Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I'm thinking, I'm thinking. I've been mostly working at home but spent a hot hour in the studio today before I had to leave.  I brought two quilt tops home with me; one of them has a back that has no relationship at all to the front, but it couldn't be helped -- and when it goes on the guest bed downstairs, nobody will care that the back is random (and ugly).

On the way home, Whole Foods. Went in for strawberries and yogurt and ended up treating myself to a shellfish dinner. Mussels and clams on the grill.  Since it is just me Tues, Wed, and Thurs, I have enough for tomorrow night's dinner as well.  
I cook for myself. I'm a firm believer in good meals and I deserve to be treated well - even if I'm the one doing the treating - LOL.  I wouldln't mind having somebody here to clean up after me, but that's in my next life.

For the first time in my life, I am giving two of my quilts to somebody else to quilt.  I hate the thought of it, but the last time I quilted a bed-sized quilt it was for my daughter, going off to college - and I did it by HAND.  No thanks.  So, I am outsourcing it. 

What have I been doing in the sewing room (besides cleaning up for a change?) I finished a black and white quilt that, until somebody mentioned how influenced it was by what I saw in Africa, I really hadn't been conscious of it.  But now I see it.  And I actually want to make a piece that is totally inspired by a South African textile I saw. But "inspired by" does not mean reproducing. I wouldn't want to do that, even if I could.

 Maybe tomorrow I will start.  I have another piece that is finished but not quilted, but this one I will do myself. It was inspired by ceramics I saw at the museum in Durban.

But for now, I need my Fitbit to keep track of my sleep:-)).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I've been sewing!

Monday I was in the studio and today I worked at home. Ha! I actually have something on the wall. Now I have to figure out what my next step is. But that will wait until tomorow, when I am back in the studio and have some breathing room.

I have a lot of ideas - inspirations from my trip to South Africa last summer; only one of which I have been able to use for actuallly making a piece.  I'm not sure what was the inspiration for the piece on my wall, today - but I suspect I will figure it out. (or not).

In the meantime, I have ordered a wonderful piece of fabric from Judy Gula's Artistic Artifacts.  Do I need fabric? hahahahahahaha. NO.  But Barb from my class in Wisconsin had a piece of Australian fabric that I went crazzy over.  She made a fab piece (I will have to get her to send me a photo) and gave me her scraps.  Three bitty pieces.  The other day, when Judy's newsletter arrived, there was the selfsame fabric.  So I ordered a yard.
Haven't a clue how I will use it, but it makes me smile.  Comes in two other colorways, which I did not buy.(one of them is mostly PINK). I'd advise you to go take a look at Judy's selection.  It's fun!

It is after midnight and I have to put in a full day tomorrow, so I am off to zzzzzzland.xoxo

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Adding layers

It's a process. If at first you don't like it, add more.  But knowing when to stop is the tricky part.  if you have to ask "does it need more?" the answer is usually "no.". Put it aside, wait until later or tomorrow and then you'll know.

On the other hand, sometimes you know right away.  

A day later...

Sometimes you just need to add a little bit to make it work.  And making marks with a syringe always adds pizazz.

We're done printing.  Now it's time to use the fabric to make quilts!  Tune in tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Fun in the print studio

 I am having such a good time at QSDS -- catching up with old friends and making new ones.  I am sharing a suite with Rosalie Dace and Terry Jarrard-Dimond, both of whom are delights to spend time with and whose work is beautiful.  Terry and I have been online friends for many years and are finally getting to spend time together!  That is truly a bonus.  Rosalie and I have taught in the same places at the same time many times and it is always a joy to see her.

Tonight I had a chance to catch up with Deborah Fell and Kevin Womack -- two very talented artists whom I have not seen in eons. It was an unexpected pleasure. 

Two days of printing; another half-day tomorrow, and then two days of making something with those printed fabrics.  Here are just a few of the beauties my students produced in the last two days.

As for me, I was perfectly happy to supervise and give advice (solicited and uncolicited), and to buy some African and Indian batiks from Becky at St. Theresa's Textile Trove.
Tomorrow, I will have more photos, but these are just a few of the wonderful pieces printed here.
This is what happens when there are no rules and people are shown a demo and are then left to their own devices! 

Would you ever believe that Judy K. had never printed before?
Here is one of Diane's pieces after she added her own touches with the syringe.
DeeDee specializes in images of landscapes and houses.  I can't wait to see what she does with this one!  It might be a whole cloth piece.  We'll see.

Louise and Donna, hard at work.  They came all the way from Texas to play in my workshop.

This is one of Carol's vibrant pieces.

More tomorrow.  I had better get some rest.  But in case you want to check out the work of some of the artists I mentioned at the beginning of the post...

Rosalie Dace

Terry Jarrard-Dimond

Deborah Fell

Kevin Womack

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

it's a dead giveaway

When I start posting recipes and picturs of food, you know there is nothing else creative going on in my life.  Yes, I have been in my sewing room pretty much all day. Yes, I have been asking myself "what if?", but all I have to show for it is a bunch of experiments not fit to post here.(or anywhere).

I just took down a piece I started one night while I was in Wisconsin.  I thought it was splendid, but I was wrong.

Meantime, by dinnertime it had cooled down sufficiently outside that I was not going to eat on the deck.  But I did put some fresh asparagus on the grill, along with a middle eastern version of a lamb burger.    Put some olive oil in a plastic bag, throw in the asparagus and some kosher salt and some fresh grated parmesean or pecorino romano.  Grill for about 5 minutes (first, take it out of the plastic bag).  To die for. Seriously.

Before i left last week, I had a pint of heavy cream in the fridge. When I got home, miracle of miracles -- it was still sweet.  So I thought I had better use it before it turned. This meant I was forced to make ice cream. Here it is, churning away.
 I used Melissa Clark's only ice cream recipe you'll ever need and made salted caramel.  It is so rich that I needed only a tiny bit to satisfy my ice cream craving.  That's good news!  Tomorrow, I will post the link because I am so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open and my brain afloat. Or is it my eyes afloat and my brain open? 'nite.

what's cooking?

Not a lot, although It was a busy day -- the kind where you do a lot but don't really feel you've accomplished anything. 
- paid bills.
- watched Joan Nathan's video on how to make Azerbaijani Egglpant Salad.
- went to the bank.
- went to the post office because I needed stamps to mail out the bills I paid.
- overdyed a couple of my work shirts so I could wear them without being embarrassed.
- went to the studio to bring home some stuff.
- went to the fabric store to buy muslin and backing for a couple of quilts.
- moved some crates and furniture in the sewing room.
- made Joan Nathan's Azerbaijani Eggplant Salad.
ingredients, after I took them off the grill.

about five minutes later, done! 

- saved it for tomorrow so the flavors could meld (or whatever they do).
- cleaned up the deck so I could eat dinner out there.
- drank some coffee with the intent of staying up and working. 
 Instead, I'm staying up and blogging. Since it is already tomorrow, I am going to bed so I can actually get something done tomorrow (or rather, later today).  

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...