Thursday, December 25, 2014

Chester B

Merry Christmas from Chester and his mama. She rules the roost. And Chester loves his mama.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Up close and personal

An up close look at Sebastian. I am having fun with my embellisher. After needling the felt together (I know it sounds goofy but trust me) I have been laying tulle over the top and doing some more needling. The head is stitched down and then I laid tulle circles on top which I hand stitched down.

Just a fun time filler while I contemplated the next piece.

Which I had on the design board, took down for a few months and put back up. I was laying fabrics down when I hit on an idea. After a trip to JoAnns and a visit to the home dec aisle this appeared on the design wall and is now under the needle.

Chester B Cogswell, Mama's Boy. I plan to have some fun with this one. Oh heck I always plan to have fun with them. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun! Would you?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Machines in waiting

The girls are lined up, waiting for an assignment. And an assignment came up for all of them. A quick piece with a piece  from my printed stash.

Sebastian. This isn't quite the finished piece but you get the main idea.

Lights are up outside, the tree is up, the nativity set is up.

And I have a new camera to shoot some scenes. I hope to shoot some cows for a summer project. Time will tell. In the meantime I need to send art to print.

And I read that there is a big discussion on Quilt Art Network about using photos in Art Quilts with much negativity. To which I say if you don't like them then you don't have to make them. Leave that to me!
And in the words of one of my great teachers "There comes a time when you don't need to be on sites with ongoing discussions and negativity. Put your energy into your work."

I need to quit reading other peoples blogs! But you can comment on mine. It's free!! I know free at this time of year!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Satyr Day Night

I am contemplating what to tackle next. I like these guys and I have printed several more of them but I would like some different satyrs. I know where I took this and I think there were three of them, al in different states of repair. Since it has been several years, like ten?, since I took this photo I bet they are in even rougher shape. I thought about dashing up there yesterday when I had a meeting at the museum but since it was 17°F and the wind was zinging off the lake I didn't do it. Yet.
I leased a new car, a 2015 green Kia Soul. How wonderful to drive and the dashboard lights stay on, I can read the speedometer and the check engine light is not going on and off. Goodbye HHR, sorry for the early demise, but seriously, 66,000 miles and you want your engine rehauled!? That's above my pay grade. All I want is dependable.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Three days of fun

Textile Art Alliance hosted a lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Art and a workshop with Sue Cavanaugh who does wonderful huge and now sculptural shibori works. We had 17 participants in the 2 day workshop that was held at the Bratenahl Community Center. I know some of us were a little worried when we heard we were to be in the basement room but it had big windows and 3 sinks. Perfect for a little dyeing and painting (of dye) on our stitched pieces. The room big enough for all of us.
What is it about women getting together and stitching? A fun time was had by all. New friends were made. And I think we will have 2  new TAA members.
Sue stayed with me. She is so much fun! We ate out every night and had a great time talking about her adventures in Germany and a plethora (don't you love that word?) of other subjects.
Now I need to get some new work going. But a break and a new technique is always good.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Forget QN, Let's Play in the Barn!

Here is the newest playmate. Little David, a pygmy goat. The barn owners gave him a home after the petting zoo closed. Lily named him after her dad David. Congrats David, he's your new son!

He is about 24 inches tall, neutered and as springy as a little goat can be, they can jump incredibly high from a dead standstill. He lives next to Skittles and she treats him to her best ear-pinned-back scowl every day. Being a happy little guy he ignores her. A wise choice.

I think he looks a bit like these guys: When in Rome: Satyr Day Night, another thing you won't see at QN, their loss. The background is felted with organza and various materials including floss and thread ends that were embedded in the felt. Lots of fun to do. I want to take the embellished felting pieces bigger and bolder, who needs little coasters when you can have a wall piece! I had the satyrs printed and then stitched them onto the felt. I have a feeling Little David may be a quilt someday. Maybe the Satyr will visit him. Stayed tuned.

As always commenting is free. And so little is free these days!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Something you won't see at Quilt National

Martha's Wedding. Like 500 other people I wasn't accepted. Not the first time I haven't been in and probably not the last time but I try. If you don't enter for sure you won't be in!

