Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year's Resolution

The end of year reckoning is upon us and it's time to look back at what I've accomplished over the past year. Which I will do real soon, but first I want to introduce my new blog site

I have resolved to be more proactive in selling my work. Letting the world discover me has just not worked out all that well and it's very hit or miss. I need to get out there, at least figuratively, and make myself better known.

I've made small works that just never seemed to be eligible for the shows I enter but it's a shame to let them languish in the closet. So, following the lead of others, like Lisa Call and Jeanne Williamson I'm putting up small works at affordable prices. I've started with 5 pieces that are the beginnings of my Ventanas/Windows series and will be adding more works in the coming weeks.

It's time to get moving!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Lull

The week between Christmas and New Year's has always been a time to relax. If it hasn't been done for Christmas, it's too late now. We can just kick back, sit in front of the fire and work crossword puzzles. Of course, now it's time to get back into the art mode, and it's not easy. I just finished a piece and was not very happy with it. Took it to one of my groups, and they were quite underwhelmed by it also (although it was expressed much more nicely than that.) So the question is, what to do with it? I might try adding some paint to lighten it up. Or maybe cut it into pieces and have a bunch of small works. In any case, I've put it aside and started on something else.

Yesterday was the first day of the Studio Sale on The Artful Home. Somebody was shopping early because I've already sold a piece.

This is titled 'Ode to a Stove' and is one of my favorites, even though it's sort of old. I made it in honor of my old Jenn-Aire stove that worked for 15 years before it gave up. I stood on the counter top with a camera and aimed it straight down at the stove to take a picture that I could use as a template. I used the curved seam technique I learned in a Nancy Crow class and abstracted the stove image. I entered it into the Quilter's Heritage Celebration show one year in the Pictorial Category (even though it was a real stretch to classify it as pictorial, at least by that show's standards.) Not only did it not win anything, but I received several scathing remarks from the judges: "Not pictorial enough for category" and "wavy edges." The wavy edges comment really made me laugh because the edges are supposed to be wavy. She is a very traditional judge and obviously didn't get it.

So that makes a nice start to the new year. And let's hope for more sales!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Africa Journal

While on our safari in Tanzania I kept a daily journal. I'm really glad I did that because we did so much it would have been difficult to remember it all and to remember what we did when. I transcribed it and added pictures and uploaded it to, which is a print-on-demand site.

Several days ago I received the latest copy of American Style magazine. This issue is showcasing fiber with several fiber artists highlighted. I put in a display ad along with lots of other Surface Design Association members, so I have a small part of a full page. Many other members took advantage of the same deal, so it may be lost in there. I hope at least a few people take the time to cruise all the links. Anyhow, the interesting thing to me is that the art quilt on the cover is a piece by Marianne Burr, the artist that captured my attention at Quilts=Art=Quilts and who I wrote about in my previous post. I love her take on circles.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Carol Larson nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks, Carol, I haven't won many things lately, having received at least 2 or maybe 3 rejections since my Quilt National acceptance. I'm happy that somebody likes what I'm doing. Carol and I share opinions on many things and are of about the same age. We live on opposite coasts and see the world from different heights. If I were to follow her blog naming convention, this would be Short Girl Tales.

For the rest of this reward, here's what I'm to do:
1. Put the logo on my blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated me.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to those blogs here.
5. Leave a message for my nominees.

I've done the first two but will have to work on the other 3. That post will come soon.

This past weekend my husband and I drove up to Syracuse for a weekend with my sister and a visit to the Schweinfurth to see Quilts=Art=Quilts. They don't allow pictures but you can download a pdf file of the show.

My piece was in the last room we came to (by that time my sister was asking if I was sure I was in the show.) Standing right in front of my quilt were two couples and they were discussing what they saw in the piece. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I introduced myself and offered to answer any questions. We talked about my piece for a minute and then they were interested in hearing what I thought about other pieces in the show. I talked about surface design, explaining to them what that was by pointing out Helene's Davis' works. In addition to winning the Surface Design Award at this show, one of Helene's entries had been sold.

