Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Shine On You Crazy Poppies

This quilt just makes me happy. It has a story but don't they all. It started as a challenge from friends. One chose the floral fabric we were all to use. I chose this bargello, of sorts, type of quilt and paired the floral fabric with green grass fabrics. I wanted to convey a sense of a field of flowers and grasses. The solid bars gave it some interest and some starts and stops. The original piece had an uneven lower edge but I never liked the shape of the finished quilt. It also never really felt finished to me. It lacked a focal point and was not compelling enough to make anyone stop and look for a bit.

I cut the bottom uneven-ness off a few years ago. Not sure where it was going, it sat for a bit. Last winter it hit me as I watched those crazy poppies shine on in my winter back yard. Once added, it has made all the difference. Everyone who sees this quilt says the same thing...it makes them happy too.

Friday, October 16, 2015


The theme for the A4 Challenge is Fine Line. I wanted my fine lines to be thread of various textures and colors. Originally I stitched a painted canvas with varying thread densities. Some were very close and others were farther away. My original intention was to put the most dense thread work in the center and then ease into the less dense work as I approached the edges. perhaps a fine idea but A4 is to small a space for this to be visually pleasing. This is my result. I really like the play of changing thread colors against the changing canvas colors. My experiment was quite fun.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Oasis: North of South

 This piece was accepted into the Southern California and Nevada regional SAQA show. Each artist was invited to interpret the theme Oasis. in an 18 x 40" format.

I wrote: Along The Five, there is a place that always catches me by surprise. The highway, gradually rising, begins to reveal this hill and tree cluster. The change in terrain, reminds me that I am leaving behind the palms and ponds of my winter home for the hills and fir of my summer place. In either case, it's home, my oasis.

This is a close up of the pine forest beginnings.

Friday, August 7, 2015


The Oregon SAQA group is sponsoring a juried exhibit with the theme Blending Poetry and Cloth. We were to create a fiber work which interprets a poem of our choosing. I am pleased to have been selected for this exhibit. This is my piece which I named Dazzle. It was my interpretation of Emily Dickinson's poem Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant

 Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Micro Rhythm

The inspiration for this piece came from the markings on a large stone. I love the natural movement found in natural things. It was a joy to work on from creating the curves to selecting the cloth and colors. Enjoy! And if you can, leave a comment. I would love to hear form you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sticks and Stones

My A4 Challenge group theme for July is Sticks and Stones. When beginning each of these challenges, I make a bit list of things I would like to try. For Sticks and Stones, I knew I wanted to do a stone pile such as those I saw on the roads approaching Lake Pukaki in New Zealand. I wanted to try a different way to bring focus and additional interest to the subject. I am also working on loosening up my quilting stitches. This is the right size for practice.

Linking to Nina-Marie

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Arbor Vitae or Tree Life

A life long love of trees is the inspiration for this fiber piece. Stylized, modernized in a color block fashion the view is as if one is looking into the forest. In nature, so many shades of green live splendidly together. Many shades of green later, my forest lives in cloth.

Linking to Nina-Marie

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Nice Knit App

For your viewing pleasure!

I would knit if I could do it this way.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


The color red, any shade, is one of my favorites. I wanted to try the circle attachment that I purchased some time ago for my Bernina. I also wanted to use this black, white and grey variegated thread. The circle attachment is very cool. I used it three ways: to cut away and reveal what is below; to add a new fabric on top of the base; and, as a stitch line to balance the composition. I will definitely give this tool another go in some new way.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Swagger - 100 Women in Congress

Swagger has been juried into the SAQA Exhibit Balancing Act. The theme of this exhibit pertains to the many roles women are expected to take on in this modern society. In November, i read that for the first time in the history of America, 100 women would take seats in the next congress. How exhilarating.

The story...

100 Women in Congress

The conversation began with the founding mothers. Contained in a vessel, the classic symbol for women, their dialog is represented by interconnected stitch alone. Public voice was not an option for them. But, their whispered conversations became the foundation of what was to come.

In 2014, for the first time in American history, 100 of their daughters walk the halls of Congress. These women give a lot to be there--absence from family and other life activities, the need to deal with gender bias, not being a part of the “good old boys” network.  They persist.

Represented by 100 colorful circles placed on a cloth printed continuously with the number 100, they connect to each other. There remains room for the next 100. My hope is that it not take as long.

The quilt...

And a close up:

Linking to Nina-Marie

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Face of the Show

Imagine my delight when I received copies of these photos. My work featered on a billboard, flying high over Paducah, KY, advertising the Food forThought exhibit.

And on a sign in front of the museum, luring people in.
Caught me by surprise but well OK now.

Thank you SAQA, thank you National Quilt Musem and thank you Sarah Ann Smith for passing them on.
Linking to Nina-Marie

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The SAQA exhibit, Food for Thought, opens on April 10 at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. I have visited this museum many times and consider it to be the premier museum for fiber art in the country. I am beyond delighted to have my work, Heirlooms, juried into this show and hanging there. From this venue, the works travels to Birmingham and London, England and then on to Ireland.



