Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Xmas Cards and E Magazine

Hello and to all a happy holiday.  The Texas Quilt Museum sent out an E_Magazine to this year's art  participants and supporters.  I was pleased to see the quilt Enso II featured for the SAQA Regional show last summer at the museum in the December E_Magazine on page 7.  It is an honor to be included with the best of the best.  Smiling and humbled here.  What a very nice way to end the year.

Next, I enjoyed our chilly Las Vegas weather by staying home and inside making Xmas cards to be sent to friends and family.  Each year I try to change the craft up a bit.  The joy of crafting each card by hand and adding my own mark is so motivating.  I would gauge this activity as a labor of love, loving it all the way.

I crafted two different cards this year; one series using wool felt and the other series re-purposing silk and foil.  The felted tree was created using pre-felted wool, wool roving in various colors, and embroidery threads.  The tree and background are needle felted first, then washed in a gentle cycle, dried and hand stitched.  The washing of the needle felted piece, causes the piece to felt further and provides an excellent surface on which to add texture and color through stitch.  Not only do you end up with some colorful original art, it is also a great way to experiment with the needle felting processes as you go.

The great thing about these cards is that the benefactor can re-cycle by cutting the card in half and using the decorative portion as a post card.  Is this something like passing it forward?  I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Silk and felt materials
Silk scraps sewn to felt
Silk bulb Xmas card
Felted, stitched Xmas Tree card

Hope to see you in the New Year !!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sargasso Sea ~ SAQA H2Oh! Entry

SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Association, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art quilt and the artists who create them.  Periodically SAQA calls for member entry. The current call is H2Oh!  I completed my entry today ... the very last day of course.

Prospectus: "Water - it’s everywhere!  The majority of the earth’s surface is covered by water, and more than half of the human body consists of water.  But water also plays an essential role in our survival. This exhibition encourages the artist to interpret one of the most vital, desired, powerful, sacred, and enjoyed resources on earth in their own unique, individual style, whether abstract, graphic, or representational."

The Sargasso Sea is located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.  It is the only sea without a land boundary and is defined solely by ocean currents. The sea is know for it’s brown Sargassum seaweed which floats en masse on the surface and calm clear deep blue waters.  The free floating Sargassum seaweed and the azure blue waters inspired the colors that formed the matrix for my art piece.  A drop of water, the landscape of the seaweed, and the currents of the sea are depicted through choices in stitch, line and form.

What I loved most about working on this piece was the process of hand stitch.  It is a slow process that allows me to contemplate each line I add.  Sargasso Sea hung in our main room for over two months as each new day brought a new thought to stitch design.  One morning I woke, looked at the art and knew it was finished. 

The art quilt measure 17 wide inched by 52 inches long.  I used felted wool as batting. The back side of the hand stitching is revealed through using white silk organza as backing.  Materials used are hand dyed, wax resist cotton and silk, textile paint applied with a credit card and small brush, embroidery pearl cottons in differing sizes of 3 - 12, wool and silk yarn, felt wool batting, and backing of silk organza.

Wish me luck for the SAQA selection process is rigorous due to many gifted artist entries.

Sargasso Sea

Detail #1
Detail #2

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mono Printing Demonstration for Art Quilt Etc.

Art Quilts Etc. is a circle of Desert Quilters of Nevada.  The art focused group meets most months to share work and ideas.  It is a group of approximately fifty talented members.

Each month after general business and show and tell projects, the demonstration of a technique is given by a self selected member. This month I had the pleasure of demonstrating a few mono printing methods on fabric.

Below you'll find photos of the demonstration pieces, a brief description of the process, additional resources, and two blocks that incorporate mono printed fabric into a design.

Subtractive print method
Additive print method

Additive and subtractive print methods

Additive print method

Mono Printing on Fabric

Mono printing allows considerable freedom in the approach to imagery and pattern design using additive (adding paint to a plate) or subtractive (removing paint from a plate) techniques. The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike. The beauty of this medium is in its spontaneity and its combination of printmaking, painting and drawing applications. Mono printing is a versatile way to create your own fabrics.


