Saturday, December 15, 2012

working the plan

 Here I have painted 3 yards of white cotton and am auditioning threads to determine which color I want to use for some stitching on the fabric.  I divided it into garment parts and each is painted just a bit different now I want to add some thread work, but not sure what that will be.  I kind of like the deep red color.

 These are different parts of the same piece of fabric.  It was underdyed first and then Presist brushed on and painted over with black thickened dye.
Here I used a stencil to apply Presist to the dyed background.  Then over painted leaving the background colors to show through.  It's not great yet, but I'm just seeing if the "plan" works.
I can only stand up for about 1 hour and then I have to get off my knee for awhile, so while I am down I contemplate what to try next.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Here is the PLAN

I have been laying around, (in pain) thinking about what the next class in Claremont will be.  They advertised it as "Painting with Thickened Dyes" and that will be there, but with a few twists as well.

I have always liked these jackets from the Fiber Arts Book.  They are procion dye painted onto linen using wax resist.  They were the inspiration; however I hate to work with wax so I am going with water resist instead.  Then I saw an episode of Quilting Arts where a woman was getting similar effects with  procion dyes, water based Presist, and a second thickened dye layer.  I want to try that.

Here is what you will need to bring to class.
3 yards of PFD Cotton
a shirt pattern
a water or heat erase marker
a roll of plastic
a plastic bin
a few zip lock bags
and scissors
We will do low water immersion dyeing for a lighter first layer of color on our fabric.  The next week we will paint, screen print, or stencil on a Presist design and when it is dry paint over it with thickened dye.  Remember the dyes are transparent and this will change the first color.  Then that is processed in the plastic and we can then remove color, or add more as needed until we have a great print to make a shirt from.  We will then spend a few weeks sewing a shirt with interesting details.
Are you in?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I could post a photo of my big incision, but in the oppion of my grand daughters "I't's gross", so I will spare you that view.
I am recovering well, I am up using the walker and have been able to go upstairs to sleep in my own bed.   That alone is heavenly.  The physical therapist says I am doing great,  I just have to keep up the painful process of exercising the very stiff and painful knee until it accepts working with me.
Thank you for all the get well wishes and prayers in my behalf.  I am on the way back!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Tomorrow is the day of my surgery.  I am a bit nervous, but determined to get it over with and back to teaching and enjoying life pain free.
I have been stock piling hand work on a few things to do while I recuperate so have not finished anything lately.

I have three quilts which will be at the Ontario History Museum for a show beginning Dec 6 through January.  225 Euclid Ave.  Ontario.  Here a photos of two, I couldn't find the photo of the third.  You will just have to go and see the exhibit to find out what it is.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Surgery November 8

My surgery date is set for next Thursday,  November 8.  That is as long as I don't catch cold, get the flu, get cut, abraded, a rash or anything else between now and then.
I better stay close to home.  OH DEAR I forgot,  'most accidents occur in the home'  Well I will just hope for the best,  I want this over so I can go on with my life.
By the week after Thanksgiving I should be doing pretty good so come for a visit.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Watercolor Workshop

I took a day and 1/2 watercolor workshop over the weekend and this is what I painted.  In case you can't tell it is a view of the fields in Italy.  It was really fun to do, but we went very slowly and painted every detail.  The grape vineyards and orchards were a challenge I hope I met okay.  It is the largest painting I have done as it is about 16" X 24"using a full sheet of watercolor paper.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


 I worked on one part of the poinsettia wall quilt and am happy with how it is turning out. It is hand applique before the quilting and  I am trying to save the other parts to do the hand work while I am recuperating from the surgery.  If they keep delaying things I may not be able to wait.  I just want to stitch!
In the meantime I have to make two hand made gifts for the Christmas parties of two groups I belong to.  I had the metal tops in the stash so I painted a couple of orchids, appliqued and quilted them to make these two little bags.  They are about 8 inches long and are really very pretty.  Maybe not practical for carrying much in them, but lipstick, cash and a credit card, but they are pretty.
This could morph into a class.  All I have to do is find the resource for the handles again.

I got the contracts back from Houston for the Long Beach Quilt Show and they accepted all 7 of my class proposals.  WOW!! I will be hopping for those three or four days.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A couple of paintings

 While in Italy we went to a market the Saturday before Easter.  They had everything all laid out including herbs in pots for sale.  I thought it was such a pretty picture that I photographed many of the stalls.  This is my painting of the herbs I love the name stakes in the pots it kind of ties everything together.
While in Costa Rica this red and green bamboo was growing just outside the door.  I had never seen red and green bamboo so of course I had to try and paint it.  I didn't include all the fonds, but you get the idea and I love the colors.
THis week-end I am going to a watercolor workshop.  Good thing as I have not touched the paint since before I went to Lisa's.  However I did sew the dress and have worked a bit on the poinsettia project.
That project is changing a bit from what the original vision was.  Progress report later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Poinsettia Project

 I started a new project before I went to Lisa's to sew.  It is another wall quilt using photographs as the pattern.  This time I did some silk painting which I will hope to integrate into the appliqué.
 This is the map or layout I hope to follow and though the plan in my head works I hope that it will also turn out well "for real'.  One never knows for sure.  I hadn't done any silk painting for many months, but I am happy how things are turning out.  A few runs are to be expected, but the colors are vibrant and the red and green isn't clashing too badly.  I'm looking forward to a few days in the "studio" to see if the plan works.
I will give you a progress report in a few days or so.

