Friday, July 11, 2014

The blog is REALLY moving....

My artistic activity has moved to my WordPress blog at

I have left this one active since so many other blogs link to me and there is still a lot of traffic from other blogs and Pinterest.  I will leave this up for a while but please follow me on the new blog. Bookmark the site or you can follow by email.

Thank you, all of you, who take the time to read and comment!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Chicken for my Nest

So, yesterday there was a package in the mail. Exciting!!! I knew I hadn't ordered anything as I tore into the package. Inside was this charming chicken pincushion to roost by my nest in the family room. . Linda Klonz from San Antonio, TX sent this as a thank you gift. It is crafted from an antique quilt block with tiny little black beads for eyes. I have secretly lusted after one of these from when I first saw the pattern. But I was always too busy to make my own and never found one to buy that I liked. This little guy is so perfect, his feathers are the exact shades of blue and red in the family room where my nest is.

I belong to some yahoo groups that talk about the great vintage Singer sewing machines I use and collect. A recent topic was retro fitting a Singer cabinet for a long bed Singer 301/301a. Some of the experts said it can't be done because of the length of the bed but never say never to a bunch of people who rescue these workhorses and use them. I was lucky enough to score an original Singer 301 long bed table from a garage sale recently. I offered the interested people a tracing of the cutout area and a brief description of how the machine sets into the table opening. A few people took me up on my offer so I sent a few off patterns  in the mail.

Linda had sent a thank you email and that was wonderful. I didn't expect more. But an unexpected gift given from the heart  is truly a treasure.

Monday, April 21, 2014

SAQA Fabric Line

I  received notice from Martha Sielman that my design "Urban Creep" was chosen as one of the 6 being produced by Andover fabrics for SAQA. The designers' receive wide publicity of their name on the fabric with profits going to benefit SAQA.

Martha wrote:
"Luana Rubin will be presenting the fabric line at the SAQA conference.  Andover will be launching it at Spring Market in mid-May.  And Luana has taped a segment for Quilting Arts TV that promotes the fabric line, which will air starting in August. "

If anyone is going to the conference please photograph the presentation so we can all share in this exciting event!

Friday, April 18, 2014

No Gray Areas

Black and White theme for the Arts In The Cards trade. I could explain it but would rather you think about it. Each card represents true or false words along with lots of little white lies.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Is this ART...Is it MY art?

New blog is UP!!!

Oh what a cute little piece of vintage commercial fabric. I could see this design reworked with appliqued yo-yos and embroidery.I could use any commercial fabric of my choosing for the background, or I could use some of my hand dyed fabric for a more artsy look.  But then the questions arise. Is it my art quilt, a copy or an inspirational derivation?

What if I did nothing to the fabric except put a binding on it and some beads. Does that make it art? And if it makes it art, is it MY art?

If I want to submit it to an art show or a quilt show, can I honestly do that and call it MY ART or MY QUILT? Remember, this would be no different than quilting a preprinted panel and jurying for a large quilt show without telling the jury it was a panel.

Recently I've had this very issue come up. When I asked what makes a commercial fabric that is simply bound and beaded art, I was told it is the artist's hand that changed it, otherwise it is just fabric.  Ummmm...maybe ....

My response was that it is the artist who transforms any medium into art. But I don't see binding and/or beading a commercial fabric enough to transform it into art....and especially not art that you can honestly present as your own work. You aren't the designer of anything except the binding.  If you are beading the design it isn't much more than paint by number.

I think this discussion goes far beyond a fiber artist using commercial fabrics for their art. Pamela Allen is a master at using commercial fabric and making art and there are many more.  With the ability to purchase  unique fabric from the designer who sells it on sites like Spoonflower, the chance of something being claimed as the fiber artist's own art and design increases. I think it is dishonest and I wonder what you all think about it?

I know I'm outspoken and not afraid to enter into a spirited discussion about all things fiber and I hope you will let me know your views on this.  I'm linking to Off The Wall Friday this week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coming along for the ride...

Ron expressed an interest in learning some bundling and dyeing techniques. I'm a novice and everything is experimenting so I have no objection to him coming along for the ride. I asked this morning what he was going to do with the fabric he dyes and he said he didn't know what I was going to do with it, he is just going to dye it!

I thought you would like to see his first dyeing experiments. After he bundled some rose petals and rose leaves in silk and linen he rolled them up and tied them. The long skinny one he did when I was out of the room and he didn't add any vegetation before he rolled it around a rusty spike. They were cooked in a vinegar and yellow onion skin bath. Some pretty good results!

