Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Once upon a time. . .

Once upon a time Kasha, a very beautiful fairy princess, was flying through the forest when she saw a very small little creature inching it's way along the forest floor.  She sat on a tree branch and watched the chubby little creature crawl a very short distance.  "Why don't you open your wings and fly little one?"  The little creature didn't seem to hear her and continued to crawl.  Kasha flew down to the forest floor and knelt down.  She gently raised the little creature up to her face.  "Why don't you open your wings and fly?"  

"I can't fly your highness, I don't have wings.  I must crawl and spend all the days of my life under this tree."

Princess Kasha smiled and her eyes twinkled as she giggled, "Of course you have wings.  Don't you know that all the King's creatures can fly?  Open your wings and fly!"  

"I . . . I . . . have wings?  I can fly?"

"Yes you can!  Just open your wings!"

The little creature looked around at his tiny little body looking for his wings.  If the Fairy King's daughter  said he had wings then certainly they must be here somewhere, he reasoned.  He began to feel tingly all over and a bit itchy on his back.  Before he knew what happened his little body morphed into a glorious creature with wings.  He stretched and waved his wings at the Fairy Princess while doing a little dance on her fingers.  He could barely believe it was possible that he might be able to fly across the forest and see his King.  Princess Kasha raised her arm and exclaimed, "Fly!"  And he flew!
Fairy Princess Kasha the butterfly morphing fairy (or would it be caterpillar morphing fairy?) created in photoshop and printed onto fabric using TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) and then embellished with acrylic inks and organza.  See my blog for the before photo.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Future is Inside You

"You are the only one who can change your future"
Dr. Seuss

The young lady is filled with drawings and words of her dreams and hopes for the future.  She is stepping forward into the cold world of her future but is prepared and willing to bring about her future. 

The background was a batik to which I lightly added some quotes about the future using Citrasolv.  I also transferred the word "Future" with Citrasolv and then painted over it with black Setacolor to enhance it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Road to a New Home

My home for the first 21 years of life revolved around the city of Chicago and all that entailed:  family, friends, the Chicago Cubs, Chicagofest, Hot dogs wrapped up with fries, Italian Beef Sandwiches, Lake Perch, heat & humidity.
After becoming engaged the road was leading to California.
We had plans of stopping in Salt Lake City to marry in the temple and continue on to Southern California, however the world had other plans for us when the car broke down in Iowa. 
We spent 5 days in a hotel waiting for the car to be repaired.  We pondered how we were like the pioneers of old breaking down and having troubles across the plains.  Once the car was repaired we continued on our journey, slipping and sliding across I-80 in the biggest storm of the decade.  When we finally arrived in Salt Lake we had $5 in our pockets and were thankful for friends who took us in and helped us find work and eventually our own apartment.  We have tried to find work and move to California many times but things have never worked out for us.  It seems the road home will always lead to Salt Lake City.

Be the Change

I'm starting to catch up!
Trying to change my procrastination. ;)
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world"
Tsukineko inks on cotton printed fabric.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hey Hey Cubbies!

One of my favorite memories of growing up in Chicago is going to see Cub's games with my mom and sister so I naturally had to make a quilt about the Cub's when Baseball was chosen as our word.
I chose to find baseball cards of players I fondly remember from my youth such as Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, and Ryne Sandberg.  I then printed the cards onto muslin treated with BubbleJet 2000 and laid them out as if they were on my desk being admired.  And the fabric on the back is yet another beautiful Cubs fabric.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I heard this quote from Glenn Beck and thought it was very appropriate for today's youth. It is true that those we associate with determines what our future will be and who we will become.

It is pieced, rubber stamped and embellished. I used a magazine picture of high school graduates to convey my message.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Change Occurs


We often find change occurs in our lives.
This was a piece of muslin that sat in my compost pile last summer for about 6 weeks. It was smelly and gooey, (and so was I), but had a lot of potential. When this word was chosen I pulled out my now dried fabric, pressed it, used black misty fuse, rubber stamped the words on it, added feathers, bark, and big stitches. The holes that were in the fabric, caused by critters in the compost pile, were accentuated with the misty fuse, and stitched around with those big stitches. There is depth in the piece, and residual compost tag "alongs".

