Archive for the ‘beads’ Category


White Heron Gallery, Dunn, NC now open

May 10, 2010

White Heron Gallery is now open! 

Along with magnificent art by more than thirty artists, the hard work of Ginger and Joe Gehres, and Adelaide ‘Nicky’ Page has paid off in a wonderful setting for the art.

I had the great pleasure of attending the opening, sharing my beading techniques with visitors.  The parlor is a wonderful spot to sit and chat.

If you are interested in fiber art, there are four or five of us represented at  White Heron Gallery alongside the talents of oil and watercolor artists, potters, jewelers, and more.

Please take a few moments to visit the artist pages of the gallery.  You will be amazed and impressed.  I’m sure you will find something of interest there.

If you make a visit to White Heron Gallery, let me know when.  If possible, I’d love to meet up with you.


Titled Recycled

April 26, 2010

Harmony 28.5" X 22"

Thanks to everyone who sent me title suggestions for the works in the earlier post.  With my brain stimulated, I had a title for each piece before bedtime, last night.

They went off to Kimberly-Clark Corporation this morning.  Each work shows how products that normally end up in the trash can be re-purposed into works of art.  I wish I had more time to properly photograph them.

Experimenting with different products and methods is great fun.  Perhaps, you’ll be inspired to think about what you can re-purpose.

Here’s the list:

Harmony (formerly ‘three beads’)

Fowl Play (formerly ‘chicken’)

A World Away (formerly ‘Walden planet’)

Global Effect (formerly ‘tree’)

As always, I hope you like the work and welcome your comments and suggestions.


My Personal Earth Day (Week)

April 25, 2010

Synchronicity continues to light my path.  Over the past few of months, I’ve been painting wrappers, waiting for inspiration and the weather to join forces allowing me a day to step outside with my heat gun and play.

The inspiration came in the form of a phone call from the company that makes the wrappers requesting work for an upcoming ‘green’ conference.  The weather has been delightful.   With my trigger finger ready, I stitched the layers of wrappers together, then zapped them with my heat gun.  Wha-la!

Check it out!  I love these little experiments and look forward to getting more of the material to create some bigger projects.  These will be shipping tomorrow, so I need to come up with some permanent titles.  Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Thank you Patti for helping me out with the painting of so many of these wrappers!

Walden Planet

After distressing with the heat gun, the results brought to mind a few sci-fi movies I’d seen.  I could title it:  “Where’s Charlton Heston Now?”

Walden detail


This one needed a bit of ‘umph’.  Why not a chicken?

Chicken detail

Three Beads

For Three Beads, I’m thinking of attaching the stick (rod) with clear thread, similar to a thin fishing line, creating the illusion of the piece hanging separately.  I’d better decide quickly!

Three Beads detail


There you have it…my Earth Day celebration in art.  Throughout the process, I contemplated more about my impact on our environment and what I can do to please Mother Earth.  Its been a great week!

Please leave comments and suggestions.  I would love to hear from you.


Busy as always . . .

December 6, 2009

Yes…I know, it’s been awhile.  With my fiber arts, exhibit work, workshops, Operation Kid Comfort, and let’s not forget the family, there’s just not enough hours in the day.  Perhaps it is time to enlist one of my many grandchildren to take on the reporting for me.  Well, on to the news . . .

Hollyhocks III

Hollyhocks III a commission piece that now hangs in the Admitting Waiting Room of the new UNC Cancer hospital in Chapel Hill, NC.   I got to see it hanging while at the hospital for my five year – AND LAST – checkup, and found ii in a spot where it will lighten the mood of many.  It is such an honor to be part of this great institution that has saved so many lives, my own included.

The base for the flower is photo-transfer from photos I took in the Ring family garden in Braintree, Massachusetts a few years back.  I added a bit of paint, and then heavily thread painted the blossom.  The background is a mottled orange commercial fabric that I bleached out a grid on using chicken wire for the ‘stamp’.  And then (of course), I embellished with beads, lots of beads, and some yarn.

Rabbit Moon is based on a Mayan hieroglyph that tells the story of the rabbit on the moon.  I grew up with the man on the moon and his cheese, Mayans see a rabbit.

Rabbit Moon

The background is commercial fabric that I rusted (see my earlier post).  I then traced, stitched and painted the hieroglyph, and fused the pots. It is finished off with machine quilting and again, lots of beads.

Red Woods, is not complete yet, but it is small enough to scan, so I thought I’d share my progress.  I’ll spend the next few evenings adding some white and red beads.  The black border is irregular.  I’m not sure I’ll leave it that way, or square it off.  When its done, I’ll post the finished product.