Oh yes,  he left the bundles to sit for 3 whole days before unrolling them. The man has infinite patience that I don't have.

DSCN0023 DSCN0024 DSCN0025 DSCN9826

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New ATC Radiant Orchid

This month's ATC prompt was TEXT-ure. You can see them here and read about how they were created on my WordPress Blog     HERE

Sunday, February 9, 2014

How to tell Fabric Content with burning or bleach

Sometimes we need to know the exact fabric content of something we are planning to use. I've always done a rudimentary burn test but sometimes it is hard to know from that anything other than it is a natural fiber. When dyeing fibers, you need to know if it is cotton, silk, wool, rayon or something else because of mordants used.

I found a wonderful chart at  The New Varangian Guard Inc. (NVG Inc) is a historical re-enactment organization with branches throughout Australia, and sister organizations in several other countries.  I am copying the chart below and giving them credit since the original source of the information is a dead link.

How to tell what the fiber is:
Burn Test
Snip a piece of fabric equivalent to 1" square. Using butane lighter and holding the fabric with a pair of tweezers ignite the fabric over a non-flammable surface in a well ventilated area.
Examine the quality and color of the flame, the odor produced, and the quality of the resulting ash or cinder.
Use this table to help determine your fabric's content.
WOOL orange color, sputtery burning hair or feathers blackish, turns to powder when crushed flame will self-extinguish if flame source is removed, no smoke
SILK burns slowly burning hair or feathers grayish, turns to powder when crushed burns more easily than wool but will self extinguish is flame source removed
COTTON yellow to orange color, steady flame burning paper or leaves grayish, fluffy slow burning ember
LINEN yellow to orange color, steady flame burning paper or leaves grayish, fluffy takes longer to ignite than cotton, but otherwise very similar
RAYON fast orange flame burning paper or leaves almost no ash will continue to burn after flame source removed
POLYESTER orange flame, sputtery sweet or fruity smell hard shiny black bead black smoke
ACETATE burns and melts, sizzly acidic or vinegary hard black bead will continue to burn after flame source removed
NYLON burns slowly and melts, bluse base and orange tip, no smoke burning celery hard grayish or brownish bead will self extinguish if flame source removed
ACRYLIC burns and melts, white-orange tip, no smoke acrid black hard crust will continue to burn after flame source removed

Bleach Test:
To determine content of fabrics I recommend conducting this first with fabrics that you are sure about the content of – so you will know the outcome of the test yourself. In a non reactive pan (I use a pyrex pie plate) take snips (small pieces) of the fabric you will be testing. Use straight bleach and put about ½” of bleach in the pan. Please do this in a ventilated area. Add the snippets of fabric and let them sit for about 24 hours. The next day, look at what you have left.
100% Linen or Cotton any color should be removed from the fabric, but there will be no damage to the fibers themselves
100% Silk or Wool the fabric will have fully dissolved (unless its worsted/gabardine, there is a fabric treatment that protects the fabric from the bleach and keeps the fabric shiny even after washes).
100% Polyester, Rayon, Acetate, or Nylon the fabric will have become a cloudy mess within the bleach. Fully dissolved into an opaque cloud within the bleach.
Blends – The individual fibers will act as described above. The result will be different for each combination
Rayon / Linen linen fibers with a opaque cloud;
Silk / Polyester and Wool / nylon fully dissolved with an opaque cloud;
Linen / Cotton no damage to the fibers;
Silk / Wool fully dissolved.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

For Vintage clothing Lovers

OMG, while we were in Springfield, MO we stopped at the thrift shop run by the Disabled American Veterans. It was large and it was clean so that was a plus.

We were tired after a long day driving and getting our new ID's at the base but thought we needed to stop at at least one thrift shop, lol.

I bought a huge bag of sewing things because I saw a hooked rug pattern in it. When I got it opened in the car I saw it was full of 1940's clothing patterns. They are just the coolest thing. The sizing is not even close to our sizes since a size 12 was for a 30 inch bust and 33 inch hip....what size is that today, a 2? 

The historical value is wonderful but I could see a theater company or costumer getting a lot of good from these. I decided to sell them on Ebay and you can see them all HERE.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quilt on Quilt Inspiration Blog

Hi All,
In case you might have missed this, my pet portrait is on Quilt Inspiration blog  today.

Check out all the wonderful cat and dog quilts from the International Quilt Festival in Houston.