Book Review: Showcase 500 Rings

Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art JewelryShowcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry by Marthe Le Van

This is another book I received from Lark Crafts. Thanks, Lark! This particular book is another gem from the Lark 500 series. I love this series, because it is pure eye candy – no patterns, no basics, just fabulous photos of amazing pieces.

As I have mentioned many times, I am not a jeweler, however, I always love the opportunity to review shapes and motifs in a different format. I think it can inform my quiltmaking.

As the title advertises there are photos of 500 rings. I should say ‘rings’ because some of these pieces are more sculpture than the conventional idea of a wearable ring. I believe that artists in this medium are not making wearable art; they are making sculpture just as quilt artists are not making bed quilts. As I paged through the book, I was immediately struck by different shapes and motifs on the pieces: circles, drops, leaves, shells, confections and many others.

I also noticed the variety of materials. I see felted wool (??), knitted fibers, broderie perse type fabric pieces, paper, photographs, glass, silk, a clothespin, along with the normal metals and stones.

The contents page sports a photo of a ring that looks like a series of cross sections of colored pencils (also on pg.268), which drew me in right away. It is called 11 Ring 4 and is by Maria Cristina Bellucci. There is a piece that is morphing from ring into a glove (pg.80), which I think is an interesting evolution of this medium.

One of my favorites is Links Ring by Uranit Bar-Nes (pg.220). Of course the color (a sea blue) is one of my favorites, but I also like the color’s combination with silver and blue zircons. I also like Garden Pond Ring by Aurelio Castano (pg.216), which is a purely beaded piece with a huge stone in the middle. Another duo was Tangle Rings by Bridget Catchpole (pg.212). They are my aqua (tending towards turquoise), light green and white pieces where the shapes look like something that would be on top of a cake. The circles squished next to each other in Vina Rust’s Ring #1: Stained Cell Series (pg.171) is also a very appealing design.

If you need some inspiration, regardless of your primary medium, this book will provide you with some shapes, motifs and textures that will reinvigorate your artwork.

View all my reviews

Block-a-Long #53: Four Columns with Squares

4 Columns with Squares
4 Columns with Squares

This block is related to last week’s block, #52 as well as Corner Squares in that I am working with squares and tall rectangles. I can really see this one going well with 2.5″ squares in the center. If anyone is interested I will post a pattern for that size (about 8″) as well.

Directions for 4 Columns with Squares are included.

If you have made blocks or a quilt from these patterns, please post a link in the comments section of the relevant block or on the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr group. I would love to see what you have made.

Fabric Papermaking

Last Saturday, CQFAers met at Sue’s house where she tried to teach us the secrets from Stitch Alchemy, a book by Kelli Perkins. The idea is to make fabric paper – a combination of fabric and paper. I hope to use mine for journal pages for journals like the Red Journal.

Rhonda's Raffia
Rhonda's Raffia

I don’t share well, but space was limited and Rhonda (of BAMQG fame – she plays with both teams 😉 )and I ended up next to each other. She is a great tablemate! We shared well and she is extremely creative. I felt like an idea-less boob next to her. She is like me in that we just got down to it. We also had fun.

During the time I thought of texture, because of the podcast I had just recorded with Sandy. I have a lot of schnibbles from pressing fabric so I brought that with me and adhered them to the paper. Sue wasn’t sure if it would work but it was worth a try.

The next step is to paint the fabric. We will do that at the next CQFA meeting.

Fabric of the Year Late April

Late April Pieces
Late April Pieces

The pieces for this project seem to be multiplying by leaps and bounds. It doesn’t seem like I am working with so many fabrics, but I am sewing relatively fast, so, perhaps, I am.

