Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More From the Guild Show

As in the past several previous years, they picked two Best of Shows, which I think is an oxymoron but nobody asked me. This year there was very little difference in size between the two, but here they are in all their glory. Please remember to click on any picture to see a bigger view of all.

Best of Show, Small. Tuscany by Donald Gough, who leads a special interest group in the guild for landscapes. This was truly beautiful and it looked like you could walk right into it. He also won the Best Use of Color.

Best of Show, Large. Ode to William Morris by Carole Peterson. It was gorgeous with impeccable workmanship.

My Baltimore Journey by Darlene Donohue and quilted by Ruth Quinn. I was a clerk at the judging and I think this might have won Best of Show, but it was not eligible because it was quilted by someone other than the maker. Not to take away from the quilts that did win because they were stunning. This one also won a Best Hand Appliqué ribbon. You can see below the exquisite appliqué and machine quilting. I'm usually not a big fan of these quilts, but this one was very special.

Here are my two small quilts, Fractured IV on the upper left  and Fractured VI on the lower left. Notice the lack of ribbons.

My Ravishing Red only won an HM. Oh, well, it is on its way to be in a curated show next week. More about that on another day.

Below are a few that caught my eye.

Shades of Misty by Renee Fleuranges-Valdes was tribute to Misty Copeland.

Renee does the most incredible machine quilting on her Bernina.

Two Heads Are Better Than One by Donna Chambers. She won a blue ribbon and Best Original Design. All those little squares in the border are individually attached.

Donna paints beautiful faces, altho she said that she did appliqué the lips to get the bright red she wanted.

Judy Dales was our invitational exhibit and there was a whole wall of her breathtaking quilts. I have long been an admirer.

I found this simple, but very effective quilt, Louvre Pyramid by Dianna Sharkey, to be very pleasing to look at. The way the triangles change value across the quilt and the straight line machine quilting keeps your eye moving along.

You can see that the judges like Dianna's work, too. This one, Type Between the Lines, uses selvages as she has done in several other quilts. 

You may remember the button piece that I made for this exhibit. Each piece had to be twelve inches square with a yellow road running through it. I thought it was a pretty cool exhibit.

How neat is it that he one above mine also used buttons. Hers looks like a road with the buttons being cars. Is the checkered one a taxi cab?

And that's it, folks. If you want to see all the winners you can go to the website here. Whoops! Just realized that they are not up yet, but they will be soon so check back in a couple of days.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


This past weekend my guild, Northern Star Quilter's Guild, held its annual quilt show. It was in a new venue this year. After being held at JFK high school in Somers. NY for over thirty years we were forced to find a new place for various reasons. This year it was in the O'Neill Center at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury CT. It was a plus for me because it was much closer to home and it was a much larger space. All the quilts and the vendors were in one enormous room, rather than being scattered all over the school as previously.

Several of my blog readers asked me to show the results of the Fiber Fall challenge that  the FANE group did and exhibited at the show, so here they are. Please click on any picture for a bigger view of all.

You can see that there was so much diversity, even though we all got the same instructions, no two were even vaguely alike. Most members of the group made three.

My three were to the right of the snowflakes with the white buttons on black being in the middle of mine.

Please come back and I'll show some more pictures of the show, including Best of Show.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Art

I know I said in my last post that I would show you some more from "Connecticut Scissorhands", but I realized  that I didn't get the names of all of them and I don't like to put art only blog without acknowledging the artist.

BUT, I also said that would would show you my new purchase from the show. It was on the cover of the show postcard and I admired it then, but when I saw it in person, I fell in love. It just spoke to me and I loved the technique, bead-weaving, something about which I know nothing.

Common Threads by Peggy Dembicer.  It is beautifully double matted and framed.

Here you can see the beading. Peggy tried to explain how she made it, but since I know little about weaving,  it was a little over my head. The three women sewing together were inspired by a painting she had seen at a museum. The golden needle and threads were her idea.

I've always sewn and that was part of what spoke to me in this piece.

Peggy, standing next to her piece, gives you an idea of the size. I'm pretty sure that I know right where I will put it when I get it home after the show. I will be taking down something else to make room. 

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Connecticut Scissorhands

A scan of the postcard. I always have trouble getting the scan right and that's why it looks so fuzzy. Excuses, excuses!

Last night was the opening of Connecticut Scissorhands, an exhibition of curated works from the CT chapter of the Surface Design Association. Three of my fellow FiberWorks group and I, who are also members of Surface Design, were pleased to each have one piece selected to be in the show and three of us were able to attend the opening reception last night. It was a lovely event with the requisite wine and goodies and was very well attended.

I will share with you here just a few pictures I took.

Here I am with my piece, Copper on Copper, which was made awhile ago but has never been entered into a show because of those real copper squares. If you fold or roll the quilt, the squares bend and are near impossible to straighten out. The copper squares are sewn onto my shibori fabric. For this show the work had to be hand delivered so I was glad that this one was chosen. If it does look familiar to you it is because it was in my solo show last summer, its maiden voyage.

Chris Wilkinson is one of the weavers in our group and her beautiful piece, Homage to Anni, is part of series she is doing inspired by the weaver Anni Albers. It was mounted on brown hand dyed fabric wrapped on a stretcher frame.

Nike Cutsumpas's dynamic piece, Safranum, was inspired by her visit to see The Gates in Central Park in NYC several years ago. Those triangles are loose flaps.

Barbara Drillick, the remaining member of FiberWorks, was unable to attend the opening, Her exciting piece, Summer Reverie, was made from white fabric that she marks with paints, markers, crayons, etc. then cuts into strips and weaves.

