Saturday, September 10, 2022

Mitered Kerchief
Does anyone remember the kerchief style scarves from like 50 years ago? Gulp. It just came back to me in a flash. We all wore little cotton triangles either as hats or around our necks. This little knit reminds me of those. And of course the Baktus scarf, my latest favorite knit.

But this time I've made it smaller and started in the middle with a mitered diamond and knit outwards from either side of it. I used a crochet cast on again, because it is just so much easier to get proper tension and because later I am going to want live stitches to knit from where I began.

Crochet a long chain of stitches and with the knitting needle pick up a stitch in the 'spine' of each chain. Later these can be unzipped and will provide live stitches.

The orange yarn is the crochet part that I will undo and then put the exposed stitches on my needle to continue to knit.
Pattern: The mitered diamond in this case was 87 stitches, size 3 needles and lots of different colored sock weight yarns. I used a center decrease of k2tog, k1, k2tog, arranging my stitches before decreasing so that they face the correct way to achieve this look. Knit in garter stitch, and when the sides are knit, decrease at the top edge, one stitch away from the edge, every fourth row.
The mitered square alone is 8". If a larger, longer scarf is desired, increase the amount of stitches for the mitered square, by an uneven number.
I'd much rather decrease than increase, which is why I decided to construct this scarf in this manner. One could just as easily start at one end of the scarf, increase until time to make the big mitered square center, and then pick up stitches from the other side of the square and decrease to the end. Whichever way makes you happiest, I always say.
Here it is with just one side knit off the square and the crochet yarn still attached.
Any questions? Email me
PS: Wendy over at Knit and Tonic has a great tutorial on Long Tail Provisional Cast-on. See it here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back from Staycation

I had a wonderful relaxing staycation, with many naps and lots of time to think. The thinking led me to reevaluate everything I've been doing over the last 10 years or so. I've decided to make a few changes that already have increased my sense of well being and given me a feeling of ownership of my life and art.

First thing I decided was to take down my old website, (as of August 1st) since it hasn't been updated in like seven years, and most of the stuff is sold anyway, so why keep it? Then I had to consider what would replace it, and I decided on having a brand new blog with the auspicious title Melody Johnson. The url is because it will record a variety of new pursuits, which may or may not be quite different from what I have done here.

I am keeping Fibermania up for the duration because so much information is posted here, and I may need to refer to things in the future.

I hope you'll consider visiting me at my new blog, and sign up for email notification, as I doubt I will be posting as often. One of the things I realized was that most nights I go to bed worrying about what I will blog the next day. It resulted in quick-hurry-up art, and not enough trying out of new ideas. Now I want to take my time and be more thoughtful about the art I make.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Staycation 2014

I am enjoying doing nothing for at least a week.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Silk Splash #1 and #2

Silk Splash #1
Hand painted silk, hand dyed cotton, one commercial print, ink, fused onto batting and wrapped around a cradled wood panel. 10x10x1" $100 Email me. I've been saving this piece of hand painted silk for ages, and never could figure out how I wanted to use it, until now. It was painted with Jacquard fabric paints, and it is a medium weight silk habotai. 

The back side of a cradled wood panel.

Silk Splash #2
Hand dyed cottons, hand painted silk, one commercial print, ink, fused onto batting and wrapped around a cradled wood panel. 12x12x1" $100 Email me.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stepping Out

Stepping Out
Hand dyed cottons, silks, and one commercial stripe. Fused to batting and wrapped onto a cradled wood panel.

The fabric is flying now! I am getting up to the studio early and digging around for pretty colors and diving right in. So much fun for me.

I had been a little burned out, as mentioned, and was hoping that painting would do the trick to get me excited again, which it did, but here is the that I have found this idea, I feel brand new things will start happening with fabric. But I must put in the work. Imagining is one thing, making it happen is next.

I love those tiny X's!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Work

Yeah Baby!
Hand dyed cotton, bits of silks, fused, mounted on batting, and wrapped around a cradled wood panel. 10x10x1". $100 Email me. SOLD

What I love the most about making quilts is the designing. What I love about the collages I am painting is also the designing. I love not having a plan, and just diving in and seeing what happens. The PROCESS.

