Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cleaning Cable Clutter

I have a drawer near my computer, stuffed with cables and extension cords and it is always a tangled mess. Every wire except my ipod is black, so it is impossible to quickly distinguish between various recharges for my cameras, or their corresponding USB cables. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Too much frustration led me to finally organize this mess.

I decided to make a colorful, easy to recognize, stuff sack for each ...appliance (for lack of a better word). Anything unworthy of a stuff sack would be tossed (or donated to the technology Goodwill Center). So, here is my collection:
One yellow stuff bag with numbers for my cell phone recharger
One turquoise bag with an abstract camera image and the word "Nikon" for my recharger and USB cable for the Nikon camera.
One red and pink bag for my monitor calibration system (eye-one).
One turquoise bag with an abstract ipod image for my ipod recharger.
One pink and orange flower bag for Pinkie (my little Fuji camera) for the recharger and different sized USB connecting cable.

Most are stuff sacks with a drawstring, lined, and quite fun and easy to make. One has a zipper (because I wanted to try it). All are easily recognizable, and roomy enough to hold the contents. And, as an added bonus, when I am ready to travel, it will be so easy to grab exactly which stuff sacks to pack, and while I am gone, easy to find them in my suitcase! I am super happy with the results. It was a bit time intensive, as is all organization projects. However, being unorganized is also time consuming.

The following are before cleanup, after cleanup, and the recycle pile.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Little Art

This is a little piece batiked and dye painted by my 8 year old daughter. She was so pleased with it that she took it to school to show her friends!! Then we decided to cut it into squares. Her job is to rearrange the squares. You can see her hard at work deciding what to do. She did several arrangements. We snapped photos, then she picked one, and off to work I went sewing them together. You can then see the final product. I had sew much fun!

Next, to select borders, some quilting, and possibly a pillow....

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fabric Design

Since I started obsessively stamping found objects in wax and dyeing fabric, I have been wanting to design fabric. Many of my designs have been used in my art quilts. It is with great JOY that I announce.....(drum roll, please)..... I am working with Clothworks to produce my new fabric line based on my quilt Building UP. It will be available in stores sometime next summer. I have named the collection, Urban Landscapes, though I am not sure if that is the name with which it will be marketed. It is full of bold graphics and bright colors...Really? YES!!!!

This is one of the supporting cast of characters, 9 dot block.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Quilt Purchase!

That's what my email said. It was from Kathleen Dawson of the Dairy Barn. Apparently, someone has spoken for my quilt Little Fish in a Big City. I am so delighted, and thrilled, happy dancing on cloud 9 with a cherry on top!! This is fantastic news! I have enjoyed many successes with my art, yet this one offers a whole new level of validation for me. The act of making art is now a necessary part of my life. It brings me such joy to know that it has affected others, that they may have benefited in some way by seeing it. And, that it has affected someone enough that they want to buy it? Well, in a word... fabulous!

Please stop back by next week, I have more news to share, but wanted to save the post just for Little Fish.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Demonstrating Art Quilting Techniques
at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

This last Sunday, I was at the Texas State History Museum with a few friends demonstrating art quilting techniques. But really, we mostly did surface design. This lovely poster greeted our visitors as they entered the foyer. I was delighted! It had a full view of my quilt, Building UP on it, the color is fabulous!! AND, after the demonstrations were over, I got to keep this lovely sign!

Then a bit closer to our classrooms, more signs telling what we are doing. Sherri McCauley is posing with me next to our sign. She showed visitors how to make stamps and use fabric paint on fabric. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of Connie Hudson. She was demonstrating painting on fabric too, in a different style.

We also strolled by the museum store on our way in. They have a number of my quilts for sale. These three are hanging from the ceiling and look fantastic. They are, Winter to Spring, A Few of My Favorite Things, and Synchronized Swimming.

Here are a few of my smaller quilts in the Little House Series. Two of these have sold already! Awesome!!

A proud new owner of my Little House quilt. Not sure who is happier!

Here I am, in the classroom, demonstrating deconstructed screen printing. I had a blast playing with this technique, and even more fun trying to explain it to my visitors. The next shot is a photo of a screen I did earlier in the week. The print paste has a bit of dye added to it, then it is globbed onto the screen to dry. Next you 'pull' through the screen some fresh print paste with a dye of a contrasting color and it slowly dissolves and prints the design you had put on previously. Each run dissolves more and more making the image slowly fade away. It's really fun, and you get some rather interesting results.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Come See Me!
at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
November 22, 1-3 pm.

In conjunction with the opening of A Legacy of Quilts, the Joyce Gross Collection, I will be demonstrating art quilting techniques along with a few of my friends. I will also have my recent first place winning quilt, Building UP, on display while I am there. And, if you miss me, stop by the Gift Shop. A number of my quilts will be for sale there!! Hooray!

