Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Journal Quilts 09

Journal quilts including mine...
Recession's Depression, Jai Ho and Jubilation, and Raising Kids and Letting Go

Friday, November 20, 2009

Space Shuttle experience

We experienced the Space shuttle launch earlier this week. The sound and vibrations were just incredible!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Orthopedic Surgeon Thank You Quilt

This is a Thank You Quilt for my Mom's Orthopedic Surgeon. I gave it to him today in great appreciation for all he's done. I embroidered his name,added bone embellishments and some bandaids and saws and other tools to his medical bag. The Creaking joints and other text were from a T shirt of ailments and the Joint &Bones, Fractures, Sprains and Strains were from a bandana from a national park giftshop.
I also appliqued a fabric postcard Thank You to a gift bag.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mosaic table

This is another one of 2 mosaic tables that I created that will be in MOSAIC ART 5 that includes 1357photos of mosaics by 771 artists from 43 different countries on 2 CDs.

I cannot wait to see all of them.

More info at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cyber Hints

Printing on fabric: tape fabric (using double stick tape in certain places) onto heavyweight matte printer photo paper. It is stiffer than freezer paper and is designed to feed through the printer very smoothly and incrementally. It is MUCH quicker... just rip the fabric off, stick another piece of fabric on and am ready to go again in less than a minute. "I've found you can feed the same piece of matte paper through the printer at least 10 times before the edges start getting a little soft. Then I use it for its intended purpose which is to print a photo. I just trim it slightly so the photo has to be smaller than 8x10. I can print entire pages of print onto fabric this way.

In traditional embroidery, you never use a knot to anchor your thread. The threads are too slippery and the knot always comes undone, or shows through the cloth. You put a temporary knot in the end of the thread and anchor it a few (3 or 4) inches away from the beginning of your work. Take a few large traveling stitches to get where you want to work. After you have embroidered a while you trim off the knot, pull out the tail, thread it on a needle and weave it through bottom of the stitches on the back side of the work. You only have to do this for the first part of the work. Once there are some threads laid down, you just weave the new thread through the back of what is already there. Thread-away-waste-knot

Mr Clean Magic Eraser will remove dye from your skin, shoes, etc without being too abrasive on the skin. It's the only thing that removes the iron/manganese from vinyl bath tub and shower and it makes suede look brand new. It works to remove crayon from computer screens and magic marker from upholstry . Cleans the iron .


Silamide beading thread by YLI is great. Many colors, and you can use a length three yards long and there will NEVER be a knot and it will not fray EVER. It comes on 40 yd travel cards, 100 yd spools and jumbo 900yd spools.

Cut thread on a angle and thread before you cut it . Place a piece of white paper behind the needle so you can see the hole in the eye.

Nymo thread is thinner, basic sewing thread is not good but you can use hand quilting thread.Thread the needle before you cut it off . You do this because all threads have a twist to them and if you thread against the twist it will fray and may cause tangling and breaking.

You can easily use a size 11 sharps needle with size 15 beads. While the hole of a size 15 bead is the same as the hole of a size 11 Czech seed bead, the Japanese Delicas (also size 11) have a bigger hole and you can use a crazy large needle on them except if you want to pass the needle through many times.

Fireline will melt even when you have a teflon sheet and fabric between it and the iron.

for a size 15 seed bead you can use any fine needle in your stash. A size 15 seed bead has the same size hole as an 11 seed bead so you can use the same size needle. John James needles (size 11 short) and Silimide thread or Fireline. The most common thread used today is Fireline 8lb or 6lb obtainable at fishing stores & Wal-Mart, available in smoke or white. It stands up well to the sharp edges of bugle beads and crystals

If you use Japanese seed beads you can use a 10 needle and for attaching to fabric by John James beading needles and then you will not need to use the long ones. With many beads, except size 15, you will be able to use any fine needles in your stash.

There are #10 and #12 sharps needles that you can use (#12 for size 15/o beads). They are like regular beading needles, only short.

