December 11, 2008

Studio Views

Today, I thought I would take pictures of my studio just to document that it is sometimes, somewhat clean. So, this is where I create. I know you have seen other pictures of my studio, but this is a new arrangement. View from the door

View to the right of the door

Behind the curtain is my outside patio.
( BTW, Taylor cat is a great quilting cat )

Another View

Emma likes her little bed in the studio

OK, I'm off to sew!

December 1, 2008

Ladder #2 & Thanksgiving

Work-in-progress of Ladder #2
I have been creating art, but took a few days off for a nice Thanksgiving vacation in Ohio. Emma got to play with Maya & Barley, the Boxers. She got to be a dog for a few days and loved it! She slept most of the way back to Virginia and most of the day today. On the way there, we went through snow in the mountains as you can see in the picture below. On the way home to the DC area, it took us an extra three hours of was cold, rainy and foggy. The traffic was so thick, it was bumper to bumper, stop and go, on the interstate. I guess everyone decided to go home on Sunday night like we did. I almost got a scarf knitted in the car!
The work above is my Work-in-Progress of Ladder #2 with Ladder #1 beside it. I am using my stamp designs and sketches that I did way back in the warm months of Summer. (Summer sounds like such a nice word on a cold day.) I am also working on two quilts for shows that I can't post, yet. I will post more of Ladder #2 as I work on it.

Thanksgiving snow in the mountains

November 19, 2008

New Series

(Ladder #1 detail)

(Ladder #1)
I am finished with this quilt! And I can't wait to start another one for the series. If you scroll down to November 7th post below, you can read how this one came about and see my final revisions in the one above. It all started with a stamp that I carved. The size is 9" x 22 1/2". I added more quilting lines after I found more of the same black thread and rearranged the squares falling.
And today is.....Happy Birthday to my good friend, Susan! She's an amazing artist!

November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Happy Birthday!

Today is our son's birthday! Above is a picture of him that we have always loved. He is getting a haircut from a Japanese barber when we lived in Okinawa, Japan. This was his first "official" haircut and he was about 2 years old. He wanted to get a haircut just like his dad's. He sat so still the barber was amazed. He is now 34 years old! Wow! time flies! Happy Birthday, Matt!

November 12, 2008

New Quilt

Here it is, all quilted and finished. I will mount it on stretched canvas to hang it. (I have two canvases painted and drying..different colors.) You can click on the picture for a detail. It's only 5"x 7", hand dyed and commercial fabrics. I machine quilted heavily. I don't have a name for it, yet, but this is the one I kept thinking of each morning and never got around to making. I really like this one! It was fun to quilt, too. I may even rotate it before I'm done, haven't decided, yet.

Today was the day of freaky Fridays and it's not Friday. My hubby's car lost a headlight and then, when he left work late last night, the car had a flat tire. Luckily, the security guard had a can of fix-a-flat and it got him to a gas station to air up the tire. So, poor car with a broken leg and one eye missing, went to the shop today. Two weeks ago, it had to have a major organ transplant...we had to call the medics (AAA) to put in a new battery (for the car, not the hubby). I met him this afternoon to switch cars and prepare to sit in the repair shop until it was fixed. We had lunch and he got a call it was all fixed before we finished. That was good news. But then, Freaky Friday continued...when I got home, ready to stitch, I noticed my lamp in my studio wouldn't stand up, I picked it up and the entire bottom fell out and was broken into a million pieces. is one of those lamps that has a weighted bottom. So, half of my studio is dark until I can get a new lamp. At least the mystery is cleared up about what is really inside those pole lamps. (You don't want to know.)