A couple of weeks ago I was cruising through some blogs and came upon one that was explaining why she didn’t bother to enter Quilt National.

Reason 1. Been there, done that,
Reason 2. QN just wasn’t all that innovative any more.
Reason 3. Don’t need the affirmation that my work is good.

Reason 1. OK I’ve been there, done that, I would welcome the chance to do it again. It’s a great event with all kinds of artists and you think to yourself, Wow, I’m one of THEM!!! There are few things that compare to seeing your work hung in the Dairy Barn.

Reason 2.  QN just not innovative? It depends on the jurors totally. We can but submit work and hope and pray we get accepted. It’s the artist’s job to grow and stretch. Speaking honostly, making work to submit to QN keeps me going forward. I could just make quilts and throw them under the bed. But it’s better to let them see some light once and awhile.

Reason 3. Had enough affirmation? I don’t think any of us has enough affirmation., at least not in my world. Of course when I got in QN in 2007 my mother told me “Your Head Is Going to be So Big!” She also told me not to go to the opening. I went, and was proud and happy to be there. I am always surprised when a stranger comes up and says I love your work. What?! Who me? Gee thanks. I struggle to be gracious, and I am always surprised and appreciative. I figure if you don’t need affirmation maybe your head IS too big!

So we wait for the jury to let us know, In or Out. Most likely Out, the chances are slim of getting in. Out of 1000 quilts they maybe take 70, so what are your chances. But I know my work is my best, I am moving forward and what they don’t accept will see the light somewhere else.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Focus: Fiber 2014 Open!!!!

My good friend Katherine Dunlevey's trio of vests welcomes visitors to the Bacon Gallery saturday night.
The crowds were big, it was their Friday night gallery night. It seems all the major museums in the states have a free friday night once a month. Cleveland Museum of Art has it's first friday program called Mix which is a hopping party with some kind of special program.
But I digress.
The art was great, the catalog was loved, I made it back home before midnight. The studio assistant wasn't too miffed.

I am working on the program for TAA's Wearable Boutique and Fashion Show held October 19 at Landerhaven Cleveland. Big surprise for the runway show I'm not sure if I am allowed to tell. Let's just say the runway will be featuring some star's. Not saying what kind, but it is worth the price of admission!
I am back to working on my next commission piece. And contemplating what and where to go next. Oh and hopefully I get glass block windows installed soon in my basement. I shall be buttoned up for winter.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No More

Red Fence!!!!! I had a brain storm as I was shopping at JoAnns about my ugly red fence which matched my ugly red rotten deck. The deck is gone but the fence remained. Ugly barn rusty red. The fence on the back of the property is weathered gray wood. Next to that is white picket fence that I painted white, it used to be weathered wood also. Running on the other side of the property is white plastic privacy fence. Now I have a silver gray fence.
Much better! I am the only one looking at it and I like it so that's what counts the most. Took me 4 days painting it in sections. I am glad it is finished because now it is raining. Super happy I didn't paint it white as my neighbor suggested, this blends into the neighborhood better.
The coming week will be busy. Tuesday I give a speech about my work, my favorite subject me! Thursday is a group workshop which should be fun and Friday night is the opening of Focus: Fiber 2014. I am doubly happy to see it open. It's been a project for over a year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

tying up loose ends

The first loose end is the Focus: Fiber 2014 catalog, printed and delivered. Of course I have to get them to the Erie Art Museum. I plan to leave early the night of the opening to deliver them to the museum. 64 pages of art, full color, Sue Cavanaugh's piece is on the cover. Not to brag, but, I think it is a good one. 8 x 10 in size so the art is a good size and the type is readable.

Next I started on a few commissions, I was going to do Tracy's piece first and started on it but decided I was not liking the print from Spoonflower, not their fault, I haven't done a lot of color as my work has been mostly black and white. All printers print different, color saturation, density, etc.  

So on to the second piece, gramps and grandson with a whopper of a fish. I am loving the  stitching on the fish and the background.

My thread collection is growing although I go through a lot in one piece. I like to have options!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rust, bleach, stain, etc

This weekend I took a class at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, The Morgan is a paper making studio but they also support book artists, letterpress and other paper-making-using artists. We are lucky to have them in Cleveland.

