Posts Tagged ‘art quilts’


September 25, 2013

I’ve been thinking about what lies underneath – what is unseen, but necessary for future growth. I wanted to show hibernation for my November calendar project. Starting with floral prints in browns and grays, I strip-pieced a base and embroidered dead plants and roots.

The earth below

The earth below

Stitches with variegated thread

Stitches with variegated thread

My idea got a jump-start with Laura Wasilowski’s hand-dyed embroidery threads.

Color + texture = fun!

Color + texture = fun!

For all the notes, sketches and supplies I keep stacked in the sewing room, my ideas are a lot like roots and seeds hiding under the ground. With the right amount of rain and sunshine, some of them poke through and flower. Others wait for the next season. It’s sort of like magic, until the hard work of growing the project begins.

Countdown to Something

December 5, 2012

My kids may be grown, but I still buy them Advent calendars every year (chocolate-filled, of course). There’s something about opening little boxes and getting a surprise that everyone loves – or at least everyone I know. The promise of a reward is a great motivator, in work and in art.

Since it is the season of giving, I’ve incorporated the promise of reward and delight in boxes with my need to make presents. Here is the first of what I hope will be a series of treasure boxes:

chenille treasure box

I’m experimenting with chenille because the sequel to Death By Chenille should be available in April 2013. That book will be called When Chenille Is Not Enough.

The promise of reward in art is to find something delightful from every angle. The Challenge projects I showed earlier needed to reward the viewer for a close examination, so I added some embellishments. This is one of the pieces as viewed on a wall:

Alaska quilt

This is the reward for taking a second look:

Alaska quilt detail

Here are a few of the others I made:

This is how I secured the peacock feather

This is how I secured the peacock feather

Fish, moose and puffin - what more could you want

Fish, moose and puffin – what more could you want

My idea of reindeer games

My idea of reindeer games

Getting these small pieces embellished for the meeting was the first of my countdowns. There are still a few other projects with their own countdowns on my to-do list. Here’s hoping all our year-end countdowns go smoothly!

Here’s When A Do-over Would Be Nice

August 22, 2012

To give you an idea of how far behind I am, last week’s to-do list is still on top of my piles. I sort of know where the time went, because we had two exterior doors replaced and the kids’ belongings were delivered by the moving people. The door replacement project did not begin on a good note – I spent the morning telling the supplier that we were not going to accept one of the doors (it had a dent) and since it was a stock door he could jolly well find another one and pay for it to be delivered while the contractor was still here. The kids’ belongings arrived in good order but now comes the unpacking.

One of the pleasant surprises of the week was that our daughter’s couch fits nicely in the living room. We knew it would fit the space because we measured, but there’s fitting and and then there’s fitting. We had never had a couch in the living room before because we wanted it to be a music/reading room. After all those years of having just two comfy chairs, bookshelves and a grand piano I convinced myself there wasn’t space for a couch. Now that I know I am wrong, I guess I’m going to have to look at couches when she gets her own apartment.

In the  meantime, a week has passed and I got in the sewing room only long enough to repair the pillow my husband uses for back support. Since I have nothing new to show you, I thought I would post an old picture of a past project:

This is a quilt I made for Sacred Threads, a biennial exhibition for quilts with a spiritual connection – healing, grief, peace, the spiritual journey. If you are interested, you can get more information at The next show is in 2013, with entry deadlines between January 9 and March 9, 2013. I had one quilt accepted for showing long ago, and have entered at odd times since then. The quilt above – City of God – didn’t make it, but I’m thinking this might be the year I enter again.

Of course, that assumes that the weeks between then and now will be a whole lot more productive than this past week. At the rate unexpected time sinks are appearing in my path, that may not be a reasonable assumption to make!


Fragile Immortality

August 3, 2011

My sewing room is overflowing today, and will be for some little while. Ann Anastasio – co-author with me of Death by Chenille, co-producer of Art Quilt Santa Fe – gave me half of her stash for my prison class.

I’m thrilled to get it, of course; not so keen on storing it. Right now it’s in bags in the sewing room, my daughter’s room, the garage, under the piano. My husband is even less keen on storing it, but he can see me moving it about, so there it is.

I intend to put it in bins, eventually. Ann has promised me some of hers, and I might even be able to get some from my husband. He is buying plastic bins for reorganizing his tools, drill bits, nails, fasteners and the like. He found some small purple bins on one of his trips to the hardware store and got some for me.

He bought me the little cute ones for my buttons and embellishments. I’ll need bigger ones for the fabric, but I’m not certain which size yet. Certainly larger than a shoebox, which is another thing Ann gave me, the shoebox containing the time capsule for the Challenge Group.

This is our second time capsule. We made the first one when the group started and opened it a few years ago.

This is also the second time capsule that I’m in now. The other one is for the California Writers Club. I’m in it because I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Jack London service award from my local branch, and a list of all the award winners is part of the collection. The capsule was presented and sealed at the awards ceremony. It will be opened in 2035.

It’s an odd feeling, being in the California Writers Club time capsule. There is a fragile immortality to having your name on a list preserved for the future. Which brings me back to Ann.

Like all of us, Ann has stacks of tops and completed quilts. She is also an art quilter, so many of her pieces have no obvious home. As she was cleaning out her sewing room, she started wondering what would happen to all of her quilts. She made these pieces to express her artistic vision, and preserve part of herself for the future.

But how to do it? How to make sure your work doesn’t get turned into dog bed covers after you’re gone? What should be done, for instance, with Rocket Chicken?

I’m thinking of turning it into a table cloth. How are you planning to secure your place in history?

Who else is watching but us chickens?