Thursday, June 30, 2011


In the morning I worked on Rahab, top stitching around the first 2 houses. Took a fabric piece off the wall. Shape was buckling. Seam ripper has been a close companion.

I was playing at the end of the day with stars, sequins & bugle beads in the sky areas. Will paint a piece of string for the 'rope' in the story. There's the red thread by the last section.

All these add-ons are part of the story telling of the piece. And yes, in one of these posts, I need to tell the story.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Beautiful fabrics came in with a friend today.

Color & sparkle sizzle on my work table.

Another project for another day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Moved forward on Rahab quilt. Started machine quilting. Stitched layers together with purple Sulky.

Sure like my walking foot. The layers never bunch up.

Monday, June 27, 2011


A quilt is a 3 layer sandwich.

I learned that from my years in the quilt world. I hardly think of these small ones as quilts but they fit the description.

Pinned the 3 layers together - using a low loft batting. It's so small I may not baste it - but maybe I will.

Sulky thread is on the table. Wondering what colors to use. Machine quilting ahead.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Terra firma safe
fixed and fastened
of patterns predictable
so mindlessly, so silently saunter the linear path
saluting it's defined edges,
finding comfort among emotion's low notes.

Yet everywhere living water
dripping in filmy clouds
tumbling in blue-green sea,
shimmering in silvery earth-dew.

Path's end
invites a daring plunge, an inspired soar
where the soft moon sways and
carriages of stars cluster above this heavy dark.

Sail a silken puff to crystal
and settle not
until sun's last day.


• from Beach Poetry, a collaboration between 2 friends, a writer & myself
• tomorrow back to Rahab quilt

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I don't actually live by the sea but I sort of feel like it when I surround myself with coastal art.

Decided to bring out the Rockport, Massachusetts inspired art quilts this summer.

I think there were 15 in the series when I made them back in...when was that? Whatever! Some sold, some gifted & these 8 are what I have left.

We are enjoying them in our gallery space of a home here in Connecticut.

The oil painting in the top photo, Sea Place, is by Michael Metzger, my painting professor. I have 3 of his paintings for which I traded stoneware hand-built pots & handwoven tapestries I made back in college.

click on the photos to enlarge

Friday, June 24, 2011


wall is sewn down.
I like it.

mulling over...

batting or flannel?
zig-zag stitch?
thread colors?
star sequins?
rope & red thread?

1st reorg. studio

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It's been raining here in Connecticut. A lot! These are NOT beach days! My artist friend, Katherine Scott Maghini, bemoans this wet weather with her blog post, Rainy Days and Thursdays. Do take a look!

Although it's not Thursday, it IS raining AGAIN! So Kath, I'm posting these 3 beaches just for you. I'm sure there'll be plenty of summery beach days ahead for you to sit in a beach chair, sipping that iced coffee!

3 from a series of beach inspired quilts I made back in 1988, my first quilts. I designed one quilt block and worked it out in different color-fabric ways.

Marimekko, hand painted & dyed fabrics, rubber stamps, shells & sand dollar. 10' x 14"

Yes, worked on Rahab quilt. Will post progress tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I worked in the studio on Rahab this morning, stitching down the wall. Continuing on that tomorrow.

Received email from Art House Co-op in Brooklyn NY, that RAIN, my Sketchbook Project 2011, has been scanned & is on their website. Click to see.

Besides a great look at the sketchbook pages, the webpage also features some of my work in an online portfolio. Art House did a good job on the scanning.

click on photos to enlarge

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I continued with the Rahab quilt today, reworking the fabric choices making up the wall composition.

I'm 'building' this small piece on washed artist's canvas using the iron to fuse the scraps to the backing with Wonder- Under® a paper backed fusible web.

Here's today's progress building the wall.

click on photos to enlarge

Monday, June 20, 2011


We traveled to Bridgeport, CT today to visit with our dear friends, Isaiah & Comfort (photo), in from Ibadan, Nigeria.

