Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Reminders . . .

First, be sure to check the blog posting from January 25 and leave a comment if you'd like your name put into the drawing for a gift of artwork.  All the details are given in the post -- I hope you'll join in the fun!

Secondly, after you've shoveled yourself out of this last round of snow and ice, you're going to want to take a break and surround yourself with color and beauty.  The perfect place for that is the Broadway Art Center at 288 Broadway in Albany, where you'll find a fantastic exhibit of art by members of the Colonie Art League.  Amid the photographs, oil paintings, pastels, and sculptures, you'll find fiber art pieces, such as the one pictured above from my Ornamentals series.  Treat yourself to a gift of artistic creation -- brighten your home and your spirits at the same time.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"It's My Party . . .

 . . . And I'll give, if I want to!"  Having recently reached my 60th birthday, I decided to celebrate by giving something away.   Borrowing an idea from artist Marilyn Rock (with her permission), I'm offering an opportunity to receive the 5" by 7" quilt, "Ornamentals #5," pictured at left, as my gift and a way of saying "thank you" for following my blog.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog or send me an email at  and let me know that you're interested in winning this piece.  On Friday, February 6, I'll enter all the names I've received into a drawing, and the winner will be announced on Sunday, February 8th.  I do hope you'll participate in the fun and help me celebrate this milestone ("If I had known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself . . .").

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've Got a New Attitude . . .

I read a wonderful article in the newspaper today, and it inspired me to adopt a new outlook on the season.  I shall no longer face the winter months with dread.  I shall embrace living in the Northeast and learn to love the chill of January as I do the changing leaves of October.  On days like today, when the sun is shining and it isn't sleeting, I'll pile on three layers of clothing, pull on my Kamiks (l-o-o-o-o-ve those boots), and take my four-legged assistant, Doyle, and HIS assistant, Heather, out for a walk.  I will suck in all the Vitamin D that I can through the few square inches of skin that are exposed, and tell myself that I'm getting healthier by the minute.  And, maybe, spring won't seem so far away after all.

But to help me remember what spring feels like, I'll continue to play with the brightest fabrics I can find in my stash and make something, however tiny, to brighten my day even more.  The little quilt above measures 5" by 7", and it's always so gratifying to finish a piece within hours of starting it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Jazzy Group of Artists . . .

I am fortunate to be a new member of Art-N-Soul, the exciting idea of artist Janet Tanguay, who publishes a web site dedicated to the promotion of the work of artists in many fields.  Pictured above are a number of friends and members of the group who gathered for a photo shoot at the Albany Art Room on Madison Avenue for an upcoming issue of Metroland.  They are:

Top Row (L to R): Leiah Bowden, Janet Tanguay, Eric Straus, Dave Koschnick
Bottom Row (L to R): Susan Rivers, Marilyn Rock, Pat Spillane, Marina Petro

These talented people are featured on the Art-N-Soul site and/or have their own web sites where you can see their work up close.   Janet has sponsored many workshops at the Art Room to help artists learn numerous aspects of the business of promoting their art work.  The people I've met through Janet are creative, fun-loving, and generous in their support and in sharing new ideas, and I'm learning something new with each experience.  Check out the web site, and learn how to become a member or receive newsletters announcing upcoming events.

Be Sure to Check This Out . . .

Fellow artist Marilyn Rock is literally giving away a piece of her art -- really!  Go to her blog,, and see what she's offering as a free gift to her readers.  And be sure to read my upcoming blogs, because I'm borrowing her idea (with her permission) to offer a gift to my readers, as well. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On With The Show, This Is It!

(for those of you old enough to remember the Bugs Bunny Show . . .)

The exhibit of works by members of the Colonie Art League has opened at the Broadway Art Center, and it promises to be wonderful.  The center is located at 488 Broadway, on the corner of Pine Street and Maiden Lane in Albany.  Hours are as follows:

First Fridays (February 6, March 6): 11 AM - 9 PM
Winter Hours (January 14 - February 27): 
Wednesday - Friday  11 AM - 2 PM

Make it a point to stop by -- you'll find framed and gallery-wrapped original paintings, sculpture, fiber arts, pottery, art cards, art prints, and photography.  Pictured above is another piece in the exhibit from my Wallflower series. This one again uses fabric from the Caryl Fallert Gradations collection by Benartex, and I'm having so much fun playing with the placement of the templates to take advantage of the glow within the fabric.   

Hope to see you at the show!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This is for all of us . . .

I was so deeply affected by this video when I saw it, and I invite you to spend 6 minutes watching it. It was made for the artist in all of us, and I hope it touches you as it has me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Want to beat the Winter Blahs?

The best cure for a case of the Blahs is a dose of artful color, and one place to find that remedy is at the Broadway Art Center.  Beginning January 16th and ending on March 18th, members of the Colonie Art League will be exhibiting and selling their works at the art center, located at 488 Broadway in downtown Albany.  I'm proud to be a new member of this organization, and the exhibit promises to showcase artwork in many different media, including: oil, pastel, watercolor, and acrylic paintings; photography; fiber arts; and art cards and prints.  Pictured above is a piece from my latest series, "Wallflowers: #1;" each work is loosely based on a floral design from my dining room wallpaper (which has since been removed by my husband -- when you see him, ask him how much he enjoyed that process . . .).  The alternating petals in the flower were fussy-cut from the same piece of material, a commercial fabric line by Benartex designed by Caryl Fallert.  It was great fun playing with the colors -- I felt my child-like Right Brain overpowering the rigid, dictatorial Left Brain as I cut and fused the pieces, and I found myself giggling each time I stumbled upon something serendipitous that pleased me.  Contact me at if you'd like to purchase "Wallflowers: #1".  And be sure to stop by the Broadway Art Center to see the entire show -- check for dates and hours of exhibition.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thanks for following my blog!

You'll notice at the right of this site is a gadget titled "Followers" -- people who have signed up to follow my blog.  Thanks so much to those of you who read what I post -- I hope it means that there are kindred souls out there who love fiber arts as much as I do.  Please join the group and let me know what you think of the items I write about and whether the posts explaining various techniques are helpful (or at least interesting).  I'm happy to get to know you!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Happy Ending . . .

I recently found a way to finish the edges of tiny art quilts without having to sew on a binding.  The idea to use Perle Cotton came from art quilter Terry Grant on her blog, "And Sew It Goes;" I developed a slightly different method of attaching the cording, and I've been pleased with the results.

If the finished quilt will measure 5" by 7", I make the piece 6" by 8".  After it has been quilted, I mark the finished perimeter with a washable pen and zig zag along this marked line with invisible thread in both the needle and the bobbin.  I use Superior's Mono-Poly and a stitch width and length of 1.5 on my Bernina.  I then use a rotary cutter and trim the piece just along the outside edge of the zig zag stitches. 

Now, starting about one inch from one of the corners, I place Perle Cotton #5 on top of the right edge of the piece so it is lying next to the needle (see picture above); I leave about 2 inches of the cotton extending out the back.  With Sulky 40-weight rayon in the needle and a matching 50-weight polyester in the bobbin, I use a blanket stitch (No. 329 on my machine) with a width of 3.5 and a length of 2.0 and encase the cotton along the top edge of the perimeter of the quilt.
When I turn the last corner, I overlap the two ends of cotton and encase them together until I reach the beginning of the stitching (see picture at right).  

I like to match the rayon thread to the color of the Perle Cotton, but obviously the sky's the limit when it comes to color combinations.  My thanks to Terry Grant for the inspiration -- I love the finished result.


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