Saturday, October 31, 2009

RAIN GARDEN sold at International Quilt Festival

I received a notice yesterday that my quilt RAIN GARDEN had been purchased at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I feel honored that someone loved it enough to take it home! The idea for the piece came from my husband's plans to create a rain garden in our backyard. Since this quilt was finished our rain garden has made great progress. It is full of native plants that like lots of water and promises to be a thing of beauty next summer.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I've just completed another pet portrait. Calamity Jane is the beloved pet of a friend's daughter and she commissioned this portrait as a gift for her. This was a challenging piece since the dog is primarily one color but some highlights and shadows in the original picture helped.
My quilt label includes the original picture of the dog. She had been swimming and was wet and happy.
I've received a couple of excellent books recently that are of great assistance as I work to improve my skills using Photoshop Elements. The first is "Next Steps in Altered Photo Artistry" by Beth Wheeler. The book is well-written and well-organized and is a real asset if you like to manipulate photos. The other is "Artistic Photo Quilts" by Charlotte Ziebarth. This book gets into some more technical operations to alter photos and is very useful. Both books are focused on printing photos on fabric which is not my aim. But they are wonderful in helping to develop a picture into an inspiration for a quilt.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My First Portrait of a Person

BOB SINGS ( 17" x 18") This was my first experiment in trying to create a portrait of a person. I used a picture of my husband as he was singing that is one of my favorites. My fabric choices didn't turn out so well - he really doesn't have any odd skin conditions - but the picture actually does look like him a lot. So I'll call it a success and prepare to try another one.

NELLIE (10" X 12") Nellie lives next door to me with the Hatch family. She is getting very old so I thought a portrait of her might be welcome. I did a lot of thread-painting on this but it doesn't seem to show up very well. She is a mostly white cat so trying to add some dimension and texture was challenging.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Casey the Firecracker Dog

My neighbors have a Jack Russell who is crazy for fireworks. His "Dad" sets off bottle rockets for him every evening and Casey runs around the yard like a mad dog then leaps into the air like he's on a spring until Brad shoots off another one. Trying to get a picture of this little maniac was very challenging. As you can tell, I'm still enjoying creating the pet portraits. If you want your pet pictured in fabric, I will take commissions through Waverly House at 417.882.3445.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Clio the Beautiful

I thought creating the dog portraits was fun - but a calico cat is even better. This is Clio and she is a beauty and made a great subject for a pet portrait. You would think I'd be getting tired of this by now but I am seeing more and more possibilities for this technique. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Still going to the dogs

This little quilt is based on my friend Vivian's dog, Barbee. Barbee is not a pup but somehow I've brought out her inner child. I found it much more difficult to work with a more limited color range. Next I am going to try a cat portrait - Merrilee's Clio. I'll post when it is finished.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another dog quilt

The last dog portrait I did was so much fun that I had to do another. Now I'm taking pictures of the cat that lives to the south of me and the dog to the north. Their owners are looking forward to having their personalized pet portraits. And I'm looking forward to having more fun.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Seamus the Wonder Dog

This wee quilt (11" x 14") is a gift for Vivian's daughter. She is bonkers over her beagle. And she's coming to visit in August so I pirated a picture of Seamus from her blog and interpreted him in cloth. I think it is funny and it was certainly fun to put it together. I recently received Leni Levinson Weiner's "Photo-Inspired Art Quilts" and combined some of her techniques with those in Marilyn Belford's book "Portraits for Fabric Lovers".

This was a great exercise to get me back to work (play) with my quilts. Now I think I'm going to roam the neighborhood taking pictures of the neighbors' cats and dogs because I have to do more of these fun little pieces.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Something New from Something Old

SPIRAL LONE STAR (52" x 52")
I have been very uninspired over the past few weeks. So I dug out my one UFO - I think I started it five years ago. I had the star diamonds and the appliqued squares finished so I sewed them together and added another fabric to make it square. Then I had something to quilt and keep myself entertained. It actually took almost two weeks to finish - certainly not all that time to quilt but a lot of time nevertheless. This was a nice opportunity to try out lots of Karen McTavish's quilting motifs. I usually don't like stippling but even used my own loopy brand of that technique in the outside setting fabric. Now I have nothing left to quilt so I'm going to have to do something to get the creativity going again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LATE BLOOMER Finds a New Home