Kathy York: deconstructed screen printing
Connie Hudson: fabric painting
Frances Holliday Alford: machine quilting
Sherri Lipman McCauley: fabric painting, abstract constructions

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On the Quilt Scene
Houston 2009

A total surprise to me, but my quilt, Winter to Spring, is in the new magazine by Pokey and her crew at Interweave, International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene! Here I am at the Quilting Arts booth holding up a copy of the cover and another copy turned to page 67 with my quilt. Proudly, my mom is taking the photo of me!! I didn't get what this magazine was about until I opened the cover and peaked inside. It is packed with eye candy of beautiful prize winning quilts and wonderful interesting projects and stories. Rather expensive at $15/copy, I thought it was worth every penny!
What follows, is a few random snapshots of my experience of the Quilt Scene. It is a fun and overwhelming experience and impossible to capture the entire essence.

Here I am standing in front of my first place winning quilt, Building UP. My daughter was with me and snapped the photo for me. She was beaming with excitement.
Next, I found Judy Perez and we walked around a bit. Here she is in front of her prize winning quilt, Moon Garden. It garnered an Honorable Mention, and it is even more wonderful in person than in the photo, and it looks pretty darn good in the photo. Kudos to you, Judy!

Ah, then off to search for my favorite singing fusers, Laura Wasilowski, and Frieda Anderson. In my eyes, their booth wins most colorful, and therefore, most beautiful! And their cheerful and friendly personalities welcome visitors in with gusto!
Next, hanging out with old friends and on the prowl for dinner. Here we are, Nina Perez and Rachel Parris, Frances Holliday Alford, myself and Julie Upshaw, and Vickie Hallmark. I am posing with one of Vickie's new fabulous jewelry locket pendant with a wonderful little bird. Her design work always appeals to me!

Next is a series of photos because I am fascinated with taking pictures of people taking pictures. It's like a mathematical iteration. First up, Pokey Bolton. Bet you didn't know that she likes to jump on the bed to take her photos! Next, Misty fuse Iris Karp. Gone are the days of looking through the view finder. Last, we have Jamie Fingal. I am not exactly sure why she is bending over so far, but she is shooting a table full of people with spoons on their noses. I get to that later!

I may have failed to mention by this time on Saturday night, I had a horrible cold. I was using every medication known to man trying to feel better. It is understandable then, even at a crowded table why Iris would want to sit so far away. I didn't take it personally. :)

Next, I don't know how this started or why, but it really doesn't matter. What I do know is that it was fun and funny and contagious. We were all balancing spoons on our noses, though I didn't get photos of get the general idea. Maybe it had something to do with being in the Wine Room? No, wait, I think they call it the Glass Room?

Here's a picture of Jamie when she is not taking pictures or balancing a spoon on her nose! She is really quite lovely!

Next, just some more photos around the table at dinner that night. Sadly, I did not get photos of everyone. I think I missed Leslie Jenison and Susie Monday. I blame it on my cold. Included are Judy Perez, myself with Rachel again, and Melly Mells Testa, Frances Holliday Alford

Last, it has been quite a long time since my children were in Houston with me. This year I was graced by the presence of my daughter on Friday, and both children on Sunday. We played in the park and swam in the pool on the top floor of the Hilton, actually, they swam, I watched, sniffling from a bench. That part didn't go the way I expected, but they seemed to have a good time!

This is the first year that I have been in Houston that I did not take photos of the quilt exhibits. Sorry that I don't have that to share with you. I didn't get to see most of the exhibits until Sunday, and by then I was really tired, and also sick. I am humbled and inspired by the beauty in these wonderful quilts! I tried to drink in the experience of being with the quilts, and I let go of trying to capture their images. And though it is the quilts draw us together, I find that reconnecting with friends at the show is the most meaningful for me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Commission Quilts Completed!
These past several months I have been busy working on these two commission quilts. It has been an interesting project and one that I have felt honored to be included in. These quilts were made in memory of Walter S. Piskun, M.D., an amazing and gifted man from all accounts. He was a Colonel in the army, a neurosurgeon, an avid golfer, and a loving a husband and father to 6 children. I made these quilts for 2 of his children, from his shirts. They are lap quilts 50" x 74" designed with help from my client. It has been a long time since I have worked with traditional patterns, but I really loved the project. It was like returning to my roots, and had the added benefit of being rich with meaning and comfort. I hope they are well loved and well used in their new homes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Yahoo!! My quilt, Building UP, won First Place in the Small Abstract Art Quilt category. I am thrilled beyond belief. It is a happy happy time!
And, Falling through the Cracks won Third Place in the Embellished category. Life is Good!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big Seven in Houston

The big seven at the Houston International Quilt Show used to be the people who won the big prizes, I mean the REALLY big prizes, like between $10,000 and $5,000 in cash awards. I think there are eight prizes like that now. But for me, the big seven this year refers to seven of my quilts that will be at the show in Houston. I have never had this many showing at one venue, so it's a big deal for me. On top of which, two of them are winners! But, they won't announce the prizes until tonight, and so I wait, in eager anticipation........
Opening tomorrow night are:
Building UP: Quilts, A World of Beauty, small Abstract category
Falling Through the Cracks: Quilts, A World of Beauty, Embellished category
Group Conversations: Quilts, A World of Beauty, Group category
A Few of My Favorite Things: Edges (curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison)
Duck and Cover: SAQA, A Sense of Humor
Red Legged Bird with a Tale to Tell: Tactile Architecture
Winter to Spring: IQA's Celebrate Spring

(Lucky number 8, is my Tote bag at Quilting Arts booth # 1244)