Category Archives: Everything Else

Catching Up

Since I am busy today with a Zoom workshop about map quilts from Valerie Goodwin I will give a few updates rather than present any new work. I hope to report on the workshop once it’s done and I’ve had time to process it.

First, all but one of my free quilts found new homes. I am so happy they have a chance of seeing someplace other than my closet. An unexpected but delightful side effect of that giveaway was the many tokens I received in return, ranging from cards to maple butter. Thank you all.

Second, the quilt below is now called “Fractured.” I was amazed at the quantity and creativity of your suggestions, often with well thought out reasons for the name. Once I narrowed my choices to four, I consulted my in-house expert, and he felt “Fractured” best conveyed the sense of the work.


Third, my quilt “Calliope” won a blue ribbon in its category at the Lake Farmpark quilt show. I think I mentioned that before, but here we are together.

I think my outfit coordinates nicely with “Calliope”

Fourth, for those of you who live in/near Akron, I want to let you know of a massive audio visual materials sale on May 20, 10-6, and 21, 10-5, at the main library on South High Street in downtown Akron. Low, low prices, with CDs 10 for $1. The sale includes CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, sheet music, audio books, and even 16 mm films. Proceeds will go to the Friends of the Main Library. One hour free parking on Friday, and all day free parking on Saturday. I mention this because I volunteer as a donations sorter, and I really want to get more room in the sorting area.

Fifth, I’m rearranging my studio, and have bought a few rolling carts, which I’m in love with. More on all that later.


Filed under Everything Else

Getting Warmer

Just after Christmas my husband and I headed south to Fort Myers, Florida, for a stay at my brother in law’s condo. After enduring lots of traffic bottlenecks (no, not that one in Virginia thank goodness) we arrived to temperatures in the mid 70s and mostly sun.

I brought a few projects with me, including my long running felted wool embroidery, but I’m spending more time walking in SHORT SLEEVES and totally ignoring any inclination to find a fabric store.

Four of the circles I’ve begun embroidering.

So, the beach

Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs

The Ringling Museum in Sarasota (go here for links to the collection)

Museum courtyard
View of Sarasota Bay from the 8,000 square foot terrace of Ca’ d’Zan, the Ringling’s palatial home

One advantage Florida has is year round locally grown vegetables. We went to Southern Fresh Farm for hydroponically grown tomatoes and lettuce. While there we sampled beers from the Crazy Dingo, conveniently located next door. I had to get a photo of this visual pun.

Because we drove I was able to pack my portable sewing machine and a bag of scrap strips, including already sewn together strips. After lots of mindless sewing I’ve composed four large log cabin blocks in yellow, blue, gold/brown, and red/orange. I have a vague idea of combining them into one, but that will wait until I’m back home.

The strip rows are sewn but are not joined together yet. The center is an orphan block.
One joy of working with scraps is remembering when I first used the fabrics. The middle of this one is cotton stamped with bleach and then stitched.

Most likely we are driving back to chilly Ohio as you read this. Next week I’ll tell you about another art museum I visited, and anything else we’ve done besides stuffing our faces with Gulf shrimp.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday. This week I learned that tangents are shapes that touch or connect in a way that is visually bothersome.


Filed under Commentary, Everything Else

Vintage Singer 99-13 Sewing Machine On Offer

Update: My machine has found a new home where she’ll be given TLC.

It’s hard to part with old friends, and this is the machine I learned to sew on, but the time has come to find it a new home. It, or rather she, is a 99-13 portable sewing machine, one of 10,000 made in 1930 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, AD093993, Motor #48-7053, Catalog B.U. 7-E.

She sews forward straight stitch only, and is operated with a knee control. She comes with a complete buttonhole attachment kit, a cord, and assorted other feet and attachmentts that may belong to it or another vintage Singer that belonged to my granny. The 99-13 is considered a portable 3/4 size machine and comes in a bentwood case, though it weighs in the neighborhood of 20 pounds. I had it serviced some years ago, and it still runs and the light works as of two weeks ago. Here’s a post that further describes this machine.