I was fascinated by the work of Marianne Burr. I don't remember ever hearing of her before, but her work uses circles, hundreds of circles, which have always attracted me. Doing a little googling on her name, it appears that my head has been in the sand because Marianne is an award winner. She is in the current Visions show, and is also in Quilt National, so I hope I can meet her at the opening.

Another artist whose work captures me is Terry Jarrad-Dimond I first saw her work at ArtQuilts Elements last spring. She has two pieces in Q=A=Q. They are very simple, large color blocks of her hand dyed fabrics. It is her use of thread that makes the work so special. She quilts the piece heavily in closely spaced parallel lines, but uses the thread to change the underlying color of the fabric. So a piece of red fabric might be quilted with an area of red, another area in white, and a third area in purple. Each thread change subtly changes the fabric color. It's the kind of work that merits close inspection to see the threadwork, but also merits viewing from a distance to see the subtle changes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quilt National 2009

Lookee here! You can pre-order the Quilt National 2009 catalog from Amazon.

I thought that my quilt would be perfect for the cover, but apparently it wasn't. I don't know whose quilt that is but congratulations for being the cover girl!

My husband and I were going to drive up to Syracuse this weekend to visit family and see Quilts=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Museum in Auburn but the weather is not cooperating. A winter storm warning is predicted with up to 12" of snow. The weather service issued a very strongly worded warning which included this: If you must travel...keep an extra water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. All in caps. Got me convinced, we're staying home.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanks, Gerrie!

My donation to the SAQA auction was purchased by Gerrie Congdon. Thanks very much!

The first set of quilts are still up for auction on the SAQA site through tomorrow. The second set to be auctioned begins on November 18 at 2PM EST. Pieces begin at $750 and each day the price drops $100. The auction of the third set of pieces will begin on November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. It's a great opportunity to not only support SAQA but also to purchase a wonderful Christmas gift (for yourself or for someone else!)

I recently purchased Gloria Hansen's new book "Digital Essentials". I wasn't sure I would find this book useful because I'm pretty comfortable with editing digital photographs already. But I was wrong - there are tons of useful tips and tricks and I've already made some changes in the way I work with digital images. I highly recommend this book - there is something in it for everybody.

I noticed it's been a long time since I've posted but I can assure I have been busy. One of the things I've been working on is a journal of our African adventure, with text and pictures. It's nearly 60 pages long. I found a POD (Print on Demand) website called LuLu that allows you to upload your files and then order a printed copy. I did that and it turned out pretty good, but needs a bit of revision here and there. Once I make those revisions, I will make it available for all to read. It comes as a PDF file and is rather large - 30+ megs so it's not for the dial-up group.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SAQA Auction

In a few weeks the Studio Art Quilt Association's Online Benefit Auction will begin. There are 244 12" square quilts made and donated by members of SAQA. This is a reverse auction which means on the first day the artwork is shown, it will have its highest price of $750. Each day thereafter the price decreases by $100 until the piece is sold. The auction begins on November 10th at 2PM Eastern time; no bids will be accepted before that time. There will be 3 stages to this auction, and approximately 80 quilts will be auctioned in each stage. You can find my donation on this page, second row from the bottom, right side.

This is SAQA's major fundraiser. Money raised from the auction will go to support all of SAQA's exhibits, catalogs, and outreach programs during 2009. So bookmark your favorites and bid early - many people were disappointed last year when they waited an extra day and were beat to the click on the pieces that they really wanted. I hope that you find something that appeals to you!

And I've been tagged, so here's the info. Teri Springer tagged me.

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you. That's Teri.
2. Post the rules on your blog. Here they are.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
1. I can't resist Edy's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and it has to have chocolate sauce on it.
2. I hate going to the gym but I go 3 times per week or else I will turn into a blimp.
3. I have all seven of the Harry Potter series on either tape or CD. I also have all 5 movies. I only have books 5,6, and 7. I would much rather listen to Jim Dale do the books than read them myself. Actually when I read them I hear his voice in my head.
4. I hate shopping for clothes, nothing ever looks good on me. I hate trying things on because those dressing room mirrors are dreadful. They would sell alot more clothes if they had skinny mirrors.
5. I don't drink coffee but I have a huge selection of teas. My favorites are the Tazo teas, especially Green Ginger. No Lipton Tea is allowed in my house.
6. I'm perfectly content to stay home all day long and work in my studio.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
I'm going to select 6 people who are on the SAQA Artists Web Ring who (whom?) I don't know, or at least not very well. In the process I will need to read some of their postings. I hope you take the time also.
Cynthia St. Charles
Rachel Cochran
Liz Berg
Jill Werner
Sandra Hankins
Kim Hambric

