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…..

Fiber Frenzy Color Challenge

Now that the October meeting is well past, I guess that it is time to blog about it!!!

Two months ago we issued a color challenge where we each picked a color from a hat.  The original idea was that there could be no trading, but that didn’t work out quite as planned.  There were a few trades (including myself and Deb), but the results were wonderful….


We started the show with Sue’s grey piece.  You will need to enlarge it to see it well, but the wood nymph is great!!DSC01047

Cleo presented this pink quilt with fabric beads that were made in a previous FF meeting…….


We all felt that Madeline’s offering was one of the best…….DSC01049 She said that a Burkha was the first thing that came into her mind when she saw that she had picked Black.  It is a really stunning piece!!

Faye channeled her Yellow inner child with “Sponge  Bob”….. DSC01050

Jodie picked White and is making a snow scene inspired by a tree photo…DSC01051 Pat’s green and cheery pink was a great addition to our color wall…..DSC01052

Nancy had this great red fabric and jus started cutting out shapes until she came up with this rose bush…..DSC01053 Francyne is a self-professed “non-purple” person, but she did a great job with this quilt…..DSC01054 

This is Deb’s brown offering that was inspired by the leaf fabric on the left.   She has used wonderful textured fabrics and 2 fabric beads…..a great start!!!  DSC01056

And this is my orange offering….DSC01055

I wanted to try doing a piece with only thread, and it looked great….from 2 feet away.  Unfortunately, if you got any further way, the quilting just disappeared into the fabric!!   I decided to use a pen to accent the design and went to Hobby Lobby to buy one.  As I looked at the $7.00 pens, I noticed an orange Sharpie for $1.99 and decided that it would work fine….and it did!!!!

I hope to finish the piece with some additional quilting patterns as a border!!

You may notice that many of the pieces were not finished and that is one thing that I love about our group.  We are all busy people and have agreed that there is NO pressure to finish any of the challenges.

Fiber Frenzy – Part 2

At our last Fiber Frenzy group the program was about making Deconstructed Screen Printed fabrics and was presented by Anita and Mary Ann.

They started out by showing us how to make a screen.  First step is to place objects under the screen, only using things that are fairly flat…..


Next you use a squeegee to cover the screen with a thickened dye……


Lift the screen up, remove the objects and allow the screen to dry.

Next, place the dried screen on a piece of PFD fabric and squeegee it with print paste…..


Lift the screen and see what has happened…..DSC00436

Move the screen over, apply more print paste to release more dye…..DSC00438

As you keep going, more and more of the dye releases, causing the print to change……everyone is a bit different from the previous one!!!

Here are two more examples….this one was made with thin spaghetti underneath the screen……


…..and this one showed the progression as more and more of the dye began releasing from the screen……DSC00445

THANKS Ladies for showing us such a fun technique……DSC00458

Fiber Frenzy Report

Last Friday was the meeting day for our Fiber Frenzy Group.  We had a wonderful 2-1/2 hours together.  As a matter of fact, we all looked at our watches and realized that we had over-shot our ending time by 30 minutes!!!!

The first thing that we did was present our “Leaf” challenge projects.  I did not prepare a challenge piece this month, but had a wonderful time seeing what everybody else came up with.


Mary Ann was first to share and brought out this delightful piece…..  DSC00401 Anita showed this piece that was made by stamping the fabric with a leaf that had leftover paint from a deconstructed screen printing project…..


Nancy prepared this thread painted fern leaf….cant you just see it unfurling…..DSC00403

Jodie wasn’t there but sent in her fused leaf collage……DSC00404

Shirley (who never makes anything small) brought in this delightful applique.  She is debating about adding more to it and turning it into a queen size quilt.  I love the fabrics and colors….makes me think of Autumn and cooler weather!!!!DSC00399

Finally, Madeline blew us away with her leaf…..

DSC00404 She said that the piece used a smorgasbord of techniques ranging from paints, paintsticks, thread and anything else that she could think of!!!!

It is such fun to see what everyone comes up with!!!!!

Fiber Frenzy – Thread painting tutorial


Mary Ann M. (check out her blog here) gave a short demonstration for how to work a piece with thread painting.

Specifically, she talked about how to make embroidered pieces and then cut them out and applique them to our quilts. 

The first pieces that she showed were sewn on tulle that was sandwiched between two pieces of Solvy.  When the Solvy is soaked out, the tulle holds the stitching in place…..

_4082249This top one uses a straight stitch making small overlapping circles, while this one was stitched with a free-motion zig-zag stitch.


She then showed us some of the wonderful pieces that she has been doing some thread sketching on…..


I absolutely love this piece…..but you know how I am about sunflowers!!!_4082251  She suggested several books for us to look at……

  –  “Thread Magic” by Ellen Anne Eddy

  –  “Thread Painting Made Easy” by Terry White

  –  “Threadwork” by Effie Mitrofanis

She also mentioned Laughing Cat Design Studio blog where there is a wonderful tutorial for doing thread work.

Thanks Mary Ann for inspiring us to try something new…..

Fiber Frenzy – Going Green

At the Fiber Frenzy group on Friday, we all shared our “Going Green” challenges.  The were wonderful!!!!!

Sue T. made this wonderful piece using recycled men’s ties.  I love the texture that she was able to achieve and we all laughed about the tie with the houses on it.  It was the perfect addition to her piece……


Shirley E. made two challenge pieces.  This first one was a reminder that we have to be careful with the way we treat our water……._4082245

The water was made with layers of organza and netting.

Her second one was a reminder of the railroad tie garden that she has.  She fills it up with all of the compost bits from her kitchen and then grows wonderful vegetables ……_4082241I particularly liked the 3-dimensional garden with her quilting “scraps” on one end and the plants growing on the other……_4082242  Mary Ann M. showed her jalapenos.  She is not happy with it because she thinks that they look too much like pickles, but pickles ARE green…._4082232

Jodie S. showed her piece featuring a 3-dimensional lunch bag filled with painted vegies.  She used Inktense pencils to draw and color the vegetables……_4082233 

Madeline H. didn’t get hers translated to fabric, but showed us her plan. …..GO NOTRE DAME!!!!_4082239

Here they are all together……

_4082244Isn’t it amazing how two simple words can take our minds in such different directions!!!!