December 2, 2012

Holiday Sale Dec. 7

 Erika Lynne Hanson (of Vefa Handmade) and I are having a Holiday Sale! This Friday, December 7!
6pm - 9pm at 215 W 19th Ter. KC, MO 64108.


There will be scarves, blankets, coverlets, quilts, iPad cases, zipper clutches, and t-shirts. All lovingly hand made and designed to keep you warm and stylish!

Come on by, we would love to see you! And bring a picture of a cat with you to receive 15% off one item!

October 30, 2012

Holiday Hop! Friday, November 2nd, 10am - 1pm

I am so excited to be participating in the Holiday Hop this year! The lovely Betsy and Emily of Bon Bon Atelier in Westport (KC, MO) asked me to be one of their featured designers and I couldn't say no. They are too lovely to say no to. And it sounded like fun.

So! This Friday, 11/2/12, from 10am to 1pm I will be having a trunk show and demonstrating some dye techniques at their store. Here is a sneak peek at some of the things I have been making just for the trunk show:

 T-shirts! I dip dyed and screen printed some 100% cotton American Apparel t-shirts. I think they're cool. I already confiscated one for my own closet. They are each one of a kind and there are only 11 of them!

Lots of zippy treasure bins using my own very special hand dyed fabrics. The big one fits an iPad. The little one is just right for a wallet, keys, phone, snack, etc.

There will also be quilts, of course. And more than likely a large assortment of hand dyed fabric scraps for sale.

In addition to all that, you can come hang out with me and watch me dye some stuff. I will be dip dyeing, some shibori, probably a gradation or two, and some low water immersion. It's going to be amazing. And Bon Bon Atelier is the best place to buy fabric, yarn, and gifts for everyone on your holiday list (or for yourself).

October 28, 2012

Custom Quilts

I have been making a few custom quilts lately and they have turned out really well. I'm always a little nervous to accept a custom order. It's a big investment for the customer and a big time investment for me. I'm always a little worried that our communication will be off and I will make something that is off the mark. So far, all of the experiences have been great. They have all pushed me to make quilts that I probably wouldn't have on my own.

I love seeing the quilts on people's beds and I thought this one would be a great example to show. I have the sketch, the finished quilt, and the quilt on the customer's bed. This quilt was custom sized to fit a platform, California King Size bed.

The Sketch, done in Adobe Illustrator.

The quilt.
The quilt on the bed. P.S. Don't you want a pool outside your bedroom?
This is a queen size quilt I just finished a couple of weeks ago. I love how the top came out, with those streaks of blue.

I don't have a good picture of this quilt yet, but here is a detail that shows the color and a glimpse of the composition. It was a queen size quilt loosely inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge.
I have another queen size custom quilt in the works right now, based on a design I've made before in a smaller size. Maybe someday I can make a quilt for my bed. I would have to convince my cats not to shed on it or scratch it and my husband not to spill anything on it.
It might be better if I just keep making them for other people. 

August 6, 2012

Fabric Dyeing Workshop 8/11/2012

Only 2 spots left!!!

Once again, I will be teaching a fabric dyeing workshop at my studio in Kansas City. This is actually the second round of fabric dyeing workshops I'm teaching this summer. The first was a couple weeks ago and it was super fun. So! Yes! For the details.
my studio has been re-arranged. it looks way better than this now.
The workshop is designed mostly for quilters, but anyone who is interested in learning how to dye cotton or silk using Procion MX dyes would benefit from it. This workshop is going to cover the basics: solid shade dyeing, gradation dyeing, and some low water dyeing (Ann Johnston's technique for getting interesting mottled colors). You will get a special dye kit with 4 dye colors and the necessary auxiliaries to make them work properly. You will also get two yards of my most favorite white cotton fabric to dye. Plus instructions and demonstrations, of course.
a lovely assortment of hand dyed fabric scraps
The workshop is next Saturday, August 11, 2012. It meets from 10am to 2pm at my studio at 750 Armstrong Ave, Kansas City, KS. The cost of the workshop is $75 plus a $20 supply fee. Members of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild get a discounted rate of $40 (plus the $20 supply fee) because the lovely guild is sponsoring the workshop. If you want to come to the workshop, you can register ahead of time by buying the workshop through my etsy listing or contacting me if you are a KCMQG member.

June 21, 2012

Summer Break

I have been on summer break for a little over a month now. It is the best. Everyone should get a summer break. I kind of wish that my whole life was summer break. Seriously. So far I have been to two amazing places:

Arrowmont, in Gatlinburg TN, is where I was an Artist in Residence in 2007/08. I spent a week there in May for a reunion for past Artists in Residence. There were about 60 of us in attendance and I was able to work in the beautiful and huge fiber studio all week, meet some amazing new people, and reconnect with two of my best friends who were residents the same time I was (Alex and Sarah, above).

I also spent a week in Utah with my mom.  We stayed in Moab and visited Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. We did a lot of hiking and took a raft trip down the Colorado River. The landscape there is really unusual but beautiful. We ate a lot of really good food and watched a lot of Iron Chef at night. And I brought her over to the dark side by making her watch The Bachelorette with me.

On my way to Utah I flew in a tiny plane over the Rocky Mountains. I was sneaky and used my phone to take pictures even though they repeatedly said to turn off all electronics. We didn't crash, so I guess the rules don't apply to me. 

In between those two trips I got to help Denyse Schmidt with her booth at Quilt Market. She is my quilt idol and I have repeatedly said to many people that I want to be Denyse Schmidt when I grow up. So you can probably imagine how amazing it was to spend two whole days with her. The best part was just talking to her and realizing she is a real person and getting to hear her thoughts on quilts, designing, and making a living in this business.

 Quilt Market in general was great, but overwhelming. Everyone I met was super nice. There was a lot of stuff that honestly doesn't' interest me at all, but also some things that were really exciting and refreshing. Like Carolyn Friedlander's booth in the picture above. I love that quilt. Love. That. Quilt. I wish I had made it. I bought the pattern and it will get added to the list of things to make someday when I'm not busy. Carolyn was lovely and smart and her work is so refreshing.

April 15, 2012

octodecagon madness

 About a year ago I started making little color wheel quilts as color mixing references for myself. I made two little ones using different sets of primaries. The one one the left was muted primaries, the one on the right was bright primaries. I liked the muted one better so started piecing it first. It doesn't lie flat. For the second one, I decided to try bias binding because I had never done it before. It still needs to be finished. They turned out to not be that helpful, but I learned a lot making them.

 Then I decided that what I really needed was a giant color wheel quilt. So I drew the plans for an 80" diameter do-decagon (12 sided) color wheel with eight steps from light to dark in each color. I also figured out the dye recipes and then it sat in my graph paper pad for months. In January I got an intern and it was the perfect time to dust of the do-decagon plans. While I was too busy to work on it, Aaron had plenty of internship hours to fill and already knew how to dye using my method because he was in my surface design class at KCAI last semester. Yay for interns! So, he started dyeing the fabric and somewhere along the way we decided twelve sections wasn't really enough. It should really have 18 sections. That's 144 colors. If Aaron hadn't been around, this quilt would probably still exist only in my head and my graph paper pad. I am super excited that it exists in real life, and so is my cat, Owen.

The quilt after quilting, before trimming and binding. Owen is helping.
The finished quilt with invisible binding. Isn't it like magic?
It really is like magic. Or science. Or something. This quilt was made using my three favorite custom primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). So the gradation happens not only from dark to light but from color to color. There is one big mistake in this quilt (and a couple of little mistakes) and that is the red dye was not consistent. Aaron and I lost track of which red we were using to mix our custom red and some of the oranges and purples came out not right. But I kind of don't care. The next one will be closer to perfect and will have 24 sections. It will be more like magic than this one.

April 12, 2012

New Website!!

My new website is officially up! A very talented graphic design student at the Kansas City Art Institute, Taylor Pruitt, designed it for me. She did an amazing job! She also designed me a new etsy banner, new look to this blog, and some other great stuff like business cards, letterhead, etc.
Below is a screen shot of the website, or you can visit it yourself at

And here is a sneak peek of one of the things I have been working on the past few months (it's a hand-dyed octo-decahedron color wheel quilt) :

It will be finished soon and then off to Plug Projects in the West Bottoms for a color show that opens on May 18.

March 14, 2012

Watkins Woolen Mill!!

I am on spring break and in true spring break fashion I am having a week of heavy drinking, hooking up, getting sunburned, and generally making bad decisions. 
Not really. 
I've never had that kind of spring break. Instead, my parents came to visit and we took a day trip to Watkins Woolen Mill, made homemade ice cream, did some yard work, and went to a winery. That stuff is more my speed.
Anyways, who knew that Watkins Woolen Mill was so cool? Anyone? It is truly a great place to visit and only about 40 minutes north of Kansas City. Watkins Mill is a state park that encompasses a woolen mill (surprise) and Bethany Farm - Waltus Watkins' house, orchard, garden, etc. You can tour the house, grounds, and mill for a very small fee. In my party of four, only I am a fiber nerd. But my parents are good natured and easily entertained and my husband likes anything that is either outside or has to do with history or both. We were all thoroughly impressed and here are pictures to prove how cool Watkins Mill is. Go there. For realz.
This is a sweet red and green log cabin quilt. I think it is wool.

 More red and green in the carpet. Have you ever seen carpet like that? I haven't. Well, now I have.

 They had the same china that my in-laws have. How weird is that? And the tour guide mentioned something about grandma haunting the house. I couldn't tell if she was joking.

 Have you ever seen a turkey up close? They aren't pretty. This one was quite talkative.

 These are giant carding machines for combing the wool fibers into roving. The people who ran the carders were paid the most of anyone in the mill because their job required the most skill and was the most dangerous. You can lose a finger in there.

This is the rear-view of a warping wheel. All of those cones of yarn feed through hooks and then onto a giant wheel that measures the warp before it goes to the loom. 

All of the wool was grown at Watkins Mill, washed, sorted, dyed, spun, plied, skeined, woven, and sold. There was also a great market area that I didn't take pictures of. Sad face.

January 3, 2012

West Elm!!!

Oh my goodness. I have been keeping this to myself (well, mostly to myself) for months and now it is for real so I can share it. Usually I don't talk about things until they are for real in case something happens to make them not for real anymore. You know? So here it is.

My quilts are in the West Elm catalog, y'all! The first Spring 2012 catalog came out today and two of my quilts are featured on page 106/107. I could probably be happier, but I'm not sure how. They look so good. Don't you think?

This news totally hijacked a post I was planning about my trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I guess that will have to wait. Now it's time to dance around the kitchen with an unwilling cat in my arms.