Friday, March 31, 2017

Japan, January 2017

I've been home from my Japan tour since the end of January, but have just recently plowed through all my photos.  It was a wonderful two weeks with Quilters Express to Japan and our tour leader Susan Ball Faeder. She's been doing this for over 25 years and  through her myriad private contacts in the Japanese textile world we were privileged to experience things few regular tourists ever can.
So many thanks to my friend, fellow artist and traveling companion Roberta Walley for encouraging me to come along!

We started with Tokyo and the Tokyo Quilt Show - the largest in the world in the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium. What a crowded,  jostling experience. It seemed that every woman in Japan was there! Fabulous quilts, wonderful, inventive exhibits and amazing fabrics and hand made items and notions for sale. So many shopping opportunities! I did my part.

We toured amazing Shinto Shrines and Buddhist temples in Tokyo and Kyoto

Enjoyed textile museums and private collections 

Saw modern Japanese textiles and fashion....

Ate glorious food so beautifully presented! 

Figured out a whole new world of electronic toilets

In  the village of Arimatsu we watched local artists practice the art of Shibori dyeing

And in Kyoto we spent a morning learning the art of stencil dyeing

So much more to say and too many photos  - maybe in some future posts.
Let's just say I hope to go back! 

The trip has already yielded inspiration... 
A purchased indigo dyed cotton banner of the Moon Rabbit mounted with more 
Japanese indigo textiles 

Monday, October 10, 2016

I was lucky enough to visit Quiltfest Oasis Palm Springs - the Mancuso show inits third year at the Palm Springs Convention Center last weekend. It's a show that features international winners from the Mancuso's other shows as well as a lot of traveling exhibits from smaller art quilt groups and quilt guilds. This year there was a competition featuring Modern Quilts in conjunction with a Modern Quilt Symposium. 

It's a pleasant venue and it was an interesting show with a lot of variety. Three of my pieces were included... one each in Quilts On The Wall Fiber Artists exhibits "Maps" and "Shadows" and one in the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds show "California Hues, Tints, Shades and Tones" featuring art quilts from members of southern California quilt guilds.  Below I'm pictured with my quilt in the Shadows show "Shadowlands".

I would only wish that the Mancuso management would take more care with the condition of the traveling quilts. So many folds and creases marred the beauty of some amazing work. It seems they unpack everything and put them folded into huge heavy piles. Few quilts emerge unscathed. 

Enough of the negative. Below are a few stunning pieces - my favorite from the exhibits.... 

"Mont St. Michel" by Linda Schmidt 
It fairly shimmered! 

A wonderful colorful quilt from Australia's Lisa Walton 

An amazing pieced and appliquéd quilt made from men's silk ties by "Moonshadows" by 
New Zealander Anne Joule. Stunning! 

An amazingly graphic owl from the Modern Quilt Competition. I'm so sorry I missed 
the name of the artist.  Does anyone know? 

From a wonderful group of quilts based on the color spectrum from a small art quilt group. 
Loved these little quilts and the way they were displayed. Again, I neglected to take a photo 
of the label.  My apologies to the artists! 

Many of these same exhibits will be shown at Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara the end of this week. Hope you can get there to enjoy them. 

The following day my friend Roberta and I alone with our husbands visited the small satellite location of the Palm Springs Museum of Art in Palm Desert where we viewed a wonderful art jewelry exhibit. Below is my glamorous friend lounging in the exhibits. 

Yes, we were !


Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Reigning Men" exhibit at LA County Museum of Art - a must see!

Just read a Facebook post counting out the six great rules of blogging.  The second is "Be Consistent - Get in front of your audience often and consistently."
 I guess following quickly on a post from November 2015 isn't good enough! Many excuses, none of them interesting to you, so let's just go on as if this never happened. 

Los Angeles has so many wonderful opportunities for art and culture and recently I've been to the same one twice - The "Reigning Men" exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which features men costume from the 18through 21st centuries.  What a gas! A new and unusual take on the evolution of costume. Everything from the incredible hand embroidery on 18th century waist coats and banyans to Rudy Gernreich silk kaftans and 1960s Cardin fashion forward tweed suits and military uniforms.

