Saturday, December 17, 2011

MASTERS: Art Quilts Volume 2

MASTERS: Art Quilts Volume 2-- Can I just gush for a moment about and say; Wow, Wowee, Wowzee, Wowzer!!  I had the amazing opportunity to review this new wonder published by Lark Crafts and curated by Martha Sielman and what an honor it was!  Whether or not all the art within these pages speaks to you, it is imperative to our textile/fiber art community that we are aware of what strides are being taken to further our voices as a whole.

The first thing that struck me was the choice to use cool colors on the cover vs. the warm colors used on Volume 1.  The formatting of this book is ideal due to the ability to see an artist's body of work, instead of the typical 1 or 2 photos, which allows you to really get a feel for how that artist works.

About a month or so ago on the Quilt Art list there was a discussion about how textile/fiber artists discuss their work and how we generally discuss technique vs. thoughts or how we came to create a particular piece.  I don't know that that particular thought process would have mattered to me before the discussion but it stood out to me at this point in viewing.  Each artist has a mini bio at the beginning of their section and there are quotes of how they design sprinkled throughout their section but each photo has a list of techniques accompanying it.  Since my art consists of pretty basic techniques like photo printing, painting, and thread painting; I am fascinated by the endless variety of techniques used by the artists within these pages. 

There is a wonderful mixture of realism vs.abstract, traditional vs. innovative technique and you will be intrigued even when it isn't normally something you would be interested in.  I am not an abstract art viewer so when I find some I like, it is usually difficult for me to verbalize why I like it.  The following artists made me stop and take a second and third look:
Jan Myers-Newbury for her movement, texture, and Autumn colors.  I think color always plays a big part in the viewer being drawn into a piece.
Dirkje van der Horst-Beetsma for the movement of the jagged stitch lines and I really enjoyed the assembly of her work.
Nelda Warkentin for the movement, the sheer and light aspects, the obvious nature feel, and the repetition of design that spoke to me from a traditional perspective.

I would also like to point out a few other artists' work that I was intrigued by for various reasons:
Carolyn Crump for her great use of fabrics and her use of thread work for shading and facial detail.
Paula Nadelstern's work is mesmerizing from the urban (Tree Grate) to the magical (Ice Crystals-which prompted me to buy one of her books) but I am truly blown away by her landscapes, specifically Tulips in the Courtyard....Absolutely Lovely!
Laura Wasilowski's work is not only joyful but narrative and I can't believe she hasn't been approached to illustrate a children's book--specifically Lacking Gravity, Fences and Bridges 2, and Farm.
Linda MacDonald has a wonderful ability to bring serious subjects to the viewer in an extremely accessible way as you are drawn in trying to find other motifs with significance to the piece.
Maryline Collioud-Robert's repetitive lines are soothing even when meant to evoke vibrant energy.
Tim Harding intrigued from the cover and I wanted to see how he managed to create something abstract and realistic at the same time...his rippling water effects make you want to see them close up and/or go for a swim:)
Lastly, I am in love with The Tower by Izabella Baykova and want to visit that magical and ethereal destination.

"Quilting combines the best of what the art world has to give.  It can be sculptural. It can encompass drawing and painting.  It's the ultimate mixed medium."  Thank you, Jim Smoote, I couldn't have said it any better!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Kitchen


So after a few days of up and down the ladder, taking out all the grape dishes / knick knacks, and then adding in the new dishes; my new kitchen look is almost complete. 
The shelf above the stove now needs some color and I will completely
enjoy the search for new fun things to decorate with and new curtains too.

I already had a small sunflower art quilt that I will now mat with
red and frame in black to accent that wall.

I was able to salvage enough sunflowers from the wall paper book
for most of the walls and only had to paint one additional flower to complete the look.

I am very pleased with the look I accomplished mixing painting and wall paper.

Lastly, this is a look into the living room where my tree is up and ready for company:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ORANGE is in!

According to Pantone, Tangerine Tango will be the color for 2012 and I couldn't be happier.  In honor of this new vibrant color choice, here is my orange show and tell.  Orange has been cropping up in my quilts for awhile mostly in the Autumn, spiced pumpkin shades.  Lately, the brighter colors have been sneaking in.  Either way, orange is a fabulous color and I hope you will all be inspired to add just a touch to your new work this year.