Red Woods in progress


Giving Thanks

November 27, 2008

Giving thanks is the single most important tradition of our country. We are a nation peopled by others, all wanting something special, a good and prosperous life for our selves and our children. Difficult times have been part of the struggle since the Pilgrims first landed, but we’ve always managed to come together , overcome, and appreciate our collective accomplishments.  As you read this post, and just a few of people I am grateful to have in my life, I hope you’ll consider who and what you appreciate and share your thoughts in the comments section.  I’d love to hear what you are thankful for.

Today, I give thanks for the many friends I have made, especially through the ‘art’ of fiber. It’s been over ten years since I started quilting and the friends I’ve made are so many I can’t count them. Whether it be traditional or artistic, we are a generous group with many gifts to offer. And when I’ve asked…you’ve delivered! THANK YOU!!!

c-j-postcards-1A couple of months ago, I asked members of to send my grandson’s Adventurer’s group postcards. They were earning their Communications badge, learning about the mail system and people of other parts of America and the world. Boy…did they get a lot of postcards,  traditional and fibers cards too!  And here is a special thank you written by Christian on behalf of his group. Thank you all for being so kind to a group of children eager to learn about the world. THANK YOU!

THANK YOU! from the Adventurer Club

See the kid on the left in this photo, he is the original Kid from Operation Kid Comfort.  Because of his father’s brave service the idea of providing photo-transfer quilts to children of deployed service members came to be.  It’s been five years since we launched Operation Kid Comfort, and because of you and the support of the Armed Services YMCA we’ve served thousands of America’s Littlest Heroes, the children of our deployed service members. You’ve sent donations, material and monetary. You’ve offered your talents and created beautiful photo transfer quilts for our OpKids. You’ve made the mission of our men and women overseas a bit easier, knowing that they will not be forgotten by their little ones who curl up with images of Mommlogo-needling-around-largey and Daddy each night. THANK YOU!

And to the artists of Fabled Fibers, through your amazing art quilts that celebrate children’s literature, you have brought tremendous attention to Operation Kid Comfort. From Houston to Vermont, your work as enchanted and inspired thousands (me too!). It’s been a joy to work with all of you. THANK YOU!

E Pluribus Unum II: Cultures in Cloth will be launched online in a few weeks. I’m readying the images to show a now. They are amazing! Each quilt is unique and captures the meaning of America’s motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many One), beautifully. I know the world will be thrilled with this online exhibit, and should the venues become available…some live ones too! THANK YOU!

To each and every artist who responded to the last minute call for Woven in the Fray, opening November 28th at The Arts Council Fayetteville/Cumberland County in Fayetteville, North Carolina, you rose to the challenge. In less than two weeks we put together an amazing timeline of the fiber arts. As the first exclusively textiles exhibit at the facility, Woven in the Fray covers a myriad of stitching techniques. From traditional quilting to surface design and mixed media fiber we expect to not only delight those who love textile arts, but educate the many who are not familiar with the genre. THANK YOU!

To all the kind people who have tested my new workshop, Cultural Cloth: Exploring and Expressing Our

Our Lady of Guadelupe by Roberta Morgan

Cultural Cloth: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Roberta Morgan

Cultural Histories, you have given me the gift of a great start! Understanding that this is not just a fiber class, but a diversity workshop that uses fiber collage as a tool for exploration and discussion, you have provided me with wonderful samples and the experience to carry this course to the communities of America. THANK YOU!

And to my family and friends, your never ending support keeps me going. Without Steve, none of this would be possible. Without the encouragement of so many loved ones, friends and fellow quilt artists none of these project would have succeeded. THANK YOU!

I am blessed with the many gifts you all have given me, and will forever be grateful for each one. THANK YOU!

With Love and Appreciation,

Ann Flaherty

Please tell us what you are thankful for through the comment link below.


Not Just Grey Matter

November 1, 2008

Quilts at Tufts Medical Center

This past September, I had the great privilege of seeing four works from my Not Just Grey Matter series, on permanent display at Tufts University Medical Center of Boston, Massachusetts.  Displayed at the entrance to the Neuro Oncology and Hematology clinic are ‘literally’ my thoughts on the creative process.  Photographing the quilts was difficult.  Across the hall is a bank of windows overlooking Boston’s skyline.  One day, I’ll have someone who has the right equipment photograph the group.  (If you can’t make it out, that’s the Prudential Center and Hancock building reflecting off the glass.)

