Hand Stitching-Couching

I love to mix things together.

Couching is a term that means: attached with hand stitches. Example: To attach a strand of yarn to a cloth surface, the yarn is put in place and tiny horizontal stitches are sewn across the yarn at even intervals. These stitches are hardly noticeable.

This piece is completely encrusted with lots of texture, yarns, beads, and more; which are couched on.

. It is very small, about 5″h x 4″ w. It is a jewel. I made this in 2008.

The base is assorted pieces of satin, silk and lace stitched together by machine. The surface is filled. It was spontaneous and I love it to this day.

kelp 1 detail_resized

kelp 1 fv_resized

Mounted to painted canvas

kelp_detail_resized 1


It is amazing how much can be put into such a small area.


Denim and Wool

I have been working with (old) denim since January. I love the texture and tones. It feels good in my hands. I also love the way wool feels. Thus, I decided to make a composition with both.

I machine stitched and hand stitched and painted with a stencil. This piece is made with black and indigo denim (some color removed) and wool.

I haven’t decided which orientation to use. I contemplating it as art…..should it be mounted on canvas? should it go on a garment? should it become the front of a bag?


7 x 14″

    I  enjoyed the gradual development. I think it is almost done.



Good blogs to follow that relate to hand sewing

Entwinements is Karren Brito’s blog. She shares cool information. She does spinning, weaving and dying

Hank & Spool is Christine Mauersberger’s website and blog. I purchased some fabulous linen thread from her.

Sprit Cloth is Jude Hill’s website and blog. I have been following her for about eight years. She writes a brief post daily. Her writing style is poetic.

Today there is an outstanding article in USA Today. I belong to Contemporary Art Quilts and we will be exhibiting at two of the locations this year. Title: 10 Best places to see amazing quilts.



Making Bags

I am hooked on making bags from old denim; all colors. Indigo, black and white. I started making them for Christmas presents for each of my three grandchildren. Since December 2013, I have made (including theirs) six with number 7 half done. I am amazed how different each one is.

I have been wanting to post about this but….I am concerned about copying.


What I am making is UNIQUE. Thus, I am showing close ups of the stitching rather than the whole bag.

I am focusing on the design elements and dynamic qualities rather than the style. .

Denim bag #3

Denim bag #3

M_bag_section2 M_bag_section3

This bag is made with old blue jeans.

Embellished with yo-yo’s, lace, velvet insert, appliques and buttons.

The color is first removed with bleach to make  each piece have variations  I was surprised to learn how different jeans produce different colors.

Some of the seams are machine stitched (finished seams) while other sections are overlapped and top stitched (frayed edges).

The denim is painted with acrylic paints using stencils and stamps. Some purchased some I made.

The hand stitching really makes the bag have a rich character accenting some of the painted shapes as will as features.

The recipients have been totally blown away with the finished bag.

I made one of the seven bags for myself. I take it everywhere. It is fabulous and feels more like a garment.

I will show each bag in a separate post over the rest of the week.

In the mean time….I really like this

Making Art For Friends

Making art for friends is wonderful.  Before I moved to Washington I had to say goodbye to a very close friend who I knew I would not see for a long time, if ever again.  I made a special hand stitched ZEN cloth for her.   Here is an image of it:

Both hand stitching and machine stitching are combined.  Beads are hand stitched as well.

This piece was made with a side panel and wrapped around a stretcher bar.  The backing and batting provided a padding against the hard edge of the wood.  The bars were sealed prior to prevent acid damage.

Needless to say, my friend loved this piece.