Friday, June 25, 2010


I'm a big admirer of Heike's work over at Gerdiary. I love her restraint with color and her subtle shifts of texture. Her work always seems to have a calming effect to it. So I was very happy when this little piece arrived in the mail for a touch of calm inspiration for my studio wall. Her gentle touch is even better in person.

I've also been finding this book very inspirational. It has many artists whom I've never seen before. And an added bonus is Heike's work is included here too.

Hard to read on that yellow background, but it's 1000 Artisan Textiles by Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We took our annual pilgrimage to the Shakespeare festival in Ashland, OR this week, so I haven't gotten much else done.

The week was full of plays (great season if you are in the area) and enjoying the beauty of Ashland.

Colorful window displays:

Great art in and out of galleries:

My favorite costume on display:

A highlight of the trip is always spending time in the gorgeous Lithia Park. This time I collected bark patterns for inspiration:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Variegated Dyeing--Tutorial

I've been asked a number of times how I dye the variegated thread. It's very simple! This has become my favorite thread to stitch with in either variegated or solids. It ends up with a smooth finish and nice sheen.

I use standard, mercerized cotton crochet thread.

I make hanks of about 20 wraps around my hand and elbow:

Then tie each end with a loose wire. If you make it too tight, you'll end up with white spots there:

Soak the thread in soda ash solution about 20 mins. Wring out extra liquid and it's ready to dye in Procion dyes. I first dip the middle third in one color. (Sorry no dye in the pot, but you can imagine it.)

Then I dip each of the ends in a different color. You can see the three colors on this ribbon I dyed using the same method:

As with any dyeing, I put the thread in a plastic container, let it sit overnight, then rinse out excess dye.

I've been dyeing old rayon seam binding (who uses that anymore?) using this same method. It looks almost as beautiful as silk ribbon and costs almost nothing at thrift stores!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dreams of Summer

We are still having gray days in Portland, so I needed to make a little summer of my own.

I've loved this book for a long time, especially her use of the quilting line:

I decided to play around with some simple piecing, mainly using my hand dyed fabrics:

And I experimented with letting the stitching line 1. stay within a patch, 2. outline a shape, 3. join patches together and 4. extend into the border:

I'm now dreaming of a 4 seasons series since we have had only one long winter this year.