I’ve tried to ensure that “Specimens,” my exhibit of extinct, endangered, and overlooked animals includes creatures of all different kinds. I haven’t neglected the insect world. My quilts “Fire Beetle” and “Exuberance” represent their colorful and many-legged family.
Growing up in suburban Maryland, I was somewhat removed from the natural cycle of the world. Getting away from the street lights and into nature meant weekend-long, rain-soaked camping trips with the Girl Scouts. Then I moved to rural Maine. In Maine there are the self-evident markers of the seasons—leaves turning golden and scarlet, the first snowfall, … Read More
My first post featuring completed student work was so popular I’m certainly going to make it a recurring topic. I never really know which of my posts is going to strike a chord with readers, but I assume that in this case seeing the work of their peers made it obvious that fabric collage is something almost any quilter can do. Some, at … Read More
Some quilts have complex and rich origin stories. They have a long incubation and are the product of lots of “dream time.” Others not so much. “Fructos” is one of those others. Here’s what I wrote for the International Quilt Festival where the quilt will appear in my “Specimens” special exhibit this November. The 16th Century portraits … Read More
A couple major changes to the marabou stork to report this week.
First of all, she’s changed her gender. I’ll explain why in a minute. For the time being she will no longer be known as Oscar (as in garbage-loving Oscar the Grouch) but as Chloe. Marabou Storks are common in many parts of Africa, though they’ve been dubbed the unofficial bird of Uganda.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting each of the ten quilts (plus marabou stork) going into my Specimens exhibit at this year’s International Quilt Festival in Houston. This week I introduce Gombessa, my fabric collage of an ancient fish, a full-sized coelacanth (SEEL-uh-kanth) that I made in 2006. I had heard of coelacanths before, but I didn’t … Read More
One of the unfortunate realities of teaching fabric collage is that I don’t often get to see my students’ finished work. Only rarely do students complete projects in class. They get a solid start then I send them off (usually) confident they have the skills to complete the piece. But I seldom get to see the final work. Which is why it’s … Read More
A few weeks ago I introduced a new quilt I’m working on. For now I’m calling “him” Oscar the Marabou stork. (Feel free to submit more formal title ideas in the comments below.) As I said previously, this piece will be part of an eleven-quilt show entitled “Specimens” that will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this … Read More
Telling My Story At the end of last year I was asked by Brenda Smoak (via referral from friend and fellow quilt teacher, Rose Hughes) to participate in her blog that highlights a different visual artist every week of the year. It’s called Artists Tell Their Stories. We are asked to “… choose one area of your life … Read More
“Polka Dodo,” a bird with an attitude, even though he’s extinct. At some point in their creation, my quilts take on a life and personality of their own—like children. This guy developed a haughtiness that defies you to ridicule him, who proudly struts his polka-dotted stuff on his own private stage. In last week’s blog, … Read More