Monday, August 20, 2018

It All Started on eBay

14 years ago I found a beautiful bedroom set on eBay.
I fell in love with the lines of that particular style and brand of furniture.
I never have set out to search for it, but it seems I just happen to find pieces when I am surfing eBay that are affordable.
This buffet with hutch was close to home so I didn’t have to be concerned with having it shipped and the price was right.
It took me longer to figure out where I could use it than it did to figure out what to put in it. I had recently acquired several pieces of cranberry hobnail glass. Of course that was not enough to fill the hutch display so I did what I always do…..I went scavenging through cabinets to find other things that would work with it. I had these white depression glass plates and the aqua sherbets which completed the display. The lower section is perfect for storage.
I love these new to me pieces of Scandinavian furniture with a history. This one is from about 1980. It is in almost perfect condition.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

To Me Creating Is As Necessary As Breathing

You may or may not know that I have been very busy purging and reorganizing my studio.
I am not done.
It is at a point where I was able to clear space and work with some of the fabrics that I hung on my design wall a few weeks ago.
I need to do some creating before I can get back to the purging/organizing.
I am sharing some teasers with you of the inspiration fabrics I am using.
I think the one that uses this fabric only needs two final seams.
I thought I was happy with the composition of the one that uses these fabrics, but as I see a photo of what I am considering I think it needs more thought.
This one just needs to be sewn together.
And one more that may just become a Chasing Rainbows quilt.
The fabrics I am featuring are either ice dyes or shibori hand dyes I have created.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Today Is My Kind Of Day

Something that speaks to me happens twice today and am posting it the first time it happens.
The date today is 8/18/18
And I am posting this at 8:18 a.m.

8/18/18 8:18
This ice tapestry could also be considered a palindrome as it reads the same left to right or right to left!

Friday, August 17, 2018


This is one of my most recent finishes. It is a tall skinny work.
There are often so many spaces that work for a piece
like this.
They also are perfect for a wall arrangement with other items.
Yes, it is ice dyed.
it is 10 1/2 inches by 42 inches and has a slat for hanging.
My work is designed to hang anywhere as ART and not to match the sofa. 
It is OK if it does match the sofa!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I LOVE Art….

Today I am featuring the work of Jeanelle McCall.
The title is  “Little Flowers for the Table”.
She said there are so many personal meanings in it for her. 
Jeanelle is doing a unique style of painting as she uses her fingers. It is nothing like the finger paining we did as children.
I fell in love with this when she posted it online and was able to acquire it. I love it.  It has such a feeling of place, people and peace.
This photo includes the work of 5 different artists. They all work so well together, yet they have such different styles.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Real Deal

You may have seen photos here of my studio that makes you wonder how any one can keep their space so neat and organized.
I have a few new ones to share with you today.
My studio is a working studio.
Sometimes that means I need to purge and do more organization to make it more efficient.
That is the track I am currently on.
There photos were not staged or edited. These are actual current views of the studio.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Another Exciting Ice Dyed Finish

It was finished a few weeks ago but I finally took a picture of it.
I am pleased with it. I enjoy seeing all the different patterns the manipulation of the fabric before I dye it created. I hope you find them interesting too.
The border was created with arashi shibori dyeing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Recycled Again

Basement mirror and surroundings
Since I have been making some decorating changes in our house this mirror is in it’s third or later incarnation. I painted it to hang about the dresser in the guest room but when we changed the dresser there wasn’t room for it.
Greg put it up on the barn wood wall in the family room over this antique chest. Then some chairs had to be flip flopped to bring in the aqua color. Lastly an aqua bowl full of artichokes was added.
It’s hard to get great pictures as this is not a brightly lit area. 
Another view of our eclectic home!

Monday, August 6, 2018

What Has Been Keeping Me Busy?

The original lights in this cabinet died. I had new lights installed and what a difference. They are LED 6000K strip lights with a dimmer. This photo was taken with the second to lowest level of light….still so much brighter than the previous lights.
At the brightest they make the doors look black as they are so bright. They only look black in the photo. 
I scrounged all over my house for things to put in here. A lot of the things that were in here before didn’t make the cut.
When I would think I needed something of a certain type, color, size or shape and figured I didn’t have anything that would work I’d remember something hidden away I forgot about. It is so much fun to bring some of these things I love out where they can be seen and appreciated. It was interesting to see prices on some things and see how little I paid for them. Years ago I used to go to local country auctions and bought a lot of these things as part of box lots. Some of these things would not have earned  a second glance if you saw them alone, but as a part of a group they work. Some were gifts or family things. Some pieces are cracked or broken but I still love them and I'll bet you can't tell which ones!
The lights are so bright they also light up that dark corner of the living room, an unexpected benefit.
cabinet living roon entrance doors open
In closing, this is what it looks like when the doors are open.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Complex Shibori Dyes

As I was organizing and folding my dyed fabrics I pulled these out and hung them on my design wall.
I wanted to study them and look at each one of them to see if it told me what it wanted to be. I am still studying them but I do have some ideas.
These are special pieces I used unique techniques to create and I want to showcase the piece and enhance it as a finished work of art.

