Saturday, December 13, 2008

Purple Mountain Majesty, A Tribute to Bob

Purple Mountain Majesty measures 17.25" X25" and is a tribute to Bob, my dear father in law who passed away this last October. It is inspired from a photo I took in Estes Park, Colorado overlooking Long's Peak. Would you believe this is the view from my Mother and Father In Law's kitchen window? I think it is absolutely sensational. The sky is painted with acrylics and the clouds are made of fiber fill with tulle overlay. The mountains consist of various hand dyed cottons that have been layered with bits of teased dryer sheets to similate snow along the crevices. Leaves were fiber etched. Machine appliqued and quilted with Superior trilobal polyester and metallic threads. Edges were finished with a black binding. This was an exercise in trying to convey depth across various stratas of foliage, mountains and clouds in a somewhat realistic manner. I am encouraged to revisit these images as I seem to recall a rather large herd of elk that came by one day and "bedded down" in the back yard!!! It was quite a spectacle as it was mating season and the bulls were jousting with one another. They have in the past traipsed through the yard but never the entire herd all at once. Somehow, I like to think these wild beasts were paying homage to Bob in their own way as if to say "Farewell, my friend. We will miss you."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Elemental Dance

Journal Quilt Project II: Elements-Earth, Water, Air, and Fire: Elemental Dance

Elemental Dance is the first Journal Quilt I have ever made. It is inspired from a desire to create naturescapes using both conventional and unconventional materials and methods in a somewhat realistic manner. This piece began as a study on how to convey water working with fiber as a medium. The ocean background was formed using both commercial and hand painted cotton. Transparent and opaque fabric paints were incorporated along with pearlescent powders. Trying to capture the waves crashing against the rocks was especially challenging. Sheer fabrics, sparkled organza and cheesecloth were used to impart a wet and foaming feel to the piece. Angelina fibers and tinzl were also added to reveal the sparkle effect that water carries. Still, it needed more of a textural feel. The first few months, I began collecting all sorts of plastics from everyday household use. Some of these items included cellophane and wrappers from packaged products, assorted foam packing materials and really anything I could get my hands on. I spent a lot of time trying to determine how these synthetic materials behaved when they were heat distressed either with an iron or a heat gun. The prospect of recycling plastics to include in a naturescape was so appealing as I felt I had a hand in keeping the environment clean. The sky was hand dyed with procion fiber reactive dye. Rocks were raw edge appliquéd to communicate a rugged feeling. Machine pieced, appliquéd and quilted; metallic threads and cotton batting. Elemental Dance refers to the show that Mother Nature orchestrates as a cool brisk ocean breeze accompanies the rolling tides dancing along the rocky shore. Earth, water and air are major players in this audio and visual interplay that entices all the senses of the human body.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Emerald Treasures

Emerald Treasures was created quite accidently. The backdrop was painted for another piece I was working on but when I finished it, I knew it was not the place for the blue jay, I had intended. Still, it was a nice background and it had such wonderful highlights. The piece reminded me of an ocean or lagoon type setting. Having returned from the Atlantic, I had some great pictures of turtles and so I set out to making a shell. The basic shape was made of commercial cotton with fused pieces to emulate the back of a turtle and layered with several layers of high loft batting to give dimension. Hand dyed cheesecloth and scrim along with roving were added to try and create an algae-like appearance and needle felted to the shell. It was cool but needed something more so I began adding glitter, textile paints, gel medium and beads for embellishment. When the large shell was done, I laid it on the background and immediately knew this was the mom and she needed a couple of babies to interact with her! The piece went together in such a hurry, I was amazed. Wish I could always be in that zone!!!! LOL Their heads and appendages were painted and machine stitched in a low relief trapunto style. A painted background shows the water stitched with metallic thread and the coral outlined with trilobal polyester thread and painted with 3 dimensional paint. My goal with design principles in mind was to create a pleasing composition that would draw the viewer in. And so that is how Emerald Treasures evolved. This weekend I went back to the studio to paint another home for my blue jay but still missed the mark. I created a forest scene with a field in the foreground, still not the right home but again, very cool. I think I've just started another series which I will call Evolution as these pieces seem to do just that, evolve!!! Eventually, my blue jay will find his home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Austin Area Quilt Guild celebrates A Legacy of Quilts Pearls of Wisdom From Our First 30 Years

