Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

It's 57 degrees and raining here in
Lancaster. The warmest Christmas Eve
I can ever remember!

The older I get the smaller my tree

gets. What is still fun for me is

unwrapping 40 year old ornaments and


Happy Christmas! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Trying New Things

"I hope that in this year to come, you make 


Because if you are making mistakes,

then you are making new things, 

trying new things, learning, living,

pushing yourself, changing yourself, 

changing your world. You're doing things 

you've never done before.."

Neil Gaiman

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Eco Leaf Print

"All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I went for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day."
- Mammas and Pappas

Yay my first decent leaf print!

I think that I decided to leaf print too late in the


I did this one 2 weeks ago.

Practice, practice and more practice!

 Here's a link to the page with details

of the Sweet Gum Tree Leaves experiment

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Eco Dyeing with Pyracantha Part 5 - the end

Pyracantha Part 5 - the conclusion


Eco dyed cloth - if you're interested

it's on my other blog 

This is what I have been doing for

the past couple of weeks. 

I love it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

A day to honor and remember

all of our Veterans.

 And also

  Military Doctors, Nurses, Medic's,
Corpsman - who saved their lives and limbs

 The Veterans Memorial at Eisenhower Park, Nassau County, NY

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Eco Dyeing with Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ Part II

Eco Dyeing with Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ Part II 

If you're interested in eco-dyeing

you can read about this experiment

here (on my new dyeing blog) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's Bloggers Quilt Festival time again thanks to Amy's Creative Side!

I'm entering my quilt into the Applique Quilts category.

Several years ago; I took a class to learn a new applique technique called "Back Basting". We started with Baltimore Album blocks. I took me over one year to do nine blocks. When it came time to put the borders on
I realized that I didn't buy enough white on white fabric and by that time the fabric was out of print. And so the quilt top sat in my closet for a long time.

Until the beginning of 2014 I decided to complete some of my WIP. I decided to take part of the Baltimore blocks apart and make individual Wall Hangings out of three of them. I have other plans for the rest of the blocks.

The "Rose Wreath with Red Birds" is one of my
favorites. A truly Traditional Block dated 1854, it can be found in  "Baltimore Beauties  and Beyond" Volume One by Elly Sienkiewicz.

I used needle turned applique along with the back basting method for all of the pieces. I find that using YLI silk threads are best for
needle turn applique - it seems to make your stitches almost invisible.

(If you're interested in learning the back basting method there is a very good easy to follow tutorial By Sentimental Stitches)

After taking this block apart from the others; I thought that it could use ...something. so I decided to  hand embroidered around the turquoise flowers and center hearts using a simple blanket stitch. I think it gives it a little more texture and interest.

To keep with tradition this quilt is hand quilted with straight line quilting on the diagonal. Also, some echo quilting around the leaves and flowers.

The binding is done the Sharon Schamber way. You can find her video  HERE

After the binding was done I needed to add a sleeve. There are many tutorials on the internet but my favorite
is Susan Brubaker Knapp's

I am very happy with the way this wallhanging came out - it measures 20' x 20' and would certainly brighten up any space.

Many Many beautiful quilts in this
festival - Hope that you'll go and 
take a look!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Echo Dyeing with Cleome Flowers

An Eco Dyeing experiment with

 Cleome Flowers.

If you're interested you can read

about it HERE On my new dye blog.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Vintage Quilt Top

Can This Quilt Be Saved?


I bought this vintage quilt top

last year on the internet. I had

stored it away until I had the time

to work on it.

I'm a member of a Quilt History Study 

Group here in Lancaster; so when I 

saw this piece for sale I was so excited!

I recognized some of the fabrics from

about 1890 - 1900. But I wanted to bring

it to the Study to make sure.

Now when I say a "piece" for sale I mean

that the seller called it a "cutter quilt".

I clicked on "buy" and bought the piece.

Later I went back to view the piece again

and I noticed that there were SIX OTHER

PIECES for sale! So I e-mailed the seller

and asked if they were cutting as they 

sold or if the rest of the quilt was

still whole. 

To my relief; they said it was still whole

and asked if they should cut another 

piece for me....NO!!  I will buy the 

remainder of the quilt "UNCUT"!

