Kokomo Opalescent Glass


I had been to Kokomo Opalescent Glass (KOG) before when buying glass for a lifelong friend’s stained glass she asked me to make for her historic home remodel.   I really enjoyed looking through all of the beautiful glass they make and had a tough time just picking out what was needed for the project.  All of the quilters out there know what it is like to go into a quilt shop and see the gorgeous “eye candy.”  This is the same feeling: heart leaping with all of the possibilities for the beautiful supplies!

Making some glass beads

Making glass beads

So, KOG is 127 years old!  That in itself is amazing.  They opened in Kokomo because they were given free gas and there was a good supply of it.  They got that deal for many years until the gas supply dwindled.  They have had gas bills as over $65,000 in a month!  Yikes.  Needles to say, there is also not a high margin on glass productions given those expenses.

They give tours once a day on weekdays.  We expected the tour to be a few people and it ended up being over 40.  They split us into smaller groups and called in back up tour guides.  We lucked into getting the CEO.  He requested going last and I’m pretty sure we got a longer tour with a little more detail to our tour.  John O’Donnell was a very knowledgeable and interesting tour guide.  His wife, Patty, joined us and was very knowledgeable as well.


John holding glass for the Washington DC metro in a warehouse.

There are multiple buildings in the complex, but the original building was a scissors factory prior to glass, so it is older than 127 years old.

There were rows and rows of sheet glass stored.

There were rows and rows of sheet glass stored.

I was surprised to hear about the scope of their business and customers.  They are one of about 6 glass manufacturers of the type in the country.  They supplied a lot of glass to Tiffany’s over the years and still have the recipes used originally and still get repair work for Tiffany glass.  Glassmaking has not changed a lot with the times.  You are still melting sand and additives to molten states in ovens and manipulating it how you want it.

Projects for clients. The red one's are awards for Indiana University and the bowls are what we saw being worked on in the blowing studio.

Projects for clients. The red ones are awards for Indiana University and the bowls are what we saw being worked on in the blowing studio.

They had a container shipment ready to be loaded in a container bound for Japan.

Part of the shipment for Japan

Part of the shipment for Japan


KOG281signaturesWebHere is part of our group looking through a warehouse while John talks about the original unpainted brick wall that employees signed and dated over the years.  A quilter friend is in the light green jacket and the woman in red is a visiting Pakistani missionary who was there with her husband who had on a velvet suit.


The unpainted signature brick wall

While this brick wall is more enduring, there still remains wooden shelving that has very old signatures as well!

Wooden shelving with dated signatures

Wooden shelving with dated signatures


It looks like they place broken sheets at the ends of the rows.

The man who was doing the cut class/stained/leaded glass had just finished a piece (a wolf that was lovely and I should have taken a pic of him holding it up).  We didn’t get to see him working and thus didn’t take any photos.  We chatted a bit after the tour and he showed me a picture of the leaded glass he made for Elton John.

I took so many pictures (350+), that it is going to take a few posts to share them all.  I will post on glass blowing, sheet glass making, and general photography yet.

A few of us are planning to go back and take a class or two.  So if you find yourself in the Kokomo area, think about a tour.  More posts to follow!

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Supermoon Eclipse

SupermoonEclipse2005qtrWe have had such beautiful weather lately with lots of blue skies that I was a little surprised to find out we were very cloudy for the Supermoon Eclipse!  I was so disappointed that I was unable to see most of the eclipse.  But there was a short period of the beginning we could see.  Then only a little of the full eclipse.  SupermoonEclipse2132full

I have a nice camera that I upgraded to last Christmas, so I was anxious to see how I could do with it.  I tried lots of different settings and enjoyed seeing the variety of shots the camera got depending on the settings.  From huge haloing, to red, to fairly detailed when there was hardly anything I could see with the naked eye.SupermoonEclipse2021qtrc
























SupermoonEclipse2152BloodMoonThese three are the same photogaph.   The first (above) is pretty true to what I could see.  The second was adjusted for color.   The third was adjusted levels.  I thought it was interesting that it went to red white and blue.  I have decided to call it USA Supermoon Eclipse.