More Late April Pieces
More Late April Pieces

I am trying a new technique for pressing fabric. In between other pressing tasks, I am pressing the fabric I have washed recently. It means a steady stream of cutting and new fabrics to play with. In the second group (left), I was a little dot heavy. 😉

I was also trying to fussy cut bits from the larger floral patterned fabrics. There are also a group of solids for the QuiltCon challenge. I can’t decide whether or not to include a print in that project, so I have started with the solids and we’ll see how it goes.

Book Review: Heat, Color, Set & Fire

Heat, Color, Set & Fire: Surface Effects for Metal JewelryHeat, Color, Set & Fire: Surface Effects for Metal Jewelry by Mary Hettmansperger

This is another free book for review from Lark Crafts. Thanks, Lark! It is a large 8.5″ x 11″ book with gorgeous violet-lavender endpapers. In flipping through the tome, I noticed that earth tones dominate. Every once in a while there is a spark of color, which is used effectivelyl to catch the reader’s interest. I also noticed a lot of spiral motifs in the book.

After the introduction, which mostly sells the book and doesn’t introduce the author much, the book launches right into a section on materials (pg.8-27). This section is well illustrated and I particularly liked the subheading fonts. The section is also LONG and includes photos of items such as Liver of Sulfur, gloves and earplugs, disk cutter & punches, tripod for firing and a bench grinder. Interspersed with these scary looking tools are photos of jewelry, presumably to soften the blow for a new jeweler.  😉 The Basic Techniques section is also quite long (pg.29-51). Each part of the Basic Techniques section gives step by step instructions for creating a new texture or applying a technique and then shows an example of the end result. I am pleased the author and publisher thought it was worthwhile to document and illustrate these foundation sections so thoroughly.

There are 21 projects included, each spanning about 4 pages. Lots of illustrations and drawings are included with each project. Templates are frequently included as well and variations are shown in photos to spark creativity. I like the Colored Tin Collection project, the Mixed Metal Bracelet project, especially the variations, and the Orange Enamel Choker, though I might want to put the pendant on a different chain.

This seems to be a great book for adding texture to your metal projects.

View all my reviews

Creative Prompt #154: Escape

escape paintball

Escape from Alcatraz

By Emily Dickinson

I never hear the word “Escape”
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation –
A flying attitude!
I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars
Only to fail again!

Escape from New York

a computer game

the Great Escape

escape fate

escape the maze


Definition: [ih-skeyp] Show IPAverb, es·caped, es·cap·ing, noun, adjective, verb (used without object). 1. to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty: to escape from jail. 2. to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil. issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid. 4. to slip away; fade: The words escaped from memory. 5. Botany . (of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild. verb (used with object):  7. to slip away from or elude (pursuers, captors, etc.): He escaped the police. 8. to succeed in avoiding (any threatened or possible danger or evil): She escaped capture. 9. to elude (one’s memory, notice, search, etc.). 10. to fail to be noticed or recollected by (a person): Her reply escapes me. 11. (of a sound or utterance) to slip from or be expressed by (a person, one’s lips, etc.) inadvertently.

Ford Escape SUV

Her name escapes me

escape the room

escapism: is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an “escape” from the perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life. It can also be used as a term to define the actions people take to help relieve persisting feelings of depression or general sadness. (Wikipedia)

prison break

Escape”, a song by Journey from the album Escape

to elude

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

to succeed in avoiding



Design Series: Texture

Sandy and I had fun talking about Texture, another element of design, a few days ago. It is so interesting to do the research for these segments as I learn so much. Check out Sandy’s podcast episode 89 on Texture.

Texture is an Element of Design


  • “The way something feels to the touch or the visual patterns on a surface.” (Art+Quilt, pg.88)
  • Texture: actual or simulated tactile quality (from
  • “Texture is the surface and tactile quality of an object.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg.49)

Texture and Pattern are closely related.

