Friday, February 12, 2016

Baby sized kilts for the twins

In a refreshing change of pace, I decided to make a kilt for each of my twin grandsons. They are 3.5 months old, and once I got some basic measurements it was all simple and fun. The bottom hem of the flannel shirt made a wonderful curved front edge::

Front and back. I took 5 pleats with two seams to hold them in place. All edges are hemmed with a tight zigzag:

One twin Matthew, the elder, is slightly smaller than Christopher the younger, so one waist is 17" and one is  19". I added extra snaps and width so they can grow with them for a while, and they did turn out great.



This was seriously too much fun! I hope their birthday Mommy has a wonderful Valentine's Day birthday celebration!

I also did a little of this, and at this writing it is sewn together:

made from these snow dyes:

And I also did this:

From the 4 twirled ice dyed pieces from the end run of my snow dyeing experience recently. You can find that entry previous to this one.

I'll hook up with Nina Marie and Off the Wall Friday:

Stay warm!! Spring is up next!!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Continued snow dye experiment and a sketch diary

I want to invite you to see the rest of the snow dyeing project. I just ironed out the last piece tonight and added the pictures to the album What is that red thing out there?:

I would also like to invite you to look through my sketch diary. It covers ideas from a few years, some executed, some not, some are yet to come:

Spring is up next...
Happy Mardi Gras to you all!!


Friday, January 29, 2016

 Please feel welcomed to follow along on my rookie snow and ice dyeing journey. It is ongoing, simple to do/follow/understand, and so satisfying:

I hope your new year is moving along productively! New tools? New goals? New eyes?

I'm hooking up with Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays as usual...a regular weekend go-to for good fiber blog reading and studying.

With love,


Saturday, December 19, 2015

A look back at the work of 2015

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of Auld Lang Syne? For Auld Lang Syne, ma dears, for Auld Lang Syne, we'll drink a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne"

These words give me shivers, for they speak of the great flowing river of humanity of which I am a part. The turn of the year approaches, and a glance at the past twelve months is appropriate.

In chronological order:

A handquilted patchwork that just got finished and is a gift:

Another patchwork that is in process:

A strippy for handquilting, which is now in the hoop:

"Ladybug Invasion!" :

I revisited a decade old design:

"Golden Memories" in process:

I began 'Memories of Roses' in mid summer when the wild roses are in bloom up and down the lane. I carved stamps, bought used black styled cotton shirts, use bleach discharge and then fabric markers or paint to create each tile:

A quilt for my girl Gretchen, who had twins in October:

This is the last quilt I will finish in 2015, so I believe. It is for my beautiful grandaughter Jasmine:

I made this fabric twine yesterday:

I stumbled over this and wondered how I'd missed it so long. Perfect for long strips of fabric about an inch wide, its a 'twist-twist-twist' away from you, then wrap it over the 2nd strand, towards you. Opposing tension, its like hand plying. Three S wraps one way and a Z wrap the other way. I found it here:


I'm going to hook up with Nina Maries Off the Wall Fridays:

Happy, Merry Everything to you as the new year turns and the sunlight returns once again

Love, Sue

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mid-December procrastination

So, if you are like me, you have a few gifts left to make for Christmas. I've been taking my sweet time, rolling the dice that nothing will come between me and the quilting I have to do to accomplish my holiday goals. In the meantime I haven't been idle. Here is an update on a previous piece. It is made from strips of cotton that I wove together and hand dyed, then mixed it with a gorgeous aqua blue, gold and olive African hand woven and dyed piece I'd been cherishing. Nothing else would do. It started with the search for the complementary fabric(s):

Making fabric choices, I created a landscape background, but had no focal point for so much abstraction. It needed to be something more, or else why? Boring.

So I removed the landscape background and decided on the one fabric I described above. I cut it into matching strips, alternated them, then removed one row of two alternating stripes, cut them into squares (7) and placed them about. I also had extra of my own hand dyed strips so I pared them down and made a geometric foundation and floated the squares across it, some up, some down:

It's all just fused now, hanging on the wall for scrutiny. I've used brown marker to shadow certain repeating areas, and would free motion brown in those same area to more well define the edges of the shadows. I'm satisfied.

What do you think?

