Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Jackson’

Doorway to Another Planet

November 16, 2011

The last of the projects I started at Art Quilt Santa Fe 2011 told me it was tired of waiting. Despite the mess in the sewing room, I swept off enough space to quilt it. Here it is, with binding and the beginning of embellishment:

Michelle Jackson, who taught the class, gave us a choice of two patterns. Most of us chose the door pattern. Most of us made doors that looked like they were in an old adobe and rock pueblo. My door comes from another planet – specifically, the planet I am creating in a sci fi novel. My main character, N.Keli, is a bug. Remember the bug doll I made? That’s her. This is her house.

I’m not sure how I’m going to finish the embellishments. There’s a beaded fringe on the bottom, and I’ll have beads around the twisty-turny binding. I’ve also quilted in leaves:

Here’s the bin of possible embellishments.

I expect that over the holidays a few of them will call my name and tell me where they want to be positioned. If not, I can always stare at my newest Christmas ornament until inspiration strikes.


Art Quilt Santa Fe

May 12, 2011

When you see the notice for the next Art Quilt Santa Fe retreat, click on the “Sign Me Up Now!” button. You’ll be glad you did. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun or worked so hard. I didn’t even mind the snow.

Yes, it snowed the first day of the retreat, which was May 1. Luckily for me, the closest I had to get to the snow was through the window. It all melted the next day, but by then I was immersed in learning new things.

Linda Schmidt taught the first part of the week about unusual embellishments. I thought I knew a thing or two about that, but I had never made rocks from Tyvek envelopes or painted my own puff paint trees.

Michelle Jackson taught the second part of the week about creating painterly art quilts with fusing. Both teachers are incredibly generous with their time, advice and materials. I started out thinking these were good workshops, because I was learning new techniques. Then they became great workshops, because the class project really became my project. By the end of the week, I knew they were fabulous workshops – the projects took on lives of their own and started telling me how they wanted me to finish them when I got home. I hope to show you them in the next couple of weeks.

The other thing that came home with me from Santa Fe was a file of photos for inspiration, including a series of shots of the buffalo head in the state capitol building. This piece is made entirely from found objects.

I can’t imagine the workroom of the artist who created this, but I’m thinking that mine has almost as much stuff in it. Once I’ve finally remembered what it is I do around here, I may just see if I can’t make my own found object critter. At the very least, I have a renewed determination to clean the sewing room if only to find out what the forgotten treasures lurking in the corners could become.

A Schedule Derailed

September 29, 2010

This wasn’t going to be my most productive week in the sewing room. I pulled out boxes of fabric and knew they would take more time to organize than I had. Deadlines for other projects sat on the calendar, glaring at me. My to-do list ran to three pages.

You’re waiting for the punchline, I know you are. There isn’t one.

There is, however, good news to share which has nothing to do with my sewing room. My friend Ann Anastasio is co-producing a quilt retreat next May. It is called Art Quilt Santa Fe, and will be held at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino (near Santa Fe, New Mexico), May 1-6, 2011. The featured teachers will be Michelle Jackson and Linda Schmidt.

Ann Anastasio was my first quilt teacher, my first friend when I moved across country for my husband’s job, and still a good friend even though she moved half-way across the country for her husband’s job. Organizing a quilt retreat has been a dream of hers for years, and I couldn’t be happier that she and another friend have finally achieved their goal.

The website for the retreat is There are links to the teachers’ websites, as well as to Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre (, which will be performing at a gala banquet during the retreat. Broken Dishes is Ann and me.

Broken Dishes was my dream come true. When I’m not quiltiing I write stories, and I had always wanted to perform as well. Ann suggested we entertain at guilds, and with another quilter friend, Evelyn Judson, we started singing, dancing and telling stories about quilts. Evelyn then moved (also for her husband’s job), but Ann and I kept performing.

Many of my finished quilts were created for Broken Dishes programs or workshops. The chances of my finishing anything skyrocket if I have a deadline, and there’s nothing like planning to show off your work in front of other talented quilters to keep you moving forward! Here are some of my favorites:

The Birthday Button Cake

The Guilt Quilt

Plate Tectonics

So, my cleaning schedule got derailed, but life is still good. Next week, I hope to make more progress in the sewing room. Who knows, someday I might even get that room organized – then I can start on my writing area.

In my writing cave