5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.
And done.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Phelps Phans

First - thanks for all the congratulations. I'm really thrilled to be in Quilt National and I appreciate everybody's thoughts. They send an awful lot of paperwork to be filled out, which I spent the weekend doing. Yesterday I shipped my piece to the Dairy Barn for the photography session. I also shipped a piece to the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY for the Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibit. I haven't entered that show in a while, but Bruce Hoffman from Snyderman-Works in Philadelphia was one of the jurors and it can't hurt to have someone like him see my work. He selected Downtown for their exhibit, which starts in early November and goes through January.

Downtown ©2006

Last Saturday was the Michael Phelps Parade of Gold. Actually, there were 2 events - the parade in our town and the parade downtown in Baltimore City at Fort McHenry. We only went to the local parade and it was really fun. Led by Fire Engine No. 8 (for 8 gold medals), and followed by people from the schools and other places that were part of Michael's life, it was a real down home kind of event.

These kids are members of the swim club where Michael trained for years, and still will. I'm sure there is another future Olympian in that crowd; NBAC has sent swimmers to the Olympics for many years.

There was a whole crowd of people from Pete's Grill (sorry, no picture). This is where Michael would go for breakfast after his morning workout. Now they serve up the same food he ate as a Phelps Special. It's about 7,000 calories. On him it looks good. Here he is, riding in a Maryland National Guard Hummer that is almost as wide as the road.

This vehicle followed right behind the Hummer. The only reason we could think of as to why it was in the parade is that it was there to haul all his money.

Sunday was the opening of my show at the Glenview Mansion in Rockville, MD. This was the first time I was able to see my too-big-for-QN piece hung as a unit. I think it looks pretty cool and would be perfect for a large office space.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What a day!

Some days are just full of good news. Monday was one of those days. It started with a contract from The ArtFul Home to do a commission. A client fell in love with my piece Sun Dance and wanted it for an Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Texas but it turned out to be too big for the available space. So she commissioned to make it in a slightly smaller version. It won't be an exact reproduction because those fabrics are all originals, pieces that I dyed or painted with a variety of surface design techniques.

Sun Dance ©2006

I can reproduce the composition and approximate colors and designs. I've started going through my stash and pulling similar colors but I may have to dye some blues. I used Photoshop Elements to resize the image and printed it out on 20 sheets of paper and taped them together, so now I have a template of the right size and design. This is going to be an interesting project and it could turn out to be more difficult than I imagined it would be.

Good news item #2. Last last month I posted about my last minute decision to enter a different piece into Quilt National. I had to quickly get it quilted and photographed. It seemed to be a better fit with the other two entries as a body of work. It turns out to have been an excellent decision because that's the one that was accepted! Hooray! I think this is the seventh time I have entered and I cringe to think about what I sent in the first few times I entered. Thank heavens it's anonymous jurying. So here's what didn't get in.

Blue Moon ©2008

Window Paint ©2008

Window Paint is the one I spent most of the summer working on after my original entry turned out to be too big. It's pretty big, about 72" wide, and well within the size limit, but not the jurors' choice. I will enter it somewhere else, along with a bunch of other pieces that I've been holding back just in case I thought they were QN worthy.

Below is the postcard for my show at the Glenview Mansion Art Gallery in Rockville, MD. I delivered my work there today and will go back for the opening reception on Sunday. If you're in the area, please stop in. The show is up until October 28. I had sent them a different image to use for the postcard since I didn't plan to put Sun Dance in the show. But I guess it goes better with the other work than the red piece I selected.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And more Africa pictures

The circle of life was everywhere we looked.

These lions killed this Cape buffalo and would spend several days eating it. There are four lions in the picture but somewhere in the rocks are two or maybe three more. We never actually saw a lion hunt but did see several kills. Once the lions have eaten their fill the hyenas and jackals move in, followed by vultures and other scavengers. Eventually all that is left are a few scattered bones.