SupermoonEclipse2152BloodMoonaSupermoonEclipse2152usaMoonI think the next one is in 2018, so I’ll hope for better weather then.

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19 Stars: Quilts of Indiana’s Past and Present exhibit at the Indiana State Museum

I visited the 19 Stars: Quilts of Indiana’s Past and Present exhibit at the Indiana State Museum and enjoyed seeing the beautiful quilts curated by Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker where she chose 19 historic star quilts and 19 contemporary star quilts.  Indiana was the 19th state to join The Union and next year is the state’s bicentennial.  What a great way to get Hoosiers thinking of our upcoming 200th year, since quilts have been an integral part of Hoosiers’ lives.

As a quilter I love looking at all styles of quilts.  Although I am an art quilter, I can appreciate the love and labor that goes into making any quilt and enjoy a glimpse into another quilter’s brain through his/her design choices.  Given all of the quilting time in the world, I would try many, many styles of quilting.  But, alas I don’t have that time and I have to prioritize my choices and art quilts generally win out.  That being said, I enjoy seeing the contemporary quilts of the present than those of the past.  So I chose to hone in on the quilts from the present to share today, and art quilts by in particular.  Here are three talented Hoosier artists’ quilts.


Starry Knight by Ellen Anne Eddy

ISM19stars8643EAEddyInt ISM19Stars8641EAEddyInt


Penny Sisto had two.  Frances Slocum’s Landscape and Frances Slocum’s Totem

Frances Slocum’s Landscape.  Oops.  I forgot to get a whole shot!  So here are two details.


ISM19stars8661PSisto ISM19stars8660PSisto

Frances Slocum’s Totem

ISM19stars8694PSistoTotemInt ISM19stars8693PSistoTotemInt

Linda Gray’s Nineteen Stars for the Nineteenth State

ISM19stars8690LGrayInt ISM19stars8687LGrayInt

The types of quilts, though all are stars or have a star in them somewhere, are varied, beautiful, and interesting.  I hope you will go to the ISM and see the exhibit if you are in the Indy area.

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SAQA IN and Cutting Edge


Yesterday I met up with the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) of Indiana at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) for the opening of a new textile exhibit of fashion with the Curator Niloo Paydar.   While I am not a big fashion fan, I do love fiber and textiles and getting together with others who love them as well.  I really enjoyed the unusual, interesting, and beautiful collection that Niloo put together.  It was basically chronological.  The lighting was dramatic spotlighting the clothing while keeping the walls and the rest of the room fairly dark.  So, while my pictures of people not in the spotlights didn’t turn out well, the clothing was well lit to photograph.


Entering the exhibit with a glow in the dark pantsuit by Stephen Sprouse.

We met for lunch at the IMA cafe which is one of my favorite places to eat.  Always fresh and delicious.  We discussed the upcoming SAQA exhibit that will be at the IMA next year.  The call for entry is here and is open to SAQA members in these states: Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Iowa, Minnesota, and Tennessee.  It is an artist response to Marie Webster’s quilts.  It will be in conjunction with an exhibit of Marie’s quilts in the textile department.

Every year SAQA has an auction of 12″x12″ quilts.  You can see my leather quilt: Bee Play II here.  The quilt I donated last year now resides in Paris.  I hope my bee lands in another good home this year as both quilts have bees on them.  I may need to continue that unintentional theme.


A zipper vest by Martin Margiela.


The clothing ranged from recycled, to paper, to satirical, to haute couture.  They were all beautiful and all interesting.    Here is a vest made from reused zippers.  I know my daughter is going to love this one.










Niloo Paydar the textile curator

Niloo Paydar the textile curator














Niloo told us about different ways they acquire articles.  One way is through donations,

such as this hand painted and hand made dress by Zondra Rhodes that Niloo donated.

