20 Apr

Stitchy Ladies

This series needs a better name. They started out as Sassy Housewives, but also have been called Kitchen Superheroes and there’s Jilted Lovers too. I guess Sassy Housewives still fits, but it sounds a little like an adult video title. Anyway, I have completed six ladies and now I need to take a pause until I create more inspirational drawings. I could pay a model to pose for me, but I’m not ready to add that to my list of art “investments” yet. I’ve yet to get out from under all the framing I did for the run of figure drawing exhibits, and I’m investing in long arm quilting as professional development for my Modern Military Quilts project (I need to get back to this, but it won’t really happen until we move). I also need to get off my butt and update my website so that these ladies, along with lots of other (not so) new work can have their own gallery.

In the mean time, here are my six new studio friends:

Jilted Lover 1 web

Jilted Lover 1,  16″ x 20″  $350


Jilted Lover 2 web

Jilted Lover 2, 14″ x 18″  SOLD


Kitchen Superhero 1 web

Kitchen Superhero 1, 11″ x 14″  $300


Kitchen Superhero 2 web_Bubbles

Kitchen Superhero 2 (Bubbles), 12″ x 16″  $325



Clean Sweep web

Clean Sweep, 20″ x 20″  $350


Nice Jug web

Nice Jug, 11″ x 14″  $300


21 Mar


The latest addition to my Army Wife series. This is a collection of seven vintage hankies representing the seven deployments my husband had during his nearly 20 year military career. These were not the only times he was away from home, just the ones categorized as deployments. And I’m not presenting seven as an outrageous number to be pitied — it’s just a fact. In fact, it’s probably about average these days, especially since these deployments lasted anywhere from four to twelve months.

Hankie WIP 1



I was inspired by photographs of eyes I saw mounted in jewelry settings as pendants or pins, meant to be mementos of absent loved ones. The pieces I saw were from the early days of photography, but my understanding is that the practice of wearing images of the eyes of loved ones dates even further back. The idea seemed appropriate for my series.

Hankie WIP 2


I chose to put my eyes on hankies because I work in textiles, not jewelry, and because the retro look of these vintage hankies is already present in my other aprons and quilts. I’ve already appropriated WWII era aesthetics into my visual language. I chose to use a different eye photo for each hankie to emphasize that each deployment was a separate event. It was not so easy to find photos from circa 1996 and 1998 to scan and enlarge for the eyes!Hankie WIP 3


The collection will debut at the Homefront and Downrange show at the Arts Council of Moore County in June. They will be displayed in a table vitrine to emulate the look of opening a dresser drawer to access the collection.

Hankie WIP 4

27 Feb

Figure Friday

We had another snow day, but this time drawing session was cancelled. Our instructions were to draw the dog or cat at home, but I’m going to share one of my stitchy ladies.

Jilted Lover 1sm

“Jilted Lover 1″ by Kristin La Flamme 16″x 20”

She may be my favorite so far. I’ve got two more in progress though, using drawings from this session, and concentrating the embroidery on the negative spaces.


Jilted Lover det Cafe


13 Feb

Figure Friday

This week’s session was good. We had one of my favorite models — the one who dresses up and inspires me to infuse stories into my drawings. No dressing up today, but lots of twisty, fun, challenging poses to draw.

Figure Drawing 2.12.15

Figure Drawing 2.12.15


It was almost like I had spent all week with this model. I’ve been working on transforming some of my drawings into stitched versions. This one isn’t her:

Clean Sweep sm

Clean Sweep, 20″x 20″

But this one is:

Kitchen Superhero Stitched sm

Kitchen Superhero, 11″x 14″


This one is her too:



I’m not sure where these stitched drawings are leading, but it was an idea I needed to pursue. I’m trying to finish this last one (the original drawing is one of the Jilted Lovers with a knife) in time to submit to Fantastic Fibers at the Yeiser Art Center in Kentucky.



After that I’ll need to focus my attention on updating my web site. if things are wonky here next week, just know it’s me futzing around and things should get back to normal soon — hopefully with additional galleries of my more recent work!

27 Jan

Stitchy Stitchy

Have you seen the Feb/March 2015 issue of Quilting Arts?


QA Stitch2


Jane Davila has written an informative article on ways to use seed stitch. It’s, in my biased opinion, beautifully illustrated! My Army Wife: Home Fires apron graces both the contents page and the first page of the article. I absolutely love the detail photo showing off my multi-colored and dense stitches. They are a lovely counterpoint to the more spare use of the stitch by Natalya Aikens, Deborah Boschert, and Gerrie Congdon highlighted on the next pages. I also need to say that I am so tickled the four artists chosen to show off this versatile stitch are also my close friends, mentors, and much respected peers. I hope we can share pages and galleries for years to come.

