31 Oct

It’s Craft-Tastic!

First, sorry for the long absence. My website and blog have been temperamental lately, and going straight to the blog (musings) still doesn’t work. We’re still fiddling around, but hopefully it will only get better from here.

Kitchen Superhero 2 web_Bubbles

More importantly, I am pleased to say that I was invited to take part in this year’s Craft-Tastic exhibit at Pelham Art Center in Pelham, NY! Check out all the info below, and if you’re in the area, or know someone who is, plan stop by. I’ve sent pieces from my Americana, Rooted, and Feisty Femmes series and I really hope that they all find new homes.

An Exhibition and Sale of the Handmade

November 13, 2015 – January 2, 2016

Pelham Art Center
155 Fifth Ave
Pelham, NY 10803

Free opening reception and all-age hands-on craft workshop:
Friday, November 13, 6:30-8:00PM

15% Member Discount Sale:
December 1 – December 5, 2015

A dynamic collection of quality handmade work will be on display and for sale, at the Pelham Art Center’s annual exhibition, Craft-Tastic, from Friday, November 13, 2015 to Saturday, January 2, 2016. Blown glass, woodwork, and dyed leather creations will be included among the many skilled craft disciplines. Craft-Tastic will feature 22 local and national artists who represent a range of traditional and modified craft techniques, creating all one-of-a-kind items. Supporting both local economy and artisans alike, the exhibition is a positive alternative to commercial holiday shopping. A hand-cut paper collage print, a wood and stone necklace or a naturally dyed silk scarf could be a unique and perfect gift for someone special.

The opening reception will include a free all-ages hands-on craft workshop on Friday, November 13 from 6:30-8:00pm. Pelham Art Center members will receive a 15% discount on all Craft-Tastic gallery sales during a special Members’ Holiday Sale, December 1-5. Anyone can become a member of Pelham Art Center at any time.

Craft-Tastic is curated by Kate Amato, the Gallery and Public Program Manager at Pelham Art Center and Gail Heidel.

Mindy Ackerman (NY) , Shea Bartel (NY), Mayuko Fujino (NY), Lisa Giobbi (NY), MaryLouise Gladstone, MLV Designs (NY), Sarah Grange (NY), Heather Gray (MA), Jim Gubernic (MN), Amos Paul Kennedy (MI), Kristin LaFlamme (OR), David Licata (NY), Loop of the Loom (NY), Juliet Martin (NY), Maureen McCourt (CA), Virginia Piazza (NY), Jennifer Priebe, Park & Young (NY), Risa’s Pieces Jewelry (NY), Elena Rosenberg (NY), Pamela Sabroso & Alison Siegal (NY), Avery Syrig (NY), Kim Tinsley(NY)

12 Jul

Homefront & Downrange Wrap Up

Friday was the last day of my co-exhibit at the Arts Council of Moore County in North Carolina. I packed up all my artwork and brought it home to get packed again, with all our household goods and moved to our new home in Portland, Oregon. It was wonderful show, and so much more than I could have dreamed up myself. I am thankful for the vision and dedicated work of director Chris Dunn and friend Nanette Zeller. The exhibit was a real community effort. Below is a short video by local videographers Brady and Laura Beck which shows the artwork and the festivities from the opening weekend of the show. Enjoy!


PS: the blog will be on hiatus while we move. Hopefully more regularly postings will resume mid-August (brace for house before and afters!).

07 Jun

Homefront & Downrange

The last four days have been full of exhibit related festivities. I drove my Army Wife series to North Carolina last Wednesday and spent the afternoon helping to install it, along with photos by Hunter Rudd, at the Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines for our show, Homefront & Downrange.


HD Nanette

This came about because friend and fellow SAQA member, Nanette Zeller really wanted to see my solo show in Charlottesville a year and a half ago, but was unable to make it. She decided to bring the show to her. And she did! Working with Chris Dunn of ACMC, they have created not only a a lovely exhibit of my work, but an entire event, telling the story of military life through the eyes of a spouse, a service member (Hunter’s photos), veterans via The Combat Paper Project, and the kids through the Military Child Education Coalition. All the artwork together tells a compelling story, and each facet reinforces the others.


