Archive for April, 2007

New Fiber Art Fair

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

For those of you in the midwest there’s a new event starting. Interweave Press is one of the sponsors of the Fiber and Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, Illinois July 20-22, 2007. I’ll be one of the teachers. They have a full line-up of teachers, plus a merchant mall, exhibits and a gallery showing. It really is going to be a wonderful event.
The classes will be up on their website later in the month (April). You can check out the schedule and other stuff at:
I’ll be teaching two classes – Facing Faces
And, A Journey with Fabric Paints


I’m really looking forward to this event. I know it will be fun and educational. Inspirational, too.

Beading Cruise

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Two of the teachers have submitted pictures of the projects they’ll be teaching on the Creative Beading cruise Feb. 19, 2008. Annie Hesse will be teaching a stunning lariat.
I’ll be teaching beaded flowers that will fit in a fun basket. Or, you can make them into a bracelet, or put them on a doll, or a quilt, or a vest, or…………
Keep coming back to see what the other teachers will be teaching. Nearly all the supplies will be provided, which makes it so easy. You’ll not have to carry much but your clothing and personal items.
Most of you know I don’t do many workshops here in southern California. May 11-13 I’ll be at Piecemaker’s Country Store in Costa Mesa, CA teaching the cover doll from my new book “Creative Cloth Doll Beading”. Today I finished another sample doll in different colors. The doll doesn’t have her Haku Lei, nor her basket of flowers but you can see how lovely she is in greens, purples and salmon.
I think with her red hair the Haku Lei will show up really well. I’ll be making the lei as I teach showing how the various flowers fit on the vine. There’s still two spots left in the class. If you are interested contact Piecemaker’s at: 714-641-3112, or classes

Stamping on Fabric

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

I love using rubber stamps on fabric. Years ago we were told you had to use deeply etched rubber stamps to get a good impression on fabric. I think that has changed because we’re not as afraid of experimenting on fabric. I’ve found just about any rubber stamp works. I love using stamp pads and paint to transfer the image onto fabric.
One thing I’ve found that helps is to back the fabric with a double sided stabilizer, like Wonder Under. After this is ironed onto the fabric, I leave the paper backing then press my rubber stamp onto the fabric.
After you’ve stamped the image, set the inks with an iron. I use Tsukineko’s Fabrico or VersaColor stamps pads, and Jacquard’s Pearl EX stamp pads. But, any ink based stamp pad will work.
After you’ve stamped and set the images, color them using colored pencils, markers, or whatever. I’ve fallen in love with Copic’s marker. All of them.


This photo shows the faces done using colored pencils, markers and the background painted with Lumiere and Pearl EX powders.

Another fun project is making small paper dolls, but backing them onto a stabilizer such as Pelltex, Timtex or Pelmet Vilene. Traci and Allison Stillwell of ArtGirlz have some new rubber stamps that are absolutely the most fun I’ve used. You can mix and match heads and they are designed for their pewter arms and legs. Shoes and crowns, too. Here’s one I did in just a few hours.


I stamped the dress and head onto fabric backed with Wonder Under. I then colored it using Copic markers and painted the under body with a Stewart Gill Byzantium paint. This was then ironed onto Timtex. I appliqued some fabric here and there then free motion sewed the dress to the under body (which had the head attached). I hand sewed the arms and shoes on with beads and crystals and used crystals to attach the crown. I hand sewed a pin back to her back and I shall wear her proudly tonight.

ArtGirlz website


Monday, April 9th, 2007

In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d enjoy cruises. I have fallen in love with them. Especially teaching on a cruise. I’ve taught on 4 cruises. The first one was a quilting cruise and I was the doll making teacher. The last 3 were strictly doll makiing cruises. I’ve talked about the most recent one earlier in this Blog.
The picture is of Carnival’s Miracle. February 19-27, 2008 we’ll be on board the Miracle cruising to Colon, Panama; Limon, Costa Rica and Belize. This allows us four full days at sea for classes. The cruise is based on my newest book “Creative Cloth Doll Beading”. Annie Hesse, Dorice Larkin and myself are the teachers.
If you are interested contact Barbara Roby at BR Travel Services. Her phone number is: 1-925-803-7504 Ext. 106. Or you can email her at:
You can also contact me for class information. Keep coming back here for more up-to-date information on the cruise, too.

A special doll

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Recently I was very touched by an email from a teacher in Omagh, Northern Ireland. She had purchased my first book “Creative Cloth Doll Making” and wanted to somehow structure textiles into her Art and Design class with 11 and 12 year old girls. Here’s the result of that class.
They enlarged the pattern to almost life size. The pupils designed the dress like a jig saw. Each pupil designed and made a piece inspired by the art of countries around the world. They voted for a name and called her “Summer”. A truly remarkable and inspiring piece of art work. Don’t you agree?

Flesh toned dyeing

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

In my eagerness to post I forgot to add the last photo. Here it is:
On both photo’s you’ll see that the one piece of fabric grabbed the dye more. The darker pieces. Those were the muslin pieces. The other is white pimatex cotton. I did pre-wash the fabric in Synthrapol. This is a specially formulated soap that is natural and won’t leave residue in the fabric. Ivory works in the same way. Synthrapol you have to buy at places like Dharma Trading Company,
Dharma has wonderful tutorials in both their paper catalog and their website.
The Procion dyes can be purchased from Dharma or Pro Chemical & Dye,
Both of these companies are wonderful to work with. Very eager to answer questions.

Flesh toned dyeing

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

One of the most asked questions I get is how to dye cotton fabric for flesh tones. And, what products do I prefer. Here’s what I use.
To get the best colors that also don’t change the “hand” of the fabric I prefer Procion powder dyes. These require a bit of work, but the results are very satisfying. You’ll need Soda Ash, regular table salt without iodine, the dyes, gloves to protect your hands, a mask to keep the powders from getting in your nose, containers for the dyes and plain white 100% cotton fabric. Muslin works fine, too.
The first photo of the dyed fabric used this formula: for 1/2 gallon water add 1/2 cup salt. Stir to dissolve. In another small container dissolve 1/2 tsp. Ecru and 1/2 tsp. Apricot in 1 cup water. Add this to the 1/2 gallon water and place your dampened fabric inside. Stir the fabric off and on for 15 to 20 minutes.
While this is setting add 3 tablespoons Soda Ash to 1 cup lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve. Add this to the dye bath and stir. Let the fabric sit in this solution for an hour. Rinse the fabric and wash in either Synthropol or Ivory soap. Rinse until the water runs clear. Hang to dry.

For the last photo the dye mixture was 1/2 tsp. Apricot and 1/2 tsp. Brown Rose. Mix as above. The photo really doesn’t show the nice brown tones of this formula. If you want a darker brown, add more Brown Rose.

To set these dyes, let them cure for 24 hours then iron. You are ready to make dolls, or whatever, with these colors.