Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Day of 2014

OK it's the last day of 2014.... One of last year's New Year's resolutions was to spend more time on my blog, but that went by the wayside long ago. But here it is, the last day and not too much to do after the whirlwind of Christmas. We're heading off to friends for an early dinner tonight so nothing to do in the kitchen except carve up the last of the Christmas smoked turkey and pack for the freezer, so why not bring the blog up to date with what's on my design wall or under the machine right now.

2014 has a been the Year of the Swan - at least in my studio. This year Glen and I celebrated our 30th anniversary which brought back memories of our wedding at the Bel Air Hotel where swans swam in the rippling stream that ran next to the grassy area where our ceremony was held 1984.

So... the mute swans from the Bishops Palace at Wells Cathedral in "Mated for Life" debuted at Houston in October and are currently traveling in the Tactile Architecture exhibit. I used another photo of those swans for my 12inch SAQA Benefit Auction quilt which sold in October. Then a friend commissioned me to make another version as a wedding gift for relatives.

Obviously my favorite quilt at Houston Festival was David Taylor's wonderful "Beneath My Wing"

So my brain kept going back to swans again and again. Recently I started looking at swan photos yet again and started drawing my own compositions of a nesting pair. I finally came up with a sketch I liked, added some reeds, grasses and cattails.

My sketch was blown up on the computer and printed out as an appliqué pattern. I've used a subtle blue ombré cotton as the background and various whites, grays and an orange Hoffman batik for the swans themselves. the cattails are done in brown velveteen. This is raw edge appliqué using
Misty Fuse. I'll catch all the edges in the quilting.

I spent a day adding some subtle (I hope) shading with textile paints.

And now it's under my machine for a lot of very tight shaded quilting with silk thread. Sorry pretty out of focus, but maybe that's a good thing.

So a lot - and I mean a lot - of quilting to go..... BTW those half circle things on the quilt are cut from rubber shelf liner - the waffle kind- and really help to grab the quilt for free motion work. Don't need gloves or hoops or anything else! My tip of the day...

I'll post the final cleaned up finished version on my website ... Hopefully soon.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quilt Festival Houston Part II

More of the sights and quilts at Houston Quilt Festival..      

Of course, there are vendors.......                                                                                      

Hundreds and hundreds of vendors.  I got in trouble with a few - some wonderful watery batiks, a light/magnifier for my machine,  A lovely piece of over dyed cotton from Wendy Richardson, a French cotton tablecloth and napkins, some repro glazed chintz from the ladies from Amsterdam and some big spools of YLI silk thread. There's lots of other stuff arriving the end of the week in my shipped box. 

I spent an hour or so volunteering in the SAQA booth selling books, cards, memberships, etc  where I met some wonderful quilters from Texas and all over the country. The last group  of 12" auction quilts for the SAQA Benefit Auction were exhibited and selling. My Mated for Life II was on the wall in the middle below the sign and sold! Always a great feeling of relief....  Two SAQA shows were on display - Celebrating Silver and Redirecting the Ordinary. What a great experience touring them with SAQA President Kris Sazaki! 

And, of course, there are winners in the judged show.... here are just a few of my favorites among them. 

Nancy Prince won Best of Show for this wonderful thread painted snow scene 

"On This Winter's Day" 

David Taylor's magnificent "Beneath My Wing" won the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry for this intimate and sensitive portrayal of a swan and cygnet. All of David's quilts are hand appliquéd and very closely machine quilted - hundreds and thousands of tiny pieces. As you may know from seeing some of my recent work, I have a thing for swans. 

"Hurricane" by Janneke De Vries-Bodzinga of The Netherlands was awarded first place in Art- Abstract- Large. She told me that it is all hand appliquéd, but machine quilted. The color and movement of this was spectacular  - I was completely enthralled. 

The World of Beauty Award - "Gift of Appreciation "by Kyoko Yamauchi from Japan. Such wonderful detail and amazing workmanship. 

