C L I C K #5 The Collection

CLICK #5 The Collection

CLICK #5 The Collection

After viewing an exhibit of the work of Pop artist Nicholas Krushenick, I felt so inspired I decided to make a small fiber art piece based on  what I had seen.  When I looked at his work I saw quilts!  Viewing his art piqued my curiosity about other modern artists.  Thus began much research, note taking, sketching and finally sewing like a woman possessed.  This activity resulted in my knowing  much more about the composition  of art, not to mention my greater knowledge of each of the artists I chose as the inspiration for my twelve finished works.

Upon completion of my art pieces the decision had to be made as to how best to display them.  Falling back on an old favorite, my plastic connectors, I finally chose to click them together making each of them movable into whatever configuration I found desirable.  I added a hanging sleeve and the piece C L I C K #5 The Collection , measuring 3 feet by 6 feet, is ready to be hung.

The artists who inspired my fiber creations are as follows:

Row 1 L to R: Stuart Davis, Roy Lichtenstein, Nicholas Krushenick

Row 2 L to R:  Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, Victor Vasarely

Row 3 L to R:  Frank Lloyd Wright, Wassily Kandinsky,Gustav Klimt

Row 4 L to R:  Man Ray, Ellsworth Kelly, Rex Ray

I know without doubt that this piece will continue to grow with each new artist I’m exposed to.  What’s great about the piece is that, should I so choose, it can be “out with the old.  In with the new”, an ever-evolving piece.  I think I may be on to something.


At Long Last!

As a child, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I invariably answered “an artist” which usually elicited a smile, a pat on the head, a “dream on, dear.” response from the adults around me.

Well, folks, it may have taken 75 years, but I am now officially an artist.  On May 2, I was awarded the Miriam Kashiwa award at the Central Adirondack Art Show at View Arts Center in Old Forge, NY.  To say that I was both flabbergasted and moved to tears is an understatement. A quilted piece, a fiber piece won a prestigious award in an art show filled with incredible paintings, scenic photographs, sculptures… a rare occurrence, indeed.

Of course I attended the opening reception to bask in the glory of it all.  Days like this don’t come along very often.  I must admit to being giddy with delight as I looked around a gallery filled with Adirondack landscapes, stunning photographs, mostly Adirondack in nature and just one very sparkly blue and silver whirlpool thing.  To quote one woman who asked which piece was mine…”Oh, is it the blue triangle thing in the wooden frame?”   Yes, Madame, it is and I’m damned proud of it.

Miriam Kashiwa, for whom the award is named, is the founder of the show and selected my piece to be awarded the prize. When I spoke with her she said she chose it because of both the simplicity of the presentation and the complexity of the quilted center.  She said she was most impressed by the quality of my workmanship.  I would have hugged her but I was surrounded by a room-full of strangers. Besides,  I was attempting to play the part of the sophisticated artist.

May I present my ART

The Force, winner of the Miriam Kashiwa Award at the Central Adirondack Art Show

The Force, winner of the Miriam Kashiwa Award at the Central Adirondack Art Show

There’s probably an APP for that.

In June I’ll be teaching a class entitled Log Cabin with a Flair at the Vermont Quilt Festival. Of course I want to WOW my students with a new, never-before-seen log cabin block, so I’ve spent the week doodling ideas.

The log cabin block has been around since the very beginning of quilting, centuries ago, so coming up with something that no one else has thought of is probably impossible.   However, I continue on my quest to create some new innovation. Just when I’m feeling victorious, I usually discover that someone else had the same idea.

Doodling is probably not the proper term for what I’ve been up to.  Unlike the average random wanderings on a blank sheet of paper, my “doodling” requires a ruler and graph paper.

Call me weird, but sitting with a large piece of naked graph paper before me waiting to be filled with my carefully calculated lines is something I find exhilarating.  The anticipation of what my block will look like, should all my calculations be correct, keeps me pushing on through all my trials and errors. Yes, erasing is also an important component in my design.

As an instructor, I meet all kinds of quilters.  I’m always open to input from my students and encourage them to share their ideas with the class. I am self-taught and am known for flying by the seat of my pants.  I do what works for ME and encourage my students to do what works for THEM.

Over the past couple of years I have come to realize that the tech world has permeated literally everything, even the joy of quilting. For me, there is no greater satisfaction than creating something using just my brain without the help of a hand-held device.

I have visions of presenting my hard-earned graph-paper technique to a class and hearing someone say “There’s an APP for that.”  I fear that day is coming all too soon.

Progress?  I’m not so sure.

Pieced Flame Block

Pieced  Block


The results of my efforts are the  blocks on the left and lower right.  I’m happy with the results and I’m sure it will become one of my favorite blocks. It was a bit tricky to piece, but well worth the time and patience it took to design and sew it. I haven’t decided just how I’ll use them, but, I have a title, Opposites Attract.  Stay tuned.



opposites attract

Opposites Attract

Creating the Focal Point

hand beaded starfish

hand beaded starfish

Art background?  Me? No, not in any sense of the word.  Art classes and I have never met.  I’ve always done whatever I felt necessary to achieve an art piece I was eventually satisfied with.  Sometimes that process works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Several of my five children were art majors in college.  They are often my harshest critics because they KNOW what is needed in a composition and feel free to tell me what’s lacking in my latest endeavor.  Two words I’ve heard so often are “focal point”.  It seems every successful  piece has a focal point.