Isn't it great?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

HMQS 2011

As usual, we start with the sorting of quilts on a clean surface.
And then the mounting of the 12 x 12's begins. . . 
 and continues. . .
 and continues.
A rear view of the 12 x 12's.
 And a front view of the completed display.
 Here are the individual groups (in no particular order):

We also decided to hang the quilts 
from the last 2 Telephone Challenges.
2009 Challenge
 2010 Challenge

I hope you are able to go see the quilts in person because these photos do them no justice whatsoever!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Green With Envy

For the word green I wanted to do a felting project. I like to use words in my quilts when I can and Envy just came to my mind.
I machine felting the background with felt, silk, yarns, organza, cotton, dyed batting, and dyed cheese cloth. I then took Lutradur and painted it and cut the letters out. They are tacked on so they are not completely flush with the background. I took another piece of Lutratur also painted and cut out a square, burned the edges and put it behind the E. I then quilted it along the lines of yarns and fabrics. I added sparkly beads and stones. I think it turned out nice. I like the touch the burned square adds.

One Tenacious Kitty

When the word tenacious was picked I immediately thought of my Kitty Love. She is my constant companion and cannot ever really be deterred from getting into everything. She especially loves to accompany me in my sewing room. She is a very sly thief!

I wanted to try thread painting after seeing it done in a Quilting Arts video. I printed a picture of Kitty on cotton poplin and cut it out applique style. I decided a "paint by number" type situation would be the way to go my first time. I then began to paint over the picture with tons of thread. The picture when it printed on the fabric didnt show all of the shadowing etc very well, so I still had to refer to the original photo constantly to get the shading and everything just right. I painted her eyes with acrylic paint, I added a collar made from a ribbon scrap an a free hanging name tag, and quilted the background simply by following the patten on the fabric. Even though I double stabilized it with iron on tear away, it still buckled a small bit. I think it turned out super good, I was really quite proud of my first thread painting. Next time Iwill do it exactly as the Quilting Arts video shows without a print underneath.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Prairie Fire

One unofficial nickname for Illinois is the Prairie State. My older daughter Colleen attended Knox College in Galesburg, and the school’s team is called the Prairie Fire. Collen’s comeback would always be "how cool is that?". Cool indeed. One of the Knox professors, Penny Gold is a quilter, and she has organized the making of a couple fundraising quilt projects, and I have contributed. The last one was this design that uses the Knox Prairie Fire logo as inspiration. My daughter loved the prescribed prairie burns she participated in during her environmental studies; my husband designed the van Gogh-esq swirl. I made 3 blocks in this design in three different color ways for the Knox quilt. And Penny kept all 3 … so I had to make a 4th for this project. Decided to add prairie points because I’ve always wanted to try that out and thought they might complement the fire. It works for me.


I had too many ideas about what to create for this one.
Wanted to keep it simple because I’d been in a bit of a funk and not sewing at all.
Was really just going to do a weed growing out of the driveway.
Maybe just use duct tape for the driveway?
A tenacious cockroach, maybe?
A cockroach surviving a nuclear blast?
Or my daughter surviving – hanging on with life support in intensive care.
Or not hanging on when she fell 100 feet in the first place.
Enough already.
Then we saw the NOVA program where David Pogue at The NY Times says spider silk is the strongest substance around.
There we go.
Spider silk; not rope.
Spider; not cockroach.
I pieced a quasi-spider web from scraps.
Attached a Halloween spider ring on with tenacious old Velcro. Made a duct-tape rock for a tenacious weed to grow out of.
Backed it all with everyone’s favorite tenacious fabric: denim.
Attached sticks so I could attach that fun Halloween spider-webby stuff to. Voila!

Road to Monument Valley

I took this picture of my husband last summer when we were driving into Monument Valley in the early morning. For as many times as we’ve been to canyon country in Utah, I’ve never been to Monument Valley. Of course, I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, either. No matter. I loved Monument Valley more than I imagined. We took 4,000 pictures on that trip. But this is a favorite of mine. When "Road" because our next word, I had no problem deciding what to create. But I’m not big on interpreting photographs with fabric. Especially people. That’s new for me. A real experiment. And the result is just as flat as I expected. I really did a terrible, sloppy job making this quilt. No matter; I’m glad I did it. I did that snippet–net overlay technique for the sage brush, then realized I also needed the netting over the actual road so the morning shadow fabric would be visible. Marsh likes the fact that I used old pumpkin fabric to make the red rock formations. A quilter has to do what she has to do.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catching Up.....?

I've been trying to play "catch up" after being so far behind in making these little quilts!  Still only halfway there, but here are two that are finished and one almost finished.  First is "green", titled Simply Green, because of the words on one of the fabrics is Simplify.  The back is a fabric with the recycle symbols and a green world.

Next is Tenacity.  This was a difficult word for me because there were just too many ideas and interpretations.  So, I chose that "tenacious leaf" just won't let go, no matter what Mother Nature dishes out.  The background is one of my hand dyes, the branches are twisted fabric strips, and the leaf was free motion stitched with thread.....lots of thread.  What you can't see is what I used as a base to stitch on (besides several layers of Solvy stabilizers).  Kaye had some dried corn silk from last summer that retained its color.  So, I stitched all over the corn silk because I wanted a bit of yellow as well as a more opaque leaf.  I left the strips from the tree branches hanging to represent the roots of the tree.

The next one is my interpretation of the word "road".  After several months of looking at pictures of roads, I saw a photo of a "road runner".  For this one I used water color pencils to blend the sky and add detail to the bird.  I'm still adding stitches to the background, so it is not quite finished, but the end is in sight!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Batter Up!

BASEBALL has been the toughest of all the words that I have had to so so far in this 12 x 12 challenge.  When I heard the word, nothing came to mind, so I searched the internet.  Thank goodness for Google, saved yet again.  I  copied the picture, enlarged it, and then picked fabrics for the circles, which are sheer, and the background, which is my hand painted.  I enlarged each of the baseball players, making them appear as shadows of the first player.  Quilting and zig zaging the edges finished this little quilt.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


What a GREAT word tenacity is. When I was still in high school my father used the word tenacity all the time when he was talking to me. He told me to persevere and to stick to my commitments, get the job done, and stop procrastinating all the time. Complete the task you start, and follow through because the job won't get any easier if you wait. I have generally followed this advice throughout my adult life. I decided to take the word and break it apart and illustrate each part of the word. Therefore, you have the number 10, in a cart, being pulled by a donkey, or ass, standing in front of the city. I cut the pieces out of wool and used my needle felting machine to adhere each piece to the background. I then machine, as well as hand quilting to complete the piece. Tenacity, "stick-to'a-ness" is what I did.

Slick Rock Thunderstorm

The word ROAD is represented in this little quilt that makes me think of heavy rains over the red rocks of Southern Utah. The lighting flashes and the thunder rolls and the clouds part letting the rain spill across the landscape of slick rock country, leaving a glistening glow on everything the rain touches. Last summer when it was warm and dry, I dyed multiple colors of fusible web. If you have never tried it, do so; it's a blast. I then decided to build a picture out of the painted fusible. It comes off the paper backing easily, and you can tear it into any shape that you desire. I placed it on my hand dyed background and started building layer upon layer until the picture emerged. The more I layered the more fun it was. The only thing you need to remember is to use a teflon pressing sheet to protect your ironing surfaces. When the word ROAD was chosen for November, I decided to make the road going into the desert landscape in my picture. Again, I used fusible and added organza for the road. Machine quilting completes the Slickrock Thunder Storm vista.