I had the good fortune of reconnecting with an old friend by way of Facebook recently. Last week, she was in Springfield and we got to catch up with one another. Wow, it is so great to spend time with someone who "knew you when" and who you enjoy just as much now.
I told my friend about my late life passion for art quilting and showed her some of my work. Today I learned she had contacted Waverly House Gallery and is now the owner of my favorite (and largest!) work - Late Bloomer. So congratulations to Cheryl for giving my quilt a new home and congratulations to me for letting go of it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Something different

I enjoy painting on fabric and wanted to experiment with a simple landscape. I painted this with Koh-i-noor watercolour dyes. Then I quilted lines to show the contour of the land, the movement of the river, the height of the mountains. I wish I'd left out the mountains - they just look like a purply mess. But it is good to try something out of one's particular style every now and again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quilt Artist of the Week

Linda Matthews has started a new project - Quilt Artist of the Week. There is no charge to subscribe and no fee to be a participating artist. Who can beat that? I love to share my work so I jumped on the bandwagon and am participating in the project. If you want to receive Linda's weekly email sign up at her Inspire site: The project starts at the beginning of May.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Girl

The "GOOD GIRL" quilt is a product of the workshop with Rayna Gillman. There was a thread on Quiltart about taking classes and then having your work look like that of the last teacher who influenced you. I wish I could produce work like Rayna's but, as you can see, that is not my style at all. I made the blue squares and the willow tree in Rayna's workshop. I decided to cut the squares apart and attach them to a black background in an effort to simulate a page from an old photo album.

Using a technique from Lesley Riley's "Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur" I printed a picture of myself at age six or so on some Lutradur and painted it to make it look aged. The circle was a left over from another project and I stamped some additional shapes. I enjoyed making this and may create a series. But since my favorite part of making quilted art is doing the quilting this style won't go too far with me. This work is not one where I wanted any emphasis on the quilting.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Think Green at Waverly House

Waverly House Gifts and Gallery's spring juried show is on the theme "Think Green". I was happy to learn that my two entries were accepted. And I was really happy to learn that several of our local fiber artists also entered and had work accepted. There were more than a hundred entries with only half of that number accepted. Five of the artists with work juried in are fiber artists. Fiber arts are truly considered art in our small city - primarily thanks to Uncommon Threads, a spin-off from our quilt guild. This group paved the way over the past few years for recognition of quilts and fiber as art in our community.
This small piece (12" x 16.5") is BOB'S RAIN GARDEN. My husband has begun work on a rain garden in our back yard. The idea is to plant water-loving plants in a place in the yard that gets a lot of water and then to divert more water from your roof to sustain these plants. The water then doesn't run off but maintains plants that help improve the environment. I like the idea of root systems invading the layers of earth so that was part of my inspiration for this work.
LUNCH AT THE SUNSHINE CAFE (22" x 18") resulted after I spent an hour working on a more serious piece about global warming. I decided it was super boring so pitched it and decided I want to make a big green salad. I think this piece is funny but I believe I'm the only one! There's something humorous to me about that big fabric fork and the egg. Oh, well, you can't explain your own sense of the ridiculous to someone else.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Pictures from the Rayna Gillman Workshop

Here is a picture of Rayna in her classroom attire. Lest you think she is a messy sort I will say she brought this shirt with her looking like this. This actually wasn't a particularly messy process.

The following are some additional examples of our first attempts at carving and stamping. I know the first is mine but can't credit the others since I don't have names attached to them.

Thanks to Vivian and Maureen for sharing these additional photos.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rayna Gillman Workshop

Rayna Gillman presented a two-day workshop for members of the Ozarks Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Springfield, Mo this week. The first day was spent carving stamps and creating our own fabric or improving fabric that needed help. We carved, we brayered, we talked, we made messes big and small and had a grand time.

The second day Rayna focused on a variety of methods for transferring images to fabric besides printing them directly from printers or copiers. We used transparencies, thermofax and silk screening, transferring with gel medium, clear tape and even using a cleaning product to transfer carbon-based prints. We also tried writing directly on fabric using fabric inks - most of us found that this is one of those skills that is perfected with lots of practice. We also learned that perfection is not what we needed to aim for. Rayna does a wonderful job of helping her students relax and enjoy the process of creating and to see the beauty in the imperfect organic result.

