Planet Textile Threads

September 03, 2015

Virginia A. Spiegel

Twelve new artworks up today!

SunWaterRock3300Sun, Water, Rock 3

Twelve new artworks are up today on my website. They are, of course, inspired by the Boundary Waters.  The interplay of sun and water over submerged rocks in infinitely interesting and very, very calming.

SunWaterRock8300Sun, Water, Rock 8

All of the artworks are handpainted white cotton fabric, cut and torn, sewn and then cut again and collaged.  Each artwork is mounted on a painted 12x12x.75″ stretched canvas. The artwork is wired for hanging and shipping is included to most locations.

SunWaterRock4300Sun, Water, Rock 4

by Virginia at September 03, 2015 12:36 PM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - Spark Catchers by Lem Sissay

Poetry in situ, Olympic Park, 2015
Near the site of this wooden structure (with its "Danger, high voltage" signs - the transformers that give the power to the entire Olympic site) in Olympic Park once stood the Bryant & May match factory. The poem etched onto it was the first poem commissioned for the park,  ‘Spark Catchers’ written by Lemn Sissay. It remembers the Victorian socialist feminist Annie Besant, who led the Matchgirls Strike in 1888, the first un-unionised strike in British history.

"The incendiary poem plays on the double meaning of the word ‘strike’ and also evokes images of the flame of the Olympic Torch. The matchgirls strike was sparked by the sacking of one of the workers but was ultimately against the 14 hour days, low pay, unfair deductions from wages and the toxic working conditions from the phosphorous used in match making" says Sissay on his blog.
He talks about it in a video made in 2012, before the poem was etched into the structure, and also in a Front Row interview on BBC here (it starts at the 13-minute mark), at a time when surface-to-air missiles were to be situated, as part of the protection for the Olympic site, on the roof of the former factory.
In its pristine glory, 2012 (via)
Other poems are engraved and carved around the Park – Tennyson’s Ulysses outside Chobham Academy, Carol Ann Duffy’s Eton Manor in the north of the Park, Jo Shapcott’s Wild Swimmer along the Park’s waterways, Caroline Bird’s The Fun Palace on the Podium in the south of the Park, and John Burnside’s Bicycling For Ladies near Lee Valley VeloPark.
The Bryant & May factory was redeveloped in the 1980s, one of the first urban renewal projects in the area, and is now part of a gated community.

And now, at last, the poem -

Spark Catchers by Lemn Sissay

Tide twists on the Thames and lifts the Lea to the brim of Bow
Where shoals of sirens work by way of the waves.
At the fire factory the fortress of flames

In tidal shifts East London Lampades made
Millions of matches that lit candles for the well-to-do
And the ne’er-do-well to do alike. Strike.

The greatest threat to their lives was
The sulferuous spite filled spit of diablo
The molten madness of a spark

They became spark catchers and on the word “strike”
a parched arched woman would dive
With hand outstretched to catch the light.

And Land like a crouching tiger with fist high
Holding the malevolent flare tight
‘til it became an ash dot in the palm. Strike.

The women applauded the magnificent grace
The skill it took, the pirouette in mid air
The precision, perfection and the peace.

Beneath stars by the bending bridge of Bow
In the silver sheen of a phosphorous moon
They practised Spark Catching.

“The fist the earth the spark it’s core
The fist the body the spark it’s heart”
The Matchmakers march. Strike.

Lampades The Torch bearers
The Catchers of light.
Sparks fly Matchmakers strike.


by Margaret Cooter ( at September 03, 2015 09:02 AM

September 02, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Colourful playing cards

Last year I was painting the Colour Dictionary, and with a book fair coming up, I wondered how to "capitalise" on this creation ... as if explaining what it is, and maybe "why do this?", wasn't enough to be getting on with during the day. Still, as well as educating the public, the aim of a book fair is to sell books and at least cover your costs, so, what to do that complements or augments the Colour Dictionary?

Feeding into this is the small question of how to set up the table. To keep it simple, I'm thinking of using the dictionary as the centrepiece, in a protective clamshell box that I have yet to make for it, but feel reasonably confident about, having been to a box-making workshop not so long ago. 
Box making workshop with Young Kim at Morley College, July
What sort of colourful (and possibly saleable) book-objects can join it?

Thinking of how to package these objects, whatever they may be (collections of painted sheets of paper?) got me thinking of different types of boxes, including those with book-like proportions ... such as boxes that playing cards come in.