Friday, July 27, 2018

More Koeper Ancestors

I have posted some of these photos before but they no longer show up on my blog. I have no idea why.
So I am sharing again and hope the younger family members will enjoy seeing them and they are welcome to share them.

This is my favorite picture of my grandma and grandpa Koeper. I have no idea how old they were in this picture.
This is grandma Matilda Gruenwald Koeper with her siblings.
Clockwise from top left: Alma, May, Matilda, Elsie, Sonny
This is a picture from Grandpa Koeper in his younger years. Love this one. It’s the youngest photo I have of him.
Grandpa dressed to impress
Dressed to impress again!
Grandpa had many  siblings but I do not have any pictures of any of them.
Stay tuned as there is more to come.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Throw Back Thursday Koeper Older Generation Photos

I have decided to post several photos of our parents of the “Koeper” cousins.
I found there was a lot of interest in our ancestors when I posted a photo of Grandpa Casper Koeper.
I will start with our parents today and add previous generations at a later date.
Charlie, Jerry and Cas, the 3 oldest Koeper Brothers.
Grandma Matilda Gruenwald Koeper with son Jerry.
Youngest son Bill, my dad with his cousin Raymond Heinen.
casperand catherine k r with lighter background
Grandpa Casper Koeper with only daughter Catherine Koeper Rehorst.
Charlie, Bill, Grandpa Casper, Catherine, Grandma Matilda,Jerry, Cas with their Chandler car.
To me Grandpa always seemed old…(wonder what my young grandchildren would say about me). I remember a car in their garage (not this one), but after a few years there was no car as Grandpa no longer drove. He would walk all over. It was probably 5 miles round trip from their house to down town Milwaukee and he did that often.

I hope my cousins, and all of you younger family members enjoy this group of family photos.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?

So many of the people I have followed either no longer blog or blog once or twice a year.
The bloggers that I loved and followed were my inspiration to start blogging.
It has been a great way for me to create a personal diary and I share it online with all of you.
Del Thomas is a blogger from California who I continue to follow.  I met her when she was travelling cross country and we spent a little time getting acquainted. She is not only a quilter but a collector of wonderful quilts. She thinks nothing of getting in her car and driving miles and miles to take a class, see a show or visit friends. She recently talked about the diminished interest in people blogging.
She had the nicest comment about my blog:
I read several blogs regularly and others that I catch up on when I have some extra time.
Kay Sorensen is a super blogger who keeps up with the statistics and enjoys hundreds of visits each day.  She leads a very interesting and varied life in Wisconsin and Florida. Kay makes spectacular quilts and is a very nice lady.  When I was driving cross country once I took a detour up to Wisconsin, because it was one of only two states I had not visited (Alaska is still missing).  I called her and she took me out to dinner and showed me her studio and some of her great quilts.  It is a precious memory. 
You can follow her interesting blog at:

Yes, I still follow several bloggers and I have met the majority of them in person. Some are close friends and others are online friends.
I love my blogging friends.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Bobbi Home Permanent

Everything you think you see on the internet is not what it appears to be. I was not drinking beer but was "acting” in a posed photo.
I was a high school sophomore here.
Does anyone remember Bobbi Home Permanents?
Bobbi Pin Curl Wave Permanent Hair Care 1962 Vintage Antique Advertisement
My mom had given me one the week before this picture was taken.
She was left handed and I am right handed. She wound all the curls the opposite way I would.
So when I tried to do curl my own hair it just stuck straight out.
Imagine being this age and having to have your Mom do your hair every night! It was so embarrassing to have to have to have her do it every night.
That was the last Bobbi perm I ever got.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Throw Back Thursday–Way Back To The 50’s

I recently shared a page from my 4H booklet I made with records of  my sewing projects in the late 50’s.
I mentioned I had used many of the scraps in the first two quilts I made.
I am pleased to share with you some close-ups from those quilts.
They were made for my mother and father in law. They were patchwork on both sides as I had more scraps than money. I used old fashioned Mountain Mist cotton batting. I tied them with wool worsted yarn on the floor.
Fortunately they never used them. Had they been washed there would have been one big wad of stuffing inside.
When my my mother in law passed away I  got the quilts. I took them apart with the intentions of making each one into a single quilt and backing it with a solid piece of fabric to make a usable size quilt.
I expected the thread to be weak, but it was as strong as the day I  made them and very difficult to take out the stitching. At this time I have still not turned them into new quilts. But oh, the memories as I look at the fabrics!
I hope by sharing this post it will help collectors date their quilts by seeing pre 1960 fabrics which all of these are. Some are much older but most are 1950s.