Back in the Spring of 2005, I became fascinated with scanned images of the brain, specifically of my brain.  While I hope that none of you ever needs to have a brain MRI, I used the opportunity to explore the use of these images in fiber art.

Organic Matters

Organic Matters

Not Just Grey Matter is a series of six art quilts that incorporate images of my brain through photo-transfer techniques.  After obtaining a copy of the MRI images on disk, I used various techniques and filters of PhotoShop software to manipulate them.  Two of the quilts included in the Tufts display, Organic Matters and Imagination Matters are shown here.

For Organic Matters, I played a bit with the color and then used a wood cut technique to create the three images on the quilt.   The 11.5″ X 30″ piece includes leaf patterned commercial fabrics and beaded embellishments.

For Imagination Matters, I printed the same image on a soluble stabilizer.  Using the image as a guide, I stitched the an outline of the image and then washed away the printed pattern.  Under the netting, I added some egg shaped beads.

Imagination Matters

Imagination Matters

The last two quilts in the series, Focus and Montag’s Legacy,  were part of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance -South (PAQA-South) exhibit, ARTQUILTSreflections at the Page Walker Arts & History Center of Cary, NC in September and October, 2008.

Montag's Legacy

Montag's Legacy

Montag’s Legacy, based on the character of Fahrenheit 451, uses a grid of images from my scans in the background.  If you read the book, you may recall the task of memorizing books, and then teaching two others to memorize the same information.  Thus, humanity was saved to rise up another day.

Materials used in the work included hand-dyed and commercial fabric, organza, yarns, fused fabrics, Angelina fibers, threads, and beads.

To view the exhibit in its entirety, please visit:


Moving Day

September 8, 2008

This is a new link for me, and I hope all my friends will find me.  I was having a tough time posting to the old site and decided to give WordPress a try.  You’ll let me know what you think?  Of course you will.

Winter Moon 12 1/2" X 12 1/2"

Winter Moon 12 1/2

Winter Moon reminds me of a winter sky off the coast of New England, the air is cold and biting; the beauty is endless. This piece has some shimmer to the fabric and paint that doesn’t photograph well (for me). But I think you get the idea.

It utilizes commercial cottons, thread painting, fabric paint, and fusible appliqué. The thread painting was done several years ago and sat waiting, actually pinned to my design wall waiting, until the muses offered a solution. What do you think?

The next quilt is a labor of love . . . my love of beads! I bead on the road while traveling with Steve. Often we will be in the car most of the day, not hard to take in our little Beemer, but still it can be boring. I throw a recorded book in the CD player, place my ‘bead box’ on my lap, and time flies by from there.

I recall a few years ago, Steve and I were on our way home from visiting the kids in  Atlanta.  We had the top down, enjoying the sunshine and a perfect day.  All of a sudden a burst of wind hit me.  The flower I was beading flew out of the car, into center island of I-85.

Steve didn’t blink.  At the next exit he turned around and drove south until we saw the splotch of pink.  Thankfully, it was still in the grass and not stuck to the tire of a big eighteen-wheeler. Around again at the next exit, he parked on the grass (don’t tell the Statie’s) and rescued my flower.  It’s now, thread painted and beaded,  attached to a quilt that hangs in our guest bath.

Tide Pool 9 1/2" X 15 1/2"

Tide Pool 9 1/2

The background of Tide Pool is basic, with purple fabric covered with tulle for a bit of texture, and a nice batik border.  The beads are varied in size and style.  I like to just bundle and bunch (a real technical term) and see where it leads.  Do you like the leaves?  As with most of my work, the piece leads me . . . it will tell me what it wants to say.

Seems like I’ve been drawn to creating works with water lately.  I grew up in the Boston area, and water played a big role in our lives.  My father loved the sea, spending every spare moment out on the water.  Winter Moon reminds me so much of him.

My childhood was spent in the water.  Sunset Lake, camping at Maple Park, the beaches of West Dennis, Wollaston or Nantasket, any day with sunshine involved water.  I never missed a good wave or an afternoon with water skis .

And I can’t forget the Gidget/Moondoggie effect of a good beach.  You never knew when the next adventure would present itself, and who would be a part of that adventure.  When I think back on my younger years, almost every great memory involved a beach. I wouldn’t trade a moment of it!

I’ve got a few more ‘water works’ that I’ll share later  when I’ve finished ‘framing’ them properly.  As a good friend pointed out, sometimes they just need a backdrop.  I think you’ll like the results.

Thanks for visiting Ann Flaherty’s Strands of Imagination.  As always, if you have any questions about my work, do not hesitate to ask.  I hope to see you again soon.