What makes my quilts my quilts is my fabric, and when I make a quilt using plain solids or commercial fabric, I know that the same look could be done by anyone, so it loses its personal touch. So I had better stick with the fabric I made.

What I love about the collages I make is that they are finished works, ready to hang with no tedious matting or expensive framing. What I love about my quilts is the finished top, before it is quilted, when it is perfectly flat and smooth.

And now, what I am loving about this presentation is the design, my colors, no stitching and no finishing. And since I am in charge of my art making, I can do this!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Day in the Studio

The person who bought the first Painted Quilt painting, requested two more to hang as a set.
I liked the idea so I set about to make a series. I had already done Painted Quilt #2, but it was a different size, so I went with all 12x12 panels for the new work.
Here is Painted Quilts #1, and then #3, #4.
Acrylic, stamping, collage, ink on watercolor paper, mounted on cradled wood panel, 12x12x1"

And then lined up in a row.
And then I just had to play with fabric. I loved the plus signs in the paintings, made from stamps and it reminded me of my long time repressed desire to make a plus sign quilt.

Plus Quilt top.18.5x17" unquilted.
I chose a half yard of my hand dyed ombre cotton so I would have enough value contrast. I made a few plus blocks and some strip pieced parts and then then tried to find a way to arrange them that worked. That's really the part that I like doing the best. I am especially happy when I can get the parts to line up exactly. Since I didn't bother to measure anything or plan this design, the fact that some seams actually meet is a little miracle. ha!
There was some suggestion at our guild meeting that the small works done at the Gwen Marston workshop were just sketches and could be developed into larger quilts. I like the idea of small works, as you know. I don't feel they need to be made larger, or to think of them as preliminary to something else.
On Wednesday I had a lunch date with my friend Mary but made a small pieced top early, before I left. While I like most of it, the upper right hand corner is too wonky to 'go' with the rest of the top, so I will take that out and replace it.
The part I really like is the big red square and then the tiny periwinkle shapes. So tasty.
I'm happy that my studio is now working for both painting and sewing. After I did the two painted collages, I cleaned up the paint supplies and took a long nap and then came back to sew in the late afternoon. These naps are becoming a daily habit again, and making me more productive.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Turning the Corner
hand dyed and commercial cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted, 16x11"

Lettuce Begin
Hand dyed and commercial cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted. 16x15" $100 each, email me.

I belong to the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild and we had our July meeting last Saturday. A couple of the gals brought in 'sketches' they did at Gwen Marston's retreat and they were wonderful. I got all excited about doing little tasty bits of piecing. Nothing that is a big drawn out project, just playing with fabric and neato-keen quilting.
My studio got rearranged for sewing and I brought out my boxes of scraps and started looking at colors. I found a large amount of already pieced bits, which I concluded could be unsewn and made into new and better compositions. One of the definitions of the Modern Quilt is to include lots more negative space. I'm all for that, as it sets off the design nicely. But I don't care too much for definitions, and staying within a prescribed parameter (surprised?). I enjoyed being neater than usual, however.
 How's that for ORANGE?
  And our first ripe cantaloupe was delicious. It had fallen off the vine and I found it on the ground, ready to cut open and devour. Yum.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Something Cool

Something Cool
Acrylic, collage, stamping, ink, watercolor paper mounted on cradled wood panel, 9x12x1".

The title? Call it wishful thinking, but is has been too hot to walk the dawgs until after 7 pm. Imagine how unhappy they are. But last night we got that thunderstorm that was predicted and it will be only in the 80's today and so lovely.
I might be ripping out the dilapidated squash and cucumber plants today, if I get ambitious, as they are past their prime and have the bad uglies.
 These shapes were Gelli prints made with a mask, ala this video from
Jane Davies.
$100 Email me.
After this painting I did a little rearranging of the studio and now I can do more than just paint in it.