Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anderson Arts Center 20th Anniversary Juried Alumni Show

I was the only fiber artist to have work juried into this show.


My work is in the center and one the right. All the work in this particular gallery was black and white with a few touches of color on one piece.

I am not a skilled photographer and want to state that before you view the rest of this post.

The lighting of the work is first class. The Arts Center has fantastic windows that let in a lot of light. If I was a better photographer those things would not be a problem.

They allow the work to be shown in all it’s glory, but the photos I will be posting are not the greatest, even though the work itself is.

That said, let’s get on with the show!


“Girl’s Swim Team”  by Janet Roberts was an oil on vintage fabrics. I loved her work and have been drawn to it in previous shows at the AAC.

I guess you could call this piece another fiber piece but she is a painter rather than a fiber artist in my opinion.

Team GuysjanetRoberts

“Team Guys”, an oil and mixed media is also by Janet Roberts.


“Wisconsinite Lackoon” by Michael Kutzer is an acrylic painting. There are so many things about this work that draw me in.

bullsfrog's lullaby

“Bullfrog’s Lullaby” is also by Michael Kutzer. Another favorite of mine.

This is a show I plan to visit again as there is so much wonderful art. I hope I have shared enough that you will get to see the show in person too.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sea And Sand–It’s Finished


This is another finished quilt that I started in 2012. When I started to quilt it the quilting design just flowed for me. Often I have no idea how I am going to quilt something until I get it under the needle and it just happens. That is exactly what happened with this one.


This is a close-up of the quilting on one section of the sand.


This is the quilting design I used for the sea.


Another section of sand – with a color variation.

I do not do realistic, but I sometimes suggest real things abstractly which I have done in this piece.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mystic Spirit

This is the first of two quilts I finished yesterday.


I am so happy with this quilt – design, quilting and workmanship.

Can you see the spirit in this quilt?

Almost all the fabrics are the shibori fabrics I created in the recent dyeing season.

My word for 2011 was imperfection. I seem to have forgotten that when I made this and strived for perfection. I’ve come as close as I ever do to that!


This is the back of the quilt. You can see the facings I used to finish the edges as well as the casing (rod pocket) at the top to hang the quilt.

I used fusible Pellon polyester fleece as a filler. The backing fabric coordinates well with the front of the quilt.

Some of the finished quilts I have been showing you recently were started years ago. This one was only started months ago.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ramblin’ Rose–It’s Done!

Rambling rosefinished

Ramblin’ Rose is finished. I am so pleased with it.

And to think, it only took me 19 years from start to finish!

I used Pellon fusible polyester fleece in this as the filler.

I backed it with a medium weight drapery fabric. This gives a wall quilt body and helps it hang flat.

Depending on the size of the quilt, it normally does not require a casing on the bottom to make it hang straight.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heading Toward Another Finish–It’s Quilted


This is ready to layer and then quilt.

I am using Pellon Fusible Polyester Fleece. I fuse it to the back of the quilt top.

You can see the fabric at the right that I am using for the backing, facings and casing.

I like to choose a fabric that coordinates with the front of the quilt. You may not see it when it is hanging on the wall, but when I have a nice fabric on the back I do my best work.

I compare it to wearing pretty underwear – no one sees it but it makes you feel good!


I really enjoy doing the machine quilting. I did slightly irregular horizontal lines on this quilt.

I can really put the pedal to the medal and zoom across the rows. I also find this is almost a Zen form of quilting.

lodenshibori quiltingcloseup

This is a close up of the quilting. The stitched lines are 1/8 to 3/16th inches apart. This was the best proportion for the size of the quilt. It also adds body to the quilt.

The only thing left to do is attach the facings and casing and sew them down by hand. That will actually take longer than it did to quilt it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Design Process – “Rainbow Quilt”–Working On It


This is the point I am at right now with this quilt design. I am not so sure it will be the final design, but it is only about the 10th idea I have tried with these fabrics.

I’d like to share a few steps along the way with you so you can follow my design process on this particular piece.


I started out by joining the three pieces that will make up the center area of the quilt.

I added a strip of the secondary fabric to each edge after I determined what I though a proportional width should be.


I really thought that this would make a great asymmetrical design so I cut strips a width I thought would work and pinned them to the quilt.

It was soon obvious they were too wide so I went on to the next design you will see.


While this was an improvement it still wasn’t good.


This is where I listened to the quilt and it told me it wanted to be symmetrical.

I added two strips that were the same and moved them towards the outer edges.

The last thing I did was to add the center strip you saw in the first photo.

I will now leave this on the design wall and study it while I work on other pieces.

Even though some things I create look simple you can probably see now that simple is not quick and easy!

Gorgeous Quilt Is On The Wall


We were able to get this quilt hung on the wall in Jessica’s room yesterday. It is the perfect finishing touch to the room.

