Sunday, December 8, 2013

Collage Pouch

Very cute Collage Pouch using Mixed Media. I love all the textures and colors used. I think I found it somewhere on Etsy and can kick myself because I always get the Designer's name to give them credit. It's the only way when using photos of someone else's work. If this is yours, send me the link. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blending Textiles with Different Textures

I love using textiles with different textures together. It adds dimension and tactile interest to your project. First of all, I love using Batiks with everything. Some colors can over power the rest of the fabrics so use it in small quantities. This orange batik is wonderful because of its many shades that blend with the many shades of color of the Koi fish. That's just how nature works.
Here are some auditions of orange batik with my favorite Koi fabrics.

It showed up differently in this photo but in actuality the orange matches the lighter orange Koi.
It is the same in this case, the photo doesn't show that the orange batik enhances the scales of the Koi.
Anyway, it seems when the fabrics are sewn together they take on a transformation of beauty.
In the photo below I've added another textile to the mix. It's a brocade with a darker, deeper orange and gold threads running through it. The gold threads enhance the gold in the Koi fabric at the top.
This combination would be great for any Mixed Media projects.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stephanie Kimura's KIMONO VEST using Michael Miller Fabric...Koi and Lotus....Brite

This is a great, easy-to-make vest. Three pattern pieces:  front, back, and band collar. Can be made reversible just by using another great fabric as the lining. In fact, the two vests above are one reversible vest. The red/orange print is long gone but the Koi in turquoise (colorway: Brite) is still available here. Make this vest as long or short as you like....just adjust the amount of fabric that you buy. Consider using a luscious silk print....the Holidays they-are-a-coming! Make it now.nnn

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

JET: Michael Miller Fabric......Blackest Black all cotton

Have you ever needed a really good black fabric for your quilting or any kind of sewing? You should try Michael Miller's blackest black named JET. They over dye the cotton fabric many times and yet it has a nice soft hand. Easy to turn for hand quilting too. There is no shine. It reminds me of black velvet. Use it for your Halloween quilts and wall hangings. Great for binding quilts too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Kimono Pillow....inspired by the Kimono garment of Japan

This is one of a series of beautiful pillows inspired by Asian garments. 18" square pillow. Consider using wonderful rayon or silk brocades. The pattern is available here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Cheongsam Pillow...inspired by a traditional Chinese Dress

This is one of a series of beautiful pillows inspired by Asian garments. 18" square pillow. Consider using wonderful rayon or silk brocades. The pattern is available here.

Shell We Dance? Turtle Quilt . applique and paper piecing

Create this wonderful paper pieced and applique'd lap quilt or create a larger quilt of your own design. A quilt with Turtles would be loved by anyone. Make it for a Christmas gift....start NOW.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Koiful Consideration pattern for a quilted applique table runner or table topper

More Koi fish projects! I've loved this pattern ever since I saw it. The Koi images are quick and easy to applique no matter what technique you prefer. Consider traditional hand applique, machine applique or use the raw edge method with fusible web. Follow the complete instructions or create your own project using the fish and piecing technique for the border. The table runner is 38" x 22" and the table topper is a 20" round. When you can't find Koi fabric you have to put the fish on any fabric you like. Make it now. Get the pattern here.

5 Japanese Design Concepts

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mumm Pouch for Haute Handbags Magazine

I love sewing with vintage silk Kimono. The weave is so inviting for free motion stitching. This pouch was created with a portion of a Kimono. The knotted silken cording and the dangling beads add to the charm of this pouch.

These metal frames were used to create the bag.
I made these pouches for Haute Handbags and there is a pattern and instructions in this issue.       Click here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Embellished Corset created for Belle Armoire magazine

I really enjoyed making this corset with my favorite leftover quilt fabrics from one of my many stashes. If you understand. I just wanted to make it quick and easy but it never winds up that way. So, I pieced the fabrics and added texture with 30 wt. rayon threads. Didn't like one of the colors so I over painted it with a light wash. Still not happy....I added bugle beads. Created the corset and it looked plain so I added some tulle at the bottom. It looked too "pokey" so I cut it into fringes.....whoaaa.....that tulle took on a life of its frizzed. Everyone loved the texture so I named it the "frizzy technique"'ll probably never happen again. Then covered the top of the tulle with vintage lace. The piece de resistance is the feather corsage. I just don't understand why everyone is so shocked....doesn't everyone go over the top?

