Summer Projects

Find out where joy resides,
and give it a voice far beyond singing.
For to miss the joy is to miss all.
Robert Louis Stevenson

SAQA’s 100 Days of Creativity on Facebook, which I mentioned in my last two posts, became a wonderful vehicle for keeping me focused for over 40 days on sewing projects. It was a particularly hectic time in my life but the simple task of doing enough on a piece to post a photo each day to the group with just the right incentive to keep going. And, I discovered by simply putting the proverbial “one step in front of the other” that I could create art in the craziest of times.

I have backed off the SAQA challenge now as travel will take up more of my time and I feel I have learned sufficiently from participating in the challenge. What did I accomplish? Have a look. ūüôā

This is the smaller of the two art quilts that I mentioned in my last blog. I am extremely pleased with how cloth and paper blended to create this scene. I do hope to explore the larger size version but not until fall or perhaps winter when my travel schedule is lighter.

This is the front of a very special cloth pouch that I made for one of my cousins. The “E” is from a hankerchief of her Mom’s that she gave me. Most of the other materials I used in the creating the pouch were also from her Mom.

Pouch inside

To create the inside of the pouch I created a pocket with a smaller hanky and embellished it with lace trim of her Mom’s. I added three mini pockets created out of unused corners of the hanky that formed the main pocket.

Back of pouch

My third project was a mini-cushion that I might use as a pin cushion or else a place to lay my glasses. It was done for sheer fun which suggests just how successful my summer of creativity has been. From paper piecing to french knots to prairie points to art quilts with paper and stitch, I have been following my heart all summer. ūüôā

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall blog so you can follow other artists as well.¬†

Sacred Threads 2017

Spirituality is meant to take us beyond our tribal identity
into a domain of awareness that is more universal.
Deepak Chopra

Tomorrow is opening day for the Sacred Threads Exhibition in Herndon, VA. I consider this exhibit to be one of the most meaningful quilt exhibits in this country. On display are quilts that people have made expressing their life’s journey in themes of Joy, Inspiration, Spirituality, Healing, Grief and Peace. I have to confess that I have an intuitive belief that quilts that we make because they speak to us about our life are among our most powerful quilts. Walking through the Sacred Threads Exhibit, it is clear that when one quilts from a deep felt feeling, others are touched by the message.

I am honored to be part of the exhibit again this year with this entry:


After the Storm

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 quilt.

As part of any entry for Sacred Threads, the artist is asked to explain why they created the quilt and what theme from the exhibition it represents. Here is part of my entry explanation:

This quilt was inspired by a photo I took on the Hana Coast in Maui after a long overcast day of rain. The broken branches reaching out and seeming to pierce the skyline represent emotions of angst and pain, reflecting grief I have felt in my life as friends and family have passed on. While grief dominates the scene, over in the upper right corner, the sky is beginning to clear, reminding that life goes on.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Sacred Threads Exhibit, I assure you that it will move you. You can find out more about the exhibit at this link. I am also listing some basic information below:

Dates of the Exhibit: July 7, 2017 – July 23, 2017

Location:Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171, (703) 793-0026,

Hours for the exhibit: Mondays РSaturdays: 11am Р5pm, Sundays: 1pm Р4pm

Ground Zero Reborn

I spent much of my studio time in the early months of 2017 working on a new art quilt that I have titled Ground Zero Reborn. The idea for the piece came directly from a visit that I made to the Ground Zero site in Manhattan in early November 2016.

The financial district of Manhattan has always been important in my life as my parents met while working on Wall St. and my father worked for an investment firm for his entire career. After 9/11, I visited the Ground Zero site whenever I was near New York City. I remember peering through plywood walls in the early weeks, years later standing in line for hours to gain admittance to the reflecting ponds and finally on this last visit walking down into the Memorial museum.

In the weeks after my November visit, I realized that something had definitely shifted for me. I had gained some perspective and perhaps some reassurance that whatever was thrown at us as a country, healing was possible with time. I have no doubt that my feelings of hopefulness were due in part to the choice of white marble for the interior of the massive Occulus transportation hub which lies on part of the Ground Zero site¬†as well as¬†it’s¬†amazing roof design that reminded me of a bird taking flight into the future.

Photo of the Occulus building taken in November 2016 from the memorial ponds.

My new art quilt, Ground Zero Reborn, reflects my perspective now, in 2017, on the Ground Zero site and the journey of the site since that fateful day. It does this through three separate but joined art quilts.