This large installation, Drawing from the Stargazers Diary, by Jennifer Coyne Queen, took up a whole wall and won Best of Show. I purposefully left the windows in the frame for scale. Each piece was for sale individually or you could buy the whole installation. Last night there were two red dots. See below.

I don't know why so many of these pictures came out distorted. They were all perfectly square and mounted on canvas that were smaller than the piece, so that they stood away from the wall.

Sooo-z Mastropietro poses in front of one of her pieces. She works with tiny tubes that she sews from knit fabric. She is wearing a fabulous vest, also one of her creations. More about her below.

For this piece, Ombrouchure,  Sooo-z has cut the tubes into short pieces that were fixed to the canvas.


A free-standing piece by Sooo-z called Mad Plaider.

Kobo Totem by Jennifer Davies is made entirely of hand made paper, her specialty.


As you can see it was a very diverse show, Nike and I had the only pieces that could be called art quilts. Please come back tomorrow or the next day and I will show you some more AND the fabulous piece that I purchased.

The show will be up until May 22. Canton, CT is in a very pretty, somewhat rural part of CT. It would make a pleasant drive on a nice spring day. It is about an hour and a quarter from where I live. The gallery, Gallery on the Green, is open on  Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 PM and has two other exhibits that also had their openings last night. So there's plenty to look at when you get there. Our exhibit is upstairs.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Page

I had a real website at one time designed by Holly Knott and it was very nice. BUT, I never updated it and it got to be so out of date that I took it down. That's when I went to a web/blog where I could easily update it and add new quilts in the pages under my banner. Well, you know how that goes. I always think I'm going to do so much more than I do.  The pages now are out of date, but today I decided to take the bull by the horn and get to work and do some updating.

I have added one new page to the upper right under my banner, called Garden Studies. I will be adding more to these as I do them, but since I had just made 12 new ones they were handy for photographing. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

I promise to update my other pages in the next couple of weeks or so, so come back and see I I have done it.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Garden Studies

I made over 20 Garden Studies for my solo show back in June and they were quite popular and sold very well. I was recently contacted by a gallery owner in Grand Haven, Michigan who wants to start carrying fiber in her gallery. She had seen something of mine on Pinterest and that brought her to my blog and she liked what she saw. We have corresponded and she wants 12 Garden Studies and two of my larger quilts to start. You can go to her website at and see what it's all about. It looks like a great place. I wish I lived closer, but I'm pretty far away here in CT.

My Garden Studies are made from photos that I have taken, then digitally altered in Photoshop Elements, then printed on white cotton, then free motion machine stitched. I had previously made them six inches square and mounted them on 9" x 12" canvases. These new ones are 8 inches square mounted on 10 inch square canvases and I think these make more of an impact.

I have about 25 or 30 photos in my folder. I had made a lot of yellow ones, such as sunflowers and Rudbeckia, and they seemed to be well liked. I like them, too and am doing more of them but wanted to add some new ones to my inventory, so I am sharing these newest members of the family.

This robin's nest was in a tree in my front yard a few years ago. Of course I love the turquoise color of the eggs and the one bright green piece of grass woven into the nest. That momma bird was such a good decorator! You may remember this photo from a recent "Wordless Wednesday"
I haven't written the title on this one yet. I think it will be "Anticipation".

I'm very fond of Echinacea (Purple Cone Flowers) and their wonderful  colors. This looks like a brilliant magenta color on my monitor, but I could not get it to print any brighter, so matter how much I pumped up the color. But I decided I like it anyway. I did machine French Knots with Jeans Stitch thread on each of those center anthers. Lots of work, but worth it, I think.

This bee was so intent on his work that he let me go in the house and get my iPhone and take several pictures. More of those French Knots in the center.

No one gets to see the back, but I think it's pretty cool. I should mention that my fabric is fused to Peltex (a very stiff interfacing)  before I stitch. It keeps it nice and straight and there is very little distortion no matter how much I stitch. I make them about 8 1/2 inches square and then trim them down to 8 inches.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, April 11, 2016

SAQA Conference, part 3

My travel companion, Barbara, and I arrived at the convention site on Wednesday, though nothing was going on that day, so that we could go to The Barnes Foundation at 10 AM on Thursday morning. I had heard about the museum, but was totally unprepared for what we would see. There were no pictures allowed so please go to the website to see what I'm talking about.

I have never seen so many paintings by famous painters in any of the many museums I have been to around the word There were Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, and Rousseau, to mention just a few. This enormous collection was amassed by Dr. Barnes and displayed in a huge building connected to his home. Several years ago the whole collection was moved into its current location. One of the unique things about it was the way the paintings are displayed in a symmetrical  manner with interesting small metal objects interspersed  such as decorative hinges, latches, etc. There were many, many rooms and each had its own symmetrical arrangement. You could easily spend a whole day there, but we only had a couple hours.

Another of our adventures was visiting Magic Gardens, a fantastic mosaic warren, that defies description, the exact opposite of the Barnes Foundation. I give you a quote from their website , but also urge you to visit the site.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) is a nonprofit visionary art environment and community arts center located in Isaiah Zagar’s largest public artwork.
Spanning half a block on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the museum includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries. Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments.

PMG has become a unique Philadelphia destination and hosts educational opportunities and diverse public programming to thousands of visitors each year.

Here I did take a lot of pictures, but I'll show you just three.

Barbara in one of the many arches.

The conference was more than just visiting interesting places throughout the city. We also heard inspiring and informative talks, heard stimulating panels and got to meet and greet some wonderful artists. The theme of this year's conference was Inspire.Connect.Engage and that's just what we did. I always come back energized and inspired and I'm already looking forward to next year when we will be in Lincoln, Nebraska.