October and November are the Short Rains when it will rain for several hours in the afternoon. Except it seemed that the Rains started several weeks early, in September. The last four days we were there it rained every day, and our guide kept telling us how unusual that was. He said that the Long Rains in March and April are getting off schedule also and claims it's the result of global warming. It's very confusing to everybody. Once it starts raining, the Migration begins. The huge herds of wildebeest are up north for the winter. As the springlike weather moves south, the animals follow it because they know they will find lots of new growth. Because of these rains we were able to see huge herds migrating south, something not normally experienced in September.

I had to keep reminding myself that we were in the Southern Hemisphere, where September is the end of winter, the greening of Spring moves from north to south, the sun is in the northern sky (although since we were so near the equator, the sun was directly overhead), and the Tanzanians drive on the left side of the road. Oh wait...that's the result of the British influence, not the hemisphere.

There are always zebras in with the wildebeest. One guide told us that the zebra can smell the new growth and the wildebeest can smell the rain and so they have a symbiotic relationship. Also the zebra are much more alert to their surroundings and will act as crossing guards when the herds run across the roads.

In case we might have had any thoughts about feeding the animals.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More pictures

More pictures from my African safari...

These are wildebeest, an animal that looks like it was put together by a committee who couldn't agree on anything. If you have ever seen documentaries of the Great Migration on the Serengeti Plains, these are the animals you see. There are an estimated 2 million in herds that move through the Plains in search of grass. They drop their babies during a 2 week period in March or April and then begin to head north as the Long Rains begin.

This elephant was standing next to the road by our vehicle, not more than 15 feet away. Look at the texture of his skin - I'm thinking thermofax screen for this.

These are Cape buffalo and they are as nasty as they look. Very aggressive animals - they will defend themselves against an entire pride of lions.

This beautiful animal is a female impala. The male impalas' horns have a different shape, described as 'lyre-shaped', they curve outward. One morning I heard this terrible grunting outside our tent and it turned out to be two fighting impala. I would never have thought such a horrible noise would come from such a graceful animal.

And of course, these are zebra. Those stripes are going to be in another thermofax screen, for sure. Zebra are very wary and whenever we stopped there were always some who kept their eyes on us. When they stand in a group, they often face in different directions so that nothing can sneak up on them. One day we sat an watched a huge herd approaching a river for a drink. The river was down in a gully, a perfect place for a predator to hid. The zebra slowly approached the bank, then stopped and waited. Then a little more movement until finally one brave (or foolhardy) zebra skittered down the slope to the water. Others immediately followed. They went down to the water in groups and occasionally would come bounding up because something startled them. It was fascinating to watch.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back from Africa

We returned home on Saturday after an arduous journey on 3 different airplanes. Including layovers, the entire trip took 36 hours, way too long. But the trip was fabulous, wonderful beyond our wildest dreams. We spent hours watching the wildlife but we also had some experiences with the Tanzanians and learned a few things about their life styles. Here a just a few pictures.

One of the first things we did was to visit an elementary school in Arusha. These children are in the 2nd level, about equivalent to 2nd grade in the U.S. They sang a song for us in English - they learn English right from the very beginning of their schooling. They asked us a few questions in English, rather personal questions I thought, but they're still at a very basic level. After the 7th level they take a test to determine if they can continue with their schooling. If they don't pass, that's the end of their education and they are left with a rather dismal future.

We stayed in several tent camps and this was quite a different experience. The tents are very large and have "bathrooms" included. The bathrooms have a toilet, shower, and sink. The sides of the tents all have windows that are a mesh screening. Inside, you can roll down some canvas to cover the screen at night. Mosquitoes and malaria are an ongoing problem in Tanzania and we needed to be vigilant. This is the shower bucket. When we wanted to take a shower, the staff hauled hot water to our tent and filled this bucket. Inside the shower stall, we pulled a chain to start the water flow, got wet, stopped the water, soaped up, then started the water to rinse off. What amazed me was the fact that the young women at the camp hauled 30 liters of water, which weighs 30 kilograms or nearly 70 lbs on their heads. And we were a bit of a hike away from the water source. All over Tanzania we saw women, but not men, carrying their loads on their heads.

