Monday, December 27, 2021

POPPY

Covid spoiler again......so as it turned out, I had more time on my hands than expected this past week.  Here's my very last art quilt of 2021.

Poppy - 13" x 13"
Machine thread sketched & hand embroidered
on cotton fabric.  Wrapped on a canvas covered frame 
and secured in a black wood frame without glass. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

BIG AS LIFE COOKIE

 I authored my first book in 1980......and it wasn't quilt related!  "I'll Eat Anything If I Make It Myself" (pbh publishing) is a children's cookbook!!

A friend shared her excitement of her grandson's upcoming Christmas visit and their gingerbread mansion project.  It reminded me of one I did annually for our son's elementary school class.  

Enjoy, feel free to copy.  I now own the publishing rights to this book so it's my small gift to you my faithful readers!  Merry Christmas!!!!


  







Sunday, December 19, 2021

ECHINACEA

I'm guessing this will be the last new work of 2021, perhaps with a nod to the flowers blooming in 2022.

A gal can really get hooked on chicken scratch embroidery!  Some might call it boring, but even though it's super time consuming, I find it relaxing. 

ECHINACEA - 13" x 13"
SOLD
Machine thread sketched & hand embroidered
on cotton fabric.  Wrapped on a canvas covered frame 
and secured in a black wood frame.  


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

LUNCH TIME

 I enjoyed the 8+ hrs. of handwork spent on my previous framed art quilt piece, so I made another one. Usually my work isn't very similar, but when ideas expand.....you must go with it!  

"LUNCH TIME" - 13" x 13" 

Cottons, thread sketched, hand embroidered, painted.


Monday, December 6, 2021

NATURE'S BIRD FEEDER

 Just completed.....


NATURE'S BIRD FEEDER - 13" x 13"
SOLD
Hand painted cotton, appliquéd, machine embroidered, 
and heavily hand stitched on background fabric.
Wrapped on a canvas covered frame & secured in a black wood frame.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

WORKING WITH MASKS

 My pal and super talented fiber artist, Denny Webster introduced me to the technique of using masks when adding motifs to fiber.  She excels at layering images!


The hardest part was cutting the freezer paper, oh ya and then finding the right consistency of acyrlic paint. In person it's more transparent than it appears here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS ON MY MIND

The mountain views we enjoy here in Western NC never get old.  Recapturing them in fabric never gets old either. 
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS ON MY MIND - 13" x 13"
New work now available
Hand dyed cottons, Ultra-suede, hand stitched. 
Wrapped on a canvas covered frame & secured in a black wood frame.

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

FABRIC TOO PRECIOUS NOT TO USE!!

The day Doreen Speckmann called and invited me to join her on her famous Caribbean cruises I felt like Ricky Nelson had invited me to the prom.  Okay....that dates me right??

We made a great team and eventually with Doreen's blessing, the tour company offered me a hosting position on additional trips.
Little did I know that this June, 1999 Alaska cruise would be our last together.  Doreen passed away Sept. 18, 1999, in Ireland while I was leading a cruise/tour to the Greek Isles. 

DOREEN....no last name was ever needed for her huge fan base.
 My project for that trip was a small hand quilted art quilt for  students to learn hand quilting skills. Doreen's signature characters, "Peaky and Spike" are featured in a place on honor at the top of the totem pole.
 
DETAIL

This wonderful cotton fabric from Indonesia was the backing.  For years now I've treasured this little quilt, both for the design on the front and the fun backing which was given to me by my beloved MIL.  I simply could not discard it!!  Instead it was up-cycled.  The shape of the hand quilted design on the front didn't translate to the many, many ideas I dreamed up.....so the quilt was turned over and became book covers.


Those great memories with Doreen and all the participants who became friends worldwide will be with me forever even if the fabric isn't.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

BREAK TIME

 I've always loved handwork, but recently shied away from it in an effort to create work that can be more affordably priced.  But the pull is still there and I gave in.  With the exception of machine work on the fence posts, this piece is stitched entirely by hand.

                              BREAK TIME - 13" x 13"
Available in my online gallery shop
Hand-dyed cottons, Ultra-suede, hand applique,
hand embroidery.  Wrapped on canvas covered frame
and secured in a black wood frame. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

STUDIO VS KITCHEN

 I expect like many of you, my studio will be abandoned for the kitchen the next couple of days......hoping to sneak in a little time to complete my current small art quilt.......



