Dreaming of snowflakes

I’m thinking back to last winter, 2015, when we had record breaking snowfall. After a few snow days the thrill of working from home had worn off, my freezer was full, and shoveling was harder as the piles got bigger. Perfect time to bring out the next craft project! It started evaluating my scraps and cutting pieces into squares. Some might argue one should have an end in mind before starting to cut fabric, but I’m a new quilter, and we all have our processes….

The stamp I used in these pieces has always reminded me of a snowflake. Since they say every snowflake is different, and each of my stampings is one-of-a-kind, it fits. Then I looked at what else I had lying around and played with color a bit:


More and more fabric:


And finally a combination of the it all:


I love the way the lemon yellow pops out and gives color, so needed on long winter nights. I gave this lap quilt to my mom for cuddling on winter evenings.

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Matzah Covers 5775/2015

Add a personal touch to your Passover Seder with a batik Matza cover (inventory as of 3/18/2015):

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Chuppah quilt

It started with a simple ask, can VTJR help with our wedding chuppah (canopy)? Of course we will! And thus began my second quilt project, with Elizabeth again leading the charge. At the start:


The fun of the pattern was that we had a bunch of options, which we played with early on:

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But as the quilt grew, we appreciated the circular design as somehow more wedding appropriate:


Made even more meaningful by the embroidery done by Dan’s mom:



There were long, serious deliberations about the border fabric:

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And ultimately brought to height by Sarah, one of the brides, and some of her friends:

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We did a private reveal before the big day (which we imagined would be rather emotional anyway):
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And then the BIG, beautiful, awesome day:

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I made a quilt!

It took me all of 2013 to make my first quilt, and another couple of months to tell you about it. Thanks to my friend Elizabeth, I managed to turn these strips of fabric:fabric

into an amazing quilt! The idea was to use scraps of fabric I had lying around or pieces in which the contrast wasn’t good enough. Our pattern, and our theme, was Anything Goes.


We started making these squares:
photo-1   blue squares

We needed 18 squares total, here they all are:
all 18 squares

Next we needed to cut them in half and mix it all up. It was almost color overload:

quilt 2

possible layout

Also we made the corner pieces:
corner pieces






Laying it out against the background was exciting- this was where I finally started to realize I was really actually making a big quilt. I needed to pick a thin border, and this was tough. My batik pieces have a lot going on in them, so after much deliberation, and two fabric store visits, I decided to go with one non-handmade piece of fabric (the bright chartreuse). Thanks to the folks at JP Knit & Stitch, I really like the way the solid bright chartreuse color, which doesn’t exactly match any of the quilt colors, frames it.

photo (2)with chartreuse border: photo 3

Here’s the back of the quilt, a piece I did in just one color:

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I’m still sometimes amazed that I made a quilt.

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Teaching batik at Teen Quest

I’m an educator by training, so when I get to merge those skills with my self-taught creative outlets, it’s a bonus. At the start of June, I got an email from Meredith Hofmaier of Teen Quest at Brooks School Summer Programs, asking:

“I’m doing a two-week unit with my campers on textiles and fibers. I was wondering if you would have time to speak at my morning studio block,  anytime from9am-12pm? Ideally, I would love for you to come and talk about your career as an artist, show your work and possibly do a demonstration.”

The result of our conversation was a full day (9:30-3:30) of batik with high school students including lots of time to talk about color, fabric, printing, being an artist, following an interest and getting messy. The space was an old squash court which turned out to be AWESOME: a big room with high ceilings, double sink, 4 high tables, lounging couch area and open space.

I brought a bin of my finished fabric so the students could see what the end result would be:


The students had T-shirts, and fat quarters (18×22″) of fabric to choose from. After quick introductions, the students got to play with the stamps, decide their design and start stamping:

Stamps     Waxing

At the end of the day, when students were asked what their favorite part of the process was, most agreed it was this initial stamping stage. Given a range of options, together they chose to dye colors: spring green, brightest blue and dusty lavender. A dye lot is a 1.5 hour process of mainly mixing fabric on a regular basis. It’s a good task to split among a group of people, since you end up mixing less often. The most exciting part (I think) is when you first put your piece it the dye vat, after that it’s just mixing it up.

Dye  Dye #2

We hung our pieces out to dry and went to lunch:


Our final step was to iron out the wax. The day was HOT and standing over a hot iron only made it feel hotter so energy was waning. Thankfully, the afternoon snack that day was popsicles!

Ironing 1

I had a great time with the students, and promised to make them famous by writing a blog post about them!

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I (finally) have an Etsy page

With much prompting from various friends, and a final evening of actualization with The Barefoot Hobbiest, I can now be located on the “… marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods.” Picture 002


Tell your friends!
Make me your favorite!
Be a satisfied customer!


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Next top model!

Announcing the winner of the B.B. batiks next top model contest: Eleanora Deborah Boice-Mallach

82_resizedClearly, she’s got posing for the camera down pat!

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I’m back

You might not have noticed I was gone from the blog-sphere, but a lot has happened with my art and I look forward to telling you about it!

More soon…


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A tribute to Zippy

I recently had to get a new car. Zippy had passed the point of reliably getting me where I needed to go as well as becoming a financially not-so-sound investment. At one point I posted a blog post asking if this onesie looked like a car or a turtle (based on my quasi scientific craft show polling, the results were mixed).

In tribute to Zippy- these new onsies are for sure a car.

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Everybody should be able to get married

Here’s my shout out to marriage equality for all (go Minnesota):


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