Geri Ann

My journey of re-creating myself

Gorgeous Hand-Dyed Silk Scarves

I had to get my creative side from someone…and my mom has always been there to encourage me.  She’s the type of mom who doesn”t mind making a mess.  She was the first with the finger-paints, glue, Play-Doh, fabric, scissors, papers, etc.,  She knew that to create art, children (and adults) needed to be free to create a mess, especially if it meant creating something “artistic and creative!”  Well, we are both still making messes and beautiful art.  And while my little blog has mostly been about my attempts at art, I thought it was high-time I share some of this space.  Most artists I’ve met have always been some of the most generous people you could possibly know.  Artists, musicians, etc., know that great pleasure can be gainedmom scarf in sharing and teaching what they’ve learned.  They realize that to inspire others is inspirational in itself, and one of life’s sweetest rewards.  It’s a well-learned lesson for all of us.

So – time for a shameless plug for my Mom’s New Etsy shop!  Yeah, Mom!

Her silk scarves are all hand-dyed and/or hand-painted, and quite simply:  BEAUTIFUL! Scarves have been all the rage in Europe forever and we’re finally catching on here in the States.   I’ve talked her into a couple for myself, but she has plenty more and loves making them.   So keep checking her site for new ones.

Click here to go to her Etsy shop:  Sparx

Here’s just one of the many she has for sale.

Thank you & Peace.

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Art, Completed Projects, dyeing, Fabric Dyeing, Quilt University, Serger, Sewing, Silk, Thanks, Zentangle | , , | 1 Comment

Start Keeping Track

I’ve got a lot of stuff to do!  Including the fact that I must get more focused in my life and learn to live in the moment!

  1. Start an art journal
  2. Re-dye the color wheel in cottons, keeping copious notes and examples of work (all neatly bound in a binder)
  3. Organize all my color recipes
  4. Create 2 flower girl dresses on new serger
  5. Create FQ kits of hand-dyed fabric
  6. Work on and complete at least one object with painted/quilted fabric – maybe a purse or pillow
  7. Design beginner and intermediate EQ class, to teach in the Fall
  8. Work with Paint Sticks – make something with these (wall-hanging w/leaf patterns?)
  9. Practice Doodling – this is a great creative outlet!
  10. Make some great looking T-Shirts on my new serger – and some yoga pants to go with them!
  11. Learn how to make lingerie! Whoo Hoo! I already have some patterns and fabric – time for some new panties! 🙂
  12. Get back to the gym and lose some weight (is this on almost everyone’s To-Do List?)
  13. More YOGA!!
  14. Create a fabric art Self Portrait (this should be very insightful)!  Maybe make a couple of different ones – feel like I need to re-examine myself and my entire being right now.  This should prove a wonderful exercise!  Great way to use up some of my hand-dyed fabrics.
  15. Keep this blog going and make it interesting.  Add some tutorials and more pics of WIP’s.

This list should be doable.  The hard part is the incredible slow-down at work and my mind keeps racing with everything I want to accomplish.  Most of which has nothing to do with work! UGH!  I wish I enjoyed my job more…the bosses are great and the money is good…I really have nothing to complain about…at least I have a job!  It’s just not creative IN ANY WAY.  And my creative juices are flowing!

I’m sure there are at least a dozen other things I will add to my To-Do List…this list is also a work-in-progress.  So much to do…so little time!

I still have a few more classes lined up – then I’m taking a break from the classes and begin to put my training into finished projects!  One of the classes is Shibori techniques, again with The Queen of Dyeing, Marjie McWilliams.  And then finally, to wrap it up with Marjie, a Gutta Resist class on silk!  All of these dyeing classes have been on Quilt University.  I cannot recommend them enough.

I’ve taken other classes on QU and enjoyed them as well.  If you are interested in using/learning the Electric Quilt (EQ6) software, I also recommend ANY class by Fran Gonzalez.  Fran has written books for EQ and knows her stuff.  Her classes are also well organized and very informative.  In addition to her being one of the most knowledgable people on EQ, she is also one of the most positive teachers I’ve ever met!

Finally, to wrap up my training for a while…2 more classes at the Chicago International Quilt Festival!  An all day class with Judy Perez on Painting Whole Cloth Quilts.  Judy is a very talented artist and has published numerous articles for Quilting Arts Magazine. To round out the training…I’m taking a smaller class on Sashiko.  Sashiko is an old Japanese style of quilting – very beautiful.  I like to keep a little handiwork going for those times I don’t want to be in my “studio.”

After typing all of this, I’m starting to wonder when I’ll get to my To-Do List!?


