Category Archives: Completed Projects

The Show Must Go On

Pre-Covid 19 I had entered work in two art shows – the SAQA regional Circles and Cycles exhibit and Artists of Rubber City Juried Regional Art Exhibition, an Akron-based all media show. Both shows accepted some of my work and both will open for viewing in real life starting this month.

While art shows haven’t been at the top of my concerns lately and I doubt I’ll enter any more this year, it’s always nice to have folks other than family and friends (and you of course) see what I make.

Here are my two pieces in Circles and Cycles.

Bullseye Bubbles (blogged about here)
Not All Black and White (blogged about here)

The Circles and Cycles show was open to SAQA members in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan; and it will be up at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in Findley, Ohio, beginning July 20 through the end of August. You can see all the works in the show at the link above.

The Center is scheduled to be open weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. Masked visitors are restricted to no more than 10 at a time, and it’s always a good idea to call first. Since performances at the Center have been cancelled or postponed I don’t know how much traffic the exhibit will get. The Center’s parking lot will have food trucks on Wednesdays from 11 am to 2 pm, and the Hancock County farmers’ market on Thursdays from 4 to 6 pm.

To my surprise, the juror selected my “Mean Streets” for the Artists of Rubber City show. I had also entered “If The Shoe Fits,” and thought that would be the preferred choice, but I was wrong. My husband is always careful to say that Streets involved much skill and labor but its subject matter isn’t going to be a viewer favorite. Go figure.

Mean Streets (blogged about here)
If The Shoe Fits (not selected, blogged about here)

The Artists of Rubber City show runs from July 10 through August 8. You need a free, timed ticket to view the show, being held at Summit ArtSpace in downtown Akron, Ohio.

If you’re more in the mood for a virtual show, check out SAQA’s On The Edge. It’s not your usual art quilt show.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects, Quilt Shows

Montana Bound

In 2015 my husband and I took a road trip that ended up at Glacier National Park in Montana. Our trip took us through several states, and so we visited many roadside rest stops. Some stops offered free paper maps, so I helped myself.

Five years later I pulled them out to use in collages, and created “Going to Montana” with them. Illinois (especially Chicago), Wisconsin, and Nebraska are incorporated in my collage. I have fondest memories of Nebraska, home of the International Quilt Museum and my introduction to western cloud formations. Chicago was our trip nightmare as we negotiated the Dan Ryan Expressway during morning rush hour. My favorite place name is Oblong, Illinois, which is shown in the lower left map rectangle. It’s original name was Henpeck.

My collage was composed on a 14 inch square pre-stretched canvas with painted green edges. I combined map bits with security envelopes and mulberry papers, then stamped and drew over parts with markers and colored pencils. I used matte medium for glue.

Top of collage
Bottom of collage

My goal was to contrast the rectilinear roads and townships with natural features such as lakes and rivers.

I feel bad that South Dakota and Minnesota aren’t represented, but I don’t seem to have picked up any free maps in our time there. I did create a small quilt inspired by the Badlands.

I named this collage as a tribute to Frank Zappa’s song, “Montana.” If you’ve never been there, I heartily recommend Glacier National Park, though you’d better go in a year or so if you want to see an actual glacier.

Here’s a link to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Completed Projects, Techniques

Two for May

Despite the attention I’ve been lavishing on collage and Gelli printing I managed to get two small quilts completed, to my surprise. As usual, I chose to complete the low hanging fruit (i.e., the easiest to quilt) first. The two tops that remain to be quilted are much more challenging; one because of its size, the other because I haven’t the faintest notion what to do with it.

First I dealt with “Ovals All Over,” my modern table runner. Most of the quilting runs the length of the piece, with horizontal stitching where the striped bits create the effect of a weave.

As I quilted it, I listened to a Textile Talk about the modern quilt movement. It was a video, but I don’t know how anyone can sew and watch something else at the same time. Anyway, one question asked was, what’s the difference between an art quilt and a modern quilt. The answer seemed to be that you can wash modern quilts as they’re functional, though the responder acknowledged that many quilts shown at QuiltCon are made to be exhibited, not slept under. My view is there’s a group of quilts that are both, like the overlap in the Venn diagram below.

Since “Ovals All Over” is washable and functional, I suppose it’s a modern quilt.

