08 Mar

Save the Dates!

Things are a whirlwind around here. With drawings last month at McGuffey and now at Derriere de Soie, art quilts in upcoming exhibits, contemplating proposals and planning, plus making new art, it seems there is no shortage of things to keep track of. Here are the events happening in the near future, which I’ll blog about in more detail soon:

  • Figure Drawings at Derriere de Soie: now through the end of March
  • The Army Wife: I’ll be presenting selected pieces at the Annual Joint Forces Luncheon at Ft Eustis on mArch 20th. This is by invitation for members of military spouses clubs, so I’m looking forward to sharing my work with people I know it will resonate with.
  • Art Quilt Elements: Zeitgeist is part of this prestigious art quilt exhibit. I’ll be at the opening reception and look forward to meeting in person many other art quilters and enthusiasts who I currently know only by name or artwork.
  • Living With Art: Real Art for Real People: I have three pieces in this regional SAQA show in Chantilly, VA. The exhibit is in the shared space of an office park and should highlight how well art quilts fit into a corporate environment. Since the art will hang from March through June, it would be a good excursion for anyone attending the SAQA conference in early May.
  • Art and Ecology exhibit: at McGuffey Art Center. I’m pleased to be participating in this group show in April, which promises to be eclectic and educational!
  • I’m on the local artists panel at the SAQA conference in April. I hope to see lots and lots of people there!
07 Mar

Another Figure Drawing Exhibit!

Join me tonight, Friday, March 7th at Derriere de Soie on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall for a First Friday reception. My figure drawings mingle with all the lovely silky things in this tasty lingerie boutique.


What’s not to like about a store that supports it’s local art community? The drawings will be on display the entire month of March.


March 2014
Derriérre de Soie
105 E Main Street
Charlottesville, VA


Enjoy the drawings and pick up something silky too!

27 Feb

Field Trip to Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival

I went to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival today with my art quilt friend Lorie and her friend Elizabeth. We had a grand time checking out all the quilts and sharing our reactions. We also had lunch with my Hawaii Quilt Guild friend JoAnne and her friend Dorothy. Plus, we saw several other locals we know from art quilt events, like Sandy and Lisa. I have to say, it’s kind of fun to run into people I know in random places.

The show is what I would consider to be a typical large quilt show. I pretty much knew what I would be seeing and was not surprised or disappointed when we got there. It is actually a perfectly sized show — large enough to have a decent variety of work and to attract some quality pieces, yet small enough that you can see everything in a day and not be completely exhausted or overwhelmed like the Houston show. We concentrated on the quilts and just had a cursory look at the vendors.

I took a few photos with my phone and I will warn that they are pretty crappy. My sincere apologies to the makers of the work because it all looks far, far better in person. I’ll also warn that everything I write here is my admittedly biased and terribly opinionated opinion. I am making no attempt at being fair or inclusive in my review of the show.

That said, the main focus of the show is their annual contest. This year’s theme was Silver Lining. There were a lot of quilts with a lot of quilting, and not a few with crystals and some glittery fabrics or threads. Everything was very “accessible” and easy to decipher. There was a lot of technically nice work, but nothing that really spoke to me. I feel that way about most of the quilt shows I visit though.

My SAQA friend Diane, who is one of the few people whose work with digital images on fabric I like, got a ribbon! Best Use Of Color. My photo sucks though and you should really go see a better image on her blog.



The Hoffman Challenge didn’t speak to me. There seemed to be an underlying peacock theme, which maybe I even sensed a few years ago at Houston. Maybe that’s a Hoffman thing?

There was a group of quilts in the back corner that may have been based on a Jinny Beyer class or something. They all seemed to have a similar fish eye optical illusion thing going on and were all meticulously made. Part of, or next to, that group was this beauty. It’s called Seymore and is by Barb Hollinger. It is my favorite quilt from the whole show. (You never know what I’m going to be attracted to.)


What grabbed me first off is the unlikely combination of the Lone Star section in it’s perfect Jinny Beyer color gradation and the stylized Jane Sassaman leaves, floral center, and wavy border. If you know anything about contemporary quilting, you’d never think of combining the styles of these two designers. They really shouldn’t work together, but here, they do! I love unexpected, quirky combos like that. The leaf shapes are so beautiful, and I’ve never seen a treatment of the background on a Lone Star anything like them. I love the name too — based on the voracious plant in Little Shop of Horrors (very Jane who I know likes pretty with a little danger on the side). To top it all off, the quilt is well made and skillfully quilted. It’s more purple and green in real life, and who doesn’t like purple and green?

