Fiber Arts

Poinsettia Project… next step

Today I have been making all the side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, but… yesterday I worked in The Loft Studio creating the screens that I will need to screen print the leaves and flowers on the poinsettia hanging.  It is a wonderfully easy process gleaned from Art Cloth by Jane Dunnewold.  The supplies are pretty simple.  Gather up:

Supplies: 2 yards polyester organza (any color, so buy what’s on sale); latex wall paint (leftovers are great); acrylic varnish (optional); broad brush-1″ or wider, angled edge brush, firm pointed brush; variety of embroidery/quilting hoops


 1. Place a piece of organza over the bottom of a hoop and apply the upper hoop to make it taut; tighten screw and continue to tighten organza as needed.

2. Trace around the leaves and blossoms with a sharpie pen – any color; work from the “high side” of the hoop.  After painting the shape, the printing is from the reverse or “flat side”, so if necessary reverse the shape, especially with lettering.

3. Paint over the lines so you have the shape outlined, using the pointed brush or flat angled edger; then fill in the rest of the space around the outside of the leaf or blossom shape.  Do not worry if there are gaps that do not fully cover.  You will need to let one coat dry and then do a second coat or you will get globs of paint on the bottom side from applying more paint than the organza can hold. Complete enough coats to totally cover the organza outside of the shape.  Dry with a fan or hair dryer between coats, or allow to dry naturally and work on another shape if you have enough hoops.  I like to add a final coat of acrylic varnish to the dry paint… but not inside the shapes.  During the next step your paint needs to penetrate through the organza in those areas.

4. You want to fully cover the negative space, really just as insurance.  It gives you space around the shape for “error” droplets, and splashes/smudges will not show through on the fabric receiving the screen print.  If you want the “noise” of some areas coming through, you don’t have to be as thorough in your covering of the negative space.

Now I am ready for the next step…. printing the leaves unto fusible interfacing.  We’ll see how that goes and I will report back after Thanksgiving.  Hope yours is a happy day, celebrated in a fashion you enjoy!

Fiber Arts

Poinsettia Quilt Project – Step 1 and 2…

A large wall hanging is in production here.  The first step of creating the back drop is completed, a traditional pieced surface.  The next step is the placement of the surface design which is composed of poinsettias.  The surface design will include appliqued poinsettias, screen printed poinsettias and painted poinsettias.  Tomorrow I can begin creating the poinsettias as the designing and planning are completed.  So much fun!


I used Christmas fabric from my stash to create the back drop with a slash of light going through the middle.  It isn’t my original design as I saw it somewhere and remember studying it closely.  I used a double pane of it and tipped the second half upside down.  It is 48″ x 90″ to fit the display area above our foyer and under my loft.

poinsettiaplan1Lots of paper poinsettias and leaves in different sizes have been placed.  The next step involves tracing them in chalk so I know where to screen print the leaves, which are the first layer of the surface design.  Then the poinsettia petals will be added, some painted and some appliquéd for emphasis.  As I study the picture, me thinks the balance is off.  More cutting and pinning of paper poinsettias to follow.  (Thank you, Lyric, for the basic “elements of art” lessons.  I think they are starting to pay off.)  Stay tuned.

Fiber Arts

Many hands…

Along the lines of holiday traditions, my neighborhood adopted three children to surprise with presents at Christmas time.  In lieu of our regular monthly luncheon, we met at Bradford Hall, our club house, to socialize and wrap presents.  It was a joyful and pleasant change from our routine.  Here are some snapshots of the work made light by many hands working together.  We represent just a few households.  Our entire community, through Guardian Angel Program – Wake County, reached out to many more families with gifts and necessities to help them enjoy the holiday season.

Fiber Arts

Thanksgiving Traditions – Food!

Our Norwegian tradition is to make lefse which we describe to newbies as a flour tortilla, except that it is made with “potatoes”, butter and flour.  I’ve put together a tutorial for those family friends and California Cousins who want to try making lefse.  (Just a brief change from quilting.)


1. Start by boiling a dozen or so large potatoes until they are soft enough to mash.  I cut them into quarters or eighths so they cook more quickly.  Mash them with 16 T of margarine and 2 T butter, along with 1 and 3/4 cup of evaporated milk.  If they are not of a sticky gooey consistency, add a few instant potato flakes to thicken the mixture.  You want it a bit thicker than you would for just mashed potatoes.

2. Then, rice the potatoes to remove any lumps.  We use a ricer (see picture), but perhaps a food processor would also work.

3. Mix 3 cups of riced potatoes with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 T sugar, and 1 and 1/2 cups of flour.  Work with your hands until you form a loaf.  Now you are ready to look at the pictures and follow the directions from that point.  Repeat the recipe until you have used all of the potatoes.  This usually makes enough for 3 loaves, but since the size of the potatoes may vary, it is difficult to predict.  Enjoy!

Fiber Arts

Once in a Blue Moon…

My daughter and I traveled to Blowing Rock, NC last week to attend the three-day “Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat” led by Susan Brubaker Knapp and Lyric Kinard.   Whole cloth painting, beading, seed embroidery, thread sketching – the two of us did it all, learned so much, created while letting the apprehensions fly away, and met new “fabulously friendly” people from NC, TN, VA, FL and even Phoenix, Arizona.  If you scroll down on the link above, you will find my daughter and myself working away at our thread sketching project.  She was just learning to operate the sewing machine’s many features and succeeded with excellent results and praise from all. The best day for me was the whole cloth painting lesson.  It took me all day, with a bit of time after dinner in the evening, to complete the two leaves, using one of Susan’s photographs as a model.

Croton-my painting-50  Croton-SBKnappPhoto
Profab paints on fabric on left                Photograph by Susan Brubaker Knapp on right
Blending of the paints to achieve the colors was the most challenging, but now I have the confidence to give it another try…. perhaps with a poinsettia, given the season that is approaching.  We were not required to match the photograph’s colors and could focus on the color values in any hue , but I chose to duplicate the colors.  

Speaking of colors and paints, the bi-weekly email letter from Robert Genn arrived in my Inbox this morning.  I added a widget on the right side of this blog to quickly link out to his musings and those of his daughter.  I am a subscriber to his blog, on the recommendation of a friend, and I gain so much from reading it.  He gave some insightful comments about “colour” in his blog from December 1, 2006, which is referenced in today’s blog by his daughter.


Prior to attending the retreat, I was busy with home deco and boutique projects.  I completed a bed size throw for my son which is of a modern quality with masculine colors.  Our local community held a boutique, so I put together a dozen purses, sold some of them and sent the rest as gifts to friends who have hosted or entertained us on our travels.  Never a dull moment!  I’m excited about new projects that lie ahead so I can exercise the newly learned skills and will show some of them more regularly in the days ahead.

2013-10&11Sales-50   2013-10&11Gifts-50sm
Totes/Messenger Bags sold at BH Boutique      Totes sent to friends as gifts ~ Enjoy!