Update on Basket Weave Pattern

I received some emails asking about the basket weave throw I am knitting. I am using a pattern from a book, but I found lots and lots of free patterns for it on the internet. Here is a pattern that is similar to mine. Basically, (with disclaimers for my "oh, no, I hope I explained that right") this is it with changes for a larger size: Acrylic yarn, worsted; size 9 circular needles, 29". CO 164 sts. For the border, I first knitted 9 rows of garter stitch. Then, I began the basket weave pattern. Basically, it is: k6, p4, k4 until 6 stitches left and then knit 6. The k6 on each end start the side borders. (You could do a seed stitch border, instead.) You can make the basket weave rows as wide or long (tall) as you want. I think mine has 6 rows of basket weave stitch and then three rows of garter stitch between. Mine is not really reversible, but that's OK with me. I would suggest alternating the sets of k4, p4 after 6 rows instead of putting garter stitches between them. Then, it's reversible. I hope this explanation helps. Here is a blog that has a really good picture and pattern. Anyway, it really is an easy pattern. It's fun to knit, too, not boring. I'm still knitting it, but loving it. Let me know what you think.

November 11, 2008

Hat & New WIP

Whew! What a day. Yesterday, in the middle of finishing the first of my ladder series, I ran out of black thread. You would think any black thread would do, but no, of all the many spools I own, it all looked grey compared to the #105 Mettler silk finish 50/3 cotton thread that I had used. So, being so late in the day, I couldn't just get up and run to JoAnn's to get more thread. Not here in the DC area. For one thing, we don't have a JoAnn's Etc....only the regular JoAnn's who mostly store fabric and trashy things on the floor. This area is so large that you would think they would open a JoAnn's Etc. Instead, I put my project away until I could go to G-Street fabric today for the thread. So, I knitted last night and finished this wool/acrylic hat for a surprise for someone having a birthday this week. This is my first hand knit hat, ever! First time to knit in a circle using circular needles and double pointed needles. I really like using the double pointed needles...there are 4 needles going at a time...amazing to me that I can keep them straight. Really, if you knew how klutzy I am, you would know it is a feat.
Back to the thread...When I do get out in the traffic, I like to make a day of it and run all my errands, so that is what I did today. I went to Target for supplies, got gas for the car and dropped off cleaning at the cleaners. I was tired when I finally made it home. Actually, if I time it correctly, the traffic isn't too bad...usually. But it does make me miss Ohio where I could run to JoAnn's for thread and run back home and back again if I wanted without delays. But, good news is, I get more art accomplished here in VA. The piece on the machine above is being machine quilted. (Emma has to jump in my chair whenever I get out of it). I will hopefully finish the piece tonight to post tomorrow and tell you how it came about. Ever have one of those designs you just had to make to get it out of your thoughts? Well, this is one. That's why I started it as soon as I got home today.
Paula, I see the man fishing too! Thanks for your comments! Susan, I will post my version of that pattern or email it to you. What's the scarf like that you are knitting? Cheryl, a sweater! That is one of my goals, too. I'm off to make veggie soup for dinner (cornbread, too...yum).

November 10, 2008

Pods Revisited

Pods Revisited

Today, the SAQA auction opens and "Pods Revisited" is up for sale. It can be found on this page. Bidding starts at $750 and it is a reverse auction. There are lots of beautiful quilts (all 12" x 12") on the auction pages, so please take a look.

November 9, 2008

Worktable Surprises!

As I said yesterday, I was quite surprised to see the images that were left on my worktable covered with freezer paper. This is after a day or two of using Golden acrylics, gesso, glazes, etc. I cut the freezer paper up. In the image below, I outlined the birds (one on a tree limb and two blue birds in the grass below), mountains and tree.
The image below looked just like a bottle with a cork.

I haven't figured out the one below...maybe just an abstract. I wonder if I can get these onto fabric? I do have the ink jet fabric transfer sheets. I will have to get a new printer cartridge and try it.
OK, I had fun with these...maybe I need to get out more.

November 8, 2008

Work Table

Here was my work table before I cleaned it up. When I took up the freezer paper that is covering it...Serendipity! See how painted and stamped and covered in paint? I cut it into usable pieces to stitch and glue onto quilts. Then I began to see images in the painted freezer paper. There are three birds, at least. Tomorrow, I will post the piece that looks like a forest scene with mountains and trees and birds. That bit of aqua netting on the right is a piece of plastic net bag I cut from a bag containing Vadalia onions. It made a great stamp. I put paint on it and then flipped it onto the canvas and used a brayer on it. OK, I know I posted twice today, but had to show off my work table. I'm off to work on a quilt (or two).