I've been to Nigeria 1x to met & present to artists, who want to use their art for God. Nelson's been multiple times. Today we met them at the home of friends from Ghana.

Knowing these are all folks who work with people, I made up some story ropes in African fabric for them, thinking they might be interested in using the idea.

And yes, once they 'got it', they were bubbling with ideas!

• I looked briefly at the Rahab quilt. Yesterday I put it on the work wall, framing it off with strips of white felt, covering up some of the intended length to see what it looked like. Tomorrow I'll have time to work.

click on photos to enlarge

Friday, June 17, 2011


Short post today. Brian sent me this photo with a short note to say he received the Wordless Book I made for his friend in Uganda.

Indeed he has! And I'm noting that Brian is surrounded by artifacts from his trip to Uganda & other parts of Africa. (click photo to enlarge)

The book & story ropes travel to Uganda next week, carried by his friend, Marie. And she promises pictures. So we'll all continue on this journey vicariously!

Miss any of the Uganda Project story? Click here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I started building the wall today. This is the wall that Rahab's* house sits upon.

Pulled out darks from the scrap pile.

Over painted fabrics that I thought would work but needed a purple night-time cast.

Using the fabrics, mostly uncut, this design is just happening.

Top of the wall so far.

Ironed down with 'wonder-under'.

* Who is Rahab? Story in future post.

click photos to enlarge

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I am back to the Rahab quilt & still stumped. How do I design the wall in the story?

The wall needs to go across the span of the piece. Do I make the wall in 4 different sections created with different fabrics? The story IS in 4 scenes - shown with 4 similar houses against different skies.

I had a break through when I thought back to the rowboat series I did years back.

I was determined to loosen up. So I limited myself to working with my pile of scraps for the first couple of very small quilts.

Here are 2 of those scrappy boats.

OK! That's it. Make a haphazard scrappy wall just using scraps. This will be fun!
Click photos to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A GIFT FOR BRIAN'S FRIEND project Uganda #7

Continuing Brian's Uganda experience:

Brian woke up one morning asking what he should do that day. Someone reminded him of the 2 crippled guys he had seen the other day. He followed the suggestion & was off to see them, both polio survivors. All it took was that one day and they were friends.

Upon returning home, Brian learned that his Ugandan friend's home had been destroyed by rebels in what Brian calls, "the troubles of northern Uganda" - a terrible era that only recently came to an end. Brian (& his friends) helped with finances to rebuild the house.

In Seattle (Finishers Forum) after my class, Brian told me some of his life journey you've been reading about. I looked at him and said, "You have a powerful life story to tell."

I made this book for Brian to give as a gift to his Ugandan friend. Brian is going to use it to share his story over email as his friend in Uganda looks at the colored pages.

I mailed it yesterday & Brian should get it on Thursday. On Saturday Brian will hand it to Marie, who will take it to Brian's friend in Uganda.

I have a feeling that this story is just beginning!

Click on photos to enlarge.
• Brian in Nairobi
• mailed to Brian:
book, pouch, story ropes
close-up first 2 pages
book back-African fabrics.

Miss any of the Uganda Project story? Catch up by scrolling back or click here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

FINISHED!! project Uganda #6

I completed the Uganda Project today!


• Machine stitched signature & date to the green page - less obtrusive than on the yellow page.

• Made pouch to hold the accordion book.

click photos to enlarge

• Mailed it to Brian.


• How Brian met his Ugandan friend, who will be on receiving end of this project.

• Final photos of finished work.

If you missed any of the Uganda Project story, catch up by scrolling back.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

PAGES & POWER CHAIR project Uganda #5

I made progress on the Wordless Book, destined for Uganda. Expect to finish it in a couple days & send it to Brian in Seattle. From there it will go to Uganda.

Brian continues his story by telling about injuring his knees at work.

"I had surgeries on each knee & returned to work. Then took out my back trying to save the knees. While recovering, I again injured my knee. It seemed I had set off a chain reaction. Every time I overused a joint to let another heal, it too went bad."

