Work Continues on Alaska Patterns

I’ve had a few more days to work on the ideas I have for the Alaska set of new patterns. Most of what I have been doing is applique. Here’s a sneak peek at the bears I am working on.

You’ve seen squirrels trying to get into the birdhouse… well, this guy is hanging in there.

Wait until you see her response to his complaints… it’s so funny!

This is not going to be one of the images in the whimsical bear quilt. These two are watching one of the spectacular sunsets that happen regularly in Alaska.
Well, that’s all for today.


New Alaska stuff

I’ve been working on some new patterns for Alaska. I’ll be going up there this summer to teach in Soldotna, below Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. Here are a couple pictures of the works in progress so far.

my sea otter



Art Nouveau Fireweed

Peek a Bear

My next goal is to get a new camera. one that I can get clear pictures with…. I think I need that stabilization feature. jiggle jiggle isn’t just for the fat around my waist. eeeeeeuuuww.

Preparing for CA

I’m leaving in a week to teach in Burbank, CA at Conejo Valley Quilt Guild. I am really looking forward to this! It has been quite a while since I have taught the basics of using ink to create different textures on fabrics.

I’ll be teaching using ink with salt and water:
The workshop kit will be in these greens. I figured everyone can use green, especially if you are creating leaves or some other organic plant look.

We will also be playing with shaving cream. I think this is a lot of fun, and getting messy with something that is so easy to clean up really is an ice-breaker. If you were feeling a little reserved before we get to this, you definitely are not feeling that way once we start.
shaving cream flower
This shows one of the ways we will use the shaving cream. There are lots of techniques presented in this workshop.

Our afternoon is going to be working with foil. Lots of people hear “foil” and think “Oh, that is so chunky. I just don’t know where I would ever use that”. Well, if you have ever seen those $30 t-shirts you will re-think your stance on this! Foil is easy to apply and you can go way beyond the artwork you see on commercially prepared and sold items.

If you are creating a bag and want a unique, wow-em look try foil. Here is a sample of one of the images I did for the class.
hummingbird in foil
As you can see, using multiple layers of foil that has already been partially used up makes for a beautiful, soft blend. There is a trick to it which I demonstrate in the workshop.

Once you have put foil on your fabric you can use it as a basis for thread painting. Same with the shaving cream and ink, and same with the ink and salt. It really is a wonderful base for your next project.

One of the new patterns I just created, which will be available on the website soon, uses plants and foil to create the image. It is a little thread and trash collector you can place next to your sewing machine. Of course, thread work was added to it to make it really pop. I’ll be showing a picture of it soon…. so check back.

Speaking of which, I have some new tote patterns. Lots of different concepts you can use in them and I will be presenting them soon. Well, maybe after I get back from California.
See you soon…

Setacolor Sun Painting

Oooh, I love Setacolor paints. You can get some absolutely gorgeous fabric using this light/heat sensitive paint.

Recently I used InkoDye to do sun painting. This time I used Setacolor. I wet the fabric, just as I did with the InkoDye, then poured diluted Setacolor over the fabric, lastly laying plants over the top of the fabric.

In this sample I added silver Lumiere metallic paint to the mix. When I poured the mixture it left a beautiful stream of shimmering silver behind.
Here is a picture of it after I removed the plant:
setacolor blue & silver

Have you tried using SetaColor Paints?

Jamaica Vanilla

I am so READY to get on that cruise I will be teaching in February. I have never been to the Caribbean and being asked to teach on a cruise to Jamaica and other stops, well, it’s like a dream come true.

Here is what I will be teaching on the cruise.
Strip piecing makes the block fairly quick to piece. The applique is raw edge fusible. Two large stars are surrounded by the “diamond” blocks. Then the same block is used around the quilt, creating the illusion of a 3D border. Using colors very close in value provides you with a nice base for the art nouveau type applique. I absolutely love using neutral fabrics like this.

I plan on making a new pattern that will be a modified version of this, using a color, rather than neutral fabrics so check into the website soon to get a look at it: I think you will be pleased to see what a difference COLOR can make!