Niloo's donation

Niloo’s donation




Looking at Moschino leather purses


Moschino leather purses


Another piece by Moschino: Dinner Jacket with utensil docorations















listening to Niloo discuss the exhibit

Some of the group listening to Niloo discuss the exhibit in the Japanese section

Rei Kawakubo's unique gloved ensemble

Rei Kawakubo’s unique gloved ensemble

I had an enjoyable afternoon and hope that if you are in the area you will stop by the Indianapolis

Museum of Art to see Cutting Edge.  The pictures I shared here are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are some others posted on my Facebook page Barbara Triscari, which is public, so you don’t have to friend me to just check out the pictures of the exhibit.

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Indiana Heritage Quilt Show: Bloomington

Cindy Garcia quilt

This quilt was my favorite. It hits close to home with being a military family for 20 years. By Cindy Garcia

Cindy Garcia quiltDetail

She really caught the sadness in the girls eyes. I teared up.

I had a lot of fun at Bloomington’s IHQS!  I always love looking at quilts!  Quilters are not only VERY creative, they are fun, and so friendly.  I chatted away the day as I went.  I saw lots of Indy QGI friends, booth sat at the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) booth where we had wonderful conversations, ate lunch with some local quilters, and then made some purchases before heading back home.

I had two pieces in the show.  Il Ponte alla Carraia and Thistles and Bee.   First time I showed there.  Next year SAQA will have a special exhibit, so that will be nice and they allowed us to have an informational booth.  Kate Lenkowsky was wonderful to run it for 3 days with just some breaks!  I really enjoyed chatting about art with her, albeit continually interrupted, lol.  I can’t wait to see what her submissions for the SAQA Indiana exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art will be.  She showed me a very rough sketch of one of her ideas.

I have to share my quilt show pet peeve.  It has become common at shows to put up plastic ropes that criss cross through the booth.  I get that it keeps people further away from the quilts and keeps most people from being tempted to touch.  But then you can’t get close to the quilts to see the details.  Which is the biggest best part of going to a show, in my opinion!  I will be less likely to go that far away when I know I can’t do what I like most.  It also makes it impossible to get good pictures of the quilts on the sides.  So not many pictures.  Ba humbug!


I don’t usually get all that excited about the shopping.  As a dyer, I usually use my own fabrics and I don’t like to fight the crowds looking at the latest quilt gadgets.  But I knew that Breezy Manor Farm would be there with her hand dyed wool.  Yummy.  I bought a bag of silk/wool roving and a bag of wool.

I found Heather Givens creator of Crimson Tate, her alter ego cartoon character who is out to rule the world.  I love her enthusiasm for all things creative and finally got to tell her congrats on her new fabric line!  I stopped in the store in Indy last month but she was out, but I got a sneak peek at the succulents fabric.  I bought her “baby toes” t shirt.  Love it!  She gave me a couple of pins from the Houston pin swap and a huge hug.  Love her!


So the fabric line hasn’t hit the market, but she had some at Houston and said she couldn’t let it be sold at Houston without letting us buy some back home.  So, I bought a fat quarter pack of the fabric.  She told me to let her know if I might want to make a quilt for the next line she is working on.  So I pondered that on the drive home.  Go, Heather!


I thought I was all done spending.  My two temptations I couldn’t pass up.  But no!  Out of the corner of my eye I saw the SAQA Urban Textures line, which was designed by SAQA members.  Ugh.  I had to get some of that and now I might “have” to do the quilt challenge now.  I was trying to not get sucked into another project.   So again, thinking I’m done, I got sucked into some more fat quarters: Marcia Derse and Nature’s Treasures by Laura Van Horne which reminds me of my hail photos.  So much for not spending much.  IHQS4159fatquartersWeb

















The cat had to hop up and smell the wool and was annoyed when I made her go.





Then she decided to help me out, which she does occasionally when I’m photographing by holding up some fabric for me for a backdrop.




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Quilt Inspirations and Book Fair

I just got word that a new book with one of my quilts has arrived at the publisher’s warehouse, which, coincidentally is about 10 minutes away from me.  Sadly I have to wait for it to ship, but should only take a day to arrive when it does, I believe March 1st.  I don’t recall which quilt photos I submitted, so it will be a surprise to me what I have in it.

