Clearing the Wall

Happiness is not a matter of intensity
but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.
Thomas Merton


My design wall reminds me of the ocean waves on the sand – it fills and then empties. Towards the end of this week, a rather chaotic wall was beginning to reflect closure on some projects and beginnings on others – a good place to be in, a nice rhythm.


A good deal of this week was devoted to completing my daughter’s baby quilt. The photo below shows a quilted but not yet bound version. I am happy to report that said quilt is now bound and awaiting use.


My dyeing class continued and I opted for a measured approach to week two. We were supposed to try some deep water bucket dyeing versus the low water immersion technique of the week before. As I studied the material, I realized that the likelihood of my using the deep water technique was minimal and that the dilutive approach to dyeing was not as straight forward in measuring as the additive approach. Since my objective in the class was to understand the dyeing process better and become comfortable with some ‘simple’ processes for dyeing small amounts of cloth, I opted to focus my actual dyeing on continuing with the additive process. I added three additional colors to my experimentation this week.


While all these decisions meant less actual time dyeing, I felt like I was immersing myself in the area that would really benefit me in the long run and allow me to think it through more fully while I had the benefit of an excellent instructor.

While the baby quilt definitely absorbed the most time this past week, my winter scene also moved forward. I added the snow to the trees and completed fusing the lower portion of the piece. The photo below shows the work ready for quilting. I intend to trim both sides for a more rectangular finish but felt that was best done after quilting. My goal for next week is to actually complete the quilting!


My hand stitching continued, primarily in the evenings and I ordered a book of transfer letters that I hope will move me forward with my Eiffel piece. With luck, I will report more on those next week. For now, I will link to Off the Wall Friday and wish everyone fun in their own ventures.

Jan 2016 start

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King

It has been a good week. That’s not to say there haven’t been the usual amount of ups and downs but I love that I am back in my studio!

One project of the week was a curtain for my second grandchild whom we expect to be born in March. I had made her sister’s curtains so I already knew what was involved – and this time I had both the luxury of my daughter being able to pick out the fabric with me and being able to run over to her home to double-check some measurements and techniques as I stitched the curtains up.


This is the week that my online class with Karen Ruanne started. It is so great to be viewing Karen’s videos again. The theme is Patched Pockets with an emphasis on using vintage hankies. As of yesterday, I had a tentative layout for half of my first ‘pocket’ of the class.


And, of course, there is the tsukineko ink experiments that I have been participating in. I have been doing far less than my online pals but I did explore using the inks for my current Paris project. I started optimistically as I was getting feedback that loading a brush with ink and then dipping in gel was a good approach. If you look at my explorations, you can see that my results were certainly mixed. Guess which is when I overloaded ink on the brush! I did find a way that I want to use the inks in the winter scene project I will discuss next, but I have moved on for the current Paris piece to a new idea.


Most of my attention went to my new art quilt based on the winter scene I wrote about last week. As you can see, I am really getting into it (and that feels great!). I have a long way to go…….none of the trees are fused, nor is most of the snow……lots more to add in terms of trees, snow on trees, and accents in the foreground, rocks, etc. But, this piece is growing on me daily.



My mylar ‘pattern’


You have to start somewhere…… first tree experiments



More trees, still experimenting


Sorry about the light reflections from my overhead lighting though I must say I like the effect. In this photo, you can start to get the feel of the forest.

That is where I am leaving things for this week. With a little luck, I will move forward with all of these projects, plus there is this quilt my daughter would like for the new nursery.  🙂

P.S. Linking to Nina Marie’s  Off the Wall Friday blog. Please check out other artists.


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.



13″ x 11″

In Private Collection

Aspen is digitally printed on silk and machine quilted.

I have always loved studying the bark of trees. While on a winter walk in Aspen, Colorado, this aspen tree caught my eye. The grain in the bark was a work of art by itself. I quickly snapped a photo to bring home and adapted it in Photoshop for printing on silk. The colors are the actual colors of the tree and the day.

A Busy Week

messy desk

Just a glimpse of some of my working area this past week. Buried beneath  multiple projects is Journey which is patiently waiting for its turn to be quilted. Quite a bit was accomplished and Journey will soon be an active project again!

art quilt interpretation of Aspen tree trunk


Aspen is my latest art quilt. It is adapted from a photo taken earlier this year on a trip to Aspen, CO. After some interpretive work in Photoshop, it was digitally printed for me on silk by my friend, Julie Brandon, owner of Red Dog Enterprises. It is one of my smaller pieces, 11″x 13.5″, but a definite favorite which brings back many memories of a special trip.

hand stitched pouch

Another project, finally completed, is in a series of pouches that I am making using vintage hankies. This was finished with a heart shaped button. I am particularly pleased with some of the detail work on the back of the pouch, including a tiny pocket.  😀


With these two pieces off my work table, my next objective is the final two pillows for Pillows and Pages, my current class with Karen Ruane which will be finishing up in the next week.

Linking this post with Off the Wall FridayPlease check out what other artists have been up to this week.

Winter Morn

Representational art quilt of winter scene in Vail, Colorado

35″ x 20″

Exhibited in “Branching Out,”  Rochester, NY 2012

Fused appliqué art quilt with machine quilting.

This fiber art work was inspired by a photo taken by my son near Vail, Colorado. 

Detail image – click to view larger:

Winter Morn, detail