Wednesday, September 29, 2010


guild...summer challenge 012Yes, that's what I think about is what it is.
It's the end of another Refuge Cove summer, and now we're off on the next adventure awaiting us in Jacksonville, OR. But its those unknown, invisible curve balls that are the really interesting parts of life. They test your soul and check your resiliency. Whether it's a husband with a few border crossing issues, or a grandson who shows up on your doorstep, or a creative project that doesn't quite turn out quite as you planned, or something coming at you unexpectedly, out of the blue, there is something amazing to be found in all of it. It is what it is, so hop on, and enjoy the ride. It's one of the great things about being retired - the ability to shift gears and grab on to new things as they pass by.
Adios Refuge Cove, see you next year!
(This little project was done as a class sampler last winter. It still sits as an unfinished piece, but I love the way the discharging turned out. This project taught me that its more important to plan your design around the seam lines  - rather than just positioning symmetrically -  as the change of colors is what really makes it interesting.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


sept.10 041Sometimes (maybe more often than not) modern technology just doesn't quite fit the bill. Here in Refuge Cove, we are on a creek system as our water source. Since summer droughts typically bring on water issues in our small community, we decided to purchase a lovely water-saving, front-loading Whirpool washer last year. It was expensive and heavy (a huge issue for us as we haul it from the truck, down the ramp, into the skiff, across the water, onto the beach, in our old beater freight truck, up the hill and into the house), but we wanted that water-saving feature. Needless to say, my hand-dyes just don't wash out as well, retaining much more dye than I'd like. A few of my customers who purchased fat quarter bundles commented on the "running". I cringed, and started to put them through TWO energy efficiency was going "down the drain" so to speak.
We have had a cool and wet September. I decided our abundant water would be put to good use in my low-tech tub. After this rinse, I put them in my washer on "quick wash" that's a saving!

Friday, September 10, 2010


guild...summer challenge 028
One of the challenges of summer is finding time to quilt! But these women did, and entered this year's "summer challenge". Yesterday was our first quilt guild meeting after a long, lovely summer. It's always great to connect with old friends, see what's new in their lives, check out quilts and projects they're working on, and hear what's on the guild's agenda for the year. (Quadra is sponsoring the five guild "Hands Across the Waters" 3 day event in early that's an agenda!)
As last year's winner, it was my job to organize the event, which involved handing out a fat quarter of fabric that each entrant must use, and establishing a theme. I chose the theme of "inspired from a photo" as I've enjoyed the challenge of doing that myself a few times. So here's a close up of the six entries.
guild...summer challenge 023guild...summer challenge 015

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This sunflower was the winner (most votes) and Barb Round took a round of applause , a stack of hand-dyed fat quarters as a prize, and the honor of organizing next year's challenge. Congrats to Barb and all other entrants for a job well done!

Friday, September 3, 2010


rubbings 001
I was pondering Marci’s “rubbing” idea for our journal quilt assignment and had thoughts of using crayons for rubbing, an iron for setting, and an array of textured pieces, etc., when I accidently discovered something totally different. That’s how it works sometimes, isn’t it?
In Mexico I buy a brightly printed, plastic material for my picnic table up north, and every few years I need a replacement piece because of fading, etc. This year I brought back an extra-long piece and used this remnant to protect a piece of plywood that I use in my studio.
Two days ago it was super rainy and this was the perfect opportunity to get out my thickened dyes and try some painting. I was in a salmon mood, so prepped my space for painting a few of these fish. I didn’t want the bright, colorful distraction of the plastic print behind my cloth, so turned it over and put the white side up. I painted two similar 14”x14” pieces and I discovered that when I picked them up to set them off to the side for drying, there was a residue left behind. I decided to set a piece of cloth on top of it and I watched a light waffle texture appear along with the paint left behind. I rubbed it a little and more appeared. That’s when I started moving my intentions towards journal quilting.
The next go round I just painted one lone salmon onto the white texture, added some bluish, watery color on the outside of it and then pressed my fabric onto it. That’s what you see above. Isn’t it perfect for the bottom side of the salmon?
I now wanted to rub the sense of a fish net onto some cloth for accent fabric. I found some old net, cut a piece the size of my large dyeing tray, and soaked it in a thickened bleach solution for a few minutes. In this case, I used Clorox toilet bowl cleaner with bleach because it is a thinner consistency and I thought would have better coverage on the netting.  I spread it onto the tray and then set a folded piece of black on top. I wanted to rub and get the full effect of the net texture, but I knew that if my roller picked up the moisture, I would drag it across the fabric and it would smear and ruin it. I picked out a random orange piece that I didn’t like very well, folded that in half and set it on top of the black. I was now pretty well assured that the moisture wouldn’t soak through. I rubbed and rolled and then pulled the pieces off and set them to the side for 10 minutes or so before I rinsed them. I loved them, and the orange piece that I didn’t care for as a solid now had new interest for me.
I constructed my pieces with simple strips and finished it off with some abalone buttons that I’ve been saving for the perfect occasion…this was it. They are the rocks where the salmon lay their eggs which I feel are represented by the lovely thin strip of “salmon” color.
I now have a stack of so-so fabric waiting to get the “net effect”. I really do love accidental discoveries!