1000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts

by Sandra Sider1000QuiltInspirationsLarge

You could pre-order/order it at Barnes and Noble from Feb 28-March 3 using the code: 1154892 and part of the proceeds of your order will be donated to the guild and the charity we choose.  The guild works with many organizations donating quilts, hats, and other items and services.  It is currently 26% off.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of checkout page and look for a selection box for bookfair orders!

I will be doing to presentations during the book fair: Printing on Fabric and Art Quilt Techniques (2:30 and 4:00).  I hope that if you are in the Indianapolis area, you will stop by.


The Guild is hosting a bookfair on Saturday, February 28th, from 10 AM to 9 PM, at the Rivers Crossing Barnes & Noble (near Keystone at the Crossing). Your purchases that day will help support the Guild and one of our favorite charities (to be determined). The bookfair will feature the following:

  • A quilt exhibition throughout the store, featuring the Guild’s 2015 Quilt Show Opportunity Quilt
  • Quilting demos and workshops for children and adults alike
  • A quilter’s storytime for children
  • A charity quilt-in where you can help finish quilts for charity
  • A book signing by Jennifer Fulton and the Guild members that helped with her book, Idiot’s Guides: Quilting

The bookfair will help promote membership in our Guild, our upcoming Quilt Show, our charitable activities, and quilting in general. Simply come to the River Crossing B&N and then prior to your purchase, either show the coupon, mention the code, or tell the cashier you want to participate in the bookfair to have your purchases count.

Although we hope you will all come out to support the bookfair, there are many ways in which you can participate. For example, you can make purchases at any Barnes & Noble in the country from February 28th to March 3rd and as long as you show the coupon or mention our bookfair code 1154892 prior to the actual transaction, those purchases will count towards this fundraiser.  So spread the word to everyone you know—they can help us out even if they don’t live here in Indy.

You can also purchase items online at www.bn.com/bookfair from February 28th to March 5th, and use the code in the Bookfair Event ID Box at checkout to help the fundraiser. So again, spread the word about our fundraiser and share the code number at the bottom of the coupon to help increase our sales.

By the way, if you are a Barnes & Noble member, you can apply your member discount and still help the fundraiser. Gift card purchases, video games, software, and digital content (such as downloadable books, digital magazines, or music files) will not count, however Nook ereaders, accessories, and purchases at the in-store Starbucks do!

So plan ahead and hold your purchases until our special day, and then go crazy and help your guild and its charity.

Printable: QGI bookfair coupon code.

Note: In the case of bad weather, the events scheduled at the River Crossing Barnes and Noble will be moved to Sunday, March 1st, from 10 AM to 9 PM. The bookfair fundraiser however, will run from February 28th to March 5th regardless.
























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    Antique Murano Beads

    PazzolaSB3867int PiazzolaSB3913int

    I finally used a few of my favorite Murano beads in a necklace.  I kept looking at some other vintage beads and contemplating making a necklace but not quite feeling like it would be special enough.  I finally thought of the Murano beads I picked out of a giant serving bowl at the Piazzola sul Brenta antique market in the Veneto of Italy.  I must have spent an hour scouring through that bowl picking out all that I could find of these beauties that almost glow from the gold layer inside.  I wasn’t sure they would work so well with the silver, but I found a few of them had silver instead of gold and used mostly those.  They have a frosted finish.


















    The Piazzola sul Brenta market is one of the largest antique markets in Europe and is quite fabulous.  The market is in the town square just outside of an amazing villa: Villa Cantorini.  It also stretches along some streets and in some buildings.  The link will take you to an Italian website, but the pictures show you the villa and the market.  We spent many afternoons  at the monthly market looking for treasures as we were very fortunate to live only about 20 minutes from it.




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    A Christmas Jumpstart

    While visiting my parents in Oregon for my dad’s 70th birthday, I found some snap jewelry findings and some bone skulls to make jewelry for my nieces and daughter for Christmas.  One of my nieces likes skulls, as you can see.  The snaps are interchangeable and I put them on leather.   SnapJewelry2622blogLilySnap3595web


    So then I needed something for my sister’s birthday and I debated making a scarf and then thought that a necklace would be faster so I could get it off in the mail in time for Christmas.  I used a pendant I bought on MChris2660bdy14blogurano.


