Fiber Frenzy River Challenge

Last Friday my Fiber Frenzy group met to disclose our “River Challenge” pieces and, as usual, there was a lot of variety.

Shirley was first up and she based her quilt on a Sawmill located up in the Georgia mountains.  She told us that it was done entirely from memory.  I love the small chain used on the posts……


Pat is doing a wonderful job of showing the beautiful sunset.  Her leaves have been worked with thread on netting and still have to be cut out and attached…..


Sue wanted to do something “out of this world” and ended up with a black hole sucking up her river.  We loved the look of the river and the skeletal fish….


Fay stepped outside of her box and made this cute fish quilt.  She said that her inspiration came from the blue and green stripe fabric…..DSC02918

Deb is working on a Frank Lloyd Wright interpretation.  I LOVE the colors and the mixture of piecing and applique……DSC02909  

Nancy tried a lot of different techniques on her piece and plans to add a few more things to her rolling river……DSC02912

Madeline captured the lazy days of summer.  The trees were thread-painted over a felt background and it gave so much dimension to the picture…..DSC02913

Francyne had always wanted to feature Blue Herons in a quilt and found this to be the perfect project.  All of the fabrics are commercial ones except for the water and she did a beautiful job of putting everything into perspective.  The little wispy white feathers on the Heron breast are actual feathers!!…..DSC02914

Jodie used her painting skills to add interest to the background fabrics and then used thread painting for the tree.  The trunk fabric was actually an “Aspen” fabric, but she was able to turn it into a pine tree using thread.  She said that the scariest part was doing the thread painted needles actually on the quilt top!!!


I have shown it before, but here is my contribution…..


We are hoping to be able to entry them in a local show and display them all with the river edges meeting up…..should be a fun display!!!!

Fiber Frenzy – DeColourant


Several weeks ago our Fiber Frenzy group met with Francyne helping us to explore the world of DeColourant.

DSC02662 She began by explaining that DeColourant is a product that is used to discharge the color from fabric and that it is better than bleach products because it is not as hazardous.

She then talked about DeColourant Plus which not only discharges the color from a fabric, but then re-dyes that fabric with a new color!!!

The DeColourant can be applied to fabric in an infinite variety of ways, including stamps, resists, stencils or simple painting.  Once painted, the fabric must be allowed to dry completely.  The actual process of discharge and re-dye doesn’t begin in earnest until you apply heat with an iron or other source.  The hotter you heat it, the more discharge happens.

She showed several examples…..


….and as usual for her, provided tons of tips and helpful advice.


These stamps were made from found objects applied to insulation board….


When getting ready to use these stamps, she painted a thin layer of “paint” onto her pallet and then dipped the stamp in the paint…..  DSC02674

….much easier than using a brush to daub the paint onto the stamp.

She also suggested cutting down the simple foam brush so that it has more of a blunt point that doesn’t have as much give as the normal brush…..DSC02659

She talked about using daubers to apply the solution to stencils, resists or other areas.  The one on the left was made from a cosmetic sponge…..DSC02660

This is what she used as her stamping pad…..


…..a commercial product that has a cutting mat on one side and a pressing board on the other.   By covering it in plastic she could use a damp rag to wipe up any bleed thru so it didn’t affect the next piece of fabric……

But her best tip (which had nothing to do with DeColourant) was this wonderful trick….DSC02664  …..use a bread wrapper closer to keep the tape ends loose and ready for use!!!

Several of our members came prepared to try out the technique but I wasn’t one of them!!!  I am anxious to try the DeColourant as a discharge, but probably wont use the color-added product.

Thanks Francyne for a wonderful demonstration!!!!

A little River Rafting

On Saturday morning I headed back into the studio but decided that I should clean up the previous day’s mess before I started…


How does it get this way so quickly????

I realized that I was going to have to add some threadwork to the wool roving to further hold them in place, but first decided to add a heavier piece of fusible fabric to the back to give it a more stable base.

As I began the quilting, I recognized that I was going to have to switch from the open-toed foot that I normally used because the wool wisps would get caught on the points…..

DSC02539 DSC02540

Using the closed toe foot made the quilting easier, but caused another problem because it is so hard to pull the bobbin thread to the top.  SO I decided to not worry about the bottom threads and to just clip them, leaving about 1 inch of thread.  I figured that these would not show in the final piece and that leaving the extra bobbin thread on the back might help hold the stitches better.

As I started to do the threadwork, I got really nervous about what pattern to use so I printed out several copies of the piece and auditioned  each stitch design before I put the piece under the needle…. Scan_Pic0009

It was a Fun, Fun afternoon of stitching and the final result was ……


Final step will be to fuse the trees on, but the question still remains of how many, what size and what color…..

Decisions, decisions, decisions……

Going with the flow…..


As I read about the piece the I showed in the previous post, I found out that the background was made by fusing roving to a background fabric using a product called “Bo-Nash”.

Bo-Nash is a “salt-like” granule that is used to mend fabrics or fuse other fabrics together.  Now let me say that every time I have tried to google this product, my computer has detected a virus attack….not sure what is up with that….

Anyway, here is a picture of the product…..

bonashStarterL I mostly followed the instructions in the book but make a few changes here and there. 

I started out by drawing a full size pattern to work from.  I then covered it with a piece of fine fusible interfacing with the fusible facing upward.  I then took a skein of fine white wool and spread out a thin base on top of the fusible.  Next step was to begin added the dyed wool to complete the picture……


I pulled out one set of roving to use for the mountains, but quickly found that they didn’t look all that great…..

DSC02508 So I switched to a purple hued set and was much happier with the composition…..


Next came the river, adding a little Angelina fiber and topping it off with a silk cap piece that I had bought in Australia and then finally the grassy bits.

This is how it looked at this point…..DSC02524

I set up a newspaper foundation and placed the piece on the floor, sprinkled on the Bo-nash powder, covered with parchment paper and started ironing…..


Here was my first view of it…..DSC02534-1 Eh… it was ok.

But then I added some “trees” to see how it might look and……

DSC02533 … did that make a difference to the perspective!!

A good place to stop for the evening……

Rolling down the River

I know that it really isn’t Kosher to post about challenges before they are due, but if I don’t write about it now I am afraid that I will forget what I did.  Oh well……

My “Fiber Frenzy” group decided several months ago that we would join the hoard of groups who are making “River” Quilts.   The idea is that we will each make our own quilt and then hang them all side by side to make one long river.

The rules (and due date) have changed several times, but the final plan was to make a quilt somewhere between 12 and 30 inches, with the a river (between 2 and 4 inches)  touching each side of the quilt.

I had SO many ideas and started out by drawing a basic shape and starting to try different things.  My first drawings were very structured and I was thinking solely about piecing…Scan_Pic0013


Then two things happened at about the same time.  Firstly, my friend Deb mentioned the “F” (fusing) word and secondly, I caught a glimpse of this picture in a book (“Adventures in Mixed Media” by Jane Davies)……


As soon as I saw it, I could picture a river running thru the trees, so my drawings became less structured and more fluid…..


……to be continued…..