Thursday, September 23, 2010


Lesson 2 of the Cloth to Cloth class involves creating an anchored weaving. Three methods were given and I choice to focus on the third one in which you cut slits into the base fabric to form the strips that you can then weave into.  Very simple and eliminates one layer of fabric. So this first photo has been titled "WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  We have here GAREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!, gold and rust.  I had this idea of summer transitioning into autumn. Only thing, nature isn't quite so garish.
So after I picked myself up off the floor from rolling around in laughter, I decided that I liked the rust colored fabric which is an old silk scarf that I painted awhile back. I didn't like the way it turned out, so I repainted it with setacolor paints and did some sunprinting with maple leaves. This fabric led to the tan fabric I had rusted last year and the fabric with the writing on it which is a  cotton with the words of a Mary Oliver poem, The Journey, handwritten on it. I colored it with burnt umber and indigo blue watercolor paints which then led to the dark blue leaf print and trim.
Here's what I ended up with.  I kind of forgot the part of the lesson about using a fairly sturdy fabric for the base. The rust colored fabric is a habotai silk which is very flimsy, but with some TLC I was able to work with it. I know I am jumping ahead with embellishment, but I so rarely have an opportunity to follow through on all the ideas rolling around in my head, I just decided to go with it.
And here is the Mary Oliver poem.
The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ancles,
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Of all the quilts I have ever made, this is my favorite which I made in 2000. I used over 100 different fabrics, which is the way I do quilts. I can't stand piecing the same fabrics over and over again. I love the fact that I took the time to hand quilt it even though I was in the middle of being a mom. This was the quilt my kids went to when they wanted to snuggle and read.

I have piles of strips leftover and have waited for the perfect project to use some of them. A few weeks ago I found it when I signed up for Jude Hill's Cloth to Cloth online class. We started this week and what what fun it has been. There are a huge number of participants and the pictures and comments posted so far have been wonderful. Our first exercise was to do some cloth weaving which is now my new addiction. I'm showing my first two below. I've already got an idea on the applique and embroidery I want to do on the surface, but I'm going to wait until we get a little further along in the class in case I change my mind.

Jude has a wonderful blog so even if you can't take the class (I don't know if it is full or not), you'll be able to see her beautiful work. She's a hand stitcher and that is why I love her art so much. She also has an article in the current Quiilting Arts magazine which you can also check out.

I"ll be posting more pictures as the class goes on.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I finally finished my Rebecca Ringquist sampler and turned it into a pillow. In order to finish the sampler I had to add some fabric to the top and bottom so I could work with in a hoop. Then added some more strips to the sides. Then I added three rows of running stitches all the way around changing colors as I came to the end of a thread. More using up bits and pieces of leftovers.
Because it ended up being a odd size I made my own pillow form, finished off the back with a scrap of a reproduction fabric, added the trim, three buttons and it's all done. This is a sitting pretty on a chair pillow, not a take a nap with pillow. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I did it all just for pure pleasure of embroidery.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Early this year I took an online class with LK Ludwig--Printed, Patterned, Painted Journal Making ( I used some of the papers to make this little book. It's about 3"x4" so very small. I wanted to do something special with it but for the longest while no ideas were coming. Then I came across some poetry from Tracie Lyn Huskamp ( that I love and I immediately knew what to do. To me the poetry is all about stopping to smell the roses, enjoying simple everyday moments and being grateful for life itself. One thing that I am grateful for is that I am a collector. I have a huge collection of dried leaves and flowers. When I look at them, my heart quivers. Even though some of the color has faded from them, they are as beautiful as the day they first caught my eye. In some cases the color has mellowed into something even more beautiful then the original intensity I was attracted to. I love my seashells--the broken ones as well as the more perfect specimens. All are treasures from the beaches I have walked in my life. And then there is my antique fabric collection, especially the fabrics and bits of lace from my grandmother. It makes me so happy to think of her touching these textiles and loving their color and design just as I do.
When I see this basket of lovelies I feel connected to her and using them in my art is a way of honoring her life.

So back to the book. I've always wanted to use some of these treasures in a way that would be a memoir of my life. I know that it is in everyday life with family and nature that I find my greatest joy. So with Tracie's poetry, my handmade book and the bits and pieces I have colllected since childhood, I have created another treasure that helps me to remember to pay attention to life, to honor my life as well as those who have gone before me. The pictures aren't the greatest but you'll get the idea.