What's on My Needles

This is a wool scarf that I am currently knitting for a Christmas gift. It is 100% wool...warm! I am knitting the ribbing stitch, so it is slow going, knit one, purl one and sometimes is a bit boring.

This is the other knitting project...a throw. It is really a soft gold color knit in a basket weave stitch. Soooo easy! If anyone wants to know how it's done, leave a comment. I am just a beginner knitter, so believe me when I say it's easy. It makes it's own border on all four sides. The nice thing is after I had started this one, I saw one just like it in the new Better Homes & Gardens magazine in a decorating article. Who knew?

The nice thing about my knitting is that it doesn't take away from my quilting. I usually just knit at night after a long day in the studio. Any other quilters out there who knit? If you like free patterns and inspiration, then go to It is a knitting, crochet on line community that is so cool. When I do go there, I get lost in all the neat things to see or make.

November 7, 2008


This is a beginning of a new series. The one above is just an audition pinned on my design wall. It is already machine stitched and quilted. I don't know if the "paint chips" (just pinned on) will stay or go. I may try something else all together. But it has been pinned to my wall for about a week, now and I need to finish it. Below is the "blank" version waiting for another audition of added accents.
I'm still working on the composition and will add a focal point.

This is the stamp I carved from an eraser that is the start of my new series which I will call the Ladder series. Sorry, the above picture is a bit blurry as the eraser is only 7/8" x 2 1/2". The quilt is 10" x 23". I used one of my favorite tools to enlarge the stamp into a quilt overhead projector. You will see more of this series later as I work on it. Leave me a comment if you want. I love reading them!

November 6, 2008

More Backgrounds

These are all backgrounds made on 140# watercolor paper. I used the same process as making the canvas backgrounds yesterday. Fun! Can't wait to stitch these into a collage.

November 5, 2008


Because we will now have changes for the better in the USA, I thought of what changes I could make in my own life. Wow, too many to list here. So, I thought of what changes I can make in my art life. It's a long list too, but hopefully it will inspire me to make more art. Speaking of inspiration, I am taking a class, Mixed Media with Paper and Cloth at Joggles from Jane LaFazio. I have taken classes with Jane before and always am inspired to keep creating. Below are the backgrounds I created for this class from untreated artist's canvas. I bought it at G-Street fabrics, but most any fabric chain sells it by the yard. I didn't bother to pre-wash it, just tore it to 10" x 10" pieces. I hung it up to dry. (An indoor clothesline would be nice, but I hung them from baskets sitting on my shelves.)

These are made from artist's canvas, painted and stamped with Golden Acrylics, Golden's Acrylic Glazing liquid and the "other" acrylics which you can buy for less than $1. I even used some of the stamps I carved which you see in the photo below. The large circle is the lid from a baby food jar dipped in paint. It's easy to machine stitch on this canvas, too, which will come later in the class when we build collages. Tomorrow, I will post the ones I painted and stamped on 140# watercolor paper, so stay tuned for more fun creations. You can stitch on paper, too.

October 22, 2008

What to Do While Watching the Debates

My favorite yarn...Noro

Emma's new sweater (She's 16 mos now!)

Knit! I recently got interested in knitting again. So, I made a scarf (nice red wool tweed) and a new sweater for Emma. Her sweater is acrylic. The scarf was the first actual knitting project I ever finished. I find it very relaxing to have something to do while watching the debates or news or movies on TV at night. I don't like to do quilting when I watch TV as most of my quilting involves machine work. This weekend, we found a new to me yarn shop that is packed with the most delicious yarn!! Lots of hand dyed wool and lots to pet. As you can see in the picture below, I found some of my favorite which is Noro Kureyon, a Japanese yarn. It is 100% wool and comes in the most wonderful variegated colors. I so wish it were sold at AC Moore or Michaels as it is easier to get to those stores than the yarn shop in Vienna. Saturday, we went on an adventure looking for the yarn shop (Vern was driving). We found it after a beautiful detour in the country. He waited in the car (with his laptop) while I ran inside. When I came out, the car wouldn't start! This is a Honda Accord, only two years old! Never an indication that the battery was low, but yep, we were stuck. Not having our kids to call, we called AAA. I was expecting the traditional tow-truck driver with a cigar stuck in his mouth and all that goes with that scene after waiting an hour. But no, within 10 minutes of our call to AAA, a nice young man, probably college age, drove up in his nice car with a AAA panel on the side and gave the battery a jump. We were soon on our way to the dealership where we purchased a $new$ battery. Maybe the world has changed. We need more changes like that.

