Monday, May 26, 2008

Getting ready for the show!

This is one of the first quilts I made using paper piecing, and I decided to include it in the upcoming show at eba Art Gallery, starting June 6th.  Paper piecing involves printing out a pattern for each block and stitching the fabric directly onto the paper pattern.  This quilt was a wonderful exercise in value placement, and I learned a great deal about composing my own gradations of color so that the effect is one of smooth transition -- I didn't always succeed in accomplishing that goal within this piece, but I learned what not to do as well as what will work.  I'd love to make this quilt again and improve on the gradations -- I've already added it to my Life To-Do List.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Live and learn -- I sent this quilt to a show, and one of the judges commented that the binding was "shadowing": the polka dots from the back side were showing through to the front.  So I decided to increase the odds that the quilt would do better at the next show: I took the binding off, lined it, and sewed it back on.  I guess you could call that obsessive, but "experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted."  That's a quote from Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie-Mellon, who wrote a book called "The Last Lecture."  I think they're wonderful words to live by.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Very Own Show is Coming!

I'm so excited!  The eba Visual Arts Gallery, located at 351 Hudson Street in Albany, will be showing a collection of my art quilts from June 6th through August 1st.  There will be a wine-and-cheese reception on both the opening and closing evenings, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in conjunction with Albany's First Friday celebrations, and I'll be there to answer questions and speak about my quilts.  I have been working with one of eba's directors, Jenn Newman, selecting more than 20 pieces to be exhibited, and it promises to be a wonderful collaboration.  At left is one of the works that will be shown -- this one is called "April, Come She Will," inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel song of the same name.   For directions to the gallery, you can log onto or send me a request via this blog or by email to:  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I LOVE using hand-dyed fabrics.  This piece was created in a workshop by Melody Johnson using hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics and trying to create asymmetrical balance (a real challenge for us left-brained people).  All the pieces are fused to the batting, and the design is embellished with embroidery, both by hand and machine.  It's part of an on-going series -- check out my web site ( to see more of them in the Small Quilts Gallery.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

 This is what happened when I went dumpster-diving in my own trash basket.  I pulled out the strips that I had cut away from pieces of a quilt I was making, and I played with their direction and placement.  It was totally spontaneous -- a new concept for me.  This idea could go far in a larger quilt design.  I guess I feel the way many quilters do: that I'm not going to live long enough to make all the quilts I have in my head.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

One of my larger pieces -- this one measures 55 inches square.  Its genesis was a page of doodling on a sleepless night.  Following a technique by quilt designer Ricky Tims, I folded a square piece of paper into halves, then quarters, then eighths, and I drew a design on one of the folded eighths.  I opened up the piece of paper and reflected the drawing seven times onto each of the other sections.  After a bit of tweaking, the final design emerged, and I couldn't wait to play with color to give it life.  The process speaks to all my sensibilities -- I love the symmetry, the fluid movement, the balance of color.  There are more of these designs on the drawing board -- the possibilities intrigue me.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another Journal Quilt -- this one explores the interplay of light and dark colors.  It's simple, but effective, I think.  I had loads of fun with the quilting -- this one brought out my sense of play.  I've read that if you can make your left-brained Coach learn to work effectively with your right-brained Child, you can produce amazing art.  I just need to get the Coach not to be so hard on the Child . . .


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