Unfortunately the lights in this room are not color corrected like those in the studio so the color is a little off.

Since Jessica didn’t come to visit this weekend, we may have to call this Jared’s room for now!

Jared’s Jams

Jared's Jams

I enjoyed spending time with my grandson Jared yesterday. I asked him if he would like to make some Strawberry and Raspberry jam with me and he said he would.

We made freezer jams and he did most of the work!

We made one batch of each. This is our yield from the two batches – minus two containers Julie took to his other grandma and the one container we taste tested.

It is now ready to go into the freezer and/or refrigerator.

It is delicious – nothing like homemade jams and jellies!

Friday, June 22, 2012

What Is A Tessellation?

I have done many posts about my adventures with Tessellations. I received a comment this week that made me think this is a  post worth repeating.

She said she NOW understands what a tessellation is after reading this. I hope if any of you are wondering this will clarify it for you too.

Tessellations from The Colors Of My Life series - Rerun

In reality all the quilts in this series qualify as tessellations since they are made up of squares.
One definition of tessellation is fit together without leaving any spaces.
The quilts I will feature are those where the shape of the design element forms a tessellation.
I will also share some where the design element comes close to creating a tessellation but doesn't quite.

The design formed by the four patches of individual colors in this quilt are NOT a tessellation. I had to fill them in with the one patch of a different color.

Each unit of color tessellates in this quilt. Each unit is made up of 18 shaded squares of a color. I wanted this quilt to be square so there are partial units along the edges. I could have continued them for full shapes.

This design is similar to the previous one but the units do NOT tessellate. They had to be filled in with the 4 gray squares.

The simple crosses form a tessellation in this quilt alternating black, brown or gray for every other cross.

When you first look at this you may say the shapes here do NOT tessellate. Keep looking and see if you CAN find the shape. It may help you to see the tessellating shapes if you squint or take off your glasses.

If you can not find it now look at the photo in gray scale and I think you WILL be able to see it. There are light shapes and dark shapes that tessellate with each other.

There are many other ways to create tessellated shapes. You can find some of them on my blog by putting tessellations in the box on the upper left hand corner and clicking on the magnifying glass. This is a fascinating adventure and I hope you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another Finish–It's Only Make Believe


It is a great feeling to be finishing some of my works in progress.

I have made many black and white quilts but this is the first black and white shibori quilt I have made.

Currently the other most recent black and white “finishes” are in a juried show at The Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, WI that will open on June 24th.


This is one of the quilts that was accepted for the all media show at Anderson Arts Center. The show is an alumni show and was only open to artists who have shown at AAC before. I expect it to be a really great show. I’ll be at the opening from 1-4 p.m. on June 24th. Hope to see you there!


All three of these quilts have a strong graphic image.

The other black and white quilts I have made were made from prints, possibly combined with solids and while they are graphic images, their graphics are not as clear and strong.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gorgeous Quilt is Done–365!


As the sun shone through the windows this morning the quilting design became more visible and I thought I’d finally be able to get a photo where you could see it..

I took a lot of photos and this shows it best.

It has been so long since I designed this quilting design I have no idea how I came up with it – but I am quite sure I did several pages of sketches.

It unifies and connects the lines created with the pink strips in the piecing.


You might even be able to see the detail better in this gray scale image.

Yes, this is the 365th quilt I have finished in the years I have been quilting. It has been almost 45 years since I finished the first successful quilt.At that time it was extremely difficult to find fabrics, batting and other quilting tools. I used scraps of fabrics from clothing I had made and a cardboard template to trace around for 2 x 4 inch finished pieces. My, how times have changed!

I guess my average time then to make a quilt is 45 days! This one was in the works for 15 years – start to finish.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Gorgeous Happy Quilt On My Design Wall–Ready To Be Quilted!

Big flower quilt2betterthan1

This quilt started as a prototype for a design I wanted to teach. It didn’t look at all like this and it didn’t work for the class. One of the benefits of making quilts is so often the solutions to a design problem are so much better than the original idea. The only one of my quilts that ended up in the wastebasket was my very first. I had just started to sew when I was 13 and had no idea how to make a quilt. I just started sewing various shapes together. That was a long time and over 364 finished quilts ago. It also was well over 100 works in progress ago. I am making some progress finishing these works in progress now that my studio is organized again.


This is the original photo of it. It was not a pleasing composition and was more difficult than what I wanted for the class.

By seeing the reworked quilt on the design wall as I worked on other things in the studio I came up with an appropriate and also easy quilting design to complete it.

I love this quilt and can’t wait to finish it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day–Quilt Made For Our Dad’s 75th Birthday

When my Dad turned 75 I had the bright idea for the family to make him a quilt.


I had a lot of help!!!