Yummy Yarn

October 21, 2008

Finally, a New Post & New Work

Sunshine Dreams

I realize I took too much time off from my blogging! I have been designing and creating quilts, studying art theory and doing lots of reading. So, here is a very whimsical finish of a quilt that I did for my local art theory group. Below is a detail shot. I really should take a better photo, but it is now hanging at "The Artful Quilter" in Centreville. So, hopefully, this one will do for a posting. You can't see all the details, but if you look at the photo with all the challenge parts lying on my sketch pad below, you will see why I made it a "whimsical" quilt. Our challenge for the art theory group was to use all the parts in an art quilt. I used them all except for the feathers. There were beads, buttons, ribbons, papers, wire (which I curled and attached) and I can't remember all of it. I don't normally like to use so many embellishments so it did stretch my brain. I cut up as much as I could and added it to the sun which has a layer of tulle. I'm glad this one is done, my assignment is done and I can move on to things I really like.

Detail (the buttons and yarn were white and I painted them)

Challenge parts from art group

I'm currently working on a new design that I hope to finish up this afternoon and I will post tomorrow. I'm writing myself a post-it note to remind myself to blog tomorrow. I have to tell you about my adventure to the local yarn shop which involved AAA.

Fun Photo:

Here is a picture of Traci & Matt, our kids, at a petting zoo. Wow, they grew up fast! Now they are grown and out on their own.

September 30, 2008

Fun Shapes & Quilt Exhibit

These are paper shape cut out exercises in a book that I am currently studying. "Finding Your Own Visual Language" , a practical guide to design & composition by Jane Dunnewold, Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan. I highly recommend it if you are an artist who wants to move forward, dig deeper and create more art. My paper shapes started as a square, rectangle and leaf shape. I then cut and expanded them, still trying to maintain the general shape. I will expand, shrink and combine them to use in my quilts.

My quilt, "Taffy Cat" is now at the Breaking Traditions exhibit in Novi, Michigan. If you click here, you can see a close up of him and read my statement. The online catalogue is here. There are some amazing quilts in this exhibit which benefits the American Cancer Society. Click on each one to read their statements. The theme for 2008 was "With One Voice".

September 26, 2008

What I've been Stitching

Just wanted you to know that I have been busy. I have been in the creative process...sketching, planning, etc. This one is an ocean scene that I am currently machine quilting. I'm sure it will have embellishments...yarns, beads and shells before I'm finished with it. The two below are on my design wall waiting for a few more pieces to be added and then I will quilt them. It all started with the one below ...the one with the sun. We had a challenge in my Art Theory group to use a lunch bag full of goodies (embellishments) in a quilt. There were yarns, ribbons, candy wrappers, beads, gold threads, wire, paper, etc. I put it all in a dish and painted it ocean colors, of course! I still have most of the bag of embellishments left that I have to put on the quilt. It will have a center in the sun that is made of tulle holding the shiny beads, ribbons, etc. I couched some of the ribbons in the waves. This will definitely be a whimsical, fun quilt. While making the background to this one, I cut backgrounds until I had several ready to make into quilts...a new series. It was truly improvisational. I usually use one of my photographs and sketch out the design. I found this method really fun. I hope to do more like this. I did use Liqui-Thread on the edges (liquid fusible) which I applied with a brush. I really like that stuff for raw edge applique. I hope to finish these soon and I'll post the results.
Work -In-Progress
We went to Ohio over the Labor Day weekend. Here are some pictures below. Emma was soooo tired after a wonderful weekend of hard dog play with Maya & Barley that she slept all the way home and most of the next day! We had a great time visiting them.
Vern playing baseball the easy way...Wii.

We went to the Greek Festival and had yummy food and enjoyed the colorful festivities.
Emma had someone (Maya) to play tug-o-war with her.

Taylor in her "cat house"