Thursday, January 31, 2013

February classes in Florida

Class sample (detail) for “November Leaves”
I’ve been busy this week working on samples and handouts for the classes I'll be teaching in February in two different locales in Florida. 

Feb. 7-9, I’ll be teaching in Jacksonville, Florida with Karen K. Stone and Nancy Wines at the River Bend Quilting Retreat hosted by Honeybee Quilters Seminars. Last time I checked, there were still spots available! I’m teaching “Paint and Stitch: Peacock Feather” on Thursday. We paint white PFD (prepared for dying) white fabric with metallic paint, and then stitch with black thread to make this beautiful peacock feather:
“Vanity” (“Paint and Stitch: Peacock Feather” class)
On Friday, I’ll teach “November Leaves,”where we paint on Tyvek and then cut maple leaves, stitch them to the quilt top, and then melt some of the leaves away:
“November Leaves”
Class sample for “November Leaves”
And on Saturday, I’ll teach “Start With a Photo: Round Red Barn,” which covers my fusible applique and thread sketching techniques. Students learn my process, and then can go home and create original pieces based on their own photos: 

"Round Red Barn"
I’ll be back in Florida about a week and a half later to teach for the Friendship Knot Quilters Guild of Sarasota. I’m teaching Peacock Feather on Feb. 18, presenting a lecture (“Point, Click, Quilt!”) that evening, and November Leaves on Feb. 19.

Here’s my schedule for the rest of 2013. I’d love to meet you; please consider coming to one of my lectures or classes!  

Peninsula Piecemakers
Newport News, VA

program: March 8
workshop: March 9: Thread Sketching: Dragonfly
workshop: March 11: Start With a Photo: Round Red Barn
program: March 12: The Artist in You

Sandhill Quilters Guild
Pinehurst, NC

program: March 19: The Artist in You
workshop: March 20: Thread Sketching: Dragonfly

Champlain Valley Quilt Guild
Burlington, VT

program April 2: The Artist in You
workshop April 3: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals
workshop April 4: details TBA

Australasian Quilt Convention
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
April 18-21, 2013
April 18: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals
April 19: Thread Sketching: Cripps Pink Apple
April 20: Wholecloth Painting: Still Life
April 21: Thread Sketching: Dragonfly

NC Quilt Symposium 2013
Fayetteville, NC

May 24: Paint and Stitch: Peacock Feather

May 25 a.m.: Point, Click, Quilt!
May 25 p.m. and May 26 a.m.: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals

Quilting Adventures
Deep Woods Retreat, Smithville, TX

June 3-6: Wholecloth Painting and Thread Sketching

Orange County Quilters
Orange County, CA

program June 11: Point, Click, Quilt!
workshop June 12: Start With a Photo

Beach Cities Quilters Guild
Mission Viejo, CA

program June 13: TBA
workshop June 14: details TBA
workshop June 15: details TBA

Taupo Symposium 2013
Taupo, New Zealand
July 19: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals

July 20: Thread Sketching: Dragonfly
July 21: Surface Design Madness
July 22: Start with a Photo: Round Red Barn
July 23: Needleturn Applique

Lake Norman Quilters
Featured Artist, Quilt Show
Mooresville, NC

Aug. 16-17, 2013

Brandywine Valley Quilters
Thornton, PA

program Sept. 10: Point, Click, Quilt!

Calico Cutters Quilt Guild
West Chester, PA

workshop Sept.10: TBA
program Sept. 11: TBA

PRO Chemical & Dye
Fall River, MA

three-day workshop Sept. 25-27: Wholecloth Painted Quilts: Realistic Subjects

Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat
Blowing Rock, NC

Nov. 13: Free-style Embroidery Apron

Nov. 14:  Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals
Nov. 15: Thread Sketching: Snowflakes

Monday, January 28, 2013

A new portrait

I’ve been needing a new portrait photo/head shot for a while now. My hair is more salt-and-pepper than black these days, and I wear glasses (graduated lenses) all the time now. And of course there are a lot more wrinkles. But let’s not dwell on that. Today I asked my daughter Julia, who got a new camera for Christmas, to shoot me. I have to say that I love what she took! She has also taken some lovely and artistic shots of her friends. We may have another photographer in the family!

For the one below, I cropped it to a square, and Photoshopped in the blue background. One friend commented that the mark on the background looked like I had one of those chains on my glasses. Nope, it was just a crack. I Photoshopped it out. I also adjusted the skin tones a bit to warm them up. This square one will work great for my Facebook profile photo. (What? You aren’t my Facebook friend yet? Please come find me here:

Here’s another shot, more predictable, that I also liked a lot:

This is my old portrait (below), which was taken in December 2006 – seven years ago! Egads! – by my friend Patrick Schneider, who is a professional photographer:

I’d love to know what you think; leave a comment and tell me!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was recently contacted by Allison Morris, who helped design a great graphic documenting the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. She had seen my 2011 post about King, and thought I’d be interested. Here is the graphic, which appears on

MLK Infographic

Today, I celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a few of my favorite quotes about King …

the pacifist:
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” 

the dreamer:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

the optimist:
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” 
the social reformer:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 
the soul of a poet:
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Save the Thimble!

