Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oh Those Bonnie Hunter Gals......................................!

Finally!  I was able to meet with the Bonnie Hunter Club!  It is held twice a month at Wooden Spools.  The gals meet under the direction of Jessica, who makes sure we are on the right path with our BH patterns.  The next quilt is called "Hopscotch, Butterscotch" from Bonnie's Adventures with leaders and enders book.
We had show and tell--YES!  Always fun when you have one of BH quilts finished. 
This one is "Lazy Sunday"

So colorful!  
Jessica was given a gift--What fun!  turtle alive!

Pat had this 30's sampler to show off--she was asking if other borders needed to be added--
we all agreed--nope!  It looks perfect now.

Here's Krissy's quilt--love how she uses her colors

and how about this one?  How colorful is this?

and she found this great backing--dental paste fabric!!

She also showed this wonderful log cabin small quilt.
It was a super day for sewing with friends!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Color Fulfills The Soul.............................................

What is your art medium?  Do you work with Styrofoam, plaster or paper mache, clay, acrylic paint, wax or maybe watercolors?  Do you fashion dolls?  Make felt?  Create landscapes?

Whatever your media, everyone has the same thing in common

I love to collect those wonderful catalogs found in tourist areas--the ones that advertise the fancy shops in the region.  I also like the slick publicity ones that feature upcoming exhibits.

Work by Rebecca Brady
Work by Jenn Ashton
And the world opens up with this website!
Have a Colorful Day!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Texas Quilt Museum Exhibits

Autumn in Ohio by Noriko Endo 
Contemporary Quilt Art from
the Marbaum Collection.
This exhibit will feature 41 studio art quilts, dating 1984-2008, from the
private collection of Hilary and Marvin Fletcher.
These quilts were acquired from entries in the Quilt National
Competition, where Hilary served as project
director from 1982-2006.
Gallery II will feature 10 quilts from Texas quilter Cynthia Collier.

Cynthia will give a free gallery talk on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m., with Museum admission free beginning at 2 p.m.

Teresa Wong will give a free lecture on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3 PM on the history of Japanese

 The lecture and PowerPoint presentation will highlight the fascinating story from her new book, Japanese Contemporary Quilters and Quilts: The Story of an American Import. Museum admission is free beginning at 2 p.m.

Forty years ago, Japanese quiltmakers were heavily influenced by American quilts and quilters. Today, there are two to three million quilters in Japan, making it the second largest concentration of quilters outside the U.S. Wong’s lecture will take visitors through this remarkable transformation and explain how it took place.

In 2014, Wong was named the first Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Foundation Scholar by the Bybee Foundation and the Texas Museum. The honor was awarded in recognition of her research on Japanese quilts in conjunction with her Master of Liberal Studies degree at Rice University.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


On your mark!  Get Ready!  Spin!  Here is your chance to jump on the spinning wheel and create that perfect yarn--During the week of October 5-11, there will be an opportunity to join in this giant spinning challenge!   Hand Spinning News is one of the sponsor.

Spinzilla Sponsor footer

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Shetland Wool Week

Oh, to be in the Shetland Isles September 26-October 4!  You know why?  Here's why.....................Shetland Wool Week
Shetland Wool Week is a world renowned celebration of Britain’s most northerly native sheep, the Shetland textile industry and the rural farming community on these islands. Shetland wool is a world class natural fiber, with a long standing reputation for quality, strength and excellence from the fleece to the textile products. Shetland knitwear has a deserved respect gained from many generations of hard working knitters and crofters producing some of the finest lace and Fair Isle knitwear. There will be classes in knitting, spinning, weaving as well as lectures and tours!  What excitement!  And as an added bonus, you can receive this free knitting pattern from their website. Baa-Ble Hat - designed by Donna Smith.

f Britain's most northerly native sheep, the Shetland textile industry and the rural farming community on these islands.d textile industry and the rural farming community on these islands.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Texas Book Festival--Poster!

This is the official 20th Anniversary Texas Book Festival poster, which features the work of artist Fatima Ronquillo. Ronquillo is a self-taught painter whose classical imagery is inspired by literature, theater, and opera, evoking a world of serenity and charm. Her intimate works play with the style of European old masters coupled with a magical realism rooted in folk and colonial Latin American traditions. The Festival poster image, a boy with a goldfinch perched on his hand, suggests an inner world where art history meets with nostalgia and imagined storybook characters.

The Festival   . The festival is on the weekend of October 17 and 18 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin and benefits Texas public libraries.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Need A Hat--Of Course!

Okay--I'm knitting that cardigan but I need a hat--maybe, one that will coordinate!  Let's have a matching outer wear ensemble!  Woop!  Woop!  I found the perfect way to do that--through Knit Designs by Tian 

Knitting begins October 2nd!