This is the veranda of our tent at dawn. Our morning wake up call was a cheerful "Hello Hello" and a tray with tea and biscuits.

This baboon was just in a fight with an intruding baboon. His face is scratched and bloody. It was quite a serious fight with lots of screeching and wrestling, but it was over in just seconds as the intruder wisely decided to leave.

An elephant mother and her baby. Elephants are very good mothers - they seldom loose a baby. (As opposed to the wildebeest, who lose 60% of their young.) When the herd moves, the babies are always sandwiched in between the large elephants, protected from any predators.

Warthogs are very funny looking creatures. The tusks are for digging in the dirt, not defense. Their necks are so short they have to get down on their knees to dig, which makes them very vulnerable to predators. When they run, they trot very fast and their tails stick straight up in the air, giving them a comical appearance. They nearly always ran away as our vehicle approached and seldom stood still enough to have a picture taken.

More pictures to come. As I was opening my mail after our return home, I was delighted to find a check from the Amazing Art Quilts show. My piece "Summer Solstice" was selected as one of the juror's choices. What a nice surprise!

Monday, September 01, 2008

We Are Proud!

The Olympics are over but we're not forgetting our local stars. In particular, we are anticipating the return of Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge (renamed Rodgers Phorge), a neighborhood of row houses and big old trees. He has purchased a condo in the Fells Point (Phells Point) area of Baltimore so he won't be living nearby but his mother still is. You can see hand lettered signs all around the Forge with congratulatory words, but this one is my favorite.

It's hung over the entry way to the funeral home located at one end of the street on which Michael grew up. Thank heavens it doesn't say "Welcome".

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Famous Last Words

I thought I had it under control; I thought I was ready to send in my Quilt National entry. Then I went to a crit group meeting and took along a piece I had started at QSDS in the Master Class and finished at home. It was still just a top. The consensus of the group was that it should be quilted and entered into QN. After thinking about it I decided that it would make a better fit into a 'body of work' than the other piece I had planned to enter. After dedicating the next few days to quilting it, it was ready to be photographed. I sent off the entry yesterday, getting it to the Post Office just in time to be picked up for the last Saturday pickup. Even with the holiday weekend it should easily make it to Ohio by the September 5 deadline (are these the Famous Last Words?) At the same time I posted an entry to Materials Hard & Soft in Texas, and ready to mail out on Tuesday is an entry to CraftForms.

And now I can turn my attention to coming events. What is this person doing? This is my husband spraying bug repellent on our clothes in preparation for an African Safari. We are leaving next weekend for Tanzania, 2 weeks in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti Plain. I've gotten shots for hepatitis B and C, yellow fever, and typhoid, I have malaria pills to take while I'm there and also after we return home. We have multitudinous instructions on what not to eat or drink: unpeeled fruits and vegetables, any water that is not contained in a sealed bottle that I have opened myself. We have a first aid kit that would make a Boy Scout envious. I will be spending the next few days testing out what I have to pack since we have a weight limit of 33 lbs on one leg of the trip. Thank heavens there are clothes washing facilities available so I only need about 3-4 days worth of clothes. Not looking forward to the 16 hours on a plane to get there, nor the resulting jet lag, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

While out spraying clothese I caught a hummingbird at the feeder. They are great entertainment - the male hummers are very territorial and will chase any perceived intruder away. That includes humans and the goldfinches that go for the water in the ant trap.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Read the Directions

It's that time again. Time for my biennial stab at the Holy Grail. Quilt National, that is. I could go back and count how many times I've entered but that would just make me feel worse. And along with Quilt National are the entry deadlines for Materials Hard and Soft in Texas and CraftForms in Pennsylvania. All with September deadlines. I have enough of an inventory of work to enter so I'm not scrambling to finish something. Usually at this point in August I'm scrambling to finish Quilt National entries. But this year I planned ahead and started thinking about it and working way back in January. I have a number of pieces that I have held back from entering anywhere and even have not posted them on my website. Wouldn't want to break any of the rules. Except.....

My plan was to make something BIG that would make an impact. So I did. This is it.

