Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Counting Down

Are you ready yet?

I like making things for Christmas. As obvious as it seems it's taken me a long time to figure this out. Some folks are excited about the baking, or the decorating, the music, or the shopping. Those are all fine, and of course I do all of them to some extent, but I really look forward to making small decorations and gifts every year. This year I'm making an advent calendar (clearly I'm a little behind), and the clothespins above are part of it. I hope you've figured out what gives you pleasure for whatever special holiday you celebrate, and put aside a little time to make yourself happy.

P.S. I also looove glitter!!! And I'm not afraid to use it.

P.P.S. My children will get to open five advent treats at once (we already did one through nine), so they're not too deprived.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Quilting Arts at 10

Can you believe that Quilting Arts is celebrating their 10th birthday?! I remember how exciting it was to have a new kid on the quilting block, and to this day look forward to every issue.

I'm happy to have an article called "Serendipitous Screen Printing" in the 10th Anniversary Issue. The article details a fun and easy technique for you to add to your screen printing bag of tricks. Here are two examples (that aren't in the magazine) I made with this technique:

My obsession with locust leaves continues ;)

This reminds me of the woods in springtime, when the maples are starting to bloom.

The contributing artists were asked to make commemorative postcards, and here's mine.

This was fun to make, as I combined a variety of techniques - digital imagery, screen printing, and sponge painting.

So what else is new? I'm honored to have won 3rd place at the Houston IQA show with my grackle. So many people who saw this quilt in Houston have reached out to me with many kind words, and I really appreciate it - thank you all!

November was just a mess. My mother in law has been quite ill, so my husband was gone most of the time starting October 29, including four weekends in a row. Thankfully she is doing much better now!

I've been working on several more articles. I'm really excited about a series of six articles I'm writing for Machine Quilting Unlimited on fill designs. The first one will debut in the January issue. And right now I better dash back to the studio to finish working on a project for Quilting Arts' 101 Patchwork Projects - hmmm, I wonder what the other 100 are?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Quilting Arts eBook!

Have you seen the new Quilting Arts free eBook, Fabric Art Techniques for Beautiful Quick Gifts: 5 Free Quilting, Fabric, and Fiber Art Projects? I'm delighted that one of my projects from last year's Quilting Arts Gifts issue, quilted bookmarks, is included. Here are pictures of the samples I made last year.

They're a great way to use up those scraps that are just too pretty to throw away.

There are also four other great, quick projects that would make wonderful gifts. I'm planning on trying out Lyric Kinard's pretty gadget case with some fabric I've screen printed. The ebook is free, and super simple to download, so why not give it a look?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Must. Stop. Screen Printing.

I don't know what it is about screen printing, but it seems that once I start I just can't stop.

I've been writing a little article involving screen printing for an upcoming edition of Quilting Arts. Perhaps the hardest part of writing an article, for me, is being satisfied with my samples and examples. Two things got me to stop (or at least slow down) the sample making this time: the deadline, and I ran out of screens to burn.

Here's a print that is not in the article:

Trust me when I say that this is much better in real life. The leaves are various metallic colors, as is the leopard moth. However, I really feel that the moth needs more oomph. Perhaps that can be added with an outline of the moth by either more screen printing or some quilting. The dots need something too. It's a work in progress and I do have plans for it.

In the meantime I started playing with the image in Photoshop. Here's what I've got so far.

I really get a kick out of both techniques - playing with paint and playing with pixels. What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September Machine Quilting Unlimited

Thanks to *everyone* for all your lovely comments on yesterday's post! Wow! You really made my day.

After I finished the quilt in my last post I got busy writing an article. I love working with the folks at Machine Quilting Unlimited, so I jumped at the chance to write another article for them. You can check it out it out in the September issue. Here's a glimpse of part of it:

It's all about feathers - a variety of types, on a variety of types of quilts. Believe it or not, feathers are fun! Because of their organic shape they work on a wide variety of quilts, and I've used them fairly often in my work - the border of The Gathering is just full of them, and they're all over Under the Rainbow. Once you get the hang of them they are a pretty quick way to fill up an area and are graceful to boot. The September issue is also jam packed with lots of other great articles, including the cover story on Patt Blair, how to quilt large quilts on your home machine, a great article by Marcia DeCamp and much more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Houston IQA

I'm so delighted that for the fourth year in a row I've been fortunate enough to receive "the call" from Houston. My newest quilt, which I must say I poured my heart and soul into, has won a cash award in the IQA World of Beauty (Houston quilt show). Here's a sneak peek:

It's a digital collage that I created in Photoshop using a number of my photographs and a painting. I printed it on five panels of silk using my Epson 2200 pigment ink printer, then seamed them to create the quilt top. It's very heavily free motion machine quilted using a variety of threads - rayon, silk, cotton, and maybe even a little polyester .

