I love to dye fabric, make thread pictures and quilt. I live in the Yukon on an acreage with my husband, 2 dogs and 34 fish. It's the 'good' life.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer is here!

Well it has been awhile and in order to play catch up, I am going to post some of the fun things I did in July. I am STILL on holidays for another week and am taking advantage of every minute to get quilts done, fabric dyed and yards and yards of fabric painted. Winter comes quickly here.

Today I dyed about 30 yards of fabric that will be fill ins for fabric that is gone from my stash.


I load this cooler with the fabric.


I nestle them in an Ikea bag so they don’t leak all over, then put a heating blanket on and close the lid.



Look how messy my steps got!!

And here is the fabric before ironing.



It always looks so overwhelming, but becomes neat little bundles. I always seem to use yellow and blues, but when I look at my work, I don’t see how that can be..


And here are some of the soy wax pieces. Love doing this!


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Friday, August 6, 2010

Flowers in the Yard (and This and That)

I had some really nice flowers come up this year.  Since I don’t know much about flowers, I am just going to post some nice shots..

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My garden is doing terrific this year. We have been eating lettuce, radishes, carrots, broccolli, cherry tomatoes and cauliflower—so everything I planted is coming up. Yah!

Me for Facebook

And I was getting my Nova Scotia trip pictures together and so am sharing a picture of me! Hi!!  This was at Peggy’s Cove. Hubby and I said we could easily live in NS and will go back again..

I am a messy painter, so I decided to make myself a Bog Jacket. The link provided has a nice picture, so if you can sew, you will get it from this:


So here is mine.


It is still wet, but you can sort of see the trees that I started.


Here it is dry. Now I have to hem it and fix the collar. I admit I have never made anything to wear and it fits funny, but its for dyeing. No-one else will ever see it. (Now watch me forget and wear it out grocery shopping or something).


bog jacket

It WAS hot.


We have had an incredibly warm summer here in the Yukon and for much of it I was on holidays. Lucky, lucky me…

It is finally warm enough to swim in the river. Hubby and I take the ATV along  a trial about 15 minutes from our house to get there. It is fun to get all 3 of us on the ATV (I carry the dog) and whip along the trails. My hat usually falls off and hubby has to turn around and get it. Every time he says the same thing “If it falls off again, you’ll have to lump it”, but then he always stops. :-)


Here is the Yukon River near my place. Yah OK, this is not my picture, but I swear it looks a lot like this. Even though I took my camera yesterday and got some GREAT pictures of swimming and my dog in her life preserver, somehow my memory stick didn't work and I had to reform it. Luckily I only had a few pictures on it, so I only lost my swim pictures.

As to crafting, last week I also did some Sox Wax batiks.  When the pieces dry, I leave them to settle for a week, then I iron out the wax with lots of newspapers. .


It was actually too hot and the wax didn't melt very well, so I had to take the pieces in and put them in the basement to ‘cool’.

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Then I painted on some Setapaints.

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The last step is to hit the Laundromat for a final set and to get the rest of the wax off. Very easy and I love doing this! I’m going this evening, so will post the fabric when its done.

My Favourite Pattern- The Table Topper!

I meant to post the link for the table topper, so here it is.




It is a little hard to find just by looking up table runners, so here’s the  link..


My only difference is that I chopped the corners to make it a hexagon.

Did I mention I have made FOUR toppers—I love this pattern.  :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Its Been A Long Time

I’m not even going to look on this blog and see how long it has been since my last post. My only excuse is that when spring comes to the Yukon, I tend to tuck away my quilting and spend time outside getting the garden going, planting my flowers and getting my 3000 ft lawn in summer shape. Mike and I have also continued clearing the brush in the forest, taking care of dead trees and just basically puttering. Snow is only gone for about 4-5 months here, so we all tend to enjoy the outdoors when we can.

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But I admit I ‘have’ been doing some quilting. A co-worker was diagnosed with lung cancer so I made her this lap quilt to take with her:



I also got all of my co-workers to sign it with good wishes and gave it to her before she went away for treatment. I know she was overwhelmed—I know I would cherish something like this if I were in the same situation.

I’ve also made this very nerdy wall  hanging for my office ‘wall’ (a divider):

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What I think is funny is that ‘Bones’ looks like a vampire. I think its the peaks in his hair. And Scotty looks pissed about something—probably that Shatner stole his lines—again.

And finally, I am pressing Lupin to use later this summer. Here Lupin doesn’t last very long and last year I kicked myself that I didn’t work fast enough and get a few flowering parts. So this year, I’m starting early and harvesting a bunch.


I’m also going to do something with these pics of immature fireweed I took yesterday. I really like the look of these. Maybe I will do a weekly photo of the fireweed and do a compilation at the end of the summer? Hmm….

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hand Embroider Landscape

Another artist, whose work I admire, is Gilda Baron. I have one of her books and have made some little scenes using french knots which is a component of her technique.

Tonight I was not feeling well and decided this was a good time to do some ‘hand’ work, while just sitting around.  I pulled out a piece of hand-dyed fabric that I had made at some point in bright pinks and muddy browns. I then added a few strokes of colour to simulate mountains. This piece is about 5”x7”.


I added a few strokes with a brown marker to give me guide lines for my stitching. Then I quickly (like in 2 minutes), sewed a few lines as background stocks and tall grass. DSC00885


Another 2 minutes and I added some outlines of mountains. I should have done this before I did the grass, but whatever.