Types of texture:

  • amorphous – organic and curvilinear (looks like nature)
  • structural – rigid and geometric (looks architectural, man made)

Some thoughts:

  • Texture is usually appreciated through our sense of touch. (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg.85)
  • Architecture and sculpture employ “actual material that have…tactile texture.” You can also see (museums probably won’t let you feel) texture in some paintings with very thick paint usage, such as Wayne Thiebaud’s work. (Pentak & Lauer, pg.160) Examples: Sculpture in Toronto
  • silky smooth satin, roughness of coarsely woven linen (Art+Quilt, pg.22)
  • bold, subtle (Art+Quilt, pg.88)
  • feathery, sharp (Art+Quilt, pg.88)
  • tactile, actual, imitation (Art+Quilt, pg.88)
  • cotton vs wool (Art+Quilt, pg.23)
  • satin vs velvet
  • “It is important to remember when planning a large quilt that its textural qualities will add visual interest to the design at close range and will have much less impact at a distance.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg.86)

Use of Texture in General

  • “…help define the design and contribute to its success.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 87)
  • “Use of texture to suggest movement.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
    • “…create lines and a sense of movement.”  …spiral quilting lines add swirls and shapes in sky. Long, wavy, diagonal quilting lines can suggest motion and contribute to the idea of flight. (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
    • Size of thread can make part of a quilt stand out as can echo quilting. (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
  • Use of texture to add dimension (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
    • rocks can look rounder (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
    • emphasize cracks (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
    • suggest water in motion by using metallic thread (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)
    • give the impression of depth by overlapping a pattern underneath (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 88)

Use of Texture in Quiltmaking

  • “Piecing in and of itself creates visible edges with shadows on a quilt top. A whole cloth quilt will have a much flatter look than one with seams or applique.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 89)
    • “In order to sculpt the surface of the quilt, I like to in complete control of the seam allowances. When the quilting is done on the background, close to the seam, the patch under which the seam allowances are pressed can be lifted from the surface of the quilt by the extra padding provided by the seam allowance.” (Piecing: Expanding the Basics, pg.6)
  • Perl cotton stitching
  • embroidery
  • quilting, especially many lines close together
  • applique’ (think of the layers sometimes used to build up a design)
    • raw edge applique’ to have the fibers of the fabric add to the design
    • all the different types of applique’ provide different types of dimension and texture to a quilt.
  • ruching (flowers in Baltimore Album quilts)
  • thread painting (have you every felt the texture of the stitching?)
  • the feel of the quilt if you put your thumb on the back and your fingers on the top of the quilt and squeeze
  • couching (listen to Sandy’s podcast interview with Karen Lee Carter)
  • yo-yos
  • trapunto
  • beading (Kissy Fish as example)
  • Cathedral Window quilts
  • prairie points (Example: Autumn by Ludmilla Aristova from (Adventures in Design, pg.68) )
  • buttons (Adventures in Design, pg.65)
  • paint (Adventures in Design, pg.65)
  • embellishment (Adventures in Design, pg.65)
  • Crazy quilts
  • quilting
    • “The  type of quilting used changes the texture of a quilt: a hand-quilted line looks a lot different than a machine-quilted line.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 90)