"The doctors had me tested for all sorts of things, but learned nothing conclusive. They theorize that I have deformed collagen which is the main building block of all connective tissue."

"Over the months I began to use a manual wheelchair. That’s when we began to discover that the pressure on my wrists and shoulders was making more problems. (Insert African trip around here.) The doctors & I eventually decided that only using a power wheelchair would help slow down the deterioration." And there's Brian in his new power chair!

Ahead - tying the stories together.

Friday, June 10, 2011

STITCHING & STORY project Uganda #4

If you missed - scroll back for first 3 story posts of Project Uganda!

I made good progress on the Uganda Project these last 2 days. The 6 pages are almost finished. They just need buttons, sequins & sparkly stuff. Each 'page' is backed with a different African fabric. Then I stitched the 'pages' into an accordion book. Too complicated to explain!

Let's catch up with Brian, finally realizing his dream to go to Africa! Here he is - now in a wheel chair. More about that in next post. Brian continues his story.

"A year before, a gentleman had seen me in a manual wheelchair at a local group. He had a strong calling to find and help the disabled. He invited me to Uganda, I am not sure just why. "

"That was it! The time had arrived for me to go! I was given a few personal connections to help me when I arrived, but basically on my own. How exciting! Just like old times!"

"I spent time visiting a child I sponsor, was introduced to & drew pictures with the African Children’s Choir, toured slums, visited schools founded by one of my friends, hired a boat for a look at Lake Victoria, cruised the Nile surrounded by Crocs & hippos, found the source to that mighty river, got lost in the claustrophobic aisles of the main Kampala market, ate grasshoppers & goat, basically had a great time. I WAS FEELING IT !"

To be continued...

Thursday, June 9, 2011


A pic of the 1st beach quilt I made when I first starting making quilts (1980's). I did a series of 3, inspired by shells washing up on the beach. I sold 2 but still have this one. It's up on the wall & I enjoy it everyday.

My family had a bungalow at the 'shore', as we call it in New Jersey. It was those beach memories that got me going in the direction of coastal art, even to this day.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A PILE OF SCRAPS project Uganda #3

I started my day retrieving 2 bags of African fabric scraps. The scraps are from my friends at Amani in Rwanda. Now I'm creating something with them to send to Brian's friend in Uganda.

I dumped the scraps on the table in my studio, worked on the 'pages', ironed some scraps & thought about tomorrow's creative plan of attack!

Brian finally realizes his dream of going to Africa...

"I think I had a better experience for waiting the 20 years it took to complete that part of the dream."

"It became an adventure with a purpose and much more fulfilling."

"I felt the time was becoming urgent to go there before I couldn’t walk as well as I was then."

To be continued... Scroll back 2 posts for story beginning.

Top photos: poster-George Anderson; acrylic-Filomena Booth; gouache-Marge Malwitz & African scraps in studio.
Lower photo: Brian in village hut in Gulu, Uganda with family he sponsors.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MEET BRIAN project Uganda #2

I hardly know where to start! So I'll let Brian begin to tell you his story.

"I have been to over 50 countries. A goal of mine for all my adult life is to travel to at least as many countries as I am years old. I am right on target. Out of high school I spent some time in Mexico with an exchange student’s family... At 22 I was back packing Europe for 3 months alone. At 24 I circled the globe, and spent the next few years filling in the gaps."

"It was never enough to see the sights. I had to feel the culture everywhere I went, something I still strive to do when I can. I love to make friends and when they need it, help them improve their lives. In circling the globe the one place on the list I didn’t get to was Africa."

Brian eventually did make it to Africa. In the photo he's with students who are in training with the African Children’s Choir. he continues his story tomorrow.

Meanwhile back at the sewing machine, I'm continuing on Brian's project destined for Uganda. Tomorrow I get all my African fabric scraps back from a friend. I want to work some into the design. I set the 'pages' on a couple pieces of African fabric I had leftover from making the story ropes in Rwanda.