Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Woodsland girls



Well, I guess it was bound to happen; I made one of my earlier drawings into a quilt. It measures about 15 x 24" I used wool batting and stitched black thread onto white linen. This is a practise piece on my new Innova. It handles a little different from my old Gammill, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Up from the Sea



This is the last ( I think!) in a series of mermaids. Her top is cotton batik, and bottom silk-rayon velvet which has been heavily embellished.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Steampunk and other treasures....



Look at all of these little treasures! Rayon ribbon, German scraps, watch findings, bamboo thingmabobs, brass tags, copper tape........ so many goodies. Fabulous service from artchixstudio.com and a surprise gift puts her site over the top!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's a hoot on the moon!



Great to try out someone else's pattern once in a while.......... Here's HOOT from The Cheswick Company. Finally I have a pincushion I can find!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just one more............



And that's it! I'm off to investigate something else!

Doodling


Yes, I know. It needs lots more work, but it isn't getting any more, because after all, it's just a doodle!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nola Hart inspired.....




Nola Hart was featured in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. These little girls are inspired by Nola. A real departure for me!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in the saddle!



Okay, I'm back! And my creative energy is on the rise. I'm just finishing off some old UFO's then on with the new! If you recall, I posted some UFO's. I made a change from my original plan on one of them. Can you identify the project and can you guess what change I made? This may appeal to the fat quarter love bacause the first person to email me with that change gets a trio of fat quarters!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

UFO syndrome






Is it a throw down? Judy at Sew Sisters has made my UFO stack public. Here's what's started and I am now bound to finish! AND, in the spirit of sportsmanship, I am admitting to one more that escaped Judy's watchful eye! Judy, what's in your stack??

New mermaid



I'm trying hard to get out of my "slacker" mode.....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A wee tote


This little tote is only about 6x9" It's great for small portable projects like knitting, sewing and assorted hand work. And not to forget it's perfect for girls of all ages to go shopping!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tess



Poor Tess, she just can't seem to get it together. She hung around on the long arm for awhile, then sulked in the closet for the longest time. Maybe if she gets a new bonnet she'll come out for spring?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010




This background linen was also created with Procion dyes and Tsukineko inks. I machine embroidered it with extensive machine thread work, needle lace and a few bits of hand embroidery.

Spring Embroideries



Spring has sprung here! and in the spirit of the season, I've done a couple of little embroideries. I hand dyed linen and enhanced the background with a little Tsukineko ink, then machine embroidered it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just swam in from Australia!



Aren't these little guys just so adorable? They just arrived from the south! South Australia, that is! Judy knew I was working on a mermaid and thoughtfully sent me these little gems to add to my display. You may want to visit Judy's very creative blog http://www.judysfabrications.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 04, 2010

East Toronto Quilters' Guild

Last week I had the honour of presenting a trunk show to the East Toronto Quilters' Guild. What a great group of guys and gals, not to mention brave for adventuring out on such a snowy, wintry night. Thanks to Flo, Dolores and B.J. who helped me in and then helped me out. You might want to stop by and pay a visit to Dolores at http://www.truebluecanadian.blogspot.com/ and B.J. at http://www.fibreartstudios.com/. And Flo? we'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Strait from the Sea



Just finished! She's a OOAK cloth doll. Her torso consists of layers of cotton, velvet and lace embellished with beads and hand embroidery.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Embroidered nuno felt


This little piece started out using Merino wool fibre felted to some silk chiffon/charmeuse. The silk shows up minimally, to say the least! I think I should have left out the charmeuse as the weave is too tight. I dyed it with Kool-Aid, then overdyed with Gaywool dye. I really like Gaywool's product, because it works well on wool, but also on silk and nylon. Great for dyeing nylon lace. I used a combo of commercially dyed silk yarn and my own new hand dyed silk yarn for the embroidery. I like experimenting with the 3-dimensional stitchery.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nuno Felting, Wet Felting and a Little Needle Felting


Here's a little felted needle case. The dark brown background was wet felted. A smaller piece of nuno felting was needle felted, stitched, and then attached to the background piece. I added some linen swatches inside to keep pins, needles and what-knots! I'll add some embroidery on these "pages" as the feeling strikes me. I had a little beaded piece that I didn't know what to do with, so added it at the back to house a small pair of scissors.

Nuno Felting



Love that nuno felting...........

First on the agenda, I made a small piece using natural Merino wool and light-weight silk chiffon. After felting, I dyed the piece with Kool-Aid, but didn't like it so re-dyed it with acid dye. I liked it much better. I used Gaywool's Acid dye. What a great product!

Fibreart Montage


Judith Baker Montano's new book, "Fibreart Montage" is a visual feast. Here she combines quilting, photography and embroidery with luxurious embellishing. You can get your copy where I got mine, at Sew Sisters Quilt Shop! Thanks, Judy!!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope that 2010 will bring love, laughter, health and prosperity to all.

How to Make a Lucet Cord



Unwind Yarn House, what a great yarn shop! You can find it in the heart of Newmarket, ON

Monday, December 28, 2009


I just couldn't resist posting this wonderful picture, created by life-long friend, Karen Jones. Such amazing talent achieving this in water colour. Oh, and BTW, that is not me atop the roof tending to laundry!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Overdyeing linen and silk


I have a number of pieces of linen and silk that are old and are colours that are no longer interesting to me. They are in desperate need of a face lift! I over-dye them if I know that whatever colour turns out will be better than what I have now. You really need to be prepared to take that risk. I aim to dye to a colour of equal or greater colour value. Changing navy blue into baby pink just isn’t going to happen! I don’t strip my fabric and don’t use bleach. I just add onto whatever the commercial dyer did previously, so you need to keep in mind what colour the base fabric is because it will play a role in the outcome. I usually hope for some kind of earthy colour since browns include all the primaries.

