Sunday, November 22, 2009

New show!

This past week I was asked to mount a one-woman show at the Women's Research Center here at the University of Central Florida. The Center occupies an interconnected suite with lots of wall space in the lobby area which they keep filled with art. I was thrilled to be asked and can't wait! The show will open in early January and will be up for about 6 weeks. I will be showing examples from all my different themes so the title "Disparate Threads" presented itself as the best description. I'll post more details soon! Stay tuned...

Time for some "grandma" quilts

I find beauty in traditional quilting patterns, too. I particularly like the log cabin pattern for blocks and triangles absolutely rule. I usually resort to paper piecing to get those precise points. Of course, when I explore the traditional techniques I have to use some outrageous colors to really wow the viewer. See for yourself!

Wonder of wonders, this is actually a functional piece! Its a lap blanket and a play on the colorway you often see in vintage amish quilts: all solid fabrics with lots of black combined with jewel and even pastel colors. This quilt is called "A hare off amish" which is a play on the composition of the black fabric which was a vintage print that had gray bunnies with yellow or blue capes on the black background.

Can you see the bunnies here? Its kind of cute and yet somehow ominous-- all that black, and why are those rabbits wearing capes, anyway? Another wonder--this quilt is hand quilted, something I don't really do anymore. The size is exactly the that of a plane lap blanket ('cause thats what the batting is!).

This quilt features some of the fabulous fabric designed by Kaffe Fasset. He does big bold and colorful prints that really resonate with me. Because of their large scale they are often difficult to incorporate. Using them as a border is a good strategy.

Another one of my favorite fabric designers is Jane Sassaman. Combining brights with black and white is a favorite technique of mine. I think this quilt looks a little like one of the old timey test patterns. The points of the quilt are reinforced with TimTex so they do actually maintain their stiffness even when hung on the wall.

Bright colors, paper pieced blocks combined with black and white stripes--all my favorite tricks!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Creativity from the west coast

Yesterday saw the completion of a trade of items with my new friend from the west coast. Donna, from Giggly Girl Designs on Etsy (that awesome site for creatives of all sorts from all over the world) emailed me a while back asking if we could trade. She liked my stuff and it turned out that I liked her stuff and the rest is history! I sent her 2 prints of my pieces and in exchange she custom designed and made a BEAUTIFUL bag for me. I'm addicted to bags and purses (just ask my family!!) and so it was a trade made in heaven.
Well! My bag arrived yesterday and it is AWESOME! Featured is one of my favorite artists: Frida Kahlo... and it has pockets galore! And the colors are perfect and the size is perfect and, and and--I love it!
Check out Donna's cool shop on Etsy at: and see if you like one of her other models! I can certainly attest to the good workmanship and she is very open to suggestions/requests.

Meanwhile, check it out:

Can you tell how much I love it by how tightly I'm clutching it?? BTW--I'm standing in front of one of my larger, abstract pieces called "Midwest Roadmap".

From the front--the smallest pocket houses my cell phone.

From the back--yet another pocket! And more pockets inside!

Great big thanks and hugs to you, Donna! I now have a lovely new bag, custom made just for me (makes me feel special!) and, even better, I have a lovely new creative friend in California. Talk about a win-win situation!

BTW, I do have a link on the right over there somewhere, but don't forget my own etsy site at:

Embellishments: oddities

Sometimes I like to add odd bits to my pieces. Buttons are certainly on my list, but so are hooks and eye closures, rubber gaskets and even chinese fortune cookie fortunes. I have a little stash going of stuff that I think is cool or pretty or striking and when its right, I add it. One of my goals is to go further and more extreme with the embellishments so I'm keeping my mind and eyes open to future embellishing opportunities!

Since a cookie fortune is a rather ephemeral item, I mounted it underneath a sheet of polyvinyl and then did some quilting around it to anchor it into place.

Here are buttons, hooks and eyes and rubber o-rings all in black or red to go with the color theme of this quilt.