Thursday, June 26, 2008

Woman Packing Irons

We hung the quilts for the Bloomingdale Park District show in Bloomingdale IL. Faculty members for the Chicago School of Fusing include, Judy Coates Perez, Anne Lullie, Frieda Anderson, Laura Wasilowski, Emily Parson and Ann Fahl. This is our fourth show at the museum coinciding with the Quilt National display. Of course we had fun and laughed a lot and talked a little trash, and finally went out to lunch, the most important part of the day!! Missed you Mel!
Our fabulous sign. Years ago Laura and I brainstormed on a car trip that of course went through Indiana (inside joke) and came up with a whole list of names for shows featuring fusing. We will eventually get around to using them all. But Woman Packing Irons is one of our favorites!!

How many quilters does it take to hang an 18" x 18" quilt? Apparently four.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Strip Series

I have a new class that I am offering, that is different from my fusing classes. This class deals with repetition and piecing. I like to piece quilts as well as fuse. I enjoy the processes of free form piecing, it has a totally different feel to the way the work looks. I have found that I like to fuse smaller compositions and then make a bigger bolder statement with a pieced quilt.
The class is called "Strip Series". STRIP - to cut or tear into strips. To remove all excess detail from: reduce to essentials. To dismantle.

Creating our own designs. How do we start to transform our own ideas in to patterns and design. Traditional quilts start with a simple or complex block and to achieve pattern, repeat it over and over again.

Where do we get ideas for pattern from?
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Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am finding it hard to blog these days, mostly I'm not interested, but also I am very busy spending my mornings dyeing and my afternoons and evenings working on projects. However a former student asked me recently to post about my dyeing so I will give you all a quick tutorial on easy dyeing.
Start out with PFD, prepared for dye, cotton, you can find links on my website
to Test Fabrics where I buy my fabric. If you don't have access to PFD fabric, first wash what ever fabric that you are going to dye to remove any sizing and chemicals that are on the fabrics.
Cut the fabric to the desired size and then soak for at least 15 minutes in a solution of Sodium Carbonate, PH Plus powder for the pool, and water. While the fabric is soaking you can mix your dyes.

I mix my dyes on top of my washing machine. I cover the machine with an old blanket that I spritz with water. I place a mixer in a dishpan on top of the blanket and mix my dyes in the blender. I do this to help contain any dye that might become airborne. I always wear a mask, gloves and old clothes when I dye, because where dye lands dye stays!! Old shoes too and even dye underwear. Things can get messy.
I mix 14 different colors and then place them in squirt bottles and quart drinking bottles for storage.
I spin rinse my fabric in the washing machine to remove the excess soda water. I have the black tube from the back of the washing machine hanging over the lip of my laundry sink and the bucket that the fabric soaked in under the tube to catch the soda water and reuse it again and again.
Then I pleat my fabric and place it on clear plexi-glass platters that I had made, thanks Melody, and apply the dye in a gradation. I let the fabric dry flat over night on black metal shelving that I bought at Menard's. These are set up in my dye area as well.
Once the fabric is dry I wash it out in the washing machine using hot water and regular laundry detergent with just a little Synthrapol. It gets rinsed twice and fabric softner added at the end. I iron it while it is still damp. And wallah, gorgeous hand dyed fabric. It's a lot of work but well worth the end results.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Morning walk in the Garden


George and I went out today to the garden for the first time in a week . We have had such rain and crummy weather I haven't been able to go out with my morning coffee to check out my flowers and pull a few weeds.
We saw some beautiful flowers and this lovely friend. I will have to look up what kind of butterfly it is. Or if anyone knows, please tell me. It let me get rather close to take this picture before it flew away.

I am resigned this year to not spending much time out in the garden, I have booked myself so full that I am missing out on weeding and digging. But of course there is always next year!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Student's work from NC

This is just some of the fabulous work of my students in NC, of course there was much more, but blogger only let's me load four pictures at a time and I am too lazy to do more. Enjoy.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

My teacher buddy in NC, Teresa, was just wonderful. She picked me up from the airport and immediately took me out to the ocean. We walked on the beach for a bit and then had lunch at this seaside restaurant overlooking the water. What a way to start a trip. Teresa continued to be at my beck and call and was fabulous in class, even running to the store for some of the students. It doesn't get much better than that.
I of course fell in love with the flora and fauna on the beautiful campus of North Carolina at Wilmington. This campus was a treat to the eyes and I feel is wasted on the young. Old people should go to school, we are much more appreciative!

The buildings and landscaping were lovely and soothing. I truly would love to be taking classes at this school.
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Reusable Corn Bottle


When I was in Iowa teaching last month, I found this reusable corn resin water bottle. I was talking about it in my class in NC and one of my students sent me this link. They had just read about it in Bon Appetit magazine. I hope you can find one too. And a tip from the TSA at the airport. Arrive at the airport with an empty water bottle and then fill it up after security, instead of paying $3 for bottled water once you are inside the gates.

Corn Resin Bottle with the Better Water Drinking Filter

Corn Resin Bottle with the Better Water Drinking Filter
larger image

This unique product combines chlorine free and litter free living.

The bottle is made from 100% United States corn and will degrade in just 80 days in a commercial compost.

The Better Water Filter is carbon based and removes chlorine and organic contaminants from regular municipal tap water.

Refill this bottle up to 90 times for fresh water on the go.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer is here!! Summer flowers, gentle showers, chirping robins, sandy beaches,
mountain hikes, warm days, cool nights...What inspires you? Whatever it is, try
using our cotton fabric to make it come alive. Fabric
To celebrate the
beginning of summer we are giving you a free fat quarter of gorgeous hand dyed
fabric with any purchase of $20 or more during the month of June. This is a $6
value. Let us pick the color that coordinates with your order.Use your free fat
quarter in our newest patterns, Dancing Trees and Blue Trees.
These are quick and colorful quilts with decorative leaves and silhouette trees
that will delight all who see them.Best wishes!FriedaFrieStyle Fabrics and Notions
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Student work

I always tell my students that if they send me pictures of their work I'll post it on the blog. This is not a quilt that we did in class, it is a project that Janie brought to class at the Indiana Quilt Heritage show back in March. She wanted to get advice on quilting it after she took my machine quilting class. I love the frogs and she says it is is called SPLASH DANCE. It's from a book by Cathy Wierzbicki , Twosey-Foursey Quilts. I am always watching for CUTE baby quilts as Lars and Megan are getting married next year and I know I will be making baby quilts soon.
Dear Frieda, I finally finished quilting the baby quilt I showed you
after class at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show. Your ideas for
quilting worked out great! My camera skills are not very good so I
sent you a few different shots and hope you can see the quilting
stitches. I was very happy with the results and want to thank you
again for your help.
ALSO, I LOVE YOUR BLOG !! You are truly blessed to have such a
talented and fun group of friends to share your art with !! I enjoy
learning from all of you.
Looking forward to meeting you again someday !

Hi Frieda,

Thought I’d send along pictures of my class project from your recent workshop. This was a gift to my kids’ fabulous kindergarten teacher. She was delighted to receive it. Thanks again for a wonderful day!


This is Michele's project from IA. I love the label on the back of the quilt and the free form leaves on the front. Great job!!
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Monday, June 2, 2008

Jack in the Pulpit


I'm getting ready to do a Jack in the Pulpit quilt. I thought I post a few sketches
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