Now you may be wondering why I'm posting this picture since I've held it out of circulation for so long. Because while I read the instructions for prohibitions on prior publishing I neglected to note the size restrictions. This piece is eleven feet wide, too wide to enter. Not just a little bit too wide, but two feet too wide. I could insert a whole lot of swear words here, but I'm trying to keep this clean so my Mother won't be shocked. (Hi, Mom!)

I toyed with the idea of cutting it down to fit but dismissed that - it would ruin the piece. So this piece will get entered somewhere else, someplace with a great big wall. Luckily the oversize-ness was pointed out to me in June, and I have had enough time to make another piece. Which will not be posted here. I would have been quite distraught to discover it's too big at this point, as I'm filling out the entry form, and it's too late to do anything about it.

The replacement piece is just under 7 feet wide, still big enough to make a statement, but well within the size restrictions. I'm tired of making great big pieces, they're a pain to get through the sewing machine. I'm going to stick with medium sized for a while.

Meanwhile, if you are in Staunton, Virginia, you can seem my work at Amazing Art Quilts. If you are in Springfield, Missouri, you can see my work at ThreadLines. And if you are in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, you can see my work at the Rehoboth Art League.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Have you been watching?

The Olympics, that is. Specifically, the Michael Phelps Olympics. Last night was the most exciting race I have ever seen. Not only was it close - 1/100 of a second - Michael tied Mark Spitz' record of 7 golds in one Olympics. We here in Baltimore are avid fans of Phelps since this is his home. Actually, he lives about 1/2 mile from my daughter's house in Rodgers Forge. Other newspapers write about 'Michael Phelps of Baltimore'; here it's 'Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge'. Tonight is his last race and he is going for an unprecedented 8th gold medal. I hope he wins and I hope he wears all of them in his upcoming parade up York Road. There was a parade after the 2004 Olympics and I went and tried to take pictures except my camera battery died just as he came by. That won't happen this time - I'll be prepared.

This article in the Baltimore Sun has the story of the race and lots of photos.

On the art scene front I have nearly finished my Quilt National entry. The quilting is finished and I plan to add some more paint. And that will be it, done in plenty of time to photograph it and get the entry form off by the September 5 deadline.

Last weekend I was in Sun Valley, Idaho teaching surface design techniques to 2 new friends I met at QSDS in June. Both are award winning quilters but neither had really done much with stuff like thermofax printing or deconstructed screen printing. We spent 4 days in the inspiring surroundings of the Sawtooth National Forest playing with paints and dyes. Here is the view from the living room, where we worked after removing most of the furniture and covering the rest with plastic.

Last Fall there were forest fires in the area. We took a hike through one stand of aspens that had been burned. It was amazing to see how quickly the area has recovered with new growth.

But the most memorable event for me was the evening that we went to a concert in the new Pavilion where the Sun Valley Orchestra accompanied the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a program of opera (along with Denyce Graves, the mezzo soprano) and popular music. I know I wasn't the only one in the audience with chills running up and down my spine. And if that wasn't exciting enough, we then watched an ice skating show on the outdoor skating rink that featured local skaters along with world class performers.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


One of my readers, Violette Severin, asked me to participate in an artist interview. She sent me a list of questions and I answered them as best I could. To read this interview, visit Violette's Blog Handquilting. Here is the link to the interview.

Yesterday I spent the day in Philadelphia at the Buyers' Market of American Craft. This is a wholesale market only open to gallery owners, shop owners, and people like that. I was recruited to help staff a booth sponsored by the Rosen Group, the group that runs the Buyers' Market. The idea is to promote Fiber as the Hot New Collectible. Fiber was very poorly represented among the exhibitors at the Market and this booth was to help buyers to get more familiar with fiber as something they would want to have in their stores. I (and the volunteers I recruited)represent SAQA. There were representatives from SDA (Surface Design Association) and SPIN (Silk Painters International). Two other groups were invited - handweavers and needleworkers - but there was nobody from either of those groups. We had a very nice display area with hard walls where we were able to exhibit some work, but since the handweavers and needleworkers didn't send anything to display, there was a lot of empty space. I could have easily gotten more art work from my volunteers. If they ask us again next year, I think we will be better prepared. I'm not sure we were very successful, at least not yesterday, but maybe there will be a better response today and tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reclamation Project

Do you have old works that you no longer want on display? Or something more recent that just didn't work very well and is never going to get out of the closet? What do you do with them?

