Thursday, April 30, 2015

Shades Of Black

Using Procion dyes on silk makes it next to impossible to get black fabric.
When a friend said she DID get black I did an experiment with many silk fabric in my possession.
Since I was doing a big black bucket of cotton fabrics I put samples of each fabric, some bound, some loose in the bucket.
There are a few patches of solid black, but I got a lot of green colorations.
The Procion dye I used is one that is no longer available but I do have a fair amount of it left so it was worth a try.
I got some great black overdyes on previously dyed cottons. These are just two of the many. I’ll be sharing some of the others in the days to come.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ice Circles 1 Is Quilted


I really enjoyed machine quilting this quilt, the first of a set of 3.

It is made from two different pieces of fabric I ice dyed.


This is a close-up of the quilting. I LOVE machine quilting circles!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Backyard Beauties

The Garden Club in our community had a garden tour Saturday morning.

What amazing creativity in the back yards of 6 homes.

When driving down the streets these are things we could never imagine.


Lovely flower bed


Loved this screen and the flowers


Not only did I love this yard but the table and chairs each painted a different color were awesome.


Don’t miss the chandelier hanging in the tree…how clever!


Loved the glass totem on the pole made from a wine bottle and other pieces of glassware.


I took many more pictures and could have spent all day taking pictures.

Each yard was so different and I LOVED them all.

It was obvious that all these homeowners put many many hours into their yards.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Visit Today From Two Very Special People


Geri and Bob from Wisconsin were in Florida this week.

They came here for a visit today.

They are both as special as their smiles.

Since this was their first visit I gave them the “house tour”. We also spent some time on the lanai enjoying the weather and the breeze.

We visited, had lunch outside at the club house and took a short ride through a part of The Villages.

I will see Geri soon in Wisconsin.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dyeing Layers Again….Is It Done Yet…..First Change

Thanks to the 500 of you who viewed this and made many comments about it.
Yesterday I painted the entire piece with soda ash which toned it down a tiny bit. It also is slightly blurred. The original piece had some dyes that weren’t “fixed” with soda ash.
This is what it looked like the first time I posted it:
I am guessing you won’t see much of a difference although some of the colors aren’t quite as bright and the white is slightly toned down.
It is currently being soaked and rinsed to remove all the soda ash. Then it will be washed with my 205 degree water temperature and blue Dawn.
It will be interesting to see what happens when I do that.
Stay tuned to this channel!!!
In case you don’t know you can add your email address to the space for it on the right of this page and you will receive a notification each time I post something.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Simply Gorgeous - Rerun

This is my post from exactly one year ago today. I was doing ice dyeing then as I have been recently.


It’s always a surprise to see the results when I do ice dyeing. This was my “masterpiece” from today’s fabric finishes.

It is quite bright, and the pattern can be seen through all the layers. The basic fold creates 16 layers but secondary folds create many additional layers in places.

This one is about 44 inches square.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Plum Parfait


Yesterday I dyed 55 pieces of fabric. By the time I got done I was wiped out. Not only did I dye all of them, but did numerous cold water rinses to eliminate the soda ash, but also did the 205 degree water wash with blue Dawn to remove any loose dye. Then I did another wash with a Shout Color Catcher sheet to be sure there was no more loose dye.

After that I put them in the dryer for a very short time and ironed them all dry. If I leave them in the dryer for a longer time or until dry wrinkles can become set and next to impossible to remove.

The 5 pieces you see are the result of another parfait where I put 5 pieces of fabric in one container and add dye to each one before I put another white fabric on top of it.

With this method of dyeing I never know what I am going to get as some dyes separate and react differently with the previous or subsequent dye.

I really am pleased with this group of fabrics.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

More Layers Of Texture



I am continuing to add another layer of texture to pieces of fabrics that have been previously dyed.

This particular group has a lot of lighter fabrics. I prefer to use a lot of different values when I create something.


I may or may not use these all together.

These are less than half of the pieces I am adding texture to.

I enjoy seeing all the different textures that are happening. To me these read delicious!

Rome wasn’t built in a day …. and I can’t create all my fabrics in a day either. It takes time and it is worth it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blood Moons Finale

I have taken the last stitches on Blood Moons.
I am pleased with both the design, the quilting and the finishing of it.
Like so many of my pieces this was started a year or more ago. It’s a great feeling to finish another piece.
If you are wondering about the name, it is a reference to the total eclipse of the moon on April 4, 2015. This was called a blood moon.
For those of you who like to see the actual quilting I am including these two close ups of the corners.
Now that this is finished I am planning on finishing several more in the next month.
This was my 7th finish for 2015. How many can I finish? How many more will I start?
Your guess is probably as good as mine.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Four Color Parfait


I had some purple, blue, green and yellow dyes leftover from something I dyed so I thought they’d make a great parfait set of pieces.

Somehow the blue seems to have disappeared and I have no idea why.

I love the crystallized patterns you get when you parfait dye.

These fabrics would be great for appliqued flowers, but I don’t do flowers or applique!

Maybe some fused freeform flowers?

I’m sure I can come up with something  to use them for.

What would you use them for?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dyeing Layers Again–Is It Done?


I’ve done several layers on this piece. I can’t even remember exactly what I did and with what colors.

I was thinking it needed more. An artist friend who I respect said she felt it was done and she loved it.

What do YOU think?

