Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another fish quilt...

Here's a little fish quilt I made this weekend for a challenge..

It is trapezoid shaped. The top is about 18", the bottom is about 16" and it is 11" tall.

I had fun doing the machine embroidery on the fish, and my "seaweed"  is yarn with sequins and some "hairy" yarn. I also fused down some seaweed, with  the tops not attached.

The fish bubbles are sequins, and his eye is a copper rivet with a black bead attached.

It was a lot of fun...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Selvages, Anyone?

When I decided to make a selvage quilt for an upcoming show, I looked online at other selvage quilts, and virtually all of them were very traditional squares, like Log Cabin and other squares with parallel strips.

Of course the reason for that is obvious.

But I wanted to do something different, and try to force the strips into curves.

After I made the first striped bass with curved stripes, I decided that on the second one, the stripes could go the other way.

Eventually, there will be a lot more detail and quilting on the background and on the fish. There may even be  another fish.

But, since the deadline isn't until July 30, I decided to put this away for a while, and work on things with closer deadlines... 

So sometime later, I will show how this ends up, before I ship it off...

Once I finish this, I don't think I will need to make another selvage quilt.

 One more thing off my list!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome to Spring!

It is so comforting to know that Spring is here, buds are beginning to appear on trees, the jonquils and crocuses are up, and there is HOPE for better weather!

Instead of posting a predictable flower, I thought I'd show a beautiful skein of yarn I just got in the mail.

It is "blossom", a hand-dyed rayon yarn from the Great Adirondack Yarn Company. Although Great Adirondack Yarn is available locally, the yarns with the holographic hoops (called "Holo Hoops") are only available online.  They are from a company called "Ewe Need Yarn." Another good online yarn shop is Webster's.

I  also thought I would post this iris I made about a year ago from a photo of a Siberian iris in Bob's yard. 

It is one of my favorites, because of the hand-dyed greens in the background, and because it was one of my first quilts done from a photograph. It also has hundreds of beads on it, and an enameled dragonfly that I rescued from a lamp finial.

Anyway,  Best Wishes for Spring

Friday, March 19, 2010


It's been almost a year since I posted my first blog.

And what a year!

When I first  started blogging, I felt that I had to post every day, and I have now graduated to a more realistic pace. The one thing that I do feel strongly about is that I try to post at least one photo with my writing. I think it may make it more interesting  for someone visiting my site.

It has been a productive year, with several "major" pieces that have tested my abilities, and stretched my reach. I have practiced and become somewhat better at machine quilting and thread painting. However, sometimes my brain and my hands still are not working together.

I started working more with silk, and I find that a wonderful medium for pictorial quilts. 

I have enjoyed participating in my Monday night "Art Quilters" group, and I have learned a lot, and have enjoyed sharing. I have had quilts in several shows, and get a thrill seeing my work on the wall of an art gallery.

I start this next year with many plans and ideas.
I have enjoyed blogging, and hope that a few people have enjoyed seeing my work. I have been fortunate to travel, and with my camera, I have generated ideas for new quilts. I have been to several very inspiring art shows and galleries here and in other cities. 

As I get ready for the first day of spring, I am more than happy to leave winter behind and try to make my next year a creative and productive one...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Visiting my "adopted" quilts

Yesterday, I visited a friend to show her my latest project. 

She has four of my Oriental bargellos, and had hung them since the last time I was out there to visit.

Her home is very striking and dramatic, with a definite Oriental feel. Her bathroom and kitchen walls are made from small stone bricks, which are beautiful in themselves.

She hung this red black and white quilt on the bricks in the bathroom, and it really looked stunning. When I walked in, it really got my attention. She has other art in the room,  red black and white prints. 

She has two quilts hanging in her living room. This one was made for her, and I was really pleased with how it looked. We chose the colors together, and it is really effective in her room.  What fun to have it hanging with a zebra skin!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Is It Selvage or Selvedge? *

Two or three years ago, I started saving selvages instead of throwing them away. Just kept them in a plastic box, with no real plans for them.