    That got me started doing some silver chain pieces.  I have a couple more that I want to do with the silver chain yet.  silverMuranodots3151Web  The first one has some Murano beads I got at Abilmente.



    This one has some Murano beads I got at an Italian thrift shop.SilverMuranoGreen3405blog

    And the last one has Murano beads that are pearl finished and I searched for those after buying a favorite necklace in Venice that has them.  I finally found a bunch of colors at Abilimente.    Now I need to wear them somewhere!


















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    Upcycled Leather Laptop Case


      I have to take my laptop out of the house next week and wanted to have a cushioned bag to put it in.  I have been mulling ideas for a year since I got the laptop and just couldn’t decide what I wanted to make: knitted and felted, pieced and quilted, leather.  I finally had to decide and thought I would look through my thrift store leather stash for something that would inspire me.


    I started collecting leather while living in Italy and couldn’t stand to leave a leather coat in the thrift stores that were under ten euro.  I have carried that on here in the states and love it when I find a great color or texture of leather for a great price.   I was at Goodwill last week and found 7 leather coats and one wool (not pictured) for under $50.  I left the $30 purple one on the rack.  Too rich for my blood.

    When I looked through my stash, this quilted leather coat stood out because it is already quilted with some batting, and it is so soft.  I didn’t think to take a picture before I chopped it off, so just pretend it is still whole!


    I remember buying it in Italy during a thrift shop outing with my friends from our creative group, Scambio Creativo.  We used to get together on most Thursdays and create, travel, or just hang out and enjoy each others’ company and usually yummy food.  We carry that on via skype since we are now spread out across the US.  I was excited to share it with them today on skype after I finished it.


    Stabilizer going in between the quilted leather and the flannel jacket lining to help protect that laptop!

    I cut off the bottom portion and then cut out the back middle.  I took out the zipper and sewed together the front of the jacket which is now on the left hand side of the bag and is purely decorative.  The left hand side (looking at the jacket) wraps around to the back where the second pocket is.  I joined up the right hand side.  I put a foam stabilizer in between the quilted leather and the coat’s flannel lining.

    I cut off the rest of the front placket, sewed it to the back, and used it as a flap.  I attached the buttons from the top of the placket to close the bag.  E fenito!



    back of laptop case

    My Scambio friends say it needs a handle, but I’m not convinced yet.  My plans are for it to go into a larger cork bag that I tote around all my stuff in, so I don’t need a handle.  But who knows, I may add one later if I find I want one.  My warn out purses get their hardware taken off and saved for future projects like this and I still have plenty of coat left.

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    Snow Dyeing

    I was so busy in December that I didn’t have time to do any snow dyeing.  I was not going to let that happen again in January!  So I scooped up the little bit of snow we had one day (much more fell after that for days) and off I went.

    first layer of scrunched fabric

    first layer of scrunched fabric

    I placed a scrunched even layer of fabric in the bottom of a plastic tub to catch drips from the top layer of fabric.  Why waste some good activated dye, right?!






    Then a plastic shelf rack that holds the top layer of scrunched fabric.

    second layer with snow

    second layer with snow








    Next is the snow and sprinkled powder dyes which will liquify and drip down with the melting snow to make wonderfully patterned fabric.

    sprinkled dye powder on snow

    sprinkled dye powder


    You want to make sure that the fabric gets up to 70 degrees to give the dye the best setting possibilities.   I usually set my tub on top of my running dryer after all of the snow has melted and then wash it out the next day.







    So easy and so beautiful!  This one is the top fabric and is cotton bed linens. snowDyeing67Web snowDyeing66Web
















    And this is the second fabric which was just soaking up the extra dye!  I love this one!!

    snowDyeing52web snowDyeing50WebI did it two more times and am thinking I’m going to try some silk next.  In fact the batch waiting to wash out in the laundry room has a couple of silk scarves, but I want to try some silk yardage and a couple of different silks.

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