However, the label for “Mind The Gaps” isn’t so clear cut. It meets the washable criterion and is an improv quilt, but isn’t very functional unless you want to use it as a cat door flap. Let’s call it an art quilt. It’s quilted with diagonal lines in a variegated thread, and is edged with single fold binding.

I don’t usually show the back of quilts, but I’ll make an exception here as I used a novelty ruler fabric I haven’t been able to find a place for.

Neither of these quilts is designed to be exhibited, but they gave me a chance to work with fabrics I enjoy. After all, if I didn’t enjoy it why on earth would I cut up perfectly good fabric and then sew it back together?

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Modern Quilting, Completed Projects, Art quilts

In All Seasons

In 2014 I made the first of a series based on photos I took of a tidal marsh in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. I didn’t intend to make a series, but after autumn was done it seemed to need company. Spring followed in 2016 as a response to a master class prompt since I already had done the drawing and just needed to make it more abstract. I had a large drawing of my scene left thanks to my error at the print shop, and I didn’t want to waste it. So, winter was next in 2018 as I had many beautiful hand dyes suited to that season.

Of course, summer, being the last, seemed to take forever. I finished the facing last week, and am relieved to call the series done.

Again, I used hand painted and dyed fabrics with some commercial fabrics. Appliqueing the grasses in the foreground was great fun.

To refresh your memory, here are the seasons in order of completion.

Tidal Marsh Autumn
Tidal Marsh Spring
Winter Fields

All except Winter Fields are approximately 15 by 33 inches. Winter ended up at 46 by 27 inches, thanks to that copy shop error.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Cleanup From 2019

Despite a few forays into new work, I’ve kept my needle to the grindstone to complete two pieces from 2019. The first, “Sunset,” is a working quilt made of scraps and based on directions from Christina Camelli. I had it quilted with a pantograph pattern by a local longarm quilter just to get it out of my closet.

Here it is on the job, i.e. on my sofa ready for a lap. Usually my husband has it folded neatly and draped squarely in the middle of the sofa back, a look I hate.

The second one, “Aunt Harriet’s Handiwork,” I quilted in a spiral from the center. I used a narrow, single layer binding in blue. Since I prefer a skinny binding, I used a double fold one only on working quilts, like “Sunset.”

It features cyanotypes of my great aunt’s crocheted doilies and antimacassars. I think she would have enjoyed the bold colors, given her taste in wool yarn used in her afghans.


Filed under Completed Projects

2019’s Last Hurrah

Sorry I lied to you. It turns out I wasn’t finished with finishes for 2019, though the final one is more of a collaboration than a solo effort.

Several years ago I bought an Amish made wall hanging at a tag sale. It was sun faded and made with bland colors, but it had nice quilting. After it spent a few years as a table cover, I decided to over dye it. Despite several hours of soaking in a dye bath all the colors remained unchanged except for the cotton quilting thread. Sadly, my wall hanging was made mostly of polyester fabric.

I put it in the to-be-donated box and forgot about it until two weeks ago when I put together a box to take to a local veterans thrift store. I realized I could use the hanging as the base for new layers, and did just that with many smaller silk pieces cut into squares. I had wanted to use more of my silk fabrics before I died, so I was glad for the opportunity.

I sewed the squares down on top of the old squares with a zigzag stitch. My sewing lines are uneven as I found the original workmanship left something to be desired, with crooked, uneven piecing. The whole piece also curled a bit, even after blocking.

I filled in between the silk squares with mother of pearl buttons I inherited from my granny. They are tied on with hot pink crochet thread. Because one button is slightly darker than the others (leave it to my husband to notice that) I call it “There’s Always An Oddball.”

I left the original binding and hanging sleeve as is because I saw no reason to assume new binding would made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I still like the cable quilting in the borders.


Filed under Completed Projects

Down The Home Stretch of 2019

With only thirteen days left in 2019 it’s clear which of my unfinished pieces are going to be first in line for 2020. However, I do have four finished works to end this year.

First, because it’s so different from the others, is “Oops!” I did the splash outline with 12 weight cotton thread.


The remaining three finishes are winter appropriate as December 21, the winter solstice, is a few days away. I made “Winter Blues” from leftovers of previous work and old curtains, plus the last of some McKenna Ryan fabric. I thought it would be a doddle to make, but I was so wrong. The binding is a metallic infused cotton/linen.

“Winter Blues” 24 by 33 inches

The remaining two finishes are for a January 2020 art quilt group challenge. Both are small and use scraps from the theater costume shop floor mixed with bits from my stash.

