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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Needed a break!

 My break isn't from the 'stay at home' order but break from my knitting...I may not have enough yarn to finish!!!!  YIKES...I'm in the process of measuring how many yards I'll need for 454 stitches for 4 rows of knitting then the addition of knitting 24 more rows of the Nova edging of an addition 320 stitches!  I's a lot of math isn't it! 

So for my "break"...I watched Design Matters TV's workshop on coloring thread after stitching.  Laura Kemshall has shown different  techniques (e.g. applying textile paint) after quilting. I've used some of these in my own art work.  This is one such piece that I applied white acrylic paint after all the stitching and even the addition of the metal discs.

This latest workshop, Laura is using disperse dyes to color a quilted piece!  Who knew!  Not me that's for sure!  I've used disperse powder dyes before but because you can't use on cotton and only on poly/synthenic fabrics, I haven't done much more with them.  You can see some of my posts here from 2012 and here from 2015.  

So, I dug out some of the old papers I had painted with the dyes!  That is one nice advantage of the painted papers...even though they are old they still work great! 

Next up to grab some older quilted/practice pieces to color!  This was my first piece and I was a little hesitate but still you can see the before (left) and the addition of the coloring on the right.  No bad and gave a little color to the upper left area.

You can see where I got more daring with each piece...this was a sheet of red dye. 

This was a sunprinted piece one of my friends did quite some time ago that I  quilted (I used the rest of this piece as background for my beaded blue squirrel).   I really like the addition of the orange on top of the green.

Well, they can't all be a success can they!  HA  I haven't been happy with this background for my beaded bird so I thought "why not".  I'll just cut him out of this piece and create another background. 

All in all I'm happy with using the disperse dye application.  Just another technique to put in our textile tool box!

Now back to counting stitches and yarn!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

QA Stitch by Stitch Reader Challenge

Along with 20 others, I was lucky enough to be published in the April/May 2020 Quilting Arts magazine for their Stitch by Stitch challenge! 

I love any type of hand work, so this was an easy challenge for me!  It was based on their fall issue (Oct/Nov 2020) article by Liz Kettle and how hand stitching is such a great way to meditate!  At least, hand stitching fills that bill for me.

This is the page showing my three (blue) 4" squares.  I can't read the label on the bottom squares...guess you could enhance to 200%!

And closeups of my squares.

The background was stamped with my cardboard stamp block I made several years ago, which is slowly wasting away!  I'll have to make another one soon!

Just hand embroidery...wrapping yarns around straight stitching...

Well, of course, I had to add some beading, right!  This is from Margaret Ball's book, Embeadery, which I have mentioned on my blog often.  I love this book!!!  I bought it years ago and it's my 'go to' book for beading ideas!

Simple hand stitching and trying to enhance the
lines from the stamp. 

One of my friends sent me this page from a lady in their Design Works group that meets monthly. Her name is Pat Thompson from  Brighton, Michigan and these are her squares.    She did a  nice job and looks like she may have used some b/w shibori fabric but even with enhancing the picture I can't read it clearly!  I really like b/w work and this is nicely done!

I haven't received the issue of the QA magazine so I can't share any other pics.  We are still hunkered down!  Off to grocery store today or Friday!  Actually, I only need to go to the store to check on the 99% ground turkey I buy for my dogs!  I make their food to help Kalee with her health I'm really concerned that I can't find the ground turkey!  Fingers crossed that they'll have some in neighbor found me 2 lbs. last week....let's hope I can get at least two more!  I'll trade
 toilet paper for ground turkey!  Any takers???

Monday, March 23, 2020

Keeping busy!

I won't even mention the pandemic that's is with us...too much of it on the will just show what I've been working on!!!
I'm getting quite a bit of spring cleaning done, as I'm sure most women are at this time!  But I am working away on my knitted lace!!!  This is the project from hell!  Yes, HELL! 
Although, I am learning quite a bit...when you are doing regular knitting, if you drop a stitch, no big deal, right!  But in the lace's a major issue, at least for me!  Who knows that dropped YO (yarn over) from a dropped SSK, PSSO (slip, slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over!)...UGH!!!

