Monday, September 27, 2010

Cooped and Seafoam

This little quilt is called Cooped. It is a project I designed for my column on thread sketching for the October/November issue of Quilting Arts magazine. This issue is going out to subscribers and is on newsstands now. There’s lots of great stuff in this issue!
Jane Davila’s “Minding Your Business” column is all about selling your art at fairs and festivals … perfect timing for me and Fiber Art Options, since we are doing that this weekend (see my previous post). 

I met Victoria Gertenbach last month on the set of Quilting Arts TV, where we were both shooting segments, and admired her “Boro Bobbles,” lovely scraps of shot cotton fabrics and handstitched thread stitched into fiberfill puffed beads to display, use in jewelry, or as embellishments. You can learn how to make them in this issue. 

I also was fascinated to learn from Leslie Tucker Jennison’s article about two ways to use shredded paper in your work – as a resist for silk-screen printing, and as a laminated element for the surface of sheer fabrics. Very cool stuff.

And there are also lots of fun entries from the 2011 Quilting Arts calendar contest that won Judges’ Choice awards. Here is the table of contents so you can see all the other goodies:

Cooped is based on this photo, which I took many years ago on my youngest daughter’s kindergarten field trip to a working farm. As you can see, I changed the composition somewhat, giving the headless chicken a head, and changing the “windows” a bit.

I painted the scene on white cotton with acrylic paint, then thread sketched it. Here is a detail shot:

This is the second piece featured in my article. It is called Seafoam, and is made only with varigated Aurifil Cotton Mako 50 thread on hand-dyed fabric.
Here is a detail shot:

This piece is based on a photograph (below) I took several summers ago at the beach. I loved the pattern in the photo, but not the color. And I also felt it lacked a focal point, so I added the sand dollar (which is actually a type of sea urchin called keyhole urchin, I learned when I researched it!) 

If you are a member of the Quilting Arts community (which you can join for free), you can download my pattern for Seafoam. Just go to the website, and then click on “Free Stuff” and then “Online Extras,” and look for my little quilt.
In this column, I also wrote a sidebar on “Fighting the Fear Factor,” in which I give advice to aspiring thread sketchers, and offer tips on getting over the insecurities we all face when trying something new. Yep, even me.


  1. I love how you interpret photos with fabric and thread, really inspiring.


  2. Loved your chickens and your seafoam. I swear we operate on the same wavelength. My SAQA auction quilt is a rooster who would fit right in with your hens, and I made seafoam for a quilt a few months ago.
    I thought this issue of QA was especially good. I just went out today and bought a butane torch to try out some of the metal wire ideas.

  3. I love the chickens. Great job!

  4. I've always admired your work but that chicken wire quilting just takes the cake!!


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