The lowest quilt in the grouping, Remember, speaks to the horrible carnage and destruction of that fateful day when the towers came down. It is essential in my world view that we never forget horrific world events caused by mankind and that we learn from them so hopefully they will never be repeated.

The middle quilt in the sequence, Respect, honors the nearly 3000 victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 and 2/26/1993 as well as all those who risked their lives to help save others. It underscores the important place of respectfulness in modern society. It is my fervent hope that in paying homage to those who lost their lives, we will be inspired to commit to living our own lives at a higher level as we have the privilege of life.

The top quilt in the group, Rebirth, acknowledges the steps forward that Manhattan has taken to rebuild and revitalize its damaged community and population. I see in the image the spirits of those lost on the site soaring to the heavens. The piece truly embodies my hope that we will learn from the past and work towards a future without violence.

The three art quilts that are Ground Zero Reborn were created using multiple fiber techniques as appropriate to each quilt. Much of the stitching was done by hand with care and loving thoughts for those that lost their lives on the site.

Exhibiting with a Good Friend

I was honored to receive word a week ago that my art quilt, After the Storm, has been accepted into the 2017 Sacred Threads exhibit.

I have always loved the Sacred Threads exhibit. It is held bi-annually in Herndon, VA. The website for the exhibit describes its purpose as “a positive influence on the human spirit, giving joy as well as addressing concerns of the soul and mind.” ¬†In my journey as an art quilter, I immediately flagged the exhibit as one that I would love to be part of. I have been fortunate to have been previously accepted into the 2013 and 2015 exhibits. My 2015 contribution,¬†JOY!, has been part of the Sacred Threads traveling exhibit.

After the Storm depicts a scene on the Hana coastline of Maui in Hawaii. It had been a day of torrential rains. We had been on a day long tour of the coastline and had pulled over near a viewing point. The remnants of some branches that had blown against some rocks caught my eye. The sun was just beginning to break through the clouds.

I entered After The Storm into the exhibition under the category of grief. For me, the broken branches reaching out and seeming to pierce the skyline represented emotions of angst and pain that I have felt in my life as friends and family have passed on. The sky, beginning to clear, served as a reminder that life goes on.

The 2017 exhibition will be July 7-23 at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon. If you are in the area this summer, it is an exhibit definitely worth seeing. In the meantime, I am linking to Nina Marie Sayre’s Off the Wall Friday blog so you can see what other artists have been up to this week.

Where did the week go?

‚ÄúHow did it get so late so soon?‚ÄĚ
Dr. Seuss

It seems the last time I looked at the calendar, it was Monday. Where did this week go? All of a sudden, it is September! Fortunately I try to keep a photo journal of my days so I can look back and confirm that I have been involved in¬†some productive activities.¬† ūüėČ

Along the way, I made an executive decision that I personally was dissatisfied with the quality of my finished quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders. The bindings must be machine stitched to guarantee they will stand up to wear and tear that one might envision in refugee camps, etc. And, my skills at machine stitched bindings have never been great. Rather than abandoning an organization that I truly want to support, I inquired more about doing simply quilt tops. For now, this seems a better path for me. So, I created my first top this past week.


For several weeks, I also have been considering ideas for a quilt challenge that had drawn my attention. The challenge, entitled Dream On, is sponsored by Stretching Art and Tradition. If you would like to learn more about the group and their history, please check out their website. Dream On is their 18th year of challenges!

Of course, the first step was to decide on a theme for my piece. The description of the challenge suggests:

For Stretching Art and Tradition 18, Dream Big! Dream house, dream job, dream body, dream quilt – if dreams were reality, what dream would you have come true?¬† This year, complete a quilt 18″ wide by 36″ long using any technique you choose to represent your dream.

After meditating a bit on the words ‘dream on’, the persistent image that kept repeating in my mind was my daughter’s classic¬†response when someone asks her what she wants:¬†“World Peace”. ūüôā ¬†And so, I chose ‘Peace’ as my theme as since way back¬†in the 60’s, peace has been a theme and value that has always resonated in my life.

Over my trip to Seattle, I contemplated how to create an art quilt on ‘peace’ in the size constraints of the challenge. About the same time, I was reminded both by a DNA test that I participated in and a note from a new-to-my-knowledge distant cousin that my heritage is strongly Irish. Coincidentally,¬†a ring that I had purchased years ago with an inscription in the ‘old¬†Irish’ language of Ogham resurfaced. Ogham is written with a series of lines running down a central line. It can run horizonally or vertically. With that knowledge, it was a natural jump to the gaelic word for peace,¬†s√≠och√°in, and its depiction in Ogham along a vertical line.