Austin Area Quilt Guild celebrates A Legacy of Quilts Pearls of Wisdom From Our First 30 Years 2008. The show opened last night. This was my first time entering this venue and I really learned alot. I volunteered on Wednesday for checking and hanging. We finished hanging the quilts at 6 p.m. It was so interesting to see how the show was made ready for the public. I really enjoyed getting to meet so many talented people here in Austin. The show was judged by Cynthia England, Sally Hatfield, De Leclair, Connie Silber and Marilyn Hardy. I was completely surprised to learn that Ruby, Contemplation and The Fertility Goddess were awarded Honorable Mentions! Wow, talk about a windfall! This is the first time, The Fertility Goddess, a double sided quilt was hung such that both sides could be seen. It was such a thrill! My other entry, "Contemplation" really was bothering me before the show so I decided to "fix" the river the day before check in. I think it looks much better!!! This was Ruby's first outing and I am pleased she fared well. The show runs from September 25-28, 2008 at the Crockett Center located at 10601 N. Lamar in Austin, Texas. There are over 400 quilts on exhibit and many wonderful vendors. There is also a Children's Exhibit providing fun activities related to quilting and a Silent Auction where you can purchase both supplies and finished artwork. If you are in the area, please come see the exhibit.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

International Quilt Festival 2008 World of Beauty

Yesterday, I received news that Little Boy Blue and Little Rascals were accepted into the Houston IQF World of Beauty show. It is my first time getting into Houston and I am thrilled. Wow, what an honor to be among those receiving letters of acceptance. I am especially humbled to be in such good company. It makes me want to continue my quest to be a better artist and hone my skills to the best of my ability. I can't help feeling that the bar has been raised. I am encouraged to proceed with my Nature series and am currently in the process of making a blue jay that is alot larger in scale than what I am accustomed to working on. Today, it is raining and I always look at rain as a sign of growth and renewal. I really enjoy sewing on a rainy day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cara Mia

Cara Mia is a self portrait measuring 16 1/4" X 23 1/2." It is machine appliqued and quilted. The background consists of silk dupioni and cotton. The hair is made from commercial cottons and hand dyed corduroy. This piece is inspired from a 3 day workshop I took with Pamela Allen. I really enjoyed playing with fabric to achieve different tonal values of the skin. I used Derwent Inktense pencils to further blend the colors in the face. I feel as though this has really opened up so many ideas in my mind. I really enjoyed doing this exercise and look forward to doing more larger scale pieces. I really felt that her face needed softening so I added a vine for interest. The trailing vine to the left is made from machine wrapped cording. There are two different kind of leaves on the vine. One set of leaves is thread painted on organza, a technique I learned from Maree Caplin while the other set of leaves are made from textiva film. Having been inspired by Frances Holliday Alford's article in Quilting Arts magazine, I layered one color of textiva film running vertically on a piece of timtex and then layered a second color of textiva film perpendicular to the first. I pinned the layers together and began stitching leaf shapes with veins. I then cut the leaf shapes out and heat distressed them with a hot air gun. The veins on the front of the leaves were painted with Tsukineko inks as well as the back (timtex side) to add more dimension. Leaves were heat set before attaching them to the vine. Edges of the quilt are satin stitched.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Contemplation is part 2 of Nature Series Part II focussing on negative space. It is 37 X 29. My goal was to create a pleasing nature scene that involved depth and interesting negative spaces. I had hoped that the viewer might contemplate the beauty of these dark negative spaces in a dense forest and let the mind fill in the rest. This piece is inspired by a photo I took of the Big Thompson River that flows through the Drake and Loveland area in Colorado. The background was painted and inked. Trees were appliqued and leaves were fiber etched, layered with bits of thread and Angelina fibers, covered with dark misty fuse and quilted. Pine tree on the left and the bush in the foreground were threadpainted on watersoluble stabilizer and appliqued. The large set of trees to the left of the pine tree were pieced and the surrounding foliage was raw edge appliqued and machine embroidered. The river is composed of various cotton fabrics, sparkled organza and organdie, heat distressed painted cellophane, old dryer sheets, cheesecloth, Angelina fibers and tinzl, stitched with metallic and opalescent kaleidoscope thread. I tried to capture the muddy bank along the river by adding dark cotton fabric and black lacy tulle. A ridge of white fabric forms the bubbles that lie along the muddy bank. The illusion of depth in the forest was attempted by changing the coloring from one set of trees to the next. This year, I have been experimenting with recreating water using both conventional and unconventional natural and synthetic materials. While this piece comes close to what I had wanted to achieve, it still missed the mark. It is a step in the right direction, but I still have a long way to go in achieving what I set out to do. I guess it's back to the drawing board as they say. LOL

