Archive for the ‘image based’ Category


As much as things change . . .

August 30, 2012

. . . they remain the same.

A decade later, I’m still following the same love of winter blues.  Several years ago, I made Scituate Light (on the left) for a dear friend.  This year, I created Solace for ARTQUILTSrivers, a collaborative exhibit with Professional Art Quilters – South and Taiwan Art Quilters Society.  I can’t get over the similarity of color and theme.

Be sure to visit ARTQUILTSrivers in Taiwan or Cary, NC .  Also showing with the exhibit in Cary, NC is PAQA-South’s 10th International Juried Exhibit:  ARTQUILTSwater.  Entry and exhibit information, as well as information about PAQA-South, can be found at:

A collaborative exhibition of Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South and the Taiwan Art Quilt Society.
August 11, 2012-September 7, 2012:  National Tainan Living Art Center,Tainan, Taiwan
September 22-October 29, 2012:  Taichung County Culture Center, Taichung, Taiwan
January 4 – March 24, 2013:  Cary Arts Center, Cary, North Carolina
January 25, 2013:  Artist Reception coinciding with Cary Art Loop at Cary Arts Center, Cary, North Carolina
Paqa-South’s 10th Annual Juried Exhibit of Innovative Quilts
January 4 – March 24, 2013:  Page – Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, North Carolina
January 25, 2013:  Artist Reception coinciding with Cary Art Loop at Page – Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, North Carolina
Deadline for Entry:  October 5, 2012


Finding Focus

May 19, 2010

Maria 2 (after cut)


 The results of Maria 2 have never sat quite right with me.  The subject of the art quilt, my great-grandmother Maria, is a favorite of mine.  In this old family photo she is standing on a hill,  maybe collecting dandelions with her granddaughters.  She just seems to have all the answers.  But in the quilt, something just seemed off.     

Since receiving Lyric Kinard’s,  Art + Quilt: Principles and Creativity Exercises,  my inner ‘critical’ eye has been on alert for proactive ways to improve my work.  Focus is something I’ve had to work on.   

 The  other day, while looking for work to send to a show, I came across Maria 2 again.  With my new perspective, I began folding back sections and realized its the ‘space’ that bothers me.  Maria was not the focus…there was too much going on around her.    

 A daring person (it runs in the family!), I took a deep breath and grabbed the rotary cutter.  I cut a good 6 inches off the top and right side and took a step back.  I liked the difference.       

Maria 2 (before cut)


Click on the images of Maria 2 before and after to open in a new window and larger format.  Zoom in and look at the details if you like.       

What do you think?  Do the changes work for you?  Do I need to do more?  Should I have left it alone?  Leave your suggestions below.     

For more art quilts of a cultural nature, please visit Cultural Cloth.


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.


Check out these books

March 11, 2010

So, I was in Barnes & Noble of McAllen, TX waiting for our P.F. Chang’s order, and started browsing the quilting isle.  Check it out…on the shelf, right next to each other, are two books that my work is included in.  How cool is that!

art + quilt:  Design Principles and Creativity Exercises by Lyric Kinard is a wonderful book filled with inspiration.  Essays from fiber artists such as Hollis Chatelain and Janine LeBlanc motivate and impress on the reader the value of trusting the process of making art.  Lyric, who writes just as she speaks with a relaxed and no-nonsense approach, guides the artist through the necessary principles of design through fun, short exercises.  I love this book!  It is one I will refer back to again and again!  And see pages 90 and 93 for photos of sample exercises I made for the book.

Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell (to the right of Lyric’s book) is filled with essays and projects that support communities across America.  Learn how to recycle materials to make sleeping bags for the homeless, or about Ami Simms’ Priority Alzheimer Quilts, or how to support Newborns in Need, or any of the other great projects highlighted in this book.

On pages 5-59 of Bell’s book, you will find a wonderful essay about Operation Kid Comfort, the Armed Services YMCA program I founded six years ago.  Since then, thousands of ‘America’s Littlest Heroes”, the children of our deployed service men and women have received FREE Operation Kid Comfort photo-transfer quilts to hang on to while their parents serve overseas.

Another great book that uses profits to fund programs that support military personnel and their families is Thanking Our Troops:  God Bless America Touring Quilts by Judy Howard.  Not only is this a great book with wonderful stories, quilts and projects, but the exhibit is available to communities and quilt shows.  See the website for the touring schedule.

I was honored to write the essay From One Act of Love (pg 14) for the book.  Additionally, I created a quilt that is included in the tour.  Both tell the story of Operation Kid Comfort, from that first quilt I made for my grandson to the many supporters and volunteers who understand there is no better way to support our troops than to care for their families while they are away.

Whatever your taste, traditional, contemporary or no-fear surface design, these books provide something for each of you.  Enjoy!


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


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: