Rusty Gold

I have been working on surface design with rust for a few years, but have stepped up my interest over the last year.  I was wanting to come up with ways to mimic specific patterns and hit a road block.  I took photos of rusty grain bins, signage, and other grange equipment and wanted some companion fabrics. KKH18RedWebKKH18RedPlaidWeb






Image for thermofax

So, I made thermofax screens from the photos.

I used iron in print paste and thermofax screens and I was off getting great companion fabrics! 


I am working with resists and iron powder now and also getting wonderful results.  I am also working on a huge piece of fabric using our fire pit cover to rust since it has wonderful patterning.  More on this piece later.  As the rusting is just the first layer of surface design.



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Quilting Arts Magazine

I adore Quilting Arts Magazine and from the day that I found them, several years ago I found my home for art quilting. I cancelled all other subscriptions.  I love the beautiful quilt art in the magazine and that they are constantly finding artists who are pushing the boundaries in an ever expanding medium.  The techniques that their contributors come up with and the quilts they publish are amazing.  I also quickly picked up their sister magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors, from the first issue.


I am so proud to say that I have had some pieces printed in both magazines through their reader challenges and swaps.  After many trials and tribulations I came up with a technique to print with rust using thermofax screens and it is now published!  I hope you will check out the magazine.  It is out for subscribers now, but will hit newsstands for the Oct/Nov 2013 issue.  I hope to have another rusting article printed.  You can see the quilt, Wrangled Rust, that I made for the article hererusting245lgInt.

Quilting Arts has expanded and pushed me to try so many new things.  I enjoy doing their reader challenges because they are small pieces that you can experiment with new techniques.  Their challenges have led me to many things I would not have pushed myself to try under normal circumstances.  Thank you Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors!

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Leaded Glass Window

A lifelong friend asked to commission a stained glass window for her historic home addition to fill the window in her bathroom that would no longer be an outside window.   I was touched by her faith in my abilities, but hadn’t done anything that large or at all since high school!  I took a deep breath and told her yes.  Then I called my mom who used to do stained glass and who was planning a trip out to visit and asked if she would take it on with me.  She said yes and took off running when she got here.

We went to Kokomo Opalescent Glass which is about an hour from me (what a treat!) where they still make art glass sheets using old methods and have been in business since 1888.

mom designed the piece with magnolias to coordinate with her black and white checkerboard pattern in the border of her tile and with the pink of the rest of the bathroom tiles.  We planned for mostly opaque glass as there will not be any natural light.  The contractor is going to back light it.

I haven’t delivered it to her yet, but sent a photo and she was thrilled.  It makes me happy that I will be contributing to her beautiful historic home!  Thanks for your vision and faith in me, Amy!  Thanks to my mom for making it stress free and doing so much!  Now I want to make a couple of pieces for myself, also.

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More Layers with Thermofax Screens

screened palazzo dei diamante

I have been having fun with my thermofax screens and what is better than a bunch of thermofax screens?  More thermofax screens.  Tee hee hee.  I ordered some more and we were able to have a few from our class fee.  Yippee!  These are some more of the first batch of screens.

original photo of Palazzo dei Diamante

The triangle screen is from a photo I took in Ferrara a few years ago.  I was walking along snapping shots of doors, windows and more when we passed a building with some protruding pyramids all over the facade.  As I described it to my skype friends who lived in Italy at the same time, Iris popped up with “Piazza dei Diamante!”  I googled and verified with awe that she could come up with that from my description of the building!  Well, I didn’t realize it is a very famous palazzo, I just loved the texture!   I took the photo and manipulated it to get a nice graphic black and white image good for making the screen.  I am enjoying using it in multi layers with some color mixing.  Then some different screening on top.



The snow decolored piece was calling out for some more hail, so I thickened some bleach.

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Adding Layers, wonderful layers!

second layer of snow bleaching


I have always enjoyed dyeing fabric and the beautiful results.  They always feel done to me.  Now I’m pushing myself to see what more I can do to them.  I’m really enjoying the depth of the layers and complexity of adding more and more.  Here are some layered fabrics that are still not done.  How do you know when enough is enough and more is just more?   So far I haven’t hit the wall of too much yet.

I did a second snow bleaching with the tiny bit of snow we got a couple of weeks ago.  Now we are in the 80s.  Go figure.  Glad I scooped it up!  The piece below has decolored thermofax screenprinting of hail.

second layer of snow bleaching

Below is one I’m really enjoying and can’t wait to show you the next layer.  This one is on layer 4.  First light blue mottle dyed, second and third thermofaxed screens with thickened dye.  Fourth layer was thermofaxed screened corn syrup as a resist and then overdyed in a medium blue.   Can’t wait for studio time tomorrow!

Four layers and counting!

And here is another parfait which had yellow on the bottom, red in the middle and blue on top.

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Dyeing to Stamp!

We are still plugging away at our dyeing class at the Indy Art Center with Bobbie Vance.  I have been stamping and screening.  I have a few pieces that I’m building up some layers.  The one above was randomly stamped with a wood stamp that I got from Global Gifts a wonderful fair trade store in Indy and Bloomington.

three layers!