And so, this week I began to draft out the beginnings of my challenge piece. The design is far from complete but a base plan  is hanging on my design wall Рin paper and in cloth Рfor inspiration as I make further design decisions.


Am I as far as I thought I would be with the design process at this point? Definitely not! Life does have a way of intervening. But, at least I have started!

Linking to NinaMarie’s Off the Wall Friday.

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.




Full house!

I wrote a post about a month ago called “Clearing the Wall.”¬†Well,¬†this week I ran¬†out of room on that cleared¬†wall as I played with new projects. ūüôā

While I sketched and perused photos for another art quilt, I looked through all the fabric that I moved out here from New York. Many of the pieces were purchased for I thought I saw the potential for either an art or bed quilt. One possible project revolved around a center piece I picked up at one of the Rochester guild sales..and some border fabric I then purchased to accompany it. Last week I pinned both on my wall and then looked through my stash for other complementary fabrics. It became quite an exploration!


After a bit of measuring, drafting a design, and weeding through fabrics, I was closer to a workable project.


It also was becoming clearer to me that the borders on the center piece were going to have to exit. The blue lines simply did not coordinate well enough with my turquoise fabrics or the turquoise line in the outer border. A little cropping of my jpg gave me a better idea of the workability of my idea.


With borders trimmed, I started piecing to create a new border around the centerpiece. Those mitered¬†corners turned out to be much than easier than anticipated. I pieced all the turquoise strips¬†into a 8 1/2″ wide strip and then attached that to the center. I found that tracing a 45 degree angle on the wrong side of one border and then matching the adjoining border to that line¬†created clean corners.


And, so this quilt occupies space on my wall. Another area currently has some fabrics laid out as I make a decision on the color way I want for my next art quilt. My ‘Wildlife’ quilt kept nudging other projects to make room as I patiently waited for my choice of fabric for its back to arrive. It did and the quilt sandwich is now assembled and awaiting quilting.

But, quilting projects are now on hold. I have been quietly hand stitching away in the background these past weeks. ¬†As I finished up one small project, I got an idea for a new ‘pocket’ or pouch. I started on it last night and spent any free time today stitching on it. Perhaps by next week’s post, I will have it ready to share it and the other pieces I have been making!

Linking, as always, to NinaMarie’s Off the Wall Friday blog.


Go With the Flow

Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free.
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
Chuang Tzu

For the past 29 years, I have practiced the art of Aikido and it has deeply influenced my art and my life. This coming weekend I am again with my aikido pals for what promises to be a sweltering four days of practice. As my life unfolds around me these days, I am grateful for the basic tenets that aikido has drummed into my being in the past three decades:

Stay calm
Be willing to change
Nurture life
Trust your intuition


Typical Aikido ‘Camp’ gathering


Blending with ‘attacker’ to redirect their energy


We learn as much being thrown, as we do throwing. And, it is all great fun.

Naturally I have drawn upon my aikido practice in my art works over the years:

Two figure portrayal of dance of energy in Aikido

Dance of Energy – 2010


Kokyu Nage

Kokyu Nage – 2010

The concepts underly much of my art as the principles are universal in application. One of my favorite ‘flow’ pieces is in my “Ice World” series:

Ice Flow

Ice Flow – 2012

Sacred Threads is Opening!

Sacred_Threads-ExhibitExhibit Dates: July 10 РJuly 26, 2015

Monday – Saturday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171

I am truly pleased that my work, JOY!, will be part of the exhibit. If you are anywhere in the area, please try to stop in.

More information on the exhibit and special events surrounding the exhibit can be found here.


“Joy!” by Judy Warner

One Step At A Time

You don‚Äôt have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.‚ÄĚ
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have always been a firm believer in the ‘one step at a time’ approach to living. I remember walking to the top of Croagh Patrick in Ireland meditating on the thought of just putting one foot in front of the other. As I was searching for a quote for this week’s blog, I came across these words from Martin Luther King, Jr. They seemed appropriate at one level as once again my country is reeling from an onslaught of violence, this time against a community who lived the philosophy of Rev. King to the fullest. From a different, totally light hearted perspective, the quote resonated literally with¬†the process of building a home that¬†is currently monopolizing my time.

