The One That Didn’t – Niagra Falls

Someone on one of my list-serve emails groups called Quilt National the Holy Grail of the art quilt world. That’s pretty close to true, so it was super exciting to get the news on Monday that one of my quilts was juried into Quilt National 2013.

Continue reading The One That Didn’t – Niagra Falls

She’s in the Wall Street Journal


Who? That woman I told you about, the one with a big nose and Eiffel-Tower hair.

I first got wind of the article in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal from folks on the SAQA yahoo list. Those of us who aren’t at the conference and Quilt National opening last night are feeling left out and checking the internet for show gossip.

So that’s a good excuse to go out for a Green Tea Latte, right? And I found the print version on the news rack at B&N. The photo is really tiny and oddly cropped, but looks pretty swell in the website article and slide show here.

Thanks to Meg Cox, for the nice mention in her article and more info about other quilt shows this summer. I’d never heard about the populist Sisters Oregon one-day outdoor show — that sounds like a crazy fun affair!

Collages for the Creamery


When our studio flooded, a lot of framed art got ruined. Since the Creamery Arts Center has lots of odd spaces, I cleaned the old frames and designed some collages to fit into them for the show.


Here’s the finished quilts in the show, but for fun I included some framed pages from my sketchbooks to show where the ideas come from.


“Paris – wish you were Hair.” The old vintage postage from my collection is from 1904 and someone wrote their postcard message on the front of the image.


“Seattle, the Space Needle – wish you were Hair”. Haven’t done the quilt for this this idea yet.


Actually, I drew this idea for “Twin Bridge”, then happened to find the postcard that matched. ooohwaa!


We had this really huge frame, so I put my actual pattern for “Athens – wish you were Hair”, with alternations into it. There was a little extra room, so I added some sketches and graphic inspirations at the bottom.


This one I called “Elements of an Art Quilt” because I included a stitch test for “St. Louis – wish you were Hair” to try out the effects of different thread colors on fabrics (and left the edges unfinished so that the astute observer could see the top layer, batting and backing), some graphic research and inspiration images, a pastel pencil practice for stitch patterns, and a wad of thread I picked up off the floor of my studio.

The little drawing in the corner gives a clue what “King Tut” (a variegated quilting thread) is because I used the reference in the labels on the stitch test on the left.

Musings on the Creamery Art Center


Gerrie asked about the motivation behind this new series “Wish You Were Hair” and it’s true it’s inspired by my collection of vintage postcards. Also my fascination with travel and world monuments and landmarks…

But the real motivation — I can’t get out of mind the kids who come through the Creamery Arts Center. I’ve been trying to put stuff into these pieces that I think kids will like, and if they come with their parents, there will be interesting things to talk about.

Just outside of the exhibition space at the Creamery are ballet classes, so I drew this tight-rope dancer. I guess I’ve just always wanted to draw a circus, and won’t it be fun to play with color here! I’d like to add a little tiny elephant on the ground below, and I don’t know what building this is, so for now I’m calling it TipToe Temple.

Fabric scorecard


Until now, I had been proud of myself — for getting fast at making decisions and not waffling. Until I hit this pink wall of doubt. Looking at last night’s photos and drawings, I thought the pink background was too pale, so went fabric hunting and bagged some purple.

I don’t like to change background fabrics in the middle of the process — it’s a real time-waster. But after changing and studying the photos, I think the real problem is not the pink, but the too-dark river below. Besides, I like the fifties-looking texture of the pink better too. The purple has a polka-dot pattern, but they don’t show up on camera  and looks muddy = negative points for purple.

By the way, this is five feet tall. When I first started this series, my idea was to keep them small so I could finish several. But each one has gotten bigger and bigger. I guess it’s just part of the big-hair syndrome.

Meet me in St. Louis


Getting work done for an upcoming show has trashed my healthy schedule of working out followed by a big breakfast of fruit, yogurt, coffee, eggs and rice. It seems like weeks that I’ve been getting up at some unearthly hour to squeeze in a little more work, and am starting to skip the workout and resort to breakfast at MacDonalds. Oh well, just another week and half, then I can get back to a better routine in September.

If you’ve posted a comment recently and I haven’t responded, so sorry! But really it’s taking all my energy to get these things done. Sydney is finished, Athens is quilted, Paris is almost done — so onto St. Louis.

Why I like drawing with pens


Guess where I drew this? Yup, when I was getting my hair highlighted! Since much of the summer has been spent away from the studio, I have been working a lot in my sketchbooks. I can easily stick a sketchbook and a pen into my purse or backpack and am good to go.

I like drawing with pen, usually a Micron 03 archival pen or Pigma archival brush pen, because it forces me to keep things fresh and think about the deliberate use of line. Things just happen in pen, both good and bad, and I have to start over with a new drawing if I want to make changes rather than re-work it or erase.

This is an idea I’m working on for Niagara Falls. First I had the idea of the waterfall hairdo, then the idea to add the wedding couple.


Then the idea of falling off a wedding cake like a cliff. Also I added an embroidered dress I saw in the movie Kamikaze Girls (great funny quirky movie, my new all-time fav!) but it doesn’t look like a wedding dress, so may have to do a little wedding gown research.

Also, there’s not room for the groom on the wedding cake, so may have to re-think him too. In my overly-complicated way of thinking, I’d love to add a bunch of bridesmaids running for the bouquet, but I know I don’t have time for that.

I’d better brush up on my Greek Architecture


The spirit of the Olympics has filled me, and I had to get to work on this rendition of an early Greek athlete. I had him trade in his dumbbell for an iPod shuffle though, so I guess that brings him up to date.

I print out big patterns for my quilts but nothing is set in stone. Throughout the process, I continue to have new ideas, so I’m often drawing the changes on the pattern as I go along. In this case, I finally had an idea how to use this great light table that Russ got at auction last spring. I don’t know the exact size, but for scale, that’s a Sharpie pen on the right side of the drawing.


Sort of looking like a cowboy right now, but give it time. I’m loving working with all these new characters, it’s getting to be like a crazy party in my studio with lots of interesting wallflowers.

We’re talking Really Big Hair


Another drawing for my new series, Wish You Were Hair. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a fascination with monuments of the world — written about them in my term papers, constructed clay monuments in ceramics, traveled to see them in person.

Now these world monuments are starting to appear in my quilts. They have mysteriously collided with my interest in hair stylists and the results have crash-landed in my studio. I’ve been doodling ideas throughout the summer and am trying to preserve the spontaneity of the original sketches as I convert them to fabric.


Working on a series


Australian quilt top is done, but instead of quilting right away, I’m moving on to designing the next one. I’m trying to keep my momentum up to finish a series.  Some artists may think only of one piece at a time. But maybe because I’m married to a sculptor — I have in my mind an installation view of a series of work, and each piece will be part of the overall concept.


Notes and sketches from the Creamery Arts Center. It’s kind of an odd gallery space, irregular and broken spaces. I’m working back and forth, between sketches in my notebooks, drawings on the computer, and the actual fabric constructions on the wall.