Thursday, November 18, 2021

OH THOSE GINKGO LEAVES

 Ginkgo leaves are such a design attraction.  My long time Wisconsin friends, Jan and her daughter Sandy sent me a pile of leaves to play with. I suspect my failed attempt to print with them was because they were end of season leaves.....and whatever 'good stuff' in their DNA that allows them to print was already diminished.

So I played with preserving them for use on notecards.  Mod Podge was painted on the leaves (two separate coats).  Once dried with the aid of a mounting spray, they were attached to notecards.  The jury is still out whether or not they will be stable.....but it was a fun exercise.

I realize glycerin is often used as the preserving agent, but I didn't have any.....enough said!





Friday, November 12, 2021

I GOTTA WONDER

 Hummmm......perhaps all the cutting, piecing, appliquéing, dyeing fabrics, mono printing, etc. I've been spending nearly a lifetime doing is not necessary at all!?!?

This Jack Bush, a Canadian artist's work which was owned for years by singer Andy Williams will be featured in an upcoming auction.  Expecting to sell at between $350,000-$550,000.

Mark Rothko's minimalists painting 'No. 7', estimated to be worth $70-$90 million will be featured at a Sotheby's upcoming auction.




Tuesday, November 9, 2021

SHADES OF BLUE

Indigo wax block prints were often printed in England for the South African market.  I find the very graphic and often very busy prints to be challenging, yet rewarding to work with.

After much pondering, I decided to work with large blocks, arranging them with an off set placement.  My camera refused to take a good photo....I think it simply didn't know where to focus there's so much action here.

SHADES OF BLUE  - 50.5" x 50.5"

Vintage Jasco Premier wax block print on cotton. Printed in England for the South African market.  Machine pieced & quilted.  Fabric hanging sleeve attached. 


Detail - this closeup gives you a better indication of the colors.....DARK indigo and shades of lighter blue which continue to photograph as black and white.....sigh


Sunday, November 7, 2021

PIN BASTING

 Pin basting....oh yuck...first you spend all that time pinning, then repositioning them as you quilt. Ya, I know some can figure out where the best placement for the pins are in the first place.....but I pin A LOT to assure there is no movement of the layers so that's a futile exercise for me.

Marking lines with painters tape helps me maintain a straight stitched line, however it sure does add a lot of extra work. Okay....I'm done complaining.  

Now onward...and oh ya GO PACK GO....especially today!!



Wednesday, November 3, 2021

JASCO WAX BLOCK PRINT

 Oh boy, do I have my work cut out.......what on earth to do with this African wax cotton block print by Jasco Premier??  

This isn't much of a start is it??  As always, stay tuned, I'm pretty determined!

Monday, November 1, 2021

BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUME EVER!!

 I rarely post family news or photos, but this is way too good to not do so.  Our son had such a Wow, Wow Halloween costume this year.  Wonder how many of you are familiar with it??



Sunday, October 31, 2021

SWEET DREAMS

 I've been hoarding some small pieces of this rare vintage indigo fabric by Kashmeri.  And......finally decided it shouldn't be hidden away in my stash any longer.  It was printed in England, mainly for the South African market.  Both the right and wrong sides are featured.

SWEET DREAMS - 13" X 13"
AVAILABLE
Genuine Vintage Rare Kashmeri Indigo cotton print. Made in England.
Wool felt, pieced & appliqued. Wrapped on canvas covered frame and secured in white wood frame.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

REACHING PEAK COLOR

 Peak color is perhaps one or two nights away.  Again, a totally unedited photo...snapped on our early morning 'forced march'.  Note the famous "smoke" (left) that gives this area the name, The Smoky Mountains! 

It's the trapped moisture coming out of the forested mountains that provide the appearance of smoke.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

JAPANESE GARDENS

 

JAPANESE GARDENS - 53" X 53"
 View online my gallery shop for availability
Japanese & hand-dyed cottons, machine pieced and quilted.
Prepared for hanging with fabric sleeve attached.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

AS THE SUN COMES OVER THE RIDGE

Our home is located in a mountain valley......shaped sort of like a big oval dutch oven.  Longer than wide, with mountains on all 4 sides.

This photo (without any photo editing) was taken during our morning forced march about 7:45 AM....just as the sun's light was reflecting on the upper forested mountain range to the West.  