Autumn Shore
Approximately 12" mounted to Canvas

My Artrageous Challenge
11" x 14"

Journal Quilt about Marriage

Thread painted Lilies
5" x 7"

3D Appliqued Lily mounted to 12" canvas

Abstract from an original design

Floral Windmill pattern
Makes a great signature quilt

Inspired from a Micke Dupre class

Harvest Nights pattern

Hawaiian Halloween pattern

Las Flores pattern color variation

Poppy Nouveau Design

Swaying Hearts Trio pattern
Harlequin Rose design

Orange Peel variation for NewFavorites Competition

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Poinsettias are blooming

Is "blooming" the right word for a poinsettia?  Yes it is and mine is blooming.  There was already one  planted in the front yard of my new home and the dip in tempuratures/shorter days must have pushed it to brighten:)  I am loving it!!  I might try to plant another this year.

I know the blog has been mostly about my new Florida foliage adventures but there has been plenty of quilting going on too....

AND more to come:)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Sale!

Coastal Christmas in Redwork
You may want to try it in applique too.
The December sale means that this new pattern could be yours for FREE!  Now through December 10th I am holding a 2 for 1 sale on my website: where you will be able to see my new layout along with a few new patterns.  Buy one at regular price and get one of equal or lesser cost for free.  Make sure to tell me in the message field during checkout which Free pattern you would like or you can email me (email address is at the bottom of the HOME page).  I will double check when I confirm that I received your order.

Above is a brand new pattern that is a variation on my very popular Coastal Christmas applique pattern.  Here it is done in redwork and smaller, measuring 20" square. 
Don't forget to visit my Etsy store for a few wonderful last minute gifts and where shipping is FREE until the 10th.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving in Key West

Key West Sunset from Sunset Pier
Thanksgiving in Key West was my husband's idea as a distraction for me since this would be our first year without my girlies.  It was a very sweet gift/gesture and we had so much fun.  About 13 years ago we lived there for one year and being back on the island was a bit like deja vu or having been in a dream.  Most of what there is to do we didn't do because we had small kids and no money.  This trip we were like kids ourselves bopping around from bar to bar and chatting with each other while people watching--a great free activity and lots to see.  We ended our trip with a wonderful Schooner trip out into the gulf at sunset.  This may be the start of a new tradition:))

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Houston Market 2011

Houston in the Morning
The adventure of Houston Market 2011 began as I flew into Houston on Oct 27th to meet fellow vendors/room mates Susan Marth of Suzn Quilts and Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods.

On Friday, Oct. 28th, the Schoolhouse Series started.  Susan started the morning at 10:20am and in the same room at 1:55pm, it was my turn to ask, "Does Your Shop Have a Niche I can Scratch?".  I design by what makes me happy and not by what all goes together as a style so shops and quilters will find applique, redwork, and paper piecing designs from me.

 Above is my booth and although I have been in business for 6 years now, this was my first time vending at Market.  The thrill of that is overwhelming until you get into the rhythm of talking to the shop owners and then it just flows....SO Much Fun!

This is Susan Marth of Suzn Quilts
and her collection of 12  'In Season' pieces.

 Here is Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods
with her new goodies for Market shoppers.

Houston is a lot of work with Set up, Take Down, 8-10 hour days on your feet but the rewards are great as well if you like meeting lots of people and sharing memories with wonderful friends.  Spring Market is in Kansas City in 2012...Hope to see you there.

Juni the Great Lizard Hunter

Just above this caption you will see a small lizard.

Juni has been fascinated by the lizards here in Florida ever since we moved here.  Once she finally learned to catch them (mostly the smaller ones), many a lizard succumbed to her new-found prowess:)  Today something new happened--One fought back!  I saw she had something and then I saw her jump back and shake her head---She got bit!  There he stood all 2-1/2" inches of him (sans tail at this point) opening his mouth and hissing at her. I went out with my camera and sure enough he was attacking her nose every time she got close enough.  It still didn't end well for him but so nice to see one go out fighting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whirlwind Month and International Quilt Market

It has been a crazy whirlwind month (ok, September and October both were) and now I am home from International Quilt Market with stories to share.
First, this is a new design that will be released for sale in the spring but some shops were able to have it for free from my Schoolhouse talk. Hopefully they will use it as a Saturday Make and Take to get more people excited about redwork. I named it Spiral Trellis but there has been some talk of naming it DNA Daisies...What do you think?
As you will see over the next week, I am in love with redwork. The variegated threads available to us are just so luscious to use. So I have 2 new designs right now and 3 more coming very soon.
I met some very sweet shop owners this Market and I would encourage you to visit a few of them now carrying my patterns:
Jean's Corner in Livingston, TX
Austin Sewing & Vacuum in Round Rock, TX
STAY TUNED for booth pics, new patterns, and more stories.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Are bananas suppose to be chewy??

For my friends following the banana saga, here is where the tale ends!
Here are the bananas after I cut them from the tree on Sept 29th following advice from the internet about cutting them once the first bunch start to yellow. My follow up question now would be, "how yellow?". I guess yellow is relative!? They were still pretty hard but within a day started to soften and I got excited and cut one open....Not a banana yet!