Fabric: Recommend washing sizing out of commercial cotton fabrics.
Paint: There are many paints specifically made for use on fabric.  Experiment with different paint to get your desire hand (softness of the fabric once paint is applied).  Follow manufactures directions for setting the paint. The paint brands I like using are Pro Chemical and Dye, Lumiere by Jacquard, and Pebeo Setacolor.  If you desire layers, print consecutively using transparent paints.

Fabric Painting Medium: Golden GAC-900, can be used to modify acrylic paints.  I use it to thin the consistency of fabric paint as needed.


Apron, palette or styrofoam trays for mixing paint, clear acetate, soft rubber brayer or small paint roller, mark making tools, plastic to protect surfaces, paper towels.
Printing plates such as linoleum mounted block, Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plates, home made plate (laminated card stock).


Stabilizing fabric is completely optional. To do this, simply iron the wrong side of the fabric to the shiny (plastic) side of a piece of freezer paper.

    Using the brayer, roll ink out onto the Plexiglas or printing plate, covering it completely.
    Using a mark making tool, draw an image or create pattern of marks on the printing plate.
    Place fabric on prepared plate and rub lightly with brayer.
    Gently peel away fabric.

   Using squirt bottle of paint and/or a paintbrush, paint a design onto the fabric.
   Work quickly as paint drys.
   Place clear acetate over painted surface and press lightly with your hand.
   Peel away acetate.  An other print can be made with paint left on the acetate.


   Printing with Gelli Arts Blog

   Negative (Subtractive) Mono Printing ~ Textile Arts Now Blog

   Jennifer Rodriguez's board "Monoprint Inspire" on Pinterest

Once fabric is dry and set according to paint manufacture's recommendations, it is ready to be incorporated into something more.

Printed fabric ready for ?

Mono printed hand dyed fabric, cut, fused, reassembled, and stitched

Mono printed fabric, then stitched to enhance printed lines

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In Stitches Seriously Humorous ARTQUILTS, Year XXI, "Sheila" in Chandler Arizonia

In Stitches Seriously Humorous ARTQUILTS, Year XXI, Vision Gallery, Chandler, Arizona
November 18, 2016 through January 7, 2017

Sheila ~ 21 by 21 inches

Batik, cotton fabric, commercial prints, poly and cotton threads, embroidery thread, wool batting, fusible.


Raw edge applique, free motion stitching, photoshop, and hand stitch.
The landscape is fused, raw edge appliquéd, and then free motion quilted.  Sheila’s image was thread painted, smile and all. Sheila was twice printed onto white cotton.  The first layer was random pastel colors of yellow, pink and green.  The next layer printed an outline sketch of the lizard.   The lizard was free motion stitched and then appliquéd to the quilt. The border is stab stitched to add movement and texture around the paisley prints.

Artist Statement:

My ideas are born from challenges, sometimes found in a conceptual design problems and sometimes found in technique development. Working in textiles and mixed mediums are my passions. The combination presents some of my greatest challenges. One problem leads to an other, each causing an artistic resolution affecting individual choices and outcomes. The resulting inventiveness can be distinguished in the personal mark.  I make art that speaks to me and hopefully speaks to others.

Living in a desert has taught me to view the environment with a discriminating eye.  One must look closely to see the uniqueness of it’s native flora and fauna. The unforgiving climate gives way to wonderment and eons of adaptations. I find inspiration in the light as it touches the landscape and the flowers that come to bloom after a thunder storm. The desert reminds me to slow down and to examine all things more closely.

The creation of the piece, “Sheila”, started from a simple demonstration. For our local art quilt circle, I taught the nuances of using raw appliqué techniques to create an original landscape design. I love to teach almost as much as I love working with color. The rich color choices available in batiks, provided me with a plentiful palette.  The vividness of the desert colors was easy to recreate.

Once the raw edge appliqué demonstration was concluded, it became clear that something was amiss.  All was well with the color and the form of the design. Still while pleasing to the eye, the piece lacked interest.  I went home and pondered the problem.  My challenge was to take a lovely desert landscape and push it past boring into enticing.

