Thursday, April 16, 2009


Throughout this winter I have blogged off and on about different quilt journal pieces I have completed. These once a month 8.5"x11" assignments from fellow journalers are usually one of the last items to be completed on my "to-do" list, so when the end of March arrived, my classes ended and projects slowed considerably, I finally got around to the two assigned themes - "song title" and "in silhouette".
And so, for my March journal piece....I went through song titles on the web and settled on the obvious...Margaritaville! And because two themes came through at once, I thought I'd maybe kill two birds with one stone, or at least try my hand at silhouette work. After I got started and had quite a bit put together, I decided I DID NOT like it, BUT, because I give myself a 3 hour limit on journal pieces, just went ahead anyway and finished. And now, I have to say I'm okay with the end result.
On to April for the real sihouette piece. The silhouette idea was a bit of a challenge for me as I've never thought of doing one before and had to get some inspiration from google images. ( was where I eventually landed.) I wanted to try using my thickened black dye (which came out gray) alongside some discharging, so that's what I did. I put the dye into one of my fine tipped bottles and filled within the stitching lines I created and was pretty happy with how that turned out. Whether or not the silhouette effect is achieved, I now have another technique/tool to add to my repertoire.
I am now up to ten pieces in MY journal and I continue to receive 7 other beauties (truly! - each fabulous and unique!) each month on the internet. This group and monthly ritual has become a true joy in my fiber filled life.
And now to May..."signs of spring". Shall I do Mexican spring or BC spring?

Thursday, April 2, 2009


My friend Mary, a.k.a. Mary Orange, brought over her recent aquisition of traditional shirts purchased at an open air market that was in town for the month of February. We believe the shirts were made in either Oaxaca or Chiapas as the work is so representative of other beautiful work we have seen from those areas.

I love these shirts! Unfortunately they can begin to unravel before you want them to. I recommend checking out the seams at purchase time and reinforcing if need be. It's called preventative care!

I just noticed that each of these shirts has orange in it...Mary loves orange, thus her name which helps my husband remember her. She recently dyed up a batch of osnaburg cloth pieces in all deep and beautiful earth shades....oranges, rusts, red, maroons, browns, golds, olives, violets. She is going to make a shade cloth for an area in her northern home...can't wait to see it!

Thanks for sharing your fantastic finds, Mary!


In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote "Desiderata" about things desired to achieve happiness. It has always been one of my favorites. My first attempt at using parts of this piece in my fabric work was for a pillow for our granddaughter, Ariel, when she graduated from middle school.
I knew then that someday I was going to put the entire text to cloth.
My palette appeared in whole cloth form last summer when I tried to fit as much clamping and tying onto a 1.5 meter piece of cotton as possible, then dipped it into a bath of black to let it sit and brew. The result was a catastrophic city scene, conjuring up images similar to those from 9/11 within me. I knew I had the perfect background for my Desiderata.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace may be found in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.

Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imagings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him or her to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.