Wednesday, August 30, 2006


When I first pulled this one out of the washer I thought "screwed this one up good" and I flung it in the dryer with the rest of the laundry. I have a unique laundry system here. I'll run it through the washer and the dryer but that's were my involvement usually ends, so we have baskets and baskets of laundry all over the upstairs (at least). It's a good day when 5 out of 6 of those baskets are full of Clean things and a cat. This was in one of them and now it's up on the design wall making demands. It's going to need something special, something cohesive and for now I'm just pondering it.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

More results

Jan Thompson, my dye partner, came up with some equally exciting results. These pieces are about 42 inches square.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Hand Dyes

A great dye in the dye-patch. We mixed up a batch of alginate to carry the dye this time and did a bunch of experiments - painting directly onto the fabric and then laying the dye glop down on the vinyl table cover and dropping the fabric down on the paint. Some very strange stuff that will be nagging me from the stash shortly. "Use me, use me". I need to finish a few things before I start anything new.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Entering shows feels like timed trials with hurdles. Hoops of fire sometimes. If it weren't for digital cameras and electronic entries my work might never be seen anywhere. Last night I finally completed all the necessaries around entering three recent pieces in Art Quilts XI: Stages, Cycles & Fits. It's interesting that this show called for "Works that illustrate arrival at a new point in life, whether for better or worse. Pieces that fall together from a fit of passion and evolution." Evolution being inevitable, these new things represent three distinct directions for me. Sunny Jim is a nod to my quilters roots - making blankets out of whatever is a hand, most often stuff that other quilters would turn their noses up at all the while keeping my own storytelling style. Although these quilts are intended to be used, abused, washed and whatever, I got carried away with this one and put in a lot of hours hand quilting it. THAT won't happen again anytime soon. Just the thought of handquilting the other tops in this series feels like a sentence. They will go under big J's needle soon. Passing Through and Atavistic Inclinations both illustrate my delight and interest in finding out what comes of discharging my hand dyes. Deconstructing the color. That circular, cellular design element throws back to something deep and elemental because when I doodle, it's very often "cells". I'm keeping the sly cartoon thing going too - I like a good grin and shudder with my art from time to time. Swooning over beautiful color and design over and over is boring. We'll see what the jury thinks.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Foot Trouble

Thanks to everyone from around the world who responded to my hissy fit - I have a whole slew of fallback options now including a Viking darning foot and the new one from the Janome 6600. In the meantime, I remembered that just before I retired my 30 year old Kenmore, I bought it a gadget. It took a bit of rooting around in the studio but I found it and it turns out that the high shank BigFoot fits the Janome 6500 perfectly. They are even color co-ordinated. Huzzah, the weekend is saved. My Goodman is eternally grateful that I am so easily amused. I miss you darlin'.

ARRRRRGH!!! &*&#$!$)@*

That's "Pirate" for what you say when you are steaming along at a good clip quilting a piece that's turning out nicely and the darned FM foot breaks in half!! I KNEW that effing thing wasn't long for this world! It's had a funny (bad funny) looking crack in it from day one. Here it is day 600 and something and it implodes on me. ARRRRGHRGHRH!! I repeat. Sent an urgent email to a local shop reported to be a Janome dealer with fingers crossed that they have a spare hanging around just waiting to be sold at a scalpers price to a desperado like me. This has to be the Karmic payoff for keeping a second presser foot (that probably belonged to the dealer ) that was in the box when I opened it. Does anyone know of a different free motion foot - preferably with a closed ring and METAL - that works on the Janome 6500?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Candy Bowl Panic

Thanks to DebR for a clue. Debra said... Ya know I really love this one, and I thought fingers instead of dildos till you wrote that. So maybe this "could" be Candy Bowl.. as it sure looks like people trying to get those last few M&Ms... 10:39 AM "Candy Bowl Panic" is under the needle right now.