I think that I posted a bunch of Baltimore Album quilts from Houston the last time I went. There’s something traditional and charming about them that seems to draw me in every time. This Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival had a large exhibit called “A is for Appliqué” by the Baltimore Appliqué Society. We really liked this black and white one called Black and White and Baltimore All Over by Janice Reece because, well because black and white! The tree in the third row is just absolutely charming, and the last block on the top row looks much more complicated just because of an excellent fabric choice.


Tonya, this Halloween album is for you! Bad me, I forgot to get the name of the maker. She did a great job though.MAQF 4


I almost walked by this Texas themed Album Quilt by Polly Mello, titled Deep Within My Heart Lies a Melody: A Memory of Texas. I admired the longhorns along the bottom and was about to move on…MAQF 5

but then I noticed the creepy crawlies! There also seemed to be critter footprints quilted all over the quilt (but not in this detail).MAQF 5 det 1

And look, a fuzzy tarantula! Yup, I’m impressed by a well-appliquéd velvet tarantula.MAQF det 2


Speaking of velvet, Lorie and I were inspired by this piece called Chavela by Cecelia Gonzales-Desedamas. It took all our strength not to touch it all over. I want to roll around in it’s pebble-quilted velvet sumptuousness. Yes, we’re going to incorporate quilted velvet into everything now. Yummy!MAQF 7 MAQF 7 det


Chavela was part of the SAQA exhibit “Color Wheel of Emotions.” I was a little stumped by this exhibit. I didn’t get the color wheel thing, and I didn’t feel much emotion either. We wondered if it was the way the quilts were hung. The exhibit is in a series of three-walled “cubicles” and maybe having the work separated like that lessened the connection between them. If they were all in one line or one room where they could play off each other in more than groups of three, maybe the color wheel would have emerged. I feel bad that I feel meh about the exhibit.

This last one is also a mystery to me. It’s called Jumping Jehoshaphat and it’s by Anne Kimball. I didn’t want to like it. But look at those New York Beauty triangles on the big guy’s shell, and the flying geese in his tail. They are really well done, and honor the fact that this is, in actuality, a quilt. So does the compass sun. The armadillos’ ears are dimensional too. That’s so gimmicky I should hate it, but it’s working for me. And the fuzzy fringe on the big one’s ears? Ack! I can’t explain it, but the more I stood in front of these armadillos, the more I liked them.


Maybe that was the sign it was time to go check out the vendor area.

21 Feb

I’m a Black Noddy

Black Noddy

My fellow McGuffey Art Center member Kate Samworth is recruiting artists to collaborate on an installation of marine species affected by plastics in the ocean. As part of a larger exhibit, Kate is planning on making a “quilt” of 7″x7″ images of affected animals. This blog post outlines the details of the project and provides a list of the unclaimed species. I’ve already claimed the Black Noddy, a species of bird known in Hawai’i as an Aku Bird (funny slang usage of the name here). If you are interested in contributing to the project with a drawing, photo, mixed media piece, etc. Kate would be thrilled. Information, mailing address, and list of animals is on the Art and Ecology Club  blog site here.

16 Feb

I could post more figure drawings…

Darn, I’m blogging in my head again, and not here.

I’m also working on a lot of things that I just can’t share yet.

I can share that I am participating in another show at McGuffey Art Center (by the way, the life drawing show, Theme and Variation, up now, looks great!). In April, one of the studio artists is coordinating an art and ecology show focusing on plastic and it’s effect on aquatic life. It’s what the plarn wing/cape is for. I’ve decided to also make a plarn fish trap. It’s coming along nicely, but I need more tan bags, so I have to go hit up my neighbors before I can continue any further. I’ll also be making a small image of an animal affected by plastic for a collaborative quilt type construction. I’m psyched. I chose the black noddy, which is known in Hawaii as an Aku bird. There’s a funny slang usage of Aku Bird that has no relationship to the art project, but will keep me smiling as I work on the image.


