quilting, mosaicing, painting, and other adventures in making

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Summer Flowers and Fall Quilt Camp

Just finished up 4 days at the local Y camp with a bunch of quilting ladies! Didn’t get too much done but worked on my bed quilt, finished a small wall quilt and made some fun and silly things with my mentor/quilt buddy Maggie – a great quilter artist who’s a fun and fearless quilter (who makes her living at this.) Don’t have any pictures of any of it – did not bring my camera. But since I’m short on words these days, here are a few random pictures of a summer bouquet from the garden, and some flowers I planted for a store in town.





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Long absence from this blog

Well, I guess blogging is not really my thing. I was working a lot at gardening for pay and in my own garden all through this long HOT spring and summer. In mid-July I somehow hurt my dominant hand/wrist – I just woke up and things felt dislocated. I’d had to keep the hand wrapped for 6 weeks and have lost much summer income (and some clients) that I really needed. I hope to see a physiatrist before too long. Doctors were no help; I’m no closer to knowing what’s wrong with it (or how to treat it) than I was 6 weeks ago.

Well – onward! I hung two art shows in August at two local banks. Accidentally over-booked! Had to rob my storage unit and walls.  One of my older works has generated a potential buyer. He hasn’t come through yet, so I’m not counting on anything.

I made some new things too. Here is a picture of one of the new abstracts that i really like.



birdhouse collaboration

I was part of a 3-way collaboration on a birdhouse for a bird festival we are having this weekend. The maker, Joe, hollowed out a cedar round to make the birdhouse. I was the painter, and Zachariah was the “roofer” – he did a two-tiered copper roof (which is just how i would have roofed it, but would have probably made it labor-intensive and arduous, using tiny shingles!) My painting on it is funky and amateurish, but still took a surprisingly long time. Oh well – at least it is whimsical. Too bad you can’t see the glitter in the photos. :) I like the collaboration process.



I didn’t get a picture of the birdhouse with the roof on, but  it was fun doing something a bit creative in the midst of full-on gardening season and too many other “have to” projects getting in the way of art, as usual. There are going to be a lot of fun birdhouses on display this Saturday, but since I will be having my annual dahlia tuber sale the same day, I probably won’t attend the festivities.


A Finish from 2014

I’m trying to revive this badly neglected blog. So many unfinished projects all over the place! While at quilt camp in January, I did a few finishes, a few starts, and had a lot of fun fooling around with some experiments, which I will post later. Some of those need finishing, too!

This is a rather subdued (for me) lap quilt that is finally finished to give to Domestic Violence. It’s made with orphan squares, then simple sashing and using scraps and pieces I had, but that are not “my” colors, and making it work.  Sorry about the pictures. Had no way to hold it up and we just had a big rain!

Compared to some of my first efforts I think my quilting and piecing are improving, despite the fact that I’ve yet to like anything by machine that I’ve quilted. This is still with the polyester batting that I was given. I think I will put the rest of the poly batting in a donation pile and move on to better batting  and see if it can make a difference!


I tried wavy lines with the walking foot. I am usually happy with my piecing and then frustrated with my quilting. I always feel that I ruin it with the quilting. Despite the funkiness and not matching the lines, I think I am happier with my quilting on this one.

I’m still too scared of Free Motion Quilting to try it. Maybe I need to go to hand quilting or tying? Anyway – one more DONE!


WIP – glue stick fabric collage experiment

This is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile, being into every new medium I can get my hands on, but that old bugger fear stops me in my tracks. It’s like wrestling crocodiles every time I want to venture into new territory – and let’s face it, that’s a lot for crafters and makers. I know others experience this… I suppose it dissapates if you get into a regular working groove.

This was quickly thrown together on a scrap of muslin. I just threw a bunch of scraps in a bag and joined some other women doing crafts for a few hours – this happens monthly at the Senior Center. Everything so far is lightly tacked down with the glue stick. I just found a kid’s tutu in the dumpster and cut off all the useful and unsoiled tuille – score! :) I’m thinking i might add a bit of the tuille to this, just for fun, and maybe another element or two to the composition. I’d also love to try some purely abstract stuff, too with all my fabric scraps – but I see the pictorial and narrative potential with this technique. These are obviously purely decorative, as it is all raw-edge. I have since read that many applique quilters use the glue stick method to turn under their edges, so you CAN make functional quilts with this technique.


Will show the finished thing when i have time, and if I actually finish it. I’m not that strong on finishing. But – the exciting news is that right now we are working on a community neighborhood mosaic – what fun! More about that in the next post!

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Gardening, or avoidance of gardening, takes all of my energy

This is not a “cheery” post.

My “paid” garden jobs are taking up my energy – not so much my time, as my energy. I feel sapped, drained, depleted. My enthusiasm for gardening is gone in this relentless dry heat. My own garden is a horrible weed patch with thistles taking over. My back is still injured, so life is slow and limited.  I have lost a lot of friends and cherished community members this year. Lots of sadness – probably some depression. Any energy I have, I save for work. The rest of the time, I read or sit on the internet. Pretty blah existence; I would say “enduring” describes it.

These days it seems that dahlia bouquets brought to friends are the only “art” I’m doing, and Nature gets credit for that. I’m only their toiling human servant who stakes the plants, waters, and keeps them deadheaded. I love watching all the pollenators and small creatures who make their homes in my flower patch- bees, beetles, frogs, birds – even snakes. That part is wonderful. It feels good to feed pollenators – I garden for the bees and because I adore flowers.

Regarding art, crafting, and making: I’m going to have to find small windows of time to simply doodle and experiment. I hate not making or creating anything.

Here’s a close-up of a beautiful dahlia I grow named Sheabird – hard to find in catalogs anymore. Opens beautiful dark salmon into yellow, fading to peaches and apricots the older it gets. It’s quite lovely in all of its stages of coloration.Sheabird

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Dry Spell

Gosh, how did almost a month go by?! This title is no accident – it has been a dry, dry spring and summer – tinderbox dry. I don’t do well with hot and dry, being more of a winter Northwest rainy/ summer Northeast jungle creature. :)  Creatively, I’m feeling dry as well. This has not been a very productive time, but I guess summer never is; I’m too busy working, and tending my own garden. My internet and phone went down again, and I hurt my back a couple weeks ago and have taken it easy so that I don’t hurt it worse. Back injury seems to happen every July once I start dragging those heavy hoses around. I decided to hire out the watering parts of my jobs, but have not created anything “arty” in that time off… dove into some novels and cuddled with the cat instead!

I painted these little paintings in mid-June. Put them into a gallery. Hoping they will sell, but I need to make more, if I want to have a body of work there. I’m pretty rusty at painting but it sure is fun when I do it, however inconsistently!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I enjoy doing abstract art the most, but it’s good to know I can still fake something a bit more “realistic” if I have to!

I’ve been looking longingly at my fabric stash and wanting to get back to quilting! I gave my little Frida Kahlo quilt to my quilting mentor and friend. She’s such an amazing quilter and artist and if she likes it, I’m honored. And then there’s mosaicing – want to get back to that too!

Sorry my posting has been so infrequent. Will try to post more because it gets me thinking about creating, and feeling inspired.


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