Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Materials Hard and Soft

I went to see the Materials: Hard and Soft show a couple of weeks ago. It's always a great show. If you're local, you can see it until April 2.

I took a few random snapshots... not especially thoughtful or with reason. There are much better pictures on the website.

I kinda love this Qtip basket by Karen Lauseng.

Here's one of three or four "quilts" that were in the exhibit.

It won a Juror Award.

Here's a unique fiber piece by Catherine Reinhart. Top top is a piece of "found leisure quilt blocks" and the bottom she calls "string paintings" inspired by the colors and patterns in the original blocks.

It's an interesting concept...

Another quilt. This is Ana Lisa Hedstrom's Diamonds I. My friends were closely examine the complex shibori and stitching.

Here is Sue Reno's Silk Mill #2 on the back wall. 

I was on such a roll with blogging in January and February and now it's late March and I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks. I'm getting back to it!

Looking back at these pictures makes me think I'm ready to stretch in my own work a bit. What is that going to look like? And how am I going to make it happen?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Quilt Con!

I took a quick trip to Quilt Con last week. Lots of others have posted images to Facebook, Instagram and on blogs. I'm late in sharing a few images. It was fun. I'm so glad I went.

Registration was impressive. So slick. I pre-registered, then just stopped at this kiosk and printed out a tag with my name on it. It definitely felt fresh and tech savvy.

It was so great to see my friend Kathy York in front of her BEST OF SHOW quilt!

The collection of quilts from Bill Volckening of quilts from the 1970's was really cool. I especially loved this map.

Here are the prize winners from the Small Quilt category.

Houses! I love houses.

There was a tattoo parlor right on the show floor. Can you see the blond lying on the table on her side and the guy in the ball cap tattooing her under the light?!

When I think about the most important single element of my work, it's the STITCH. So I really like this quilt.

This was probably the stand out for me. I especially like the use of the ombre fabric.

This was another of my favorites. I love the composition, the color palette, the piecing and the subject matter.

I went to a great lecture with Luke Haynes. He was fun to listen to and really has made a lot of interesting quilts.

Here is one of his quilts on the right. My friend Chawne's quilts is on the left. I like the pairing of these two portrait quilts.

Look who I ran into in the vendor area! Crafty Gemini! Vanessa and I were both teachers in STITCHED 2012. She's an amazing YouTube arty/crafty entrepreneur. It was delightful to meet her in person.

How often do you get to ride a sewing machine?

I also saw Lisa Ellis in the Quilt Alliance booth where I got to play "mod or not." They had pictures of quilts and I had to guess if they were "mod" (made after 1970) or not. I guessed right!

It was a great day. I came away inspired... that's certainly worth the price of admission, right?!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Printed Fabric Bee: Forest Floor

Carol Eaton is the "queen bee" this month for The Printed Fabric Bee and she chose "forest floor" as her theme.

I started by creating a textured background on brown fabric. I wrapped plastic wrap around a handheld rolling pin,

then rolled it in brown and tan paint. I was inspired by Julie Booth's awesome new book Fabric Printing at Home.

Here's the background of that first layer.

For the second layer, I decided to do gelli prints. I gathered two leaves right from the back yard, plus paint and my gelli plate. (I wish I had a bigger plate.)

I brushed green and maroon paint onto the plate,

then placed leaves over the paint,

the pressed the fabric into the gelli plate. Then I peeled the leaves off. Here you can see the print on the fabric and the remaining paint left on the plate from where the leaves were.

The I pressed the fabric onto the plate again to pick up that positive print left by the leaf shapes.

Busy printing table!

Here is my 6x6 inch square that will be part of the monthly give away for The Printed Fabric Bee!

Here's the 8x16 inch piece that I'll be sending off to Carol.

When I joined The Printed Fabric Bee, I decided I'd make notes each month about what worked and what didn't work with my process for each theme.


  • Using a rolling pin, I will definitely do more of this. So many possibilities.
  • Combining the positive and negative prints from the gelli plate.
  • I really like the sharp edges from the shape of the gelli plate itself. 
  • I like this brown, green and maroon color story.

