Monday, September 20, 2010

Villa Teresa

This small quilt (16" x 21") was inspired by a photo taken by Teresa Rhyne in the south of France.  Teresa is an attorney in her "day job" but among her true loves are books and fine wines.  She and her SO Chris lead "Words and Wine" tours to France once or twice a year.  And she takes wonderful pictures.  Teresa was kind enough to give me permission to use her pix as quilt inspiration. 

This is another of the pieces in my architecture inspired series.  It was inspired by a picture of a courtyard in Sicily.  It is on display at the Pool Art Gallery at Drury University in Springfield, MO as part of the Threads of Memory show presented by Uncommon Threads.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What to do with those indigo dyes

After I did all the indigo dyeing in June it seemed like I needed to make something using the fabrics.  This piece, approximately 30" square, was inspired by a photo my brother took in Monte Carlo just before he put on a tuxedo and checked out the casinos.   His picture showed the yachts moored there as well as a building I thought was a church.  Wrong again, it was a casino.  The houses with all their windows overlooking the sea were what appealed to me.  The name of the quilt is inspired by the sky reflecting into the sea and both reflecting off the windows.  The sky and the sea were made from a beautiful silk scarf I dyed with the indigo.  It was just right for what I needed so I cut it up.  Now I've ordered another indigo dyeing kit because I want to give some indigo dyed silk scarves as gifts.

For those of you interested in indigo dyeing, the kit I used is a Jacquard product I ordered from Dharma Trading Co.  The original mix lasted almost a month before it gave up its ability to dye.  It also got smellier as time went by!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Textile Improvisation Team Challenge

A small group of women get together once a month to try new techniques, laugh and sample ice cream and cake.  Okay, occasionally we have pie.  We decided to make an art quilt sampler for the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild's biennial quilt show.  The only rules were that each quilt had to be 14" square and each had to include a piece of a blue-green batik to give us a bit of continuity.  Other than those restrictions, we each could do whatever we wanted.  We are quite good at "whatever".
JoAnne Simonson made an abstract dragon.

Karen Carroll has just gotten into inchies and featured them in her quilt.

Vicki Strohm has two dragons - in the lower right corner you will find an observer.

Vivian Terbeek is making some large ocean-inspired pieces but scaled down for this one.

Norma Roberts made this jolly wonky log cabin inspired quiltlet.

And I made a little cabin in the fall woods.

I made a black quilt to tack the little quilts to for display at the quilt show. 

If you are in the Springfield, MO area September, 23, 24, or 25, please
come visit our quilt along with several hundred other fine quilts. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Fabric knotted, tied

Fabric twisted and wound on pvc pipe

Fabric hand stitched and gathered

Dyeing in the yard



An article in Quilting Arts mentioned the availability of an Indigo Dyeing Kit through Dharma Trading Company. I got together with my five partners in textile insanity and we decided to give it a try.
The kit was inexpensive, around $11.00, and contained everything needed to make the dye vat plus good instructions both on mixing the dye and shibori dyeing possibilities. There were blocks of wood and rubber bands and even one vinyl glove. Mmmm, not sure what one would do with one glove since part of the dyeing process is to sink your fabric packet under the surface of the dye and squish the dye through it. Two gloved hands are pretty important! Of course, you can also wrap fabric on poles and dip in the dye.
The interesting part is when you pull your fabric out of the vat it is various shades of green. Within seconds it starts turning blue - has to have oxygen to produce the blue color.

The last picture shows some silk I dyed while the previous one was cotton. The silk took the dye beautifully and has a lovely sheen. Another picture shows a green scarf - this was the result of overdyeing a bright yellow silk scarf.  All of us dyed some silk scarves with the indigo - they are gorgeous.

I don't know how long the vat will last, i.e., turn the fabric blue. In southwest Missouri we are experiencing lots of heat. The instructions mention keeping the vat in temperatures less than 86 degrees. Mine is in the garage and has to be way over that limit. But today, on the fifth day after preparing the dye, it is working fine.

Things to note: this is much simpler than using Procion MX dyes. You dip the damp fabric in the vat for a moment or two, set it on some plastic, and when it turns blue you can rinse it out and launder it or give it a quick wash in the sink with a little dishwashing liquid. Another note to those of you who hate icky smells - when you mix the chemical pack with warm water it stinks to high heavens! I haven't had a perm in several years but the stink factor was similar to that but way more intense. When I do this again, I will mix the chemicals outside. There was no warning about wearing a mask so it apparently isn't toxic but I don't want to be exposed to that intense smell again. One more thought - while you are working with the fabric you have dyed, keep those gloves on. Even when you are rinsing and have most of the loose dye out, it will still turn your fingernails blue.

This was a fun experience. Now I just have to decide what to do with all my blue fabric.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Round Bobbin Quilting and Sewing Expos put on a show and classes in Springfield starting today. The two art quilt groups from Ozarks Piecemakers Quilt Guild were invited to display some of the members' work. Carol Bormann and Vivian Terbeek hung the show and it turned out beautifully. I had two older quilts displayed. I took pictures but one of my quilts turned out to be a big blur. The other is one in my Hidden Treasures of the Ozarks series and features morel mushrooms.  I guess I was having a bad day as a photographer because the colors are off in this photo, too. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Dyeing

Over the last couple of days we've gotten nearly a foot of snow here in the Missouri Ozarks. I've seen several posts on QuiltArt about art quilters using the snow as part of a fabric dyeing process. So I decided to give it a try. My main resource for how to do this came from Rhoda Forbes at has tried snow dyeing a couple of times this winter and her work inspired me to give it a shot.
My favorite hand-dyes have what Ellen Anne Eddy calls a light-source. This method of dyeing does a great job of producing that type of fabric. All five of my fabrics came out with an inner glow that I find very attractive and useful. This dyeing seemed much easier than the fabric dyeing I've done in the past. So if you've been thinking about trying it - go for it!

Sunday, January 10, 2010



This small piece (10" x 11") has been hanging around for a while waiting on me to finish it. I had a 12" x 16" mounted canvas and decided to cover it in black fabric and attach the little quilt. I'm rather pleased with the finished piece since the canvas gives it enough presence to stand on its own. I also got to play with the electric staple gun which I haven't used for years. I'm a sucker for any kind of tool! Now perhaps I will hit the garage and make some frames using the chop saw - another of my favorites. But, since its hovering around 0, perhaps I should go back up to my warm studio and find some other bits and pieces to finish.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010


My brother, Jim (Jimmy the Shoe) Hoover, asked me to do a portrait of his sweet Sheltie, Mya. She was a beloved pet and our whole family enjoyed her. A few years ago, she fell over in Jim's yard and died in an instant. She had the prettiest little face and a beautiful coat. When Jim took her to the groomer she would come home with a little red bandana and I was tempted to add one to her picture. This is my tribute to a sweet little dog.
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wine Time

27" x 35"

I have finally finished some new work. I started Grapes in early December and painted the grapes and tacked them together then added the leaves. Then I couldn't find any background that pleased me. Along came this month's Fast Friday Fabric Challenge: use a color scheme from a label or box to inspire a still life. Rhoda Forbes was the challenge host and listed excellent references to check out on the web about the use of color in advertising and the meaning(s) of various colors. As I searched around, I came to a Froot Loops box which used some colors similar to my grapes. I used the red and black from the box as inspiration for the background for the grapes. So thanks to FFFC and Rhoda I've actually made something other than a pet for the first time in ages!