Clare Murray Adams was our teacher. Eight of us spent two days playing with paper and rust, incense candles, wood burning tools, bleach, varnish, instant coffee, tea, water colors, etc. We made sample books for ourselves, writing down all our experiments.

These are Sawsan's examples.Did I take pictures of mine? Too busy playing!

But I have my sample book and notes. Lots of playthings for future collages and a few art discoveries. Always fun.

Of course we all took photos of our example books!

A small example of our books.
All of us taking photos!

This was a reward to myself for sending the Focus: Fiber catalog to print at Blurb. Yippee!!

Thanks to my good friend Ruta for all the proofing work.

Since my Quilt National pieces are finished (another yippee) I started ona few commissioned pieces. This is for a friend at church. I am loving the background. I think the fish will need some metallic thread work. For sure.
Now to hope for a sunny day to reshoot the QN photos, I think the color was a bit off and I don't want to mess with the photoshop settings.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Focus: Fiber 2014

I have been working on a rack card and catalog for Focus: Fiber 2014. Today I sent the rack card for printing. The catalog is waiting for proofing and a juror statement. Printing will hopefully be done before the opening September 26. Oh heck it should be done. Paola where is that statement!

Work is nearing the finish on the Quilt National project. I have gone through hating and now I am back to loving it. They seem to go through stages. Sometimes you just sit and look and think. And then something happens. I look through books and watch DVDs and some little idea will trickle in and grow to a solution.

But sometimes things just go to live on a bottom shelf. We all have those bottom shelfers. And sometimes there is a general cleaning and either they resurrect or go to the trash can. When I moved there was a fire and some pieces were fired for good. I made them, I learned from them, I sent them back to the universe.

As a person who spent 2 years taking improv comedy classes I have to mourn the passing of Robin Williams. Poor man, sometimes great gifts carry great burdens. Rest in Peace.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TAA Member Show

Textile Art Alliance Member Show at Translation Gallery, 331 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton, OH. Open trough August 30. This is the opening night with a pretty good crowd. We have a few artists signed up for Talkback with the Artist August 2, 7:30pm.

We have TAA committed to member shows next summer at the Botanical Garden in Cleveland across from the Cleveland Museum of Art.
And a spring show at the new Praxis facility in Collinwood Ohio. This is the new fiber facility with looms that can be rented, studios, classrooms and exhibit space. It is going to be an asset to Cleveland fiber artists. Along with Zygote a print studio which has opened it's second Cleveland facility. You can get things printed (on a press, not digitally) take a print class or rent time on a press. There is also a photography space where you can take classes and rent time in the darkroom. Cleveland is looking to be a very creative place to live. And it is very affordable!
The fabulous artist Sandy Shelenberger and I.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What am I up to?

Good question. Mostly work. My part time job has doubled a bit since someone resigned and then our co worker's husband went into hospice and passed away. That left two to do the work of four. No problem. My yearly horoscope said I was coming into big money!!!

I have been working on the Focus: Fiber catalog and a rack card, nearly done. And then there are two quilts I want to finish to submit to Quilt National. Why? It's called paying your dues plus every once in awhile you come up a winner. I don't plan on getting in. Why? (I'm full of questions tonight, aren't I) I don't plan on getting in because I have become friends with one of the jurors. I have noted whenever I know the juror I don't get in. Whatever. Still entering.

Just as a teaser here is the start of a QN piece, which does not look like this now. Felted, sewn, embellished. Very different from my usual. But every now and then you need to go totally out of your comfort zone. Some people drink, I say break out some felt and an embellisher. I got a little wild and broke 2 needle sets one afternoon. Expensive mistake, they are $18 a set. Five needles on a round holder. Crazy me! Live and learn.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You know you are a grown up when. . .

you have patio furniture! Oh heck you know you are a grown up when you can say you have a patio.

When I bought this house it had a wooden deck that sat about 6 to 8" over the concrete. It harbored chipmunks, old leaves and rotten spots. My brother was worried I would go through the deck and break my leg. I figured I would just break an ankle.