I was tickled by the description on the Cardin tweed suit in the photo above, second from right, to find that it had belonged to and been donated by a long time friend. The fabulous Sulka silk dressing gown and an evening suit were his, too. I called him and he said he purchased it in Paris in the 1960s and actually wore it often. Very far from his conservative and buttoned up, but  elegant image today. He was happy to donate trunks of his former New York clothes to the museum. LACMA must have been thrilled! So many of their bountiful costume holdings are for women.

The exhibit is beautifully presented on very individual looking mannequins with very impressionistic hair I've lately learned was made from hair canvas - the stuff they shape men's suit fronts with.  It continues at LACMA until August 21st. Well worth a trip! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Catching up....

It's been a long several weeks and I am now just catching up with life and work...

Our big business project for the year - The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show - has come and gone. it involves weeks of planning beforehand, the ten days in San Francisco actually doing the show, and then the decompression and re-organization, catching up on everything afterwards ... So it is basically a two month slog. It is an exhausting process that we have been undergoing for 34 years! It's just that after 34 years we are older and slower.

If you're interested, here is a photo of our stand this year complete with furniture borrowed from Daniel Stein Antiques in San Francisco and a gorgeous floral arrangement from Jessica Frizell of Oakleaf Floral Design 

Too much standing, too much walking in San Francisco compounded by a long march to Costco and a very enjoyable day with friends exploring the new The Broad Museum in DTLA  on our return left me with a very painful knee problem which kept me on crutches and out of my Studio for several days, but thanks to modern medicine and some injections I'm back to normal and back in the studio after - wow, it's hard to believe -  almost 6 weeks!

So, after finishing a few charity quilts for Westside Quilters' big November philanthropy push, "Giving For Thanksgiving" during which our guild finished over 60 quilts which will be distributed to local Los Angeles Children's charities and Quilts for Wounded Warriors, I'm finally back in the studio working on a long put off project.  Below is the pile of quilts from the November 7 sewing day ready to be delivered. Wish I hadn't been on crutches and could have been there....

 I have long wanted to do a quilt based on the Florentine art of pietra dura - the exquisite hard stone inlaid panels often incorporated in very high end furniure from the 17th and 18th centuries. I've collected images on individual panels for years - from museum trips and auction catalogs. Last January I began a tall narrow panel in a workshop with the wonderful Jenny Bowker at Road to California, but put it aside to work on other projects that had deadlines.


Now I've removed it from mothballs and have spent the last several days working on the appliqué
and designing a medallion style quilt using this image as the central field and surrounding it with other smaller panels. I'm using the luscious velvety hand dyed cottons from Cherrywood as well as my collection of prints and hand dyes that resemble various types of semi precious stone and marble. It's going to be a long haul project and I'll blog about my progress as it continues.

This work has inspired me as well as some great news yesterday from Road to California. Both my entries - Mated For Life and The Green Man - have been juried into the show and I am humbled and grateful. I'm so looking forward to being there in Ontario in January for 4 days and taking a 3 day workshop with Susan Brubaker Knapp learning her painting techniques on fabric.  

The Green ManMated For Life

I'm also so happy to learn that my "Swan Song" which is included in a selection of pieces from Sacred Threads 2015 will be traveling even more extensively than I originally thought through 2017. It is going to be nearby in Pasadena at the Fuller Theological Seminary in February and will also wend its way to the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange in 2017! I've posted the entire schedule as it now stands on my website at 

Swan Song

Check out Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday's at 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Yes, the 14 boxes of special exhibits missing from Quiltfest Oasis in Palm Springs have finally been found after three weeks of searching! Word came from the Mancuso organization yesterday that, as originally suspected, the pallet of boxes had been misdirected by a truck freight warehouse to another location - I'm told about 60 miles away. I'm assuming they sat on some loading dock for three weeks until someon noticed.... Because the individual boxes still had UPS labels on them, UPS was contacted and yesterday they arrived back at the Total Expo (the decorating company that works on the Mancuso shows on the west coast) warehouse from which they will be returned to us.

I had thought this would be the eventual scenario all along - I could not bring myself to believe that they had been stolen, just misplaced. However, when the Mancusos announced they were starting the insurance process and suggesting we start combing EBay, Etsy and post our quilts to lost quilt websites, I began to worry and started getting the word around. 