I have ripped out more rows of stitching in this one project than I have in 10 of my previous projects!  BUT, I will survive!!!  I will finish if it drives me crazy!  HA  It's hard to see all the knitted patterns because it's on smaller circular needles but it will be very pretty once it's blocked...if I can finish before the snow falls!

BUT, all the pieces are ready to assemble on my woodpecker quilt!!!  WOOHOO...I've painted all the edges of the tree, limbs, beaded feet and beaded woodpecker! 

Actually, I've been working mainly on the knitting project, so my woodpecker quilt has taken a back burner.  I'm still on target to finish by March 30!  HA

He's all finished!  Finally...well, except for his beak which I'll finish beading once I attach to the quilt!

I have the placement of the limbs and woodpecker, just need to put down my knitting needles so I can get back to quilting!  That may happen...or may not!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Book Reviews

I listen to books via my IPOD (after downloading from the library) or I read  a 'real' book in bed at night while Bob watches the news (which we tape...ugh)...anyway, I've read a few really good reads lately and wanted to pass them on! 

Etched in Sand and Girl Unbroken are books written by two sisters on their life with their alcoholic and abusive mother.  Yes, at times when I first started reading Etched in Sand, I was going to stop reading, as some areas were just awful....but the book is well written and Regina Calcaterra was such a strong young lady and, now, a productive member of society. 

Regina wrote this book first and was finally able to encourage her sister to write her own story.

Once again Girl Unbroken is just as hard to read but I am glad to say I finished both of them.  These two women are amazing!!!

Jan's story is another sad but well written read and gives you more insight to the devastation that Alzheimer's can cause to the patient and to the caregiver.  You will most likely recognize this reporter from several news stories/journalizing he has done for major networks.  I remember on 48 Hours or one of those shows, he did an entire segment on his wife and when she was in the nursing home. 

I'm not sure on what's up with all the sad books I'm reading lately! 

I am a huge fan of Preston & Child's 'Pendergast' character in their novels!  This was another good read from them and since mystery novels are my favorite it was a nice change from all the depressive reads!  HA

I'm a few books behind in reading all of their novels but now that I've read all the other depressing books on my list, I should be able to get back to Pendergast!!

Saturday, March 14, 2020


I'm back working on the tree for my beaded woodpecker.  The tree needed more shading to give dimension to the tree.  So, I'm using Gelato pastels to hopefully do just that.  This is my result, so far, and I still need to do the branches.  And create beaded feet as well as bead the woodpecker's tail feathers.

The background fabric is a lot brighter than what shows in this picture.

You can see better here with the tree on the left before I started using the Gelato's and on the right where I did shading.  Slowly but surely...

To be honest, I've been concentrating more on my knitting than on my woodpecker!!!!  Bad me!!!  But this dang lace shawl is such a challenge and I'm really anxious to get it finished!   I didn't have a good place to stretch the shawl out so I only 'pulled' on the left side so you can see the lace pattern. 
This is the shape the shawl will be in when blocked/finished!  

Actually, I'm getting more comfortable with learning how to do some of the lace repeat patterns by going back and watching (more intently!!) Andrea Wong's video's on BluePrint!!!  I purchased both or her video's a year or two ago, so I have them for a lifetime!  Which at the rate I'm going learning these new Portuguese knitting stitches, I'll need in my lifetime!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Short Post

Weather has been so good to us this winter!!!  Look!!  Our snow is almost gone in this picture from 3 days, it's all gone!  Girls are enjoying one or two walks a day depending on temperature...but at least one walk a day! 

And my latest knitting project, a lace shawl!   The yarn is so soft and when it's blocked, you'll see the lace pattern even more. 

I love the Portuguese knitting method which I learned via YouTube's by Andrea Wong.  But sometimes, I can't figure out the stitches because of the way we hold and 'flick' our yarn.  It's similar to Continental but different! 

I had this same issue with picking up stitches for Rilynn's pinafore.  But Andrea was gracious enough to do a YouTube  on picking up and knitting stitches!  Which made it simple!  DUH!

So now I'm playing with some practice yarn to see what Portuguese stitches I can use to replace the simple: 'K3, yo, sl2, k1, p2sso, yo, k2' for an eight  repeat!   

The way we knit the  Portuguese 'yo' and where our yarn can be placed is what's causing me fits...I readers don't care about this but I keep trying to say it out loud and even typing it makes me try to figure it out! 