The concept for the Design-A-Long is similar to a "choose your own adventure" where for each section of the hat, you decide. For each section of the pattern, I will send out to newsletter subscribers 2 or 3 stitch patterns and you, the knitter, get to choose which option you want to make. 
Here's how it will work:  
Each Friday for 4-weeks, starting October 2nd, I will send out to subscribers-only instructions containing stitch options. 

Week 1: Cast On stitch amount for multiple sizes along with brim stitch options.
Week 2: Body of the hat
Week 3: Crown decrease options
Week 4: Finishing and Project page update.

At the end of the Designs-A-Long, you will have a completed hat, or 2, 3. Based on the number of stitch patterns, you will be able to easily make 3 different hats. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Senses........................................

About this time of year, every year, we take a short drive to get our system infused with FALL!  Those colors, sights, sounds, smells--all mean cooler weather is on the way!
Pumpkins everywhere--PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) at Starbucks!  Pies, cakes, muffins, BBQ sauce, cheesecake--you name it, we'll fill it with pumpkin!

Colorful Mums!

Ornamental cabbages line decorative boxes 

And the smells--chilies roasting!  and we're eating fresh chilies in our dishes--yummy!

Fresh roasted corn on the can't get any better!

Vast sunflowers dot the landscape--all is well when the weather takes that cooler turn; we hear the elk bulging during rutting season--see the mountains clear and bright
Even the sunsets take on those fall colors!
Yes, we take that short drive to go 'leaf peeking'

Aspens heading into their winter nap.................
ah, Fall.............................

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What is Brioche Anyway?

What?  Brioche?  Is it a French Pastry?~ Well, Yes!  Here is a recipe!    What the heck is Brioche besides a French Pastry?
I came across this term the other day--in knitting, no less and I wonder--how can I use Brioche?  Do I even know how to knit Brioche?  That led to more investigation work-=(I think I was meant to be a detective!)  
Cast on a number of stitches evenly divisible by 3
Every row: YO, Sl 1, K2tog, repeat to end
The brioche stitch is actually a combination of stitches, forming a ribbed pattern in knitting through a specific repetition of stitches. The brioche stitch is a somewhat advanced knitting pattern. You should be comfortable with all of the basic knitting techniques before attempting it. Once you master the basic brioche stitch, you can branch out into two-color brioche patterns. Brioche stitches will bring a unique texture to your knitted items from socks to sweaters.
 Here is the chart, if you prefer.....................................................

Oh My Gosh--there is even one color, two color, half stitch--all Brioche!  You could spend a whole life at knitting this interesting stitch.  Here is a cool Scarf pattern.

How about learning this technique as your stitch for the day?  Well, now that I know what Brioche knitting is, I think I'm going to try my hand at baking a Brioche!

Monday, September 21, 2015


I seem to be on a paper venture!  The more I look, the more I find fascinating about paper arts.  IN my research I came across felted paper!  Yes, felted paper!  It is a unique Korean traditional way of making textured and painterly imagery hand made paper using just water--can you imagine?!  This technique is called Joomchi.

One of the artist working in this technique is Aimee Lee.  Another exciting artist using Joomchi is Jiyoung Chung
What exciting and fragile looking pieces

Lets take a look into Joomchi--and maybe, try our hand!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Basket Case!

Have you ever said "I'm a basket case"?  Then there is the laugh track, "taking a college course like basket weaving"!  Implying that you are not a serious student!  Well, excuse me!  Have you ever looked at your baskets?  Everyone of those baskets is handmade by a person!! or maybe many people had a hand in twists and turning the reeds!  A basket is a weaving!

I bring this up now as we are packing to move to another location and I come across my baskets--oh so decorative and useful for storage.  I have many--some I've collected over the years; others were gifts.  While living in Venezuela it was a treat to find that perfect basket made in the Orinoco Delta--in fact, I collected so many--large, small, smaller!
Loved these little baskets!
and these lovely trays or plates!

It was my passion to collect a basket from every state I visited--one from Louisiana made from Palmetto leaves, another from dried pine needles; in fact, you can make a basket from any fiber that is bendable.  There are baskets made from split oak, weeping willow, sweet grass ( smell so wonderful!)

Years ago, we had a basket weaving obsession!  We gathered our own vines, willows, anything that would make a weaveable warp and weft--we had such fun invading our friends backyard and nearby fields!  Then we sat by the swimming pool as the vines soaked, shared stories, laughed and wove our own special basket. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tapestry Weaving!

 Tapestry weaving techniques that were used in ancient days are still in vogue today!  Yelp, not much has changed in tapestry weaving.  There are some different approaches to this world of over and under.  There are modern weavers using Tapestry as their avenue of art.  Take Sharon Crary's work--she is manipulating the weft to ripple and wave!