  • “The essential distinction between texture and pattern seems to be whether the surface arouses our sense of touch or merely provides designs appealing to the eye. In other words, while every texture makes a sort of pattern, not every pattern could be considered a texture.” (Pentak & Lauer, pg. 168)
  • Tactile texture is the way the cloth feels when you touch it, the difference between satin & burlap.” (Art+Quilt, pg.22)
  • Visual texture is the way the cloth looks, from the printed or woven pattern such as subtle brocade to a bright and bold Hawaiian print.” (Art+Quilt, pg.22) ” “A bold visual texture will automatically become a dominant feature when placed with a more subdued prints and solids.” (Art+Quilt, pg.23)
  • Visual texture is “that which can be seen and gives the appearance of a texture where no actual difference in the surface of can be felt. Examples of visual texture are printed fabrics that look like rock or sand, but actually feel smooth and even.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg.85)
  • “Visual texture is implied.”  “There is no actual ” tactile feel to it, instead it has a print on it which makes the surface look as though it has a print on it whcih makes the surface look as though it is textured.” (A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg. 90)
  • Pattern is sometimes thought of as visual texture.
  • Texture “allows subtle changes in the surface design.” (Adventures in Design, pg.65)
  • “Pattern and texture are often used interchangeably because a pattern may give a surface the appearance of texture and because textures have a distinct repeating arrangement that creates a pattern.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 79)
  • “You draw a line, close it to make a shape, and then fill it with texture. As quilt artists we work mainly in the opposite direction. We choose the texture of our fabric, cut out shapes, then add line with stitching and thread”  (Art+Quilt, pg.22)
  • “Though many fabrics have tactile texture, most quilt artists use cotton fabrics made specifically for quilting. These fabrics have a polished surface with no tactile texture. …we rely heavily on the visual texture that is derived by the motifs printed on the surface of the fabric. ” (A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg. 90)
  • You can change the texture of your fabric by manipulating it. Fabric can be “scrunched, wrinkled, pleated, folded, felted, or twisted to add” to what you want your work to say. (Art+Quilt, pg.23) Example: Change of Seasons
  • “Texture provides interest and variety. It can add realism to landscape, portrait and animal quilts.  It also helps delineate space…Simply put, we need to see when the perimeter of one section ends and another begins. We achieve this through contrasts in color and value, as well as contrast of textures.” (A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg. 91)
  • “Van Gogh was an early exponent of the actual application of paint as a further expressive element.” In his painting Portrait of the Artist, you can see “how short brushstrokes of thick, undiluted paint are used to build up the agitated, swirling patterns of Van Gogh’s images. The ridges and raised edges of the paint strokes are obvious to the viewer’s eye.” (Pentak & Lauer, pg.160)
  • “Texture adds character, can create a sense of age, and provides uniqueness.” (Adventures in Design, pg.65)


  • Look at your most recent quilt and see what kinds of texture you can find.
  • Think about how “texture will affect your work. Will the viewer immediately see the weave of the cloth, or is it so smooth and tightly woven that it reflects the light? Can you use those qualities to evoke certain emotions or feelings? (Art+Quilt, pg.22-23)
  • Create “similar compositions executed in solid, plain-woven cottons,” velvet, brocade, satin, etc (Art+Quilt, pg.23)
  • Take a scrap of fabric and give it texture – couch on it, scrunch it, pucker it, embroider on it.
 Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf by DoublePointed Designs (
Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf by DoublePointed Designs (

Source: via Jaye on Pinterest


The example above has great texture.
A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design by Heather Thomas
Adventures in Design by Joen Wolfrom
Art+Quilt by Lyric Kinard
Design Basics by Pentak & Lauer
Leaf embroidery: (note this is an Asian site written in characters. I don’t read this language, so don’t know what it says)
Ludmila Aristova Website –
Piecing: Expanding the Basics by Ruth McDowell
Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, by Ann Johnston


Flowering Snowball Update

Flowering Snowball Corner
Flowering Snowball Corner

I am progressing well on the Flowering Snowball. I seem to be able to sew about a block a night. These are hand pieced, which is why they take so long.

I am trying to decide how to put the blocks together – by machine or by hand. I am thinking that I will put them together by hand and then go over them by machine. I am hemming and hawing because the hand stitching isn’t as precise in terms of seam allowance, so I have to sew on a line rather than lining up the seam allowance. I’ll try it out and see how it goes.

I am pleased with the progression and glad I took it up again. I am really liking the way the side and corner blocks look. Another good example of self bordering success.

Block-a-Long #52: Four Columns Squares

4 Column Squares
4 Column Squares

This block is related to last week’s block, #51 as well as Corner Squares in that I am working with squares and tall rectangles. I can really see this one going well with 2.5″ squares in the center. If anyone is interested I will post a pattern for that size (about 8″) as well.