If you are willing to pick it up in Akron, Ohio, it can be yours for $20, with all accessories included. Prices online are all over the map, but I know this model isn’t as desirable as a featherweight. Sorry, but I think shipping costs would be too much to make that option worth anyone’s while.

You can contact me at if you’re interested or have questions.

99-13 front
99-13 case
Buttonhole attachment
Instruction manual for buttonholer #160506
Feet, bobbins, and attachments

Feel free to pass this offer along to anyone you know who might be interested. It might be just the thing for a Singer enthusiast. Thanks.


Filed under Everything Else

My Spoonflower Addiction

As digital fabric printing becomes more prevalent, fabric users have even more choices for printing their own without resorting to the vagaries of their home printers. The latest SAQA Journal has a good comparison by the Pixeladies of fabric printing services. In the future I may try some of the services reviewed, but for now I’m sticking with Spoonflower as I know their interface and have been satisfied with their work. And it doesn’t hurt that they’ve been running 20% off sales.

I’ve turned to photos printed on fabric as a way to continue creating now that intense piecing is literally painful for me. I aspire to create work like the one below, but I’ve a ways to go.

“Union Station” Jill Kerttula

Jill Kerttula uses fabric printed photographs as a starting point for her work. Her blog entry about “6 of Chaos”shows her process. You can see more of her work on her website.

From my latest fabric order I created “Corrugated,” which uses four fat quarters of Photoshop edited versions of a photo my friend Penny took. I’ve inset narrow strips of varying widths to spice up the palette.

“Corrugated” detail

I don’t know if I’ll add more embellishment or quilt it as is. Any opinions are welcome.

Inspiration for how to deal with another fabric from the same order has been slow in coming. This is another photo from Penny that I played with in Photoshop. I want to emphasize the gritty textures, and may add some of the fabric I painted for my Tansy Hargan class.

Just in case you wondered, I’ve never had any flower photos printed for me, though I’ve used photos of trees.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Everything Else, Fabric Printing, In Process

And The Winners Are…

The Random Raffle Generator selected the following entrants to receive my pieces:

  1. Arch – Chris Wheeler
  2. Art – Kay Welch
  3. Eyes – Karen M
  4. Ferny – MaryJo K
  5. Geese – No one
  6. Opening Up – Jane Herbst
  7. Openings – Doris Miller
  8. Silk – Penny Bruce
  9. Spring – Doreen Kuster

Congratulations! Please email me (snarkyquilter[at] with your mailing address within 7 days so I can ship you your prize. If I don’t hear back from you I will select another winner.

If you live within easy reach of Akron, Ohio, I’d appreciate it if we can arrange a porch or doorstep handoff rather than rely on USPS. Let me know if this works for you.

It took me a while to warm up to podcasts, but now I listen as I sew/paint/collage/print. Here’s one devoted to quilting from the Quilt Alliance. I also love Jill Lepore’s The Last Archive, which has nothing to do with quilting.

Finally, because every post needs a picture, here are four of my latest hand stitched, needle felted wool circles. So far I’ve done 17 of 25.


Filed under Completed Projects, Everything Else

Covid Cutups

A very slender silver lining in the current pandemic is the ability of humans to find humor in an awful situation. Give people extra time on their hands and orders to self isolate and they get creative.

With so many art museums making their collections available for online viewing, it’s inevitable that people, cooped up in houses or apartments, will revive the old pastime of tableau vivant. The Getty Museum spurred some of these efforts with its challenge to recreate art in its collection with three household items.

The Astronomer, 1668, Johannes Vermeer. Oil on canvas, 19.6 in. x 17.7 in. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image: Wikimedia Commons. Recreation on Twitter and via Facebook DM by Ann Zumhagen-Krause and her husband with tray table, blanket, and globe

On Instagram @covidclassics four roommates are recreating famous paintings with much ingenuity. For each post they show their version, the original painting, and a behind the scenes look at how they did it.

Then, why not adapt famous art works to be more relatable to your pets? Two self-isolating Londoners created a museum especially for their pet gerbils. Unfortunately, the gerbils take chewing the scenery literally. As is often the case, these museum goers have ignored the signs.