Sometimes Tapestry weavers will use a cartoon for their placement.  

Yarns of many colors are used in this weaving.

The Navajo weavers will use this simple loom

and some will use only the natural sheep color wool~

If you fancy contemporary tapestries, much as Sharon does, check out 
American Tapestry Alliance--this organization promotes tapestry and those who weave
And the love of tapestry goes on and on with artists original work--check out

Friday, September 18, 2015

SAQA Benefit Auction

Benefit Auction
Beginning today Wonderful pieces of fabric art will be auctioned off on Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. SAQA defines an art quilt as "a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure."
Founded in 1989 by an initial group of 50 artists, SAQA now has over 3,000 members: artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators and corporate sponsors. A dedicated core of volunteers and staff keep the organization vibrant, dynamic, and progressive. 
This is your chance to own beautiful, unique art quilts by some of the world’s finest artists. Plus, your purchases help increase the recognition for art quilts and the artists who make them while supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Back To The Basics

It is that time of the year when the weaving study groups begin again after a summer rest.  The other day, I was thinking of how I could get my mind back into the weaving mode again.  So, let's get back to Basics in the weaving world.   I went searching......................................................

and all my searching bought back memories---memories of how and why I began to weave!  and what did I find?  Lots of the way I learned!

Frame Loom weaving!  Yes, this is the way I learned back in 1970's.  So, guess what?
What was old is new again!  How exciting is that?!!
This is an inexpensive way to begin.   I went to the local lumber store (no Big Box stores then!) and got lumber to build a frame--got a ball of cable thread, warped the loom and went over and under with some awful yarn!  But, I was weaving!  Then I visited the local library and found all the weaving books--all two of them--came home and threw myself into learning!  But, the best part of weaving--You can find other weavers who have the same mind set as you!   Hence, you find a wonderful guild and study groups to encourage you on your path to weaving!

Now, you just open your computer and there the whole world is your oyster!
Here are some interesting sites I found to get back to basics.

Pinterest (loom threadings too)

Loom and Spindle

Hey Natalie Jean

Learn to Weave

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Winter's A Comin'--Have a Cardigan!

Well, I know it's time for the weather to take a turn to the cooler side.  Also, you can tell by the number of sweater and cardigan patterns featured on Ravelry!  I've never had much success with knitting any shaped piece!  But, that doesn't mean I can't learn--so when this popped up on Yarn Madness, I said to myself--"self, why don't you give this a try?"  The pattern states that it is worked from the top down and in one piece, using worsted or aran weight yarn –The fit is relaxed-- and the topper of the whole project-the whole garment is worked in garter stitch, so not a purl stitch in sight!  Sounds good to me!  
Want to join in?! 


4 sts and 7-8 rows per inch in garter stitch


Actual bust circumference of garment:
30/32.5/35.5/39 (42/44/47/49) inches, or
75/81/88/98 (106/111/118/122) cm
Approximately: XS/S/M/M2 (L/XL/2X/3X)
Size guide: Choose the size closest to your actual bust circumference, or 1-2 inches larger. The cardigan is indented to be worn with a close or slightly loose fit..
 Worsted or light aran weight yarn; approximately
MC – main color
800/850/900/950 (1050/1150/1250/1350) yards, or 730/780/820/880 (960/1050/1150/1250) meters
CC – contrasting color
60/65/70/75 (80/90/100/110) yards, or 55/60/65/70 (75/80/90/100) meters
You can use a single contrasting color, split the yardage equally between 4/4/4/5 (5/5/5/5) different ones, or alternate between 2-3 contrasting colors.
Two 5.5 mm (US 9) circular needles, or size to match gauge

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

QOV 2015- a Block Drive!!!

QOV 2015- a Block Drive!!!  Quilts of Valor needs you!

Every year, Alycia, sponsors a quilt block drive!  This year is no exception so here are the 2015 blocks!  What fun these will be to create!  and you can stash dive, just as long as red, white and blue fabrics are used.  
What is QOV?  It is a small way we as fiberists can honor our military service personnel--so join in
make one block or many and contribute to this worthy cause.
Thanks Alycia for giving us a chance to assist in this outstanding way!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Want to Rub a Fish?

Soooo,  you are a fisherman and you either throw the fish back or you save it for the table--now, if you are one of those that say--"it was thisssssssss big" and nobody believes you!  Here is a way to prove the rubbing! It's called Gyotaku--GYO means fish, TAKU means print, rubbing, or impression. It's pronounced ghe-yo-tah-koo.  Early Japanese used this method of recording the size and type of their catch. It wasn't long before they realized that the images were beautiful art.