All this took about 7 minutes. The next few hours I spent quietly adding french knots to the piece. I was going to leave the piece and crawl into a nice warm bed, but in in a burst of energy, a few minutes ago I stitched on the round leaves with a small zig-zag stitch. This took under 4 minutes.



I’m glad I finished it tonight. This is a great project when you’re not feeling well and just want to curl up on the couch and watch mindless TV. 

Tomorrow I’ll look this over and see if this needs any more french knots or other adjustments. I see some stalks that look pretty bare, so I’m sure I’ll need to tweak it a bit..

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plum Embroidery Art

Here is the latest  embroidery piece that I made last week.

And here is the picture I used as a reference.I like the grey/purple dust on them And they look so delicious.




My embroidery is done mostly in this hoop as it is easy to position, but it takes some getting used to because the tension is not equal on all sides. Notice that I usually print out the picture on the fabric and use that as a reference to my work. I often move away from it as I work, but it gives me a great starting off point.




This is how I set up my work station. Thread in the nice holder, reference picture set up where I can see it, lots of needles under the table. Sometimes I want  to use a 90 needle and some threads even need a 100!



Here is the completed piece. I am still not sure WHY that bit of light brown absolutely wanted to be in the picture, but it screamed until I used it. Diva!






And here it is cropped. I like it as I learned some things about curving thread for realism. And I’ve practiced some shading as well. I need to do more curved images as it is so interesting to see how this works…


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mixed Media 3

Dessert Pincushions

I love this Japanese book that shows gorgeous desserts made from felt roving. I don’t have the book here and I don’t recall the name offhand. But I attempted this for a class and we made much better pincushions in class.



Contemporary Bag


I love Ton Schulten’s  work A LOT. And I love Ineke Berlyn’s work so much that I was ecstatic to receive her book Landscapes in Contemporary Quilts. I have made a few pieces from her book and used her pattern to make a gigantic handbag that I use to carry all my big rulers and stuff to classes. I love it a lot…



Texture Class

I took a class early last year from Fibre and Stitch and it blew me away. Here is my beginning piece:



And here is how looks to date. I don’t know if I am done or not:


No, I won’t tell how to do this. You need to take the class and support your online artists. J


That's IT for now.  Hope you enjoyed these last few posts..

Mixed Media 2

More fun techniques!


Wrapping Paper Landscapes

Just cause I could. This is from Stitches Mag (my favoritie British mag). I believe it is an online lesson if anyone wants to try it. Cut up metallic (sp?) wrapping paper, then add the grasses and delphiniums. My class loved this technique the best. And they got to use Blow Pens! I had to order these babies from Australia, but the were a big hit...


Another Wrapping Paper Landscape

Just cause I liked the dark one so much, I did another.


Circles Inside Circles

A technique online for making circles is at the FibreAndStitch website. I made a journal cover and a 'coffee cuff' with this technique. Its just way too much fun.



Circle Journal

OK-- I made about 10 of these journal covers cause I liked making circles. Her is another one. I used a 'feral bead' for a page marker.





I wanted to show how I remember which stitch looks good as a circle. Next couple of pics show how I label the stitch. I have a Bernina and used the number of the stitch here.



I just couldn't use a white (gasp!) piece of fabric to do my sampler.



Paper Journal

I took an online class with Sue Bleiweiss and we did a paper/leather look journal. I loved this technique and experimented with using fabric. See the crinkled fabric tree trunk for how I successfully did it in fabric. I fused the fabric to a piece of wool with the embossing tool.



Painted Tyvek

Again, I like to use SetaPaints.




Painted Tyvek Example

Here, and next 2 pics are how I used tyvek in a small piece. Painted tyvek, burned felt, chiffon, cocoon fibes and burned cellophane.


Close up-

You can see the cocoon stuff and burned felt here.


Mixed Media--Soldered Felt and Chiffon

From a technique in Quilting Arts Mag. This was a fun class and really got the students to play and have fun. It is good to teach some freehand quilting, how to use a soldering iron (or wood burning tool), how to make an interesting background with cheesecloth, tissue paper and paints, and how to pick a good composition. Inevidably I am asked, what do I DO with this piece. I always say; "Beats me. What do you think?" Anyone else have a better way to respond to this question?





Embroidered Flowers

I have been digging British fussy stuff lately and this field of french knot flowers makes me happy. This was based on one of the techniques from Gilda Baron's book--The Art Of Embroidered Flowers. Love this book and Gilda's techniques



One of my favorite classes, but I don’t think the students liked it as much. They were all polite as I was jumping up and down and practically screaming at their work, but that’s it. Once again, I think students really like to see a finished piece as sometimes it is too hard to think of what to do with these pieces. Leaves are from my front yard.



Shrinking Thread

I sooooo wanted to try this thread out and made a class out of it. It was fun, but again I think I got more enjoyment out of it than the class did. J


I made a square hoop like thing out of a round metal macramé hoop. I wrapped the shrinking thread vertically in rows and then horizontally to make a kind of loom/weaving look.

Then I added layers and layers and layers (about 3” thick) of chiffons and other burnable, shiny fabric with a layer of Angelina on the top. This was covered with solvy on both sides and then making small circles I quilted this with shiny variegated rayon and silk threads. When done, lay in hot (almost boiling) water for 5 minutes or so and watch the puffy thread