New AK Pattern

is almost ready. I sent it off to be quilted. Actually there are two… one is the whimsical bears and can you believe it? I forgot to take a photo of it before I sent it off to be quilted! when it comes back and I bind it I’ll post one.

The other is a smaller wall hanging that features Cook Inlet (right outside of Anchorage… I used to look at it almost every day!), and Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Of course I threw in a fireweed as well. When I get it back from the quilter I will add some applique vines and leaves, maybe some forget me not flowers.

Quilting on the Kenai

ALSO I got pictures of the quilt I taught in a workshop at Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild. Here are the photos Gail sent me… her quilt came out stunning!

Gails Blue Jamaica quilt

and here are some close ups of her work:

Also, for those of you that have been asking: we have decided that we will print the Vanilla Jamaica pattern again and offer it on the website. I just got back quotes from the printer for the oversize pages that contain the large applique images and rewrote the instructions to make sure they are clear with no errors. As soon as I can I will send this on to the printer’s, then start the folding and stuffing process and get them on the website and out to my distributors so they will go into the stores. Whew.

AND good news: I have been designing some new quilts. they are Easy Peasy quilts that will use strips and fat quarters. I’ll let you know when they are out, too. I am still working on learning all I need to know to offer patterns on the website as e-patterns. The hats on my head are getting higher!


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.

It’s snowing again!

Hard to believe… I thought spring was here after our last snowfall. Today we got 3 more inches! When I went for a walk I saw these trees and they looked so surprised! Like their arms are up in the air and their faces got rubbed in the snow. I surrender!

Here’s the driveway leading up to our house.

It’s our 27th anniversary today!

Today is my 27th wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe my husband has stuck around for that long, even through the hot flashes. Wow. No wonder we got married right before Thanksgiving… we have so much to be thankful for.

My son, Matt, just got into a lease/purchase program for his own truck!
On his way through he stopped and spent the night… here’s a picture of him with his new ride.
While he was here, Brandy decided to crawl up in his lap and pretend she was still a baby and could be a lap dog. It’s a good thing my son is 6’4″. Otherwise he would have been crushed.

I’ve been sewing together a new quilt, the Blue Jam that I will be teaching in Austin at the Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild January 5 & 6. I can hardly wait to get there and meet everyone. Here are a few shots of the quilt.

I’ve also been working on a new pattern that I plan to have ready to go… think you can guess what it is?

Talk to you soon. I had a question recently about fusible applique and am planning on showing some options and results soon so check back.
Have a great Thanksgiving if I don’t see you before then! Ta.

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!

My two guys

My son dropped down for a brief visit…he lives in Illinois. We live in Texas. I cherish every time I get to see him. So my husband, Tom, and my son, Matt were out on our back porch absolutely torturing me. They like to tease… just thought you would like to see how HOT they both are.


Here’s another one of my two guys.

And Brandy, right in front. She’s our baby Rott. Rotten, that is. She goes with me every morning when I go to work out. She stays in the truck bed watching the traffic go by and you would think it would bore her to tears. But, just try to leave home without her.
Well, that’s my family. I’ll add a picture soon of Matt’s girlfriend Emi (pronounced Amy). She is a little doll, we all love her to pieces!

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.

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