28 June 2017

This message will self destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2.....

Actually, the blog has moved, not me.
With the help of the talented and super-patient Holly Knott, my website and blog have been converted to WordPress

Check out the new digs at:

Please make a note of the new web address.
The "old blog" (aka, this one on Blogger) will be gone as of August 1, 2017. Thank you for visiting and I hope you'll follow me to my new site!

27 April 2017

New Work: TIME

The ancient Celtic calendar year began at Samhain, a festival that marks the end of harvest season and the beginning of the "darker half" of the year. On a modern Roman calendar, Samhain would occur on the night between October 31 and November 1.
All Celtic festivals would begin at dusk or sunset. They measured the passage of time in nights not days, and measured their months by the cycles of the moon.  During winter, the beginning of the Celtic year, plants go dormant. Trees appear to be dead. But the ground is full of potential energy. The flower emerging from the soil is not the beginning of that plant's life. It's life began as a seen, inside the dark earth.

For the Viewpoints 9 Challenge: "TIME", I used an ombre background fabric to represent the Celtic idea that a day begins at dusk rather than dawn. I added machine quilting with metallic thread to create branches (or roots) in the empty spaces.  The spiral is made with yarn, which I crocheted into a chain to represent interlocking days and nights and the cycle of time. Then I hand stitched the chain into the shape of a spiral, an ancient Celtic symbol of life and potential energy and the idea of cyclical time.
The spiral is divided into 13 sections highlighted by hand-sewn glass metallic beads.  I chose the metallic beads because they seem to appear and disappear as you walk around the piece. Depending on the light, you can see the lines between a few sections but never all 13 at once.


08 January 2017

Recent Portraits

Tis the season... for commissioned artwork :-)
Now that these portraits have been opened as Christmas surprises, it's okay to share some photos!

I call this one "Devastatingly Handsome" because Albert's coloring reminds me of a tuxedo. For the background fabric, I went to my go-to hand dyes by Carol R Eaton. 
Then I hand cut and layered pieces of black, white and gray fabrics to create Albert's portrait. I used 2 shades of brown for his eyes and added more details with the hand guided quilting stitches.

finished size 12"x 15"


Commissioned as a memorial for a beloved family member.  This portrait was such a joy to create. David's sweet smile is contagious. I found myself smiling back at him as I worked on the quilt.

finished size 13"x 15"

28 October 2016

New Work: HOME

Viewpoints 9 is starting our 4th cycle of challenges. Each artist will choose a word and the rest of us will interpret it into a finished piece of fiber art measuring 18"x 36". Our first word: HOME.
My studio is where I feel most at home. It's a place where I can dance around, sing, talk to myself, swear, drop things on the floor. I can express myself without worrying about having nice manners. I never need to dress up to spend a day in the studio. Blue jeans or pajamas, it's all good.

"Home Turf" is a depiction of the free-motion quilting foot on my sewing machine. It was made using cut up pieces of hand-dyed fabrics, layered together and stitched with free motion quilting.
Visit the V9 blog to read about this and all the challenge pieces in today's gallery

29 August 2016

New Work: Transformation

Ok, to start off.... obviously I did not follow through on the whole "post once a week" idea. I have to admit, there was not much happening in the studio to write about. Also, I'm really bad at remembering to post stuff.
BUT, when I actually finish a piece then I remember to post and then I realize how much time has gone by. So I'm letting go of that once per week posting idea. Yeah, it was a nice idea to be a disciplined blogger. But it's also important for me to be a disciplined artist in the studio, and to exercise every day, and to take care of other stuff. So...... I'm just gonna have to do the best I can.
In any case, I have some show and tell for ya! My latest Viewpoints 9 challenge:

For the re-use, repurpose, recycle challenge I went back about 10 years.  I was commissioned to create a quilt using several bags full of Hermés neckties.

The finished work, a full size bed quilt which I called "Nautilus" utilized all or part of every tie that was given to me. When it was done, the client was happy and really had no use of the leftover silks from all the ties I cut apart. They were so beautiful and so lovely to touch, I couldn't bear to part with them so I just set them aside for another day.

That day took a while to arrive, but I finally found a use for the left overs!

Using the last challenge as my inspiration, I began piecing together remnants of silk ties to form a curled up caterpillar. The spiral shape of the caterpillar seemed like a wonderful companion for the Nautilus, and a fitting image for transforming leftover materials into something different and new.

I used leftover black cotton fabric, which was the extra width cut from the backs of other quilts, to create the stripes and legs of the caterpillar. Finally I added texture and a few hints of details using free-motion quilting.

Technical details: silk and cotton fabrics, polyester and rayon threads
raw edge appliqué, free motion quilting

29 June 2016

Viewpoints 9 Reveal


For the Text Challenge, my goal was to create a composition that resembles a page torn out of my sketchbook.  Normally I do most of my pre-quilt "sketching" on paper, in my head and on the computer. 
But this time, a piece of white fabric was my paper and I used it to plan my next quilt. Whatever I would have done on paper or in my head, I worked it out on this fabric.
Using a ruler I first mapped out a rectangle in Fibonacci's golden ratio, then added a spiral with red marker.  

From there I sketched out my design (in this case a Monarch caterpillar in the beginning stages of forming a cocoon) first in pencil then later with sharpie marker. I mapped out the color schemes and labelled it here as I would do on a paper pattern. Then I went about choosing the fabrics.

All the while, I made notes to myself about what this image means to me personally - how the caterpillar in a cocoon reminds me of the creative "hibernation" I've been in lately. Maybe the state of being dormant can be used as an opportunity to transition into something fresh and new.
So this piece is really a  physical object representing my thought process.

This isn't technically a quilt by standard definition. Although I may add stabilizer to the back, I didn't want to quilt it with 3 layers. To me, finishing it as a quilt would make it too precious, too substantial and planned out. I really wanted to keep it looking like a thin sheet of paper; something I can add notes to anytime, or rest my coffee mug on, or cross things out and add new ideas etc.  Like the caterpillar, it's not a beautiful thing yet. But it has all the potential.

So. Another update.  I'm on vacation! I'll be outa here until July 21st, soaking up some extra sleep, sunshine and tiny cups of espresso along the seashore.