While my adventures in house construction continued this week, I received some positive news on the fiber arts front. The 6×6 exhibit that I wrote about in early June sent me a note that my contribution has already been purchased! I am pleased that with almost 6000 pieces, mine has¬†already been selected by someone. My name has been already revealed to the purchaser so I can share the piece with you here. (People buy the art works without knowing who created them.)


There are still many more wonderful pieces available for purchase online on¬†Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s website. I encourage everyone to go check them out and consider contributing to a great cause.

While most of my time in the past week has been spent on¬†house construction, I did find a few minutes to work on my latest pouch. I brought two along on this trip, perhaps optimistically thinking that I would be able to complete both. While that won’t be the case, stitching on this piece did help remind me¬†of my fiber artist identity.¬† ūüôā


Linking, as always, to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday blog.

Joy About Joy!

In 2014 I made a trip to Aspen, Colorado with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. It was¬†my granddaughter’s¬†first trip to real snow¬†and 2014 was a banner year for snow in Colorado.¬†While her parents skied, I got to play with granddaughter. One of the photos that I took during that trip became the basis for¬†one of my favorite art quilts, “JOY!”. ¬†After applying some filters for special effects in Photoshop, the image was digitally printed on cotton for me by Red Dog Enterprises. I then used appliqu√©, hand stitching, and machine quilting to complete my project.


“JOY!” has been creating quite a bit of joy for me recently. It was included in the Spring 2015 issue of the SAQA Journal. A few weeks ago I was notified that “JOY!” had been juried into the upcoming Sacred Threads exhibit in the Washington, DC area in July. Finally, this ¬†week I learned that “JOY!” has also been selected to be part of the Sacred Threads Traveling Exhibit.

Needless to say, I feel as joyful as my granddaughter pictured in the art quilt. I hope that you will have the opportunity to see “JOY!” during its travels over the next two years.

Creating Cheer and A Decision

Keep your face to the sunshine
And you cannot see a shadow.

Helen Keller

I¬†had put together the makings from some smaller projects to take on a trip that didn’t happen. So, I decided to follow through with some of them at home. One result is this cheerful little pin pillow.


I chose the yellow tones to brighten up my days as I stitched. Perhaps Mother Nature took the hint as there was a lovely display of sunshine on my living room floor as I photographed this!

I got the idea for the little cushion from Karen Ruane, my online stitching instructor and friend. She calls them pin pillows and they do work quite well as what we in American would call pin cushions. However, I have also found them to perfect for other purposes. One of mine is now a pillow for a certain stuffed animal that sleeps in my granddaughter’s home. I am using another as a resting spot for my eyeglasses which I unfortunately need to reach for first thing in the morning to find my way through a day.

Speaking of Karen, she is offering a new class in April which deals with what she calls ledgers. It is about creating paper journals of ideas for projects, patterns, stitch combinations that you might like to explore. A unique idea for those of us who like to just plunge in and start cutting and sewing! As always, the material is presented through a series of videos where the student is ‘a fly on the wall’ while Karen stitches and chats. I find it a very effective learning method for me. If you want to learn more, you can visit Karen’s website.

And a decision!

I was overjoyed with the response to my query last week on To Crop or Not To Crop. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspectives with me. When we create a piece, I can¬†get so tied into the process¬†and critiquing it that I fail to see the finished project. That sounds funny but it is true. I look at what I have created and I see the areas where my stitching wasn’t quite up to par. One of the fun results of asking for opinions was hearing what each of you saw in my piece.

I waited a few days and considered all the different viewpoints. Then I stepped back and made a decision. Here is the final piece.


It wasn’t easy to decide. But, in the end, I decided to go with the version that best caught what attracted me to taking the original photo – the flow of the water around the two rocks.

Of course, now I have to come up with a title! Any thoughts on that are very welcome! ¬†ūüôā

Linking to Off the Wall, Friday with Nina Marie Sayre so please check out what other artists have been doing.

To Crop or Not to Crop

While searching for something in my many stashes of ‘stuff’, I came across some UFO’s from the past that I had totally forgotten. I put a few aside in the hopes of finding time to work on them. So, this week some time opened up and I seized the moment.

One project that I worked on was part of a series on an icy river in Colorado that I had photographed and played with in Photoshop. Last January I wrote about another in the series that I had finally framed and was really pleased with the result.