Friday, June 20, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Tag - You're It!
I've never been tagged before but I am learning it is a great way to get to know people better. I've been tagged by Cathy Winter! Cathy and I were both exhibiting artists at the Texas Museum of Fiber Arts Deep In the Art of Texas show at the State Capital in May. It was a fantastic display and a wonderful opportunity to meet so many talented folks here in Texas.
If you've been tagged, copy and paste the questions and post your answers in your own blog. Be sure to let your chosen tagged peeps know they've been tagged.So... here we go.... the questions are: 1. What was I doing 10 years ago? Ten years ago, my daughters were 3 and 6 years old. Julie was in kindergarden and Elena was in preschool. I had a job working at United Blood Services testing donor samples for viral markers (HTLV, HIV, Hepatitis, etc...). 2. 5 things on today's to-do list: start the week's laundry, work on my journal quilt for Houston, clean my studio, take a nice long hot bath and attend the opening night reception at the Wesley Gallery 3. Snacks I enjoy: hot chili (I am so addicted to it that I even carry it with me in my purse), dark chocolate -- yum!, chili con queso, sushi and fresh salads of all kinds 4. Things I'd do if I were a billionaire! Pay off the house and buy a summer home in Colorado, make sure the kids had enough $$$$ for college, travel the world, rennovate my studio, have my own personal fitness trainer, hire a maid and a cook 5. . Places I have lived: Albuquerque, New Mexico where I was born and raised. Love the chili!!!! Phoenix, Arizona where we lived for about 8 years. Miss the palm trees. Fort Collins, Colorado, the absolute cleanest place I have ever lived. Really miss the snow!!!Austin, Texas where I reside now is beautiful and the people are very friendly. --- will I move again? My family wishes I would move back to Albuquerque but I think I prefer to visit instead!!!! 6. People I'd like to know more about: Diana Ramirez, Pamela Allen, Helen Cowans, Maree Caplin, Susie Monday, Betsy True

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wesley Gallery Fiber Art and Textile Show

The Austin Fiber Artists are having a Fiber Art and Textile Show at the Wesley Art Gallery in Dripping Springs from June 20-22, 2008. The show will commence with an opening reception party on Friday, June 20 from 6-9 p.m. where wine and appetizers will be served. There will be a wonderful array of fiber arts displayed and demonstrations offered throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday. Two of my pieces were juried into the show. They are Moroccan Play and A Leap of Faith. Moroccan Play is a surface design quilt incorporating Shiva oil painsticks, Lumiere acrylics and fibers. It is the backdrop for the invitation shown here. A Leap of Faith features a pieced and appliqued, quilted interpretation of planets using heat distressed plastics, sheers, acrylics, thread painted embroidery and swarovski crystals. If you have a chance, please stop by and visit the show. It is a fantastic opportunity to see the many types of fiber art that is being produced by fiber artists in metro Austin and promises to be a "feast for the eyes."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Little Rascals Awarded Honorable Mention at the Texas Museum of Fiber Arts

The Texas Museum of Fiber Arts is presenting "Deep In The Art Of Texas" fiber art exhibit at the Texas State Capital building on May 24-26, 2008. This is a juried show featuring more than 40 artists with 55 fiber art entries judged by Dr. Katherine Jay of University of Texas. I am honored that "Little Rascals" and "The Fertility Goddess" have been invited to be part of this very special celebration to commemmorate fiber art in Texas. Additionally, I am especially blessed that Little Rascals has received an Honorable Mention for this venue. If you are in Austin, please stop by and visit the show. It promises to be a fantastic display. For further information, please visit

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Little Boy Blue receives Honorable Mention

In January, I entered three pieces into the Quilt Guild of Dallas "Timeless Traditions Quilt Celebration" reputed to be the fifth largest show in the states. The event ran from March 14-16, 2008 at Market Hall. The Guild put on a wonderful show with nearly 400 quilts and over 130 vendors from all over the United States. Distinguished Judges for the event included Scott Murkin, Cynthia England and Bobbie Aug. I was so happy when I learned that Little Boy Blue received an Honorable Mention in the Masters Art Quilt category.