March 26, 2009 Posted by | EQ6, International Quilt Festival, Judy Perez, Quilt University, Quilting, Serger, Sewing, WIP's | , | Leave a comment

Playing with the new Serger

I was playing around with my new serger – trying to make a t-shirt.  Hancock’s had this fabric so cheap, I had to give it a try. Everything went together well.  I did a narrow hem on the shoulders (nice).  I did a standard 4-thread OL on the sides and sleeves.  The sleeves even went in nice.  I did a basting stitch to help gather them evenly. Yeah!  I hemmed the bottom – with the cover-stitch. That was going great until I got back around – the top-stitching didn’t quite match up – and got a little wonky. No problem, it’s pretty small and on the back. Anyway…I’m just practicing.   So onward to the neck I went. This is when the trouble began! I ironed the hem down and off I went – then the stitches didn’t catch the whole edge of the fabric….so I ripped.  Pressed it again, and pinned it (stabbing myself multiple times with the pins).  Now I had problems with the threads and had to rip again (one of the threads kept popping out of the tension). So I sprayed it with a little water, cleaned up all the pieces of woolly nylon (what a mess) and laid it to rest on my ironing board. Then I went to bed.

When I woke up this morning…I had a flash…TAPE THE HEM down! Forget trying to use the guide (which by the way, usually works quite well). So I will try this technique tonight.

I’m really glad I got this fabric so cheap!  But that could be part of the problem anyway, it’s cheap cotton-knit fabric, very thin, but great for a t-shirt or yoga shirt! And I love the khaki color! But I can’t help but wonder, why I wouldn’t just hem all of the pieces first, then sew the seams. I’m sure I won’t be re-inventing the proverbial “sewing wheel” here, but I am sure I could get a much nicer coverstitched hem if I didn’t have to sew them in a circle. I’ll probably run into a huge problem at the shoulders when I try this, but I think I’ll do it anyway!

I ordered the “Serger Secrets” book – that will probably help a lot – but haven’t gotten it yet. I’ll keep you posted! Having a blast!

(photos to come)


March 19, 2009 Posted by | Bernina, Serger, Sewing | , | Leave a comment

The Serge(r) is Working!


Bernina 1130MDC

My new Bernina 1300MDC serger that is!  I finally got my dream serger this weekend.  And my wonderful friend, Lisa, spent all day with me going over the Mastery Class – how to thread it, how to do wonderful little tricks on it with decorative threads…how to make beautiful stitches! Thanks again, Lisa!!  And thanks again, to Linda! 🙂

I highly recommend this serger!  The threading is not difficult at all.  It takes a little time to learn it – but I think that is just because it LOOKS complicated.  After rethreading it all morning, you realize it really is pretty simple – all color coded and pretty easy to follow.  I don’t think the quality of the stitches can beat!  Simply perfect.  I was recently in an art gallery in Scottsdale.  A woman there had beautiful hand-dyed silk garments displayed.  I, of course, started looking at the seams, checking out the quality of the construction.  I turned to my mom, and said, “I bet she uses a Bernina.”  Sure enough, we were lucky enough to talk with the artist.  I had to ask her, and sure enough, she used a Bernina!

This machine does it all! Cover-stitches, chain stitches, overlock, everything!  The Berninas are pricier than other machines, but if you have a good dealer in your area that can provide good support, and you can scrap together enough money for it, do it!

With our daughter getting married (to a wonderful Jazz Man) this Fall, and me promising to make the flower girl dresses…I just had to have this machine.  How else would I get wonderful stitches and finishes on those dresses, that I have yet learned how to sew!?? Oh, I’ve made my now famous “clown pants.”  These are just pajama pants that I wear around the house (and would even wear to work if I could get away with it).  I make them with batiks or any crazy fabric I can find in the quilt store.  The have elastic and a draw-string in the waist and are quite simply…very comfy!  But that is about the extent of my garment sewing.  So, this is where the new serger and my BFF comes in.

I know…I’m supposed to be creating…not learning something ELSE! But I’ve had my eye on this beauty for about 2 years now – and just couldn’t pass up Linda’s great offer!  But at least there are 2 projects that are already slated to be finished with my new baby! Maybe my path in life right now is still to learn.  Actually, I hope I NEVER stop learning!

The fabric dyeing classes are going great.  I just need more time in the day to work on them.

Next assignment for myself:  Make a list of things I would like to accomplish this year.  A little late getting started on my New Year’s resolutions, but late is typically my MO.  First thing on that list will be to go over all of my dyeing recipes, re-do them.  Taking great notes, tweaking the recipes, cutting samples, etc.  All with the hope of getting some wonderful sets of FQ’s together – possibly to sell, possibly as gifts.


March 16, 2009 Posted by | Bernina, Serger, Sewing | | Leave a comment