Thursday, December 28, 2017

All The Art Quilts I Made in 2017

It's not likely I'll finish anything else in the next three days, so here's the collection of art quilts I made in 2017. I'm posting them here without much commentary, review or introspection. Not all the pictures are great. It's just a tally.

At the very end, I've included what I consider small, medium and large and how many I made in each category.


White Dog with Purple Sprouts, 6x6

White Dog Under A Green Sky, 6x6

White Dog with Orange Posies, 6x6

This White Dog series will be available at the "Think Pawsitive" fundraiser at Craft Napa in January.

In A Moment, 12x9

To the Light, 12x9

Everything At Once, 12x9

This series of bowl quilts were made to illustrate an upcoming article in Quilting Arts magazine.

A collection of 5x7s made throughout the year

Several of these 5x7 pieces will be available at the Artist Market at Craft Napa in January and in my Etsy shop after.


Flourishing Framework 1, 12x12

Framing Flourish 2, 12x12

Framing Flourish 3, 12x12

These three pieces were made as part of the Cloth Paper Scissors Art Lesson Expressive Surface Design which includes a video tutorial. (It's only $3.99! Check it out here.)


Spiral and Seedling, 18x18

Beetle Pincushions

Several of these will also be available at the Craft Napa Artist Market.

Small Favors, 20x20


Tiny Treasures, 3x5

These small decorative fabric collages were created for the Cloth Paper Scissors Art Lesson "Tiny Textured Treasures" which includes a video tutorial of some of my favorite embroidery stitches.

Sun Rises. Tree Grows. Door Opens., 20x20


Eight Design Guides program example, 8x10

This small piece was made for a program to illustrate how I use the Eight Design Guides from my book, Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint, and Stitch.

Rising Resting, 40x40


Nourishment, 6x6

Moonlit Grove, 18x18

Cultivate, 7x5

Nourish, 7x5

These two pieces were made for a fundraising auction for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.


Wiggly Tree, 8x8


Wings and Leaves, 8x6

Cup of Comfort, 8x5

These two pieces were part of the Spotlight Auction at the SAQA Conference.

Captivating Compositions workshop samples, 6x6

I don't really consider these "finished" art quilts, but it's a great teaching tool and definitely something that got "done" in 2017.


untitled, 12x12

Light as a Feather, 16x20

Both of these pieces were made as demo samples for my appearance on The Quilt Show.

Cultivate and Climb, 20x20


Cup of Kindness, 48x32

38 Small -- Less than 9" on all sides

13 Medium -- 9 to 30" on all sides

2 Large -- greater than 30" on any side

Total: 53, not including the beetles!

Other statistics I could tally, but not right now...

How many were made for specific calls for entry or publication
How many were made mostly to sell
How many am I really really pleased with
How many do I consider very weak
How many have sold
How many were made for charity

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Captivating Compositions Workshop

Since my book came out, one of the workshops I've been teaching regularly is called "Captivating Compositions." It's turning out to be one of my most popular and it's so fun and interesting.

In fact, I had my doubts when I first developed it, but I've been delighted by the response.

It's based on the Eight Design Guides I developed for the composition chapter of my book.

Here's one of my workshop sample groups.

Students create eight "fabric sketches" exploring these composition guides. They act like templates, or springboards or frameworks, but there is full creative freedom to make whatever you want.

It's such a great exercise to work on all eight at the same time.

The finished fabric sketches aren't designed to be finished works of art (though they could be). Rather than focusing on a small completed work, I hope students enjoy working through each guide and gain insights about the design process along the way.

The thumbnail sketches of the Eight Design Guides provide some guidance but are simple enough for wide interpretation. (There's a pdf download of the guides in my Etsy shop.)

Students make surprising discoveries every time. Sometimes the design guide they thought would be easy, turns out to be the most difficult. Sometimes the one they spent the most time one isn't as exciting as the one they rushed through at the end. Sometimes they like using just two or three fabrics.

Here are some shots of student work from some recent workshops.

Working with a limited selection of fabrics helps force you to focus on the composition rather than the fabric.

I ask a set of questions at the end of the workshop to help students process what they learned.

My hope is that after working through these Eight Design Guides, it becomes easier to compose original art quilts. Rather than looking at a pile of fabric and asking yourself, "what now." You can pick a Design Guide and begin composing. You'll have the experience and muscle memory of working through this workshop process to guide you.

I'm teaching this workshop at Craft Napa in January where I'm actually providing kits that include everything except scissors! I'd love for you to join me. It's going to be a fabulous event. If this particular workshop doesn't strike your fancy, I'm teaching a few others, plus there are several other amazing artists on the roster.