Archive for October, 2017

I’ve been working on several art quilts at once. I remade one that dates to 2009, among the first I ever made. I took it apart, including the binding, and a good deal of the machine quilting in the middle of the image. I re-quilted it, using a shiny Sulky rayon thread. I’ve learned a lot more about quilting since 2009! Finally, I cropped it to a smaller (5×7) size, rebound it, and framed the piece. Here is the before and after. What a difference!

Another piece that I have made two versions of (and sold both) is called “Calling the Cat.” It’s based on a story in our household, where my mother in law calls her cat every night (loudly): “Here Pussy, Pussy, Pussy.” We cringe with embarrassment, hoping the neighbors don’t hear. I doubt the cat is insulted, but either way, she pays little heed to the calls.

I ran out of the fabric with the heraldic figure imperiously blowing his trumpet, so decided to draw one of my own on fabric, using my newly purchased Pentel Gel Roller for fabric. I think it worked out well, and plan to do some more drawing on fabric using this smooth writing pen.

On another front, I purchased a Victorian crazy quilt that had been donated to our local Salvation Army Store. I am trying to decide what to do with it.

I removed a stiff cording that had been sewn around the edges that was causing puckering. That was an improvement, but I still don’t think the piece is quite worthy of being kept whole.

There are many areas of damage, and in general the workmanship is not of the highest quality.

I did want to get a professional photo of the piece though, before my scissors took a bite.  So here it is. I’m open to ideas on what to do with it!

I’m also working on my next challenge as part of the Cloth in Common international group of quilters, of which I am part. Next week I’ll blog about that. The theme is “Touch,” which is a good one that allows for a lot of leeway.

And finally I’m sewing a gift quilt for friends who just got married. Here’s a sneak peak at that. It’s a long way from finished!

Dana Dave quilt sneak preview


Okay, this post isn’t quite about art.  But — I admit it — I get almost as much pleasure out of craft. And, truth be told, as much pleasure watching people having fun making things.

That’s how it was in the Upcycling Denim class I taught recently at our local Salvation Army store.

With the carefully arranged shoe and clothing racks as our backdrop, participants cut up and put together old denim jeans that weren’t up to the store standards for re-sale.

I introduced the class with an appreciation for denim. Each person held a pair of jean in their hands as I briefly explained the origins of jeans as work clothes in the late 19th Century in the US. Denim itself — the warp indigo dyed and the weft white — in its distinctive twill weave, goes back to France.

I worked briefly in a Lees jean plant during my 13 years as a sewing machine operator, and remember that it took 13 separate types of sewing machines to make a pair of jeans. I pointed out the flat fell seams on the jean that have them, that make a decent handle for a tote.  And the rivets which you do not want to include in your seams!  A broken needle will be the consequence.

By the second day of the two-day class, the 5 members had learned each others names, and seemed really happy with their projects. An eleven year old fit in as an equal.  A 70 something gentleman decided to make a second belt pouch to balance out the first pouch which he had completed.  And wine totes abounded.  They were based on my own design, but each bore the distinctive personality of its maker.

This class is scheduled for another session. I hope the magic happens again.