“Winter’s Closing In” makes liberal use of painted cheesecloth and hand stitching. “Deep and Dark December” is all machine stitched, and is mounted to a prestretched canvas. Yet more hand dyed damask tablecloth found its way into the middle ground, and sparkly netting gives shading to the bottom.

“Winter’s Closing In” 14 by 17 inches
“Deep and Dark December” 14 by 14 inches

I don’t promise that’s the end of my 2019 work, but I think it may be.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Department of Self Promotion

I’m happy to report that my quilt “If The Shoe Fits” is now at the Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona, as part of the Art Quilts XXIV show. Unfortunately, I’m not there as well, but if you’re in the Phoenix area before January 3, 2020, stop by the gallery to see the exhibit.

My other news is that a local free weekly paper called “The Devil Strip” has done an article about me, and “Hazy Shade of Winter” is on the cover. You can read it here. I was amused to read that I do “circus” design with fabric – the perils of relying on a recording in an interview. Otherwise, the article pretty much captures my voice. (Note: I think that oopsie has been fixed.) My work will be featured on the bottom of bird cages and litter boxes around Akron.

The upshot is Christmas came early for me this year.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Commentary, Completed Projects, Exhibits


That title comes from a novel about a wealthy New York money guy whose wife gives a decorator carte blanche to do up their apartment. Apparently the wife’s style is midcench, according to the pricey decorator. It’s a style often associated with the work of Rex Ray, who features prominently in my recent quilting activities. While Rex Ray was influenced by mid-century modern style, he wasn’t born until 1956. I gather he was happy to gather inspiration wherever he could find it, and he produced both fine art and commercial work .

My interest in a puzzle designed by Rex Ray merged with an art quilt group Rex Ray challenge. I had already made my interpretation of the puzzle when the challenge was issued. I could have coasted with that, but I decided to take on another Rex Ray inspired piece.

First, the original puzzle, which features mixed elongated and wide teardrop shapes.

Next, my interpretation, “Not All Black and White,” which features lots of black and white fabrics separated with bias tape applique. I learned the bias tape technique from an online class with Latifah Saafir. Because of the face in the center I decided on a horizontal orientation for now.

When I decided to make another piece for my art group challenge I wanted something different. And what could be more different than an all stitch piece. I looked at many examples of Ray’s work, and decided to pull elements from these.

I used the polyp-like forms on the left and the wood grain on the right to design my big stitch embroidered piece I call “Ready To Split.” It’s done on old curtain material, which may be all cotton or a blend. First, I fused the material to fleece so the stitches wouldn’t cause puckers. After stitching I stapled it to an already stretched 14 inch canvas.

All four of the embroidery techniques I know are on display – running stitch, seed stitch, chain stitch, and back stitch. I can also manage a fly stitch, but that’s about my limit.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Completed Projects, Modern Quilting, Techniques

Now In 3D

Ever since I bookmarked Hilde Morin’s instructions I’ve had an itch to try making a fabric bowl. On Monday I decided to scratch my itch.

Using cotton duck canvas (bought at 60% off from Joann’s) I made my circles. Next, I sorted my fused fabrics. After I found I needed larger pieces than I already had, I searched my stash for batiks to use. Batiks are recommended because they don’t fray much when fused. It seems I either used up or purged most of my batiks, so my choices were limited to a few pieces I had held onto because I liked them too much to use. No time like the present, I decided.

After I fused a batik to the outside, I laid down the beginning of the front side, and cut eight slender wedges that make the bowl curve.
Then I zigzagged the wedge sides together, starting at the center. I concealed the seams with fused fabric pieces before I ironed on more decoration. I did the same on the outside.

At this point the fun part began. I was pleased that my pack rat habit of saving fused scraps paid off as I cut thin, slightly curved strips to lay around the bowl’s interior. I switched to my travel iron to make it easier to press around the curves.

After I fused down fabric around the edge (I recommend bias here) I quilted the bowl twice in two different colors of turquoise.

Hilde Moran does beautifully intricate quilting on her bowls, but for my inaugural bowl I decided to keep it basic. I found it easier to start the quilting on the outside and work my way in, but either way involves a bit of scrunching to fit the bowl through the machine’s harp.

This bowl was a refreshing break from my current slog through my quilting backlog. I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Completed Projects, Project Ideas