A few posts ago, I was contemplating entering some shows. Here’s where that all stands now, plus some other opportunities:

• Art Quilt Elements: Zeitgeist has already been accepted and my mom and I are planning on going to the opening reception in mid-March! Yay!
• Joint Forces Luncheon at Ft Eustis, VA: I’ll be showing a good portion of my Army Wife series here mid-March for one day. I’m there by invitation and I think the audience will be very appreciative of the work.
• Fantastic Fibers: I entered three non-quilty works and all were rejected.
• Quilt Visions: I decided that I couldn’t justify the expense right now (too many other things to invest in, like greeting cards to sell at the luncheon), and didn’t enter.
• Form Not Function: I entered three pieces from the Army Wife series and am waiting on their decision.
• PAQA-South’s Art Quilt Whimsy!: I wanted to enter my most whimsical piece, Hale’aina, but it’s too old.
• Quilt National 2015: I don’t even know when the call for entries will be, but I have one quilt finished and three in the works. Because of QN’s rules though, I best not even show in-progress peeks, which is why I’ve been posting less and less here. I’m working hard, but have nothing to show.
• SAQA regional show Tarnish: I entered one piece, Dominant, and am waiting on their decision
• SAQA regional show: This show has no limit on age of the work, so I entered five(!) pieces that have been languishing. Also, pretty much all of these exhibit opportunities need the artwork in March through May, or some portion thereof, so everything else is in limbo or has been spoken for.
• Exploring Today, Remembering Yesterday: this is a VA show and I’d like to enter something, but it needs the work starting in May and so I need to wrap my head around what might be available. Work rejected from Form Not Function could work here.
• Our local classy lingerie shop, Derriere de Soie, always likes to show figure drawings and the like. My drawings will be on display in March!
• I may be contributing to a book, so I can’t show that work, but I finished it yesterday, so that’s exciting.
• I did contribute to the book Intentional Printing, by Lynn Krawczyk, and while i couldn’t show anything for the past year, now that the book is almost out, we’ll be doing a blog hop and a giveaway soon and I’ll have the book in my hot little hands and I will be able to share plenty of photos then. Soon!

I frittered away November and December knitting, and continued a bit into January. Those were gifts though and I couldn’t share them (story of my life right now!). One is still en route to it’s recipient, but my mom got her’s. It’s a light as a feather, soft, lacy cowl that I knit as a mystery. About a third of the way in, I was pretty sure it would make a lovely birthday gift for my mom:


24 Dec

Two Twelves in DC

Brenda pretty much said it all on the Twelve by Twelve blog. She was visiting DC, I live relatively close, and so we met for a day of art and catching up. It was grand!

Coincidentally, there was a quilt show that opened the same weekend at the National Gallery for Women in the Arts, so of course we took the opportunity to see it. But we met first at the National Portrait Gallery since it opened earlier. Neither of us had ever been there, so we joined the highlights tour for a taste of the history, architecture, and the art itself.

There were the classic Presidential portraits  of Washington and Jefferson, and two life masks of Lincoln showing the physical effects of the stress of the office over a five year period — the latter mask being much more gaunt than the first. What I enjoyed most though were the galleries of more recent presidents as the artwork reflected the styles of each period so well. As Brenda noted, the expressionist brushstrokes of Elaine deKooning’s Kennedy captured the sixties so well, and Chick Close’s Clinton portrait is iconic. There’s also a Norman Rockwell portrait of Nixon that is surprisingly warm and intimate.

After our intro to the Portrait Gallery (definitely worth a return visit), we stopped for a bite at Capitol City Brewing Company, and then off to find the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  The Work’t by Hand collection is predominantly quilts from the late 1800s, but covers a wide variety of styles from crazy quilts to Amish, to broderie perse and Stars of Bethlehem. No photos though. As the title suggests, the hand work on these quilts is just exquisite. We spent quite some time marveling at the variety of stitches on the crazy quilts and the beautiful embroidery. As I see an appliqué project on my horizon, I am inspired to make my stitches as small and invisible as possible in emulation of the fine workmanship. I am also inspired to add tiny bits of sparkly sequined ice skating costume fabric as in the one quilt by noted scrap quilter Anna Williams.

We took the opportunity to check out the museum’s permanent collection while we were there. Of course Brenda and I were drawn to the pieces that most referenced fabric. The only two I took photos of were a very quilty piece thick with paint, by Valerie Jaudon, titled Bay St. Louis.

Bay St Louis

And several pieces by Andrea Higgins which looked like extreme enlargements of fabrics, but were dimensional paint. I particularly liked this one, titled  Jackie (India) which is part of a series inspired by clothing worn by First Ladies.