This one, above, I dyed in a light blue and then screened on the pink hail and this time I added red hail again with a thermofax screen from my hail photos.  My next step is thermofaxing screening more hail with corn syrup and then overdyeing.

wood stamp random prints

overprinted using wooden stamp










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Snow Bleaching

My sister called me up and asked if I had done and snow decoloring after seeing a piece of fabric done by an artist in Montana.  I told her no I had not and we both scooped up some snow and tried it out.  This winter has been relatively snow free and unseasonably warm, so I was only able to scrape up a small bit that blew and accumulated on my deck.  Fortunately it was enough to cover up a scrunched yard of fabric.  I can always try it with some crushed ice.

I find it very ethereal and ghostly with many layers.  It still left a lot of black so I decided to try out some discharge paste through thermofax screens.

snow bleached fabric with thermofax print with dishcarge paste

I liked the clarity I could get from the thermofax screens but wasn’t sure I liked the combination of the colors from the bleach and the colors from the paste.  Where the bleach and paste overlapped, it turned yellow.  These screens were made using photos of hail I took in Italy.  The hail was very textural with lots of lumps and bumps.  I thought they would make very interesting thermofax screens because of the flowerlike shapes they were.  I’m sure they will be showing up in some of my future art.

Here is another screen of a well at the top castle in Marostica, Italy.  I did not get good enough definition from this one due to the image and background being too close in value and have sent off another order to Bobbie Vance for a screen which has the background removed to clarify the shape of the well better.  I was really surprised at how detailed the screens can be and it shows so well the scrollwork in the top of the well.  I’m really enjoying my screens!  Many more photos using them to come! I know I will still be able to order them from her after she moves away from Indy, but I’m getting a good supply before she goes.  I love being able to use my own images!  Thanks Bobbie!

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Dusk Quilt Series

I have two quilts going into a local exhibit opening this Friday with an artist open house.  The theme is “Put a Bird on it!”  Since I had been working with leather and printing birds and flowers on the leather, they seemed the perfect fit and submitted them.  It is a local Indy show and hope that some local friends can come out and see them while they hang through March.

Dance of Dusk

Photo of tree printed on copper

The first is my first quilt mixing leather, weaving and quilting, not to mention metal.  The quilt basically has a giant hole in it where the woven leather sun is.  The top is a rod pocket to hang from a bamboo rod.

Dance of Dusk was made to evoke a sunset and fence line at dusk as the birds are scurrying to finish up the day with one last bite, flight or snuggle before heading back to the nest as the sun goes down.  What at first seems to be a quiet calm reveals that there are pockets of quiet motion of the birds.

Photos printed on leather

Dreaming of Dusk

Dreaming of Dusk


Dreaming of Dusk detail

This piece was fun to try out some more techniques like bobbin work and using some fabrics with surface designs.  I also embellished with some silk fibers and a carrier rod.  This quilt also used my original photos on fabric and leather and evokes the same business of dusk in the life of birds.

There is an artists’ reception this Friday March 2,  6-10 pm. and will hang through March 30th.

Harrison Center for the Arts

1505 N. Delaware St

Indianapolis, In





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French Seam Challenge Quilt

L’Albero di Bolzano Vicentino (The Tree of Bolzano Vicentino) was my submission for The French Seam’s quilt challenge.  The challenge was to use a piece of each of three Moda Farmyard fabrics.  I overdyed, stamped, thermofax screen printed and decolored the fabrics and here is my resulting quilt.

The large tree in the foreground is a dark maroon leather applique.  I have been enjoying using leather in my quilts over the last year and do not feel I have finished exploring its use in quilting.

stamped and thermofax screened trees


I used the tree challenge fabric to make a similar hand carved stamp that I used with thickened dyes on hand dyed fabric, the unobstructed tree in the photo to the right. The tree on the left partially covered is a thermofax screen print and is from a photo of a tree I took in Bolzano Vicentino, Italy,  Where I lived for three years.  My sister and her husband came to visit and we decided to take a walk and found a path with a sign about an old church that led back behind houses and into a field where the church was.  The old church is utilized once a year for a communal celebration.  We enjoyed seeing the old church (look for a quilt with photos of the church in the future) and found a tree with the trunk covered in ivy.

The other thermofax screens were made with my photographs as well, one in Italy and one since moving back to the U.S.  I enjoyed using so many different techniques and exploring the use of various methods to overdye and remove color from the commercial fabrics.  You can scroll down to earlier posts as I worked on dyeing the fabrics.


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Another Batch from the Dye Studio

Wooden stamp with corn syrup resist

It is fun to have dedicated time to go to the Indy Art Center for dye class.  Bobbie Vance has a wealth of knowledge and shares it generously.  Not to mention, she is fun and encouraging.  As are my classmates.

So last week I wanted to get some yardage dyed and did 10 yards.   I did some Navy,

some reds (mixing warm and cool reds),


did some more stamping (flowers at top of post) , some snow dyeing,

some thermofax screen printing using a screen of hail,

top yellow parfait

bottom green parfait

middle red parfait

and tried the parfait method of layering three pieces of fabric each with a different color and then the dye transfers from one to the other with little transfer on the top and lots of transfer to the bottom.  I enjoyed doing it and will definitely be doing more of it because it gives such nice color mixing and splotches.  A very productive week!

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