Saturday, March 27, 2010


While taking a walk, with my friend, we came across some chickens. Until last year it was illegal to keep chickens in Madison, WI. There was a strong movement called, "The Chicken Underground" that pushed hard to have that law repealed. Which is one reason that one of Madison nicknames is Mad City.
Here is the girl who helps with the chickens. I love this picture because her hair is almost the same color as the chicken.
Her father gave us some fresh eggs. Did you know the white chickens lay white eggs and the brown ones lay brown eggs? I did not probably because I grew up in the city of Chicago, not one of the suburb and was VERY removed from farm life.
We also saw a redheaded woodpecker on our walk. We have decided to take more walks. Especially if they are so full of adventures as this one was.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where I Have Been

I vended this past week-end at the West Suburban Quilt Guild show at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI.
Here is what the booth looked like. It took me 7 hours to set up because I did it alone...sigh...but I got so MANY compliments on how beautiful my booth looked it was worth the effort.
I was near the stage so I hung some things for sale out there too.
My biggest thrill was someone bought a rust dyed shirt. She came up to me and said, "This looks like something I would wear." She wore it as she viewed the quilt show. Here is a picture of her in her newly purchased shirt.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winners of the Rust-Tex Collection

Nina Edelman is a relatively new art quilter. A recently retired librarian and teacher, she is thrilled to finally have the time to throw herself into being a student of the many facets of the fiber world. A perennial workshop attendee, she has enjoyed soaking up new techniques and skills in workshops in piecing, dyeing, surface design and quilting. Rustscape

Nina's inspiration for this piece came from her husband being a metal sculptor. She pilfered some of his objects to rust dye fabric, in what she calls "my rust garden". In the fall she enjoys deciding what to make with them. Many pieces of her rust dyed cloth reminded her of space type landscapes, thus the split planet. Rustscape was influenced by Nina’s love of Japanese art, specifically woodblock prints.

You can see her husband's work at his website:

Machine pieced, fused applique, 100% cotton rust dyed fabric, commercial and hand-dyed cottons, free-motion machine and hand quilted with cotton, polyester, rayon and metallic threads, embellished with seed beads.

In the past two years she has focused on commissions for installations in synagogues, and has been in juried into museum shows. She feels each creation is an experiment and a chance to learn patience, perseverance, and humility.

When not working in the studio, Nina enjoys tap dancing and playing ukulele. She also dabbles in free-lance writing. You can see her work in American Quilter November 2008. The article is called, “Quilters Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple.”

You can see the entire The Rust-Tex Collection at International Quilt Festival-Chicago, April 16-18, 2010. I will be in booth 1632. Not only will I be selling rust dyed fabric and copies of a CD with the 25 winners of The Rust-Tex Collection on it, but many items used for rust dyeing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A SSS (Sure Sign of Spring)

I like to post the first sign of spring on my blog every year. I know spring has arrived when I see snowdrops blooming in my yard. Last year I did not post a picture of snow drops. I totally missed the date.
I did take a picture of snow drops in bloom. It was at Olbrich Gardens, our local botanical gardens. I took it on March 20. I love that the digital camera time stamps each picture you take.
To learn more about snowdrops click on the link below:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Winners of the Rust-Tex Collection

Deborah Gregory's work focuses on nature’s cycle of growth, flowering, decay and re-creation. Rust on fiber fits neatly with decomposition. After she rusts fabric, she burns it, and colors it to represent decay. There is an article on The Textile Blog where you can read about her philosophy. It is titled: Textile Artist Deborah Gregory and the Cycle of Decay and Renewal. Click here to link to the article. Strata
This work was inspired by how layers of earth form and tell a story in each layer. The rust formed layers of heavy staining that reminded me of the way iron and other elements sometimes form a design in the side of a hill when excavated.

You can visit Deborah's website by clicking on the link below.

Here is a quote from her website:
My goal is to go beyond the visible record of our climate's seasons and uncover what is just beyond. I expose the images hidden in the fabric to form a record of my spiritual connection to the earth and celebrate the mystery of our existence.

Whole cloth quilt of white cotton stained with rust, polyester fabric, fabric pens, pencil, heat distressed, free-motion machine and hand quilted.

Deborah made the rust marks with her favorite “ruster”, a window sash weight she found in a hardware store that sells recycled items. First she wraps wet fabric around it. Then she added more water and a bit of salt to the already wet fabric. She lets it sit for several days, to encourage the rust process. When she likes the pattern she see, she takes the fabric off the item and starts to make a quilt of it.

Deborah strives to depict the beauty of decomposition or decay and honor earth’s cycles this way.

