Archives for category: fibers and fabric

With two long pieces of pieces of wood, and four short pieces, add a couple of nails  and you have an easy tapestry stand for your tapestry loom-great for display purposes too!

We are starting drop-in monthly fiber art classes, starting on May 19, 1-3 pm, at the Historic Revolutionary Mill, suite 1250, in the Hirsch Wellness classroom 130 Revolutionary Mill Drive in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Many of our tapestry students enjoyed weaving alongside their fellow students at our personal tapestry weaving workshops, getting support, encouragement and inspiration from each other . However,we have found that once a year is a long time to wait between tapestry sessions, especially if you have any technical concerns and have no one to ask for help.

The drop-in sessions are designed to bridge the gap between the once a year tapestry workshop, to get friends together again, and to keep everyone motivated to complete projects and start new ones!

I will be available to help with tapestry weaving and knitting and tapestry looms, yarns and knitting needles are all provided by the Hirsch Wellness Network.

I love the idea of the drop-in classes ! It gives me the opportunity to meet up with everyone again, see everyone’s progress and I get to enjoy seeing some of the finished pieces!





Piecing it together with pins, making a rectangle of 32″ x 38″ Lots of work still ahead – it needs to be shaped, blocked , steamed and stitched

Piecing it together in my head

I had the idea of knitting a security blanket as a metaphor for American culture so I started by knitting – as an example- my own security blanket.


detail of stripe

So as I was knitting the different sections, I was puzzled as to why I was using such a different range of colors in this knitting.  Usually I work with pure color, and never use black. And why did I start knitting with size 15 knitting needles when I have very few bulky yarns?  To create the bulky yarns needed for size 15 knitting needles, I  combined different thickness of yarns together, different colors together and different textures together which gave a much more muted palette. Black and browns, deep blues and textured black yarns made stripes of stocking stitch between ribs of blended colors. Why did I construct the pieces with stripes of stocking stitch and ribs? It was mystifying. I hung up the knitted pieces on a piece of foam core, sat down and started to look at them.

As I was looking at the thick stripes, a memory started to form in my head. The thick textured dark stripes reminded me of some winter cardigans my mother used to have hanging on the back of the bedroom doors, and in the hall, of my childhood home. We lived in a very large and cold, old house and whenever I returned home to visit my parents, one of the first things I would do on my arrival, was to look for a cardigan to wear from my mother’s extensive collection. Most of them were from thrift shops and many were for men (for my father) Mixed in with the charcoals, blacks, navy and dull green stocking stitch cardigans that my father favored, were some jumbo rib stripe cardigans knitted in muted Shetland colors for ladies. I admit that I was more attracted to the colored stripes but was more than happy to wear whatever was available in the stash, depending on how many family members were visiting at the same time. Wrapped in one of those winter cardigans, you finally knew you were home.


2 more sections added


This is how it looks like right now.

I’m beginning to run out of some of my hand dyed/ hand spun yarns which are mixed with other yarns so this and a deadline of finishing by this weekend, will limit the final size of the blanket. Nothing is sewn together so the finished piece may look radically different..!


Knitting in progress

 I left my native land, Scotland, to live in an America that welcomed and supported people from all over the World.


The start of the knitted security blanket

America is successful and powerful in part because of all the nationalities that came here, at great cost and personal sacrifice to work together for a better life. It is the land of immigrants.

Recently there has been the suggestion that to continue to allow immigrants into the country is unsafe, even dangerous for  American society.

So I started to knit a security blanket, thinking of how little children like to carry their own little security blankets to help them feel safe, secure, loved. My security blanket is a metaphor for American Society. It’s made up of many different yarns, colors and stitches and they are all linked together to create a beautiful, functioning and cohesive fabric. Each section enhances the whole. It is all connected by tiny, continuous loops.  Think of all these different stitches as representing all the people in America. Since every stitch is connected, to pull apart even one of the loops, is to tear apart the fabric of American society. We cannot afford to break the connections between the loops as the fabric will unravel and disintegrate. It is the connections that hold us together, keep us secure, keep us safe from disintegration.

We need to focus on strengthening them, rather than tearing them apart.


Detail showing 3 different knitted sections together


camillia-and-cardi-with-buttonAlmost five months later…

So pleased to introduce Camille in her pink and purple cotton cardi with knitted pink camellia button. Thanks Sally,  for sending me this gorgeous photo of Camille.


