Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Out of Focus

I'd like to remember 2016 as this is  --  a bit exuberant, but completely out of focus. I had lovely travels, and met such wonderful people along my way. It is with fondness that I leave this year behind, and am wishing for clarity for the new year. One can hope.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Facing It All

If I've got a wall piece, I will add a facing rather than a binding. I like the look of the work with no little edge framing it. I'm sewing a 2" strip of fabric that matches the backing, and then I will open it up, sew a holding stitch (above) and then pull to the back, turn under the edge, and hand sew down.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Time for my 4' long framing square to trim the quilt. I'll hook the end against the square of the table (just a hollow core door atop a drawer unit) and use the metal edge to guide the rotary cutter. Mine came from Home Depot.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Parts is Parts

A walk to the Memorial Art Gallery today for a look at Indian miniature paintings. This one, ink and paint on paper, was of a composite elephant that was built with other animals. It was painted around 1775

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tension Headache

With an expensive tune-up a few weeks ago, and a glitch fixed, I've got my longarm back. But it is not right, and prefers to skip a few inches now and again just to let me know all is not well. I'm reaching for headache relief.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Clean Up Day

I don't know the meaning of "Boxing Day". For me, it's clean-up day. If I could reorder my living space, I could go back to the studio (and get some work done). There's hope.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

We didn't cook a Christmas goose, but a walk along the Erie Canal had these three to greet us (and a fourth on the water) and encourage us to walk off the gobs we ate for breakfast, in time for more at dinner.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa's Working

Night before, and there's one more gift to finish making. But this is a simple folded hem for a silk scarf. Silk -- the confection of the fabric world.

Friday, December 23, 2016

We Called It Pathetic

Cookies for the sake of cookies. That's what we did, with no exception for perfection. Maybe that is what decorating should be -- spontaneous, fun, for the moment. My reaction to life as we know it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

And One for Me

It's not unusual -- we all do it -- find a lovely gift for someone, then get one for themselves. I've long admired the painter Jim Mott, and so happy to find a sketch that I will claim as my gift to myself. And, yes, to the left is the Mott I'll be giving away.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Grin and Vacuum It

All the pink quilting I put in, I took out. Which left me with lots of little threads. While I should be vacuuming for company, instead I did this. What ever works.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Gift

Word came to day that my May 8-12 class "Glorious Prints" at Pro Chemical and Dye has just three more slots open (class fills at 14). I'm so thrilled! I've put a whole cloth piece on the longarm, one I made with printing thickened dyes, an example of what I'll be teaching this May.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Follow the Lead

Filling a large area with quilting may be daunting, but I just follow what is in the fabric. These faint dye lines are perfect to quilt improvisationally.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Speaking of Small

SAQA trunk shows call for diminutive works. My 10" x 7" will fit the bill. I'm putting it on the wall to photograph next to my nifty color corrector thingie. Then I can cross this off the list.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Small Friends

Gifted were these two little people. They are about as perfect as can be, and as much as I wanted to let them hang around, temptation was too great. Now I'll have to make some of my own as replacements. But larger size.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Feathers Always in Season

"Princess Feather Pattern" quilt was loaned by the International Quilt Study Center and Museum to the exhibition still on view at the Schweinfurth Art Center. I love the fingers, the folkesque simplicity, and the color restraint. Not to mention that echo quilting. Made  1850-1870, it's still talking current.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Color, just about anything that glitters, and (let's face it) great packaging, all contribute to feeding my habit for buying spheres. Polka dots are my go-to fabrics, rows of dots are my favorite wrapping paper. I'm stuck on orbs. (Super Moon is still hanging around.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Baby Come Back

Missing for many weeks, the longarm is back, hooked up, and ready for the back log. Just what I need for this stormy wintry weather. P.S. I did see that super moon tonight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Full (Super) Moon, Empty List

Somewhere behind the cloud cover is a supermoon. It is the only thing marked on my calendar, so that left me the day to scratch off items on my list. No, not my Christmas list, the get it done list. Which I did.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dealing with Chaos

Tonight's concert by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato asked the question "what do you do to find peace amidst the chaos?" Well, making art helps. All that maybe wrong or ailing goes away while creating. I leave you with a detail of a Sheila Hicks sculptural piece seen in Toronto recently.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mixing In

I've got a thick white plastic table cover that has the body to take mixing thickened dyes directly. I can blend using the scraper like a palette knife, then on to scraping the fabric. Works!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Roar of the Crowd

Rochester Contemporary holds two days of "The Day the Artists Speak", and I was on the line-up for today. This is the crowd that awaited me. The crowd was full of other artists, and a great chance for me to speak.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Good To Cut

I often tell people to just cut it up. And then I come across that unusual piece myself. Okay, evidence that it's to be cut and used. Can do.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Virtual Reality

Art Quilts International: Abstract & Geometric by Martha Sielman arrived today, and I had to do a double take. Yup. That's the cover. Yup. That's over my couch.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Clean Up, Everybody Do Their Share

I love using soy wax as the resist for this screen. After weeks of sitting with dried-on print paste, I can happily wash it out with cold water, and leave the "exes" in place. Oh, and the 'everybody' is just me. And a note to say thanks to all who added a "keep it going" to my blog post count. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2000 for Now

Here is the celebratory moment. I've got some fresh snow here goes. I've posted (with maybe three exceptions) consecutively for 2000 nights. There has been old life, new life, strange life, pieces and resistance. I'm still posting. Thanks for coming along with me.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Shape Shift

Moving, reconfigure, shift. That is what today was all about. I'm not finished. It's back to the drawing board tomorrow.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Knowing What's in the Box

