Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Beautiful Blooming Paperwhite

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Have been very busy getting ready for Christmas doing the baking, decorating, etc. Not doing as much of it as in past years, due to still recovering from my back surgery. Really enjoyed having our sons celebrate Christmas with us.  Needless to say, didn't do too much fiber art during the last week or so. Hoping to start machine quilting on my Circles Pizzaz quilt after New Year's Day and finish my fun fabric manipulation piece, which is quite labor intensive.

Meanwhile to inspire you, here is a picture of my blooming paper white flower that I bought at Trader Joe's. It's been a fun plant to watch grow and blossom in its unusual glass vase that allows you to see the bulb and roots.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year's!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

More Progress on New Project

I've been working on  a new project.  For this project you need to quilt the border first,
 as it would be to difficult to quilt after the center is finished. The center will  be done
 in a fabric manipulation technique.

The piece pictured below was done a couple of years ago, and is similar
to what will be in the center of my new piece, yet different. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Super Moon

Hope you had a chance to check out the super moon earlier this week. Below are a few pictures of it from our house. It was a beautiful late afternoon with a rosy dusky sky complemented by contrails.

Started a new fun project but it's not quite photo-ready yet. I took out lots of my fabrics from the past decade or so to inspire me to make something new. My studio looks like a giant fan attacked it, stuff is flung everywhere. But I do have a couple ideas of where to creatively journey next. Stay tuned.

Other than that we have been dealing with a broken clothes dryer. My husband and I tried to fix it. The drum belt had broken. I was very proud of us. We got it all apart to discover a broken belt and metal bit on the one end of the motor shaft. We tried to JB Weld that together, put back on the belt, put it all back together and it worked for about 30 seconds before there was a 'ping' and it ground to a screeching stop. Oh well, can't say we didn't try. We've had that dryer for about 12 to 15 years, so not bad. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Circles Pizzaz Ready to Quilt

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Ours was nice and quiet.

I continue to feel a little better every day following my back surgery. Saw the doctor last week and he said everything was looking good.  I still have to wear the back brace for FOUR more months. It is a good thing in that it keeps me from moving in ways I shouldn't.  He gave me permission to drive short distances.  WAHOOOO!!!  I must say my husband was  really sweet doing all the shopping, etc.  I'm up to walking 30 minutes a day.

Over the weekend I finished sewing together the Circles Pizzaz quilt which I started in February of 2016. I took a guild sponsored class byJudy Cisneros,  She was a very  good teacher. Sewing these blocks together were quite challenging due to the curved piecing. Through sewing these blocks I have become much more comfortable with curved piecing. Her book titled Circles Pizzazz is well written with many tips on doing the curved piecing.

Below is my quilt ready to be quilted. To plan the quilting, I like to print out a picture of the quilt and use an overhead projector marker to draw on a transparency placed over the photo.  I'm thinking of following the dynamic curved lines, using a multicolored thread on the black areas and a black and white thread on the colored part.

Below is a picture of the backing.  I like to use up some of the many fabrics
 stuffed into my dressers and cabinets. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Beautiful Red-tailed Hawk

Spending a lot of time walking around outside, since I still am not able to drive or sit normally, etc., yet.  Saw this beautiful Red-tailed Hawk the other day from our barn. It sat in the tree for a good 20 minutes looking for some prey below. Maybe an idea for a quilt.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Playing with Layers

I had fun playing with paint, stencils, found objects, etc. the last few days and here are a couple of my more successful experiments. It was fun to just play with no purpose in mind.

I'm feeling better every day. My rash  from the surgical tape used on my back dressing has finally calmed down. That was nasty stuff!  Today I was able to shower and dry myself!  Yeah! Progress!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Finally Finished Shibori Quilt

Except for attaching the sleeve and the label I finally finished my shibori quilt. It's been difficult with my back issues to sit or stand very long so it was done in many mini sessions. I really like how it came out and hope it gets accepted into the SLO Art Museum's upcoming Dimensions Show. I'll find out by November 15th.

I used my own arashi and itijime dyed fabrics and it is hand stitched with a big stitch. Here's a couple closeups of it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hand Quilting Itajime Piece

This morning I finally got a date for my surgery after the insurance folks tried every delay in the book. It's scheduled for the third week of October.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to finish up a piece to enter in an upcoming show. Sometimes I have so many ideas on how I can do that and sometimes not a one. Something I find helpful to do is to lay a clear transparency over the piece and use water soluble markers to plan a design. Then if I don't like it, I can erase and try another one. Below is a picture showing this.

To figure out what thread would be best, I audition a variety of them on top of the quilt, unspooling a couple yards of each. I decided on Sulky variegated long staple cotton 12 weight threads. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Finishing a UFO

    Sorry I haven't posted in awhile.  My back pain, sciatica is quite uncomfortable and painful, so am spending a lot of time in bed with knees bent over a wedged pillow. I am reading a lot.

    I saw my neurosurgeon on September 8th and now am I'm waiting to get the authorization from Workers Comp for my back surgery.  I'm really looking forward to getting this done and moving on!!

    I've attached a photo of a quilt I started quite some time ago, and pulled out of one of my piles of ufos to distract me if nothing else as I wait to get surgery.  It was from a guild sponsored class by Judy Cisneros called Circles Pizzaz that I took in February of 2016. In fact I wrote a post about the class. She was a very good teacher. There's not an easy seam in it.  It was a good project to help me with learning about sewing curves. Each seam is like easing in a sleeve. I've been working off and on with it, mostly off, as I can't sit for more than 10 minutes at a time, sometimes not even that. The background is not a pure black, there is a small light grey print on it that doesn't show in this photo.  Kind of fun to do something so different than my usual stuff.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Laying Low for Now

It's been awhile since I last blogged. I've been having a lot of lower back pain and sciatica, making it difficult to sit for very long. Actually staying in any one position, standing, laying down, etc. is difficult.  Although I've had periodical back pain through the years ever since my back surgery in 2000, it started to get more serious in about late April and into May. I kept thinking that as soon as school got out, I would feel better. Instead it just kept getting worse. It's the same kind of pain I had prior to having my fusion surgery in 2000 due to a work related incident.  I had a back x-ray a couple weeks ago and an MRI yesterday.  It's possible that I will need decompression and fusion surgery again. Needless to say, I'm not doing much quilting. I think I did about ten stitches a couple of days ago in a quilt and that's been about it. Hoping to get some treatment soon and get back to the life I enjoy, going places, seeing friends and being creative.  This is so not me! My husband has been absolutely wonderful, taking me to appointments, cooking, etc. I'm so lucky to have him.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends who have been in touch and wishing me a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, to get some inspiration, check out Elizabeth Barton's latest blog post here:   

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sandy Bruce

Sandy Bruce was the guest Artist at our Almond Country Quilt Guild monthly meeting last Friday.  She is a wonderful artist, in a variety of media and gave an interesting presentation about her life and quilting.  If you want to learn more about her go to

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Messy Fun with Acrylic Paint-Dirty Pour Technique

I've been wanting to try this technique for awhile and got to do it yesterday.  It is called a 'Dirty Pour.'  If you google that term or 'fluid acrylic pouring',  you will see lots of information on it.  You can end up spending oodles of time looking at tons of youtube videos on the technique. Basically it is using slightly diluted acrylic paint into which you mix a silicone gel,
 stir it up and carefully dump it onto a canvas. 

Here are pictures from yesterday's experiment.

All the paints are poured into one cup as you see below. I used white for the bottom and top layers.

Below is the canvas after carefully dumping the cup of paint onto it.

Next I  tipped the canvas from different angles to spread the paint to edges.

Below are a couple of closeups.

Below is the entire canvas.

I wanted to get a mono print of it onto fabric, so I placed some silk on it and lifted up a layer which totally changed everything.  So then I fussed around with dribbling bits of leftover paint and angling the canvas this way and that and ended up with this.

Lots of fun but very messy!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Quilt Show Weekend

I'm enjoying my new retirement status.  I thought I would have accomplished more in this last week, but so it goes. I've been  trying to find a home for all my stuff I brought home from my classroom. Over 30 years it added up.  Deciding what to keep, why I should keep it and then where to keep it is time consuming, but also a nice trip down memory lane. I came across old figure drawings done in college, weaving charts, calligraphy pieces, etc.

This last weekend was our local guild's big quilt show. I worked in admissions on Saturday morning and it seemed to me we had more visitors than ever, which is great. I had three quilts in the show. Below are pictures of two of them.  I wish the lighting in the building were better so the embroidery would show up, but what can you do. Others I spoke with had the same complaint as well.

