Friday, June 8, 2007

Ducks in a Row

I made this quilt, “Ducks in a Row,” for my friend and neighbor, Vic Marquis, who does wonderful duck decoys and other folk-art-style wood carvings. The pattern is available through Moda/United Notions. The size is 64" square. The center is pieced and the ducks are needleturn applique.

Barnful of Quilts 2007

The 2007 Barnful of Quilts will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, at Fox Farms in Waxhaw, NC. This is a quilt and fiber arts show to benefit Waxhaw Presbyterian Women’s Group. Members of an art quilt group to which I belong, Charlotte’s Fiber Art Options, will have work exhibited and for sale. For more information, go to Fulvia Luciano is the featured artist this year. Find out more about her at

“The Bluest Eye”

The quilt I created for Quilting Arts magazine’s 2008 calendar competition didn’t get into the calendar, but I just learned from the editor that it is a “judge’s choice” winner and will appear in an issue of the magazine sometime soon. The competition had the theme “A Novel Idea,” and artists were asked to create quilts about their favorite books. Mine is based on Toni Morrison’s novel about an African-American girl growing up in horrible violence, her descent into madness, and her dream to have blue eyes like Shirley Temple so she would be accepted and loved.

"Harbinger’s Hope"

“Harbinger’s Hope” is a piece I started this spring after a prolonged battle with Duke Power, who threatened to cut the 70-year-old sugar maples in our front yard back to the trunk to provide clearance for power lines. The quilt celebrates the renewal of spring and some of the magical things that go on in trees’ branches. When I finished it, I was reminded of this poem by Emily Dickinson:

HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

– Emily Dickinson

"Teach Me to Hear Mermaids Singing"

My quilt “Teach Me to Hear Mermaids Singing,” part of Husqvarna-Viking’s 2006 Gallery of Quilt Art exhibit “Masterpieces: Imagine That!” will be at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, in August. The quilt was first displayed at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in fall 2006, then at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago in April. From England, it goes to Sweden and then Australia, Denmark and Finland, returning home in 2009.

This is my first art quilt. I took a class with Bonnie McCaffery in the fall of 2005, and learned to paint a face on fabric. I came home and started creating the story behind the face. Goes to show how a class with a great teacher can change your work ... and sometimes even the course of your life! Thanks, Bonnie!

This quilt is really about my daughter, who at 10 remains convinced that she is actually a mermaid, and will some day transform and swim out to sea.

The name comes from this poem by John Donne:


Go, and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me, where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'est born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet,
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

“Goodmorning, Sunshine!”

“Goodmorning, Sunshine!” is my modern interpretation of the traditional snowball quilt block. This quilt uses April Cornell’s “Sunshine” fabric line by Moda, and measures 78" square. Moda/United Notions is distributing the pattern.