My Blog List

Wednesday, December 6, 2028

Introduction to me

I grew up the daughter of a career naval officer.
 We lived in various places around the country. I was  very interested in history, and majored in it in college and later got a doctorate in American history. As a child I did embroidery,  but little other sewing.  When I was older I made clothing for myself.
I got interested in quilting during the 1970's. when I found an article in a woman's magazine maybe Good Housekeeping. The article featured using up those long strings of polyester double knit left over from making slacks, and those run panty hose.  You were to cut out 4 inch squares from the double knit, sew them together leaving an opening to insert the run pantyhose, whip the square shut, and tie with a yarn  tie.  Then you sewed the squares together to make a heavy ugly "quilt." It was the only quilt I ever sold, as a guy bought it at my garage sale to line the bottom of his pick up truck.
In the 70's most quilts were quilted by hand in  a large frame. I didn't have a frame, and I still wanted to make quilts, so I tried quilt as you go.  It was a disaster--where I joined the blocks became large lumps.  I finally bought a handmade quilt frame, and I decided to make a dinosaur quilt for my son, who was then 4.  I went to the library and took our children's books with pictures of dinosaurs which I traced. I used the tracings as patterns. Scott wanted dinosaurs fighting cave men, but that would not be historically correct. The first bloc showed a dinosaur emerging from his egg.  I made blocks representing the different dinosaurs, and one that showed a dinosaur expiring.  The next blocks showed the saber tooth tiger, then cavemen fighting a cave bear, and finally the cave men doing cave paintings. The picture isn't very good, as I didn't have a good camera then.
Anyway, now I was on my way.  I've made bout 70 bed quilts since then, some from published patterns, but a lot of my own designs.

Tuesday, December 5, 2028


I got interested in doing art quilts when I happened upon Pamela Allen's website.  I loved everything about her work--the whimsical character ad  the hand sewing.  I didn't like to machine piece or machine quilt.  When I found out she would be teaching at Asilomar in 2009, I signed up and went. She taught us her manner of constructing quilts, beginning with the backing on the bottom, followed by batting, and finally the fabric used to make the picture. The fabric was sewed down using embroidery floss.  This is one of the quilts I made at Asilomar.  It's called the Eye of the Whale.  She gave me a scrap of fabric (the red, black, yellow, and blue). Then I had to construct a small piece filling in with other fabric and embroidery.
I still use her method today. I have taken several courses from her, mostly online.
The second teacher who has inspired me is Jude Hill.  Again there is a lot of hand sewing and whimsy.  She also taught me how to weave fabric to use as a base. I took a lot of online classes from her (now these  classes are online for free).
The last teacher I wanted to recognize is Luann Rimel. She goes to old cemeteries and takes pictures of the statues, which she later transfers to fabric.  I made this piece in honor of my maternal ancestry. The old gentleman is my great great (or maybe another great) grandfather who was a tailor from Ireland. As Luanne recommended, I used old linens (in this case linen napkins) to mount the pictures on.
With my 3 teacher's help I was off to art quilting!

Friday, December 1, 2028

art bits

Several years ago my guild, Bits N Pieces formed an art quilt group. I've been a member for several years. I will miss this group when my husband and I move to Overland Park Kansas. We meet monthly to share ideas, get feedback, and assistance with our projects. We also work on challenges. We had a literary challenge--choose a poem, book or a movie title and interpret it in cloth. I chose a book that I have enjoyed for years, Platero and I. Another challenge involved choosing a work of art to interpret. I used Renoir's Dancing at Bougival.