Above is "A Little Birdie Told Me"

This is a closeup of of "Majestic Magenta Mountains."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sun Printing on Paper and Fabric

I made it!! I'm retired!! Whoo Hoo!!  To celebrate it I did some sun printing on paper and fabric yesterday afternoon. As with many things, I approached it very intuitively.  I gathered together some 'masks', flat objects to place on the wet paint, which end up showing up lighter as the paint is pulled from underneath those areas to the exposed areas.

The first three photos show fabric and paper which has been been dampened, then painted with diluted Setacolor transparent paints. Next flat masks were placed on top and then the whole piece put outside to dry in the 105 degree temperature we had yesterday.  Had a lot of fun doing these and need to explore further. And I'll have time to do that now!

Notice dead grass below papers.

Crumbled up linen tablecloth above and below after it dried.

You get two fabrics for the price of one with sun painting because the back side
 is a lighter version of the front.

This and the one below are printed on paper.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Quilting New Quilt

Didn't have time to post last week.  Been very busy working to get everything done at school and trying to hang in there for the last nine and a half days of teaching. Sooooo looking forward to retirement.  I did find a little time to do some quilting, by machine and hand on my latest quilt, the one for  our Cutting Edge Fiber Group to be displayed at the next PIQF in October.

I machine quilted the dark channels with lots of circles.

In other areas, I'm doing hand embroidery. And in yet other areas, I may do nothing. It's an art quilt. It won't be washed and doesn't need it. I know the trend is to machine quilt the heck out of quilts with row after row of stitching, but I kind of like that the fabric puckers a bit, like fabric, which it is.  At our last Cutting Edge meeting we had an interesting discussion about how much quilting is needed on an 'Art Quilt'.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ceramic Ethnic Masks

Here are some of the first fired masks of my students for this year.  More to come in the next week or so. I can only fire about 25 in each kiln firing because they cannot be stacked or they fuse together from the glaze.

Makes me want to make a mask quilt.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Quilting the Latest Project

         Happy Mothers' Day to all my readers who are moms. Both my sons visited today and my sweet husband did all the cooking  I had some time to start machine quilting my newest project, which was a great mothers day present in itself.  Finally got a variegated thread  I liked to work.

I'm machine quilting the dark fabric with many circles and am planning on hand quilting, and/or using embroidery stitches in the lighter inserts.  Not sure it that will work, but am giving it a try. Sometimes when the amount of quilting is not even, the quilt puckers funny.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Gold Quilt for PIQF Cutting Edge Show

Here's a picture of my quilt for our Cutting Edge's display at the October 2017 PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Show)  The theme for our exhibit is "Montana de Oro" but with a very loose definition. Quilts need to have gold color in them. I have not quilted it yet. The quilt is done using reverse appliqué technique.

The design in based on a photo of world's largest gold, copper and silver mine in Indonesia, the Grasberg mine. It consumes one half million acres of land.  I saw a story on the Rachel Maddow show months ago about the huge environmental issues with this mine due to the dumping of waste associated with mining.  Guess what?  Trump has ties to this mine and business conflicts. No surprise there. If you want more information on that just google Rachel Maddow Grasberg mine and Trump ties.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mural Project

A  local  artist known for his murals, Steve Kalar, has been donating his expertise, time, energy, and materials to mentor my Advanced art students create a mural of cougars.  The cougar is Flamson's mascot.  All the students designed a cougar,, some more original than others, as will be, and then collaborated in putting the images together to create a collage mural.

They have been working on this project besides their regular curriculum since February. It has been a great experience for my students and the mural is turning out wonderfully!

Hopefully they will be finishing this up in the next couple of weeks. The mural will be displayed in Flamson's main entrance lobby.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ice Dyeing

Here are my Easter eggs made early on Easter morning, tie dyed of course.

This is an ice dyed cotton shirt I made this last weekend.

This is another one. I really like how its rock-like colors and textures.

Here is the whole shirt

On the left side is the striped golden fabric I started with
 and on the right side is it after ice dyeing.

Below is a Kona Gold fabric which I ice-dyed. It came out darker than I wanted. I might do some bleaching on this one to bring back the gold color in places, maybe through stenciling or something.