Category Archives: Directions series

Summer Meadows

     I spent an inordinate amount of time waiting for things here in Vermont this past week. As my daughter reminded me-we are on “Vermont time” not real time. Which means when you are waiting on a repair person who is coming in the morning, 7pm at night is just on time. He made it the day he said he would.

    So I waited for people and waited even longer for fabric that was due last week. I only needed to dye two yards of navy blue to finish a piece I am working on now. Not done yet. So, I did some therapy strips and just chilled.

Summer Meadows, 9×12

 I love the colors of the meadows and wildflowers here. Along with the sunshine. No different than the flowers in Michigan, but I think I just am able to take time and enjoy them. This piece should have been much larger but I made just a few too many cuts….so tiny it is.

    Found a few more stray pieces to dye  some gentle colors.

Tried to overdye some browns and blacks but still couldn’t get deep dark brown or black. I am not sure what went wrong here. Also. played with some thermofax screens and one silkscreen.

And for one or two of you missing mountains, a hazy mountain shot on a ninety degree day earlier this week. Yes, I am high up in the mountains.

Enjoy your summer and be creative, my friends!

Finally Finished Fireworks on the Fourth

     It was a picture perfect day here in Vermont. Enjoyed the great outdoors and stayed away from crowds with the exception of fireworks in the mountains. Walk, bike, read, relax, barbecue and stitch. What more could you ask for?

Kind of hazy but a great breeze and sun.

Fireworks are really hard to capture. Just when your lens focuses, they are gone.

Fireworks 2011, 17×24 

This isn’t a piece I like but just a piece that needed to be finished. So, I could finally finish something! And move on. The fabric reminded me of fireworks and I had fun adding some big stitch to it. ( I am really tired of these neons so you will be as relieved as I am that I am moving on.)

    And if you put the fun back into it, it sure goes quickly. Which leads me to the question, why would I be finishing things I really didn’t want to do?

    Be creative, my friends and make something you enjoy doing.

Finally, A Finish

     Sometimes it just takes longer than others! I was very glad to finish this little guy last night. I was hoping I would be able to take a picture outside but it’s really wet out there. This is a happy piece and I will probably take it to Vermont and find a place for it there.

                                                              Vermont Sunshine
                                                                       18.5x 32

     I went to my daughter’s soccer tournament on Saturday. It was in Traverse City which is about three hours way from Grand Rapids.  I had only about an hour in between games and quickly  slipped away to their downtown area. The cherry trees were all in bloom and smelled wonderful. (Traverse City is known as the cherry capital of the world.) I had one store that I didn’t want to miss-my favorite antique store-Wilson’s. I could have stayed for hours but only had about 50 minutes…still found a few great things. What fun is this:

It had some interesting articles in it  but mainly it was a woman’s magazine. I found two issues and I love the cover on this one.

I also ran into an art co-op in the main street which has two great fiber arts pieces which is very nice to see.I  just saw a glimpse of  Lake Michigan on the way out  of town. It was a grey day but water is so beautiful even in the rain. The second time in a row on the weekend I have not had a functioning camera. My daughter’s team won all three games. A great day for everyone.

Getting ready for my class in two weeks and seeing what colors I need to dye this week. Maybe not much!

Off to another busy day. Happy Sewing, my friends! 

Barns and Quilts

     I had so much fun yesterday and the day flew by. The kids and my husband went skiing and I stayed behind. Such a hardship it is having the whole day to sew! I had brought along a few new things. In January, I ordered  25$ of fabric from Frieda Anderson and then got a package of  48 5 inch squares for free. One of the fabrics was a beautiful one yard piece of hand dyed fabric which was multi colored. And  the 5 inch squares were bright.
     I wanted just to do a simple and bright quilt. I pieced for a long time and then the sun called me outside. I took pictures of the barns on my walk. My favorites from yesterday’s walk:

     A local horse farm. Love the sunshine and blue skies.

Mrs. Smith’s barn-my 87 year old neighbor who still mowes her own yard.
Typical Vermont barn -weathered
You have been very patient waiting for a quilt. After my walk, I just kept sewing. And this is my first project from this batch of fabric.
Unquilted top-Vermont Sunshine-20×39
A typical little ribbon quilt, isn’t it? A very happy little guy for a day in February. I needed just carefree and easy for the first day of vacation.
Ok-now dial up internet service has made me crazy uploading pictures. I must go to the library to do this. It takes about five minutes per picture! And weird things happen like pictures are getting all grainy.
Happy Sewing, my friends!

bothered by the end result

     It’s in small letters because as much as I would like to keep it a secret, I have to tell you the truth. I hated what I showed you yesterday. Hate is a strong word-disliked. And it bothered me so much I had to go work through it again(ok maybe the series thing is sinking in) or try something different. I can visualize what I want the design to be but can’t execute it yet. Don’t get me wrong- there is improvement- the sewing construction and the speed at which I work is improving. But, the not being able to do what I want is bigger-my frustration- than not wanting to show you yucky stuff.  I’d show you if you were here having coffee with what doesn’t work -so i might as well confess here too.

