Gathering Inspiration

One of the highlights of the past week was attending the Contemporary Quiltart Symposium  in Tacoma, WA. I was able to hear Sandra Sider, Cathy Izzo, and Kris Sazaki each speak about the future of art quilts and the role that each quilt artist can play in furthering both the marketing of their works and the general acceptance of art quilts within the art world. In addition, we were all able to tour the CQA Cutting Edge Art Quilts exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. I am sorry that I have no photos to share but none were allowed in the exhibit. All I can say is that the quilts were most impressive in terms of artistry and diversity. They will be on display until August 21 if you happen to be in the area.

The time spent driving over the the western side of Washington for the conference also allowed me to stop in at my favorite quilt store, Undercover Quilts, to see what new fabric Linda Hitchcock in carrying. She never disappoints and I brought home some yardage which I quickly put to use.

I mentioned a photo of the Irish Coast in my post last week. It was taken by Kerstin Hellmann of Irish Coast Photography. Kirstin graciously has allowed me to use the perspective of one of her photos of the Irish coast for my next art quilt. She captured the scene at sunset – I shall be creating a scene for a different time of day, but using the rock formations in her photo as a base.

Kerstin Hellmann – Irish Coast Photography

I have just started playing with some ideas for the art quilt but, as you can see in this photo from my design wall, I am exploring how I might use some yardage that I just bought at Undercover Quilts.


I will be on the road for the next week so you will have to wait a bit to see how I decided to handle the sea, but you can be sure I will be contemplating it while I am away!


One Step at a Time

Creativity is just connecting things.
When you ask creative people how they did something,

they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.
It seemed obvious to them after a while.
That’s because they were able to connect experiences
they’ve had and synthesize new things.
Steve Jobs

In my quiet moments, I often smile in wonder at how the various parts of my life come together. When I worked with Tom Crum for many years, we called it ‘following your center’. Creativity comes from following your center, just trusting it will all make sense in the long run. We decided to look for a second home out west, now we have one two minutes from our grandchildren including a newborn. We had no way of knowing when we made the initial decision this would be the outcome. We just sort of trusted and how great is this outcome!


In my studio this week, various projects are coming together:

The assorted threads and fabrics are beginning to create a new pouch with the overwhelming feel of homespun cloth as the base – a piece of vintage linen found at an antique mall in upstate NY.


On the art quilt front, the seascape of last week now has been pieced and fused.  Next steps are to play with shading, stitching/quilting.


And, then there was that piece of cloth that I picked up at Undercover Quilts with the intention of using in a quilt for Quilts Beyond Borders. It has found a complementary partner in my stash and is currently being cut and pieced , and I hope to have another quilt to send on to Quilts Beyond Borders in the coming weeks.


Hope that your creativity is flowing as well. Linking as usual to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday, so you can see what others are doing.

New projects emerge

Patience, patience, patience!

Our new granddaughter reminds me constantly of the need for patience………not having had a newborn for over 30 years, I have forgotten how helplessly we enter this world. Even though we develop at an amazing pace, the first few weeks are just a matter of trial and error and everyone trying to figure life out. (The cynic in me immediately wants to add that the process of ‘figuring life out’ continues for the rest of our years!)

As Miriam learns what it means to be alive, I spent much of the past week enjoying her presence and recording it for pleasant memories.


Happily, while Miriam was developing, spring also emerged enough that it was possible to begin to plant our front yard. I now can sit on a bench by our front door and watch our plantings also grow.


Back in the studio, the theme of patience was ever present. Obviously, Miriam has cut into studio time. However, two of the three projects I hoped to begin on have begun to emerge.

This collection of thread, hankies, and cloth will become my next ‘pocket’ as I finish up my “Patched Pockets” class with Karen Ruane. Since April brings some travel with it, this pouch will be my ‘stitch as you go’ project.


Finally, I have made inroads into my next art quilt. Some fabric from my favorite Seattle fabric store, Undercover Quilts, and some of my own hand dyed fabric created a backdrop for a sea scape I have been wanting to create. At the moment,  possibile rock candidates are pinned to the background. I have a template for an amazing piece of driftwood that will eventually rise to the sky from those rocks……next week will focus on exploring fibers for that wood.


I am sure as this quilt evolves, Miriam will remind me to be patient. Whenever I begin an art quilt, I am my worst critic. That backdrop hung in pieces for many days while I contemplated and critiqued. When I began to add the rocks, I was dubious, but I persisted. I have learned that I need to move forward and then step back and let it set. If I have the patience to listen, the art quilt will tell me what works and doesn’t.

 Hope that you have all had a good week. If you have time, stop over and visit NinaMarie’s Off the Wall Friday blog and feast on some inspiration.

What is it?


What is it? Why it is absolutely the neatest sliding door pull that I have ever seen. Perfect for my slightly arthritic hands and destined for the sliding door of the closet in my new studio.

It also helps to tell the story of the past week that has, quite frankly, been a week of non-sewing. Unfortunately, that is what happens at times when one is building a house. Door pulls, towel bars, and so much more filled my days. Happily, the date for completion of our home keeps moving up and the end is only about 4 months away!

After a few days well spent on home construction and landscaping plans, I ventured over to Seattle with husband where we were privy to this most beautiful sunset from our hotel window.


I also had a bit of free time…which, of course, meant a visit to my absolutely favorite quilt store, Undercover Quilts. I picked up this beautiful piece of cotton that I know will inspire me when, finally, I can sit down at my machine and quilt again. I am so looking forward to that time returning!


In the meantime, I am linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday so you can check out what other artists are working on.

Lace Edging Bonanza

I stopped in to my favorite Bernina store, BobbinCaseon Thursday to share some of my work with owner, Linda, and awesome helper, Ann. As we chatted, Linda mentioned that she had some lace edgings that had been hanging round the store for ages. She had just taken some home to use in a quilt, but still had a few at the store. My curiosity was peaked.

Out came the edgings and they were beautiful. 

Have a peak!

grouping of lace edgings

I simply loved the detail in them. 

close up of lace edging

I, of course, took some home with me and immediately began playing with incorporating into one of my projects. I haven’t decided yet to use it but doesn’t it off set the teal fabric nicely?

edging contrasting with tealThe teal fabric is called Plaster of Paris and is designed by Stephanie Brandenburg for Frond Design Studios. I had picked it up last fall on a visit to one of my favorite fabric stores, Undercover Quilts, in Seattle, WA.

Obviously, I had a great weekend playing with these beautiful fibers!