I have two pieces that I made last year that I think are so, well, awful, that I've never displayed them. I've pulled them out occasionally to think about what I could do to redeem them but never came up with anything that would improve them. Then I got this book The Painted Quilt by Laura and Linda Kemshall. It has a wealth of ideas about adding or subtracting color to a piece after the quilting has been done. Ah-ha! I have something already quilted that is a perfect candidate for trying out these processes. It's a lot of work to quilt something up just to try out some new techniques, especially when they might take a little practice to perfect. But it doesn't take much time at all to cut up some old work into squares and stitch around the edges. Now I have more than a dozen one foot squares, plus some smaller pieces, to play with these new techniques.

Some of the processes involve removing color with bleach or thiox but my practice pieces are pale yellow and pink (part of the problem) and removing color isn't going to remove very much. But I will still try it, what have I got to lose?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I've been busy

Today, July 15, is the last day of The Artful Home's Studio Sale. Take this link directly to my page to see what's on sale. Quilts in the sale are marked Studio Sale and they're on the second page. I've sold one piece so far. It's not too late to get one for your very own.

I received word yesterday that my quilt Moss Gold was accepted into ThreadLines to be held at the Missouri State University Art & Design Gallery in September. I'm pleased because the juror was Jason Pollen, who is the Chairman of the fiber department at Kansas City Art Institute and serves as the President of the Surface Design Association.

I've actually been quilting the one foot squares that I did at QSDS and only have one left to do. It's my least favorite of the bunch and it might not get done. One of the lot has been donated to the SAQA One Foot Square Auction to be held in November.

I seem to have contracted a nasty summer cold that is wiping me out. I can do something for a little while but then I have to rest. This is the 4th day and I'm ready to be over it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


The Artful Home ( is hosting a studio sale beginning tomorrow (June 29) and continuing through July 15. I have put nine of my older works on sale at a discount ranging from 20% off up to 50% off. Follow the link to see what's available.
Artful Home (The Guild)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

QSDS Final

I'm back home today after a long 8 hour drive. The views of the mountains are beautiful but I sure wish somebody would come up with a Transporter ala Star Trek. Be easier to bring stuff, too.

Here is the piece that I mentioned in my previous post, now with the window imagery. I'm not happy with it and part of the reason is that I don't think it's a successful enlargement of the smaller pieces. It doesn't work just to make everything bigger and I haven't even really done that because the lines of the window are not in the same proportion to the size of the background as are the small pieces. So more work is needed on this.

The idea I had for the other larger piece involved trying alot of small window images instead of doing one big one and to also use both the positive and negative sections. I've applied wonder under to a bunch of fabrics and started playing with positioning on the last two days in class, but didn't come up with anything that rated a permanent placing. That's still in progress also.

On the last day of class we did an open class critique, or 'crit' as Sue informed us it should be called. Each person had 4 minutes, the first 2 for talking 2 things she learned and 2 things she thought were still unresolved. Then Sue and the class had the remaining 2 minutes to respond. It really focuses your mind when you have to present your thoughts in only 2 minutes and nobody was allowed to go beyond that time limit. Usually there are some long winded people in a class who can go on and on and then others get shortchanged. I was last in this round and didn't feel shortchanged because I got the same amount of time as everybody else, and people weren't feeling exhausted by the time they got to me.

I have pictures of everybody and their work but we made an agreement on the first day of class that we could only write about and post pictures of our own work so that's why you won't see pictures of anybody else or their work on here.

However, I am going to post a picture of the little dolls we all made as a remembrance of the class for Sue. Little scraps of fabric and threads wrapped up like little memory boxes. She was thrilled to get them.

So now it's the unpleasant task of unpacking and returning everything to its proper place and getting back into the routine of my life, starting off with going to the grocery store. How pedestrian.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

QSDS Report 3

In between doing bigger stuff I've done more little pieces. Here's another one.

Another larger piece that since this picture was taken has gotten torn paper screens and splatter paint on it. And I think I rotated this image when I shouldn't have because it's really horizontal. Oh well.