Directions for 4 Column Squares are included.

If you have made blocks or a quilt from these patterns, please post a link in the comments section of the relevant block or on the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr group. I would love to see what you have made.

Random Quiltmaking Update

I am not sure why I feel compelled to write at the moment , but I do. Perhaps I have been neglecting the thoughtfulness I try to put into my posts lately. Life is busy and that takes a toll on my quiltmaking and blog writing. I try to keep up, but usually it means a picture and a few words. I am still looking for an art patron to pay me to stay home and sew, if you know of anyone.

What I am Reading: Parallel Motions by John Anderson. It is a biography of Nevil Shute, the author of one of my favorite books, A Town Like Alice.

Audiobook on Tap: A Room with a View by E. M. Foerster. You are probably all familiar with the film. I could never get into the book, but it was a free audiobook at some point, so I thought I would try listening. I thought it would be good since I am enjoying Downton Abbey (better late than never) and read The Lady Julia Grey series, also set in Victorian England, earlier this year. I thought that it was the right time since I seem to be embroiled in Victoriana.

What I am Working on: Today, I spent time making blocks and doing the kind of things that need to be done to make progress later.

The Corner Store is in progress and I had to cut a bunch of squares to make more blocks. I have about 60 blocks so far, but they are very small, so to make anything larger than a placemat I need many more blocks. I have a lot of triangles, so I just cut the Kona Snow squares. I went through about 3/4s of a yard of Kona Snow and know that won’t be enough. I probably need another 120 blocks to make anything large enough to satisfy me.

I finished another Swoon block and have to admit that I have a project going. I think I will make another 3 blocks for sure and possibly another 6. I have plenty of fabric, of course. There is something about this project that is interesting to me in terms of color, so I am not quite done with this project yet.

I worked on the A-B-C Challenge blocks and started to prepare for the QuiltCon (what a stupid name, don’t you think?) block challenge. I have the fabrics, they are washed. They need to be pressed, but I need to plan the block.

I don’t feel like I accomplished much, but I know I was doing prep work that needs to be done.

Blue Donation Quilt

Blue Donation Quilt
Blue Donation Quilt

Last weekend I finished the Blue Donation top that evolved from blocks into an actual top.I am pretty pleased with the way it came out. Chunking made this go together really well.

Last night I made a Franken-batting for it and started a back, but I don’t think I will finish the back. We’ll see.

This is for the BAMQG Charity project. Although it is not completely finished, I am putting it in MY finished category, because someone else will take over the quilting and binding.

Various & Sundry 2012 #6

Fabric, Tools and Spools
Sorry, I couldn’t help the rhyming. Moda’s Lissa had a great round up of favorite tools from various teachers and other prominent quilting people. She named it April Tools and posted it on April Fool’s Day. Clever, eh?

Ruby is the Modern Madness Champion. Congratulations, Camille! And now she has let us know she is coming out with yet another line of fabric call Marmalade. All I can see is the edges of folded fabric in a big stack. I am in love with the edges. When will it end?

I often search on for fabric. It is very easy to compare prices and see a wide variety of fabrics. 50 cents or a dollar off makes a difference. I am not always successful, but is a great place to find fabric that is older. I was randomly searching the other day and came across From Here to Quilternity (great name, huh?). Terri, the owner, had a great selection of Philip Jacobs fabric and a really nice FQ pack that tempted me. I didn’t buy the FQ pack, because I could only see the ends of the fabric. I mentioned it to her when she emailed me to thank me for my order. A day or so later she posted photos with more of the fabric showing on her blog! Wasn’t that nice? Excellent customer service!

Philip Jacobs English Rose Sky - May 2009
Philip Jacobs English Rose Sky - May 2009

I am really liking the fabrics from Philip Jacobs. I know that won’t come as any surprise to any of you. I especially like the Sky background color he is using lately in different color ways.