Linking to Nina-Marie

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

She, Dreaming in Winter, Was Bursting with Thoughts of Spring

This is the fourth in the She Art series. Telling the stories of the Elbow trees. Giving them a new life in art apart from the bad pruning job they have received in real life.

Linking to Nina-Marie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Find Your People

The work of art can be a solitary endeavor. So, it is not unusual for an artists to look for like minded people to share with, to try on ideas with, to broaden one's point of view. My roots were in the local quilt guild. I soon tired of the inefficiency of the meeting. Too much time spent on business, charity endeavors, meeting minutes, finance, the upcoming quilt show and insufficient time spent with a good speaker or a good show and tell.

I've participated in small quilt/art groups. Fun but often one in the group...

It is important to find your people.  My people are wrapped up in a group called MIX. Eight women who come together to share art, discuss art and their work, and let me present  my work. They offer ideas if asked. They provide useful commentary.

We challenge ourselves each year to produce work to a theme. These works of art are exhibited in a show of our own. Our challenge this year is to produce two works each, size 24w x 30h, of a hardscape and a softscape based on a visit to the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, OR. The show opens in April and so for now, we only show teasers. This is the script for one of mine.

Others can be seen on the MIX blog here.

Look for more in April.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Millar's Maxims

I am an NCIS fan and always laugh when the cast of characters refer to Gibb's Rules. So I am working on a piece that has 100 smallish circles to be sewn down. I prefer sewn to fused. The work is slow and tedious but rather zen like. So, or should it be sew, as the needle went up and down, up and down I had some time to formulate Millar's maxims.

Here is a snapshot of the piece in question:

Not in any particular order:

  1. Never quilt in straight lines. It's hard to do, is less interesting and when you miss, it is noticible.
  2. Don't contrast difficulty. Sewing around a tight circle with a contrasting thread highlights the mistakes.
  3. Think in layers; sew in layers; quilt in layers. It's just more interesting.
  4. Never make all the decisions up front. that's the part that keeps you interested and engaged.
  5. When the work gets tedious, go slowly.
  6. When the work gets tedious or boring, break it into small segments
  7. Reward completion. Wine is good!
  8. When the work is done, walk away.
That's all for now. 

Linking to Nina-Marie

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Eye on Dubai

Another from the A4 (in my case, A4 and a  half...

The theme was Architecture.
I love the architecture of Dubai and Shanghai. So modern. I wanted to come up with something modern as well. I started with the concept of the architecture of line. I wanted minimalist. I wanted unusual colors. I actually combined several of my random doodles, then filled in the blanks as needed. Made from the dye job mentioned in the last post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dyed and Gone to Heaven

There are a lot of fabric dyeing formulas out there and many books published on the subject, Lots of teachers offer instruction. My favorite method is a serendipitous method arrived at when I needed to used up leftover dye.

Starting with a piece of white fabric is my fav but I have been also know to do this over "bad dye jobs."

  1. Soak the fabric in a soda ash mix for about 15 minutes. Use the same soda ash you have been using to dye fabric. (9T to a gallon of water). 
  2. Whether you use this soaked fabric wet or dry alters the outcome but either is OK. On the wet fabric the dye blends more, on the dry fabric, the dye stays put. I usually use the wet version as it also saves time.
  3. I load these pieces in freezer baggies. How you stuff them in makes a difference to the outcome. A tight wad lets less dye into the center...
  4. I make dye in squeeze bottles and find it very useful to then just squirt some onto the fabric in the baggies.
  5. I mush it around some, peak at it in about 15 minutes and rearrange it if there is too much white and then squirt some more. You could also squirt a different color at this time. 
  6. Let it sit for an hour or a day or just when you can get back to it and be surprised at the mostly lovely outcomes.
I find this so much more appealing than dying flat colors. I could buy Kona if flat was the result I had in mind. This is an example: a combo of orange ( red and golden yellow) and brown. It makes my heart sing. Try it, you'll like it.

Linking to Nina-Marie

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wow, Millar!

This was gifted to my daughter. I named it Wow, Millar! I am so proud of her. She loves the color green and Hawaii. This says both to me.

 Scrap quilts look, well scrappy, but successful ones require a lot of thought. At first blush this looks like a simple sewing of vertical columns. (Is that redundant?) But in reality, it's a case of "design it horizontally but sew it vertically."

I did not want the quilt to look stripey. By that I mean, one color of the same value placed all the way across the same row. I preferred a blending of the colors and values throughout the quilt to achieve movement. In this case, the darks drew my eye and so they were placed across the body of the quilt. I cut a lot of parts and then built 6-8 rows, sewed and then repeated.

It was a good exercise and fun too!
She loves it.