Saturday, December 14, 2013


My first crazy quilt is done!
It is bound, tied and ready to be hung on the wall.  Just have to decide which wall.  I tied the quilt between the buttons on the front and small beads on the back which successfully hides the thread. The CQJP2013 was a wonderful experience.  The result is this amazing quilt which can be seen here in a video titled...A Year In Crazy Quilting!

Yes...I will be participating in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014.  It was so nice, I'm doing it twice!
I'm looking forward to working on my first 2014 block which is diamond shaped, will be 6" finished, and would be arranged in a tumbling block pattern once all the blocks are completed.
My Sharon B's CQ stencils arrived last Monday and I cannot wait to start experimenting.
Also, I think I will use my stitching frame to stitch my blocks as it frees my left hand to use my laying tool.  I struggled last year as I held my block in my left hand while stitching with my right.  The frame will hold the block taut, which I hope, will result in a less distorted block that will lay flat.

My theme for the CQJP2014 is my mother's garden.  Sheila, who died six years ago, was an avid gardener and embroiderer.  She taught me my first embroidery stitches. I'm still working out the details of the blocks and keeping track of my thoughts in my design journal.
Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Almost There Continues...

It took some time to stitch all the seams open but I believe in doing things by hand. Stitching is a quiet, careful, thoughtful process. I understand that not everyone will choose to do this but in a world that is noisy, and moving so fast, it's nice to slow down a bit. I used a herringbone stitch and it works quite well. The seams are all flat. The blocks are made of different types of fabric, dupioni silk, cotton, Radiance, which is a combination of both silk and cotton, brocades and are heavily embroidered. The combination of embroidery and the different weight of the fabrics have distorted the blocks.  I think that to avoid this problem in the future, I will make the blocks larger. If I need a 6" finished block then I'm thinking starting off with an 8" block. I hope that will give me enough of an excess to trim the block to size without compromising the stitches or the embellishments.  
Next, I added the border, batting and backed it with Pellon interfacing. My thought is the interfacing will stabilize and support the weight of the quilt. The border is black drapery fabric which will also support the quilt physically and visually, as it frames the quilt and gives a place for the eye to rest.
Thank you for visiting, stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Almost There...

Almost to the date, I made a commitment to the Crazy Quilt Journal Project to complete a 6" block each month.  I'm happy to say that I completed the exercise with the block above. Now I'm moving to the next phase, which is ensuring that the quilt top is flat, adding the border, batting, backing, false back, then finally tying the quilt together.  My intention is to follow the sharon b's method of quilt assembly.  It will be a painstaking job but I think the result will be well worth the effort.

I'm considering registering for CQJP2014 but given all that I have learnt in the past year with CQJP2013 I want to work around a theme I think.  In 2013, each block was designed around an event that happens in that particular month e.g. April Showers...
What's my April block going to be next year? I don't really want to do square blocks, so I need to think of another shape.  I like the diamond that Sharon did (see above link) but is it above my pay grade? Also, I ordered Sharon's stencils Crazy Quilt Stencils and can't wait to get them in my hot little hands!

So...while I work on finishing my 2013 crazy quilt journal project, I have some things to think about.  The deadline for registration is December 12, 2013, so stay tuned...

Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Cameo Ornaments

Christmas is all about family and traditions. During the Victorian era it was considered a compliment to give a gift that was hand-made especially if that gift was made by the giver. The months leading up to Christmas Day were busy ones.  To the extent that the family could afford, they painted, glued and stitched their presents to each other. 

Bits of lace and trim, broken chains, charms, lockets, pressed leaves and flowers all found their way into the thoughtfully designed and lovingly stitched gifts.  The presents that have survived into the twenty-first century are now considered treasured heirlooms and rightly so.

I love all things Victorian...especially their concept of the importance of hand-made. We now live in a world that is so fast that hand-made is a rarity. 

A few years ago I received some vintage lace from an estate and have treasured the pieces.  To-day I stitched some of the lace, added cameos and trim to create these beautiful ornaments. 

 Thank you for visiting...enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

October & November CQJP 2013 Blocks

October CQJP 2013

This is my October block...All Hallows Eve, complete with black cat and spider's web, mist and dying trees.

November's block are all the colors of fall. I used silk ribbon for the flowers and leaves.
November CQJP 2013

If anyone is interested in registering for the CQJP2014 click the link and it will take you to the registration page.

Thank you for visiting, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Off To The Post Office

I finally finished my Thanksgiving tags and cards.  Here they are:
In creating the tags I used large shipping cards, burlap with some foiling and the papers are from BoBunny, my other favorite paper company. The wheat sheaves are glass beads. The backgrounds are stamped and heat embossed using white pearls embossing powder from Stamp N' Stuff.
 I machine stitched the paper strip to the card.
 I love the Recollections leaves, their colors are just perfect for this tag.  The burlap works well too.
I used Graphic45 papers for this card.  It is frosted with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and the pumpkins are accented with Glossy accents. 
Thanks for visiting, enjoy!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Grateful Heart Is A Joyful Heart

I created these cards for some wonderful people I met on my recent trip to Kirksville, Missouri.  I used Graphic 45's papers, Place in Time, November, for this card.  Prima Roses, black paper doilies, ribbon and a distressed key hole embellish the card.

