The title of this piece is "Tidepool", and it's approximately 12"x15". I layered the quilt sandwich and free-motion quilted the background before attaching the center. I used the patterning of the Batik as a guide for my quilting. 

I layered two dyed, used dryer sheets and some eyelash yarn between water soluble stabilizer sheets and stitched with invisible thread. Soaking briefly in water removes the stabilizer and once it had dried, I added handmade and seed beads.  The center was also attached with invisible thread.

I'll be adding a how-to section to my blog in the near future and will include information about lots of ways to recycle used dryer sheets to use in your fiber art projects, so stay tuned.
It's a gloomy, end of winter day and I'm getting organized to teach this week at the Fox Valley Technical College Sewing and Quilting Expo.  

Whenever I teach, people ask me if I have a book or a web site or a blog.  So, in lieu of a book or web site, I'm resurrecting my old blog, long dormant since Facebook seemed so much easier at the time.  Hopefully, I'll be able to post ideas, photos and videos.....once I get past the learning curve....of projects that might help get your creative mojo going like they do mine.  

I love working with unusual and recycled materials and bits and pieces of things that usually get thrown away.  So stay tuned and as soon as I dust off those mental cobwebs we'll be off and running.


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Blogging is just too time consuming, so find me on Facebook!

Stars and Shadows Class

Wow! What a nice group of women attended my class last week at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo. Everyone was friendly and enthusiastic, which always makes it so much more fun to teach.

At the beginning of class we sorted through all the beautiful hand-dyed fabric that I had brought. ..140 yards of it!! A big thanks to my friend Barb Raisbeck ( for helping me with that!

Everyone chose their own fabric for the projec,t which helped to make each piece totally unique. I'm always so amazed by the choices that people make. Fabrics that I never would have thought of putting together turn out beautifully. It really is a learning experience for me too.

For those of you who took the class, I'll be posting some other ideas for using my pattern that we didn't have time to cover in class, like table runners and toppers. Hopefully, I can get to that later this week!

Broken Paths

I so hate to waste fabric...almost to a ridiculous degree.

A friend was here for the weekend and showed me a technique for sewing curves. I ended up with two rectangular pieces, and it just seemed a shame not to do something with them. So...I cut them up, joined them back together with colorful scraps, and bound them with something funky. They've got some decorative stitching too, and look great hanging in my kitchen.

Each one is approximately 6"x18".

Crow and Trumpet

This monoprint was used for promotional
materials for a musical event in Rockford, Illinois.
I cropped the little crow out for my profile photo, as you can see.

I use a material called Mastercarve for most of my prints. Various size blocks are available and it's very dense and rubbery. It carves easily with little Speeball lineoleum tools like they had in high school art class. Watch those fingers though, or you'll get a nasty cut! Then I either roll on printing ink with a brayer, or if my print is small, use a dye ink pad like they use for rubber stamping.

Making rubber stamps is fun and easy too. Lineoleum cutters are available at places like Michael's and Hobby Lobby at very low cost. Flat, white erasers are small, easy to carve, and also low in price. My personal favorite is Magic Rub, which comes in a three-pack for under $2. It's a great way to add personalization for folks who make cards and do scrapbooking too.



Okay, so I admit, I'm not very good with written directions. Not all written directions, just ones that include numbers or any kind of math or measurements. Not good for a quilter. That's probably why I like to make up my own projects...if there's no pattern, then I can't make a mistake.

This was supposed to be a quilt from Karla Alexander's book "Stack a New Deck"...well, I guess it still kind of is. The directions were to cut a certain number of squares, stack them in a certain number of "decks", and cut each deck randomly into three pieces. The pieces are then shuffled and reassembled into blocks.

When I got the quilt top done it didn't look like the photo in the book. I reread the instructions only to realize I had done each of the two instructions incorrectly. Wow, was that a weird moment. But the good news is that I actually like my quilt better. So I figured out what I had done wrong, wrote it down, and have made a couple of these, one of which I have yet to quilt.