Once a year I get the ornament box out of the attic, open it, and relive the hows and whys of each piece stored. A visual album, with each item that may seem odd to anyone else, but known intimately by me.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Wow Factor

I can't remember the artist who submitted this hair sculpture, mimicking a 19th century hair wreath, but it certainly deserved winning the Wow Award from Rochester Contemporary's director Blue Cease. Yes, hair is fiber. So, fiber wins.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Opening Tonight

In the back, and up high is "Moonlight Saturna" at the Rochester Contemporary members show. Always great to see the breadth of talent here, and fun to be in the crowd on opening night. No matter the crowd is looking elsewhere.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Art Makes You Cry

Starlee Kine's work "Issue 10: Crying Instructions" is a bamboo cutting board with offset lithograph letters. Part of the text is "Today I am the crazier person because I bought an onion at the farmer's market. This onion made me cry and so naturally it reminded me of you." Part of my Tuesday tour at the BMA. Talk about using materials in a new way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Delusions of Grandeur

Rene Magritte's work "Delusions of Grandeur" at the Baltimore Art Museum, on my stop today, had me wondering his meaning. That it's time to pare down? Or is it time to segment my life? Or that progressive lenses would be best for someone with my eyesight? I'm still wondering.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Figure Studies

Sarah Mary Taylor's work from the 1990s "Business Man" is at the Schweinfurth now in an exhibition curated by Jonathan Holstein. This work, from his collection, has engaging shapes cut and appliqued to strong colored backgrounds. I have a detail here, so that you can see how it is cut, applied and quilted.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pollen Season

Betty Busby's work "Pollen" greets you at the door of the Quilts=Art=Quilts show. Knowing where Betty gets these shapes helps, but I like it for just what I see, and really don't need to know the subject matter. But if it helps you to see, that's ok.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Seeing is Believing, But Feeling...

... is the truth. Kathy Ford's lecture did something unusual. She told the story of a "class" healing quilt that was passed from member to member for five years. It returned to her, and she passed it for us to hold as well. Can't remember the last time a quilt was passed around.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lecture Tomorrow

Kathy Ford's work is part of the Schweinfurth's exhibition Quilts=Art=Quilts, and she will be speaking tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:00. Weather and time permitting, I hope to be there.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Holiday Shopping Begins

While I won't be participating in Black Friday, I've mailed some printed scarves to the Pink House Gallery in Saranac Lake. Yes, wool might be a better bet, but these silk drape beautifully and I wear them 18 hours a day. And they are warm! Happy day after turkey day.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Drawn and Figured

For a section of this next work I needed to draw and piece the element. To the rescue is my freezer paper. Those who know my technique know it saves me again and again for figuring out how to piece in a shape. Well, here it is again -- the drawing on left, and a few pieces on the right.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On the Wall

Inspired by the fabric I've made this summer, I've started a piece improvisationally. Now that my travel is slowed down, I can indeed concentrate on my design wall.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Schweinfurth's Quilts=Art=Quilts

1985 was my first acceptance to this show. This is the first in the last 10 years I have not been in. As I look around, I see many worthy artists taking my spot. I'm good with that. This has always been a show to serve up strength and controversy, this year no exception. Go visit.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Unexpected Foundation

Shin-hee Chin's Homage to Sonia Delaunay is now on view at the Schweinfurth's "Quilts=Art=Quilts" exhibition. With a photo one can clearly see the face, but without it is difficult. Shin-hee paints on a coiled basket-like substrate. Her other works are similarly surprising in technique.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Meeting Up

Yesterday was a meeting of art quilters based near the Finger Lakes in New York. We are privileged to use Schweinfurth's open flex space to meet, and these foam walls for showing work. Whether a piece in progress, like Liz Anderson's at left, or my hunk of printed linen, at right, it's always great discussion.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Things, Things, Things

Art at the Pink House, a gallery in Saranac Lake, New York, has a bunch of my hand dyed and painted linen pillows. Since a couple have sold (!) I'm boxing these up and mailing replacements. And you think all I do is look at art these days?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Room Full of Gerri

The World of Threads showcased an entire hallway to Gerri Spilka's work.  Large, graphic, and organically shaped quilts seemed to do-si-do as you walked between them. Wish I could have a long view, but glad to see a formidable group.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Public Display of Affection

One of my favorite artists is Pamela Allen, whose work "Kissing in Public" is on view at the exhibition The World of Threads in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. This detail shows the lovely graphic quality for which she is expert, and the color and pattern play that she uses with such ease.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Intoxicating Art

Yesterday was a visit to the World of Threads exhibit in Oakville , Ontario, Canada. The grandest, most memorable, and certainly the work with the most parts (11,000 leaves) was this wall of leaves molded from beeswax. The smell was intoxicating, the effect mind blowing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Beauty in Chaos

Jonathan Holstein's Schweinfurth lecture this Sunday touched on this Anna Williams quilt from his collection. He reminded us that although it seemed simple and random, it was crafted expertly and with genius. Yes, seems simple, but, it's difficult to do. You try.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon

My shots of the night sky never turn out, so I offer this as an alternative. I've been noticing the moon of late, it's still delightful. Happy Supermoon.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Expert is in the House

Jonathan Holstein and Barb Ackley hold her quilt while Marcia DeCamp looks on during Jonathan's lecture today at the Schweinfurth Art Center. His breadth of knowledge on material culture (no pun intended) is vast, and his observations are spot on. A lecture that was a treat.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Art Quilt Class 101

Friday was a "Dozen Ways: Design for Abstract Art Quilts," a kind of boot camp forgene rating ideas for works. Fun, for sure, but difficult as well. Making one "sketch" seemed easy, three not so much. But in the end, the results and ideas were grand