Aspen Stream

Now as I  decide how I wish to finish this piece in the series, I am playing with two different options. The first crops and mats the art quilt. Here it is with some white mat that I had available but a darker color would be another possibility.


The second option is uncropped. It could also be matted.

uncropHard call, isn’t it? I would love to hear your opinions!

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday blog.

The Date is Approaching – The 100 Fundraiser

Are you ready?

On February 4 you will have the chance to receive one of 100 very special art art works that have been donated to raise $10,000 for the American Cancer Society. It will take just $100 and a speedy internet connection.  If you are one of the first 100 to email Virginia Spiegel on Feb. 4, you will receive an art work in the mail. To learn more, just click here.


My donation art piece is completed and ready to ship to its new owner. Will you be the lucky one to receive it in the mail? I hope so!


Extend Ki

Seeing Anew

The real voyage of discovery consists,
not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

It is a new year and so many use the change in calendar year to start afresh. A few deep breaths and visualizing a positive journey in 2015 can energize and motivate. As I played in my cleaned-up studio this past week, I experienced a rush of good energy and even excitement. A few weeks earlier, I was unsure of a next project. Now, my plate was tantalizingly full. Awesome!

I was reminded of Proust’s quote on seeing with new eyes with respect to one of my UFO’s (unfinished projects). Two years ago, I took some photos of a stream in Colorado, played with images in Photoshop, and had the¬†results¬†printed on cloth. One particular version¬†just sort of hung around the studio. I had plans to mat it…but just never got to it. It didn’t excite me enough to go farther…

Well, you guessed it. This past week that changed. I finally ¬†framed it. I have been glancing at it all week and becoming more and more pleased with it. It is now handing in my office till it finds a new home…..another goal of this coming year — marketing my work more actively.

Aspen Stream

May you all see with new eyes, breathe in good energy, and have a great year!


Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

A Sneak Peek!


I am pleased to be an invited artist for “The 100” fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that Virginia Spiegel has created. On February 4, 2015, you will have the opportunity to vie for being one of the 100 patrons who will receive an artwork from the contributing artists.

Here is a partial peek at the art quilt that I am contributing:


Extend Ki

Extend Ki

The piece is entitled Extend Ki. It measures 13.5″ x 14″.¬†The phrase Extend Ki¬†comes from my background in the martial art of aikido and my many years of work with author, Thomas Crum.¬†Ki is a Japanese word that best translates as¬†energy. The many brightly colored shapes emanating from a solid block express the concept of reaching out into the world from our centered base of self.

To learn more about how you might be the lucky person to receive this art quilt, or one of the other 99 pieces being offered in this fundraiser, please go to ‘The 100″ website for details.


Linking to Off the Wall Friday.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

The past few weeks I have been sharing my progression on a small pictorial quilt  from my travels in Ireland in September. It is now complete and I am free to sit back and just enjoy it.  However, the process of creating it was not always that enjoyable.

I mentioned my frustrations last week (and thanks to all who wrote and offered me some perspective and suggestions). As I continued working, I recognized the roller coaster of emotions that I experienced as all too familiar. My internal critic is only too happy to point out the weaknesses in my work. To an extent that is an asset as it allows me to make adjustments along the way. But, there comes a point where that internal critic is non-productive. Listening to it¬†can create blockages to continuing work on the piece if one gives up from disappointment. It also can drown out another voice – for me it is the magical moment when the art piece ‘speaks’ and begins to direct me in its completion. ¬†So, how to know when to stop listening?

Recently I finished a¬†book by Dan Harris,¬†10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works.¬† While I have mixed feelings about the book, one of the points he makes in his¬†writing relates to just that question¬†–¬†when to stop listening and shut off that voice? The¬†answer: Ask yourself the question,¬†Is this Useful?

Fortunately, I reached the point in creating my Irish piece where I asked myself just that question. It didn’t actually stop that critical voice but I simply observed it and actually smiled a bit at its points. In self-help jargon, you might say that as I embraced the critic, it lost its power over me. ¬† I simply kept¬†stitching. And, as I continued to build the pictorial as I had planned, I liked it more and more. It actually became fun to¬†embellish it. I like to think that a¬†positive mind¬†overwhelmed the negative and made the whole experience joyful. It certainly added to the value of¬†the project!


Ready for framing!


As always, I will link to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

Enjoying the Twiddly

How precious are these moments — breathe, cherish, be.


