Friday, September 12, 2014

What to do with scraps

Oh...what to do with scraps.....I had some deconstructive screen printed fabric that was going nowhere so I found some of the same color scraps and decided to put them together for a small piece.
 Often I use a screen of an old recipe that's been in the family.... I like using family writings on my quilts; it allows me that wonderful connection to my past. However, after screening these words, I thought it was a bit strong by itself.

I have lots of sheers, both purchased in the curtain fabric section of fabric stores along with many I've painted myself.

 This is a purchased one and one I find I use a lot.  It has a lot of patterning with a soft neutral background so it works well as an overlay for many fabrics.
I like this can see the writing underneath but it doesn't jump out at you.The sheer image is also soft and adds a nice something.

The top section was next (left) and thought it needed a little zing also. Using the same sheer, I found a different area and pattern for the top. Being the same fabric, they worked well together.

  Next I needed to trim off the left side and after previewing several color choices, decided on an olive green over the brown.
which worked well I thought....

 The last section was a purchased brown batik and that definitely lacked in personality. I had a silk screen of skeleton leaves in different sizes...perfect. I did a little color lifting using a discharge paste through the screen; thought it would be more subtle but thought it also needed a touch of black to give it just a little spark of life. Each leaf was outlined with rayon embroidery thread, done by machine.
And the finished piece - "Shadow of Leaves"
I am linked to Ninamarie Sayres Off the Wall Friday and Whoop, Whoop, Friday
Til next time...Happy Creating...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 Years Ago

I think we all remember the same certain times in our lives that affected us forever. On September 11, 2001, my friend Barbara was coming over to dye fabric for her studio. It was 9:00 am when the doorbell rang and I opened the door to see Barbara with a look of shock on her face. ....and we turned on the news and listened and listened and cried and was so desperately sad.

 Remembering that terrible day in history ....Going back many years later was a solemn experience
Ground Zero -  moving, sad and beautifully done with dignity -  honoring those who died.
Keep this day in your hearts......
Til tomorrow

Monday, September 8, 2014

Feathering the Nest

Years ago when we first moved in, our neighbor gave us a Blue bird house as a gift and every year since, we've had 2 or more families come and take up housekeeping each spring/summer.  
It's always been a highlight for me to watch the new little baby birds learning to fly while keeping our cats indoors for the duration.
The Blue birds have always had this's a given ...until this year when the swallows beat them to it. I think the Blue birds were upset as we would see them circling around the house. We do like to peek when the time is right...just to see what's going on inside. What a surprise when we peeked in and saw this.....
The nest was completely surrounded by feathers....
It was a work of art...
Nature never ceases to amaze me.
Needless to say, when they all left for the season, I retrieved the nest. My 2 year old granddaughter will love seeing it.......It's just amazing!

Friday, September 5, 2014


I really like doing small pieces as I usually am working around everyone and everything. I do love the big "sink your teeth into" pieces also, but smaller ones allow me to be creative and move on to something else. I just finished up another small piece using some digital imagery I had printed on fabric.  
 I also get a chance to try out new surface design techniques without a big investment in time or fabric. This piece has a lot going on..... silkscreen, discharge, digital printing, decorative thread work...
 I used a silkscreen of a tree on top of the castle image. I also used it on the orange stripe to give it a little more visual texture.
 I love my silkscreen of thistles which I made from thistles I picked years ago....on a morning walk. I do like the colors in this piece but it is quite subdued and needed some added pizazz; I thought stitching with a sparkly thread would help.
 I used thickened discharge paste and screened images of trees along the bottom. The images came from my enormous file of tree pictures, many of which I photographed along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Here is the finished piece...quite squared off but my photgraphy does distort it and make the edges look uneven (don't know how to prevent that).
Have a glorious weekend and in the meantime check out Off the Wall Friday and Whoop, Whoop Friday.  which I am linked to.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stackable Vegetable Soup

No...this is not a new quilting's exactly what you would think. We did have a wonderful vegetable garden this year thanks to lots of rain and our new raised beds. We've never used them before and it was quite an investment in time, labor and money but what a difference they make. Our soil here is not great and the raised beds were filled with purchased soil and compose.  
My husband built them; him and my son hauled them outside.
Everything thrived and grew to monstrous sizes...
almost like veggies on steroids...
We don't use any sprays and lucked out with the animals not using them for midnight snacks although we did find some little bunnies hanging out there.
The only bad thing is that they all come in at's great fun and so pretty to see all the colors sitting in baskets in the kitchen...
but what to do with them all...
This was our butternut squash favorite squash...and by the end of summer
it looked like this....but my husband counted over 80 squash and they are one veggie that will keep for most of the winter in our cold garage.
Everything is going fast but I'm not much as I love these wonderful veggies, I love September in my mind, it's the beginning of fall season and holidays and holiday decorating. I used to be a teacher in NY and we always started back the day after Labor Day...they still do I would be going back to school this week...
but instead I'm making gobs and gobs of vegetable soup 
to use up all these wonderful veggies......
and then I freeze meal portions in a ziploc bag inside an 8x8 pan. After it freezes, I let it set out for a little while making it easy to remove from the pan...and stack them in my freezer....Stackable Vegetable Soup..

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Pop of Color

I've been watching this show on TV featuring Sarah Richardson, an interior designer. It's not on regularly but I have my DVR set up to catch anything that features her. She is very creative and I love seeing what she does with different spaces within a home or condo. She claims to be frugal and hunts for bargains, even picking up furniture put out for trash. She's really into giving rooms a "Pop of Color" which I quickly adopted for my own home. My family room is nice but a little ho-hum and sorely in need of some "Pop" I did go looking for throw pillows but the ones I liked were $40 on sale...How crazy is that when I have a perfectly good sewing machine and a healthy stash of fabric. 
 Of course, Murphy's matter how much fabric you have, it's never quite off to the Home decor store to find the perfect color. I loved what I found but it needed more body so I had to fuse each piece with a fusible knitted interfacing - So Sheer. I also had to find buttons...when did they get so expensive !! ?. adds up fast...
 So......2 days later ...(lots of interruptions)... I got my "pop"...not as much as I had hoped for but they do go well with the couch and loveseat and I'm a happy camper...
and that's what counts...
Pop..Pop...  (-:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wonderful Show and Tell

Our show and tell from our Fiber Junkies meeting was wonderful and inspiring as always. 
 Denny brought her most recent piece from her "healing series". It was incredibly moving.
 It was beautifully machine embroidered...
 and equally as beautiful on the back.
 Denny does a lot of writing on her pieces which is very appropriate to the theme of the piece.
 Val has been creating fabric to make into books; she does a lot of layering of techniques starting with dyeing, silk screening and deconstructive screen printing.
 Each one is more beautiful and we were all drooling over her wonderful talent.

Val had one of her pieces framed which I think raises it a notch.
 This is some silk screening over deconstructive screen printing...
What a great look....
Til next time....