When I received it in the mail I was

so excited! Granted it does have some

torn spots but it's Queen size!

Just look at these old fabrics!

This is just one piece of the corner

of the quilt that was cut. The quilt

was not quilted but tied.

You can see where some of the pieces

are torn. 

Here's the back....

All hand stitched with small stitches

and straight lines. That's a lot of

work for all these pieces and queen 


That's one of the reasons that I would

like to salvage what I can. 

I noticed that one of the blocks were


Front view of repair

Back view of repair

What I did so far to this piece is

I removed the back and the batting.

The quilt did have a funny odor sort

of like a chemical smell. I had to

put it outside in the shade to air

it out for a couple of days. Taking

it inside at night. 

Here I just removed one block that

was in shreds. I will continue to

remove all of the damaged blocks on

this piece before I work on the rest

of the quilt.

It will take me a long time but I 

believe it will be worth it.

I will post the other part of the 

quilt very soon.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eco Dyeing with Pyracantha Orange Glow Part I

I have a blog called Materialistic 

Visions that I started and neglected.

It's about my dyed fabrics and now

I'm going to use it also for my

echo dye experiments.

Here's what on the blog today---

Experimenting with Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’


If you're interested here's the link
Berry experiment

 Have a great week!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In October 2012 Melanie Testa, a breast

cancer survivor, had a "Call For Art" 

breast pockets. She wanted at least 1,000

pockets with the hope of having the story

published in a New York newspaper. But then

on October 25, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit

the Atlantic coast. It was a category 3 and

caused so much destruction! And so 

newspapers were filled with photos of the

devastation, people walking around with

no homes and just the clothes on their 


In the October/November 2014 issue of

Quilting Arts magazine is an article about

Melanie Testa and her call for

Breast Pockets. 

 Some of the artistic pockets that Melanie 

received in 2012 are published here  -

 and I am very happy and humbled that one of

my pockets was chosen for this publication!

 Upper right hand corner is mine.

I wrote about it Breast Pocket Here.

 Art For A Cause

Quilting Arts magazine is having a 

reader's challenge. 

"In the spirit of health for our sisters,

hope for a cure, and honor for those who

have traveled this path, Quilting Arts

readers are asked to create their own

breast pockets."  

Please pick up a copy of Quilting Arts

magazine for the details.  Honor someone

you know/knew who had breast cancer. I had

made them in honor of my sister-in-law Joy

and my two cousins, Ruth and Rosemary who 

died from breast cancer. 

I'm making them this time for to honor

two friends who are survivors! (Thank God!) 

Please remember to get your  Mammography this month!

I know it's uncomfortable and can be scary -  I had

gotten a call back because they had seen something that

they wanted to check.  Went back with my heart

pounding but thank God all was well.

Please consider making a pocket or two - it doesn't 

take that long and it's fun but most of all it's for a 

good cause!

Happy Quilting!


Friday, September 12, 2014

And so it ends

I'm always sad when summer ends.

I had fun this past summer playing

with fabric on my deck.

Experimenting yet again with different

techniques and some old ones.

I did the stitched shibori which I

always love.

I used  Setacolor transparent paints

on "Cotton Classic" - bought at JoAnns

love the results of this piece! And

the hand of the fabric is soft.

And then I tried using a stencil to

make a sun print. I don't think that

I ever tried that before.

 I used Setacolor opaque Fig (color)

now I read somewhere that opaque will

not make a sun print - go figure. But

I did blend transparent Fuchsia with

it and maybe that's why it worked..?

Experimenting is half the fun!

I also tried Komasu Shibori 

I added borders around the squares.

I don't like the colors that I chose

for this one but I like the technique

and will try it again.

These a just a few that I did. 

What I wanted to try is to --- just

out of curiosity -- to make a historical

block using my dyed fabrics.

One block that I love is Broken Dishes.

It's easy and made out of half square

triangles .... but look

 it's an illusion. You can see

pin wheels - then a star - or just

boxes. I love this pattern!

 I used cotton and also my cotton 

sateen. It's hand quilted with cotton

thread and batting. I had no problem

stitching through the layers. It 

measures 12" x 12" - a small mat. I'm

going to try this one again with different


Another old one

Bachelors Puzzle - Only cottons

no sateen. Also hand stitched with

no problems.  These were made with

my leftover scraps.

