Wednesday, August 25, 2021


10" x 7"

(The black part is the background, and not a part of the quilt.)

I really love this little pelican.  It is a reminder from my childhood on the beach when they were so extremely precious.  There were so few of them.  DDT pesticide had made their egg shells so fragile, that they would break before hatching, thus the numbers were declining.  Fortunately, some protections were put in place, and instead of another extinction story, we have a come back story! Now, when I go to the beach, I see multiple flocks of pelicans, flying over the dunes, and then over the waves, diving in for a little lunch.  It warms my heart to see them doing so well!  

I made this little quilt for SAQA's Trunk Show.  The Trunk Show is made up of these little quilts that are divided into a number of different traveling exhibits.  The goal is to show a lot of different styles of art quilts made by the members.  They keep the quilts for 3 years, and at the end, the quilts go on sale.  Sweeeet!

I have been experimenting with screen printing for another quilt I am working on.

After pouring on the black fabric paint, and pulling it through the screen, it looks like this:

I would say that it was an easy way to put my drawing on fabric, but it turned out to be much more complicated than I anticipated.  Next time I will have more realistic expectations.  Suffice to say, I eventually got there, and was quite happy with the results.  

After printing, I was curious about adding color.  So I got out some markers and colored it in.  It reminded me of my early days of coloring in coloring books.  I am still excessively fond of flat 2D images, with the drawn line look. I also like the way the markers kind of bled together to create a watercolor effect!  Very cool! Then I heat set the piece with my iron.

All that was left was to add the quilting.  I used matchstick quilting with 10 different thread colors. For such a small piece, it went relatively quickly.  Then I faced it and added a label to the back.  I have already shipped it off to SAQA.  It was fun to finish a little project so quickly!   

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Prayer Flag for Pokey

Pokey got Married!!

All my best to Pokey and Patrick on their recent wedding last weekend!  Pokey Bolton has been a long time champion of my work.  She is a delight in person and has an incredible talent for art and business.  I remember when she first bought her property in Napa Valley with an amazing idea to build an art barn and host events for fun and learning about art quilting.  I knew that if she dreamed it, she would find a way to do it! And she did!  Craft Napa, an annual art quilt retreat, has been successfully going for years now!  And, she has found the perfect partner to share her life with! I am so happy for you Pokey!!

Meanwhile, without her knowledge, a call went out to make prayer flags to string together for her wedding.  I was happy to make this one for her!

That little hummer represents joy.  That is my wish for you Pokey, that you have many happy years filled with Love and Joy!

Here is a close up of the back, with a little hand stitching:

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

SAQA, opportunities for exhibiting my work

Studio Art Quilt Associates

I have entered multiple SAQA exhibits only to have my work rejected multiple times and by multiple people (the jurors). For this reason, I am super delighted to have a piece finally juried into the new collection additions on their website. This quilt is also two-sided and will be in my solo exhibit of two-sided quilts, Both Sides Now, in Houston at the International Quilt Festival this fall!

One Earth  47" x 47"

Having an opportunity to exhibit my work is the main reason I joined SAQA and still remains the most motivating factor in my decision to remain a member. The numerous rejections do not stop me from trying.  You can't win if you don't enter! 

I consider my frequent entry fees a "donation" to the operating costs of the organization.  These costs are fairly hefty and SAQA depends on a number of income streams to pay for all their programs and infrastructure.  One of the most popular sources is the annual auction of  12" x 12" art pieces made by their members.  It is a great way to give back.  It is a small enough piece that it doesn't require too much.  And, your work gets seen by not only SAQA members, but also, other fiber art collectors.  I didn't donate this year, but have done it several times in the past. You can see many of the wonderful quilts, and the details of the auction HERE. The quilts I have included above are just of few of my many favorites!

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Helping out a friend

Helping out a friend.

I was ready to return to my work when I saw a request for help from a friend on Facebook.  I do not have any tight deadlines right now so I decided to volunteer my help.  She is having health problems and was unable to finish this quilt.  And, it had already been sold in a fundraiser many months ago.  I can't help Mary Ann's health, but I can quilt. 

Here is the completed quilt by Mary Ann Vaca-Lambert called Roadside Bluebonnets.  It is about 70" by 47".
I love the blue, it is intense! And the little pops of yellow are wonderful!  I also like that it is a log cabin.  My very first quilt was a log cabin, and I just finished piecing the top of another log cabin.  I think it's my favorite block!

When I received the project, it still needed quite a few things done for completion. The quilting motif was a meandering stippling pattern inside the blue and straight lines on the pale background.  I found this difficult because I don't ever do stippling patterns.  They require a kind of improvisational and yet a bit of planning with your brain that I find really difficult.  I wanted my quilting to look like Mary Ann's, but I am not inside her brain.  I decided to study the pattern and try drawing it on paper a few times to see if I could understand how the pattern flowed.  I did manage to get there eventually.  My pattern is much more symmetrical than Mary Ann's but it kind of looks like hers.  She has a much more intuitive approach.  Here is a photo of that quilting from the back of the quilt.  I definitely had a learning curve!
When the quilting was finished, all the threads needed to be buried inside the quilt.  This took a while, but I find it a relaxing chore.  The next step involves blocking the quilt because it did not lie flat (it rarely does).
This is the part where I move the furniture to make space on the floor.  Then I pull out these big foam floor tiles that piece together like puzzle pieces.  It is perfect for blocking.  I flattened the quilt on the floor, then sprayed some water on it to get it slightly wet.  Very gently, I try to further flatten any parts of the quilt that are being troublesome and quickly pin it to the yellow floor tiles.  Then I turn on the fan, and let it dry completely, usually overnight. 
The next day after unpinning, I trimmed the quilt to remove excess batting and backing.  Then it was ready to bind.  I cut the binding strips, sewing them together, and then sewed them to the front side of the quilt.  The next step is to fold the binding and wrap it around the cut edges of the quilt, and then secure it to the back with hand stitching.  

Most quilters either love or hate putting the binding on.  For me, I find it kind of exciting to get so close to the finish line! And, I would say that I was nearly finished but there is more to do!

The label needs to be made, this one is according to Mary Ann's wishes.  And then sewn to the back of the quilt.  I think it is really important to put labels on quilts, so I include them on all my quilts. 
More still!  One of the last steps is to photograph the quilt.  And, since this quilt fit perfectly on my design wall, I was able to get that done fairly quickly. 

Next is to tape roll all the extra threads off both sides and then it is ready for shipping.  I folded it to fit inside the shipping box with tissue paper in all the folds. And, I always wrap it in plastic to make sure it won't get damaged in water in some unlikely delivery mishap.  Address the label, buy the postage, and drop it off.  I am hoping the new owner will be happy with her quilt.  It was a label of love by both of us.  Here's to you Mary Ann!!