Ah, playing cards ... usually their backs are all the same pattern, but what if each one in the deck had a different colour on the back, or rather, a different shade, closely related shades ... and the colours were randomly distributed ... would other players be able to remember which subtle nuance indicated the ace of spades or the ten of clubs, say?
I found two used decks of cards and painted the backs white, sanded them, and planned to apply colours to both decks at once, to save on paint mixing time - going from blue to purple to red to orange to yellow to green. Without trying it, and remembering the process of painting the dictionary, it seems that six colours doesn't make for a lot of close shades.

In the end (or rather, the beginning...) I painted just one deck, used two colours of blue and two of green, and just kept mixing a bit of something and hoped it would result in 52 different shades.
The excitement was in getting the cards off the newspaper (they were held on by little tubes of masking tape) and laying them out - 
Testing the idea on my drawing group, we all seemed to play with the "colour chips" than to consider the cards as playing cards - a different sort of game -
Can't wait to try other "segues" of colour!

I'm a bit fixated on using old decks of cards, but new ones are probably easier to get, so I'll try a new deck next time that time permits.

by Margaret Cooter ( at September 02, 2015 09:34 AM

Neki Rivera

woe brings opportunities

my plastic vat started leaking-note the floor and i went into panic.urgency directed that i had to make do with what i had in hand; a spare a big terracotta plant pot. now look for something to plug into the hole-a port cork!
after much washing it came out stained, but ok. now the liquid transfer no matter how there was going to be oxigen added.
let it rest. then add some more water, alkali, hydro some more reduced indigo and heat it. let it rest one day.

a good vat once again.
a new career opened up for me; stress management coaching. ☆ *: o(≧▽≦)o :*☆

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at September 02, 2015 08:21 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Printed Fabric Bee – August Edition


I didn’t realize I had been away from blogging for so long! It was a busy end of August! Above is the print I did for Deborah Boschert who was the queen bee for August. She proposed an architectural theme in blues. I picked up some nice stencils at Quilt Knit Stitch and used this one that looked like bricks for a building. The base fabric was a light blue and I sponged on an indigo color.



Debra uses a simple house shape in her work. I made a freezer paper stencil of that shape in 3 different sizes and used a blue green paint to add the houses.


Here is the 6 inch piece for the giveaway.


And the mosaic of the prints done so far.


For a chance to win the collection ( I am sure more will be coming), leave a comment on the Printed Fabric Bee Blog.

I am still having severe pain in my right knee/leg. I am having an x-ray and seeing the ortho doc on Friday. Hope to get some answers and relief.

One thing I did last month was to finally finish the kid quilts made with my daughter’s line of fabrics. Here are the girls with the quilts after they arrived in upstate NY.


We also did a bit of a remodel in the bathroom where we wanted more storage. A huge mirror was removed and medicine cabinets installed. We painted the room a soft gray and put up wallpaper on the cabinet wall. The wallpaper is from a line of removable wallpaper designed by my daughter, Lisa. We love the whole thing.


While Lisa and Clay were out of town this past week, we got to have this cute little guy stay with us.


Right now, I am in the midst of finishing up the current homework for my online master class. Perhaps I will post about that tomorrow.

by Gerrie at September 02, 2015 04:33 AM

September 01, 2015

Terry Grant

Take a photo

Want to know what's going on with your artwork? Take a photo and look at the photo. I don't know why this works, but it does. Sometimes there is something not quite right, big as life, right in front of you and you don't see it until you take a photo. Seriously.

Do you see a difference between these two pictures?


When I posted pictures of the stitching I did yesterday something hit me. The first picture was what I was seeing and it was dead. Something was not right. The lines of stitching were too regular and static. I went back today and added enough additional lines of stitching to break up that regularity and, for me, it changed the whole feeling. Now I am stitching with more awareness of creating a more syncopated, organic rhythm in the stitching. I'm glad I saw that when I did.

I put in a long afternoon of quilting on this piece today. Tomorrow I'm helping Sofia with a sewing project, so I won't be stitching on my piece for another day or more, but I see the end in sight.



by Terry Grant ( at September 01, 2015 11:27 PM

Watching the volcano


In 1999 my, then, 22 year-old daughter Emily was teaching English in Ecuador and she and some friends decided to climb, with a guide, to the peak of Cotopaxi, the tallest active volcano in the world. That's her on the right, at the summit. I knew nothing about this caper until I got a phone call from her, excitedly proclaiming, "Mom, Dad, guess what I did this weekend!" Cotopaxi is just outside the Ecuadorean Capitol of Quito and is a spectacular sight on clear days. Emily and her family were in Ecuador earlier this month and she posted this photo from the Air B'nb in Quito where they were staying.