If you’ve come across other examples of humor to help us cope with our times, please send me the links. To quote Jimmy Buffet, “If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane.”


Filed under Everything Else

Artistic Endeavors – Enlightenment and Entertainment

Photo Sources

From Gratisgraphy

New York Quilt Project Being Digitized

Influence of Women Artists

Ruth Asawa

Songs and Geography

Song Map of Texas

Free Art Books Published by the Getty 

The Getty Center

Artistic Maps

Susan Stockwell Colonial Dress

Japanese Book of Wave Patterns

If A City Looked Like An Artist


Filed under Everything Else

Help Me Shed Light On My Work

I mean that quite literally. My husband has proposed some lighting upgrades to make it easier for me to see what I’m doing in my studio. It is a former bedroom with the obligatory middle of the ceiling dim light. New energy efficient bulbs haven’t helped much. The two windows are on the same wall and either bring in too little or too much light from their western exposure.

So far I’ve done online searches, which have given me general guidelines but not enough specifics as to products to use/avoid and costs. Some of the studios pictured have tons of ceiling lights, but visions of large price tags for fixtures and electricians dance through my head when I look at them.

Drop lights and wall sconces

Track lighting. (I want that cabinet to the right.)

Rows of track lighting. My fabric doesn’t look like that.
I like the idea of adjustable height lights.

I have task lights at my work table and on my sewing machine, but there are dark areas by the ironing board and design wall. I know changes are needed, but I’m befuddled about where to begin. This is where you come in.

What lighting solutions have worked for you? What kind of budget did you have? Are there resources I haven’t yet tapped to help guide me?



Filed under Everything Else

Artistic Endeavors – Just Dance

Fred Astaire. Restored by Nick & Jane for Dr. Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans Website: Enjoy!

I have shortchanged dance in this feature, so I want to remedy that by featuring a seven minute montage of dance moves from about 300 movies.

If you’re movie obsessed, you can track which movies the clips come from, thanks to the list on Open Culture’s post. What a mashup – Blazing Saddles, The Deerhunter, Pulp Fiction, A Hard Days Night, and Groundhog Day all have their moments.


Filed under Commentary, Everything Else

Artistic Endeavors – Aboriginal Art

Because Australia’s Aboriginal people have no written language, they told about their culture through stories and symbols and icons. Traditionally paintings by Aboriginals were drawn on rock walls, ceremonial articles, as body paint and most significantly drawn in dirt or sand together with songs or stories.  Artwork we see today on canvas and board commenced merely 50 years ago, according to this article on Artlandish. Roughly the same story is told on this art gallery’s website.

In the 1930s Arboriginal artists such as Albert Namatjira painted watercolors of desert landscapes near Alice Springs.

Until the 1970s watercolor was the medium used in commercial Aboriginal art. Then, Geoffrey Bardon,  a school teacher, noted that storytellers would draw pictures in the sand while telling stories. He encouraged them to paint their pictures on canvas.

Since then Australian Aboriginal Art has been identified as the most exciting contemporary art form of the 20th Century. Aboriginal Artists need permission to paint particular stories.

They inherit the rights to these stories which are passed down through generations within certain skin groups. An Aboriginal artist cannot paint a story that does not belong to them through family.

Aboriginal art differs in character and style depending from which region the artist is from and what language is spoken.  Most contemporary art can be recognised from the community where it was created.

Dreamtime or Jukurrpa and Tingari (the term varies according to their particular local language) is the translation of the Creation of time for the Aboriginal People.  Most Aboriginal Artists paint facets of their Dreaming which forms a share of their inheritance and identity.

This is the ancient story of the Milky Way and the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). This Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella from her mother, handed down to her from her paternal grandmother, Long Rose, given to Gabriella by her father.
aerial view used by some artists
indigenous painters at work

In May 2007 the first piece of indigenous art sold for more than $1 million –  Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s work ‘Earth’s Creation’ to a private buyer for $1.056 million.

The market for such art has helped strengthen Aboriginal culture and provided much needed boosts to local economies. Aboriginal designs can be found in cotton fabrics sold online and in quilt shops.


Filed under Commentary, Everything Else