And look who turned 8 months old!!! 

Rilynn is such a sweetheart!  Just wish they lived closer!  Hard to get Bob to go more than 30 miles anywhere!  Wait!!!  That's me too!  HA  But I would travel to Ohio to see this little one!  She's with her bff, Boscoe! 

Growing up way too fast!  And bragging on Amber who made the Dean's List (College sophomore) and Nick (HS Junior), who had 2 A's and 4 B+ this report term.  He's also in Advanced classes.  So proud of all our kids and grands!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Playing with papers

With all the sorting we have been doing in Hilary's MIP class, we are finding papers that just 'need more' to make them useable.  So I played this weekend trying to do just that!  For the most part, I had success.  Here are a few of my efforts to enhance some of my papers!

I'm not really finished with this piece and the photos are flipped..but I think that's obvious!  The before is on the right!

Once I got started on this piece above I couldn't stop...and I should I think they look like fish, if I turn them on their side!  HA

I was using Intense Blocks and some Neocolor crayons.

This one was simple...just a quick overdye but I think it needs some texture so perhaps some rubbings or stencils.

Oops...another one that I flipped...this is on fabric.  You can see how bland the piece on the right is.   Out came my glass plate and some black Setacolor to do a mono print!  I really like this piece.

The piece on the left was made using pastels and screen printing on paper!  I didn't care for my drawing...obviously! again I just did a mono print!  I love this one now!

Yep...I was going crazy with mono printing but it really worked!  The piece on the left was one the MIP group thought the little guy on the bottom left was a hippo (I think that's what they thought!). 
Anyway, isn't the piece on the right so much better!!!!

These are just a few other pieces I did...I didn't take  before pics...the 1st piece paper is similar in feel to deli paper.  It's larger than my deli papers but I don't remember where I got this from.  The pastel colors on the bottom were from using it as a 'wipe up' paper! 
Middle one was just a pale painted sheet...and the 3rd is a rubbing but I don't remember what I was using to rub with!

This was a fun exercise to to "enhance" more papers!!  Our 2nd year starts in April and we'll be focusing on composition and design work.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Glad this project is finished!

Our little Rilynn!!
Geezz...I'm pretty much a self taught knitter.  Yes, I've taken a few online classes through Blueprint (Sally Melville & Andrea Wong (Portuguese Knitting) but otherwise, I've been  self taught.  Up until this Pinafore (for our great grand daughter,  isn't she a cutie!), my projects have come out great!  Or at least I've been happy with them and wear what I knitted.  But I hit a snag with this project.

I honestly couldn't remember how to pick up and knit stitches using the Portuguese knitting method.  I was lucky enough to have Andrea Wong post a YouTube how to do this simple step.  Honestly, I couldn't even remember how to hold my yarn and needles the 'old' way and kept getting my yarn just not in the right spot with the Portuguese.  But, Andrea did a great job explaining so that took care of  one problem.  And, yes, I felt dumb seeing how easy it was!

Next up, I wasn't very careful on storing the half finished knitted piece...hence, I did get quite a few snags/mini holes, which I tried to repair.  Hoping when I block it, they will fall into place!  I'm sure when Rilynn wears it, she'll create some of her own, which is fine.  It's meant to be worn, right!

Lastly, I couldn't figure out how to pick up the stitches around the armhole, which is one piece...using my circular needles it just wasn't cutting it!  I couldn't make it around the armhole!   I finally reread the instructions, where it said "using double pointed needles, pick up 54 stitches".  Hmmmmmm  OK, so I get out two double pointed needles and tried to pick up way was this going to happen.

FINALLY, I read the material list again  and guess what!  They said "set of size #3 double pointed needles"....double pointed!  Really!  I have no idea why but I JUST happen to have a set of double pointed needles (set of 4!)  My next delima was how to use them.  I have never made socks and I don't know why I even had a set of double pointed needles (even in the correct size!) but there they off to google how to use the buggers!

Well, I know for sure I won't ever make socks!  I felt like I had three or even four hands!  Yikes!  This was  not fun and more frustrating.  I don't know the number of times I ripped out picking up stitches around each armhole!  But I finally got into the swing of it!  Separating the 54 stitches to 3 needles!  DUH!


