Friday, February 26, 2010

Dyeing silk with Rit

I am working on a project right now, sorry I can't tell you about it, you'll have to wait until summer before I can talk, but anyways, I have been dying silk dupioni and rayon-silk velvet with Rit dye. Holy cow the color is amazing. The silk dupioni dyes beautifully. The velvet is insanely rich with gorgeous deep color and it picks up lots of lovely texture. I was told it is because of the rayon, it takes the dye really well. So, I just thought those of you who are not comfortable with fiber reactive dyes would want to know, so you can start dyeing those Dharma scarf blanks to coordinate with every thing in your wardrobe.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Still working through it...

Each day gets a little better and then I get hit with a wopper every now and then that sets me back. Today has been a hard day but mostly because I am feeling overwhelmed by my daughters on going health problems and the health insurance issues that go with it. I can handle an awful lot, but sometimes it is just too much.

I have made a bit more progress on this quilt, machine stitching the batting, putting two different threads through the needle together to get bolder lines. I have finished the majority of the machine quilting and have satin stitched a large image of the 3 of swords (tarot card) in black thread on top. I am going to work some more hand stitching into the open batting areas with embroidery floss using big bold stitches, before I block it and trim it to size. This is actually a vertical quilt, I have only photographed a portion of it, so when I get it finished I will post a full photo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The UnValentine Party

Last night a group of friends came over for an artist play date that of course also had a menu of yummy food and drink, because we need to feed our tummies as well as our souls.

The majority of us belong to the broken hearts club right now, but our newbie Sara who I met through my online class and happens to live about a mile away from me, is our beacon of hope, being that she is the only one of us in a loving relationship right now.

 For our project of the evening, we made healing hearts a la Alisa Burke.

I happened to have some red painted fabric that I had screen printed an anatomical heart onto a year ago, that seemed perfect to make my heart from. I wrote words of loss and grief on the front that I machine and hand stitched then on the back I wrote words of healing and renewal.

Nina made a couple fabric hearts too.

We decided on a Cuban theme for our menu this time, Trish made fantastic empanadas.

I made Cuban style black beans


and pork marinated overnight in fruit juices, garlic and olive oil and simmered all day in a slow cooker.




Sara made cream filled chocolate cookies, that were like the worlds best Oreos on steroids and a tray of red velvet cupcakes. She definitely has an open invitation to join us anytime!


We had lots of sharing, ranting and laughing. It was good for the soul, I am blessed to have such wonderful supportive friends in my life; at home, abroad and online, I honor you all for lifting me up, making me laugh and being there.

Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Slow Cloth

There is a wonderful article by Elaine Lipson explaining Slow Cloth on the Hand/Eye magazine website. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I had a great time in Dallas this last weekend, sorry it has taken me a while to get to writing a blog post about it, but the last several days have been pretty hard.

I have felt so scattered lately, I was really happy I managed to remember to bring everything I needed to for my lecture and workshops, but I managed to forget to grab my camera as I went out the door for my first workshop teaching Fiesta Ornaments. I am so thankful to the very talented Carol Morrissey for sharing her pictures with me.

Carol had just come back from teaching in Austin to take my class. There were so many beautiful ornaments.

Judy Krein (above) picked me up at my hotel each morning and on saturday I got to meet Sasha, what an expression, huh? she looks perpetually surprised.

What a fun class!

Day 2 Mixed Media Painted Fabric
Always a pleasure to see Deborah's smiling face. She and I had a fun adventure when we got stuck in traffic for 3 hours after a chemical spill closed the freeway down friday afternoon, but we had a great chat and I enjoyed every minute! Really Deborah, I had a good time :-)

It was fun seeing my friend Tonya Littmann again, she also wrote a blog post about the class.
I love it when people take the basic concept and make it their own.

 I finished my weekend spending the day with my good friends Julie Upshaw, Vickie Hallmark and Frances Alford. It was so good for me to have the opportunity to spend time with some of my closest friends when things have been so hard. I am really grateful for all the kind words and support from everyone, I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Off to Dallas mañana

Today is my daughter Nina's 20th birthday, it is so hard to believe she is now officially out of her teen years. How can that much time have flown by?

I am off to Dallas in the morning to give a lecture and teach a couple workshops with the Dallas Quilt guild. I am looking forward to seeing many great friends and having some good creative art time. I will try to catch up with you on Tuesday.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Working through some stuff

I am having a really hard time in my personal life right now which has lead to some sleepless nights. The other night at 2 am, I pulled out a large piece of cotton batting and started pouring lots of diluted red textile paint on it which was left over from a bunch of almost empty paint jars. I hate to throw good paint away, so I poured water in the jars, shook it up and poured it on the batting, spreading it around with a big brush. I dumped some purple and russet on there too, covering a 3 foot by 4 foot piece of batting.

It felt good to just pour out all that paint and spread it around, pouring out my anger and grief. Then I grabbed an almost empty bottle of gold, added some water and put it in a bottle with a small hole and squirted the bottle onto the batting, hoping to add in something uplifting like a bit of gold and goodness that could come out of this. I am trying to be optimistic, as hard as that is right now.

In the morning when all was dry, I freely cut big holes with a rotary cutter in a piece of turquoise hand dyed cotton with Mistyfuse on the back, to represent my external calm that I am trying to maintain, but also my sadness with all that watery blue pouring down.

I chalked in some lines for some stitching on the red batting, then I will do some more linear quilting on the blue.

As I work through this piece, I will work through this transition in my life. I hope that I can transform some very negative feelings into ones of hope and beauty and come out the other side in a better place.


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