Have you heard that Monopoly is planning to retire one of its iconic game tokens? The current tokens are a car, a boot, a Scottie dog, a battleship, a tophat, an iron, a wheelbarrow, and the thimble. Help save the thimble! If you are on Facebook, you can vote (before Feb. 6) to save the thimble here:

To help publicize this effort, I’ve designed a logo for International Quilt Association (I’m on the board). You can order a t-shirt or 100 other Save the Thimble products to help save the thimble and support International Quilt Association here:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Get your Symposium registration forms now!

North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2013 is May 23-26 in Fayetteville, NC. Brochures and registration forms are now available on the Symposium website here. Some classes fill up fast, so if there’s a class you really want, make sure to put your registration form in the mail on Jan. 22 (registration forms are not accepted if postmarked before this date).
Here are the fabulous teachers who are offering classes this year:

Susan Edmonson 
Nancy Eha 
Kaye England 
Sandy Fitzpatrick 
Harriet Hargrave 
Susan Brubaker Knapp 
Mary Lou McDonald 
Judith Baker Montano 
Sue Nickels 
Annette Ornelas 
Linda Pool 
Sharon Schamber 
Anita Grossman Solomon 
Jane Townswick 
(Jane does not have a website, but this link brings you to her book publisher.)
Janice Vaine 
Leni Levenson Wiener 
Amy Stewart Winsor

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Don’t forget to register!

Register early to reserve your spot! You can get all the details on my website here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sketching with a friend

Sketching in Starbucks. (Photo by DeLane Rosenau)
NOTE: This is a recap of my post yesterday on The Sketchbook Challenge. Make a resolution to boost your creativity this year, and join us!

This month’s theme of Artist Dates meshes well with one of my New Year’s resolutions: getting together with friends more. (My other resolutions are sleeping more, drinking more wine, and making more art.) A few days ago, I e-mailed my good friend and fellow fiber artist DeLane Rosenau, and asked if she’d like to share a cup of tea with me while I sketched. I just love multi-tasking! We met up at a local Starbucks, and while DeLane sipped her tea, and we chatted, I sketched her cup:


It was very crowded in Starbucks, and I don’t think anyone (but DeLane) noticed me working away. I don't sketch in public very often, but it’s been my experience that people either ignore you, or they watch and are extremely interested, and usually impressed. There’s nothing much to fear, because you don’t know these people, and you probably will never see them again. 

This is DeLane with her tea and my sketchbook. One advantage to taking a friend on your Artist Date is that she or he is usually supportive about your work (as long as she/he is truly a friend!) and this can be very helpful if you are feeling at all shy or out of place sketching in public. 

Once DeLane was properly caffeinated, we decided to move our Date to a local antiques mall; I pulled up a comfy chair and my sketchbook, and DeLane went shopping, swinging by every 20 minutes or so to see how the sketch was coming along.

As a former journalist, I have a definite attraction to old typewriters.  I love the sinuous lines of this Remington Quiet Riter.

Here I am working away amidst the antiques. Every so often someone would wander by and ask what I was doing, but mostly things were peaceful.

(Photo by DeLane Rosenau)

(Photo by DeLane Rosenau)
And here’s the finished sketch. If you count the keys, you’ll find there are way too many; chalk it up to a lack of planning or to artistic license.

I have been trying to keep my small Moleskine sketchbook and my Lamy Safari fountain pen (my latest love) in my purse all the time. That way, I can sketch whenever I have a few minutes to kill. In this sketchbook, I am also trying to force myself to always work in black permanent ink, instead of pencil. The sketches are not as perfect as I usually demand of myself when working with pencil and eraser, but I think they have a lot of charm because of their imperfections.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Please bid on “First Green”

“First Green” (detail)
My quilt "First Green" is being auctioned to benefit Alzheimer's research through Ami Simms’ Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. As of 9 a.m. today, it was only bid up to $80; can you do better that that to help find treatments … or a cure? This quilt is about 24" x 41", and is made with batiks and is covered with wonderful free-motion quilting. You have until 10 p.m. Central Standard Time Thursday, Jan. 10. Bid here:

“First Green” (detail)
“First Green” (detail)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I’m on the cover of “Genetics in Medicine”!

“Uncle Albert’s Reverie” is on the cover of the January 2013 issue of Genetics in Medicine, “the official journal of  the American College of Genetics and Genomics.” I gave them permission to rotate and crop the image of the piece as needed to work with their cover design. Here is the entire piece, which I started in a class with Judy Coates Perez several years ago.

“How did this happen?” you might ask. Well, an old friend of mine, Karyn Hede, from journalism graduate school (at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is News Editor for the publication. We’ve stayed in touch, and a few months ago she wrote to ask if I’d submit some photos of my work for consideration for use on the cover of the publication. It usually features abstract art, but she said she didn’t think they had ever featured a fiber artist before.

Karyn is a biology/chemistry major who studied genetics at the graduate level and earned a M.S. before getting her M.A. in journalism.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012 all around the house

A belated Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!  I love to decorate my house at Christmas; this year, I used a lot of beautiful things that belonged to my mother.

“And now we welcome the new year,
full of things that have never been.”