Dress for Ella

While I was away at Lisa's house I sewed this dress for Ella.  She feels like a princess in it and is looking forward to her baptism next month.  Each day she came home from school to see if I was done yet, finally on Friday I was done.  It is fun to go for a visit and be involved in all the activities the kids have going, but it is also nice to come home to the quiet for awhile.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Doodle Workshop

On last Wednesday I spoke at the Glendale Quilt Guild and on Saturday I did a workshop on "Freemotion Quilting."  It was great to be teaching again, and even better to see friends from past classes and associations.  I hope a good time was had by all.  If the students in the workshop will get their pieces finished they will be beautiful.

I am off to Nevada to sew a dress for grand daughter  Ella.  I will post photos when I get it done.  Bye for now.

Friday, October 12, 2012


They have scheduled my knee replacement surgery for Saturday November 10.
That will delay the start of classes at the Alexander Hughes Center until Wednesday January 9, 2013.

I will make this announcement several times between now and then and also give supply information later.  I am happy to have a date so I can make a few plans.

Monday, October 8, 2012


 Remember when we printed on the organza and the canvas or cotton was under the organza?
These butterflies were printed through the organza onto a light canvas I had put down.  I got the fabric out a few weeks ago and it needed something more so I took it into the back yard and flicked it with paint with off a brush.  It was just what it needed.  Besides I have been seeing garments with the flicked paint look so I am "fashionable".  I made the vest with black bias on the seams.  The back view is down below.
 This is silk painted with thickened dye.  I blew up the drawing and then painted it with a brush and a small tip gutta bottle of thickened black dye.  the lines are a bit shakey, but the blouse is fun.

Back view of the canvas vest.   I doesn't fit my dress form, but I couldn't wear it and take a photo with my phone at the same time.   My small camera is missing.  but the phone photo shows these garments well enough for you to get the idea.  I still need to finish the organza kimono.
Still no date for surgery.
I will be speaking in Glendale Wednesday night at 5:30 at the Glendale Library  for the Quilt Guild if anyone is in the area and interested.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

still painting

 I am still painting some of the photos I took while in Italy.
This was a garden gate at a villa we stopped at to have lunch.  It was the best food I ever ate.  and the grounds were lovely.

This was the view from my window in the small hotel we stayed at in Venice.  The building was crumbling but the flowers were blooming away.  It was beautiful color and patina.
While I was on the trip two ladies told us they were award winning painters, but never painted a stroke.  I thought it was rather odd, but they said they would paint when they got home.  I now suppose that is a valid argument.  I didn't paint anything after I got home until now and I have been mining my photos for subjects to paint.  I'm glad I painted while I was there on location, but I am having a ball painting from the photos here at home as well.
By the way, I have also been doing a bit of sewing.  I will share that when I return from a visit to Sara's.  I think you will like the project.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have been taking a water color painting class at the local senior center on Thursday nights.
On Saturday I went into my "studio" to do some home work and started painting.  It was so much fun that I kept going and spent most of the next three days painting and listening to audio books.  Two books later this is what  I have done.  I painted from photos I had taken this past year.

 These were succulents in the gardens at the Huntington Library.  I think they turned out pretty good, they look like succulents and have dimension.  It was hard to get the color right.
 This was a little village in a crevice of the cliffs along the Amalfi coast of Italy.  The houses were built right into the rocks.  I couldn't deal with all those stairs.  There are no roads only the sea to go in and out.
 This was a rose in  my garden.  I love the decorative background.  It didn't start out that way, but sometimes I surprise myself when I experiment.
 Here is a tiny hamlet along the New River in Belize.  Beautiful water lilies and ram-shackled buildings plus a skinny yellow dog.
These pots were on the front steps of the hotel we stayed in in Sorrento, Italy.  I especially loved the shadow of the palm on the back wall.  I should probably do something else for awhile, but I am so excited about painting I might continue while I can.  So Fun!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Queen Size Quilt