Another New Bad Habit

Someone (reveal yourself here) recently talked about expanding their blog reading away from strictly artquilt blogs. That set me on a quest. Clicking on the little "Next Blog" button can be akin to suffering a black-out drunk. You sit a the computer, start clicking and the next thing you know, six hours have gone by, there's drool on your chin and you've the beginnings of a nasty bladder infection. Well, OK, it hasn't gotten that bad - I do have a life even thought the ants in my kitchen don't think I have anything else to do all day but kill them one by one. Will someone please pass the word that I did all the dishes and wiped all the countertops and locked all available food up in plastic tombs!! Back to blog surfing. There is an incredible amount of wretched drek out there but, without benefit of search results I stumbles across this hilarity. I have to write and see if they'll let me play even though I am a complete knitting failure. I can crochet like crazy. Very crazy.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Searching for a title

Still wondering about a good name for this one. Every time I dwell on it I start to get the grins. It looks like a party to me.
The YLI variegated cotton machine quilting thread I ordered from Red Rock Threads came yesterday and I am loving stitching this one. Big J is co-operating nicely even when I switch to metallic threads.

New fabric, New Technique

Nothing else gets me out of bed faster on a Saturday morning than hand dyed fabric waiting to be washed out! This is a piece of the 400M pfd I just got from Testfabric and I loved it before I even put the dye on it. Delicate yet strong. We had some dye leftover from over three weeks ago that I stashed in the little beer fridge out on my deck. (It is SO NASTY in there - I put a root beer in the freeze compartment by mistake and it exploded). I wanted to paint directly on the fabric with the dye so I gave it a quick dip in soda ash solution and spread it out on plastic covered picnic table. I read the directions on the alginate thickener but of course, I didn't believe them when they said "a little goes a long way". Instantly I had two pots of clumpy cream of wheat. Dumped the now room temperature dyes in and blended them in as best I could with a whisk which I bent. Gave up on getting smooth thickened dyes to use brushes with and dived right in to grab up handfuls of dye glop and finger/hand paint. It looked like a violent crime scene when I was finished. Covered it over with a sheet of light plastic that barely touched it just to keep the cats off it. It was tough to hand wash the clumps of dye/alginate out but I didn't want to put that stuff through my aging washing machine. Cool results I'm thinking.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Day Off

Laundy? Cleaning? Cooking? You must be joking! I spent the morning taking new pictures of my Ornamental Innards series so I could get them posted up on my Etsy store and see if the buying public is ready to do a brisk business in faux guts. And now that I have finally gotten the pool pump working properly and the chemistry straightened out in My Blue Heaven, Aliens have come to roost here. I held extensive interviews with them throughout the morning and have determined that they are here on vacation with benign intentions and have welcomed them on behalf of the Earth. Somebody has to be nice. I wonder if they like chili?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

New on the design wall

I've been doodling and dreaming with this group of fabrics since I got back from NY. So much so that they talked me into re-washing, drying and ironing them today as a group. What's up with that? So far they are hanging quiet on the design wall (the pale blue of which is really starting to aggravate me) but it's not quite stone quiet. There's a low hum happening. Yes, Debra, that is my voice muttering about keeping the skull blinking and camera rolling all at the same time. I sound like a bratty kid. The moment I clicked on Publish Post, this cold bugger leaped under the desk onto my foot and then up into the bookcase with Voodoo in hot pursuit. Note the dust bunnys stuck to his chin. He was released unharmed, but I suspect he has a deal with the catz that they bring him in over and over again without any wear and tear.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

fun stuff

Look what came in my favorite cereal! When was the last time you got anything really cool out of a box of cereal?? CHECK THIS OUT.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


As you may have guessed, I'm away. How brilliant of me to be following this heat wave up the Eastern seaboard. Time and circumstance. Spent a lovely weekend visiting Jimmy in Bel Air, MD where he is working. We went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" which has made me think seriously about getting a tattoo. Then we went to a fish joint where they served large platters of crabs that you had to eat with a wooden mallet. I watched and had a nice civilized crab cake. and shrimp. and oysters. and ....there were still lots of leftovers for a kitty bag. Next a quick rail trip into the heart of the Baked Apple to have breakfast with one of my oldest friends, Borin.We roosted over breakfast at the Stage Door Deli until the lunch crowd shooed us out. Finally, a short week with my family. That's Patty, Robb and Kitty at the restaurant where Patty is hostess part time. Mom & Dad are as ever.