Archives for May 2016

The Magic of Rain

No one ever melted from the rain.
Stuart Mace

Many years ago, I took a workshop near Ashcroft, Colorado that was lead by Stuart Mace. We were to hike in the ancient forest and as we arrived, the skies opened and the rain fell. We were an eclectic group, quite a few from eastern cities not used to hiking in the rain. Stuart smiled and offered the above words of wisdom as we set off on what proved to be a most magical hike.  They have stayed with me ever since.

This was a relatively rainy week here in Spokane. I have learned to embrace these days – the more rain now, the better for us during fire season. I did venture out, despite the moisture. Here are a few photos of the rich images that lay await in our forest.




Much of fiber related time this week was spent in more behind the scenes work. My website is now updated and I have sent in a few show entries. None of this would have been possible without the help of Barbara Chase of Fine Art Photography who captured images of my new works. You might say that my latest, Celtic Coast, fit well with our weather this week.


Inspired by the west coast of Ireland, I leave you with a traditional gaelic blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Linking, as I often do, to Nina Marie Sayre’s Off the Wall blog.

Celtic Coast


24″ x 12″

Hand dyed and commercial cottons, pieced and fused appliqué, free motion quilting

Kerstin Hellmann of Irish Coast Photography captures many scenes on of the west coast of Ireland. Her imagery and my personal wanderings on the coast near Louisburgh, County Mayo, inspired me to create this sea scape.

Detail image – Click to view larger


After the Storm


29″ x 21″
Exhibited at 2016 Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival, La Conner, WA

Hand dyed and commercial cotton. Pieced and fused appliqué with free motion quilting.

One very rainy March, we ventured down the east coast of Maui towards Hana. On one beach there was an enormous tree branch that had broken free and landed against some shore line rocks. I captured the scene in a photo which served as an  inspiration for this art quilt.

Detail Image – Click to view larger


First Snow


14″ x 20″

Fused appliqué with free motion quilting.

Snow came early in Spokane in 2015. The pristine nature of snow among pines along with the deer who share our property with us created the scene for one of my first art quilts created in our new home.

Detail Image – Click to View Larger


Ghost Trees


23″ x 14″
Exhibited in Taiwan International Quilt Exhibit 2016, Taiwan

Hand dyed organza background with cotton embellishment. Ghost trees are mulberry paper and roving with hand stitching. Art quilt is machine quilted.

Our planet is losing a fundamental necessity for life – trees – through deforestation. Over half of our earth’s mature tropical forests have been destroyed in the last 60 years. Ghost Trees depicts the ghosts of those trees wandering the vast areas where they once stood, lamenting the demise of our planet if this trend is not reversed.

Detail image – click to view larger


It’s All About Heart

The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched –
they must be felt with the heart
Helen Keller


There was a moment when I thought, perhaps, I should just skip posting this week. My actual stitching time was limited by a lovely visit by two cousins  and loads of time with my new granddaughter. I am not complaining as it was just wonderful to have family visiting and to be able to share in the life of my daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren. However, tangible output on the art side of my life was lean, but as I perused my photos of the past week. it dawned on me that there was a theme that merged my art with my life  – the heart!

As I stitched away for Karen Ruanne’s new Stitching a Story class, the heart has emerged as a key element in my play.  On a page in a mini-book that I am creating to insert into my copy of The Little Prince I added the key quote I am focusing upon in the book.


I also played with some simple doodling on the back pages of the book.


And, of course, as in any class of Karen’s, there is always embroidery on cloth. I did not have much time for actual stitching but you can guess what I did choose to work on.


There were other activities surrounding my art during the week….I finished Solitude and will share a photo next week as I have a date with my new photographer on Monday. A fair amount of time was spent on unexciting tasks like creating labels and sleeves for completed projects. Those aren’t worthy of documenting on a blog but are necessary if we want our works exhibited. I was reminded of that as I was delighted to receive a photo of my  art quilt, Ghost Trees, which is on display in Taiwan.


My week ended with a delightful celebration as our 10 week old granddaughter demonstrated her latest development – the ability to clasp a rattle – a true moment of the heart!


Linking as always to Off the Wall Friday – please check out other artists.




Exploring Skies

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My current interest in a series of art quilts on seas and coastlines has created an opportunity to play a bit with skies.

I have been dyeing cloth to create different moods of skies. If you remember, my last art quilt ,which I have decided to call After the Storm, used some cloth I dyed in Elizabeth Barton’s class earlier this year to portray that sky.


                                                    After the Storm

For this latest dyeing adventure, I worked from the formula I used in Elizabeth’s class. For one piece, I overdyed a blue with a black (upper piece) and then reversed the process to overdye black with blue (lower piece).


My next step will be to play with ‘cooling down’ the blue by adding a touch of green.

While I was working through that dyeing process, I also continued to assemble the pieces for the art quilt that I mentioned in this blog back in April, based on Kerstin Hellman’s photo of  the Irish coastline. What I have  decided is to create two separate art quilts from Kerstin’s photo as the sky and most distant rock formation in my ‘draft’ totally captivated my attention.


Initial work

Version 2

Focus of first of two art quilts

This week’s project then was to develop that first piece. Using another piece of fabric from Elizabeth’s class for that sky, part of my process this week was to sample quilting for the sky. I created a mini-landscape to test out quilting for the rocks, sea, and sky.


I wasn’t satisfied with the quilting technique for the sky in the mini.  So I tried an echo technique similar to what I used in After the Storm to highlight the branches against that sky.


Using that approach to highlight the ‘storm clouds’ in the sky felt much better in the sample so it is what I used for my actual piece which is now in process.


I think you will agree that the echo quilting was the way to go!

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday so please check out what other artists have been up to this week.




The Little Prince

Anything that is important
is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I remember going through my Aunt’s bookcase as a little girl and finding a copy of The Little Prince. It was once of the few books in the case that I could read and I poured over it whenever we visited my Aunt and Grandmother. I can still see the book in my mind’s eye to this day.

A few weeks ago, Karen Ruane announced her next stitching class would be called “Stitching a Story.” I enrolled and we were all asked to find a book that we would use as a base for developing stitches and markings for journals and could be the basis for some stitching on cloth. I, of course, thought of The Little Prince.

I was able to find a copy at Barnes & Noble with modern illustrations.


I must admit that I have never been involved with a project like this class. I am hoping that I will be able to keep up with the much more experienced members of the group. The fact that the book itself holds treasured memories and has always resonated with me will certainly help.

Our first suggested tasks (Karen never requires you do anything you are not comfortable with) were to create a color chart and select some accompanying threads. This was relatively simple for me as I loved the colors in the book and already had many of them in my thread ‘stash.”


And then we were to start stitching! It was suggested we start ‘small’. I thought that sounded just fine!


My granddaughter came over and was extremely interested in the fact that I was stitching in a book. Plus she immediately wanted the book read to her. That encouraged me so I am now working on another page.


More instructional videos arrived from Karen today……can’t wait to see where the next week takes me!

Linking once again to Off the Wall Friday.