting ideas from's a never ending stream of inspiration.

click on the images....

some nice images as my printer runs out of ink

little stitched booklet

little stitched booklet 3" in diameter

booklet created with printer and watercolor paper 4½" x 3½"

And I couldn't resist trying this.... found here...


The weather has been outstanding this week....beautiful Spring complaints....hoping for more of the same. Wishing you some beautiful, creative days.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

a new book....

I was made aware of a new Pin Loom Weaving book this week and I had to have it. This one has patterns for lots of different designs and I would like to make a sampler blanket. I have some wool yarn that's very fine and I'm going to experiment and see if it will make a nice looking block.

click on the images...

another project will be started. the bottom book is the new one.

Did some more paper play in Karen Ruane's class Reinventing the Page.

the center is crumpled tracing paper with pen and stitch on the surface

the full designed page

I finished one of the pouches from long ago. I added a needle threader to a length of yarn that is permanently attached. I'm always searching for a needle threader and I try to put one in every sewing pouch.

pouch front

pouch back

UPDATE:  just to say that I found these needle threaders at Joann's (US). also, if you hold onto the wire part of the needle threader when you are pulling through the needle, the wire will not come loose from its plastic holder. my needle threaders last me a very long time.

....and I did sew up that first redwork hat quilt block. It turned out to be 15" square and I'm now ready to stitch 3 more like it with different hat centers. I'm designing as I go so there is no real plan or size in mind. I do know that black and white check fabric will appear somewhere.

15" square

ready for stitching

We hit 91 degrees today. Summer is on its way too soon. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2015

another class has captured my attention....

I started a new class with Karen Ruane this week....Reinventing the can find the details here. As usual, it has taken over my attention with all the different forms of paper play that Karen is demonstrating. I started out with inspiration from some fabric I've had for years and some  paper and fabric play from an earlier class.

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inspiration from fabric and previous paper and paint play

forming a design

a repeat pattern

Lots more experimenting to be done. This is just a start...

I didn't get very far with that hat quilt block I talked about last time....but, I have decided on how the first block will go together. I'm thinking those empty square spots will be white. I haven't cut those out yet.

hat quilt block

I'm slowly working on my bobbin lace tree. It's slow going since I only work on it once a week when I go to lace class but I'm happy with the way it's progressing.

bobbin lace tree

The garden is doing well and we are lucky to have been getting some rain so no need for very much watering. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, April 10, 2015

it's a rainy day here....

so my plans to spread mulch have been squashed. It will give me time to continue going through all my fabric and deciding what to keep and what to give away. I have taken a whole carton of fabric to quilt bee this week and shared with my quilting friends. There will be more to share as I go through it all. I am determined to, once again, have a house that is neat and organized....well, relatively speaking.

click on the images...

what to keep and what to give away is the dilemma...

I came across a couple of projects that never were completed....actually one was never started so I've made an attempt...

red hats

I have 12 of these embroidered hats ( 6 different varieties ) that i bought on ebay many years ago. I'm trying to draw a quilting block to start putting this together. Red is not a color I'm really comfortable working with but I'm going to get this done. I always like adding black and white and have lots of different black and white checkered fabrics. I hope to have at least one block done by my next post. If you have any ideas, please share them. I'm very open to suggestions.

Also found this little project I had started in one of Jude Hill's classes. Hoping to get 2 pouches made after doing a bit more stitching.

the backgrounds are upholstery type fabric

....and I'm still playing with the PDF doodle download that Karen Ruane has in her shop. You can find it here. So many possibilities....

the doodle printed on some of my hand dyed cloth

also printed on cardstock and tissue paper for wrapping small gifts...

I'd better get busy before the day is gone. Time seems to be moving too quickly, lately.
Hope you all have a great weekend. Create always give me a lift and i bet it will do the same for you.

Friday, April 3, 2015


Pockets are so handy in any form. I finished up one of the pockets I started last week....

click on the images...

pink dupioni silk embellished with parts of an old hanky, my own printed cloth, lace and stitching

the other side....cording to mimic strings of a mandolin and hard to see all the stitching done here.

Karen Ruane is selling a PDF download of one of her doodles here. I have so many ideas on how to use this. So far, I've printed it on dupioni silk and made myself a little pocket for a small knitting project. There are so many different ways to use this and she talks about that here. Go on over and check it out. Here's the pocket I made this morning.

a silk pocket using Karen Ruane's PDF download

Once a year, my quilting bee has a gift exchange. We had such a wonderful time and exchanged so many beautiful items. Here's a pic of all of us. We sure do look happy in this picture....don't we....that's me in the white blouse up front.

Simply Quilters bee

Some of us stopped at a local quilt shop on the way home and there were some things I couldn't resist.

The garden is doing well and I actually picked Swiss Chard for my salad this week. It will be awhile before anything else is ready for picking. The temperature reaches 80 almost every day. It does feel wonderful spending some time outdoors this time of year.

Wishing you all a great weekend and lots of creativity.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

more dyeing with black walnuts...