David Mancuso and his staff worked tirelessly to find this missing shipment and my thanks go out to them and all of the quilters around the country who shared my blog and Facebook posts to help get the word around. Thanks, too, to everyone who has sent comments and emails of gratitude that all has been found. We are a truly caring community

Monday, October 26, 2015

Further to "Mourning My Quilts"

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my blog from the other day about the loss of over 100 quilts prior to the Mancuso Quiltfest Oasis n Palm Sprimgs. I truly appreciate your good wishes and hope that all the quilts will be found soon.

Just a few points.... UPS was in no way nvolved here. I use UPS all the time for shipping my quilts and the antiques from my real business. Have never had a problem. All the quilt exhibits had been shipped to the warehouse by UPS and had been received and signed for. We know that. The misdirection/loss happened at the trucking terminal warehouse.

To answer the question about police involvement... The Mancuso organization was told that they could not enter a police report because so far there has been no evidence of a crime. So far, th belief is that the pallet was "misdirected".

I've been out of town for a week, but have managed to get one of the quilts on the Lost Quilt web page. The other will be added in the next few days.

The  Mancusos are searching the Internet for the lost quilts. In fact, their search yielded my blog that someone had posted to their website. I received a very cordial letter from David Mancuso saying that my blog was"right on point" but that they were deleting it from their page saying  "Please accept our sincerity that there is no intent of malice. We have removed your post from our Facebook page for the simple reason that it will not be instrumental in recovering the exhibits." 

Thank you David... But I am doing exactly what you have suggested the artists do.. Just trying to get the word around in case someone sees my quilt and can help solve this mystery.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mourning My Quilts

Some of you may have heard…. A group of 8 different traveling loan exhibits went missing from the Mancuso Quiltfest Oasis show in early October  and were never hung. They included two exhibits from Quilts On The Wall Fiber Artists, one from the Southern California region of SAQA and five others. I had pieces in both of the QOTW shows – Maps and Shadows. 

All 8 of the individual exhibits were shipped via UPS to the Mancuso’s decorating company in California and were delivered and signed for. It is believed that all 8 were put on the same pallet to be trucked to the Palm Springs Convention Center for the Show which opened on October 10, 2015. They never arrived. 

My husband and I drove from LA to Palm Springs to see the show and my pieces in it, and we were very disappointed to find the photos above. I visited again the following day, but still no quilts. By the end of the weekend, the quilts – approximately 100-120 of them were still not hung. Four of the shows were to be sent north to the Mancuso’s Pacific International Quilt Festival, but were not hung there either. 

"Nightshadows", 2014  - Ribbons of hand dyed gray to black along with accents of opalescent organza, quilted with silver thread. Traveling in the Quilts On The Wall exhibit "Shadows". Disappeared from Quiltfest Oasis, October, 2015

"A La Carte",  2013  - Printed imagery of Le Chateau de Vaux Le Vicomte  over a plan of Le Notre's famous garden. Fused applique with sewn embellishments and three dimensional leaves.
Disappeared from Quiltfest Oasis, October, 2015

To date, none of the 100 + quilts have been found.  Warehouses , trucks,  freight  terminals and the Convention Center have been searched.  Security footage has been scoured. The Mancuso organization has offered a $5000 reward to the employees of the decorating company and the freight terminal  in hopes they will turn up. So far, nothing. It now seems that no system of bar coding was used, making an electronic search impossible.  We have been told that all 8 boxes still had their original UPS labels and tracking numbers intact, so if someone finds any of them they might get back to their owners. 

Meanwhile the Mancuso organization is beginning the insurance process, though at this point I’m not sure what that will mean to individual artists. They also suggest that artists search Ebay and Etsy and post their quilts on websites devoted to finding lost and stolen quilt websites.  

I am rather surprised that there has not been more discussion of this issue on the net. No one involved has posted to the SAQA group or to Quiltart that I have seen… The safety of all our artist’s work  is of utmost importance and I thought might have started a lot of dialog.

To say that I am disappointed, heartbroken and angry is, of course, an understatement.  I am mourning my lost quilts, but hoping beyond hope that they will still be found. Whenever I send an art quilt – a piece of myself  - off to a show or exhibit, my heart is always in my mouth until I know that it has arrived. As artists, we have to trust the organizations to which we send our pieces to use all care and diligence in safeguarding them. What happened in this case, after the pieces arrived at their destination is unknown, but it certainly makes me think about to whom I will trust my work in the future