QA Stitch1

27 May

A Quilted Saga

Friends following me on Facebook and Instagram have seen these photos, but not a lot of the story behind them (though I did blog a bit here — and it’s worthwhile to scroll to the very first post at the bottom about the genesis of the quilt). Here are the gory details!

In late 2002 I started working on a quilt somewhat in response to the 9/11 attacks. It was to be a king sized Service Star and I pieced and appliquéd most of it while my husband was deployed on and off for the next year+. I hand quilted most of it, but then life got in the way and I set it aside.

Service Flag

Trapunto, Broderie Perse, and embroidery, oh my!

Service Flag

In 2004 we moved and I joined a group of ladies that met every other Friday to have breakfast together and work on hand stitching projects. I picked up the quilt again and came close to finishing it before moved again. By the time I unpacked it during hubby’s fourth Iraq deployment, I had moved on stylistically.

To go with the sheers

Having embarked on The Army Wife series at this point, I considered how I could bring this into the fold. Inspired by so much subversive stitch and gallery-worthy embroidery, I decided to add embroidered bumper sticker platitudes and a shadowy Uncle Sam.

Service Star WIP (detail)

It worked in my mind, but after many, many, hours into it, I didn’t feel like it was coming together. I’m loathe to just throw the whole quilt away given the hours I have invested in it. But I felt (and still feel) like it should have just had the shadow figure and none of the distracting embroidered flags and sayings. However, I can’t really remove the embroidery because of all the guide lines below it. I tried some blending stitches, and set the quilt aside for another move and another year.


I considered stretching the whole thing like a canvas and painting over it, but I realized I would hardly be able to get it out of the house, let alone into a vehicle to take to a gallery or anyplace! Finally, last week I decided that I was over this quilt. It wasn’t doing anything but hanging over my head. It was too late to call it an heirloom and put on a bed somewhere, and with all the “edgy” embroidery, it just looked overworked and tortured. I thought practical thoughts about what sells and where my work might fit in to that sphere. I love my “Suck It Up and Drive On” quilt and others seem to enjoy it too. It also fits in thematically with so much inspirational wall decor on Pinterest.


So I decided to take drastic measures and I not only painted my quilt, but I cut it up into sizes I could mount on standard canvases. I plan to stitch and paint some more, adding some nice bold stars on some and the Suck It Up phrase on others. They will make what a friend calls “edgy Americana” wall decor. And I will have one monkey off my back.

Interestingly, I just read an article on Ragged Cloth Cafe this morning about creativity and fugitive artwork.

18 Aug

Bonus Art Content

You’d think there was nothing going on here based on my lack of blogging. Actually, I’ve been immersing myself in art and am therefore spending too much time at the sewing machine and drawing table to blog about it.

Day 2

I promised myself when I moved that I was going to find a life drawing opportunity — both to practice my drawing skills and to expand my practices into something other than just fabric. I mentioned last week that I went to a drawing session at the McGuffey Art Center, and I returned this morning for more. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my skills are not as rusty as I had expected, and I really like what I came home with today. I don’t know if it’s due to more practice, or if a model with chiseled tennis arms is just easier to draw. Either way, I’ll take it.

Day 1

In a chance coincidence, I also won a free spot in Melanie Testa’s online “Dream Journals” class. She’s given us many different techniques to try and we’ll see where it takes us. I’ve not had much experience with watercolors, so this is a good learning opportunity. Also, it’s got me drawing something every day (in addition to the once a week figure drawing), and you just can’t beat that!

Flower Painting: day 6

If that weren’t enough, the chopped quilt is progressing nicely, and I’ve finally started in on another apron.

Another Apron

This one has a ton of machine embroidery which requires me not to actually do much, but to be ever present to swap threads or repeat the motif before the laptop goes to sleep and severs the connection to the sewing machine. So, I’ve been working on my painting/drawing while sporadically hopping up and down to tend to the embroidery. The kids start school next week, so things could really get moving then!

29 Sep

I’m Done With The Other Woman

The Other Woman

I couldn’t put her down until she was finished. The idea for this one (in The Army Wife series) came to me during that fantastic week with creative friends in New York. Once home, I gathered supplies and jumped right in. This is not a quilt. Perhaps it could be classified as an embroidery. Sewn from vintage sheets, it is a work of textile art.

“The Other Woman”  71″ x 50″ 2001 (click to see a little bigger)

I don’t know if the saying, If the army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one is common outside the military, but inside it sure is.

Granted, the military has made great strides in caring for it’s family members. In the 16 years that I’ve been an army wife, I’ve seen vast improvements in services to help families cope with high operations tempo, deployments, and distance from natural support systems. However, the military is still a vocation that demands much from it’s members, and even the spouses with access to the most will still acknowledge that they often play second fiddle to That Woman: the job.