Saturday, March 26, 2016


I was lucky to take Dorothy Caldwell's class entitled Mark Making many years ago, which started me on the practice of making mini books. I usually have one in a plastic bag to take to work or whenever I think I will have some quiet time to work on it.

I take embroidery floss of the metallic kind, a needle, some small prints of photos, a needle and a small scissors. The backgrounds are pieces of fabric I have quilted and then cut into pages, this particular set is joined by mattress ticking. I have piles of random fabric I have dyed, painted, monoprinted or whatever, I rip or cut them into small pieces and throw them on randomly. They are kind of a design warm up. Or maybe it is a remembrance of dear Sister Carmelita, second grade teacher at Saint Peter grade school who famously pronounced "Idle hands are the devils work shop!"

Whatever it is just plain fun to stitch away mindlessly, and they do pile up! Watching Dorothy's students from last years class at QSDS I am not the only one who has the small book making habit. Betcha!

If you ever get the opportunity to take a class with Dorothy, go for it. I have taken Mark Making, Kantha stitch and a master class with her, all highly recommended.

Go to for all kinds of inspiring art classes in Columbus, Ohio.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Falling in love

with stitching! Gotcha, although a little man love is a good thing. It's just not happening here right now.

But I have fallen in love with stitching. I find myself spending time with my Sweet Sixteen, changing thread to compliment the background, trying out bobbin thread to reinforce the effect, watching JoAnn ads for thread sales, even keeping a list of thread colors. I have a large collection of greys since a lot of the work I have done is black and white. On Barbara I played with adding color to the black background.

I think the stitch is such a part of the quilt I can't figure out why some people just pass if off to others to finish their work. Maybe they don't see it as such an integral part of the art. I think you can add depth, color and texture with stitch. Plus it's just darn fun to add! At the left is Rosie my red and white paint horse from long ago. She is about 3.5 foot square. I was going to crop in tight on her head, it's about twice life size but every time I walk by her hanging on the design wall I think it is so cool to see her huge.

Of course you can get carried away as I was with Little David. I started out to stitch him and ended with a fur baby. I entered him in about 4  shows and he never got in. I figured maybe I shouldn't do that again, I did have problems with buckling of the fabric with such heavy stitching. Then he got juried into Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2016 and he won the grand prize!

Never give up, there is a place for everything. In a new piece I backed the print with stabilizer, did the stitching and then added him to a piece of cotton duck, problem solved.