It's a red letter day, as my oldest son is officially a teenager today. I better run and make his cake!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Miss October!

I now have a copy of the Martingale 2011 Calendar of IQA Award Winning Quilts, and I'm proud to say that I am Miss October (well, actually Last Dance is).

I had so much fun making this little quilt, and I'm just delighted to be in the calendar again this year.

I happened to be at a Metrothreads meeting on Saturday, and someone made an interesting remark. They admired how I made the left wing look transparent, so that the leaf beneath it showed through. Truth by told, I didn't do that. When I took the original picture, which you can see here, the butterfly was resting on dried oak leaves. As I manipulated the photo, including increasing the saturation, the colors on the oak leaf and the butterfly wing became more similar, producing the illusion of transparency. You can see an explanation of how I created the central image here, and see what a difference upping the contrast made.

I was very lucky to be in the right time and place to catch this somewhat unusual moment - a butterfly resting on autumn leaves. Keep your eyes open, and maybe you'll catch a magical moment too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Scenes of Summer

School ended *very* late this year, due to all the snow, so we've only had 2 days of summer vacation. Here's what it's looking like so far.

Daylily "South Seas"

Maypop (or Passion Flower)

I think this kid has it pretty good. A little computer time after swimming with 8 friends plus his brothers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh What Fun!

I had a great time at the Annapolis Quilt Guild Show this past weekend. It was wonderful to reconnect with old friends, and meet many new ones. Here are some photos of the spacious setup they provided for me.

A whole booth! A big shout out to Hilke for the pipes and drapes.

Ann, one of the Quilt Show co-chairs, and I. Ann is a very accomplished quilt artist, and she, Helen, and the rest of the volunteers put on a great show. I know that Ann won at least one (maybe two) ribbons this year. It's truly amazing to behold the set up and break down of this show - they are very efficient.

Here's a lovely reminder of the past. As a guild member I was asked back in 2000 to help design the 2001 raffle quilt. This asymmetric mariner's compass was the focal point of the quilt. The guild has a pin made every year from the raffle quilt design, and Helen offered me one that they still had.

To the many folks who stopped by to chat with me - thank you so much, I really enjoyed meeting you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Annapolis Quilt Guild Show

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Join me at the Annapolis Quilt Guild Show on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13. Located at Annapolis High School, this wonderful guild puts on quite a show, including quilts (of course), over 20 vendors, and numerous demos. I'm very excited to be this year's featured quilter, so if you come be sure to stop by and say hi! I'll have quite a few of my quilts with me, and hope to do a little free motion quilting while I'm there.

I haven't posted a picture in a while, so here are two. Yesterday when I went with one of my children to wait for the bus, this is what I saw. It looked like a beautiful dream.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quilting Arts Free Image Transfer eBook

Would you like to learn six ways to use image transfers for quilting? Check out Quilting Arts new eBook, 6 Image Transfer Techniques for Your Art Quilts. I'm delighted that an article that I wrote is included in this free book. There are also articles by Leslie Riley, Marie Roper, Mary Ann Tipple, Pamela Price Klebaum and and Ginny Eckley . If you're interested in using image transfers in your work you'll find lots of food for thought, so head on over and download it today.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

I'm thrilled to have been a part of the last two issues of Machine Quilting Unlimited. In March my quilt "Last Dance" was featured as the "Jaw Dropper" (what a great name!).

For the May issue I wrote an article on creating unique quilting motifs. If you've ever wanted or needed to come up with a unique quilting design to fit a block or border, this article has loads of tips on design sources and techniques.

I really love this magazine (and not just because I've been in it). It's a wonderful source of information on all aspects of machine quilting, both domestic and long arm. It also features great articles on wonderful artists who quilt by machine. In the May issue alone there are articles by Carol Ann Sinnreich, Gloria Hansen, Jenny Bowker, Eileen Doughty and more. Suffice to say I really look forward to each new issue!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm Ready For To Go

That's what my youngest son used to say when he was about 2 and was eager to get going to whatever adventure awaited, and that's how I feel today.