It took a lot of sponsors to make this event happen, so to thai them, Hunter and I gave a presentation Thursday morning at one, Belle Meade, and then we had a private reception Thursday night.




Friday night was another reception, open to the public and part of Southern Pines’ First Friday event. There was a good turnout and I enjoyed talking about my art and stories with visitors on both nights. I think we all agreed that it was all about the stories — mine, Hunter’s, and the viewers’.


Hunter talks about one of his photos.

Everything was about contrasts and comparisons. On the contrast side, the show is male/female, home front/downrange, soft textiles/hard prints on metal, and the most surprising to me was that I am the pushy one and Hunter’s is quieter, waiting for the viewer to suss out the story.



On the comparison side, there’s repetition in colors and visual textures. My work is up close and personal in the narratives and his is up close and personal because of the portraits. Both our works are BIG! We agreed scale helped to pull the viewer in in a very visceral way.



Nanette talks to visitors about the work too. This is nearly as much her show as mine. It couldn’t have happened without her.


I wish I could have stayed for the Combat Paper workshop, but I needed to get home to my kids and our upcoming move. There will be a Military Appreciation Day on the 20th as well, and I very much hope that it is as well attended and received as our opening receptions were. The show is on view until July 10th for anyone in the area to come visit.

It was a special four days, and part of that was because I got to stay across the street to the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities. It’s the historic home of a local writer and is now a retreat for writers to come and work in peace and quiet.


I loved the Jeffersonian serpentine wall, as well as all the nooks and passageways to explore in the house.


This funny guy watched me from the end of the hall.


It was all steeped in Southern charm, if you ask me.

25 May

Quilt National ’15

First off, nothing beats seeing your own work on display. It always looks better at a venue than it does stuffed somewhere in the studio. Context helps too. Needless to say, seeing any artwork in person is better than online or in a book. That’s not always practical, but it is so worth it when possible.

QN 1


Second,  the whole weekend series of events around Quilt National was fun. Like going to the IQF quilt show in Houston, there’s inspirational work to see, but much of the adventure is about meeting one’s peers and connecting over shared experiences and insightful conversations. Quilt National is the premier show for contemporary art quilts, and much more than the basically traditional IQF, or QuiltCon shows, this is my element. Gallery type shows like this, Art Quilt Elements, Visions, and the like are where my work fits best, and where I can connect with peers who approach to their work in a mindset similar to my own (that’s not to say any group is exclusive or monolithic).

QN 2

It’s great to see old friends and acquaintances and to make new ones. I made the trip with my good friends Lorie McCown, who had work in the show too, and Jill Kertulla who was just plain curious about this art quilt world she’s recently entered. I love seeing Betty Busby everywhere I go. Her smiling face and welcoming attitude is just a joy. And now I can add Maria Shell amongst others to my growing list of inspiring ladies I know. And yes, there was a lot of laughter and silliness with these ladies and more.

QN 3

Here’s Juror Rosalie Dace talking to Betty about the scale of Betty’s fantastic vessel. That may really be what the weekend was about: three days of talking to each other about all aspects of our art. So so so fun and interesting and fulfilling.

QN 4

In addition to the small group chats that happen organically  at the meal table, and with a glass of wine by the pool, or on a walk between the Barn and the hotel, each artist attending had the opportunity to talk more formally about their specific piece. These two minute recordings will soon be available to view via the Dairy Barn website. My photo of Deidre Adams was unflattering so yo only get to see teeny tiny Deidre on the camera. Her work is one of those that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

QN 5a

Here’s Inge Hüber’s work two ways. What often gets lost in photos is that the colors shift as you view it from different angles.

QN 5b


Diane Nuñez’s dimensional work grew when installed because the lighting adds wonderful patterns to the floor.

QN 6


I only took photos with my phone, and didn’t even spend much time at that, really wanting to soak up the people while I could. Rather than share crappy photos of peoples’ beautiful work, I’ll just show a few details that caught my eye and suggest that those interested can seek out better images via each artist.


QN 8

The splatters and thin lines of Sandra Poteet’s “Open Spaces” intrigued me.