That's Cotopaxi poking up near the center of the photo. As you can imagine, she has a special feeling and fondness for the mountain.

When Ray and I visited Emily in Quito in 2004, she arranged for us to visit her mountain. We took a van up as far as the road goes and parked in a big, windswept parking lot. The plan was to hike, with our guides, up to the base camp, which was visible from the parking lot. The summit towers above the base camp. When I stepped out of the van I was hit with with a wave of dizziness and my heart began to pound as I struggled to get enough air in my lungs. One look and the guide said, " No. You can't go. You must wait in the van." I seem to be more sensitive to the altitude than the others. It took no convincing for me to wait in the van. I read. I drew in my sketchbook. I slept. I moved as little as possible. Here is the sketch I made, sitting on the van's back bumper. When I look at this sketch I can feel the cold and the fog and the buzzy light-headedness that overtook me.

Now Cotopaxi is erupting after nearly 140 years. So far it is sending plumes of ash into the air. No one knows quite what to expect. One of the fears is, of course, more violent and damaging eruption. Another is that it will become hot enough to melt the glacier that covers its peak, sending massive flooding into the valleys below.


Photo by Henri Leduc

I think of all the times I have heard on the news of a volcano erupting in some far off part of the world. It passes through one ear and out the other, without making an impact. Ho hum. But now it's a little more personal. I have been there. I have stood, very shakily, on that volcano. I will be watching. Want to watch along with me?

Added note: apologies to Henri Leduc, whose amazing photo of Cotopaxi erupting was first used here without attribution. I am glad to know who the photographer was and happy to be able to give credit to him.





by Terry Grant ( at September 01, 2015 02:52 PM

Virginia A. Spiegel

In the Studio – New Artwork in Progress

I have been busy the last couple of weeks working on a new artwork.  Shown above are some of my tools – including lots of bandaids!

by Virginia at September 01, 2015 01:40 PM

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - Ceramics at V&A

One of the delights of the 6th floor ceramics collection is that it's nice and quiet - especially after the busy ground floor of the museum. Another is that there are stools just around the corner as you get out of the lift (turn left after the museum entrance to find the lift). Also, there a various seats along the wall, and this is what I could see from mine -
 Whereas this -
is what I couldn't see, as I was looking sideways on. Take out the shelves and the pots seem to be rising like balloons, or sunken objects filled with air -
The small groupings were where I started, warming up - and thinking about how my fabric/porcelain dipped pots could become installations, groupings.

Then something different - Lawson Oyekan's tall red clay "termite mound" - except it's not, it's from his "Coming Up For Air" series and shows the manner of its building, layers of clay pressed on with fingers and thumbs, the incised with many marks -
 I tackled it with soluble graphite, propelling pencil, indigo pencil crayon, and white pastel, trying to incorporate various types and pressures and speeds of marks, including gestures made from the shoulder  -
As a "picture" of the original, it's all wrong, but as an expressive drawing ... I "like" it.

So many objects to choose from! Here are some chosen (from) by the others -

And here are the drawings -
Jo - water buffalo (and rider) 1750-60

Mags - Chinese ewer with three feet, a mere 3500 years old

Sue - crockery collection (and items in cabinets beyond)

Sue again - we thought the addition of the shelf was a great touch

Cathy - how do you make white shapes look 3D? Other pots are by Lucie Rie

Janet - the curves of a bone china shell, no.1 in a limited edition of 5, Wedgwood
The V&A has a nice timeline of "masterpieces of ceramics" here.

by Margaret Cooter ( at September 01, 2015 09:38 AM

Terry Grant



I have finally reached the point when I can begin stitching on this piece. Getting the top together was challenging and fun, but the top, alone, is a flimsy, lifeless thing, in need of texture and substance. Now the real work begins. I layer and pin baste, getting it ready to go under the needle. My machine is readied—cleaned, oiled and fitted with a sharp new needle.


A man, looking at my work one time, asked about the "special" machine I must use for quilting a piece. He speculated that it was some computer-driven wonder that one programs to "do all the work for you." I think he envisioned placing the layered fabric under the needle, pushing a button and walking away, leaving the machine to do its magic. Not even close. I use a heavy-duty, strictly mechanical (not digital) machine for quilting. It does nothing but straight stitch. It has an extra wide opening to accommodate the bulky fabric layers I push through it and it allows me to drop the feed dogs—those saw-toothy runners that ordinarily push the fabric in a forward motion. When the feed dogs are dropped and I use a free-motion foot, I can, with my non-computerized hands, guide the fabric forward, backward, side-to-side to create the paths and patterns the stitching takes. It is a bit like drawing by moving the paper under a stationary pencil.

The stitching is slow and laborious. Hard on one's back and shoulders, but, at the same time, meditative and rhythmic. I don't plan or mark the patterns I stitch ahead, so it become an ongoing improvisation, a conversation between the fabric and me about what the composition needs. It feels a little reckless and iffy to just make it up as I go, but also totally absorbing and the sense of time falls away. And when I finally stop, stretch my stiffened back and stand back from the work, I see that it is coming to life. That's what the stitching does.


I have many hours of this ahead of me.


by Terry Grant ( at September 01, 2015 01:08 AM

August 31, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Arting about in Bermondsey

"The glassblowing place" always has yummy things to look at - this time among them was this "Dragon Boy" by David Reekie -
 which has much to do with Norwich Snap Dragons -
 At White Cube, the cause celebre was Marc Quinn, with painted, taped, and printed canvases mounted on aluminium sheets and then crumpled and tossed about (but look at the reflections in the smoooooth cement floor) -
and cast metal, beautifully polished ... one piece was an enormous wave and the straight lines on the floor reflected in interestingly wiggly ways ... but could I be bothered to get out my camera? (oh dear...)
 Walking briskly, we dropped in to the Bankside Gallery, which has a biographical exhibition about Agatha Christie (till 6 Sept) ... including her typewriter ... on the way to tea on the Dazzle Ship, where a stiff breeze kept almost all the wasps away -
And on the way to Fleet Street to find a No.4 bus, came across a good display of the history of that famous centre of printing and publishing -

Sad to hear that St Brides Library is about to shut down - what will happen to the books? Ah, it says here that there are no plans to sell or give them away...

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 31, 2015 09:12 AM

Neki Rivera

of happy accident and good vats

simple itajime, wanted lots of white.

but then this happened. a fortuitous pin created a line of rusted dots.

 pleased with the outcome of this. slow tying but well worth it.


experiments with adapted kitano technique.

this vat is really amazing ; good color,good smell, it even takes a bit of accidental dripping without acting up.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at August 31, 2015 08:05 AM

August 30, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Blast from the past - a table runner

Sometimes the samples made in workshops turn into "something". This strip was printed in a masterclass with Els van Baarle in 2007 at Festival of Quilts. The flowers are shapes made of wire and dipped into wax; the squares were once a foam brush, cut into "teeth" - one dipping gives a lot of wax prints -
 Pink, red, and purple were added, with more waxing between each -
When as much wax as possible was ironed out, I liked the stiffness and didn't bother getting it drycleaned to get the rest of the wax out, but added wadding and backing, then put it under the machine and finished with a few french knots.

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 30, 2015 09:01 AM

August 29, 2015

Virginia A. Spiegel

Tomorrow (Sunday) – Last day to see Land Lines


Thanks to all of you who have already visited Karen Stiehl Osborn’s and my Land Lines exhibit.  We so appreciate all your positive and affirming comments about the art.  A huge thank-you also to the Jewish Community Center Art Gallery in Omaha, NE for so generously providing the gorgeous gallery and lighting our artwork so beautifully.


Tomorrow (Sunday, August 30) is the last day to see more than 40 pieces of artwork that highlight Karen’s and my love affair with the natural world.

Karen and I are seriously thinking about creating a catalog of this exhibit as it really is one of our personal favs.  Stay tuned for more news on that front!


The Jewish Community Center Art Gallery is located at 333 South 132nd Streetin Omaha.  Gallery hours are 11 am-5 pm Sunday. Contact Gallery Manager, Lynn Batten, (402-334-6564)for more information.

by Virginia at August 29, 2015 07:59 PM

Natalya Aikens

saturday snapshot

I created a little artwork for a friends birthday. The detail below is an in progress shot. What I really wanted to do was post a slide show of its evolution that I had shared on Instagram.... but alas for some reason I cannot get it to post here... But you can watch it here!

by Natalya Aikens ( at August 29, 2015 02:21 PM

Margaret Cooter

Friday Late at the V&A

We were at the V&A for "Shoes: Pleasure and Pain", late in the day, and on emerging from the exhibition found that the bar was open!
So we sat a while and took in the scene - the museum transformed by lighting, music, and people (many people!) doing non-museum things -

Having seen the exhibition, we found the shoes of considerable interest -
"... and pain"

As well as the characters -
"Free Hugs", he offers
 Red, or rather vermillion, seemed to be omnipresent -
... flashing past

...on the special programme cover

... and in this group of posers with their photographer

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 29, 2015 12:40 PM

August 28, 2015

Sarah Ann Smith

Foto Friday: Found Alphabet

This week’s assignment was to find a letter in the alphabet–specifically one of your initials–for your assignment.  Since I teach this exercise in my quilting design class, I didn’t want to go with the expected like a creek or shoreline or the neck of the pink plastic flamingo.   So I opted to take a photo of the top of the dining room chair, duplicate, flip, and tweak in Photoshop.  Fun!

