Saturday, July 19, 2014


I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I get stressed, heading to my studio space is something that always helps. We are in the middle of house selling negotiations, and also sorting through the many things we’ve acquired through the 14 years here at Refuge Cove…what to keep, what to take, what to toss.
For some reason, yesterday had enough moments of anxiety, that I wanted to RUN to my machine, but I didn’t have anything going. What could I create? What CF theme (Cyber Fibres, my quilt journal group) jumped out at me? What was inspiring me? Since I wanted to just to GET AT IT, I did the following:
1. Opened the drawer below my computer and grabbed two dice.
2. I rolled the dice and up came a 3 and a 5.
3. I multiplied the two together and there I had my number…15!
4. I opened my CF archives where I store quilt journal submissions on my Hotmail, and counted down fifteen until I came to…
5. Dawn’s piece with the theme of Ritual. In this piece she talked about how she and her husband love to share local fare with out of town guests. The piece featured a crab and wine glasses. It was soft and beautifully created with a lovely narrative. This was my new inspiration!
I have a good stash of fusibles, and I particularly like Steam a Seam Lite. I rarely use it, but it has been calling my name lately, and I’ve really wanted to take a break from discharging. I pulled out a good handful of orangey-ish  scraps and attached them to the fusibles, then cut out crabby shapes and assembled them on a watery, net-like fabric. As I was doing this on my ironing board, I glanced up and saw a small bag of Dawn’s rovings that she sent to us as a challenge last winter. I have never used rovings or the like before but thought these would be a good addition to my composition. I discovered there are a few tricks in using them, and despite a few frustrating moments, I really enjoyed the process. When completed, I got out my button stash and looked for some large dark “eyes”…I think they really help to define what this is all about.
“Caught in the Net of Dawn’s Inspiration” was fun to do! Thank you Dawn, for this inspiration and all your other beautiful work you do. (And likewise to all the rest of you!)
P.S. Recently I was hosted at Barb’s house during the Quadra Quilt and Garden Tour. Dawn invited us over for dinner and I was able to see her creative space and all her artistic soul spread throughout her home. Not only is she gifted as a fibre artist, but also in basketry (and probably in other venues too!) Thanks again Dawn, for a lovely evening!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


If I had a dinner party for four, these placemats, although not exactly matching, might grace my table. I created them last week with the thoughts of teaching a class on discharging.
AND I also used them to fit a theme (carbonated) for my quilt journal group, Cyber Fibres. Here's what I shared with my group this week:

It’s the height of summer and I am feeling remiss at not participating in my QJ group for a while. But I have been working on projects, and want to share, so found a way to tie them in…

I believe that one day, someday, a CARBONATED drink will sit on these placemats.
I have been preparing for a class that gives participants a chance to explore discharging along with closed line stitching, so have come up with this placemat project.
First I made the one with the trees on the sides and then proceeded to the three with full place settings.

“Buen Provecho” is Spanish for “enjoy your meal” and this piece was discharged with Soft Scrub with bleach.  I think my favorite beer, Negra Modelo, will accompany a meal sometime.

“Expect a Miracle” goes along with a story about my aunt and uncle whose son, Joey, ran away from home at the age of 17 or 18, and they never saw him again. (It was the Vietnam era.) Aunt Dickie was full of faith and ALWAYS set a place for him at the table, even a decade later, and her reasoning was to always “expect a miracle”. Maybe a glass of champagne would be a part of this meal with the thought of him returning. I discharged this with Jacquard’s discharge paste.

“Marina May” is for a young girl in our community who is super sweet and super smart (age 3) and I wanted to make her something special. I think this would be a great project to help young children learn about setting a table (or any age!). Maybe this is something that our generation cares about and the younger ones could care less about?  Regardless, I hope she uses it. I discharged this with Decolourant.  (I find it odd that this product is made in the US and is spelled as it is.) Perhaps there will be a “Shirley Temple” or the like (now doesn’t that age me?) to accompany a special occasion.
So, how do you like how I morphed these projects into CARBONATED?
All placemats are approximately 17”x12”.
I used a flash, which I really didn’t want to do, but wasn’t willing to wait for better light…

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Who ever coined that phrase, "the lazy days of summer"? In my world, there are no lazy days (except maybe that super rainy day we had last Sunday!), particularly this summer. It looks as though our home is POTENTIALLY sold, so my days have random moments of cleaning out closets, organizing boxes to save or toss, and the like. And then there's all the normal daily activities and routines I try to squeeze in.

Today I woke to find a new and exciting addition to my Kindle...the new issue of Quilting Arts magazine with MY article "Custom Lettering on Cloth". I'm so excited and hope I have lots of interest in the world of discharging so I can write more articles...I have many in mind. I spent my first hour this morning relishing in the delight of this new issue with all sorts of wonderful inspiration...not to mention my own. Be sure to check it out:

An incredible, SUPER INCREDIBLE opportunity has surfaced for our wonderful "sewing ladies" in Mazatlan. Last spring Linda Hannawalt from Quiltworks in San Francisco wandered into their out of the way shop and became our angel. She took an instant interest and began shipping supplies to them and working with our leader, Toy, in finding other ways she and her organization could help them. Her group has the tradition of annually choosing an international group to work with and this year they have chosen our women.
Linda's group will be flying 11 of the women, along with Toy and my good buddy Bev to SF for 12 days (Oct. 26-Nov. 5) of learning and inspiration. She has sleeping accommodations above the shop, and a 15 passenger van to haul us around for field trips. Did I say US? Yes, I'll be in southern Oregon at that time so will travel on my own to join the group. I will be teaching a class or two to help raise funds for our ladies and may even have a trunk show of my "Signs of Life" project. So many days I am dreaming or planning or communicating about this amazing opportunity in our horizon. Let me pinch myself again to make sure this is really true!!!

Two weekends ago, I escaped my island and traveled over to Quadra to help with our guild's big fundraiser, the Quilt and Garden Tour. It was a glorious weekend and the gardens, not to mention the quilts, were spectacular. I was hosted by my friends and fellow Cyber Fibre member, Barb, in her lovely home in Campbell River, so we were able to share in all things "quilting" and "creative" when not helping at the tour. The quilt above, by Ellen Russell, is one of my favorites, beautifully pieced and appliqued, so mandala-like.
These, made by Sonya Craddick, burst of life hanging from the deck of this oceanfront home. Behind them are plastic sheets of plastic, just in case it rained. Thankfully they didn't need to be used.
Plus, there was so much inspiration wherever one looked. I particularly liked this shot of this greenhouse. Hmmm...
Back home, I was swept back into my routines...the garden, cooking, thinking about our move, AND the SALMON. Tom has been busily catching LOTS of fish in this unbelievably prolific salmon season. My current mode of preserving is pickling, under the guidance of our resident fish authority (and all things GOOGLE!).

And of course, let's not forget the creating. I'm loving the exploration of more discharging, in this case of my placemat using a thickened bleach product (soft scrub with bleach). I also I am working lots with decolorant and discharge paste to learn more about those products too. You can see I have fish on the brain too!
There are no lazy days here, just good ones, full of life and learning, friends and family, and a possible move in the future!