Desperately Seeking Greens

dyedthread2Every few months I give in and do an inventory of threads and fabric for Artfabrik. This time I was surprised to find that all the green colorways were low. Colorways like Moss, Peas in a Pod, Green Grass, and Evening Greens desperately needed dyeing.


Apple Basket by Laura Wasilowski.  The Lime Frappe thread colorway is used for the grass in this small, free-stitched embroidery piece.

After a week of work, the dyed threads are washed and ready to dry. Now if I could get some one to twist them up for me, I’d be one happy dyer! Care to volunteer?

A Book on Color for You

beckygoldsmithYou need to check out Beck Goldsmith’s new book: The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color. It is beautiful!


Five Sisters by Laura Wasilowski

She was nice enough to mention one of my quilts in the book, Five Sisters. On page 23 she discusses fabrics that are Textured Solids. Oh my, what is that you ask? You’ll have to read the book!

No, I’ll give you a break. Becky says this about a textured solids in her book:

Textured solids look solid from a distance……Only as you get closer do you see the details…. Single-color, mottled hand-dyes and batiks are another kind of textured solid. They have a fluid visual texture without a distinctive pattern…..Art quilters often create amazing quilts by using solids and textured solids much as they would paint.

She also says I’m an “expert” at this. Who knew!


Accidental Artist #6

improvflower7I’m not sure of the provenance of this striped collage remnant but trust me, it’s been hanging around in the studio for a long time. Time to turn it into leaves for my flower quilt, don’t you think?

improvflower8Sometimes in the middle of making a fused quilt top, I stop to check on the color balance of the design.Notice how that dark green color in the leaves dominates right now?

improvflower9By placing the remainder of the collage under the yellow base, the dark green color is repeated. And the dark collage also adds some weight to the base of the design anchoring the flowers firmly in the earth. Or what ever that is.

Accidental Artist #5


View from Above by Laura Wasilowski

Here’s proof I am a frugal fuser. If you have my book, Fusing Fun: Fast Fearless Art Quilts, you may remember this project, View from Above. This celebration of collage making was created in 2007. And I’ve kept all the step-out collage pieces used in the book photography to this day.

improvflower6You’ll see a version of the center collage reused here for the ground of my flower quilt. Saving all these remnants of previous quilts is so helpful when its time to make a new quilt. They also remind me of what I’ve made in the past, sort of like a quilt diary.

Accidental Artist #4

It has come to my attention that I have very few flower quilts right now. They have either been sold or are hiding out on a shelf avoiding me. But this first, of several flower quilts, will replenish my stock. (Also, if I have a theme like “flowers” to work with, my brain is free to wander as I create.)

improvflower5The yellow flowers from yesterday are artfully placed on top of the fused collage background. I like to use the term artfully because it sounds like I know what I’m doing. Actually, I just drop them down and move them a dozen times before they are positioned to my liking. Bias cut stems anchor the artfully arranged flowers to the ground. Which is what is needed next.


Accidental Artist #3

improvflower3Fused scraps from previous quilts inspire lots of ideas. Now that I have a large collage background to work on (see yesterday’s post), I can start adding fabric shapes on top. Here you see a lovely left-over yellow and blue collage from Daisy Basket #5. It is waiting impatiently for a new quilt to decorate.


Daisy Basket #5 by Laura Wasilowski

Left over woven collages are very versatile. They can become fences, baskets, bird bodies, or flower centers.

improvflower4After a few flower centers are cut from the collage I add a five petals to make sweet little flowers. Here’s how to make the petals:

  • Cut both sides of a fused fabric strip using a pinking blade in the rotary cutter.
  • Cut the strip into triangles to form the petals.
  • Place the petals under the flower center and fuse into place.

Those yellow flowers will look really good on my sky blue background collage. Can’t wait to try them out!