In desperate need of a creation that included the color purple, an ARTAA theme for a 2016 exhibit, I tried and tried and tried again to achieve something that was visually pleasing.  Part of the difficulty was my dislike of the color purple. While I totally enjoyed the creative process and found my completed work satisfactory, there was something missing, but what?

Off I went to an ARTAA meeting, piece in hand, looking for advice.  We are a group of women artists who have agreed that an honest criticism is always welcome because we are there to help one another achieve our very best work.  Unlike me, most of the members do have backgrounds in art and I value their opinions.

Upon showing my artwork, most of the comments were surprisingly complimentary. However, my buddy, Joanna, had me hold the piece up while she studied it carefully from across the room. Out came those words once again.  “It lacks a focal point.”  Not everyone agreed, but, in my gut, I knew she was right.

I’ve spent the last two days, needle in hand, creating a seed bead starfish, a focal point. Since the piece in entitled Adrift on a Purple Sea, having my “focal point” bobbing on a wave works for me.  Now, if it works for Joanna, all is right in my world.

Starfish in place

Starfish in place

Adrift on a Purple Sea

Adrift on a Purple Sea

Seek and You Shall Find

Oh, happy day!  Sunshine!

Oh, happy day! Sunshine!

Let’s face it, winter can get really old by mid-February, especially when we’ve had days of continuous snowfall and the temperatures have been way below zero.  That feeling of “Will it ever end?” has been expressed in every way possible on social media.

In an attempt to shake off the funk brought on by my daily dose of Facebook weather-grumbling, I decided to seek out something beautiful about winter. Through the icicles hanging from the roof’s edge, I took a photo of sunshine glistening on the snow,  Even winter-weary folks, upon seeing the result,  would have to admit that winter can be beautiful.  It WILL end.  I promise.

It Came to Me in a Dream

Because of my unconventional approach to my fiber art, the question I’m most often asked is “How did you think of that?”  My answer varies depending upon which of my pieces is being discussed.  I often reply “Well, why wouldn’t I think of that?”

It wasn’t until I began lecturing to large groups of quilters that I began to realize that not all brains think alike.  What seems so logical to me may not seem logical to another.  I guess it’s the reason why quilting groups are so diverse.  The words ART QUILT often terrify the more traditional quilter, while some art quilters couldn’t follow a traditional pattern if their life depended upon it…nor would they want to.  It’s what makes the world go round.

The lower photos accompanying this post show an idea that actually came to me in a dream. I had created C L I C K II February’s Journal which is made up of 16 interchangeable circular pieces connected by plastic belt click closures.

Award winning art quilt which was published in Quilters' Newsletter Feb/Mar 2010

Award winning art quilt which was published in Quilters’ Newsletter Feb/Mar 2010

Since each of the circles is a mini-art quilt, I was looking for a way to display them as singular works.  One night, in a dream, the idea of a frame with closures attached, came to me.  The next morning, over breakfast, I described my vision to my very handy woodworker husband.  After much discussion,  and a little tweaking here and there, the frame was created.  Problem solved.  Each of the 16 pieces can now be clicked into the frame to be displayed on its own.





October on Trout Lake

October on Trout Lake

Each of the circles has a story all its own, but that’s fodder for another post.


An old dog trying new tricks

It’s a brand new year with many opportunities coming my way, always a happy surprise.  My life never ceases to amaze me.  Never could I have imagined life in my seventies being the magical ride it is.

Recently, out of the blue, I have received two requests for the upcoming year, a one-woman show in a prestigious art gallery and an opportunity to sell my wares along with a fellow fiber artist  at a high-end gallery next December.  I am intrigued by both possibilities which has sent my brain into over-drive. What will I show?  What can I come up with that will appeal to the masses?

One of the classes I will be teaching at this year’s Vermont Quilt Festival is Think Small. Why not take my own advice and Think Small?  What can I create that won’t take my usual months to complete?

For the past couple of days, I’ve been sketching ideas and then playing with them at my sewing machine.  I’ve never attempted thread painting and decided to give it a try.  I was very pleased with my first attempt, Winter’s Chill, shown below, and have decided this is something I may want to explore further.  It turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated.

As usual, one idea leads to another and another.  My feeling is that I’ll spend the week thread painting a variety of trees on those wonderful batik fabrics I’ve saved for just the right project.

More to follow.

Winter's Chill

Winter’s Chill

As promised.  Today’s attempt at thread painting hemlock branches on a batik background.

thread painted hemlock

thread painted hemlock


Play Time

Leaves made of house wrap

Leaves made of house wrap

Today’s cold wind has October’s  fallen leaves blowing in every direction. It seemed like the perfect day to put a few more finishing touches on my latest piece using the leaves I made last month of melted house wrap.

As a backdrop for my leaves, I chose a piece of black fabric that I had discharged with bleach.  It reminded me of the splotches of sunlight and color one sees when driving the forest-lined highways this time of year. I’m now rethinking that decision. To accent, I decided a copper-colored border on just two sides would do the trick. I’m also rethinking that decision.  I then quilted a wind-blown design with copper metallic thread before sewing the leaves down with a copper metallic satin stitch and iridescent seed beads. That decision seems to be OK for now.

I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this piece, as it just doesn’t feel right yet. I’m fluctuating somewhere between  “Maybe”  and “Yuk”.  Time will tell if this one ends up in the UFO pile. Such is the life of an art quilter.  Right now, I see a new batch of leaves in my future.  Making them is the fun part of the creative process.