Jackie (India)

We had a lovely day talking art and life, and it was fantastic to add visits to two more museums I had not seen before. I am lucky to live so close to a city with so much to offer, and which is a destination for so many friends as well!


07 Sep

The Army Wife at McGuffey Art Center

Last night was the opening reception for my show at McGuffey Art Center. Also at the Art Center is the Charlottesville Watercolor Guild’s annual show, so there was a sizable turnout for the evening. I don’t think the evening could have gone any better. Well, it would have been fantastic to sell a piece, but I wasn’t really expecting to anyway. I did sell two “catalogs” and made a connection which could open a door or two, so I consider that a success!

The Other Woman

The Other Woman

Absence II, Unaccompanied, and Medallion for an Army Family

Absence II, Unaccompanied, and Medallion for an Army Family

Be Strong Always, Unraveling, Medallion, and Welcome Home

Be Strong Always, Unraveling, Medallion, and Welcome Home

Suck it Up, Connections, and Be Strong Always

Suck it Up, Connections, and Be Strong Always

Be Strong Always, Torn from the Roots, and Non-Entity

Be Strong Always, Torn from the Roots, and Non-Entity

These two are fairly recent pieces which I don’t think I’ve really shown. Welcome Home references the home made banners families tie to balconies and fences on post when soldiers return from deployments, and the cheap and cheerful dresses wives wear to the reunion.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

Suck it Up and Drive on is a common saying in the military. Essentially it means stop whining because there’s nothing that’s going to change what you have to endure. It also dovetails nicely with the currently popular Keep Calm and Carry On posters from the UK which were originally meant to encourage a stiff upper lip in WWII in case of a German invasion. I love this quilt.

Suck it Up

Suck it Up

08 Aug

That Went by Quick

Summer got the best of me blog wise. I blame Facebook too. I post things on the run on Facebook and my brain thinks I’m therefore done. I have not taken the time to write a more complete story, nor have I taken decent photos in a long while. Here’s what I have been up to:


Monticello Bunting

Deborah and her family came to visit us shortly after the 4th of July. We went to Monticello, of course, and lunch in Charlottesville’s charming downtown. I’ll miss having such a good and compatible friend nearby now that she’s relocated to Texas.


Cville Wall

A week later, I went to the Sacred Threads show and my family spent the day in DC with my cousin and his family. Then they came to our house and we all went to Monticello. We had lunch Downtown, and the kids played a lot. The photo above is C’Ville’s monument to the Second Amendment. Anyone can write anything on this giant public chalkboard. It’s great fun and people seem to respect it.


cupcake wrappers

Then we spent a week in Oregon with family. My mom and her husband live near Eugene’s downtown so we walked to a treat each day — cupcakes, ice cream, donuts, waffles, fresh berries from the farmer’s market!


Chalk narwhal

My kids charmed their younger cousins. By the way, this is a narwhal with a pink mustache.


Gryphon carousel

The kids and a few adults took the train to nearby Albany and we all visited the amazing Carousel Studio. It’s an amazing community project and I can’t wait to return and see its progress. I also took a side trip to Portland by train to visit my quilt mom, Gerrie and quilt aunt Terry. It was great to talk for hours and catch up on all that we are doing.



After Oregon, we returned home and were visited by our neighbors (and boy child’s best girl friend from Kindergarten) from Germany, who now live in their homeland, Switzerland. It was great to see them and catch up with all the kids who are so much taller and more grown-up now! We went to Monticello and then had lunch Downtown.




After our Swiss friends left to continue their road trip, we hopped in the car to attend a family reunion in Connecticut. We stayed near Hartford and one of hubby’s cousins arranged for a tour of the capitol and historic arch. We all had great fun together laughing, reminiscing, eating, and drinking lots of tasty beer.



Speaking of laughing, girl child and I made a side trip to Bridgeport to see Jane in her new studio and meet up with good friends Natalya and Vivien. I think we laughed non-stop for about two hours. It was great to catch up with these fun and talented ladies. I can’t quite believe that just a week prior, I was on the other side of the country with a complimentary group of art quilters.


Next, I will be going to the Hampton, VA area to present my trunk show to the Peninsula Piecemakers Guild and visit with a guild friend from Hawaii. I think I’ll take the kids and we’ll tour Colonial Williamsburg while we’re in the area. Then the kids go back to school, I hang my show, and boom, it’s September.