Thursday, August 27, 2015

40" x 40"

The theme to the Dinner @ Eight invitational exhibit was Affinity.  This was soooo easy for me, as I love and am attracted to so many things!  The hard part was choosing which one!  I decided to combine some of my favorite things, like colors in wild abandon, and circles (of which there are a lot of in this photo!), and repetition which I find so fun and oddly calming to a sometimes anxiety ridden world.  This piece culminates all of those and more.  I also got to have fun making the little dots, with dyeing lots of fabric, stamping circles on them, bleaching each piece, cutting apart all the circles and redistributing in different dye baths.  Then I boiled out the wax on each individual dot, and finished washing to process the dyes.  Lots and lots of repetition.  I also love that the little dots make up a big dot, much the same way that individuals make up a community (lovely little metaphor there).  I also love the expression "everything comes full circle".  And like my "i quilt", I wanted an iteration of the theme, dot, so I added an extra repetition in the middle.  Can you see it spelled out?  Brings back a bit of nostalgia for me in those old colorblind tests! 

Here's a close up of all those dots.  Each one was machine quilted with a matching color of thread.  So that was a lot of thread changes, a lot of starts and stops, and a lot of thread trimmings. Big thanks to Mistyfuse and Superior Threads for making art easier!

This quilt will be premiering at the Houston quilt show this fall!  Awesome! And TODAY is my special day to be interviewed on the Dinner @ Eight website!  Nice!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I Could Have Been a Bear
15" x 24"
Wahoooo!  My quilt got juried into What's for Dinner!  This is a super fun exhibit curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison every year.  A big long table is dressed up, complete with chairs around it, and all the food quilts are placed on the table with interesting 3D art for centerpieces. It premiers at the Houston Quilt Show every year, but this is my first year that I thought of an entry for it, and made it, and got juried in!  I don't normally make quilts featuring food, but this year I have been on a bit of a health kick, which started with my diet. And since I eat a lot of salmon and fresh fruits and vegetables, I often think I could have been a bear.  However, unlike a bear, if I had to stand in a freezing cold stream of water to catch my dinner, I might starve to death!
Here is a detail shot of the berries.  I put Mistyfuse on the fabric first, and then individually hand cut all the berries.  After they were fused to the quilt top, I decided to add a little flourish of paint, aided by a new star bit from my electric drill.  Hey, a tool is a tool is a tool!
Here is a closeup of the salmon and the bear claw.  I also used a lot of Mistyfuse to make the fancy scales, fins, gills, and other fish parts.  I used a number of different pink fabrics and was surprised when some of my choices just did NOT work.  That is why they have to audition for their spots, because some work, and some do not.  The fabrics for the bear claws were fused onto black felt and quilted, then cut, and then assembled in layers.  I found the actual claws in the bead section of Michael's Craft Store, and I can tell you I was very pleased at such an awesome find!  It totally makes the bear claws work!

I had such a blast making this quilt!  It has been months since I have worked on an art quilt, and I can tell you fabrics were flying!  My studio became a giant pile of fabrics, both the ones I used and the discarded ones.  I also tried to learn something new for this quilt and tried doing some curved piecing for the background.  I was quite please at how easily that came together.  Youtube is an amazing universe of learning!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Night Ride
18.5" x 23"

This is the piece that I have donated to International Quilt Association for their annual fundraising auction in Houston this year.  It's a fun little piece I made from some left over batiks from my quilt, Blue Towers.

Here are a few details:

I love the cute little paper clip I found in the shape of a bicycle, and the hand stitching that adds some nice texture to the piece.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 09, 2015


is going to Oregon! I'm delighted my quilts get to travel so much.  In fact, since this one is going to a cool place in the worst August heat that central Texas experiences, I think I would like to go with it this time!  Unlikely for me, I hope you get to go!
Quilt! Knit! Stitch!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Now Showing

My quilt, Crowded House, is showing June 19 - September 6, 2015 at the Kennedy Museum of Art.  This lovely venue is in Ohio and right down the street from the Dairy Barn and Quilt National.  And, while my work was not selected to be in Quilt National this time around, it's nice to know that it is close by! This was my crazy project about counting all the stuff in my house, inspired by the Story of Stuff.  What do you think?  Too much?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Two Deer (or Too Dear!)
54" x 65"
....are going to HOUSTON!!!  I am delighted to share with you the news that the jurists have selected my quilt to be in the World of Beauty at the Houston Quilt Show this fall!

I am inspired by all the deer in my neighborhood, but especially in the spring when the fawns are born.  I enjoyed building on the theme of "you are what you eat", from my first deer quilt, Urban Deer.  The mother deer eats flowers, so her body is made from flowers.  The baby deer first nurses, so her body is made of white circles (milk), and symbolically, the multicolored flower centers from her mother.
This quilt was made from some flowers I made in my garage studio with batik.  They were fused with Mistyfuse, then individually hand cut, and fused together to make the main body of the doe.
The giant flowers in the background were made in a similar way, first drawn with batik wax, then discharged to remove color, and then overdyed a different color.
The baby fawn was made by drawing the the circles with wax on a white background, then the circles were dye painted different colors.

 I then overpainted with wax to protect the circle centers and dyed the overall body of the fawn with turquoise.  Both deer were fused onto the white background.
I machine quilted the two deers and giant flowers with my favorite MasterPiece thread from Superior Threads, and then spent an entire summer hand quilting the white background.  I love the texture of this quilt so much.  The hand quilting added a very nice softness for the background.

Cheers and happy quilting!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This is my quilt, Blue Towers.  It was recently rejected from Tactile Architecture, an exhibit that debuts at the Houston Quilt Show (aka, International Quilt Festival).  
I am posting about this recent rejection for many reasons.  One is that since I usually post about my successes, my readers might assume that is the whole story.  And it is not.  I get many, many rejections.  I enter a LOT of quilts into a LOT of venues.  My motto is "You can't win if you don't play".  Not that I am always looking for a win, I'm not. (a side note: I do really LIKE winning when it happens!!) However, the point is to hope that my work gets to be SEEN by a larger audience.  That makes being an artist meaningful to me.  First to make the art, and then for it to be seen.

To be seen on my blog is truly wonderful.  However, blog readership has really gone down in the recent years.  I'm not sure if it is my work, or my blog, or just a general trend?  And the other note is that my work looks really different in real life as compared to a small image on a computer screen.  I suspect that is true of most art.  That's why I work so hard to get it out there.

How do I feel about this rejection?  This time it just didn't matter that much.  A lot of people I know ruminate about the WHY part of the equation.  I don't usually go there, or if I do, I don't stay long.  I like my work, or I wouldn't have entered it.  I am very critical of my own work, and usually my critique is more valuable to me than what other people might say.  I will say that being rejected by a juror whom I respect does give me cause to go back and re-evaluate my work.  I did not get that opportunity this time.  For some odd reason, Houston prefers to keep their jurors' identities secret.  And this is where I must lack some serious empathy because for the life of me, I can't imagine why?
Being a juror is hard work.  It is difficult to take a bajillion photos and pick only a few that will work as a cohesive exhibit.  Not an enviable task.  I look forward to seeing the quilts that were selected.  And, it is unlikely that I will agree with all of the jurors' choices, but it was their choice to make, not mine. Without any knowledge or details, I usually just assume that my quilt didn't fit in as well as perhaps some others did.  And, I am okay with that.

As for Blue Towers?  I am VERY fond of this quilt.  I love the colors as they are so rich, vibrant, mellow, and lush.  I love the patterns in this quilt.  I love the quilting in this quilt.  I love the edge finish whipstitched by hand in black embroidery floss.  I love what this quilt means to me.  For me, it all works. And, this quilt is lucky enough to have already been to the Houston Quilt Show in part of another exhibit. 
Until next time....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Treasured Fabric Meant to be Used: Road Racers

I bought this wonderful little animal racing fabric when my son was about 2.  I fully intended to use it on something, but could not decide how to best cut it up.  I had it stacked in my closet with a set of other fabrics that would go with it, and nothing ever happened....until I stumbled across it a few weeks ago.  Same kid is now 18.  It might be okay to cut this up!
I think we all go through this.  Buying a beloved fabric and then too afraid to cut it up.  I suspect for me that there was something about needing to keep it whole that prevented me from cutting it up.  And, for whatever reason, I don't have that need anymore.  Time to move on.
I had fun making these rather wonky blocks.  And to extend the fabric a little bit further, I was able to add some pastel strips to the little sections of racing cars.  This allowed me to make a half yard of the fabric into a quilt top that is about 45" square.  Then I added this black and white racing checks border to finish it off.  LOVE!
And, I know I will have fun quilting it too, when I get to that part.  I forgot to take a picture of the fabric I used for the back, but will make sure to include it when I get the quilting done!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stashbusters: using up the Red and Aqua

On my quest to start using up my fabric stash (vs. letting it sit unused in boxes for years and years....), I have a new top completed.  I call this one, Trapped by Icy Blue.  This was an experiment in asymmetry, though there are symmetrical elements about it.  I also decided to mix it up a bit with a pop of red, just to see what it looked like.  I am still not sure if I like it or not.  I would love to hear your opinions!

I enjoyed working the strips in smaller blocks.  This top was made with 4 big blocks, as opposed to one giant block that kept growing as in the Big Blue stashbuster here.

Though you might have seen this coming, I did not.  I was singly focused on making the quilt tops without a care in the world.  Now....I need backs for these two big blue quilts, and I can't decide what to choose.  I thought of just purchasing some wide fabric to use for the backs, but it kind of defeats the purpose of getting rid of what I already have.  I thought of just using this quilt as the back for the other one.  They are almost the same size.  However, aesthetically, it is not working for me.  Why do I have to care???  But I do.

Then, I will need to quilt these big quilts. Not ready for that yet.  I will get to it, but for now, I am working on more quilt tops and see what happens.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Threads in the Tapestry of Austin
May 27 - July 5 at the Doughtery Arts Center, Austin TX

A first for me!  Feeling happy this morning as I prepare my quilts to deliver to the Dougherty Arts Center this morning.  I had two quilts juried into this exhibit, and another first were the comments that I received from the juror, Miki Rodriguez, about my work. The first is The Deep End.
"The minimalist composition and the drawn perspective causes the few elements to project off of this two dimensional space. The perspective, under the water, is powerful."

And my second quilt,  Out of the Box.
"Out of Box has a clever way of organizing color, shape and line. It is playful and reminds me of computer games that so many of us might be addicted to. I selected this for the exhibit because of its appearance of time and space in the present."

I also have a small piece hanging on the Austin Fiber Artists' member wall, Urban Flowers.
Hope you get a chance to stop by and see this wonderful exhibit!