I'm about to start quilting a large (for me) quilt in hopes of finishing it by the deadline for Houston. It's about 40"x50". Note to self: it took one week and a day after the prints were "cured" to stretch, spray, assemble, and baste the whole shebang in preparation for quilting. Now the fun begins!

In the meantime I've rediscovered my love for piecing. I started out as a piecer, but quickly became A Little Too Serious about it. All my points always had to match. All straight lines were as straight as I could make them. My secret guilty pleasure for the last few weeks has been regularly checking out the Fresh Modern Quilt group on Flickr. Melody Johnson mentioned it on her blog, and looking at those quilts, and absorbing the enthusiasm of that group has brought me much pleasure. A few weeks ago I took a little break and sewed up nine "wonky" log cabin blocks, and boy was it fun! Once I'm done with my "big" quilt I'm going to sew those blocks up and make a cuddly quilt just for me.

All the snow is gone and spring is here! I hope it's a beautiful day where you are too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow Dyes - Rounds 1 & 2

I've done three rounds of snow dyeing so far (with *plenty* of snow left to work with). Here are some results from rounds one and two. All of the pictures can be made bigger by clicking on them.

Snow Dyed, then snowverdyed ;)

Bottom fabric was dyed in the drip pan below other fabrics, so technically it was low water immersion dyed

Center fabric was snow dyed twice - once with chocolate brown, then again with grape
The bottom piece was another "drip catcher"

I confess that for my work I prefer little to no white space on a piece of hand dyed fabric. This has led me to usually dye with fabric that has been soaked in soda ash solution then dried before dyeing, or use a drip dyeing method like Robbi Eklow explains in her book Free Expression. For the snow dyed pieces I either redyed ones that came out with more white space than I wanted, or squirted a little extra dye on areas that I could see were really pale. I have a couple of more pieces I'll post a little later.

I finished up an article for the May issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited this week. It's about designing your own quilting motifs, and it was fun to think of lots of ways you can go about that.

I'm also super excited that once again this year I'll have a quilt in Martingale's calendar of IQA award winning quilts. It will be interesting to see what month they decide to use for Last Dance.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Well, we're just hanging around the house today.

That's the end of the driveway near the street. I'm 5'3", just for scale.

It's a lot deeper there due to the plowing, but it's got to go anyway. Thankfully my husband was able to use the snow blower on the majority of the driveway.

That's the birdbath a few hours ago. My husband thinks it about 28"-29" right now. BTW, it's still snowing. All those crazy weather maps showed us right in the middle of the bulls eye all week, and they were right.

To the left: looking out the front door yesterday morning at 10:30, when it started to snow.

Below: the view this morning at about 10:00. Bear in mind that I shoveled that walk last night at 9:30 when the snow was about 5" deep.

Here's one of my enthusiastic helpers.

I'm very thankful for many things today including electricity, good snow boots, and a snow blower.

After I have some butternut squash soup, chocolate babka, and make some gumbo, I guess all that's left to do is try snow dyeing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

FFAC Tote Tuesday

I'm delighted to be taking part in FFAC Tote Tuesday.

I've donated two half yard pieces of hand dyed fabric to the tote being put together by Vicki Anderson of Machine Quilting Unlimited. Here are some photos of the fabric

These last two photos show the range of colors on the width of the fabrics.

There will be lots of other machine quilting related goodies in this tote, including a one year subscription to Machine Quilting Unlimited!

What is Tote Tuesday?
ToteTuesday, a Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser for the American Cancer
Society, will open Tuesday, February 2 and continue through March.

ToteTuesday will feature themed totes filled with unique, beautiful, and
inspiring items from the worlds of art quilting, fiber arts, knitting,
beading, mixed media and surface design.

You can expect totes offering original artwork, autographed books, hand-dyed
fabrics, gorgeous yarns, beads, handmade journals, fun and useful
materials/tools for mixed-media and surface design, online classes, DVDs,
and much, much more.

A list of the more than 20 themed totes now in progress is here:


100% of the proceeds will be donated directly to the American Cancer Society
through Fiberart For A Cause. Fiberart For A Cause has already donated over
$190,000 to the ACS:


Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 2 and be prepared to be