Geri Ann

My journey of re-creating myself

Share Your Passion

Hello, My Name is Geri Ann, and I’m an addict.

Fabric, paints, dyes, brushes, paper, books, and of course, more CLASSES.  I cannot learn enough!  I’ve signed up for another…this time a sewing class at Pattern Review, Sewing 103 for garments.

My classes at Rosemont start tomorrow – Fabric Painting with Judy Perez and then Saturday I have the 1/2 day Sashiko class.  YEAH!  But I’m also in the middle of the Shibori Class and the Gutta Resist class will be starting soon at Quilt University.  Did I mention the WaterColor Journaling class thanks to Artists of the Round Table?  Oh, Yeah, I’m definitely an ADDICT!!  I need a 12-step program something fierce!  Someone stop me before I get to the Market at this festival!  (No, please don’t…really, I’ll be fine! I can control myself!)

I just do it a little at a time – no rush, no worries!  Work on my color wheel one night, sew the hem on my curtains another…and try to feed the family (something healthy, I’m also on a diet), mix up a little dye, paint on a little silk, read my new book, go to work, come home and do it all over again…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining…I LOVE THIS STUFF – IT MAKES ME HAPPY!

It’s important to know yourself and accept yourself – and so, in that effort:  I AM WHAT I AM!  I realize I’m not the only one out there with this problem.  You know who you are, you’re out there, I’ve met some of you before.  Many of you also have more fabric, more thread, more books, more paints than you could ever get through in a lifetime.

But it’s not just about hoarding all of this stuff.  It’s about sharing it with your friends, and I have some great friends to share these things with.  I used to guard my fabric stash like a mother bear, not anymore!  If my daughter wants me to make something for her (like the new makeup bag I made for her this Easter) – I tell her to go in the room and pick out ANY fabric she wants.  No fabric is too good to be used for anything.    When I talk my girlfriend, Lisa, into trying to dye some fabrics with me — come on over!  You don’t need a thing!  I have plenty of fabric and dyes for all of us and 1/2 of the city of Chicago!


Rachael's Art

When I learn a really interesting technique, I want to rush out and share it…teach it…and most of all…contribute to the addiction of others. I truly recommend sharing your art and your knowledge.  If you are going to be an addict, such as myself, then be one! Be Proud! But be sure to participate in the Joy of Sharing!  You know you’ll never use up all of your stuff!  Share it with any one else who shares the same passion for beauty and art.  Children soak this stuff up – they can be the most fun to share your talents and stash with.

My daughter is an artist in her own right.  She’s only 15, and is quite the budding artist.  I love it!  Here’s a piece she had in the Art Show at the local community college.  I didn’t even know she was working on this.  It was a wonderful surprise to her dad and I!  I wish I was as good as this kid!

While visiting my Grandmother in the hospital, I bought some watercolors and paper to keep my little nephew, Max, entertained.  This kid had a blast mixing all the colors, painting beautiful pics for Grandma’s wall.  Art brings joy to people of all ages.  It exercises their right-side of their brain and leads to joy in all areas of their lives!  Look at the fun on this kid’s face!


And speaking of my dear Grandmother Clara…she passed away Tuesday morning.  She was loved very dearly by her 10 children, and tons of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She will be greatly missed, but always in our hearts.  She was an incredible woman, and a blessing to know.  I was able to spend about a week with her about a month ago after her stroke.  It was wonderful to get her laughing everyday.  I bought a set of watercolors for her as well, and even got her to paint for a little while (something she used to love to do).  It was time well spent and will remain an incredible memory forever!  The photo below is her and her 5 girls.  I’ll have to dig up another photo of them with the 5 boys!  She was beautiful and a wonderful grandmother!


So share your passion…it’s contagious and a very precious gift!


April 16, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , | 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