I can't wait to try a few more!

The Garden ---->

Wild Onion - Allium canadense

I pull these out every year - they

grow all over the place. But I left

2 plants in because the  insects

just love them!

So, I didn't have the heart to pull

them out.

Even the Cucumber Beetle

This is what I will miss when the

cold weather comes. 

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Smell the Roses

I am taking a blog break - to take time out and 

smell the roses.

In the meantime, feel free to look around and I 
hope that I inspired you in some small way.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Eco Dyed - Onion Skins

As I wrote in my previous post -

I'm looking through the  fabric that 

I had echoed dyed back in 2010 - 2011.

The onion skins - The fabric turned

out (for me) like a mustard gold.

At first I had thought that it was

the tea dyed fabric but I did label

the fabrics and it was the onion skins.

I washed and ironed it and it still

held it's color!

Onion skin fabric purse
 Of course I just had to make a purse

out of it.  The lining inside the 

purse is the tea dyed - the outter

the Onion skins. You can definitely

see the difference in the colors.

Front of the purse - For sale in my Etsy Shop

 I hand embroidered some flowers

going to seed (i think) - with lots

and lots of French knots.

I'm very happy with the way that

it turned out. 

A couple of more pieces to go through

and I'll see what I can come up with



My daughter bought a new DSLR camera 

so.... she gave me her Sony! I have been 

using my Kodak point n shoot for the past

couple of years - it served me well!

 Now I have to learn more about

DSLR cameras. I took the Iris photo

with the Sony and didn't have to go

to photoshop to play with it. It 

created a very nice DOF (depth of

field) and it has more clarity and

sharpness than my Kodak. 

I can't wait to play some more!

Quilting, Dyeing, and 

Photography - oh my!



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dyeing Naturally - Pomegranate & Beans

As I am continually going through

my stash; I find the urge to try

more echo dyed (naturally dyed) 


It started with the Pomegranate

fabric that dyed back in 2010.

Which baffled the heck out me!

There were spots all over the 

fabric - I wrote about it here

It was one of my first experiments

and I promised myself to be more

precise and careful to take better

notes with other experiments.

I made a small purse out of that


What I'm most concerned about is

the durability of the fabric color -

in other words the light fastness of

the colors over a period of time.

Will the colors fade or change over

a period of time.

Pomegranate piece seems to have

not changed at all in 4 years. Good!

It was rewashed and ironed and still

stayed the same. I'll test other

pieces in the future.

But the one that really fascinated me

is the Black Beans - who knew? I

found a photo on Pinterest and thought

that I would try it. The color is 

supposed to turn out a pretty blue -

But it was on Wool yarn.

 I googled and found a couple of 

blogs describing how to dye with 

beans and followed the instructions

but my first batch came out a tannish

brown! boooo  Not what I was looking

for! I also found that a lot of

bloggers had different results.

Which made me think that there are

a lot of variables. 

The batch above - cotton fabric

soaked in alum and rinsed. 

Soaked beans for 12 hours and 

drained in another container and 

put the fabric in to soak - which

is what I read and it didn't work.

I'm using Goya brand beans and my

tap water which is hard water.

so .....

I used bottled water (Deer Park) in this

experiment and soaked the cotton fabric

first in vinegar. 

I didn't wait 12 hours; I put the fabric

in immediately and put the beans on top.

It worked better this way for me...Yes!

It does have the marks of the beans

but that's what I want to do - mark

fabric naturally!  It was drying 

in the sun. 

I washed the fabric and ironed it 

and it faded a little and changed colors. 

I was disappointed....

The top part is bluish and the bottom

is purplish ??

A couple of bloggers found that the 

beans are light sensitive. 

Anyway, I left the beans in the spring

water for 2 days and then added another

piece of fabric and DMC cotton thread..

all untreated (no alum or vinegar)

 As I read that the beans were

light sensitive; I decided to scrunch

the fabric and let it dry in the sun.

I like it! But the color is a greyish

purple (I don't think that the camera

picked up the colors that I see in person)

Like I said previously, there are too

many variables to the beans - so I

bought 2 more bags to try again.

The only black beans that I found so

far in stores around here are the Goya.

Happy quilting and dyeing!