Sunday, August 16, 2009

Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit, Home 2009

Breaking Traditions is an art quilt exhibit hung at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan each year in the fall. The 2009 theme is Home. Breaking Traditions is teaming up with Bernie Berlin's A Place to Bark. Bernie's organization works to find forever homes for abused and orphaned dogs. This year's exhibit will benefit her organization while showcasing art quilts depicting the many definitions of the word Home.

Here are my two pieces for the exhibit:
Sweet Home Chicago
Winter Sunrise
For more information about the exhibit and to view the online galleries from past years, please visit the website at:
For information about A Place to Bark, please visit:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moving Through Time and mistakes you only make once

This piece, Keeping Balance
was created to go with the piece below,
Staying in The Light, that I created about 8 months ago.
The last year and a half has been a challenge as my husband struggles to find a job in a difficult economic time. This situation has created many obstacles for us to deal with individually, together, financially, and spiritually. There have been many moments that tested us in many ways, including our love for each other. Sometimes things can seem so hopeless that finding the light of hope is a struggle. At times we feel alone and lost, but in the end you realize the comfort of faith keeps you in the light, even if your reality seems dark.
Staying in the Light was part of The Sacred Threads exhibit:
It is now over two years that we are still dealing with this situation with little hope in sight of it ending anytime soon. My husband and I have struggled to figure out how to keep balance in our life during this challenging time. Through many ups and downs, arguments and discussions we have somehow figured out a way to work together. In Staying in The Light we were going in two different directions and often had a hard time communicating, or figuring out how to get through the situation. Now we are in sync with each other, working together to keep our life harmonious and functioning with very little friction even though nothing about the situation that is causing the stress has changed. I attest this change to our great love of each other.
Here are the pieces together, I call them, Moving Through Time:

I hope to make a third piece to go with this series, but I have to wait until we get to the next place on this journey. My hope is that we will be relaxing together peacefully, and all the pieces have fallen into place where they should be.

I learned a valuable lesson working on this piece: always double check your materials, and know what you are using. The finished piece is actually the second one I made. I had spent two days putting the quilt top together, then had great difficulty when I tried to sew it. I checked what I had used to fuse the fabric and realized it was Heat n Bold Ultra Non-Sewable! After a slight breakdown, I got back to work to make a new top. It ended up being a great learning experience in the process of working on a series. It is interesting what slight changes you make in the design and color choices when you have the opportunity to make something a second time. I know I will never (knock on wood) make that mistake again, and it was upsetting to learn that I had to re-do the top, but I did enjoy the learning experience in the end.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quilts Japan Magazine

My Obama Equals Hope made it into a Japanese quilting magazine.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hearts for Anna Fundraiser

This is my piece for Hearts for Anna, an online fundraiser, August 12 – 16. All funds raised will go to Anna Millea an artist who is fighting breast cancer – again. Anna has been denied insurance, having been deemed uninsurable due to her “pre-existing condition.”
For more information go to:
I tried a new technique for this piece that I had read about in a friend's Quilting Arts magazine. You start with a layered pre washed piece of muslin or white cotton fabric and stitch your design with cotton white thread. I included InnerFuse to give the piece some stiffness. It is 5" x 7". Use acrylic paint to paint in the spaces created by the stitching, leaving the area around the stitching unpainted. I made 2, on the first I mixed a little Golden GAC 900 into the paint. For the second one, I didn’t. There was no difference between the 2.
Once painted and dried, use fine sandpaper to sand over the paint.
It will look slightly faded.
Sanding helps make it absorbent for the next step.
Make a wash using Burnt Umber mixed 1 part paint with 1 part water.
Brush over piece and quickly wipe off with a rag.
The wash fills in the white stitched spaces and creates an antique look to the whole piece.It is important to use cotton thread because it absorbs the paint. I used a thin flat brush and found it easy to not paint over the stitched areas.
For the second one I used gold metallic thread because I wanted to see how it would look knowing it would not absorb the paint in the wash. I didn't like the end result, the gold stood out too much and distracted from the whole piece. You can see the gold thread in the above picture.
To add some extra flare to the piece I went over it with Shiva Paintstiks.
I was happy with the added depth the paintstiks gave the piece.
I finished the edges with a satin stitch and painted the sides with the Burnt Umber paint.
You can check out the link below to find out more information about the event here:
The sale will be August 12 – 16


Here are some purses I made this summer.
I realized I liked a small bag to hang over my shoulder by my waist. I copied this from a small bag I had, but made it a little bigger. It is perfect for walks.
I had some left over pieced fabric from the canvas piece so I made this bag.
I just played around with the free motion quilting.