Egads what a production!  Such a simple idea:  merge the tops of my dining room chair into an “S.”  Took eons with deleting, blending, re-doing, etc.  Finally used liquify when I couldn’t manage to blend the variations in the blue wall!  But I didn’t want to go find a stream or hose, so here we are!

Egads what a production! Such a simple idea: merge the tops of my dining room chair into an “S.” Took eons with deleting, blending, re-doing, etc. Finally used liquify when I couldn’t manage to blend the variations in the blue wall! But I didn’t want to go find a stream or hose, so here we are!

Been busy dyeing fabric and puttering about the house this week.  Hope to have a few more posts soon!


by Sarah Ann Smith at August 28, 2015 11:33 PM

Olga Norris

This wet-ish weather

This year has been an odd one for me because I have grown very little.  Only dwarf french beans and borlotti beans - no tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, or anything else.  So not only has the weather not been right for Summer, but also there is no great freezing going on in the kitchen now as Autumn is almost here.
The damp weather has helped me stick to my stitching - but it, and the stitching have not helped my mildly arthritic fingers.  So, today diversion tactics have been employed both in the kitchen and the workroom.
This year I have dusted off a gadget my husband gave me many years ago: the ice cream maker.  I love ice cream, but find that commercial brands are getting too sweet to taste good.  This year I have taken to making much less sweetened ice cream, frozen yoghurt, and sorbet.  This morning I made raspberry sorbet - a cool substitute for ratatouille!
In the workroom I have been building up more stitching for the future by developing some image ideas.
Now that my fingers are rested I can spend the rest of the day stitching.

by Olga Norris ( at August 28, 2015 04:31 PM

Margaret Cooter


Back and front,  Escomb Saxon Church -
"Here lieth the body of Ralph Simpson, who departed this life September the 19 Anno Domini 1729"

These two are near each other at Dryburgh Abbey -

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 28, 2015 09:59 AM

Neki Rivera

to be enjoyed

because you deserve it.
have a great weekend.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at August 28, 2015 08:00 AM

August 27, 2015

Margaret Cooter

"Folly" - art at Fountains Abbey

Overlooking the Georgian water garden, at tree-top level, in a "grecian temple", the Temple of Fame, is theatrical designer Gary McCann's "Lost Property" - collected from visitors, the lost items provide sustenance to fantastical creatures which have taken up residence in spaces previously controlled by man (or so the "Folly" leaflet says!)
Further along is the Octagon Tower -
Inside, Irene Brown (curator of the Gallery of Wonder) has installed a Hall of Mirrors - infinite views and the illusion of endless perspective - it feels like you're in a kaleidoscope -
We didn't have time to see Simon Costin's "Curious Tale of the Professor & the Temple", but it's intriguing to see that he's launched the Museum of British Folklore.

A short video giving a taste of the Follies is here, and the exhibition continues till 29 November.

(Poetry Thursday is having a brief holiday!)

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 27, 2015 11:58 AM

August 26, 2015

Virginia A. Spiegel

Only 4 days left to see Land Lines


Where did the month go???

There are just four days left (through Sunday, August 30) to see Karen Stiehl Osborn’s and my Land Lines exhibit. We have filled the Jewish Community Center Art Gallery with color and light.


Karen (artwork on the left) and I both work with abstract imagery drawn from the natural world.  Our artworks are lyrical tributes to specific places incorporating memory and emotion.

The Jewish Community Center Art Gallery is located at 333 South 132nd Streetin Omaha.  Gallery hours are 8 am-9 pm Monday – Thursday, 8 am-5 pm Friday,and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. Contact Gallery Manager, Lynn Batten, (402-334-6564)for more information.

by Virginia at August 26, 2015 05:30 PM

Neki Rivera

of ramblings

once i finished drafting the dress block i am now immersed in high manipulation in order to get this.
the instructions seem clear, but i don't know with my present knowledge, or lack of it i'll succeed. but hey, she who doesn't risk...  we shall see.

moving on. why is it that drop clothes 
-nerdy term for the cloth in which you cover your table- 
or papers are serendipitously more successful than any purposely painted surface? can't believe the richness of this paper; it begs to be turned into  a piece

 maybe adding a small piece on the side?
some stitching?

moving on further.who says blogs are dead ?now facebook and instagram, not to say twitter: try to better all this rambling. HA!ಠ ಠ

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at August 26, 2015 09:28 AM

August 25, 2015

Olga Norris

Another dreich day

Stitching summer colours on a dreich late summer's day.  Lush greens abound in the garden as the leaves drip. 

by Olga Norris ( at August 25, 2015 01:24 PM

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - Wallace Collection

Before starting to draw A45 I had a long close look, and read the description in the catalogue of armour -

The vocabulary! - helmet, yes, but what's a buffe, or for that matter a cuisse and greave, pauldron, gorget ... the poleyn wings and couter wings of the visor? This is a specialised world, another sort of universe...

Here's the outcome of a morning's work. He's looking a bit grumpy because not only is he more asymmetrical than he should be (especially that withered right leg!), but his feet have been cut off and he's lost a hand. I did love adding in the little rivet heads -
When it got too daunting, I noted down some shapes from across the room, especially the chain-mail sleeve and the sallet with its interesting buffe (A189)
or else tried to decipher the swirls of the rapier handle from a distance -
All distraction... but eventually A45 was complete, if asymmetrical, and it was time for coffee and seeing what the others had found.

Jo focussed on some non-armour and then "in the spirit of the thing" delineated this fellow in mere moments -
whereas among Mags' studies of rapiers - including a page of their blades - was this exploration of various drawing materials -
Cathy caught the gleam of metal and the interesting armour for a horse -
 and Janet worked on a companion piece to the back-end-of-a-horse done at a previous session here -
At home, curious about the names of the various bits, I found a relevant book -
part of the British Museum's "Medieval Craftsmen" series, published in 1992, at which time it was selling for £6.95 - now it can be had for £23 or more online, whew!

I added a couple of sets of armour from the book to my page of diversionary sketches, including one that didn't have arms because of being shielded during jousting.

Sorry about the dull photo - between them, the camera and the computer are on all sorts of last legs, desperately needing replacement.

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 25, 2015 09:59 AM

Neki Rivera

not much to show

slow weaving-2 shuttles and the wool tends to stick somewhat. the repeat is 868  picks and i'm halfway. 30 some centimeters. there's a threading error- see if you can spot it, but i'm going to go along because there's no easy fix for it. except cut and rethread and no señor. the fabric is quite forgiving from a distance and i'll try if possible to minimize it with the pattern placement.
tomorrow i'll do some sewing related stuff so that i don't get obsessed with the error.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at August 25, 2015 08:00 AM

August 24, 2015

Terry Grant

I thought I was done...

I really did, so I hung it up to look at for awhile and something kept nagging at me. Something else. It just needed something else, and I kept thinking I wish I had put just a spot of something red in there. It really seemed to be crying for just a little red—a roof, or??

And there was something else that just wasn't quite right. It didn't take long to make just some small changes and now I think it is done.

Camas Prairie finished and now I'm on to something new.

What a busy summer it has been. Beth and I haven't gotten a lot of walking in, but had a good walk this morning. Our favorite walk has thrived in our absence.

The Beavers and ducks have well and truly taken over a section of our paved walking path, which has been under water long enough now that wetland foliage has begun to grow up along the new shoreline and the dog walkers have worn a new path uphill from where the old one disappears into the water.

We've yet to see a beaver, but there is plenty of evidence that they are there, busily designing thir new habitat.


Beaverton. I guess there's a reason they named the town that.


by Terry Grant ( at August 24, 2015 11:47 PM

Margaret Cooter

Middlesex Filter Beds

Last Monday's cycling discovery, turning off the familiar path, was Middlesex Filter Beds (river water filtering slowly through sand). It's also a nature reserve, and where the path ends is a large sculpture, a sort of Stonehenge, by Paula Haughney, Nature Throne (1990), of which these are detail views -
Elsewhere, giant hogweed along the river, a swerving path -
Ah, the river....

On the walk to the station, the corner of Hollyhock Heaven is now dense with verbena -
 the hollyhocks gone to seed (and what wonderful seed) -
 Other seeds have flown -

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 24, 2015 09:28 AM

Neki Rivera

how many layers is too many?

more puff paint,but this is somewhat less of a sample more of a sketch.the gold texture is stenciled puff paint on lutradur,painted and zapped with the heat gun.then some stitching and more heat gun. added two layers of  black tulle one with larger holes behind and a very fine whisper of a tulle in front. both were stitched some puff paint added.
this time i used the hairdryer as i wanted to preserve the integrity of the tulle.

this one although still a sketch had to be more thought.
there are 4 layers of lutradur painted,stamped and  machine stitched together .
the last layer is very fine lutradur stamped with puff paint,
then painted and finally zapped to reveal parts of the bottom layers. the puff paint didn't puff so much, but the texture is nice and has definition.

these are in between loom rest sketches actually r&r and by that i don't mean music  。^‿^。

 you can feel even in the city that there's a change; the light,the heat and humidity are almost not bothersome, the plants. in a few weeks a new season will be here.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at August 24, 2015 08:00 AM

Rayna Gillman

Day two of class - moving right along

Yesterday, everybody tried to get their right brains working and we mostly succeeded, despite some whining about "I can't work without a pattern."  Today, some of those left-brained people  had learned to trust themselves, rely on their instincts, and to stop censoring their work/trying to control it before they had even made enough STUFF to play with.

One person, who started working with a piece of this god-awful log cabin block, was well on her way to incorporating it into a very cool piece.  She's still working on it - so we'll see what develops.
One of the women, who was a new quilter and had only ever worked with patterns, had this piece done by the time she left today.  She has promise.

Everybody was busy working with some color limits, and Debbie (front right) was working in black/white/chartreuse and making great progess on it.

(shows up navy blue on my screen, but is really black).

Tonight, Debra Jo Hardman hosted a FAB pot luck at her house. Everything was beyond delicious and it was probably the best salmon (chinook?) I have ever had.  The company was great, too - and it was good to meet the husbands and - uh - talk about other things besides quilting.

 Alaskans are hearty souls, I must say.  I had my share of pitching tents and dealing with camping in the first decade of my first marriage.  Today, my idea of roughing it is staying at the Hilton. LOL.  No, I haven't seen a moose but at home I have deer waltzing up to my front door and standing in my driveway.  And haven't seen a bear, but we have those in NJ, too. Happily, I have not encountered any mosquitos.  But the people I have encountered are simply wonderful.  I am so happy to be here.

by (Rayna) at August 24, 2015 05:24 AM

August 23, 2015

Dijanne Cevaal

Mountains to Move

I arrived back from India on Friday night and taught a workshop yesterday at the Camberwell Sewing Centre so I finally have some time to blog properly. My apologies for not posting more frequently but my laptop conspired against me- it decided the top two rows of keys would only partly work.

India was a fabulous experience ,but apart from some time in Delhi and Bhuj and Mandvi I spent most of my time at the workshop of the Stitching Project near Pushkar. There is a reason for spending time in one place, actually more than one reason. It was great to spend time with Fiona Wright, we seem to be able to nudge each other along a little and for my part I can see things more clearly with a little nudging, and it is wonderful bouncing around ideas and exploring whether we are daydreaming or whether things can become a reality.We intend to keep the nudging going into the future and we hope we can nudge you along too! But more of this later.

 I also  came away very inspired after the Creative Camp in February earlier this year and there was some finishing I needed to do. I  kind of focused on my banksia journey whilst I did  the camp and its kept going so it was really great to finish a project I started in the workshop with Sanju in Sujani embroidery. To say a lot of stitching happened is an understatement.But without that little workshop my Babbling Banksia piece would not have happened in the way it did.

I love being in one place for a certain amount of time- learning to understand the minutae of the rhythm of a place. So I enjoyed watching Fiona and Praveen's Stitching Project unfold day by day. This is such a wonderful inspired project- yes it's a business and as a business they employ people ( many women who would otherwise not have work and men too) but it is structured on the philosophy of working ethically, paying fair wages and creating high quality product, and if these principles are adhered to it creates more opportunity for everyone involved.I sat and watched and stitched and sometimes was able to  help in a small way, but hats off Fiona and Praveen- its a wonderful project and business you have created from scratch...I think you have set the bones for a good ethical business that  can only be a win win for everyone involved and adds to your community and world.

So one of the things that really inspired me from the February camp was the woodblocks. I do lots of linocuts and love the effect, but woodblocks are subtly different and equally as mesmerising.I knew  i was going back to India so I sent some designs for the woodblock carver the Stitching Project uses to make me some more woodblocks.And as I seem to be on a banksia bent of course I sent a banksia drawing. So these were duly printed on hand painted and hand loomed fabric . Each panel measures 45 cm x 38 cm and they are for sale at $25 per panel inclusive of postage. There are four colour ways which you can see below.