You can see the entire The Rust-Tex Collection at International Quilt Festival-Chicago. I will be in booth 1632 selling rust dyed fabric and copies of a CD with the 25 winners of The Rust-Tex Collection on it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Winners of the Rust-Tex Collection

Candy Flynn like many fiber artists, explored many mediums and techniques, until 1997 when she really focused on quilt making. After making traditional quilts for several years, she became interested in art quilts. She began to experiment with non-traditional techniques, design, embellishment and surface design. In 2002, she joined Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists (MCFA), a group of women making art from a variety of fibers. Since joining MCFA, she has been inspired to experiment with other fiber techniques such as knitting, dyeing, beading and basketry.
After having surgery on her wrists, which restricted her ability to quilt, she began to experiment with compost dyeing using plant materials to dye silk scarves. This in turn led Candy to rust dyeing.
Whole cloth quilt, rust dyed cotton fabric, hand quilted using commercial and rust dyed cotton threads, embellished with seed beads.

This quilt was inspired by the imperfection in the transfer of a broken rusty bowl. The image appeared to be both a 'sun' and an 'eye', as though both providing light and taking it in.
Another one of Candy's incredible quilts, Edge of the World, was selected to be included in Lark Books’ “500 Art Quilts”. She has exhibited work in shows and galleries around the country, as well as done commission work.
You can see Going and the rest to The Rust-Tex Collection at Spring International Quilt Festival-Chicago. I will be in booth 1632 selling rust dyed fabric and copies of a CD with the 25 winners of The Rust-Tex Collection on it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Winners of the Rust-Tex Collection

Jill Robinson is the Rust-Tex Collection (RTC) winner I am posting about today. I found this quote on Jill's website, "Using renewable fibers and recycling the beautiful cloths of the past is a driving force in my work. I often combine my own fabrics with commercial textiles to achieve variety and complexity. When I'm in the design stage, I pull out the hand-dyed cottons, the silks, a treasured piece of vintage linen-- all of it!"
You can visit Jill's website by clicking on the link below:
While there be sure to look at the AMAZING works of art on her gallery page!

Solar Crust

This quilt was inspired by three rusty circular saw blades and a lawn rake. When combined, the cloths created a solar image

This is what Jill said about making her entry in to the RTC, "Solar Crust was my first attempt to make a rusted fabric the focal point of a piece. It sat in my stash a long time before I found companion fabrics that worked but didn’t compete with it. I did a lot of free-motion stitching on the rusted part; the discharged part has some also but is mostly straight stitching with heavy cotton thread. I enjoy hand-dyeing over rusted fabric, too. There are many possibilities that I’ll be experimenting with—when summer comes to Wisconsin!"

Solar Crust

Machine pieced, rust and tannin dyed cotton/linen bend, discharged cotton and discharged linen; free-motion and straight-line machine quilted with cotton threads.

Jill will have a Special Exhibit at Minnesota Quilters, Inc., 32nd Annual Quilt Show and Conference, June 17—19, 2010 St. Cloud, Minnesota. By calling her a fiber artist MQI is defining her and her exhibit. The exhibit will feature Jill's hand-dyeing process and surface design by highlighting three techniques; dyeing, using resists, and discharging. Several pieces will showcase her glorious results.

Don't look for Solar Crust, it will not be there. To see Solar Crust you have to go to Spring International Quilt Festival-Chicago. I will be in booth 1632 selling rust dyed fabric and a CD with the 25 winners of the RTC. Hope you can make it!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PAQA Retreat

On Monday I posted I was at the PAQA retreat. It is good to be back in good old Madison, WI again. I am especially enjoying sleeping in my own bed!!!
I love going to these retreats. They are held in the Siena Center in Racine, WI. While in Racine be sure to eat at the Douglas Street Diner. All the food is home cooked. I have eaten many different foods there over the years and have NEVER had a bad meal. It is decorated like a 1950's soda shop. With black and white tiles on the floor, red Formica table tops and big deep booths.
If you click here you can see their menu.
I love the way I captured the light fixtures in this picture of Marilyn Monroe. The Siena Center is right on the shore of Lake Michigan. They have an outdoor labyrinth. To see what it looked like in the snow, search my archives for March 15, 2008.
There were 50 of us to hear Art Biz Coach, Alyson B. Stanfield, tell us how to advance our art careers. You can visit her site at:
While there be sure to sign up for her newsletter. It comes on Monday and has some very good tips in it. I have been an artist for 35 years. I thought I knew every thing about being an artist, but I was able to pick a few gems on customer service from her newsletters.
Alyson didn't have anywhere to hang the mobile microphone. I suggested she hang it from the top of her booth, which she did. She is always on the move. That is why she is out of focus in this picture. She had a really good energy. We learned quite a bit in the two day class. On the way home the sun was setting and there was fog in the low lying areas. Being in a car full of women artists, we allowed ourselves to get out of the car and take these amazing pictures. That is not a lake it is a field!
More Rust-Tex winners tomorrow. You can see them at International Quilt Festival in Chicago. I will be in booth #1632 where you can buy a CD that has all the Rust-Tex Collection winners on it.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's All About Today

No postings Mon-Wed as I am at the Professional Art Quilter's Alliance meeting in Racine, WI. I will post on Thursday when I get back To Madison.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


I got a call from the property master of the TV series CSI. They wanted to buy some rust dust. I have no idea when this episode will air so I don't feel bad posting an outline of the plot. A man dies. The crime is solved by opening up his stomach and using magnets to find that he was killed by drinking too much rusty water. I told the property master that rust dust is not magnetic. I did find some iron oxide I bought from a chemical company to use as rust dust was magnetic. It had been anneal so it didn't work for the my "Rust Dust Sprinkle" technique. The iron oxide I bought is a very fine powder. I plan to send him some rust flakes, which he can grind up, if they need something larger to show up on camera.

As promised here is the result of the double galaxy.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Winners of the Rust-Tex Collection

Terry White grew up in a large artistic family that encouraged originality, creativity and sharing. When she learned something new, she enjoyed teaching those new skills to her sisters and friends. Now she not only teaches on the road, but she and her husband, Scot, produce video classes so everyone can learn her sewing machine based techniques.
Spring Rites of the Turtle
Terry has published two books with the American Quilters Society. “Thread Painting Made Easy” and “All Beaded Up by Machine”, in which Terry has beaded by machine a piece of Rust-Tex fabric. She is currently working on her third book about embellishment techniques.
Terry has been keeping busy this year. She has designed her first line of fabrics for Clothworks which will be released in the spring of 2010. She is also working with Coats&Clark thread company, on exciting new developments, for their Star Cotton line of thread.
Terry's used a turtle as the inspiration for this piece because that is her totem. She is exploring the religion and culture of this lovely species. Making turtle shrines has helped her develope techniques and decorative devices to express her reverence.
Spring Rites of the Turtle Detail
Thread painted with cotton threads, rust-dyed cotton damask napkin, fused commercial and rust-dyed cotton fabric, organdy and chiffon hand wrapped flowers, hand-dyed vintage laces, free-motion machine quilted with metallic threads, embellished with hand twisted cords and beads.
This quote from Terry's website puts into words why we make quilts:
"The quilt is the best form in which to put my work. I had made many embroidery panels and with the variety of techniques and layers of fiber I tried, I would generally have to put my work in frames or on stretcher bars. When I began to quilt, I found that the quilt process added another layer of texture to the work and it supported the weight of my ideas in a textile form."
You can visit Terry's website by clicking on the link below:
Tomorrow I will post the results of the first run of the rust dyeing kiln!!!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rust Dyeing Kiln First Attempt

I am taking a break from the winners of the Rust-Tex Collection to bring you some great news!!! I started using the rust dyeing kiln today!!!
You are probably asking yourself why I am posting a picture of a doll? It is not a doll!!! It will be a double galaxy when it is finished. It is the trees technique wrapped around a small Godiva Chocolate bottle and a glass vanilla extract bottle. At least I am hoping it will turn out to look like a double galaxy. Here is what a galaxy looks like.Here is a picture of the rust dying kiln all loaded up. I stated up the kiln at 3pm. By 6pm everything was DRY!!! I added more water to everything. I let it run till 8pm. Then I turned it off for the night. I can hardly wait until tomorrow to see what developed!!!

The rust dyed buttons will be done tomorrow, outside even when it is HOT, they usually take week. My studio assistant, who arranged them in the cast iron frying pan, must have a magic touch.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Winners of the Rust-Tex Collection

Pat Bishop, has been sewing since she was a child, either by hand or machine. Her impatience and busy life means she tends to use the sewing machine more often than not. Pat loves the feel, texture, depth of color, even the smell of fabrics and the ability to lose herself in the whirr of the sewing machine. Sometimes she feels like she is copping out by using cloth rather than paint. By using cloth she slows down the process, giving her time to make decisions about what to do next.

She #3

In Pat's abstract work, simplicity is used to achieve a goal. Abstract gives her freedom to manipulate components of the composition to express her own impression and representation. You can see this in the third quilt of Pat's, "She Series", where she is attempting to show the strength of a woman.
She #3 Detail
Machine pieced, rust dyed cottons, commercial fabrics, discharge dyed, free-motion machine quilted with cotton and rayon threads.

The happy accidents of working with dyeing fabrics give results that can be challenging and pleasingly unpredictable.
Do yourself a favor by watching the video on Pat's blog in full screen.