But it's done...well, almost.  I need three buttons for the back closure and guess what!  I could only find one pink button, in the right size , in my button box!  All those buttons and only one pink button!!!

To tell the truth, I'm almost tempted to remake this pinafore....almost...I purchased yarn to make a shawl last fall at the same time I purchased the yarn for the I really want to make the shawl - for myself!  Who knows...I'm not big on making children's knitted clothes because they grow out of them so fast.  So guess I'll be selfish and just make my shawl!  And I won't be using double pointed needles!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Still sorting papers!

 I've mentioned in previous post(s) how we are sorting  our papers  from Hilary's online class.  Seems pretty easy, is or I guess I'm getting better at sorting.   First sort by color, but then once you've sorted your papers where do you put them!!! 

I had my papers stored in this tote, which is about 3ft long and about 1.5ft wide.  It's pretty deep and so far all my papers fit BUT once I sorted them...then started to work on a project...before I knew it they were all messed up again!!!  Doesn't work for this Type A person.  I like some organization in my life and in my artwork products/medium/etc.!

I was asking in our online group how others were handling this and a few sorted and put into folders, some wrap a sleeve type folder around each sorted section, etc.  I was actually taking a section of newspaper to hold each of my color papers...but I wasn't happy with that either.

While cleaning/sorting my papers and getting my table set up to do more work,  I found these clear plastic/acid free bags -  13"x19"package of 25  (ClearBags Seal Top Closure from Amazon).  When working on my DIL's genealogy book, her mom had several valuable documents (wedding, christening, etc.) from Germany.  They were beautiful but she had them rolled up and I wanted to protect them.  These bags worked great to store her documents in.  They were a perfect size for her documents and guess what!  Perfect size for my papers!!! 

I forgot I even had them  since I stored them  next to my poster board that I lay on my table when working with paints.  I only used 3 of them for the documents and the package contained 25!  So glad I found them!!!!

So now each color section of my papers are in their own sleeve...which makes it so easy to pick up and work with!  Keeps them nice and neat and keeps them sorted!

Hard to see above....but the papers are in bags!  Woo hoo!

Next, we  sort by 'features' - those papers that can stand on their own as a 'whole' piece to stitch or cut out certain items for them to be the 'star' or main focus in a quilt. 

But notice something....yes, they look cool but they need something more, don't they!  By "something more", more definition or overdyeing to color in the white, etc.

So that's also a sort within a sort for our features!  These pieces (along with quite a few others!) will be a separate bag for me to work on.

This oval screen print paper is cool and will make a great piece to use as a whole piece but there's too much white around the edges. 

There's only so much we can do with thread, right!  I may just add thicken dyes around the edges or even Intense block pastels. 

Background pieces are just that..pieces that can be used for a background or cut up to use in a  patchwork  piece or in abstract collage work.  Same with feature pieces that 'need more'....This will make a good background piece or used in patchwork/collage but, again, too much white so it might need some over dyeing or addition of pencils or pastels or whatever!

Same with this piece.  I don't see it being used as a feature piece but it could be cut up in strips or even circles but still needs to be overdyed for sure and who knows what else!

And you all thought I was just playing around in our class!  I sure am learning so much....and now I get to 'play around' some more by trying to figure out what to do with my sorted stack of 'needs more'! 

Stay tuned!  This could be interesting or could be a disaster!  But then I'll just have to stencil/mono print/stamp/dye/etc. more papers!  Guess that's not all bad! 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Cardinal is finished!

Yep...cardinal is all finished...even the sleeve on the back!  Ready for the exhibit "Birds, Blooms and Butterfly's" in May..or is it April?  Hmmmmm  I forget, but it's to finish the Woodpecker and maybe the other beaded bird that is waiting for a home!  HA

Finished Cardinal

It was fun to work on this cardinal and I'm so glad to have put him in a home of patchwork!  Now onto the woodpecker and the wren, who is waiting for his home!
In progress.....

I started off with some stab stitching then switched to green threads.

I need to add more of the embroidery...

branch and some beading!

Sometimes you don't know when to stop or when to add more...

I finally decided to stop adding more embroidery...
Animation from beginning to end!