Monday, July 2, 2018

What A Year This Has Been And It’s Only Half Over

I was honored to be featured in another magazine article. This time it was the July issue of Ocala (FL) Style.

Creative Quilts
Posted June 27, 2018 | By Cynthia McFarland
The Queen of Ice creates art with fabric.
Many women quilt, but no one works magic with fabric quite like Kay Koeper Sorensen, a quilter from Paddock Lake, Wisconsin, who calls Ocala home for half the year.
“When I first started quilting my goal was to make one of every quilt block there ever was. How little I knew!” relates Kay. “My quilting preferences have varied over the years. I love all types of quilts, from the most primitive antique quilts to the most cutting-edge contemporary quilts.”
Kay started out making traditional block quilts before she began making the stunning creations she is known for: one-of-a-kind quilts made with dyed fabrics.
Respected for her masterful use of color, Kay is known as “The Queen of Ice” and has developed her own personal ice-dying technique to make dramatic patterns and colors on the fabric she quilts with.
Prewashed white fabric is soaked in a soda ash solution and then covered with ice. Powdered dye is sprinkled over top. After 24 hours, Kay rinses and then washes the fabric and irons it once it’s dry.
“At one time I bought fabrics dyed by others, but eventually, I realized to get the fabrics I wanted, I would have to learn to dye them myself,” says Kay, who took classes from top dyeing teachers Carol Soderlund and Jan Myers Newbury.
To date, Kay has completed 512 pieces, and her work has been exhibited across the country and beyond. This last spring, her exhibit Florida Ice, was displayed at Ocala’s city hall.
Kay’s current quilts are seldom done with a traditional block format. She works on a vertical design wall, which lets her evaluate and make changes throughout the process.
“All my early work was quilted by hand. Today I use my sewing machine to quilt my art,” says Kay. “The hard edge machine quilting creates is more suitable for the strong graphic designs I create.”
It takes anywhere from 30 to 2,000 hours to create one quilt, and this is only the actual design, construction and finishing time. It doesn’t include the time spent dyeing fabrics and working on design.
Kay taught quilting for over 30 years. Although she’s retired from teaching, as an artist, she will never retire from creating art.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Quilting World Is A Small World

I taught quilting locally for many many years.
I have kept in touch with one of my students who left the area years ago and moved to VA.
She did a lot of quilting when she took classes from me and has continued quilting and  excelled over the years.

She retired (young retiree) this year.
She is now working for Jinny Beyer in her studio in Virginia part time.

This week I ordered some real neat mesh tote bags from the studio and they arrived on Saturday.
I opened the package right away and guess what was in the package?
A personal note from my former student Jenni!!!!!! (JJ)
I love the tote bags but I was more excited to get the note from her.

If you ever call the studio and someone named JJ answers the phone tell her you are a friend of mine!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Marrying Fabrics From Different Dye Sessions

As I study the fabrics I have pinned up on my design wall  I can see what may work together. This is a finished top that will be quilted in time.
I am breaking my rules about not showing unfinished work again, but this is how I can keep track of what I am doing and when. I have a vague idea as to how I will quilt this.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Contemplating How To Use These Fabrics

I have a lot of fabrics I have dyed.
I find one way I can think about possible uses is to just hang some on the design wall and leave them there so I can look at them and get ideas to use them.

I have already made a decision on what to do with one of these pieces and started on creating with it.
A few of them have gone back to the table with the other dyed fabrics.
One of them told me I should use it on another project I will be working on soon so it has also been taken off the wall.
I may be doing some very simple things with some of these. After creating for my shows recently, working on my Olympic quilts and finishing some works in progress it may be time to slow it down a little.
Another advantage of having them hung on the wall is I start to see possibilities for quilting designs.
It’s not a race, it’s the enjoyable process of creating.

Friday, June 22, 2018

It’s Not Finished Yet!

Y’all have asked to see this so I am sharing even though it is not done.
This is that yarn it took hours to untangle.
Everyone else said they knit it in an hour or two.
I’ll be lucky to knit it in 8 hours or so!
I don’t even like it as I don’t wear boas but it never said it would be a boa.
But I will keep it because I LOVE the colors…my current favorites. I'll come up with some way to wear it.
It’s a yarn that has been discontinued for several years.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I Am Sharing A Quilt Block I Designed With Corel

The color scheme for this one is very unique.
Here it is as a rectangle.

Here it is as a square.
Feel free to use the block but be sure you include my name as the designer of the block.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Life Is Filled With Color Everywhere

Color is a passion of mine.

dyed fabrics navy through purple
Dyeing fabric is a passion of mine.

Santaanddyedfabric 006
Seeing a range of colors like these examples makes my heart beat faster.

front Technicolor Vortex Quilt 1
Creating with fibers and fabrics is a passion of mine.

BFebay 005
These dyed silk fabrics make me want to play.

Indoors or out color is important to me.
When I chose the name Quilts plus Color for this blog I really nailed it.