Not quite a week later they looked like this and still not a banana--by that I mean soft and sweet. So I decided I could rescue them by making Bananas Foster. I have never made it or eaten it but it sounds yummy! Yesterday I went and got what I needed--mainly more rum:)

Doesn't this look delicious?? The sauce was wonderful over the vanilla ice cream but one bite in and my husband and I both looked at each other with almost the same question:

Me: "Are bananas suppose to get chewy?"

Husband: "Are bananas suppose to be crunchy?"

Somehow they REALLY hadn't ripened the way they should have and no amount of HOT sugary caramel and alchohol was going to change that!

So my first endeavor with bananas and they were wasted but the Rum sauce was oh so yummy!

Thanks for following along on this journey and I promise the next post will get us back to quilting!! I have so much that is just about ready to share, I can't wait!

Before I go, I do have to tell you that another turtle came to visit at the front door-twice and a snake one day too. I didn't know the wild life in FL. was so friendly:)


Friday, August 26, 2011

More from Florida...

Florida has brought lots of new adventures for us...This was a visitor to our front door the other evening. I heard this scraping noise and ta-da. He was about the size of a serving platter and I am thankful he wasn't an alligator:)

The bananas are doing well. We ended up with about 12 and supposedly it will be another month before they are done...I have learned A LOT about bananas.

Here is our new kitchen table...
It is an antique Mah jong game table from China. It doesn't match one single thing in my house but it is the only table that Jim and I completely loved.

Mah jong is a game played with a set of 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols.

The sides have carved panels and a drawer on every side as well.

The top is very rustic looking with chinese red highlights that I will find a way to incorporate into the kitchen decor.

My next wonderful find is this antique silk loom component. I still haven't been completely able to figure out which part it is but am thinking it is the part that packs the threads together once the shuttle has passed by.

Here is a detail pic of the hand carving and the tiny little wooden threads to separate the silk threads.

I found this little lovely at the local Salvation Army store--$1.99--Bargain. Then another row over I found it's mate so for $4 I walked out with treasures to decorate my new computer room with.

Here is my new computer room. The computer is on a wall opposite the couch. This room is so relaxing--all my favorite colors and quilts!

I have been quilting I promise (Market will be here before I know it:) and there will be pictures coming soon. In between quilting though I have visited the local antique stores for inspiration and a couple of new pieces to add to my very eclectic home.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Can you believe it-We have a banana flower!!!! I am so excited I can't stand myself. This was my new flower on Sunday and today .....

We have 5 bananas so far. Wonder how many we will end up with......

Sunday, June 26, 2011

UWIB celebrates the Red White and Blue!!

What does the Red, White, and Blue mean to you? Do you swell with pride when you hear the National Anthem as you place your hand over your heart? I not only swell with pride but I often don't make it all the way through without a few tears as thoughts of others' sacrifices come to mind. How many military families do you know? There are quite a few military men in my family in past generations. My father was in the Navy and then joined the Coast Guard.
Here I am at the ripe old age of 17 swearing into the United States Coast Guard...I know I don't look happy, but I was very excited and serious! As some of you already know, I met my husband while in the CG and when I got out, I followed him around so I was never too far from the military life I wanted... just in a different capacity.

Here is my husband (in the middle) getting his Warrant Boards pinned on by myself and his Warrant. I was and am so very proud of him. We have been relatively fortunate as to not have to be separated very much during his 24 year career and so when I place my hand over my heart, my thoughts are with all the other families who have not been as fortunate as myself. It was particularly hard for me during my daughter's college graduation as the realization struck me that so many would not be able to be present for their children this year. We are very fortunate indeed and I am always appreciative of that! Every year I take time to decorate my home from Memorial Day to the 4th of July with Red, White, and Blue. Here are some items that can help you do the same...

After 9-11 I designed "Home of the Brave" but it took me a few more years before I could put design into fabric. I have been asked why there is a flower on it? That is actually my stylized version of fireworks. You can read more about it here:

"A Hero's Light" was designed in response to the WWII style stars I was seeing in the windows of neighbors when the war continued on. Since I am a fan of candles, I made candle mats so that a light could be lit for a loved one.

The premade mats will come with a votive holder.

Kits to make your own mats can be found on my website here: I love these because they come with a hand-etched votive holder that has my logo on it.

Lastly, I wish I could remember where I saw this pin! It was on etsy somewhere and it is a vintage CG pin that an officer's wife in the 1940's would have worn. It has crystals on it and was way out of my price range but man o man would I have loved that pin!!!

If you know a military family, send them a special message this 4th of July and if you don't, send out a special message on Facebook or on one of your email lists. IT will surely touch another family!