In seeing the various prints around my workroom, I decided that using them as backgrounds wasn’t a terrible idea. It would show off the large repeats and make the piecing of the back not so fiddly. There are only so many bags I can make so this is a happy compromise. Look out for lots of flowery backs in upcoming quilts.

Around and About the Web

Do you have a dirty little quilting secret? Tanesha of Crafty Garden Mom has 7 of them. If you don’t mind a little off color language, and, c’mon, you can handle a few damns and hells to laugh like crazy, right?, go read her blog.

Nina talks about her organizational efforts in her studio. The thing I like about this post is that it is a post for real people. You will see cardboard boxes and plastic containers.

There was a recent discussion on Flying Geese. I make them using the Deb Tucker ruler, but with squares rather than triangles. I found out that Pam from Hip to Be a Square makes them the same way. Here is a tutorial sans special ruler.

Claudine Helmuth has a web series on her blog about finding your artistic style. Part 2 has been posted and she links to Part 1. I think this is a useful series to glance over related to the Design series I am doing with Sandy.

More Danny Gregory love.

Jelly Roll Race Thoughts
As you know, the Renewed Jelly Roll Race caused me some agony (the artist kind, not the pain kind) and is now almost a forgotten memory. Katie, of Katie’s Quilting Corner website, blog and podcast, had some thoughts after doing a Jelly Roll Race quilt. She has some tips and tricks, and a video listed in her post as well. Sweeter Lemon has a kind of tutorial/explanation posted on her blog. I saw this after I finished my original top, but not in time to do anything about it. Some people miter the edges. I didn’t think of that, but would have used the Judy Martin Point Trimmer, if I had. I know I have told that is one of my favorite tools. As I mentioned Tanesha of the CraftyGardenMom podcast had some great ideas about the Jelly Roll Race. You can see any number of different Jelly Roll Race quilts if you type that phrase into your favorite search engine.

Sketchbooks and journals are a very important part of my quiltmaking life. As you know, my favorites are the Miquelrius journals. I have almost exclusively switched to them for writing. They have a new no-water, no-chlorine version, which is well illustrated in this [yes, it’s advertising] video. Do you use a sketchbook?

Quilts Out and About

Some of the nation’s most treasured quilts were produced around the middle of the 19th century influenced by quiltmaking in the nation’s third largest city of the time, Baltimore. A dozen of these works of art – most created in a distinctive and elaborately conceived appliqued style known as album quilts – are the focus of the newest exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. “Quilts in the Baltimore Manner” opens June 9 and will be on view through April 2014 in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery and reflects the strong textile industry and innovative quiltmaking styles of America’s largest seaport of the period 1845 to 1855.

Did you see this quilt video from


The Emily Cier-Kate spain ‘issue’ has jumped out of the quilt world and into the Tech world with a blog post on Techdirt. Techdirt got hold of this issue via Leah Day’s post called Copyright Terrorism. Here is a quote from Techdirt that I thought was good, even if I am not sure we are flourishing without copyright, “It’s really a wonderfully rich post, which touches on many aspects of copyright and creativity, and I urge you to read it — along with the forthright comments (already there are 142 of them.) It provides another example, alongside the fashion industry, of a field that is currently flourishing without copyright, but that is under threat from those who have bought into the story that assigning ownership to something as insubstantial as ideas somehow promotes creativity, when in fact all it does is to shut it down through a creeping, paralyzing fear of infringement, as Day so vividly describes.” Perhaps this is the issue that will get quiltmaking out of the closet and have us playing with the big boys?

Thomas Knauer also has a very thoughtful and well organized post on copyright, which he posted on April 3, 2012 and updated on April 4, 2012. I particularly liked these few sentences “Ask any author how they feel when they see their work plagiarized. Any creative endeavor is an incredible amount of work; working in a creative capacity is not just a job, it is a vocation. It has extraordinary rewards, but it can be very costly on myriad fronts. This is about respect. Whatever you may think of Marxism, I think Marx got at least one thing right: our labors are an essential part of our being, and to steal that labor is in no small way to dehumanize a person.”

Now I am getting away from the Spain/Cier/C&T issue and climbing up on my soapbox. Please think about whether you want to dehumanize someone by copying their pattern or [insert other henious crime here] and giving it to a friend? There is someone who reposts every single blog post I write to her blog. Every single one. Pictures and all. She never asked. She never responded to any emails. I could look up her address using the tools I have at work, but I have chosen to just let her rot in hell (or wherever) when the universe decides it is her time. She is dehumanizing me. My writing is one of my creative expressions. I really don’t mind if people want to repost what I say or even pictures as long as they ASK and LINK back and are nice to me.


In other intellectual property news (don’t worry, this won’t become a law blog!) I saw this on one of the law blogs I read, “Renae Gilbert Allen, Brigham City, Utah, has developed a patent (8,141,507) for an “apparatus, system, and method for facilitating the instruction of quilting techniques.” ” I read the description of the patent and have no idea what it means. New longarm machine, perhaps? You can look at the full text of the patent application at:

I need one of these.

Everyone needs a hobby. Here is what happens when your hobby is equal parts cupcakes and maps.

Kathleen from BAMQG made a pillow with a block pattern from Badskirt (fun name, huh?). It is called x and a +. From the post, the author says that it is a Nancy Cabot design from 1938. I have not yet been able to find it, but I also have not hauled Barbara Brackman’s book off the shelf. I plan to use this for my X block for the ABC Challenge, even though I want to make it RIGHT NOW.

Paolo modelling the hat
Paolo modelling the hat

I have a red hat that my great grandmother made for me when I was a child. It is knitted, has large purple, green, blue, pink, yellow and orange crocheted (?) flowers all over it and fits closely on the head. it has a tab (??) with a snap that closes it under the chin. Somehow this hat became a legend with Mark Lipinski.

MarkL in the Flower Hat
MarkL in the Flower Hat

I told my mom about the exchange and a short while later she showed up at my house with an updated version of the flower hat. It took me awhile, but I finally sent it off to Mark and he was thrilled with it. He posted a picture of himself wearing the hat to his FB page and on my FB Wall. Good feelings and fun all around.

Creative Prompt #153: Arrangement

Flower arrangement

What are your arrangements?

Do you need help with the arrangements?

What arrangement did you decide on for your blocks?


Music definition: The American Federation of Musicians defines arranging as “the art of preparing and adapting an already written composition for presentation in other than its original form. An arrangement may include reharmonization, paraphrasing, and/or development of a composition, so that it fully represents the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic structure” (Corozine 2002, p. 3). Orchestration differs in that it is only adapting music for an orchestra or musical ensemble while arranging “involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings…Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety” (ibid).

Please post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

(from Wikipedia)

Have you made arrangements for the meeting?

arrangement dating

arrangement of the furniture

childcare arrangements

musical arrangement

Edible Arrangements

Geometry Definition: In geometry and combinatorics, an arrangement of hyperplanes is a finite set A of hyperplanes in a linear, affine, or projective space S. Questions about a hyperplane arrangement A generally concern geometrical, topological, or other properties of the complement, M(A), which is the set that remains when the hyperplanes are removed from the whole space. One may ask how these properties are related to the arrangement and its intersection semilattice. The intersection semilattice of A, written L(A), is the set of all subspaces that are obtained by intersecting some of the hyperplanes; among these subspaces are S itself, all the individual hyperplanes, all intersections of pairs of hyperplanes, etc. (excluding, in the affine case, the empty set). These subspaces are called the flats of A. L(A) is partially ordered by reverse inclusion.

If the whole space S is 2-dimensional, the hyperplanes are lines; such an arrangement is often called an arrangement of lines. Historically, real arrangements of lines were the first arrangements investigated. If S is 3-dimensional one has an arrangement of planes.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

Design Series: Pattern

Sandy and I spent some time talking about pattern the other day and here is the next installment of our Design series. You can listen to the accompanying podcast on Sandy’s site or via iTunes.

Pattern is an Element of Design

What we are talking about is NOT a “plastic baggy with the instructions for a quilt inside.” (A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg.99)


  • “Pattern is a repetitive design with a motif appearing again and again.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 49)
  • Pattern is “formed by the repeat of shape, line or form within a design field.” (A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg.200)
  • “…design or designs formed by the repeat of shape, line or form within the design field. When a shape is repeated three or more times a pattern is formed.” (A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg.99)

The repetition of the motif, color, value, line, shape, or texture does not necessarily have to be identical in order to create a pattern. (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 49)

A pattern is often regular, high in contrast and represents something we can identify, like a plant. (Pentak & Lauer, pg. 168) See figure A

A quiltmaker can “use design elements such as solid colors and plain thread without any pattern in them, and use them in a way that creates a pattern in the whole composition.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 80)

“If fabric has a large scale pattern, its repetitions will not even be visible when small pieces are cut from it. If the fabric has a medium scale pattern, the repeats may be visible and be a strong part of the design.” “It is important to remember that the size of the fabric pattern will influence its readability at a distance.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 80)

Types of pattern: “patterns can be broadly grouped into categories according to their style or shape.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 81)

  • geometric or amorphous: mostly straight lines with angles. Designs with curvilinear lines are sometimes geometric.
  • Realistic: something can be identified such as objects or people (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 81) (The Tarts Come to Tea)
  • abstract: simplified shapes that suggest a subject (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 81)
  • non-objective: abstract without suggesting any realism(Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 81)

Pattern used in Quiltmaking

  • repeat motifs on a length of fabric, like dots. “Fabric will pattern may be used to contribute to the unity, balance, or variety in the design, but the scale of the pattern, that is its size in relationship to the size of the pieces that are cut will determine the impact of the pattern on the overall design of the quilt.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 80)
  • repeat of a group of designs on a length of fabric (fabric repeat)


  • “A pattern is created when the viewer is led to anticipate the same elements in a design.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 49)
  • “The repetition does not have to be symmetrical, nor does it have to be precisely place for the viewer to be able to anticipate or find a pattern. Sometimes a pattern is noticed by one viewer and not another.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 49)
  • Consistent Feel
    Consistent Feel

    “The shape does does not have to the same size or scale [to create a pattern], but it does need to have a consistent feel.”(A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg.99) The example of the fabric to the left has a variety of motifs, but the line quality and relation of motifs to each other gives the design a consistent feel. thus creating a pattern. Of course, there is a repeat in the design as well.

  • “Pattern and texture are often used interchangeably because a pattern may give a surface the appearance of texture and because textures have a distinct repeating arrangement that creates a pattern.” (Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, pg. 79)
  • Pattern is sometimes called visual texture.
  • “The essential distinction between texture and pattern seems to be whether the surface arouses our sense of touch or merely provides designs appealing to the eye. In other words, while every texture makes a sort of pattern, not every pattern could be considered a texture.” (Pentak & Lauer, pg. 168)


  • Claudine Helmuth points out Edouard Vuillard’s work. “He would fill his paintings to the brim with pattern. Every surface is covered in pattern, none of which normally go together but somehow it all works.”  Claudine Helmuth’s Series on Finding your Artistic Style, pt.2)
Swoon Block #1 - finished
Swoon Block #1 - finished

The Swoon block shown was discussed in the episode as one of the examples.



A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design by Heather Thomas

Art+Quilt by Lyric Kinard

Claudine Helmuth’s Series on Finding your Artistic Style, pt.2:

Design Basics by Pentak & Lauer

Homework (ochre image above)

Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d, by Ann Johnston

Textile Design blog – (black & white image above)