Friday, August 27, 2010

Chaco I - A Journey

I've spent a good part of this summer working on a challenge quilt for Quilts on the Wall - a group of fiber artists here in southern California. The theme of this show which will travel to various venues around the country for up to two years is "Discovery".

A photo taken years ago on a trip to the mysterious and impressive prehistoric religious and cultural center at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico's four Corners area seemed made for this challenge. I always tell myself I will document the progress of a quilt from inspiration to finished work, but I seldom remember to do it. This time I photographed all the stages and thought I'd lay them out for those who like me sometimes have a vision, but don't know where to start.

First, I cropped my photo and manipulated the size and to some extent the color of my original snap. After printing out the photo at 8 1/2 X 11 , I traced it on to an acrylic transparency sheet the same size. From there I photocopied the transparency film and blew it up (using Poster Pro) to the required size of 28" X 38". After gluing together all those pages i had my full size cartoon.

Then I began auditioning fabrics and colors, later fusing my choices on to a cloth foundation. I used some absolutely stunning hand dyed sateen from Judy Bianchi of Sebastopol, California for the masonry. When the large pieces were all fused I added more color, depth, shadows and highlights with various fabric paints including Jacquard and Tsukineko. I drew all the shadows between the stones with Fabrico markers using my cartoon as a guide.

Free motion quilting using several passes of silk thread gave texture to the ones and more depth as you look from door to door, to door. As you can see the piece needed trimming and when the quilting was finished i realized that the trimmed size was smaller than the required 28 X 38. I fused a narrow border in a purple stripe that is my new favorite print right now , did some decorative stitching on the join between the border and the image and then added a facing for a clean edge.

I'm happy with the the finished quilt above on the right , in fact my other photos of this wonderfully evocative place may inspire more - perhaps Chaco II?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SAQA - Art Meets Science

I was so sorry not to be able to see my quilt in the SAQA Art Meets Science exhibit at the Festival of Quilts in the UK this weekend, but I've had many reports that it was a great show and very well received.

I received a message today from Jill Jensen who spearheaded the show that Alex Veronelli of AURIfil Threads posted a video of the exhibition at Festival of Quilts:

Jill said the exhibit was very well received and SAQA is getting very positive feedback. It is on its way back to Houston so that it can be checked in, then repackaged for shipping to Pfizer headquarters in New York for its next gig. ..

The catalog is now on sale online on the SAQA site and the quilts for sale are also pictured at Be sure to check it out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Golden Boy

It is sad to say that this morning my beautiful, talented but aged palomino gelding Jesse passed away peacefully in Sylmar. He was foaled in 1976 in the Owens Valley purchased for a brilliant young rider (not me) and trained beautifully by Loretta Kemsley. I bought him as a 8 year old and enjoyed many years with him practicing dressage, Western Riding, equitation and a little scary barrel racing until he and I both retired from riding several years ago. I decided that I didn't bounce as well as I had once - and Jesse agreed.

He was lovingly cared for in his retirement by Loretta. At 34 he had known a long good life and he has left me with many wonderful memories of adventures and friendships.

I'll always remember how though often full of the devil and happy to find an opportunity to dump me whenever possible, he somehow new he was carrying a precious package as I was riding into to my 7th month of pregnancy. Every step he took was as if he was walking on eggs. He never put a foot wrong.
When I got back to riding after our son was born - all bets were off! I'll miss him, but I have all those golden memories.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A New Guld in Los Angeles - Westside Quilters

Westside Quilters is a new guild for both traditional and art quilters now forming in Los Angeles. Our inaugural event is a a fundraiser at the Fowler Museum on th UCLA campus on Saturday, August 28 at 1:00pm to visit three batik exhibits with a gallery talk by a Fowler Museum educator. There will also be a presentation and trunk show by quilter, blogger, contemporary quilt collector and owner of the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection and SAQA member
Del Thomas. $20.00 tickets at the door are tax deductible

The first regular Westside Quilters meeting will be Saturday, October 9th at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Westwood with award winning art quilter Carol Taylor as the featured speaker. For more information on both events and other upcoming programs and membership please visit-

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just One More Thing From Long Beach.....

I just learned that there is now a video available of the West Coast Wonders 2010 exhibit which debuted at IQF Long Beach last week. It's on the Quilts Inc. website at

Just click on the videos link on the left and then on the West Coast Wonders button and it will run. My quilt "Balancing Act" is toward the end, but you can also check out the two wonderful quilts entered by my friend Sandy Lauterbach.

While your there, click on the "Beneath the Surface" button and see quilts from this exhibit from the Dinner at Eight Artists curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. The exhibited included a wonderfully whimsical work "Gone Fishing" by my friend Sherry Kleinman. Her quilt is not featured in the video but can be seen on her website. It's worth a visit!