Category Archives: Taffy Pull

Leaf Dance




As this photos shows the crows are populating the trees now.  A few trees still have leaves and watching them fall is still something I do was I walk.   The wind is the biggest factor in that process and over the course of a week I see all types of winds resulting in sorts of fall patterns.   Some leaves zip and race away from there  high homes to the ground. While others flutter, twirl and drift down.   The wind can effect the leaves on the ground too.  Some tumble across my path and others skitter, bounce and jump, while there fellows cart wheel or roll away to be caught in hedges or  cluster at the base of trees .  Some times they stack against walls  or sail across pools.      Until we get a rain the dance will fill my walks.

IMG_4660For three days this week I was a part of the Open Studio work at the Schweinfurt Art Center.


There were six of us in the wet studio.  Cris and Liz were at the tables near me.   Liz Patand  I learned a lot as  we had never mixed dyes for our  own use before.      The really fortunate thing was two very experienced dyers were also in the wet studio, so we had great IMG_4677brains to pick.    Pat  the woman who I had as class instructor was there doing her own thing.   And Maureen was also there dyeing.   She was making yardage. Barbara



My buddy, Barbara  was also in the wet studio   dye painting silk scarves.   She only got three done – but considering she had never IMG_4680done this before I am proud of her.   I am also in love with the rich colors she achieved.    This is my wall of work for the first day. IMG_4664.jpg    Barbara, Liz and I really got the bug and will all do more on our own.



IMG_4678.jpgFolks were working in the sewing studio up stairs in the Schweinfurth too.    Donna came down and showed us her newest paper piecing project.   Looks like new garland for her tree this year.    They were all working just as hard up stairs as we were in the basement.   It was great fun.    There was also a trunk show by my good friend Ruth at the Schweinfurth this week end.     I saw some of her work I had never seen before.  It was great.












Liz and I spent Thursday  making more dye colors to use.  We worked in her garage  and mixed up six more colors to play with.  IMG_4684 I have fabric setting in buckets of water in my shower washing out the dye now.     Good thing I vowed I would make a piece using some hand dyed fabric I had altered every In up workmonth, and  even that many not be enough to use all of this great stuff up.  Even Liz  looked at all the wonderful dye Ethel gave me and said “ you will  go a lift time and not need to purchase any more dye.”  This is some of the new fabric that I altered.





Progress Report:  Taffy Pull

Taffy Pull 44" X 29"
Taffy Pull
44″ X 29″

After the quilt meetings last week I did a little rework of this piece.  I IMG_4706also changed it’s orientation.   Maureen suggested I pull some of the colors out into other areas and I like what happened when I added the IMG_4707thread work to the surface.  I also intensified the blue lines.   It is a stronger piece for the additions.

Butterflies for EthelButterflies for Ethel   I am so very happy about this piece.  It is the third and last in this series  of Butterfly pieces.   I used only fabric IMG_4693from Ethel’s stash  that her children so generously gave to me.   The title is part of my tribute.    The butterflies are form the ground cloth as before.  I also added several machine drawn butterflies to represent Ethel’s being gone from my life but still strong in my memories.   No one can see memories- but they are still a strong part of me. IMG_4692

Breaking Up 16" X 30"
Breaking Up
16″ X 30″

Breaking Up     This quilt got started at QBL last summer.  I was working on the thin line thing.   IMG_4697I am feeling much more confident about controlling the width of those lines now.

IMG_4687.jpgCurvy Cut Project  I did not really get any work done on this project.  But I did  make the eight leaf stamps to use  on the surface.  Hopefully I will get to that step this week.




New  Work IMG_4685 This is the start of my newest rock piece.  I am going to try to work on and 18” X 24” scale for four pieces.   So far I would say it is proving to be more of a challenge then I expected.

IMG_4649.jpgLabel Block  # 26  One more done.

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Indian Summer


We are enjoying a wonderful bit of Indian Summer with mild temperatures and sunny days.   Fall is here and some of the trees are striped of leaves.   But many still are dressed in colors.  I noticed as   I was swishing through the leaves on the ground that trees tend to lose there leaves from the far ends of the branches first.  That makes sense, just I had not paid  attention to that detail before.   I have managed to play a little of my favorite fall game of catch the falling leaves while walking.  I also realized I get a lot of joy out of having an acorn or two in my pocket.

The week has been a full one.   IMG_4628I visited Nancy at her home to see her newest lay out for her next quilt.   She uses bold patterns and colors  in a way that I so admire.  I know it will go through many changes before she is done.    Watching her process is great.

IMG_4629.jpgLast Friday I went to the opening of Quilt=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth.  I was delighted by the fact that I knew so many of the quilters who were accepted into this show-  seven to be exact.  This shot shows Cheri with her work at the opening.     I love these wonderful silhouetted works she is doing now.

At the QuIGs meeting Liz was full of news IMG_4653_thumb.jpgabout her trip to The Barn a few weeks ago.  She had a notebook that she had covered with her own treatment of Cantha.  I like what she did.  Sue Ellen brought us some raw cotton and cotton pods from her trip south.IMG_4654  I really love the shapes of the pods.

The Diva’s meant on Tue too and folks  had lots great things to share.  I got a lot of help with my works in progress.  That is one of the best things about the group.

Progress Report:  Taffy Pull IMG_4658.jpg At one point last week I thought I was done with this work.  But when I took my second look the day after in the low light of early morning- I realized it was not very strong.   So I took to my meetings.    That is the best part of showing my stuff to new eyes.  I am now working on adding more color to this surface in the form of thread painting.  It is helping.