I had fun deconstructing the deck, prying all the wood off, I found out it wasn't attached to anything, just sitting on top of the concrete, the weight of it keeping it in place. I had 32 2 x 4s and a couple of longer wood pieces which the city would not take from the tree lawn. They figure it's treated wood and they don't want it in the land fill. Can't blame them for that but if it was treated it wouldn't have rotted. I got my trusty jig saw out and cut it into pieces that fit in the trash can. Voila!

There trips to the big box store for pavers, a table, an umbrella and chairs. Now I can sit on the veranda and reminisce about the good old days. Actually I sit on the patio and think about painting the ugly red fence next to it white.

And just to prove it is summer. The cherry tomatoes are ripening. The regular tomatoes need to ripen, the cucumbers are blooming and should be setting fruit also. I see a BLT in my future.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Paper Stuff

I like to play with paper. And I have been known to buy paper. Much like fabric, it's tactile. Yeah tactile. At QSDS Jiyoung Chung had a five day and a two day class in Joomchi. Fabulous stuff was made and her samples were to die for. Up in Cleveland, Textile Art Alliance brought in Bill Norton a teacher at Cleveland Institute of Art for a joomchi 2 day workshop. Fantastic Fun!
Class participants, note the smiles, even the teacher! (Me on the far left.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stitch Sketches

I'm not sure what to call these. Little stitch sketches, I think. Ginny Smith
started us doing people in stitch on a piece of cloth at our last AQN retreat.

They are kind of fun and a little addictive. Thanks Ginny.

By the way Ginny does wonderful bird quilts and was in Quilt National a few years ago. She was in our QSDS master class. She has a whimsical approach with a hidden dark streak that pops out unexpectedly. Fun!

Hopalong and the Kid Sister is complete. Now I need to think about Quilt National pieces. Which means working under the cloak of secrecy.

The things they make us do! And we do them!!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Being that it is Fathers Day, here is a photo of my dad as a young adult. I'd say it is the perfect dad photo, he's young with his whole life ahead of him. My dad did not have an easy life, he was in high school during the depression and once he told of us using cardboard in his shoes to mend a hole in the sole. When it rained you had to get new cardboard. No new shoes in sight. When my dad was very young his dad was in WWI, so I don't think he knew his dad very well. When he was seven his dad left. My dad never saw him again. A single mom was not real common in that day and age.

My dad survived, married my mom and raised six kids.
Because he was a hard worker, a good salesman (he won my mom over despite her friends objections) and a creative engineer of the basic sort, he always had a good job . He ran tool manufacturing companies.
He raised us to be responsible hard workers and dog lovers.
He died 20 years before my mother. After my mothers funeral the funeral director came up to me and informed me that my dad's headstone had been on my mothers plot for 20 years. I think the director was afraid I would be upset. No, it was typical of my dad to keep my mother's space warm, I assured him.
Oh yes, my dad had a great sense of humor! Which I assume he passed on to us also. Well, I think I got it and probably my independent and creative ways too.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


This all happened in a Master Class at Quilt Surface Design Symposium. Rosalie Dace from South Africa was the teacher. There were only 8 students so we really got to know each other, the creative process was certainly free flowing and the freedom to work without worrying about the lawn, garden, meals or cleanup was wonderful. I have two strong pieces to work on in the next month.

Stage one the photo

Stage two the background

Stage three more background.
I originally thought I would do the words Draw! Shoot! Bang! as moveable parts that I would attach as embroidered pillows that could be added and subtracted but I thought it might be gimmicky. There was a lot of changes and additions of jeans, patches, old quilt parts, etc.
Here is the top on my design board at home. Everything is ready to be quilted which I can't wait to start! The words will be ironed down I have them backed with fusible web. Let the stitching commence!

Next time I will show a very different piece that I can't wait to work on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Elizabeth completed

Elizabeth is finished! I was aching to finish her but she was put off until I could wrap up Focus: Fiber entries. I sent the juror 395 images of fiber work to consider. She will have a hard job. There was a large variety of techniques and of great quality it should be a good (I hope great) show. We open September 28 (I think) in Erie Pa at the Erie Art Museum. Details will follow.

