Giraffes, Influences and a Village – All in 2018

Endangered Species, Nonseries Work

At a time in my life when I’m slowing down physically, I also seem to be slowing down artistically. Lately, I’ve found it takes me about 5 times longer to complete a project than it previously did. In the last year, I’ve added only 3 completed art quilts to my collection. Even so, I had a number of starts and stops and plenty of ideas. Here’s what was completed in 2018:

Illusive Giraffes (detail)

Illusive Giraffes (detail)

Illusive Giraffes” started out as two white strips on a black background. From the beginning, I thought they looked like giraffes, so I decided to pursue the pieces as part of my Endangered Species series. I overdyed, added pieces cut from a remnant of hand-dyed silk (given to me by a friend many years ago), machine-quilted the giraffes and embellished the piece with leaves cut from ribbon and attached with beads. My husband was pruning our fruit trees and contributed the hanging stick – literally a stick. From humble beginnings come a piece of art.



Influences” started as a challenge from Nancy Crow. I liked the initial piece but felt it needed refining. To make it more workable, I cut it apart. Yes, I used a rotary cutter and slashed it into sections. Some of these I slashed again, and even again, so that the piece had blocks (areas) of smaller improvisational piecing. Then I machine-quilted it with different thread colors. As I worked, it became my piece and not a workshop sample.

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

According to Wikipedia, “It takes a village to raise a child is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.” My quilt “It Takes a Village” is so named because it took a community of quilters who over the years have donated scraps. I used their pieces, many already sewn together into strips, to create log cabin-like blocks. The triangle centers (leftover from a previous project) are roofs for houses, barns, a schoolhouse, a church, a bird house and even a houseboat – all detailed by the machine quilting.

Traveling quilts – where to see some of my work

Nonseries Work

Since my blog is in the going through dating process, here’s a catch you up on where you can see my quilts or check them out on other websites. My quilts travel more than do. Sometimes I wish I could follow them to places like Paducah, Houston, Chicago – even Brazil and Europe. But if I did, I wouldn’t be home to create my new art pieces.

“It’s Not Easy Being Green,” Melisse’s depiction of a red-eyed tree frog, has been traveling the US for three years in SAQA’s (Studio ArtQuilt Association) group show, Wild Fabrications 

“Match Sticks,” juried into another SAQA show “Metamorphosis,” debuted  in November at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Metamorphosis’ next venues will be: Quilt Festival Chicago: March 28 – 30, 2019; AQS QuiltWeek, Grand Rapids, Michigan, from August 21-24, 2019; and at AQS QuiltWeek Fall Paducah, Kentucky, from September 11-14, 2019.

“Seeing the Light,” one of my (74” x 77”) largest art pieces, is at the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas, through December 23, 2018 in a group show sponsored by CQA (Contemporary Quilt/Art Assn)

“Sorok,” an older quilt & the first of my “chain” quilts, is at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in LaConner, WA through January 31, 2019. It is part of Contemporãneo—Contemporary II,  The quilts on the second floor were from exhibitions that CQA sent to Brazil. The third floor are quilts for the same exhibitions created by Brazil artists.

Daughter Julie & I are working on a website at this address. Look for changes & updates in January (we hope!) 2019. In meantime have a wonderful holiday season.  Melisse

Happy Holidays!

Nonseries Work



Happy Holidays! I hope yours are as fun, family, friends and frolicking as mine!

 Actually I’m looking forward to packing up the Christmas wrap, which has taken over the cutting table in my studio, and getting back to work. I have several projects that need re-acting, finishing up and/or discarding.

 How do you get back in the art mode after “life” has usurped your time and space? Clean and organize your space? Finish up those UFO’s? Make some resolutions?

 I work on those things, but I figure it’s a new year. There are lots of new ideas in my heads and new tempting techniques. I’m going to start a new project – something fun, something “out of the box”, something to get my rotary cutter and sewing machine working. It might not “work” but I’m looking forward to starting as the year starts.

 In the meantime, have a wonderful end-of-the year. I’ll cut this short to let the dog out and put a batch of cookies in the oven.