Butterflies for Ethel IMG_4656  I am to the quilting stage of this work too.  It also went to my meetings without being completed.   I had the butterflies attached with the IMG_4655sliver thread as I did the first two in this series but did  not have what I felt was a strong enough ideas for the quilting that it needed to be complete.  Again my fellow artists came through with lots of suggestions.    Now I need to get going on the machine process.

Breaking UpIMG_4640.jpg   I am to the quilting stage of this work that I started last summer at QBL.   I was challenging myself to add slender lines to the surface and I think I was successful with that part of the idea.

IMG_4641New Curvy  Cut Work  I picked up lots of leaves on my walks this week too.  So I decided I needed a place to print there images and this is what I built to do so.  I will paint the leaves and hand stamp them on this surface.

New Work/Challenge   I am off this week end to do some more fabric dyeing and IMG_4659so I looked through the stack of older dyed stuff.  I decided I would challenge myself to do at least a quilt a month using some of the hand dyed fabric.  In this photo my  hand dyed/printed fabric in the center.   I am not sure about the next step- but I am sure going to try.



Label Block     TV news goes on every night and so does my work on these blocks.    IMG_4649  Keep Creating


More ways to study ones composition


The fall colors are still fascinating  me.  I just can’t seem to look enough.  And every day the view changes.

I have a few  other ways of looking at a work to see if the balance is good and the composition on is as strong as it can be.    One is to squint.  I do this a lot with out even thinking about it.  But is is good to pay attention.  The second is to use a reducing glass or if you do not have one – to use binoculars in a backward fashion.  By making the work smaller the eye can see all of the composition at once.    You can also take a digital photo to reduce the size for viewing too.      I  do anything that helps the brain to make a good composition.  Because who wants to waste their time working on something that is not the best one can do?


IMG_4613.jpgProgress Report:   Earthly Fissures    I am pleased with this work.  I took it along with four other works to my photographer,  John Dowling yesterday.  Having the proper lighting and such really does make a difference.    I feel that I achieved my goal of IMG_4617_thumb.jpg creating a dark crack without using black. To do so I used  the  dark green to create the darkest area. This rock had lots of cracks in it.  I used a lot of yarn and thread to convey this feeling.IMG_4615


15    This work is my entry for theIMG_4609.jpg  Diva’s 15 anniversary show.  The rule we all have to follow is : fifteen  must be some were in the work and the quilt must be 15” X 15” .  I made a block using the roman numeral for fifteen- XV and then built the quilt.  The only block were you can read it is in the lower right hand corner. IMG_4611  My personal challenge was to assemble it all by hand and quilt it that way too.  I have not done either of those things  in a long  time.  I also wanted to get a little practice in doing hand quilting before I started quilting  Ethel’s quilt.  Now I am ready- if I can only decide now what pattern I want the quilting to follow.



IMG_4605.jpgScarp Happy  I finished another one of these fun quilts.  I did make it to the Ronald McDonald House this week were I left off the previous one.  I looked at the shoe box that holds the extra blocks and it is still too full so I will make another soon using old blocks.

Taffy Pull  This close upIMG_4604_thumb.jpg shows the machine work I am almost finished with on this project.    Again I let the fabric tell me what to stitch.




IMG_4607.jpgButterflies for Ethel     This will be the third in the Butterfly Series.   The title of this work comes from the fact that I have used only Ethel’s fabric for the background  of this project.    She had a good eye for color and pattern.    I am now ready to cut the Butterflies themselves out of the ground cloth.    After I add paint I will apply them to this surface.



Swoop    IMG_4603.jpgI lost my last curvier cut piece when I was at Pat Pauly’s work shop.   After trying to find it I have finally accepted  the fact that it is gone.  So I thought I better get going on a new piece.  And I think I was doing a bit of avoidance too as I did not feel confident about starting the quilting on Ethel quilt.

IMG_4619New Rock      This is another avoidance start.   Judy is pushing me to stretch /frame my rock pieces.    So I decided to find a little section in the photo I used for  Earthly Fissures( it is framed in white near the top).     I cut a piece of wool big enough to stretch around a 18” X  24” canvas that I have and I will begin to try to create the area in blue.


New Work    IMG_4606.jpgThis work is really not very new.  I started it at QBL last summer.But it had become buried. When I unearthed it this week I decided to move forward on the completion.  It is small and I think it will go quickly.


 IMG_4608Label Block #24    And a another one  down when it come to this project.

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Wall Nuts Hello,

I am still enjoying the  sights of fall.   These wall nuts still in their husks are reflective of the colors we are experiencing at the moment.    Reflection is another way to check out the composition of ones work.  I have  a long mirror that I sometimes pick up and look into to see if the work is balanced.  The image is in reverse and that helps me see if thing are off in one way or another.   It makes the emphasis different and that helps.IMG_4580.jpg

I have been busy supporting my fellow artists this week.  My great friend Barbara had an opening on Sunday at the Library.  It was/is a wonderful show of the work representing her whole creative career.    I really enjoyed it. IMG_4589.jpg Then when the FAB group meant, Sally showed off one of her pastels.  It is based on a photo she took on Nancy and myself getting into a canoe.That brought back fond memories for all of us.   I like the work as  well.




Progress Report:   Taffy Pull   The top is all together now and I am

IMG_4592.jpgready to start the quilting.   I sure hope the pressing helps level it out.  I am still struggling with the cutting of curves.  It is a technique that takes lots of repeat action to master.










IMG_4593.jpgEarthly Fissures      I am still building up the surface of this work.  It is nearly completed.  I really enjoy stitching down the yarns and adding  lines of stitching to the surface.




Label Block   # 23 IMG_4596   One more completed.   The box full of labels does not seem to be at all diminished however.

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