I have finished a Queen Size Quilt.  The first quilt I did, many years ago, was just a large hot pad, now I have made progress in both size and proficiency.  I started this quilt this summer by quilting the variety of blocks then I put them together with the strips of color.  If I do it again I will make all the blocks the same size.  I liked using different fabrics, but the variety of sizes was a pain when it came to putting it together.   I had to make fill in strips and some strange angles.  Oh well, it is the learning that counts and now I know.  I like making smaller quilts better, because they are easier to handle and they get finished faster, but it is nice to have a bed size one done too.  My doodling (free motion quilting) really improved in the process.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

playing in the water

I have been taking a watercolor class just to pass the time while I wait for my knee replacement and this was the first project.  This is a different teacher than the previous classes I took, she likes realism.  I'm more into freedom , but I should learn something wherever I go.
What did I learn?  How to soften hard edges, how to bring back some of the white paper, how to pay close attention to the pattern of the wings.  (They are off here and there, but I tried)  I will keep you posted on any progress I make.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

opportunity knocks

Quilts Inc. (Houston) has asked me to submit some class suggestions for
Long Beach Quilt Show next summer.  In trying to figure out what to submit
I came across these hand painted satin roses.  So I worked for a few hours 
re-remembering (is that a real word?) how to do them and then speeding up
the process.  I used Jacquard Green Label silk dyes and set them while they
were still damp.  It worked!  I can easily teach painting the satin for the petals, and 
then making a rose in a 3 hour time period.  
Of course my old stand by "Microwave Dyeing" will also be submitted, plus "Scrappy
Cloth 1,2,3" and perhaps a couple of other things.  I really need to get some new
classes together for 3 hour blocks of time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


 My grand daughter Ashley got married last week end.  She was a beautiful bride and he was a handsome groom.  We all had a great time at the party that evening.
 They will be finishing college at BYU Hawaii.  Nice!
My son David and his wife Diane (It get's confusing since we are both "Diane Ricks") the happy parents of the lovely bride.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What did I do all day?

It may not look like I did much, but I worked on the arrangement of the blocks and the colors to use for the connecting strips.  I even got most of the two side panels connected.  Very often the designing is the hardest part of the project.  What should be where?  It was nice to have a whole wall that I could pin it onto to see how the whole thing looks.  I am still short about 5 inches by 16.  Do I make another narrow block of doodling or fill in with colored strip?  I think I will sleep on it and make the decision in the morning.
Any suggestions?
It feels great to be working again.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready to work

I got out the watercolors again.  I need to keep working, but it was fun to splash around a bit.

A few posts back I showed you the parts for the Doodle Quilt.  Well this morning I am headed to the "studio" (you know, my messy garage) to start putting it together.  I will post a progress report after I get started.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back from Belize

 This was the view from our patio in Belize.  The water was crystal clear the breezes like silk on your skin.  Such a beautiful place.
 Water lilies on the lagoon just waiting to be painted.  We took a boat up a jungle river to see the Mayan ruins.
 This monkey delighted the children as he came down to grab the fruit they offered.
Those people on the top are my grandchildren.  I myself did not choose to climb, had I done so I would still be there. Coming down was the greater challenge.  The kids had a great time exploring the ruins and the surrounding jungle in spite of us telling them to look out for snakes.  They did locate tarantulas, geckos, bats and monkeys, which thrilled them with delight.
A wonderful time was had by all.
I am inspired to commemorate it in fabric in some way, not sure what yet, but I have plenty of inspiration to mull over.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Check this blog out

Painted Threads Projects: Working with Photoshop.

Betsy had suggested I look at this blog when we were working with photoshop.  I revisited it tonight and the quilt of headstones is amazing.  A bit creepy, but using the quilting as the carving is brilliant.  Check it out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Project Done

 Last Saturday was an SAA Meeting and we had a challenge to do.  One of the members, Lucilla Warren had passed away and they gave us bags containing some scraps of her collected fabrics to work with.  THe theme was "Outside the Box"and we were to include a 12" X12" section and then we could go outside those dimensions up to 36" on one side.  We were to use some of her fabric from the bag and if we had other fabrics purchased from her collection we could also use them plus stash fabrics.
This is what I did.  I built a box of wood and covered it in fabrics and words which tend to BOX us in. Things like "Tradition", "We've always done that way", "no" etc.  As you know I rarely do anything in the traditional way;  (however I can match a corner now and then.)  Once you get out of the box and break free of the wall of doubt, opinion, and the "mother" in your head then you can explore, create, and enjoy the process.
This view shows the box.  I glued it onto the surface of the quilt beneath.  It was challenging to make a statement piece.  You know I have few "statements" to make, I just love to create and see what happens.
Next week I will be in Belize with Lisa and her family.  See you when I get back.  Still not on the surgery schedule yet.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Family Reunion

 The BIG family reunion was a great success.  Of the 96 possible attendees 91 showed up.  That is amazing.  This is Michelle, Ivy and me having fun.
 We had all kinds of activities.  We went to "Roaring Camp Railroad" and rode a steam train through the redwoods.
 These are a few of my grandsons enjoying each other and the adventure.
 We went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and stayed until they shut down at 11:00 pm.
 A trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was a highlight; although it was so crowded you could hardly see the exhibits.

Several stops to the roadside markets yielded the sweetest strawberries and other fruits and veggies.
All in all it was a wonderful vacation (very little resting) just being together was the reward.  Now I have a few days to recoup and then off to babysit for a few days.
No word as to a date for my knee replacement yet.