When is an exhibit not an exhibit – or displaying art in the time of coronavirus

Nonseries Work

I find myself spending more time in my studio during this “odd time.” I’m working on several new pieces that I will show you soon. But now I’d like to brag about an exhibit that my art quilt group has in San Diego. It started last year when the Visions Art Museum contacted our Fiber Optix group to see if we would be interested in having an exhibit. Visions is a prestigious gallery that biennially hosts one of the top fiber international juried exhibitions. Our group was delighted to participate.

We submitted digital photos of our quilts. They were juried; I had two accepted. Then in February everything changed. The museum closed. The two quilts I shipped were held in a FedEx office and eventually returned to me; they now hang in our hall.

The museum didn’t give up and decided to have a virtual exhibit. I invite you to explore it.

Here’s how:

  1. Enter the Fiber Optix: Recent Works exhibition here.
  2. Scroll down, reading the information about our group.
  3. Under “Meet the Artists,” you’ll find me. Click on my name to see the “interview” the museum did with me. (Click on the mini version and you can actually read it.)
  4. Go back to the exhibit page and scroll down to the quilts. Mine are “Janet and Me” and “Influences.”
  5. Click on each quilt for details, plus my inspiration.
  6. Do the same for others from our talented group.

Thanks for coming to the opening. I’m sorry you missed out on the wine and nibbles… and that we missed out on a trip to San Diego. These ARE odd times. Keep safe and keep creating!

New Work

Nonseries Work, Parkinson

I’ve been working on some new pieces. Several of them are based on aspects of living with Parkinson’s disease, which I have had for about 15 years. I began this series last year, designing and making relatively small art quilts. I have several more that I need to transform from my brain into fabric.

My Battle with Parkinson: Hope

My Battle with Parkinson: Hope

“My Battle with Parkinson: Hope” – 20″w x 20″h – Hand-dyed fabrics, polyester quilting thread; raw-edge machine collaged & machine quilted. Completed 2020. Statement: I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than 15 years ago. Each of us who battles with this disease has similar and different symptoms. All of us have hope that the extensive research being done about the disease will lead to a cure.

My Battle with Parkinson: Frustration

My Battle with Parkinson: Frustration

“My Battle with Parkinson: Frustration” – 19″w x 20″h – Fabrics hand dyed by the artist, polyester quilting thread; machine appliqued, raw-edge collaged, machine pieced, & machine quilted. Completed 2020. Statement: I’ve dealt with frustration almost from the day I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I experience it when I’m working in my studio and in everyday life.

During the last year I have lost three good friends; two have passed away and the third, Janet Steadman, has moved from nearby Whidbey Island to Omaha, Nebraska. This led to the creation of the next piece.

Janet and Me

Janet and Me

“Janet and Me” – 17″w x 28″h – Hand-dyed cotton fabrics, polyester & silk quilting thread; machine pieced & quilted. Statement: From the first “art quilt” I made, Janet Steadman has been a mentor, advisor, and encourager of my work. When Janet moved more than 2500 miles away, she cleaned out her studio, including two large garbage bags of scraps that I inherited with joy. This art piece combines some of Janet’s hand dyes as companions to mine.

Danger Lurks in Your Studio!


Disclaimer: if stories about blood make you faint, read no further in this post. There is danger lurking in your studio … things that will jump out and attack you!
Most of us are familiar … sometimes too familiar … with the usual hazards … needles, scissors, rotary blades. If you haven’t been stabbed or cut at least once in creating a major work, you’re lucky. I have a friend who had to go to emergency because she sewed through her finger. And another had to leave a class early because she lopped off the end of her finger with a rotary blade. Ouch!
We all have gory stories about things that have happened in the course of creating our work. Well, I have one more, rather unique one to add to the collection. I was recently attacked by a plastic ruler – one of those 12 ½-inch clear (and expensive) ones by a well-known manufacture
First of all you have to keep in mind that this probably won’t happen to astute artists as you are, but I’m rather a Klotz. I also have very thin skin and have sheared it off of my leg before … and at an art quilt meeting, as some of you will remember.
The ruler was sitting on the floor propped up against one of the legs of my sewing table. I was using it to measure as I machine quilted a piece. I turned in my chair apparently catching my leg on the corner of the ruler and slashed a right angle cut on my leg. Blood all over the place, fortunately not on my work though for just a minute I was tempted to use it to stop the flow. I yelled for my husband. He was upstairs watching a ball game on TV, actually dozing. By the time he responded, there was blood in several places on my studio carpet, and the Kleenex box was empty.
Several bandages later my leg was bound, and I was propped up on the couch with it elevated and a non-lethal book to read. My leg is now in the process of healing. I’ve¬¬ even done some more quilting on the piece but with a cloth measuring tape instead of the plastic ruler.
The moral to this saga is:
Yes, we work with sharp tools;
Yes, we should be cautious; and
Yes, we should have a first aid kit in our studio … in addition to a large box of Kleenex.


25″h x 25″w

But on to safer things: If you’re in downtown Tacoma, be sure to stop by the American Art Company to see the Twelfth Northwest Contemporary Quilt Invitational which runs through October 4. The gallery, at 1126 Broadway Plaza is open Tuesday – Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 10-5. There’s a favorite Thai restaurant right across the street. I have three pieces in the exhibit … Fandango, Walking Sticks and Stick with Me, the latter two from my Sticks series. You’ll also find work by other Pacific Northwest artists. You can also find information and photos from the show on the website – http://www.americanartco.com
Keep making art … and keep safe!