The rest of the family signed the signature strips and I cut and pieced and quilted the entire quilt.

There are 25 signature squares in the quilt.

If a family signature quilt was made today there would be more than twice as many blocks.

He would have been 97 years old on his birthday in February 2012.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Gorgeous Quilt–Ready For The Finishing Steps–Hand Sewing


I put a four inch casing (rod pocket) on both the top and bottom of this quilt. Of course the one at the top is where I insert a slat to hang it.

I also like to insert a slat in the bottom as that helps the quilt hang better.I will sew both ends to the quilt and also the fold at the lower edge. There is 1/2 inch of extra fabric in the outer layer of the casing which then allows you to insert a slat and not have it show on the outside.


I have added a double layer of bias binding around the entire edge of the quilt on the front.

It will be brought over to the back and hand sewn down. I will line up the folded edge of the binding with the stitching line that attached the binding.

quiltreadytohandsewbindingand casingssupplies

I have all my supplies ready to do the hand sewing. It is just a matter of time before this quilt can be added to my list of completed quilts!

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Studio: Accessories Finish The Room

As I have spent time in my newly reorganized studio my thoughts turn to using some of my quilts and other items as accessories and decorative items.

Studio decorations 2quiltsonfeltbookcase

Since my studio has a lot of windows and the long design wall it does not leave a lot of wall space to hang things. I have to think of other ways to hang quilts to make the room complete.

One solution I have come up with is to use a tension rod to hang a piece of felt to cover a bookcase.

I have pinned two quilts to the felt. This also makes it easy to change the quilts I display any time I want.

Studio decorationsofficewallbookcase

A French wood printing block and this quilt hang on the far right of the office area of the studio. Visible from the workspace in the office is the side of this bookcase. I had four 8 x 10 glossies printed of some of my quilts. I framed them with very simple black frames and they made the side of this bookcase so much more attractive.

Making my space beautiful and colorful inspires me when I am creating.

Often we have to think out of the box not only when creating art, but also when decorating a home or studio.

I hope this will give someone else some ideas.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quilting Tutorial–Marking Difficult Fabric–Part 2

For the triangular spaces I had left to quilt on the each side of the quilt I chose to use straight lines. The piece didn’t call for any more curved quilting lines.

quiltforjessicasroommarkingandquilting 1stsetoflines

I used a ruler and my Chalkoner to mark a set of lines to quilt on one of the triangles.


The next step was to quilt this set of lines.


Using the even feed foot I am continuing quilting all the lines I have drawn.


To stitch the second set of lines 1/2 inch to the right of the first set I put the needle in the far right position and followed the first stitching with the left edge of the presser foot.


I drew the second set of lines on the other side of the triangle the same way I drew the first set.

I stitched all the lines starting at the inside edge of the triangle section and finished at the outer edge of the quilt.

I stitched the drawn lines first and then set the needle position to the far left and stitched 1/2 inch away from the lines.


This shows the complete quilting on one of the triangles. I did one triangle at a time from start to finish.

By the time I finished each triangle you could no longer see the lines I had marked with my Chalkoner.

I really enjoy the quilting process. I enjoy doing the stitching and I love to see how the quilting that is done in harmony with the quilt adds so much to the piece.

I feel like I am on the home stretch with this quilt as I only have to trim the edges, bind it and add casings to both the top and bottom edges

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quilting Tutorial: Marking Difficult Fabrics–Part 1

When I showed the quilt I am finishing for Jessica’s room I had questions about how I was going to mark the sections I had yet to do.

They were very legitimate questions as the background fabric is one of those that is hard to see marks on.

Add to that the fact that there is already a layer of wool batting behind the fabric because most of the quilt has already been quilted.


These are my 2 favorite things for marking quilting lines.

The Chalkoner has a wheel at the bottom and it dispenses a very fine line of chalk. I only use the white powder as the colors were difficult to impossible to remove.

I have had mine “forever” and had to do a Google search to find a source if you are interested in this.

It can be refilled. I have never used up the chalk in my original one.

I also use the Clover tailor’s chalk that you can get here.

You may have other favorite marking devices but these work better than anything else I have tried and I probably have tried them all!


I made a pattern for my quilting lines from a piece of heavy template plastic. I laid this on one section of the quilt and marked all the horizontal quilting curved lines.

I used the Chalkoner. By the time I finished quilting you could no longer see any of the marking. I sometimes have to remark some areas.


I then did the same thing for the vertical curves. It is not easy to see the quilting on the pictures of this quilt. To me that is not a big deal. The quilting design enhances the design of the quilt. To me that is what quilting should do, not shout so loud it overpowers what you have created with your piecing.

Stay tuned and tomorrow I will share with you the way I quilted the triangle sections on the edges of this quilt.

In case you haven’t seen the entire quilt I’m adding a photo of it.