Then, recently, I learned about a challenge for a selvage quilt, at a delightful fabric store in Burnsville, NC.  The shop is called "Needle Me This", in case you want to find out more about the challenge and the shows. 

There is a quilt show in early August in Burnsville and nearby Asheville, NC. The only problem with that is that it is the same weekend as the big annual festival in Berea, KY. So I hope to somehow get to both.

I thought this was a perfect opportunity to take the selvages I had cut, and try to make a little quilt for the challenge. I have, over the years, seen two or three very striking selvage quilts, but I had no idea just how many hundreds had been made. When I looked on line to see what had been done, there were literally hundreds, and many of them are very good.

The blue batik piece is just my background piece to attach the selvages to. I thought if there are some spots peeking through, they will complement the blues of the water.

No surprise that selvage quilts tend to be linear, and you see lots of log cabin squares, and other variations of strip piecing. But I also saw some wonderful garments, lots of purses and bags, many toys, and other applications.

A few months ago, I saw a picture online of a really stunning selvage quilt of a heron or crane. I wish I could find that picture again, but so far, I can't locate it. Can't remember the man's name who created it, either.

In any case, I am starting my quilt today, and have sorted my selvages into colors. Fortunately, I have lots of blues, because I will start with water, and go from there. 

When I first started cutting selvages, I just cut the white part, and didn't leave any of the print part on it. But yesterday, when I was looking at selvage blogs (Yes, there are blogs about selvages, and even a book on selvage quilts,) I read that the conventional wisdom is to cut 1.5 inches. That looks a little wide to me, so when I went through my stash yesterday, and cut a few more pieces to work  with, I just cut a little wider than the white part, just to keep some color.

 * I have always spelled it "selvedge", but  I learned that "selvage" is the American spelling, and "selvedge" is the British spelling.

So stay tuned, to see how mine turns out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New fabric...

No matter how much fabric we have, when you see a new fabric line, it can be irresistable.

I haven't posted much lately, but I have been working on some silk pieces, and will post some photos soon. They are all still unfinished, but getting closer to being finished.

These fabrics are from the "Jungle Fever" line by Free Spirit. I plan to make some small bags using two fabrics fused together, back-to-back.

They are from a delightful fabric shop that opened recently in Middletown, called "Sew Vintage."

The fabric isn't vintage, but the shop has some very charming displays of antique objects among the wonderful selections of fabric. One distinction of the shop is that they offer real linen, in just a few basic colors.

They will have a booth at the Quilter's Day Out this Saturday, if you want to check them out.

Forget Me Knot, which is my neighborhood fabric store, and my favorite in Louisville, will also be there, so stop by and say "hello."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More travel photos

Until I am ready to post some photos of my recent work, I will show a few more of my favorite photos from our trip South.

Bob captured the glow of early morning in this picture on the beach. The dunes are beautiful, and the blue of the water completes the effect.

The area where we were is a fishing and shrimping area, and I loved the blues and greens of the nets on these boats.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ain't nature great?

If anyone is still out there, I'm back!

I was fortunate to escape the terrible weather in Louisville in February,  and landed in a somewhat warmer spot in Florida. Even though the weather was kinda chilly there, too, I have no complaints.

We were in an area with a lot of wildlife conservation, and of course I had my camera to capture some photos for possible quilt ideas. This ibis is definitely a quilt waiting to happen, with his striking coral beak and legs.

A friend has asked me to make a quilt picturing a blue heron, so this little guy was nice enough to pose for me.

The water  was so clear at these springs we visited. The texture of the underwater grasses made a wonderful photo.

This cormorant drying his wings made another striking photo.

No, this is NOT a quilt waiting to happen! We saw dozens of alligators, because it was a sunny day, and they came on shore to warm up.

One high point for me was a road trip to a gallery in Quincy, Florida. They were having a faculty show which included a number of quilts by Valerie Goodwin. I really admire her work, and was thrilled to see it in person. As many things do, her work looked very different in person than it does in photos. Textiles are a real challenge to capture in photos.

If you want to look at her work, here is her website: