Birthday Wishes!

How lucky am I ? I got a blog post all about me, except for the little bit about Jake. Kristen is the best. Thanks, dear!

Happy Birthday, Jake and Jaye

Today is also Jaye’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAYE!!!! i met jaye on a fabulous quilting yahoogroup about 7 years ago – maybe w little more than that now – i met her when lydia told me i had to join the group – all the cool people were doing it *heh heh* it turned out that jaye actually lived within 100 miles of where *I* lived, so we’ve gotten to meet a handful of times. of course, i have since moved, so i’m now closer to 300 miles away from her, but we managed to meet up last year. i wish we could get together more often. she has an amazing son – irene and i got to visit with him as well last year when we met up. anyway, you should check out her website b/c it’s got lovely bright colors and she always has creatively inspiring tidibits. check out her flowering snowballs and her pineapples and her thoughts on dots! maybe even leave a comment and wish her a happy birthday!
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Pineapple Sew Test

As promised, here are the two blocks that I sewed together. This is all I have done in terms of sewing and they don’t match up very well, but they also look GOOD! I think this means that they don’t look horrible! Hooray.

Can’t stay away from dots. I saw this outfit and bought it for a friend who is having a baby after many years of trying.
This is a birthday card to me from Pamelala! She sends me a digital art piece like this every year. Perhaps I should make them into a deck. 😉

Another Post on Various and Sundry

It was very interesting to scan this visual journaling image, because I wanted it to be big so you could see it. I scanned the entire page (from my journal) at 600 dpi and that was too big! It was interesting, however, because I could see the strokes of my pen and that was cool to look at. I rescanned at 150 and that is ok. I don’t want you reading my ruminations until I am dead, so I cut all the writing out. 😉

So, this is the second visual journaling exercise I have done and I am pretty pleased with the pillow on the chair. I think I was able to look at the little scene better. I also think the perspective is a bit better (but still needs a lot of work) and that I was able to cut out some of the extraneous stuff – you don’t have to draw it all – in order to keep the drawing from being cluttered. Onward!

Nobody really noticed the new look of the blog around the New Year. I had been thinking for a time that I needed a new, cleaner look. The opportunity presented itself when I copied something in the template and, then, proceeded to paste over the entire blog code. To add whipped cream to the cake, I, THEN, saved. What a total big DUH! I like the new look, but it is very hard to read on my laptop. I was pleased to see it on my desktop, because I was worried that you, dear readers, would not be able to see the links.

Well, stupidity rears its ugly head again and I had to rebuild my Blogroll. Again, my copying and pasting got out of control and poof! my sites were gone. The worst part was that I didn’t even notice right away. Most are back, but I will have to add the others back in as time passes.

I sewed some more corners to Pineapples and made two baby blankets, but other than that no sewing has occurred. I am going to a retreat next weekend, so afterwards there should be plenty to talk about. I am planning to make the Chocolate Box blocks then. I need a treat that it will be a good opportunity to bang those out. If I have time, I will cut some of the center squares and strips so I can hit the ground running, so to speak.

Friend Julie suggested that I bring the Pineapples to see if anyone there had any brilliant ideas for fixing my problems. I will do that and we will see. Remaking them is looking more and more like the possibility. That does mean, probably, another year of work, though. We’ll see what the gang says next weekend.

The organizers want people to bring something to share: book, technique, etc. I am planning to bring my Tsukineko ink CD to at least watch, if not to share with others. I think I will also bring my Painted Quilt book, which is a feast for the eyes. I got it from Powell’s with a gift certificate I received for Christmas.
Review to follow!

So, Shoot Me

I was reading some “back issues” of Mark Lipinski’s new blog, Pickle Road and saw this little nugget form him. He is absolutely right. I have been talking about visual journal and I just need to do it. I am also going to try to LOOK at things better. Perhaps the mess in my laundry room will become great art!


You know, dumplings, we don’t live in a vacuum. If you want to be inspired and want to grow in your quilting or crafting hobby, it’s important that you venture outside of your comfort zone, away from your guilds and sewing groups, to explore what the masters have accomplished before you. Trust me, taking yourself on mini-trips like mine to the little but mighty Allentown Museum can bring you more soul and quilting satisfaction than you might guess!

Make a deal with yourself in 2008 to try my Divine Experiment and to push yourself creatively by experiencing new artistic venues — like museums, concerts, library visits, anything you wouldn’t normally do during the course of a week — to watch the magic happen in your life!

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Art Quilt Thoughts

My website and blog both have Art Quilt terms in the title. I think about designs that are not block related and have made several quilts that do not use the block format. One of my favorites is What Comes Next, a quilt I made after I had a bit of time to think about September 11.

I have a couple of art quilt designs on the drawing board, but they have not yet reached their turn in line (noch nicht an der Reihe, as we say in German). Due to the busyness of life, I have been making block quilts and focusing on color for the past few years. This does not prevent me reveling in what other Art Quiltmakers are working on or developing my own designs for the future.

As part of this process, I read Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines as well as other inspirational magazines, as I am sure many of you do. One of the things I noticed recently was how messy many art quilts are. I have a bias against messy, I will say up front. Collaging the box in September was exciting, but messy and I am sure I would have had some sort of medical emergency had I not swathed everything, including myself, in newspaper.

I don’t call myself an artist, because, like Wayne Thiebaud, I want to let history judge my work, but I do make art quilts.


I make quilts that do not use a classic quiltmaking design (block pattern, e.g.). These are my art quilts.

I consider the above quilt to be an art quilt, but it is also not messy. It does not have threads hanging off of it or blobs of stuff piled on the quilt. I can appreciate the design choice that includes dangling threads or dots of paint placed carefully on a quilt. I think the key is that these have to be design choices to further the ‘story’ of the quilt and not have been placed there to make the quilt ‘arty.’

Cinda Cawley (who kindly gave me permission to post her unedited words here) wrote in a post to the AQSG list, which says a lot to make me think right now:

“I went to the Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibit at the Schweinfurth Center in
Auburn, NY. Call me a Philistine if you must (I’ll readily admit I don’t do
Art Quilts myself) but I was very disappointed. I try to get to Q=A=Q every
year and I always find several things that blow me away (confirmed
traditionalist that I am). Not this year! Do you ever go to a guild quilt
show and feel like all the exhibitors took the same workshops? That’s how I
felt (with a few exceptions) about these quilts. It seems as if all the
artists were told “Take tulle, or some other transparent material, paint or
dye it, cut it into squares or rectangles, arrange randomly on a
background.” I love to see the work produced by the members of the Art Bee
in my guild because even when they start from the same place they end up
going in very different directions.”

I have been wondering if making art quilts is a default for people? Do some people just start in on art quilts? If so, do they know anything about design? I think design matters in art quilts, but what do other people think? Does anyone care about design anymore?

I think the underlying principle for any type of quilt is design topped off by technique. If it is a bad design, then no amount of dangling threads or dots of paint will fix it.

Pineapple Work Continues

I am studiously ignoring the Pineapple problem and trying to soldier on. These are the nine blocks that now have corners on them and fit fairly well together. I am tempted to sew them together, because I think it would give me a boost. One thing I did, without thinking, when I started cutting corner triangles was make too many of one color. Now I am just making two of each. I am hesitating sewing these together because I don’t want too many of the same corners to be near each other. These look fine, but…. I guess I am not feeling confident in general about this project.

Stars and Desire

Today I was thinking about stars and thought it would be a good time to show you my Flickr set of stars. I thought I had such a great collection, but when I went to look at it again, it seems paltry. I don’t think it really is; I think my vision is skewed from looking a Judy Martin’s Star blocks recently. She has a ton!!! I am eyeing those Feathered Stars as I think about more dot projects. Then again a project like this in all dots would be quite appealing. Have fun looking at the Stars!

Nina brought this interesting thread to my attention. It is called Desire Memory Thread from DMC. It looks like wire, but says that it is soft. Hhhmmm. It looks promising, but until I feel it, I am not sure how it could be used. I have an idea that I could use my glass beads with it. I would really like to make a bracelet or something with those beads and this might be the piece of the puzzle that pulls the project together.

Nina saw it in Stitch magazine from the UK. I haven’t ever seen that magazine, but may have to seek it out. I used to be able to find such magazines at Marquardt’s in the City, but the last time I went by they had closed. It was one of those great old fashioned newsstands on a corner near Union Square. The huge wonderful neon sign had been left up, which was nice.

Favorite Quilts of 2007

As is usual, I should have started this post after I took the first photo of the first quilt of 2007. As per usual, I didn’t, so I am faced with looking through hundreds of photos and trying to determine which ones I liked and why. As a result, this is a paltry list and probably not as accurate as it would have been if I had followed through with my plan. I’ll try for 2008, but don’t hold your breath. I may review and/or revise this list, so bookmark it and check back. 😉This basket quilt was probably my all time favorite of the year. I loved the many different basket designs and fabrics. It was amazing to look at.
This classic Judy Martin pattern is wonderful in many ways. I like the “pushed neutral” background technique as well as the different sizes and designs of the stars. Someday I want to make a quilt like this.

Another basket quilt with great fabrics. It had a lot of dots. What is not to like about dots? Very cheerful.
This pattern from Piece O’Cake is still a favorite, even though I have seen it a number of times at different shows during different years. This rendition is enhanced by that Sashiko type quilting in the borders.

The above quilt, Thoughts on Dots, was displayed at the San Mateo County Fair. I have to admit, in case you didn’t know, that it is mine! I love this quilt. It is on my bed and it makes me happy each time I see it.

Good. Clean. Fun.

MeinkeToy has a clean new look on her website. The books literally burst off the page with fabulous color and, of course, inspiration within. I was specifically pointed to this Lustr’ed Cloth by Alyson Mydgelow Marsden, about which Nina says “now I am not wanting to experiment with metals but sheers, metallic fabrics, shiny patent leathers, or angelina fabrics could be substituted.
It would also enable me to use some of those threads that Cherie dyes so well and that make haunting pleas in my direction..” Take a look at the new site, Deb has done a great job.

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(and books)

for fiber artists & the fiber

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