Pictures of InkoDye

You asked for a few pictures of the finished InkoDye projects.

This one is the first one I tried to do. I did not dilute the ink very much. I am not wild about how high contrast all of it is, but it cured/set really, really fast. There wasn’t time for the ink to soak into the fabric to create the shadow effect under the plants. Plus, I had not made the master grid of all of the colors I had purchased yet, so I didn’t know what to expect.


I THREW plants on here. Didn’t take much time to try to press them into the fabric. As you can see, there isn’t a lot of detailing for the veins in the plants because of that.

Here are two that I did having diluted the ink more. I used probably 2 times the amount of water (1 part ink, 4 parts water). I also spent time pressing the plants to the fabric, used fewer plants, and then moved it into the sunlight. I really love the way I got a different color under where the plants were. When I use the SetaColor paints, the color under the plant is the same color as the paint I used. With the InkoDye, the color was NOT the same as the ink I poured onto the fabric. I really like the hand of the fabric after this, too. Better than the extra body and slight stiffness I got with the SetaColor.


This image has some metallic paint added to it, as you can see in the streaks. Plus, this is diluted even more than the previous image. Fewer leaves. Not nearly as defined but would make a great background cloth.


And finally, I am not sure that this next image is SetaColor. I am thinking it is the InkoDye, because I spilled a BUNCH of it on the area I was working, and used the cloth to mop up the dye. Then I threw a plant on top of it, so I am thinking this is the result. I could be wrong. I get going and lose track of which is what.
Well, no, now I am thinking it really is the SetaColor… see how the black stays put? Not spreading like the ink does. I’m not sure.

Hope this helps you. If I do more of them, I’ll post pictures.

rE-generating clothes

I am so excited about this rE-generating that I am getting into. I went to the local thrift store the other day looking for something with a Peter Pan collar on it. I wanted to use it on a tote.

I found this adorable little red skirt for a little girl. It looks like sailor pants only it’s a pleated skirt. I just couldn’t resist it.
I turned it into a bag. The great thing about children clothes now is they have this elastic in them that can be buttoned into different lengths. It makes the waist adjustable for those constantly changing kids tummies. Wow. What a concept. I love what it lets me do to the bag!

You’ll have to go to the website to see the finished bag… I’m making it into a pattern. Not that you can follow it exactly as you will have a different skirt, but I’ll be teaching you how to modify what you DO find to create your own, unique bag.

It’s so fun, and I could not believe how quick! It was done in just a few hours. Wonderful when someone else has done half of the sewing for you! And it only cost me about a couple dollars after I added duck cloth and “D” rings. Unbelievable. Check the website soon for a look at the pattern.

Sun Painting

We have had some really, really hot days recently. Out of the clear blue, I remembered I had purchased some InkoDye… this is a vat dye that develops it’s color under heat. So it’s great for creating sun fabric. I thought, Hey, I ought to try that out…
These dyes are water soluble and you can mix them together to get different colors. Plus, you can dilute them to create lighter shades, and they will still react to the sun so you still get the impression of whatever you have laid over the fabric. The problem is, you cannot tell what color it is until it is developed. I think I need to create a master image using a bit from each color so I know what they will look like when they have finished processing.
I started out with wet fabric, figuring it was going to be easier for the InkoDye to spread if it was poured over fabric that was not dry. Then I diluted the InkoDye. I didn’t want to make it too light so I didn’t add very much water. I put the plants on the fabric and then used a sponge brush to blot color onto the fabric. I think I did this in the wrong order.

This is so experimental. I had done this about 8 years ago, maybe 9 years, in California on a visit. My fabric was a lot more successful then!

On this try I used green, blue and black. I think I would have liked it better if I would have poured the dye on the wet fabric, then quickly put the leaves over it. And maybe used a brayer to flatten the plants. Or used wilted plants. These were ripped right out of the ground next to where I was “curing” the fabric. I realized I didn’t have enough green stuff to place on the fabric after I had the branch in place…I had to hurry because it was so hot out (about 100 degrees). It was curing REALLY, REALLY FAST.
Here is a picture of what it looked like as it was curing. The colors are already obvious. When I put them on they were NOT blue, green and black.