Email me if you would like one of these hand painted and printed pieces to create your own Banksia world! Colours are as you see, as well as a grey/limey green which you can see Mahindra printing in one of the photos below.

No trip is complete without a visit to a museum- well for me anyway. So  before leaving India we went to the Indian Museum in Delhi. Absolutely wonderful things in there pertaining to the incredibly diverse and ancient Indian heritage. This is not a diaspora though no doubt there is influences of that- but it is a long and vitally interesting heritage. The images below were from an exhibition entitled Cosmology to Cartography  with this pilgrims map showing the pilgrim how to travel on their pilgrimage. And of course a tree from the Miniature art section- just love trees and this one was particularly beautiful.

My finished Babbling Banksia piece with a thousandfold of stitches and a Nudge project in the form of a hand bag. Using indigo scraps from the Stitching Project workshop and not wasting a thing - made into a travel bag with lots of zippers and just great for travel.

Printing with woodblocks on to hand painted handloom fabric and a little shrine in the backyard of a friend of Fiona and Praveen's who has started a bakery, making  bread inspired by his exposure to german breadmaking. The bread is delicious

Ladies inspecting my stitching on my Babbling Banksia piece and Fiona and Praveen instructing women on the stitching that is needed on some of the work  that has been created. The focus is on quality and making sure everyone understands the right way to do things. However there is still room for the individuality of the stitch to shine through the hands that make it.

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at August 23, 2015 11:15 PM

Margaret Cooter

How's that again?

"Intelligent electricity? Do they think they have smarter ohms?"

aww, sweeeet.....

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 23, 2015 09:02 AM

Rayna Gillman

pictures tomorrow

I was too busy teaching to take usable photos today.  Mostly, I was turning them into black and white so people who couldn't figure out why their quilts were just not interesting, could see their UFOs were all the same value.  More about this tomorrow.

Meantime, tonight I had dinner with Nancy Blick Dobson and Diane Melms.  They are both wonderful, accomplished artists and I urge you to go visit their websites.  For some reason, blogging on my iPad won't let me insert links, but please Google both of them.

I have "known" Nancy for a number of years. She lives in Grand Junction, CO and in Anchorage. The twice I had taught in Grand Junction, she had already left for summer in Anchorage, but her work is in both my book and in my lecture on working in a series.  We were both glad to finally meet in person.
Diane is generously putting me up at her home while I am teaching in Anchorage, and to me, it is like living in an art gallery.  I am just the luckiest person to do what I do and go where I go!

My class is Cincdrella Quilts: Reinventing the UFO, and I'll have some before and after pix later today.

by (Rayna) at August 23, 2015 06:05 AM

August 22, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Gone wrong, gone very wrong

Elsewhere on this blog is my tried-and-true recipe for "easy-peasy brownies", which I made today in a bit of a hurry. I've made it in a hurry many times before, but this time something went wrong. The dough is mixed in a saucepan - you start by melting a big block of butter and then add the cocoa, sugar, eggs, flour, walnuts, and vanilla, in that order.
Yes, it looks like brownies ... but that dish of golden liquid is butter. The butter separated out, and the baked brownies (if they can still be graced by that name) feel rather rigid when tested with a fingertip. I suspect they will be ... chewy, at best.

Are there any food scientists or home ec teachers reading this? What did I do wrong? Is it a matter of too much stirring?

by Margaret Cooter ( at August 22, 2015 05:43 PM

Rayna Gillman

more inspiration

As I write this, it is 10:30 and dark.  But at 9:00, when I got back to the hotel after a lovely dinner chez one of my students for the upcoming 3 day class, it was still light.  How cool is that?  I have finally acclimated to the 4 hour time change; the first few nights I went to sleep when the sky still looked like this.  
Spent today at the Anchorge Art  Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center, both of which were eye-opening experiences.   Nan and I arrived at the Native Heritage Center shortly after the beginning of a wonderful program of native dancing and songs.  I didn't take pictures because I felt it would be disruptive, but it was beautiful and instructional.

Earlier, we had been at the Anchorage Museum and I loved learning about the various (the largest) tribes and looking at their art.  More inspiration for me!  Just a few of the items that caught my eye.
Class tomorrow: I had better sign off.  

by (Rayna) at August 22, 2015 06:43 AM