This is something from earlier in the week. I quilted it first then added the gold paint and the dark outline using thermofax screens. It still looked unfinished so yesterday I added the lavender window screen (good pun...). Interesting. I was trying to get the paint to stay just on the upraised parts of the quilted areas but I pressed too hard and it went down into the stitched areas. Live and learn.
I forgot to take a picture of the other large-ish piece That's been painted and has the windows on it; will have to do that today.

Last night was the Banquet where we all gather for dinner and silliness. It was lots of fun to hear about what went on in the other classes. Before the banquet was the Walk-around where everybody puts their work up and people can walk around and see what's been going on. I sort of missed that because I was showing someone in my class how to screen print and how to throw paint. She had never done either before and wanted to try it with a piece she was working on that she wasn't liking very much. Looks excellent now, if I do say so myself. I am eager to see how she finishes it.

My plan for today is to quilt a small piece then do a monoprint over the quilting. The new group for the weekend class has arrived and so new stuff will be going on in the other rooms, including Carol Soderlund's Dye the Bible class. (It's not really called that, but that's what they get - a reference book for dye recipes.)

Thursday night we went to the opening of Material Matters at the Columbus Museum of Art. This show was curated/juried by Linda Fowler and Tracy Reiger and I can't think of enough superlative adjectives to describe it. There were more than 1000 people at the opening, many of whom had never seen fiber like this. It was a big eye opener for them, I'm sure. There is a catalog of the show which doesn't do it justice but is a very nice record to have. All I can say is I wish I had been in this show.

Also last night was the Silent/Live Auction of the mini-quilts. All week people could bid on the little quilts that are auctioned for the Scholarship Fund, then on Friday night the live auction begins. Sort of a weird way to do it, but since it raises more money I guess that's why they do it that way. Thank you, Teri, for purchasing my little piece for a considerable amount of money!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

QSDS Report 2

This is Day 5 of the 9 day class. We spent the morning doing a class critique where each person talked about her work and received feedback. A quick lunch followed by student slides, followed by some class presentations on other artists. Each person in class was responsible for doing a report on another fiber artist. Finally we were able to get back to work. This is what I have been working on. If you look carefully you can see that I've sliced the work and stitched it back together several times. It is noticeable in the blocks in the body of the work. I intended to do some screen printing on this but discovered that I had left my paint extender at home and I needed it. A kind soul in the class offered to drive me to Dick Blick's where I was able to find a suitable substitute. This piece now has more layers of paint but I didn't take a picture of it yet. That will be tomorrow.

This is the work on the rest of my board. I wrote the Wednesday note because I'm having a difficult time keeping track of the days, as are my classmates. One day blurs into the next. I decided that of the six windows pieces the one with the purple background stills needs work. So I've added more paint to that also. Picture tomorrow or whenever.

Thanks for the comments, everybody. I'm having a great time but I'm really tired by 9pm. I left the classroom but there were still several people down there working. I need my beauty sleep.

Tomorrow is the bus tour so we will loose another afternoon of work. But maybe the break will be good and we will be inspired by all the great art we're going to see.

Monday, June 16, 2008

QSDS Report 1

Two days of class so far and here's my report. This is my board, pre-pretty much anything.

For the most part we can work on any project we choose but there are a few class exercises. We had to prepare a presentation on ourselves, no more than 5 minutes, do a book report that will be compiled into a resource list, and prepare a presentation on a fiber artist. In class we are to spend 15 minutes every day making a small piece that tells our artistic history. These are mine from the first two days. On the left is a representation of my first mural, a crayon line drawn on a freshly painted wall in my brothers' bedroom. My childhood signature included my street address. The horse represents my infatuation with horses and looks somewhat like a picture I painted in an art class. I think it was in an 'art show' and won a prize because my mother framed it and I still have it.

Here is my first windows-theme piece, complete. Sue suggested that I try to work on more than one piece at a time, so I'm trying. Results to follow.

And here, courtesy of Sue Reno, is a picture from the opening reception of Images 08. Notice all the people standing around my piece. Notice that they are all looking in the other direction. Here's hoping they turned around at some point.