"Moody Beach, Maine, 1957" by Margot McDonnell from Arizona won a second place in Art - Pictorial . This one reminded me of the work of the French Impressionist Boudin - I loved the gray skies reflected in the water. 

And so many quilts that are truly outstanding, but went without awards.  I don't always agree with the judges anyway.  Here are some of my favorites from the long aisles of quilts in the judged show Quilts: A World of Beauty.....

Collaged entirely from various colors and sizes and textures of sewn on buttons

"Red Sunflower" by Susan Bianchi of Saratoga, California 

"Treasures of Egypt" by Jennifer Richenberger from Australia (I apologize if the last name is wrong, I can't read my notes) featured wonderful use of unusual fabrics and appealed to my closet Egyptologist soul. 

Two by one of my favorite artists and friend Sherry Kleinman, the one on the left "Geisha" painted painted on canvas and "Waiting Expectantly" on the right drawn on her iPad and then printed digitally. 

"The Iris" by Judith Roderick. Beautiful abstracted image of the flower. Bright clear color. 

Jerry Granata's "Samson and Delilah".  I'm taking his class in January at Road to California on quilting with unusual fabrics. He certainly does that!

My friend and traveling companion Sandra Lauterbach and her moving and very personal piece "The Wailing Wall of Krakow" digitally designed from her photographs, letters and documents telling the story of her Polish family's history in the Holocaust.

And a fabulous antique  from an exhibit of Mary Koval's Collection - a hand painted Indian Tree of Life cotton Palumpur in all its original unfaded glory. 

In the "Inspired By Libby" exhibit (honoring Libby Lehman) Laura Wasilowski's "Libby's Leaves" I adore her use of glowing color and purchased some of her hand dyed fabrics at the show. 


In a beautiful exhibit of French patchwork masterpieces sponsored by Bohin  "Etoile De Bethlehem"by Nathalie Ferri - quilting is truly international. 

So by 3:30 on Saturday afternoon I was totally exhausted and limped over to the lovely and comfortably elegant Four Seasons Hotel across the park to repair myself over a lovely pot of tea and pick up my bags before going off to the Airport. Festival is a terrific experience - absolutely go if you can! So much inspiration that I can't wait to get back into my studio and create something.  Won't be there next year, but see you there in 2016...

Check out for "Off the Wall Fridays"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Quilt Festival Houston Part I

Home from Quilt Festival Houston 2014 late last night - totally exhausted but so buoyed by the artistry and beauty  in every corner of the massive hall at George R. Brown Convention Center that I had to go through my photos and try to post before the real world takes over.

The entrance as you can see was spectacular with red and white quilts hung two stories high to celebrate Festivals Ruby Anniversary - 40 years.

I know that my friend Andi Perejda's wonderful quilt was among them, but I never could find it!

On the Wednesday Preview Night I scooted around to see my own quilts in the show - here is the section of Tactile Architecture where my Mated For Life was hung. And of course I had to document that I was really there along with my quilts. Please forgive the shameless self promotion. 

My 'Bella Camellia in "In Full Bloom"...

And 'Down in the Grove' in the Digital category of the IQA Judged Show Quilts: A World of Beauty...

Finally, a couple of shots of 'What's for Dinner?' a clever show of 15" X 24" dinners curated by Jamie Fingal set up as placemats around a big dining table and chairs. I just pulled up a chair next to my entry and was ready for the banquet. 

I loved Yvonne Porcella's wonderful entry which reminded me of childhood fishing trips with my Dad.

Heidi Lund's 'Northwest Seafood Bounty' is one of my dream meals!

That's all for now.... Part II tomorrow. I've got so much more to show! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Off to Houston!

I'm so excited to be going off to International Quilt Festival in Houston! I'm heading to the airport in the morning and hoping to get in on time to attend Preview Night and at least some of the quilts before I fall in a heap at the Four Seasons across the street from the Convention Center. It's been an exhausting couple of weeks in my other life and it's catching up with me.