This is the photo from Belle Armoire magazine. I'll look for the "back" view where it laces up. It was 2 a.m. and back then we didn't have a 24 hour Walmart. I looked in my (one of many) junk drawers and found some nice shiny metal washers. I had enough so I used them with cording to lace up the back. Once again everyone thought that was ingenious....heh, heh.

Celebrate Olivia the Pig

Based on a children's book, Olivia is a bossy, headstrong yet charming pig with a passion for fashion, the opera, art, and bedtime stories. Celebrate Olivia with this 100% cotton fabric, 44" width. Use this wonderful fabric for garments, accessories, or a pillow case (perfect for bedtime stories).
Olivia the Pig cotton fabric, Black, 1 yard

with black background.....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Koi Luck Club

I made a series of small wall hangings that had fabric with Koi images. This one was fun to make. It was easy and offered immediate gratification. The whole cloth with the Koi images had groups and single Koi. I singled out one for the center. I used whole cloth for the lower part. The top was pieced with random shapes for contrast. I love that blue really conveys motion.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Made this quilt with Lilly Pulitzer fabric....

Made this Modern Quilt with squares of Lilly Pulitzer fabric as a tribute to her. She made her mark on Palm Beach while making pink and green her trademark.

The rain inspired me to.....

Pull out all of my green fabrics....thought about doing some crazy quilted blocks, some log cabin blocks, some original applique.....then took a nap.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peony Pink....Upcycled Wearable Art Bag

Highly embellished, large denim cross body bag. Raw edged and pieced with my favorite fabrics, jewels, and thread.

I used a pair of denim jeans I found at the Humane Society Thrift Store in Stuart, Florida. I kept all the pockets and it is a large bag.

 I lined the bag with a soft poly and added some pockets. The largest pocket fits an ipad and the smaller pockets are for all the rest of the stuff we carry around.

The strap is pieced and quilted, then sewn to a layer of denim for strength. The strap is very long at 47 inches to wear it across your body. The length is easily altered. You could also cut it in half and make two straps.
This is the bottom of the bag. The fabrics are pieced and quilted while allowing frayed edges. I added more color with random circles and flowers.
I added some of my favorite jewels and dangling beads. I really have evolved since my sewing sabbatical because I am enjoying hand sewing. It adds an organic, personal touch that adds contrast to the stitches from the sewing machine. BUT, the sewing machine is essential to get my ideas down fast.
Free motion stitching is my favorite mode of thread art. For me it equals the "pencil" tool in Illustrator....well, somewhat. At least it's fun. 

Here is a close up of the dimensional free motion stitching. That 30 weight rayon thread really does a good job. It fills in fast and has a luster that I love. When I'm doing this it really takes me to a calm, soothing place. What makes this all possible is the fact that I bought a new sewing machine that I LOVE. This machine just knows what I want to do. It allows me to sew at any speed with any thread.
Life is very good.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Magnolia Cakes in Stuart, Florida...awesome!


Magnolia Cakes

Charlotte designs signature custom cakes, baked from scratch, to celebrate your weddings, birthdays, special events and occasions. Located in Stuart, Florida, they serve the Treasure Coast area, from Vero Beach to Palm Beach. Their cakes taste just like southern cakes should; moist, full of flavor and texture, with so many options to select from, the only problem you will have is choosing just one flavor! Everything is baked in their kitchen with fresh ingredients including whole eggs, real butter and pure extract! They strive to make every cake the best tasting and most breathtakingly beautiful, delicious centerpiece you have ever seen or tasted. Contact Charlotte at to get the cake you have always dreamed of!