That said, after I launder the fabric I cut off a couple of small bits, say 1x1” squares for test runs. I measure out a few teaspoons of dye stuff, add some water and dunk my little swatch in to get an idea of the colour. This will give you a general impression of what you will get, but Like a great soup, I add a little of this and a little of that until I get a colour that suits my fancy. I try to remember to have realistic expectations and know that I can’t always get a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! Once I am satisfied, I follow my usual method of dyeing which I’ll repeat here…

For each ½ metre or yard, you will need:
Pre-washed fabric
3 teaspoons of Procion MX dyes (less for lighter colour)
2 tablespoons of soda ash (sodium carbonate) Note: this is not baking soda
1 tablespoon of common salt (non-iodized)
Hot water
1.5 litre container (about a 3 pint ice cream or yogurt container)
1.5 litre baggie (optional)
Synthrapol
Rubber gloves

I use Procion MX dyes on silk. I like the results that they yield and I don't have to steam. I like the simplicity of it all!

Pre-wash the fabric to remove any dirt, sizing or oils. Wash in hot water with 1 tsp. of Synthrapol and rinse well.
Generally speaking I use about 3 teaspoons of dye powder to ¾ litre of liquid. You can increase or decrease dye powder according to the colour value that you are looking for.
Measure the dye powder into the container. Add a small amount of hot tap water to dissolve, and then fill to about half full with more hot water. Add soda ash and stir until dissolved. Add salt and make sure it dissolves. Add wet fabric, making sure that it is totally saturated. You can leave in the container, or transfer it to a baggie for it to cure. Check it from time to time to make sure it is still submerged. Remove from the dye solution after a minimum of 3 hours. If it is turquoise or contains turquoise, I recommend leaving it overnight. This used dye stuff cannot be re-used. Rinse in cold water until it runs clear.

Note that I don't always submerge the fabric. See example here. You can get interesting results by laying your wet fabric out on a flat surface overtop a sheet of plastic or oversized bag. Then I pour the dye mixture overtop and let it spread over the fabric. Sometimes I use more than one colour. The intersection and melding of colours can create some exciting results, or not! When all of the fabric is saturated, I place plastic over top, to separate the layers of fabric as I roll them up. Make sure the air can't get at your treasure until it is time to reveal.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dyeing cotton, linen and silk

From time to time I am asked about dyeing fabric. For those enquiring minds, here's what I have to say on the subject. There are many excellent books on the market that cover dyeing, over-dyeing and dye-painting. You may want to pick one up for more detailed recipes, colour formulas and a comprehensive look at working with dyes. This is the method that I use and it has been working for me for a number of years whether I am dyeing cotton, silk or linen. Right! This recipe works perfectly well on linen as well as silk, that includes the lightest of handkerchief linens to silk noil and silk's boundless other constructions. In fact, I prefer the Procion MX to the Procion H which many people use on silk, because the MX doesn't require a steam process. A note on silk Dupioni and some other silks, there is a slight change in hand and some of the lustre is lost in the process. You may want to do a small sample test run first, or perhaps not! Have fun!

For each ½ metre or yard, you will need:

Pre-washed fabric cut into 1/2 metre pieces
3 teaspoons of Procion MX dyes (less for lighter colour)
2 tablespoons of soda ash (sodium carbonate) Note: this is not baking soda
1 tablespoon of common salt (non-iodized)
Hot water
1.5 litre container (about a 3 pint ice cream or yogurt container)
1.5 litre baggie (optional)
Synthrapol
Rubber gloves

Pre-wash the fabric to remove any dirt, sizing or oils. Wash in hot water with 1 tsp. of Synthrapol and rinse well.

Generally speaking I use about 3 teaspoons of dye powder to ¾ litre of liquid. You can increase or decrease dye powder according to the colour value that you are looking for.

Measure the dye powder into the container. Add a small amount of hot tap water to dissolve, and then fill to about half full with more hot water. Add soda ash and stir until dissolved. Add salt and make sure it dissolves. Add wet fabric, making sure that it is totally saturated. You can leave in the container, or transfer it to a baggie for it to cure. Check it from time to time to make sure it is still submerged. Remove from the dye solution after a minimum of 3 hours. If it is turquoise or contains turquoise, I recommend leaving it overnight. This used dye stuff cannot be re-used. Rinse in cold water until it runs clear.

Didn’t wear gloves? Try some Reduran hand cleaner!

Stay tuned next time for painting with dyes!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Beading frenzy


This is a rare glimpse of madam de Plumadour, a wealthy widow conducting interviews of potential suitors. She exchanges niceties with Mr. Jim Dandy before getting on with the task of grilling him. He appears somewhat cocky and is certain not to chicken out as did Mr. Al Fredo who is seen departing, looking dejected and dishevelled. Mr. Al Fredo cannot believe his ill fortune as he leaves the unsuccessful interview only to discover that the gifts she had bestowed upon him were but a simple rouse and were nothing but rocks masquerading as gems. Methinks he knows not his own fortune!!

This piece was beaded onto natural linen and backed with fusible interfacing. The background was coloured at the midpoint of the process using a combination of dyes and paints. It measures about 40 x 55 cm

Monday, September 21, 2009

learning to lino cut





So here are my first three efforts! A quirky bird, a disconnected elephant and then I went big on flowers! all three are printed on hand dyed cotton fabric. So much fun and all my fingers are still intact! This was a great online course with Dijanne Cevaal! http://www.origidij.blogspot.com/