I'm sort of astounded to have five quilts showing at Festival this year including "Mated for Life" (above) debuting in the Tactile Architecture exhibit and "Bella Camellia" in In Full Bloom - both shows will travel to various venues around the country for a year.

"Down in the Grove" (below) is in the IQA World of Beauty competition and I also have an entry in the What's For Dinner? exhibit and a 12" quilt "Mated for Life II" which will be sold (hopefully) in the SAQA Benefit Auction.

I've got two full days just to wander, shop, sit in on a few lectures, see friends and find new inspiration. I'll be posting on Facebook and maybe do a blog post or two while I'm there to share what inspires me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MY SAQA Benefit Auction Dream Collection...

Here's my Dream Collection derived from the SAQA Benefit Auction 2014 quilts. The auction starts September 15th. Enjoy. View all the quilts and other Dream Collections at

Floralegium - curated by Sally Wright

Windswept II - Nancy Ryan
Windswept II
Nancy Ryan

Copper Seeds - Shelly Burge
Copper Seeds
Shelly Burge

Lirio Rojo - Phyllis Barnett
Lirio Rojo
Phyllis Barnett

Iris - #ll - Cherie Brown
Iris - #ll
Cherie Brown

Pink Poppy - Juanita Yeager
Pink Poppy
Juanita Yeager

Daylily - Peggy Brown
Peggy Brown

Check out Off the Wall Fridays at

Friday, June 20, 2014


I've been watching my mail impatiently for my early copy of "The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting", UK quilter and author Linda Seward's new book. It's been in the works for a very long time, but this book which is now on pre-order with Amazon is truly a fabulous compendium of every art quilt technique - fusing, dyeing, screen printing, appliqué, free motion quilting, digital imagery, beading, embroidery - it's got it all accompanied by very easy to understand step by step instructions and clear illustrations. Everything you need to let your imagination and talent run free.

And why was I anticipating my early copy? Well, because my quilt "Silk Fantasy A La Diane" is illustrated on page 179 in the free motion quilting section!

Check out off the Wall Fridays at

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Received that always longed for email this morning........ Bella Camellia has been juried into "In Full Bloom" a Special Exhibit of floral quilts at International Quilt Festival in October 2014.  The show will debut at Quilt Market the week before. This may mean a trip to Houston this Fall! 

The quilt is a digital image of camellias in our southern California garden, manipulated on the computer and iPad , printed on fabric at spoonflower, then painted, stitched and quilted.
Off the Wall Fridays!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Soon to be Published!

I'm so excited that one of my quilts is featured in Linda Seward's latest book The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting to be published in June and launched at The Festival of Quilts in Britain this summer. It's been in the works for three years and should inspire a lot of quilters to step into the Art Quilting world. Can't wait to get my copy!
Here's the link...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Off to Paducah!

Well, at least my quilt is... I received a very welcome email from AQS that my quilt "Silk Fantasy A La Diane" has been accepted into the American Quilters Society Quiltweek show in Paducah, so it is off to Quilt City next month to be shown in April. Whether I'll go along too is still up for decision, but I've never been to Paducah and it's only two hours by car from Nashville where our son lives, so it's a real temptation.

I'm happy that AQS has forgiven me. Several years ago a quilt of mine was accepted, but I had made the stupid newbie mistake of mistakenly entering a quilt in two shows where the dates overlapped and both accepted it.  It's a cardinal sin in the quilt world to have to turn down a show once accepted and I feared that AQS would blackball me forever. They never answered my groveling "please forgive me but....' email so I feared the worst. I'm happy to hear that apparently bygones are bygones and "Silk Fantasy" has made the grade. It is a simple 9 patch block constructed in dupioni silk and features free motion quilting based on designs taught by the great Diane Gaudynski.

Check out Off the Wall Fridays