25 May 2016


So another week has flown by.  Seems like time moves faster as the weather gets nicer.  Or is that just because I'm more tempted to be outside and spend less time in the studio?

Quick recap of the week:
The Lecture/ Trunk Show/ Workshop visit to First Dutchess Quilters was a pleasure. The guild members are friendly and open, and the people I had in class were great.

As you can see, most of the students completed the class project before heading home. Some of them plan to expand their Magnolia designs with additional flowers and branches.  One student wasted NO time and completed her quilt a few days later (see below for Karen Abramson's quilt).

I was so happy to see the wide range of colors - both in the flowers and the backgrounds. Seeing these little environments come to life is what makes the class fresh and fun for me, even after years of doing the Magnolia workshop. Thanks Carol R Eaton Designs!



And here is Karen Abramson's finished quilt (image below).  She added a lovely double-border in coordinating fabrics.  Nicely done!
I always feel good when I see students showing off their finished work. The last thing I want is to send them home with an unfinished project to linger in the "someday I'll get to that" pile.

Ok, other news... I did a lot of yard work this week. The kind of stuff that takes a lot of effort but doesn't really get you to a WOW photo. Weeding, tearing up grass, planting and digging/transporting other plants and power washing the stone patio. Maintenance stuff.  But at least it was a nice opportunity to use power tools and spend time outside with my sister and my son :-)

Once again I have knitting progress but no quilting.  My mom warned me that knitting can be addictive. But do I listen???

All right, back to the studio! Next week my goal is to have at least the beginning of my Viewpoints 9 TEXT challenge on the design board.  Stay tuned :-)

17 May 2016

Not Quite Wednesday

I figured I'd post something today since I will be traveling to Poughkeepsie, NY (First Dutchess Quilters Guild) tomorrow to do a Lecture and Trunk show, followed by an all day workshop on Thursday.

I'm packing up all the "people" quilts I have on hand. The lecture will be about my approach to portraits in fiber art.  Also being loaded into the car: 12 sets of printed instructions for the Magnolia Kit class, freezer paper, glue sticks, sharpie markers, scissors, iron, ironing board and my design wall.  Do I have everything...???  I hope so!

This weekend I purchased the gorgeous fabric kits from my buddy and fabric guru Carol R. Eaton.  I'm so excited to see what the class does with their wonderful color palettes!

I don't have any quilt-related updates to post since completing the 2 Mothers Day commissions, but I did make some progress on a knitting project. Recently I learned how to do cables, so I thought I'd try my hand at Celtic-knots. Here's how far I've gotten so far:

Hope you're doing something fun and creative as well. Have a lovely week! :-)

09 May 2016

Mother's Day commissions

Whew!  Okay so all went well with the commissioned portraits.  The client was thrilled with them and gave them to her daughters for Mother's Day.  Today she sent me a glowing report from her daughters as well.
So here they are, the Sunshine Sisters:

(I absolutely LOVED working on the girls' gorgeous curly hair )
And the Giggling Trio:

(I'm a sucker for kids who wear glasses)

Each portrait had its own style and sense of place but I hope they both show a loving connection between siblings. I love the way baby brother and older sister are holding hands (Giggling Trio, finished size 14"x 20"), and the way older sister hugs her younger sister (Sunshine Sisters, finished size 14"x 16").  

Creating a 14x20 composition featuring 3 faces was a challenge, not to mention adding hands, clothing, glasses.  Working in such a small scale (baby brother's head is only about 3" diameter), my top priority was to capture the kids' features and a little of their personality using minimal shapes and lines.  I figured if the grandmother and parents could recognize their precious children in these portraits, they would be happy. 

I'm so relieved the client loved them!  Whew!

These portraits were a great learning experience for me.  It's always good to push yourself beyond your comfort zone as an artist.  With that said: in the future I'm going to set a minimum size for portraits, especially ones with multiple people in them. Not that I'm unhappy with these. I like the way they came out. But it's a lot more difficult to cut and sew really tiny pieces. I prefer a little more room to work, so I can really capture the smaller details.

Okay, I'm going to take a SHORT break from quilting. Regroup. Clean up the disaster area otherwise known as my studio. Then move on to the next project.

Check back soon! :-)


04 May 2016


Happy Wednesday, everyone!
And May the Fourth be with you, to my fellow nerds.

This week I finished the 2 commissioned portraits. I will not post them yet since they have not been delivered and/or approved by the client.  Right now I'm having a confidence issue, which is common right before I show a finished piece to a client.  My policy is that I always give the client the option of either accepting or rejecting the piece - if they accept it, they pay the balance and I give them the work.  If they reject it, I keep the piece and they owe me nothing further.

So right now is when the doubts start creeping into my mind.  I'm always afraid that THIS TIME will be the time the client hates the finish piece and refuses to take it.  It's a recurring nightmare. Most of the time I channel this fear into motivation to do my best work.  Other times I just lose a lot of sleep.  Sometimes both.

I deliver the pieces on Friday, so I will follow up with some photos and I'll let you know what the final decision from the client was.
Stay tuned!