Isn't this just too cool?  How about a day of play and make some fish rubbings?  Don't have regular fish to use and don't want to go to the fish market?  There are rubber fish!!  Yes, rubber fish you can rub--how eeky is that?   Anyway, Here is another website that offers more information if you want to do some Gyotaku!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Congrats! My Friends!

I'm so excited for my friends afar!  They have achieved  success in the fiber field with these exhibits!  
Here is information on East Texas Fiber Exhibit:  

The East Texas Art League will be hosting the opening of Fiber Fabrications, showcasing the work of Beaumont Area Fiber Artists,Elizabeth Ann Broussard, Dot Collins, Susan Cornell, Jerry Lynne Domingue,  Connie Marie Fahrion, Kathy Risinger, Christine Schmelebeck, Sherry Walker, and Sylvia Weir, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 26, 2015, at the East Texas Regional Art Center in Jasper, Tx.  .  The show will run through October 31, 2015.  Congrats--Dot, Connie, Sylvia!  You were always an inspiration!

If you are on the East Coast, drop in to see Antje Goldflam's work.  Antje Goldflam is originally from Germany and soon after her geology degree started to roam the world with her husband. She has lived in 8 countries-mainly in South East Asia. She sees herself as a global citizen and wherever she lived she enjoyed learning about new cultures, people and arts. She was a Chinese brush painting student of Master Lim Eow in Bangkok in 1989 and preferably paints landscapes, birds and lotus. - 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm  
International Center (IC) See map
421 Temple Street
Event description: 
The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is proud to host a reception for the opening of the Yale Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Group's 2015 painting exhibition. It will be held at the OISS from September 16th to October 28th, 2015.
- See more at: OISS--Yale Education  So happy to see Antje's work!  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Horsehair Fabric

Many moons ago, I worked at a French Colonial Plantation in Baton Rouge.  Sitting up on the ridge was this plain but elegant late 1700's-early 1800's home.
You wonder why I bring this up now--well, the other day, I was browsing the Internet--you always come across some interesting and astounding facts and fiction there!--anyway, back to the subject at hand.
My browser took me to this website about horsehair----I was reminded of my past history with this plantation.
In the parlor in this lovely little home was several pieces of horsehair upholstered pieces:

--A set of five American mahogany Classical style side chairs: Ca. 1820. New York. Each with a curving tablet crest between molded stiles which become the seatrails; horizontal back support with a central roundel flanked by foliate brackets; having a black pattern horsehair seat raised on saber legs
--An American Classical mahogany swivel piano stool: Ca. 1820-1830. Having a curving figured tablet crest and carved back support, the stiles sweep downward to form the seatrails; having a ring-turned support and three hipped and leaf-carved splayed legs ending with paw feet; the seat upholstered in black patterned horsehair

Since this was not one of those 'fancy' antebellum house of Civil War era,  docents spoke of the lifestyle and furnishings of the period.  Each room had a display piece and the one in the parlor was a horsetail so all could touch and feel.  Horsehair was a popular upholstery in that time period and for several years thereafter.  But, today, we don't see much of this elegant furniture.  In fact, I didn't know it was still being woven until I came across this video.

Have a look at this video: Horse Tales Vimeo Video by Nick Wilcox-Brown

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Pause For Remembrance

Today is the anniversary of that dreadful day September 11, 2001.  You will always remember where you were when you heard that news--the twin towers had fallen and many lives had been lost.

Today, let's take a moment..................................................................................Reflect!

The photos are embedded in your memories!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


I've always been interested in how spinners and weavers of Colonial America made their clothing.
Since I have spun all types of fibers and know how long it takes to spin just one bobbin of any fiber--I'm completely overwhelmed thinking about their daily tasks and how they accomplished clothing their family as well as keeping food on the table!
The above quilt is an example of at least one textile that survived the test of time.

According to family tradition, the quilt is made of pieces of shirts worn by boys in the Lowrie/Knox family, several of whom died in the Confederate Army. The cloth, according to the family story, was homespun and dyed with walnuts and china berries.

Some of these textiles use 'linsey-woolsey', which means there is a linen warp and wool weft--all hand spun.  In later years, especially in the South, it would be a cotton warp.  Now, stop, think--how long would you take to spin and weave fabric for your family?!
check out Linsey-woolsey and Civil War Quilts 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

One Skein of Yarn--What To Do?

There is a Knit Along on Ravelry (of course! my favorite go to website!)

Yelp!  It's that time again--time to start think about winter wear--let's begin with 
One Skein of Yarn and knit one of these delightful hats.  Most of these patterns use Worsted
weight yarn, but I'm thinking why not use two or three strands of my sock yarn to get the
gauge I need?  Another way to use up the stash!!  

Andre Sue Knits has this cute and simple hat.

Purl Bee always has fashionable patterns available

Balls to the Wall Knits has this cute Wickerwork cap designed by Gretchen Tracy.