These are samples of our work over the two days. We were asked to show our favorite and least favorite of what we had produced.

I took these pictures after we were well into our first day of carving stamps and printing fabric:

Vivian started out with green and red-orange and kept going until she made another piece that reflected her recent experience with shingles. She's determined to get some art out of a difficult experience.

Sharon shows off the variety of stamping she did. I don't know how she produced the areas that look like writing but I'm going to find out!

Merrilee wears her stamped piece over her shoulder. She was too busy preparing her next piece to hold it up! She created a stamp that turned into a flower burst when stamped in different directions. Cool.

Maureen is holding a couple of the stamps she made. She had a happy accident when she spilled some gold paint on an edge of fabric and then proceeded to stamp bits of the paint all over the work - the bit of glitz livened it up nicely.

Karen is holding a piece that she chose as her "least liked" work over the two days. She was the only one who didn't like it. In person it sort of looks like a burst watermelon with seeds scattered. Other than this piece, Karen tried all the techniques on one piece of fabric using the same paints. That piece turned out exceptionally well.

If you have a chance to take any class with Rayna Gillman, do it! Rayna presented a program for our guild that was a delight - she is funny, does beautiful work, and doesn't take herself too seriously. That's an unbeatable combination. She is an excellent teacher and generously shared her extensive knowlege of surface design with her students.

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Work

PRICKLY PODS (26" x 36") I belong to an art quilt group through our local quilt guild. Last month we studied the work of ten fiber artists featured in The Masters. One of them is Caryl Bryer Fallert whose work I've admired for a long time. I enjoy the lovely curves she uses as well as the vibrant colors that appeal greatly to me. So this is my homage to her. I used some of my hand-dyed fabrics as well as some commercial batiks. When the top was done I had a wonderful time thread-painting on the "pods" and free-motion quilting the background. Note: Prickly Pods has been juried into In Full Bloom VI.
I hope this detail shot shows some of the quilting - it is very intense. I also added some golden spirals using 100 dernier silk thread.

DWELLINGS (16" x 20") This work was done for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge a few months ago. The challenge was to use a monochromatic scheme. This was fun because I layered the front, batting and backing and quilted plain black fabric. Then I used Jacquard Discharge Paste to remove the color from selected areas and painted them various yellow tones. I've enjoyed Jean Auel's Earth Children's series and this piece makes me think of pre-historic peoples and the challenges they faced in finding shelter. Note: A second larger work, "Dwellings: Another Time, Another Place" was juried into the IQF special exhibit Tactile Architecture.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Fast Friday Fabric Challenge Quilts

CROW TAKES A VACATION (14" x 21"). I posted earlier about the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge internet group. We have a monthly challenge to use a specific technique or color combination and create a quilt within a week. For this month, we were challenged to use complementary colors and begin working in a series.YOUR RHYTHM, MY BLUES (17" x 21"). This challenge was to use analogous colors and to show movement. This piece, along with BROKEN CONNECTIONS was made in an effort to express my feelings in helping a family member deal with the onset of Alzheimer's.
WIND (11.5" x 14"). This challenge was to show motion. I used a piece of "failed" hand-dyed fabric - meaning it didn't retain the vivid colors I prefer. But it created a nice background for this windy day piece.
ROANOKE COTTAGE (9" x 12"). Our challenge was to depict architecture in some fashion as well as to show depth. This was based on a picture of a home I used to own in Springfield, MO. It has a lot of thread-painting for the yard and flower beds.
BROKEN CONNECTIONS (14" x 18"). Our challenge was to use a zinger color and to express emotion.

FLOWERBURST (14" x 18"). We were challenged to make a monochromatic quilt . Mine turned into analogous colors. It had a bright yellow background and I had a suggestion to think about using purple if I made another similar quilt. I pulled out my fabric paints and painted the background with purple paint and it greatly improved the work.
BEACH FIRE (12" square). This month's goal was to use a surface design technique. My piece is painted with water colors, quilted and then I added some beading.
It is not Fast Friday - It is Christmas at the TITs. I am a member of a small art quilt group, the Textile Improvisation Team, aka TITs. We met at Christmas and played dirty Santa and Vivian ended up with my little ferns. This piece was quilted, then discharged with Jacquard Discharge Paste and painted.