Threading beading needles: Direct lighting on your working area. Use thin thread; Fireline or SoNo work well. Get a desktop Ott lamp with the 2X magnifier included. Cut the end of the thread at an angle or straight across (I pinch the end as flat as possible). Usually, people recommend moving the needle eye to the thread instead of trying to push the thread through the needle's eye.

Thread as many needles as you have with different thread colors Store the threaded needles in a felt sandwich, wrapping the thread around the bottom piece of felt and then covering it with another piece of felt.

Colorhue dyes: only work on silk, wool and linen. They come very concentrated in a liquid form. You add a few drops to water to get a medium shade. Instant gratification!

Choosing the ultimate photo printer: Go for a printer that uses pigmented ink, as opposed to dye-based ink. Pigmented ink lasts longer. Your prints will be more water resistant and won't fade as fast.

Clover cheater needle is a self-threading hand needle. It has a open notch in the top of the eye so you can pop your threads into the eye easily. They are much faster to thread. Once you're finished quilting, use it to thread those loose threads quickly and pass them through the middle, batting layer of the quilt and clip them off. This leaves no visible sign of where you started or stopped quilting on either the back or the front of your quilt.

Liquitex makes an acrylic medium that is called "iridescent tinting medium". It's primary purpose is to be used to mix with acrylic paints to make any color pearlized. But you can use it by itself and it will dry clear, just leaving the sparkle. Do not want it on fabrics that would see a lot of wear, as it tends to flake off a bit, if you don't have the supporting binder from the paint.

Quick gift ideas:

Easy felt ornament. Use purchased felt or make your own by shrinking an old wool sweater in the washing machine. Use cookie cutters as patterns to cut out simple shapes. Blanket-stitch the edges, add rhinestones or embellish with easy embroidery.
Gift ideas, many different crafts

use microscope slides and sandwiched photos of people (or transparancies) and soldered them as ornaments. Some were single images and some I put 3 or 4 together, like panels, and sometimes added a bit of colored glass with those. ..made a 4 generation piece

bracelet. Use alphabet beads to spell a child's name. If you know the child's birth month, use birthstone-colored crystal beads between the letters.

Personalized frame. Use alphabet stickers to add the recipient's name to a purchased frame. Choose stickers that are slightly smaller than the frame's border.

Wire-wrapped candle. Dress-up a candle jar by adding wire and beads around the neck. Twist the ends together and bend the wire into loops and spirals.

Grab-bag toys. Stitch a simple drawstring bag from holiday fabric. Place small toys like bouncy balls, plastic dinosaurs and temporary tattoos in the bag. Vary the contents so each bag is a surprise.

Scrumptious snacks. Use your favorite recipe or download a recipe from to make a tempting treat. Wrap it in a pretty tin or box for a gift that always fits. No time to cook? Put together a collection of your favorite teas.

Create a wintry candlescape : Place a medium-sized glass candleholder inside a larger glass globe. Add Pour beads or marbles into the large globe to reflect the candlelight. Surround the centerpiece with small glass tea-light holders.

Pine posy : by tying a few short pine branches together at the ends. Hang the swag from a doorknob to make your home smell like the holidays.

After your Thanksgiving feast, clear the table and share a holiday craft. One year, my family made easy polymer clay ornaments to keep and give as gifts. Choose a project that appeal to boys and girls so everyone can get in on the fun.

Host a holiday cookie exchange. At the last cookie exchange , each participant brought two dozen plain sugar cookies cut in a holiday shape. We spent a fun evening decorating the cookies and visiting with each other; plus, we each brought home a bunch of decorated cookies to freeze and use for holiday get-togethers. If cookies aren't your bag, host a cardmaking party instead. advent Xmas tree
polar fleece socks pattern

Check out this donation quilt by Hollis Chatelain - you can enlarge even the detail photos:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day of the Dead quilt

The quilt which honors my father, Great Visions, Great Life, is part of an exhibit, DAY OF THE DEAD: Art & Culture in the Americas at the Everhart Museum in Scranton, PA September 25-December 31, 2009