This second card, Thanks, was created using a large shipping tag. I used Ranger's Distress Inks to color the tag, white pearls embossing powder to frost the background leaves, Recollection mulberry leaves, glass bead wheat sheaves, burlap and ribbon. 
Thanks for visiting, enjoy!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Have Plans....

So... I'm back in the studio! Apart from needing more work space, I need more time, hands and energy.  Today I thought I would get the base of some projects started, therefore I find myself moving from one work table to the next, fabric, paper, paints.

Stay tuned to see how it all ends...


Thursday, November 14, 2013


Some days there is never enough work space!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Deep Blue

These bags are so fun to make. I got my diver's certification some years ago and spent many hours diving the waters of the Caribbean.  My deepest dive was 65 feet.  I so enjoyed my underwater experiences, the silence, the soft caress of a fish tail as it swam past my face and the colors...I often think that I'm trying to recreate the experiences of those wonderful days on the surface of my bags. I love how the brain coral turned out.
Close-up of Deep Blue
This bag, Small Girl with Sea Shell:
The bags measure 7" x 5".
Closeup of Small Girl with Sea Shell
...this bag is for a string of pearls and it measures 7.5" x 5.5" 


Friday, September 20, 2013


I recently received a commission for two little bags.  One to contain pearls and the other an ocean theme.
These bags are in the very early stages of design.
This is a close-up of one purse - the child is holding a sea shell to her ear, lots more to do here.
I love how the "brain coral" turned to, lots more embellies to add.


Friday, August 23, 2013

May, June, July and August

April Showers bring May flowers...
June is the month of brides, the flowered arch and a spider's web for good luck...And my new favorite stitch the Victorian fringe.
Stars and Strips for the 4th of July, quilts and fireworks, buttons and bunting...
August...sporting the Victorian fringe and a waterfall of lazy daisy stitches in variegated thread.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer's End

Susan Studio Arts ( and my store, Silk Road Fabric Arts at have re-opened for business. They were closed for summer vacation.

House chores, home repairs and a road trip to the great State of Missouri took me out of my home and Studio during the summer for periods longer than expected, but, nevertheless necessary. Although I was out of the Studio my camera, watercolor pencils and sketch pads were never far away.
While dodging traffic and freeways, workmen with paint, ladders, drills and saws, I was able to finish a few pet quilts and couple small art quilts...
A few of my friends experienced life changing events this summer and I could not let them go by undocumented so...I surprised my dear friend of many years with 12" x 12" scrapbook page of her swearing in cermony.
My friends in Missouri received a page of their beautiful daughter on her wedding day.
And yet another friend received a mini album for her 50th birthday.
Hell...I thought I was on vacation. Well maybe the cats were...
Reading is hard work!


Friday, April 12, 2013

April Showers bring May Flowers

I'm enjoying the Crazy Quilt Journal Project for 2013.  My blocks are 6.5" x 6.5" most of the time. The embroidery tends to shrink the block a bit but it is big enough for me to explore new stitches and just  small enough that I don't get bogged down.

April Shower bring May flowers...the lady with the parasol is appliqued to the block using silk thread.  I believe in using silk thread for applique. My favorite is YLI Silk #100 fine silk.  The silk sinks into the fabic and disappears, never to be seen again.  My rain drops, Ricky Tims Razzle Dazzle, polyester from Superior Threads, color 251.

My teacher and very dear friend, Glender Irvine of Silver Springs, Florida introduced me to Di van Niekerk's silk embroidery.  I was luck enough to pick up a copy of Di van Niekerk's book Roses in silk and organza ribbon at Jo-Ann's for 50% off the regular price...great deal!  I experimented with the twirled ribbon rose and I'm looking forward to trying the different techiques including the two stumpwork birds presented in the book.

Stay tuned for the flowers of May.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Way of the Cross...Fabric & Lace Book

Lace Remnant

Small holes and yellowing, this remnant of antique lace, found at this year's Broward Quilt Expo inspired this fabric and lace book.  The lace reminded me of the vestments worn by priests and in honor of the Catholic Church's first priest, I created this small fabric book.

The book consists of nine images on eight pages. The cover, the image of the Last Supper was satin stitched over the lace and red Radiance (cotton and silk blend fabric).  All of the images are satin stitched on red Radiance. I hand stitched gold thread in the arms of the cross and tied the blood drop with red thread.
Close up of blood drop and Lace
The following six pages depict seven of the stations along the Via Dolorosa.  
Blue lace trim, the color associated with the Mother of Jesus was used on this page as well as burlap to represent the prison Jesus was held in overnight.  The words of Simeon "...a sword shall pierce through your own soul"  is printed on organza, stitched on and the edges were burned both to age it a bit and to prevent it from fraying.  The strong and courageous women in Jesus' life are presented here.  It was not my intention to do so but in retrospect I think it's perfect.

Tea dyed lace trim edge the image of Veronica, who full of compassion and courage wiped the face of Jesus with her veil.  Her reward was the imprint of his face on the cloth.  I printed the words "His face shone like the sun..." on organza and stitched to the side.
A black metal ornate cross with a red crystal in the center, symbolizing his blood adorns the page of the Crucified Christ.  The pocket on the last page is behind the circular image of the dead Christ and could be used to hold a Rosary or prayer cards.

Back of Book, Christ's Resurrection

I worked on this book during Holy Week.  It was not planned, it just so happened that I started to work on it at the beginning of the High Holy Days and found it to be a wonderful form of meditation.