Call (772) 260-4760 or email me at

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Search for a Bridal Gown

This is a project in my book, "Altered Style", made with a circle of fabric. Just about the easiest and fastest bridal gown you could make. I used poly jersey which creates a fantastic drape. The serger was used to make a curly, lettuce edge hem. It's strapless and held up with elastic across the chest. A ribbon belt cinches under the bust to enhance the shape of the bust and waist.

This style would also be great for bridesmaid dresses....either long or above the knee with boots!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getting Started with Etsy at Robert Morgade
Thursday, July 11  6:00pm
Learn how to generate revenue by creating an online store on
» Registration Required        772-463-3245
Bring your ideas and/or samples of what you would like to sell and we'll discuss what selling categories to use. You'll learn how to set up a PayPal account (bank checking account required). We'll discuss basic photography of your items, how to "tag"/market them and even walk through setting up a store. Consider browsing prior to this class. Session II will be presented on July 25 at 6pm.
Thanks to the Friends of the Martin County Library System for their generous support of this class. : A website where
you can sell your handmade crafts, vintage items, or supplies (which are not handmade but needed by crafters). So, actually, anything you feel passionate about selling!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Using layered, slashed, and frayed Dupioni silk cut on the bias as an art form

Tim Harding . "KOI", 1991:
Layered, quilted, slashed, and frayed Dupioni silk 56 x 60½ inches

The following is an excerpt from an
Essay by Marcia Anderson (click here to read the complete essay)
Independent scholar, formerly Minnesota Historical Society

  Harding’s Koi, a greatcoat in the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, illustrates his masterful use of color and form to create emotive silk paintings.  The realistic rendering of the movement of koi (Japanese ornamental carp) below the reflective blue water’s surface renders an impressionistic, yet immediately recognizable, image employing windows of light and color that are as changeable as the silks themselves.  It is particularly symbolic that Harding chooses to present the koi on an interpretation of the Japanese kimono.  Koi is also an appropriate and significant complement to the fine crafts acquired by the Minnesota Museum of American Art from the juried Fiber—Clay—Metal shows, renowned craft exhibitions that the museum organized between 1952 and 1964.  The acquisition of such nationally recognized art wear lends depth and continuity to an important component of the museum’s holdings.

 This is a link to the Origins Gallery in Santa Fe where Tim Harding's jackets can be purchased.

I have been fortunate to see some of his jackets in wearable art galleries. For warmer climates I noticed he used a base layer of organza. Layers and layers of silk dupioni in various color ways were slashed on the bias. I noticed that he added certain colors in specific areas to create a motif and/or splash of color. Just breathtaking. I remember duplicating the technique with layers and layers of silk, sewing through the layers, and slashing to reveal the bloom (some call it chenille) and fray of the edges. Another method would be to add strips already cut on the bias. Using different widths might make it interesting. Be sure to use a very simple pattern so you can concentrate on the silk.

Here is another version where you can see the different colors are pieced. Simple shaping works best.

Consider using the Self Collar and Cuff Jacket #202 pattern.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bamboo Goddess Hip Bag

This is one of my favorite, anyway! Wear it as a cross body or tie around your waist as a chic accessory. Either way your hands are free...aren't we all multi-tasking? The flap flips up for easy access to carry the essentials. You can get the pattern here and even a kit. Need the custom cutie tassel? Of course. Makes a great gift because they're quick and easy to make. Gotta love that immediate gratification. What's more immediate than that? Buy the bag already made...perfect for Goddesses.

Love That Fabric Guy

I just saw this on Pinterest!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kokeshi Dolls quilted wall hanging for the Fouth of July

I created this for the Fourth of July 2012. I had so much fun making this....I enjoyed the planning and piecing...and three squares were over. So, I am glad for the immediate gratification of a small piece. The center square has images of Kokeshi dolls which are part of Japanese folkart. I have five vintage dolls from my childhood. I don't collect them. I just like the ones I have. The red-white-blue fabrics represents me as an American and the center square represents my country of origin. I am truly Cheeseburger and Apple Pie while I lace my burger with Tonkatsu sauce. Yummm.