This week was a true gift! My calendar was clear of appointments. My time was my own to spend as I chose. This doesn’t happen very often in my life.¬† ūüėČ

Perhaps you can guess what I did? A good deal of time was in my studio/office; another big segment was outdoors enjoying the fall colors while they last. This week was a time to reflect and plan future projects as well as work on current ones. Last week I began a small memento of my trip to Louisburgh, Ireland Рan art quilt of buildings on one of the two main streets in the village. This week I moved right along. Windows and gutters started appearing.

Louisburgh, County Mayo


As the week progressed, I began to fill in the scene more.

Louisburgh #3The more I worked, the more dissatisfied I became – isn’t that always the way! The angles on the green building were just not right……and the scene still was very ‘flat’. As I added more pieces to the scene, I also began to play with my Inktense pencils and adjust¬†some of the elements in the scene.

By week’s end, the ¬†piece was showing improvement¬†though¬†I am still tweaking and adding¬†elements¬†including some lettering which awaits the arrival of a ¬†red Inktense pencil. However,¬†I think you can see progress here:

Louisburgh, County Mayo

While I cut the pieces of fabric for the windows and doors, I reflected on a comment often made by my stitching instructor, Karen Ruanne. She is always remarking that she enjoys the twiddly. ¬†Wikipedia defines twiddly as “anything that is relatively small and trifling or elaborately decorative.” Karen revels in¬†embellishing her pieces with intricate detail. She says it relaxes her. As I cut and fused those tiny window panes I realized that I too enjoy the twiddly. While I often use simple shapes to define objects, I will then¬†add tiny¬†details to complete a scene.

What about you? How do you feel about the twiddly? Are you impatient to be done with it or do you enjoy the process?


As usual, linking to Off the Wall Friday so you can check in with other artists.

As the World Turns

Nothing is worth more than this day.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life has been spinning a bit more than usual the past few weeks. After a half month out west, I am now back in upstate New York. While out west, we purchased some land and began moving forward on a second home near our daughter and her family. Here is a quick peak at our new acquisition:


My husband, Jerry, is standing by the start of the pine forest.

Since I have been back home, I have started up some new work. My current project is a small art quilt that will serve as a memory of my trip to Louisburgh, Ireland. I thought it might be fun to show the progress.

Pink house - 1

Not very exciting but you have to start somewhere! This will eventually be a pink house along one of the two main streets in Louisburgh. During the week, it did grow a bit.¬† ūüôā

Pink House #2

Perhaps this begins to make some more sense? You can see that I am building the quilt on a piece of muslin. I have made it quite large as I have dreams of creating an unusual border – we will see how that materializes as the quilt grows.

Pink House #3

In this photo¬†I have started to add in some forms for trees. I am building from the back forward. It doesn’t look very straight as I am adding allowances to each of the sides and not being very exact on that process. ¬†My next step will be to add roofs, gutters, windows, doors and trim. Hope to be able to share those next week.

The rest of my creative time this past week has been devoted to my work for Simply Stitch 5 with Karen Ruanne.  I have decided to take all those handkerchiefs that I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago and create a quilt. That will be a long term project for me with lots of hand-stitching! I just added a few doilies I collected over the years in travel to another handkerchief.


Life in the coming year promises to be full. I suspect I will be constantly reminding myself to take one day at a time and most definitely to stay present and appreciate the day I am in!

Linking to Off the Wall Friday, so please check out what other artists are writing about this week as well.

New Directions ’14

New directions '14 Exhibit

I am pleased to have one of my art works included in the¬†New Directions ’14 exhibit opening tomorrow at the Bartlett Art Center in Poughkeepsie NY.



I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit.

New Direction '14 exhibit infoLinking to Off the Wall Friday.

SAQA Benefit Auction is coming!

SAQA-Auction2014The SAQA Benefit Auction will start on Monday, September 15 at 2 pm EST. I hope that you will choose to participate!¬†This exciting reverse auction of¬†small art works donated by members raises money to support SAQA’s exhibition, education, and outreach programs.

Details on the bidding process and advance viewing of pieces up for bid can be found on the SAQA website.

I am pleased to have a piece in the first group of works going up for bid. The art quilt is entitled Memories. In creating Memories, I used a selection of broderie anglaise cotton fabrics which I embellished with hand stitching and then machine quilted.

Warner Auction quilt

Memories by Judy Warner



Detail of stitching


Have fun viewing and bidding! It is a wonderful selection.