Back to Elizabeth. I think she is finished for the most part but I am going to add stitching and possible from beading on the wainscoting and a bit more stitching on her forearm to match her hands. Then I need to find a photo for a Quilt National submission. I know what I want to do, now where did I leave the photo. The hunt begins!

I was anxious about the stitching on the hands but I think it turned out well.

I love the gentle expression on the face which drew the photo to me. When I got the fabric and started to compose her I realized how detailed the dress was, and fun to do all the detailed stitching, makes the piece pop a bit if I do say so!

This week I am spending quality time at QSDS in Columbus with all my peeps. Rosalie Dace's master class. We only have 8 people which makes it a great time to get to know each other and Rosalie.

 Everyone has something interesting working, self included. I will not be showing you any work. It's a Quilt National year and I don't want to jeopardize anyone's chances. If I was truly evil I would take a picture of every board, post them on Pinterest and be the only eligible to be in the show (buwahaha!!!) NOT!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Show Me the Money

Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2014 with my grandmother and a check.
The piece is called Our Lady of the Kitchen. The bottom pockets have religious medals of saints whom my aunts were named after. See what happens when you recycle clothing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Oh my!!!

I entered Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2014 in February. It is my favorite show, it has jewelry, glass, ceramics, mixed media, fiber, wood. You get to see a lot of great things. I got in! And the email said they wanted all 3 pieces. What? I emailed back and yes all 3 pieces. A week later I got an email asking that I come to the opening. I won an award. For best body of work. For sure, I went. How cool is that? You never know.
This weekend Artist as Quiltmaker opens. I helped with the hanging Saturday. Another great show with variety in the styles of art quilts. I also did the catalog on AQM which is available on
Focus Fiber entries have snowed me under! Tomorrow is my last TAA meeting as president. I shall retire. And get back to quilting. As soon as Focus Fiber entries are done. The church newsletter is done. AQN newsletter is done. QSDS brochure is done. OK you get the picture!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Working Title: Elizabeth

I'm not sure if this was Elizabeth (my grandmother) or her one of her sisters Kitty or Mary. Hard to tell without a smile to see their teeth. Anyway it is a very sweet photo. I love the lace on the dress. It is the most fun to stitch. I haven't ventured onto the face yet. The background should be fun to work on.

Entries for Focus: Fiber 2014 continue to trickle in. Final day May 7.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Focus: Fiber 2014

We have extended the deadline for Focus: Fiber to May 7, 2014. See for prospectus. No size limit, any art that is made of fiber is eligible; weaving, knitting, baskets, quilts, tapestry, etc. If it's good we want it. The venue is Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA show opens September 26 and runs through January 2015. Textile Art Alliance is an affiliate group of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Over $2000 in prize money.

Monday, April 14, 2014


The Last Supper has been put aside for some contemplation. It maybe my QSDS piece since I will have a week of uninterrupted time.
This has appeared on my design wall. Time will tell, I am a bit distracted by warm weather. I rototilled the garden but planting is a ways off. We are expecting snow tomorrow!!! The yard has been raked and I began to pull rotted boards off my deck. There will be several trips to Home Depot for paving stone to replace the boards. Knowing there is a big hole under part of the deck means bags of dirt, sand, pavers and fill sand. Also needed are a table and umbrella and a bird bath. I can't wait for summer. It seems like it was a long, cold winter. I am so thankful for retirement, I don't think I have stayed home for days on end before. Surprising how little money you spend when you stay home. I should do it more often!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Something deconstructed

I bought this piece last summer at QSDS from St Theresa's Textile Trove. It's one of those things that is so ugly that only a mother could love it. But somehow it called to me and has sat percolating in the back of my mind until 2 weeks ago when it started yelling look at me, look at me! Then the ideas started to flow.
So after some contemplation the background became a batik that will be embellished with sequins and stars. The floor is a workmanlike denim. The food will be fast food. Since I plan to title this 21st Century Last Supper and Jesus was a working man (carpenter by trade and the apostles fisherman and such) if they lived now and gathered they would be munching hamburgers, fries and pepsi's. The message would be the same though.