The black walnut dye keeps giving. I've done a few more pieces ... some shibori style.

click on the images...

top left piece was folded in half and then in triangles. the binder clips I used give nice marks

shibori style....wrapped with string

shibori style....circles of stitching pulled taught on cotton/linen

kokopelli imprint on silk linen

I did some more printing on silk like I showed last week. First the watercolor on paper; scanned and printed on paper; doodled with ink pen; and finally, silk ironed onto freezer paper and printed. I should have washed it to test it but I didn't. I'll remember to do that next time....and maybe, try to print on cotton next.

pink silk, hanky, and watercolor painting on paper

mandolins drawn on printed watercolor and then printed on silk

I've started putting together a couple of small pouches....hope to have them finished by my next post....lots more stitching to be done.

the beginnings of 2 pockets

using the printed cloth for a mandolin shape and some hexies. fine piping cord used to mimic mandolin strings.

Ready to go out and put some more seeds and plants in the garden. We already have had days in the 80s and it's getting too warm too fast. I prefer the 60 - 70 degree range, but the plants seem to be happy.

Have a great week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

another pin cushion...

The watercolor play that I showed you last time wound up as part of a pin cushion. A fellow student in Karen Ruane's class suggested I try printing the watercolor on silk I ran with that suggestion and wound up with this....

click on the images...

hand dyed silk and damask cloth and watercolrs

I started out by enlarging one of the watercolor images....

watercolor image printed on dupioni silk by ironing freezer paper to the silk and running it through my ink jet printer. I did paint over the print with some intense blocks to brighten up the color a bit.

I used a fine line Sharpie to draw the design onto the silk

I cut out hexagons and circles and stitched them together. I also cut out prairie points that you can see on the finished cushion.

I chose some hand dyed fabric for the background and it all came together quickly.
 Feel free to try this technique if it appeals to you. I think I will be running silk through my printer again for future projects. Thanks to Jann who suggested it.

I finished up another Sally Doll. I tried doing Intarsia  and stranded color work on this one and gave her an embroidered skirt covered with tulle. I think that's it for dolls for awhile.

There's been more dyeing with the black walnuts but it's all being washed out right now so I'll show you that next time. I've also been playing with repeats for fabric design after watching the first 2 sessions of a five week workshop on Creative Bug.....lots of fun.

The radishes and cosmos are already up in the garden and a few more vege plants are in. It's going to be a rainy weekend so all the plants will get some wonderful rain water.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2015

lots of pics today...

First I must show you the beautiful Amaryllis sitting on my kitchen table. It sat outside all winter and I brought it in the first week of February. So far, one bud has produced 4 huge blooms. Each bloom is 7" in diameter and such a soft pink.

click on the images...

Amaryllis ... each bloom is 7" in diameter

I did finish that crocheted headband I showed you last week and my knitting/crochet teacher says it is the 'SAND STITCH'. I'm sure google has lots of instructions for the stitch, if you want to play with it.

crocheted headband using the sand stitch

I played a bit with watercolors this week and then embellished them with some pen doodles...

watercolors and pen doodles

....and I did say I was going to do some dyeing with black walnuts...I soaked a mesh bag holding about 15 black walnuts in water overnight. I then boiled it all for about 2 hours. I filled 2 glass jars with the prepared cloth and poured in the boiled liquid. I left it in the jars for about 3 days....not really necessary....a shorter period will give you a lighter shade. I then opened all the bundles and washed the cloth in hot, soapy water a couple of times....rinsed and hung to dry. All the cloth I started out with was a light beige or white in color.

soaking some rose and chinese tallow leaves that were saved from last year

preparing some cotton with shibori stitching

using a strong thread for the shibori stitching

all the bundles in 2 medium sized glass jars

bundles ready to be opened

subtle markings on the shibori cotton

this one was pleated and stitched down both sides. that yellow is turmeric that was sprinkled on the cloth.

a cotton bundle wrapped with old rusty keys

a silk cloth with a tone on tone design wrapped with leaves and sprinkled with turmeric and paprika

silk with imprint of the rose leaves and the string wrapped markings

top is silk with an embroidered design....bottom is a piece of linen where i had done some free motion embroidery

and here they are all together. that yellow one, 3rd from the top, is silk velvet. i used too much turmeric on that one.
Some of these pieces will be redyed because I don't like that strong yellow color. I need to use the turmeric sparingly as a little bit goes a long way. Silk always seems to give the best results but it's nice that the black walnuts easily dyes cotton. Hope some of you who have access to black walnuts will try this. There is lots more info online and different methods. Google is a wonderful thing.

Today was a most glorious Spring-like day....sunny and in the 70s. I did do some planting....parsley, swiss chard and a lavender plant and some radish seeds. It looks like two snap pea plants are coming up from seeds planted in the Fall. They probably will not survive as it gets hot real fast here and we usually don't have much of a Spring.

Hope the weather is settling down for everyone and that all the snow will soon be gone. Have a great weekend and see you next time.
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