Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I just finished embroidering (by hand) the center of my latest crazy quilt.  It was done with a single strand of silk floss (various manufacturers) and a #10 sharp needle.  I used a fine line sharpy pen to trace the design onto the silk dupioni fabric.  Then, I backed the fabric with interfacing to provide support, as I do not use a hoop when I embroider.  I used a single strand of Bijoux metallic to outline the letters in CRAZY QUILT.  

Here is a close up of the "C" with a penny next to it for scale.  It was difficult to photograph, as the light bounces off of the silk fabric and silk embroidery threads.  The color of the fabric is a periwinkle blue.

A photo showing the fine needle with a strand of silk floss.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My crazy quilt, "Therapy" earned a red ribbon at the Vermont Quilt Festival over the weekend.  At VQF, quilts do not compete against each other; they compete against a set of criteria.  A red ribbon means I scored 92-94 points.

There was also a really nice antique crazy quilt on display.  I enjoyed the various fan motifs and blocks, as well as the cauldron motif.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Crazy Quilt Video

Happy Yule! Here is a link to a video on how I put together my crazy quilt, "Therapy".  May your holidays be lovely."Therapy" video of my most recent crazy quilt

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sound the trumpets!  My book, "Crazy Quilts - A Beginner's Guide" has been published by Ohio University Press!

I am so grateful.  It was a long time coming and I appreciate all my family, friends and students who kept encouraging me. To quote, "Oh Brother Where Art Thou":  I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. 

You can order the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and from the publisher.  Although the title states a beginner's guide, there are enough tips and info to satisfy intermediate and advanced crazy quilters and embroiderers.  There is so much photography (which I did), that it would make a great coffee table book too.  I discuss how I put my crazies together and the thought process of choosing fabrics and threads and beads, etc.  The first chapter is history of the crazy quilt during the last quarter of the 19th century.

I hope you purchase and enjoy my book.  I really hope you start adding embroidery and beads and all things beautiful not only to quilts, but to all manner of surfaces!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Have you ever added beads to a crazy quilt and realized you used a wrong color or something happened to the bead and you wanted to replace it?  On my latest project I was using acrylic pearls for a motif.  After the motif was finished, I ironed it carefully.  Or, so I thought!  The tip of the iron came into contact with one of the "pearls" and melted it.  I'm using the end of a scissors to indicate the offender.

Using a needle-nose pliers to grip and then break the pearl.  Squeeeeeeze until the pearl breaks apart.

The pearl is gone, but the thread that previously sewed it on is still there.  Leave it there.  You will sew a new pearl over this space.

The motif all better!  This technique will work for glass beads as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Herbal Living Contributor

I have become a contributor for Mother Earth Living's new web site, Herbal Living.  I'll be posting videos and posts about herbs - growing, using and enjoying.  The first video is about making a tea that helps immensely with a sore throat.

Sage and Ginger Tea

If you would like me to make a video on some aspect of herbs, just let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for watching and sharing.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Emerging Herbs

Spring took its own sweet time in arriving this year.  Winter simply did not want to loosen its grip.  Finally, the spring peepers are singing their chorus, red-winged blackbirds have appeared and plants are starting to awaken.

Here is Stinging Nettles, Urtica dioica.  Notice the purple/red runners that nettles sends out to spread from place to place.  Yes, indeed, this plant will sting you!  When it reaches about a foot high, I will harvest the aerial parts.  I use garden gloves, salad tongs and scissors to harvest.  Come back in a few weeks and I will share some delicious recipes for nettles.  It is nutritious and really good.

This is Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca.  Motherwort will grow to 3-4 feet tall.  It is really a great herb for some types of anxiety, especially when someone needs to be "lion-hearted", as the Latin name suggests.  I usually use it in tincture form, as it is quite bitter.  

Lady's Mantle, Alchemilla mollis, is just beginning to unfurl her cloak.  When I lived in England, it seemed EVERY English garden had Lady's mantle.  It is a really pretty mounding plant that will casually spill over a walkway.  The Latin name tells of its one-time use by alchemists.  There is said to be magic in the dew that collects in the folds of the leaves.  I like to dip my finger in the dew and anoint my face with it.  Can't hurt!  And it's rather fun.