Less Than Successful:

  • I wish the background was a bit more interesting.
  • I'm not sure I really like the plastic wrap. Some other texture would probably be more interesting.
  • The design doesn't work as well on the 6x6 piece as on the larger piece of fabric.
  • It might have been interesting to add another layer of gelli plates in a different color and overlap that square shape even more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Palm Of My Hand Art Quilt Workshop

I am thrilled to announce a new workshop! Palm of My Hand Art Quilt Workshop! Here's the workshop sample.

What will students learn and do in this new workshop?!

  • Construct a fused composition loosely based on a landscape.
  • Work with fused fabrics.
  • Create and use simple patterns.
  • Identify and explore designs for personal symbols.
  • Create a coordinating pair of art quilts.
  • Plan stitching designs.
  • Finish edges with fused binding.
  • Have fun and celebrate the creative spirit!

Plus, I'm going to share a little mini-presentation about personal symbols used in all kinds of art. 

I'll have an options for a supply list or a kit. It's pretty simple... just five fabrics plus a stripe. (I'm loving stripes lately!)

After composition and construction, we'll talk about all the wonderful things you can do with floss and hand embroidery.

I'd love to bring this workshop to your guild or even a small group of creative people who are eager to make art with fabric. Email me so we can talk about possibilities.

So, what does a spoon and a bowl symbolize to me? It's about nourishment. Sometimes just a plain sip of broth is enough to provide energy and clarity to see the possibilities around me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This and That: February Edition

I've been working in the studio quite a bit. Not much I'm ready to share yet, but here's Lincoln keeping me company on my red couch.

I made linzer tart cookies for Valentine's Day, like I do every year. Yum.

Claire and Benjamin both passed the most recent belt testing! Ben will move up to "recommended black belt," which means one more test before he will earn his full black belt with his name embroidered on it. Claire is a now a First Sr. Black Belt.

Every Thursday I spend an hour tutoring a third grader at a Dallas elementary school with Reading Partners. Last week we made a Venn Diagram comparing characters in a simple story book. She loved this activity!

She's quite bright, but tests below her grade level in reading, probably because English is not her first language. Reading Partners has a curriculum that is proven to help kids close the gap. She's making great progress. It's an honor to work with her.

Claire played a solo for the annual district evaluation. It's always a delight to hear her play.

Anticipating a big ice storm, I cut all the daffodils from our yard and put them in a vase. The orchids were a birthday gift from a friends. I think they make for a lovely bright centerpiece.

The ice came and they cancelled school for two days. Not too cold for Benjamin and his friends to walk from one house to another in search of the best video gaming set up.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finishing Uprooted

We left off here yesterday. It's all pieced together.

At this point I stopped taking process photos, I guess. Probably because it was a pretty arduous process. Even though I was generally pleased with the direction, it wasn't as joyful as the creative process usually is. 

Here's the finished piece. You may be able to see that I added a few more yellow vines to balance the composition and bring the eye through to the bottom right corner. I also added the stamped circles in light blue and the red circles suggesting fields of flowers.

I also brought back the central house shape by painting a large white house shape over all the layers in the center of the quilt. It's subtle. I would do it differently next time.

I also added lots of hand embroidery, of course. I also did a ton of free motion quilting, most of which doesn't really show up. But it's an interesting layer.

Here you can see the red flowers, the machine stitching and a bit a of blue circles and the hand embroidery.

I do like the chunky piecing that gives you that random blue square and small blue triangle in the middle of the "house" section.

This piece was created for The Festival of Quilt Art that is a special exhibit at Festival in Houston every year. Last year the theme was Home, so I was especially motivated to enter since "home" and "houses" are a common theme in my work. When it all went wrong and I had to slice it up and put it back together again, it was sort of an incredible metaphor for the many moves I've made in my life. So, Uprooted seemed like a perfect title.

Here I am with Frayed Edges friends Kathy and Sarah with Uprooted in Houston.

Actually, it's still touring with Quilts, Inc. You can see it at Quilt Festival in Chicago at the end of March.