Thus, Sheila, the Australian lizard, came into being.  I decided to create a large menacing lizard as the focal point for the peaceful desert scene. As I worked, adding definition and color to the the printed outline of the lizard with thread, Sheila began to take on a personality of her own.   I free motion stitch somewhat unconsciously and by the sound of the machine. In this case, the stitching resulted in the lizard’s grim mouth transforming into a Mona Lisa smile right before my eyes.  I love the whimsy of the lizard. I love that Sheila looks right back at you, beyond the canvas, smiling knowingly.  She reflects my fun imaginative side.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Traveling in the northwest part of our country is always a grand pleasure.  Below you will find photos from the journey and a peak at a current textile piece, Mrs., that was started in Cynthia Corbin's class.

Clouds Above Willapa Bay, WA
Bridge Underling
Mushroom in Oysterville, WA

Tidal Waters, Wallapa Bay, WA

Weather Spool, WA

As part of a technique to discover design possibilities, Cynthia asked us to choose a favorite photo and create a design inspired by the lines and shapes we saw.  I selected a woman's face, traced a general outline, then over lapped it with an other outlined photo to break up the predictable face shapes.  Choosing non representative fabrics added to my interest in color play.  Fabrics were fused.  Sheers were used to create shadows over existing shapes.

Mrs. line drawing
Mrs. ~ fabric choices

Thursday, October 6, 2016

2016 Quilt & Fibers Arts Festival ~ La Conner, WA ~

2016 Quilt & Fibers Arts Festival

The annual Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival in La Conner, WA was wonderful with exceptional work form international fiber artists.  My piece, "Moon Over Bourbon Street," was honored with the award of second place in the category of Fiber Art - Created Textiles.
Moon Over Bourbon Street
  The current exhibit, Beauty of Japan, at the Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum surpassed all of my expectations. The scope, design, and craftsmanship of the work displayed was exceptional. 

"Forty years ago, American patchwork quilts were introduced to many Japanese and the colorful quilts brought much joy to them. When silk was used to make quilts in Japan, it became the Japanese specialty and brought much attention.
The silks we use to make the quilts are from very old kimonos that are taken apart because they could no longer be used as wearables. The pieces of silk are revitalized as patchwork quilts. My students took much time and effort with respect to the fabric to create the quilts.They are original creations with designs, colors, and appliqués of flowers and vegetation."

Sachiko Yoshida, Guest Curator   
Colors ~ backside
The Colors of Japanese Fabrics


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fall Season in the Great Northwest

We arrived in Portland Oregon the last day of Quilt Expo.  Having two hours to see the show, we dashed through with amazing angility.
A favorite piece for me was "You Can Go Home Again" by artist Karen Burns.  She created an amzing water color look of her childhood home.

From Portland, we traveled to Sisters, Oregon where I took a four day class with Cynthia Corbin.   It was a blessing to have unobstructed time to spend creating, enjoy the company of a good friend, and explore a new place.

My favorite creation is called Simple.  The piece is raw appliqued, fused.

Simple #1

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Felting Bowls

Well from roving to felt the ability to construct in layers has me hooked.  On a whim and a challenge, I purchased a bowl felting kit at Quilt Con 2016 in Pasadena, CA.  This summer I packed my bags and textile supplies and spent a week at a friend's cabin in the western Sierra Mountains.  Lo and behold I forgot the bowl felting kit.  Having all the other supplies I ventured forward anyway. The process of felting is fairly basic and with rudimentary skills I was able to create a bowl.  The key is having a foam to felt onto.  Once the bowl is felted, design elements can be added using stitch.

Wool and Silk Roving
Detail of hand stitch

More Details

Felting Materials and Tools can be found at local craft stores or on-line.  A favorite site is

Always hold the needle at the top just below the bend at the top.