QN 7

The lovely drawing and spare stitches in Kate Gorman’s “A Keeper of Secrets and Parakeets” reminds me of the delicate illustration style that is popular in other arenas.


QN 9

“Femoral Fracture: A Fall” by Helen Geglio was full of lovely hand stitched detail, as is my friend Lorie’s work “The Story Quilt.” We decided the two pieces must be cousins.


QN 10

Pam RuBert’s “London – Wish You Were Hair” included a fun surprise.

Overall, I thought the show was of consistent and high quality. The jurors gave a talk on Saturday and were unanimous in stating that they picked the best work from what was presented, without regard to ratios, themes, or trends. Just art that had good visual impact and something that made you want to come back and learn more. With that I’m heading back to my regular life, but now with my creative tank full, and hopefully ready to contemplate and then create more worthy art.

25 May


I am proud to say that ‘Murica, from my Security Blanket series, is part of Quilt National ’15, the nineteenth international juried competition for new, innovative quilts, and that I can now share it publicly!

Murica horiz web

The flag is made up of many guns appliquéd from used clothing and other household textiles, and then outlined in a variety of hand embroidered stitches commonly used on crazy quilts.


I think it’s pretty self explanatory. For me, it essentially represents America’s obsession with guns, and specifically the craziness of the human toll it takes in the name of safety. Hopefully it’s open enough that others are able to infuse some of their own interpretations as well. I hope it’s a conversation starter.

This quilt and many others in a variety of aesthetic approaches and subject matter can be seen in the cloth from May 23rd – September 7th, 2015 at The Dairy Barn Arts Center, and then in smaller traveling groups for the next two years.

19 May

The Gloaming

My wonderful circle of friends and I will be exhibiting together in June for the first time! I won’t be able to attend the reception, but I highly encourage anyone in the NY area to go. We created work based on the evocative colors of the gloaming, and it should be wonderful!

The Gloaming is a presentation of contemporary art, inspired by the magical time betwixt day and night, eliciting myriad transitions. The art is manifested in fiber-based media, from cloth to paper and plastic, in sizes large and small.

The five artists in this group show hail from across the United States. They initially came to know one another through artist groups on the internet; later, more personal conversations ensued and friendships were born. This is the group’s first collaborative exhibition though individually, each artist has shown work in juried art exhibitions and been published.

Gloaming Flyer web
05 May


I sat down to quilt this morning and realized that in the last few weeks I have used all three main methods of quilting.


Hand Quilt

Currently, my evening knitting has been supplanted by hand quilting on a scrappy, somewhat traditional quilt in the works. I’m using a heavy-ish thread and big stitches for a rustic look. I’m even using my big PVC quilting frame! It all feels so old school, but appropriate for this particular piece.



Longarm Quilt

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also been renting time at a sort of local long arm quilting machine shop. I warmed up on some scrappy quilts, but my main purpose is to test out options for a custom quilt idea I have. I’ve decided that what I like best about the long arm machines are the “channel lock” option and the digitally guided designs — these are both things that I just can’t do on my domestic machine and they give a completely different look than what I can do at home.



Machine Quilt 2

And then there’s the quilting I can do at home on my domestic machine. Sometimes it’s frustrating to cram a big quilt into the machine, but it’s always there, ready when I am, and at no cost other than my original purchase of the machine. I can do free motion, I can choose straight(ish) lines. I can quilt quilts, or I can stitch up Kitchen Superheroes. I can use a wide variety of threads.

There is a time and a place for all types of quilting. In the last month I’ve worked on all the projects shown here, varied as they are. I am glad that I have taken the time over the years to become at least a little proficient at all these approaches, as it allows me to choose the appropriate one for whatever my project is.


05 Apr

It’s Scraptastic

It started here, about four years ago when, inspired by a vintage quilt of my mom’s, I decided to sew all my scraps together into “bricks” and make a quilt.

I made progress sewing together more scrap bricks here, and here, in 2012.

I finished the first of four quilts made from the scraps in September 2013, and the second in November. The third is somewhere in there too, but since I didn’t blog it, it doesn’t exist.

But now, I’ve gone from this:

Scrap Piles

and this:

Three tops, still more scraps!

to these!

Scrap Quilts

Scrap Quilts

Scrap Quilts