Friday, April 17, 2015

I’ve Started Quilting This Circle Quilt

You may remember seeing this quilt when I was layering quilts recently.


I worked on the quilting of the circles and the red lines yesterday.

Today I was busy shopping, eating jelly beans and napping so I didn’t get any more quilting done.

All I have left to quilt are the black areas which I admit are the major part of the quilt.

It’s really straighter than it looks, but I don’t take the best photos!


In this picture you should be able to see the quilting lines.

You can also see the safety pins I pinned the layers together with. On a quilt this size I usually just use my flower pins to pin the layers. Since I layered so many quilts at once I ran out of flower pins.

I am looking forward to finishing the quilting on this and then the facings and casing.

I have several more to finish in the next few weeks and a few more fabrics I need to dye.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Company On Wednesday


Elizabeth Sweeney and her friend Jim came to visit me.

Elizabeth and I have “known” each other for two years but have never met in person.

We had so much to talk about concerning our fabric dyeing art.

We each approach it in different ways and enjoyed hearing what and how the other one creates our work.

She is a very creative vibrant artist.

She has a new website she created recently:

Jim is a talented stained glass artist and a really nice guy.

It was a fun visit.

And if you read this Elizabeth I forgot to let you and Jim chose amulets. Next time I’ll make up for it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Overcoming Sensory Overload

Yesterday I shared photos of my studio/great room on this blog.

I don’t need the experience of living with the fabrics too long to become one with them.

The scene in the great room is calmer now, if you can call my decorating style calm!


I’ve moved the fabrics you’ve seen and some you haven’t seen to the bed in the guest room.

My eyes need a rest occasionally so I can process what I have seen and decide where to go next.


I’ve put some of the recently dyed fabrics on the design wall for a possible composition.

I did this several days ago and I am growing to like it. Sometimes we need to walk away for a while to see things in a new artistic light.

I have a feeling I am going to be sewing these pieces together like this. I will have to do some trimming to make everything fit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Living In My Studio

The photos you will see have not been staged. They show how I live and work in what one would call my great room.
Ice  dyes in the distance on the wall, couch and love seat. It gives me a chance to look at and study them and possibly get an idea of how to use them. Of course it also allows me to enjoy them and drink in the colors.  I guess it is pretty obvious this wasn’t staged with the vacuum cleaner in the photo! (Or maybe it was to make you think I vacuum!)
A big pile of recently dyed fabrics piled on the folded up cutting table that I tuck under the extension on the kitchen island.
A multipurpose area….viewing recently dyed fabric, roll of fabric for new cushions for old lanai furniture and pole rolling and cutting area on kitchen peninsula.
Sewing machine, works in progress and supplies that I need at hand.
Go cutter, supplies and scrap fabric bin to cut pieces in my “spare time”!
My computer and my knitting.
When I am able to see and live with my art in progress if sparks my creative juices and allows my brain to work to come up with yet more ideas.
I occasionally neaten up the “studio part” when I am having guests that need a place to sit or eat!
I also have “family” guests who just find a spot that is not covered to sit or a convenient place to eat or have dessert…you know who you are!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Heat Wave With Scattered Thunderstorms

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave………..
with scattered thundershowers!
imageBIG splotches of rain!
And at the end of the day everything will be all right as the rain and the heat brought down from above will make everything clean, the grass and the flowers will grow and we’ll be grateful.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dyeing Some Sunshine For Sunday!


Just about all the pieces I have dyed recently have been dyed at least once before. I think this one was dyed/and or painted at least 3 times.


Layers again, sun and fauna.


Sun streaming through the trees.


Sun creating a grid of shadows.

Each one of these is finally done after adding as many layers as necessary. This one has more layers than the eye can see.

It’s apparent to me when a piece needs more layers and it’s also apparent when it is done. It tells me to stop.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beautiful Dye Rag


I use almost NO paper towels to clean up when I dye fabric. I always have several dye rags in the works to wipe up spills and clean up my tools.

I think this one is ready to be retired. I will use it as a whole cloth piece or maybe cut parts of it I am particularly fond of.

This one has been used at LEAST 40 times, maybe twice as many times as that.

It started as a piece of lovely pima cotton that must have had a perma-press finish. It did not take the dye well.

I washed it many times as I used it to clean up and I think I’ve washed off the perma-press finish.

It is a large piece, somewhere between 3/4 of a yard and a yard of 45 inch fabric.

These dye rags are a bonus fabric.

I’ve used this one so much I’ve probably saved a tree!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dyeing Layers


Each of these small pieces had been previously dyed a solid color. I added a second color to each of them to create texture.


This previously dyed solid color has also had texture applied to it.


I added red shibori texture to this previously gray silk scarf.

The results I get just keep me coming back for more when I dye fabric.

Stay tuned as I’ve got a lot more to show you in the upcoming days.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Our Family Will Be Growing Again

My granddaughter Heidi is engaged to Nate.

They are planning an early fall wedding.

I’m looking forward to getting to know him better.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Still Looking, Maybe I’ll Find the CC Today!

Did the Easter bunnies hide it with the eggs?
This Easter bunny is looking mighty smug. Maybe he is the bunny who hid it?
Maybe I put it in the hat box when I put away my Easter bonnet?
Sure look like it might have been a spring thing when I lost track of it???
Who needs CC with hot homemade bread when there is butter? Bread is still there but the CC has disappeared.
Guess I’ll have some homemade bread and butter and maybe the CC will turn up eventually!