·        NEVER do any punching without keeping your eye on the needle. Ends are sharp and you could cut yourself.
·        Always hold the needle vertically to the surface you are working on to prevent breaking the needle. The needle is more efficiently felting when held vertically.
·        Do not apply pressure with your finger against the side of the needle at an angle or you could break the needle.
·        Place needles back into the plastic sleeves and in the bag they came in.
·        When layering fibers, always alternate the direction of the wool from layer to layer, going opposite directions. First layer vertically, next layer horizontally and repeat if more layers are required.
·        Do not use needles on wet wool. They could rust and they tend to break more easily.
·        Needle felting should always be done on a piece of foam 2” thick by  8" x 6”, a brush matt, or using a Styrofoam form. Always place foam on a firm surface while working.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Teaching Needle Felting at the Desert Quilter's of Nevada Annual Retreat

Joy! Joy! Joy! I taught The Art of Needle Felting and Stitch at our annual quilt guild retreat to phenomenal students. The class presented the basic techniques of hand needle felting. Most the students used felted wool for the foundation, while an other student choose silk with a backing of wool felt.  At the class mid-point, the students displayed their work.  Each piece was unique and we discussed the processes used.  At the close of class, the students were ask to share their work and to talk about what they learned. 

Working in a group using similar techniques and materials creates a common thread of understanding.  The synergy of the whole truly benefits the individual.  While some pieces were further along in the process than others, the resulting work was amazing!  Take a look.

Class Art Work

Felt Art 1

Felt Art 2

Felt Art 3

Felt Art 4

Felt Art 6
Felt Art 7

Felt Art 5 on Silk

Felt Art 8

Samples made for class.

Felt Art Landscape

Sample Class Pattern ~ Passion Flower

Sample Abstract

Sample Abstract ~ Felted Only

Sample, felted with eco-dyed silk organza on wool then stitched

Friday, August 26, 2016

Summer Travels, Summer Art

Summer Travels, Summer Art

Sonoma county in Northern California is an artist mecca.  The wing sculpture was made by a local resident Jeromy for his wife Jenny.  My friend Marian and I hit the local thrift shop where I was able to pick up hand dyed fabrics for a fraction of their original costs.

Large sculptured Wings
Wing Detail

I spent a week at the Wilber's cabin in Arnold, Ca. The solitude defined me for the week.  I visited local shops and an annual flea market, attended the Bear Valley Music Festival and enjoyed opera, swam in the evenings at the Lake, and immersed myself in art making.  Having little to distract, I could focus, start and complete several pieces.  While at the cabin I played with several textile ideas.

Ceramic cups for sale in Murpys
Murphys, Ca

One such small project, Enso Three, was made by mono printing hand dyed fabrics and then hand stitched with #5 embroidery thread.  The larger pearl cotton threads creates strong lines.  The piece is finished by enveloping white gauze and stitching to the batting of wool felt.  Enso Three will be entered in SAQA's Trunk Show Exhibit for 2017.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  The challenge with a small piece is to create interest and movement with in limited parameters (7 niches by 10 inches).  I have been treating the back of my recent pieces as opportunities to continue the front motifs.

Enso Three; 7 by 10 inches
Enso Three, back
Sheer backing envoloped

While in Arnold
Fly In Lake
Steps to the Wilber Cabin
White Pines Lake

Exploring felting has become a new passion.  Most knitting shops carry a variety of roving types and colors which I use as my paint box in needle felting.  The foundation of the heart piece is 100% wool felt.  The greens and yellow wool roving are needle felted into the foundation.  The heart was created using wool yarn purchased half price in downtown Murphys, CA.  Prior to adding pearle cotton embroidery, the wool was washed and air dried which felts the fibers further. 

Foundation Felting of Heart
Completed Heart
Felted Bowl, a first try

From northern California I traveled to Bend Oregon and then up to Washington state to visit with family.  The drive back to Vegas brought me through rural communities.  I would love to do an expose capturing the heart and soul of those communities in photographs.  I was able to do a bit of that using the iphone camera.

We atteneded a family reunion in Bend, Oregon.  Hiking along the river was breath taking.  Nature's grandure reminds me of how blessed I am.

Bend, Oregon
Along the Deshutes River

River Hike

Deschutes River, Bend Oregon
Quiet on the River