Then, as luck would have it, I got so nervous that I spilled my bottle of black InkoDye all over my curing area. I was so upset. I tried to sponge it up and get it back in the bottle and spilled the bottle again!! Then, I spilled it once more… I guess for good luck! Since three time’s the charm, right?

So I took a second piece of fabric (thank goodness I had wet two) and mopped up the black. Then I poured a bit of blue on the fabric and squished it around with my hands. Needless to say, my hands were also being dyed black and blue.

As fast as I could I spread the fabric and then tossed grass on it.
I am so glad I had some ReDuRan. I had purchased it when I bought some dyes for using on silk. It is a great product, it took almost all the dye off and, since I had splashed it all over my top and pants, I used it on them and it got it out!! I was so glad.

Okay, the learning curve is a little steep here… next time I am wearing rags to do this in. Not my favorite pants.

This is a really wonderful product. I like the way the fabric stays soft. With a little more experimenting I should come out with some pretty fabulous fabrics to use in my next project or two.

April’s Fool

Well, I lost a whole week!! I am working on getting this new quilt book to the printer so I can be on time getting it to Quilt Market. I was going to give you some sneak peeks at the quilts but I think you are going to just have to wait. I still have sewing to do so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me for a few more days. Then I will have lots to share.

It’s so bad I haven’t even planted the flowers I bought or even something as simple as hanging the flower baskets in the front of the house! Now that’s being crammed for time! But it is worth it. I am so excited about these new quilt patterns. Just wait until you see!!!

Well, gotta go. Physical therapy starts in 25 minutes so I better get it on so I am not late to that. XO Trish

Show in Harlingen

This was so fun. I went to work a retail show with my friend from Corpus Christi, Patty Dunn. To visit her site you can go to She has a blog, too.

Every time we travel together to do a show (we have done that a lot in the past three years or so) we end up in a car, trying to FIND someplace.

Naturally, we ask people that are “local’s” for directions. I swear, they always say “It’s about a mile down the road on the right/left”. Usually it is at least FIVE MILES. Sometimes they forget to tell us to turn somewhere. That being sort of a critical part of the directions you can see why we are laughing hilariously.

So now it has become a joke. Whenever someone tells us “It’s about a mile” we figure it is probably 5 miles. We are right more often than not.

Here are some pictures of our trip…
Linda's Trees
We began in Corpus Christi where Patty lives, then we went to this house. It belongs to a fabulous artist. Before we even went in, I fell in love with the trees.
more of Linda's Trees
I cannot believe how beautiful these trees are. I am SO going to use these in one of my quilts.
After they got me past the trees we went inside and was I ever in awe. Patty had told me that she had art all over her walls. So I thought “Oh, Trompe L’Oeil”. I don’t know if I spelled that correctly. Sorry. SHE HAD all of her PAINTINGS in frames hung on her walls. So I was expecting one thing and saw something totally different. I had so much fun. I just wish we would have had more time there.

We went on to Harlingen, though and set up the booth. This is Patty in her booth. She allowed me to hang 3 of my Strip Quilts from the book I recently published called “UnderCover Strips”.
Patty - booth Harlingen show
The garments and bags are Patty’s patterns.
Patty in Harlingen booth
We had a wonderful time here. Here we are together in the booth. Patty is showing that it was only “one” mile to our destination. I’m showing it was “five”…
Patty & I in Harlingen
Then we had to go shopping…
Shampoo store
We finally found the store where I could buy more shampoo…

Go Up the Stairs!
I’m trying to convince Patty we should take the stairs…

No, Not the Elevator
NO. Not the elevator!!

Patty exiting elevator
Here the little stinker is… happily exiting the elevator after she won the battle.

Live Well
We found a sign that told us what to do.

Of course, here is where we are usually… on tilt.
No matter what happens or where we go it’s always fun to be with Patty.

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