Hooking up with Nina Marie and Off the Wall Friday

Have a great weekend! I'm up to 2.4 miles per walk with my husband and have lost 2 lbs. My camera program, which had mysteriously stopped functioning properly, began to function properly, so now I will be taking nature photos again. I have albums on my Facebook page that you are welcome to browse, as well as loads more fiber art pictures from over the years:

I'd love to be friends with you there as well.


For further information regarding any quilt of mine that may catch your eye, please email me at

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Happy December everyone, where busy hands are warm hands. It has been a crazy 6 months, and I have lagged on blogging, but first I was sick and then sick again, then vacation, next a set of twins came into the world and then it was Thanksgiving, and birthdays. So far 2015 is the best holiday season in a decade or more. I am busy now with sewing a few gifts, but if you know me at all, you know I have 5 projects and 5 books going on so here are a few less traditional, more art informed pieces Ive been doing:

My response to the Paris attacks:

I used a hand dyed piece of sugar sacking, 15"x15", drew the Eiffel Tower with a permanent fabric marker and added the poppies with raw edge applique. I also wrote #Paris with the marker. Then black free motion for the Tower and the word and the centers of the poppies, and red for the poppies. There is no background quilting yet, but I bound it anyway with a red and black zigzag.

And this is a combo of two different pieces of fabric: a lovely piece of aqua blue, gold and olive fabric hand made in Africa, and my own hand dyed strips. I used an unusual procedure to do my hand dyeing: I wove together all eight strips, worked the weave down to 3 strips like a woven triangle, then applied dyes as though it were autumn Indian corn. It came out a wonderful jumble of colors. Ive been fusing and slicing and dicing and it is almost ready to be all fastened down to the batting:

This is my first look from above, so I will have to climb onto my step stool and make the changes that I believe are necessary.  The design will be complete when I use a brown marker to create a shadowy floating effect to increase value and perspective, after fusing, basteing and spraying the whole thing to the batting. I will free motion quilt it, without a backing, because my old Bernina has a small space for bulk on the inner side, and I'd read that quilting without the backing lessened the bulk. That offers different options for binding, facing or finishing the edges too.

This is my world today...I hope yours is happily productive. The sun is out and we're going for a walk later, down the Rails to Trails, converted coal train beds that now are home to walkers, joggers and official races. It goes through the western Poconos, near the Lehigh Valley and is all woods. My husband had a stomach sleeve operation and has lost 70 lbs and is walking up to 3 miles a day (I said he, I usually go 2 miles). So, we go. It's been very good.

I'll be hooking up with Nina Marie and off The Wall Friday:

Love, Sue

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Playing with colors and autumn inspirations

There are 3 shades of yellow overdyed with turquoise, a couple fuschia overdyed with turquoise, for a total of 16, 15"x 15" squares:

I believe the fabric is a length of sugar sacking, a blend of linen and cotten that I purchased in abundance at auction. I mix primaries: 3 yellow, 3 blue, 1 red and 1 black, using MX dyes. I'll rinse them any time after 2 hours; this time it will be 15 hours. The longer the better, and I supersized the soda ash for instant strike value. The dry fabric was stuffed in a ziplock, 1/4 cup ash poured on it and scrunched til I was sure it was wet through, then wrung back out, given a fluff and gently layered into its bag. I then squirted a yellow all about, rubbing some to soften edges, and let them all sit in their yellows for a couple hours. Then I went back in and squirted the turquoise all over everything, again rubbing some to blur edges. In the end I had 2 left and decided to go for fuchsia first with the turquoise overlay. I added no water. I used gloves but didn't remember until I had a nice orange stripe on my finger. I can't wait to see if my idea worked. If it didn't it's because I may have rubbed too much. I'll know in a few hours.

This is the piece I dyed the other day, for another project, that gave me the inspiration for the above dyes that are in process:

It looks like the treetops when you are looking directly overhead, I hope I got the current ones right. However, the job is done, the 'dye is cast' and they are what they are, Going to start rinsing now.

 There is also one almost finished yellow quilt:

There is one patchwork about to be joined and then sandwiched. I'm having too much fun!

The pieces are now cut out and the 12" blocks will be a quick assembly.  Each block is 4 6" squares, of which one is a peacock from the original fabric. There are many weights of cotton, including decorator weight, but no synthetics. My original aversion to polyesther remains, regardless of the resurgance in popularity of synthetic quilts.

I've never been known for following the crowd.

For now we are going hiking. We are revisiting the one from yesterday that kicked my ass. Go us!
  Happy Autumn!

Love, Sue