    It’s all part of the process, I know. I started something new. I pieced like you would a crazy quilt. With no plan in mind -each piece directing the next.  Smaller. I feel like hand stitching today.

     I like it but think it looks too much like many other people’s creations….ugh…..but I”ll keep working through it.

    Happy sewing, my friends.

An Early Christmas Present: A Giveaway and a Quilt

     Wahoo- I am done with my quilt and it’s Wednesday – the day of my giveaway drawing. Thanks for all of you who have entered and left comments. I am having fun looking at other new sources of inspiration and you are very talented people! We have a snow day today. No blizzard yet but the calm is kind of eerie right now. The winds are supposedly coming.


      Ben helped me out and picked the winners. And the winners are:

1.Sharon-Pieces of Vermont. I have knit socks out of this yarn and they are warm.

2. Robin W– Lorna’s Laces. Very pretty color!

3. Gail Myrhorodsky-ArtGirlz stuff. You will like the beads and silk!

     Congrats and enjoy the new stuff in honor of a sense of community. Nice to have you stop by. If you e-mail me(colleenkole at your addresses, I’ll get your packages in the mail after the blizzard is done. Hopefully Friday.

     And I finally finished # 6. Another really big wahoo! If I critique it, it falls flat on composition. I wanted to insert lines into shapes rather than working with strip sets. However, if you go by the definition of line being less than an inch, my lines are too big and look choppy.  The main purpose though was to use my Carol Soderlund  hand-dyed fabrics.  These pieces were my end of the summer garden’s colors in September. I do see this as one of the series I will work on the next year called Directions but will work with smaller lines and smaller compositons to allow me to experiment with it. Maybe….but I definitely have two different series going on without even trying.

                             Directions: End of Summer



      The burgundy is the only fabric which is commercial and it sticks out too much. I do like the texture of the back though.

     Must go . Cookie baking has been requested by my kids who have another snow day. Happy Sewing, my friends.

Fabric Dyeing

     Last February, our quilt guild had the the privilege of hosting Carol Soderlund. She presented a wonderful lecture and then stayed for two days of classes. I attended both days of classes with the first being her Pot-of Gold class. She taught us how to dye layers of cloth stacked three high in a plastic bag and upright container. She was previously a teacher and still had the gift of making everyone feel very comfortable with her. She is a teacher I would highly recommend taking a workshop from.

      In the quilt I am working on now, I showcased the fabrics we made. I  had made a prototype months ago and finally put it together as a stitch sampler in order to decide how to quilt it. It is one of my UFOS, too. The sampler fabrics are much lighter than the quilt I am working on now.

     These were the last layer in the “pot” so ended up the lightest. She uses Testfabrics 400 M. I fell in love with this fabric this summer and started ordering it in large quantities. The company is very easy to deal with and ships out quickly.


                                                   Directions prototype-9×12

      I am going to choose the upper left for my quilting pattern for the next quilt. It is the most time-consuming    as you are always turning the quilt back and forth but that’s what I like.  I am feeling like I might have time for two more quilts realistically before the holidays. Must go put the Thanksgiving grocery list together. Happy sewing, my friends.


Working in a series

     I am now working on two different series. I am lucky enough to have two design walls so that makes it easier. The first is called Connections and it is simply strip sets cut apart and re-structured  into new blocks and strip sets. I absolutely love the new colors, lines and shapes that can be created with this process. The possibilities are endless but I need to learn when to stop-as evidenced by yesterday’s chaotic piece. The other series is called Directions which is shapes with lines inserted into the shapes. It is more labor intensive for my easily distractible brain or maybe it just requires more planning. At first, I didn’t think two series at a time was a great idea but I am easily bored. So I can go back and forth between the two series. I am really feeling that one is adding to the other.

 Here is a little piece I finished last week and it is Directions#1 made from a beautiful piece of African fabric and my hand-dyed fabric. I don’t want to show you just my unfinished pieces so here’s one that’s done. I am finding commercial fabric harder and harder to use. I purchased it at IQF in Chicago with  my ultimate fabric shopping buddy Lynne.

Happy sewing today. (I figured out he header picture now just need to make it fit better!)