Back to “Sticks”


Last May I told you about a project on which I was working that I call “Sticks.” It evolved from a workshop I took in March from Nancy Crow titled “Lines, Curves, Shapes, Figure Ground.” I reported on two quilt-tops, and since then I have completed three more. So, here’s catching you up on “Sticks”:

Sticks #3 was influenced by a possible title, “Stick Around.” I had planned on putting a circle in the middle of the piece. Then some patterning in the background led me to making two circular cuts. It worked, but I can’t find a real purpose in the cuts.

For Sticks #4, I decided to leave the color of the sticks in the same fabrics and vary the values of the background pieces. I felt this was more successful but still needs some refinement.

Sticks #5 was influenced by a small Xerox copy of a painting in the Portland Art Museum that Sticks - #5 - inspirationwas given to me by my friend Toni. I was getting bored working with the same design and thought a new one might give me – and the piece – more energy. I cut the entire background into shapes – also new – and pinned them on my design wall. They hung there for about two months while “life” got in the way.

About three weeks ago I got back to the project. Originally I pinned up the sticks in shades of neutrals, but it wasn’t right. My love of color made me switch, and I think it worked. It, like the others, is a “sketch.” I plan on designing more “Sticks” and experimenting and refining as I work.

Prior to Christmas I made seven pieced, leather pillows. The leather came from samples given to me by my friend, Mary Z. It was a project filled with learning, frustration and finally success. I won’t go into the details, but I’m happy to share with you if you’re interested in sewing on leather.

I currently have quilts hanging in two branches of the Vancouver Regional Library. “Africa Goes Crazy,” from 1994 is at the Battle Ground Library as part of an exhibit by the Battle Ground Art Association. “InCircle” is hanging in the entry to the Three Creeks Library. I urge you to consider libraries as possible venues for your work. They may not sell, but it’s better than having them rolled up in your studio.

InCircle Africa Goes Crazy









I also have two large quilts featured in “New Works,” the January exhibition at Art on the Boulevard in Vancouver, WA. “Canyon Dancers” (53”w x 66”h)Canyon Dancers is inspired by a visit to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Water drips down the canyon walls forming, with a little imagination, tall figures that resemble Indian dancers. “Black Mesa Landscape” (45”w x 51”h) is inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1930 oil painting, “Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie’s II.” Both are machine pieced and quilted from my hand-dyed fabrics.

Black Canyon Landscape

Coming up – trips to Hawaii and to Australia to visit family – and I’m sure both will inspire future work.


Exciting news – my quilt makes the cover of a book!

Color Improvisations

A short post this time with exciting news: Sandra Sider’s new book, The Studio Quilt, no. 6: State of the Art, has recently been published and is now available on Amazon –

 Why is this exciting? A photo of my quilt, “Seeing the Light” is on the cover! This is one of the two quilts which are traveling around Europe and the British Isles with the Color Improvisations exhibition. The Amazon price for The Studio Quilt, no. 6: State of the Art is only $15.00 – considerably less expensive than the price on the quilt – which is also for sale!

This 56-page volume of The Studio Quilt series showcases recent contemporary quilt art by sixty artists, with one quilt by each, including an introduction by critic and curator Sandra Sider. The quilts were selected by her via an international call for entries. I haven’t seen the book yet, but am very excited about it!

Color Improvisations Travels to British Isles in 2012

Color Improvisations, Nonseries Work

I recently learned that Color Improvisations will be shown alongside The Knitting and Stitching Show in both England and Ireland in autumn 2012. My two quilts created for the show, “Seeing the Light” and “Out on a Limb,” will be among those on exhibit.

The London exhibition will be held at the Alexandra Palace  October 11-14, 2012. The palace was originally built by the people of North London to mirror the Crystal Place in South London where the Great Exhibition was staged in 1851. During the last century the Alexandra Palace was the home of the BBC and the world’s first television transmission was broadcast from this building.

Today the Knitting and Stitching Show in London attracts some 50,000 visitors and is the leading public textile event in Europe. To mark the opening of the London event, Nancy Crow, who curated the Color Improvisations exhibition, has been invited to lecture on Friday, October 12, 2012, at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum.

November 1-4, 2012, the Knitting and Stitching Show will host Color Improvisations at the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin, Ireland. The RDS was formed in 1731 to promote the development of Ireland’s agriculture, arts and science. The Knitting and Stitching Show attracts around 24,000 visitors each year in Dublin. Color Improvisations will be housed in an adjoining hall where recent renovations have uncovered an original timber framed and pillared Victorian hall.

Closer to home one of my three-dimensional quilts, “Green Vessel,”Green vessel has been juried into Earth and Fire, a Columbia Fiber Arts exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR. ( The exhibit contains 26 pieces by member artists of CFG and will be on display through January 8, 2012. CFG’s exhibition is in conjunction with Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950–64, an examination of juried exhibitions held at the Oregon Ceramic Studio, now Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Meanwhile, you might be wondering about what happened to my “sticks” project. Actually one is blocked out on my design wall, but it’s on hold as I complete some Christmas projects. They’re a secret until after December 25th when I’ll share with you my successes – and frustrations!

At this time of year I reflect on the many things for which I’m thankful – family, friends, church, good (and aging) health, and especially the opportunity to create  art. May you have many blessings, too.