More details about the “Outlander” hand knitted wraps

The “Outlander” wraps are for adults: they are all hand knitted with some hand dyed wool yarns mixed with other multi fiber yarns. Each piece is one-of-a-kind with up to 8 or more different yarns and every knitted piece has a different mix of yarns . The wraps go around the neck and shoulders and tuck into your coat or jacket. Although the knitted pieces are knitted with thick yarns, it is not bulky underneath your coat or around the shoulders as long scarves tend to be.

The “Outlander ” wraps are  $60 plus postage if ordering on-line

The “Outlander” collar is $45 plus postage if buying on-line

If you are interested in purchasing, all pieces will be display at the Kirby Gallery, Roxboro or email me at: to order directly.



Outlander wrap 1: 33″ long and 6″ deep


Outlander wrap 1-detail


Outlander wrap 2-with more pastel colors; 36″ long and 6″ deep


Outlander wrap 2-detail


Outlander wrap 3- with dark trim. hand knitted with some hand dyed wool yarns mixed with multi fibers and textured yarns


Outlander 3-with dark trim detail


Outlander neck collar: 22″ long by 5″ deep


Outlander neck collar detail

Please be aware that there will be a proportion of hand dyed wool fibers in the knitted pieces which can feel “scatchy” against the skin for some people.





Quilt from 1860,Kentucky


Made in 1870 in Virginia, this may pre-date the pattern name “New York Beauty” and in this quilt, you can see the triangles clearly arranged around the circles

Yes,  I dragged my long-suffering husband to yet another fiber-related show, this time at the Quilt Museum in Golden, CO. There was a beautiful show of historical quilts all celebrating the quilt pattern called “New York Beauty.” The ladies organizing the show very kindly explained that the reason the quilt pattern is called “New York Beauty” is because of the ring of pointed triangle shapes around the circles which represents the head of the statue of liberty.


Created in 1870, in Alabama. talk about a striking pattern!


Created in 1870 and made by Florence Caledonia Corley Shealy from South Carolina. This is no demure and retiring Southern Belle, that’s for sure!


From 1895,the Whiteaker family quilt, found in Colorado but believed to be from Tennessee. It’s so bright…I  almost had to put on my sun glasses for this one…


From 1925, North Carolina. It is described as the “Clara Stones broken circle” or “suspension bridge” but looks suspiciously like “New York Beauty” to me-with a twist. I love this one as the colors don’t repeat exactly.. quirky, like my quilting friends in North Carolina (yes, Michelle, I do mean you!)


Last but not least, made in 1935, by Elsa Snuggs of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her name goes perfectly with the design, don’t you think?

I love the bold shapes and strong colors which remind me of some dyed fabrics from Anatolia, that I saw years ago at the textile Museum in Washington D.C.


It’s that time of the year again! The 8th Annual Art Auction to benefit The Hirsch Wellness Network programs Saturday October 8, 6-8.30pm

The Gallery at Revolution Mill

1150 Revolution Mill Drive

Greensboro, NC 27405


The Hirsch Wellness Network provides free programs in art, yoga, meditation and gardening classes for cancer survivors and their caretakers.  It’s a great evening of fun, live music, wine and food! And the chance to bid on some really beautiful ceramics, fiber art, painting, jewelry, drawings, quilts.. oh, yeah. I have never left empty handed. Which can get expensive-but it’s all for  GOOD cause, right?!

Here are the  2 pieces I donated for the silent auction-all proceeds from the art auction sales go to pay for the programs.


Now showing at NC Craft Gallery in Carrboro, NC


AWOL-absent without leave



A small piece with a lot of turbulent emotions







Some of the stages in the development for my latest piece, which started as a painting of a woman beside a vase of flowers, with a bird on her shoulder. A hand has materialized from nowhere to hold the bird.


It’s actually very helpful to see the images side-by-side as it helps me see the lines, forms and negative spaces much clearer. This is a bigger piece where I am trying to incorporate more linear elements, with the solid forms. Hmmm. Lots of adjustments needed for everything to fit together smoothly.


Cotton baby jacket for baby Camille, due any day now

However, I am getting side tracked by the need to knit baby garments for friends daughters and sons and nephews and nieces whose babies are all due from November -February!

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Photography Art Plus

Photography, Animals, Flowers, Nature, Sky

Fibre art by Jean Ottosen

NC Alternative Crops and Organics

art in fibers and fabric

The History Of Florist

art in fibers and fabric


art in fibers and fabric