The contrast with lights and darks will be a good color study for me as I continue to create small landscape art quilts.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

THE EXCITEMENT OF......

 .......the day you begin a new quilt and the day the quilt is finished is the best part of the quilt making process.  In between can be frustrating, exhilarating, satisfying, puzzling, mentally exhausting, or times when a happy dance is required.

And I have begun......so far, so good.....



Saturday, October 23, 2021

FALL COLORS NOW SHOWING OFF

 Early this morning during our daily 'forced march', we were rewarded with views of our mountain fall colors.  Yes.....stunning!


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

MAPLE LEAF - 3 SEASONS

This was my inspiration.....just a simple fall leaf found fluttering about on the ground.  It got me to thinking about how this one simple leaf had transformed from summer green, to fall yellow, and then to the dull  browns of winter.

                           MAPLE LEAF - 3 SEASONS - 18" X 15.5"

Artist's hand & ice-dyed cottons, appliqued, hand and machine embroidered.

 

 




Monday, October 18, 2021

A GOOD FRIEND TO THE RESCUE!

After whimpering to my internet pal Kathy Schmidt, about my continued efforts to make my maple leaf project work.....we entered into a discussion about possibilities.


The newest dilemma I was yammering about was misjudging how much lime green embroidery floss was required for background embroidery on the green section. As you can see, I was short just a little bit.  
Because I live in nowhere land, my only hope to purchase more was Walmart.  You can guess how that would go.  So I started digging in my hand dyed flosses to find some sections of lime green that I could use.  Desperate, I know!  She offered several suggestions such as throwing in an unexpected color....but since it was 95% stitched, it wasn't one I thought would work without removing some I had already sewn.

Then she came up with a totally BRILLIANT idea......check my sewing threads for the right color, double the strand to stitch the remaining area.  WOW, IT WORKED!!!!  

Many, many thanks to Kathy.....check out her blog.......this gal can create quality, well designed art faster than I can blink my eyes.   





Sunday, October 17, 2021

PERHAPS NOT WORTH SAVING

SIGHING..... I've already spent a stupid amount of time on this piece.....obviously it's not finished.....hoping I can salvage it. 

Frankly, I'm a bit embarrassed to share it.  However, my years of teaching confirmed my instinct......it's encouraging for others to know that everyone has design struggles from time to time. 


Saturday, October 16, 2021

OCTOBER PTA MEETING

It was such a lovely fall day....perfect for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway where the Southern Highland Folk Center is located.  Our Professional Textile Artists group met there for our Oct. meeting.  

Show and Tell began the day.....

Barbara made this fantastic crazy Hole In The Barn Door quilt (also known as Shoofly quilt block).  We all loved the use of scraps that with Barbara's skill.....came together in this happy quilt which is a gift for a friend.
Barbara was reunited with this incredible whole cloth cotton trapunto quilt that she had hand quilted.  I can't recall the details of how it came back to her.....but marvel that it did.
Judy shared an incredible stack of silk noil eco printed fabrics done with her heat press.  She's a very detailed person and loves experimenting with different methods, materials, while documenting the results. We can't wait to see how she transforms the pieces into small art quilts.

This piece is especially interesting.....the botton piece it's a stand alone print on silk noil. It's seen here covered with a stunning printed sheer fabric. They happen to marry during the showing of the pile of Judy's fabrics and will certainly become one unit very soon.

Detail of pieced and applique quilt below.

Connie Brown is a great ambassador for the Folk Art Center.  As a certified appraiser, she often demonstrates at various special events the Southern Highland Guild offers.  This quilt top was a dondation via the Asheville Quilt Guild's quilt collection day for folks in need.  She got permission for our group to use a large room at the Center so we could baste the quilt.  In the future it will be set up in the entrance, where visitors will be encouraged to put some quilting stitches in it.  Such a great introduction to the world of quilts!


Cathie brought the couch throw quilt she made during our recent 13th annual PTA 3 day retreat.  Some (like Cathie) actually do a great deal of sewing!
Connie has been growing/marketing indigo plants and uses their leaves to dye/print fabric.  These are handkerchiefs that she creates for sale.
This is a quilt Connie previously offered to visitors to try their hand at hand quilting.  As luck would have it, Judy brought her granddaughter that day to the Folk Art Center.  


Where Connie patiently guided her with a quilting needle and thread to add stitches to the quilt.  This lucky little girl is now featured (along with others) on this year's Heritage Weekend poster.