Lectures and Workshops

Sunday, August 9, 2020

colors of the year

When the 2020 colors of the year were announced at the end of last year I stocked up on both solids knowing I would want to do something fun. What beautiful colors they are! Perhaps the best thing to come out of 2020. 

Kona Enchanted, a beautiful deep green with a hint of blue tone....
 And Pantone Classic Blue. A gorgeous true blue! Per Debbie's advice (she always does such a good job evaluating the options) I opted for Kona Regatta.


 At first my plan was to use just the Regatta and Kona White for my little quilt for our guild challenge. I had an idea for a strip pieced "snowflake" design. Once I made one, it kind of fell flat for me. No worries, onto the back of my finished quilt it went. And the extra strip set too.....
I finally settled on some improv framed triangles in both colors. The centers of my triangles are actually some Moda Grunges that I had in my stash

I quilted it with my favorite angled grid and bound it in a blue & white stripe I found sitting on my shelf. It's a perfect little table topper or mini quilt to hang!

Our guild was supposed to have a display at the library like we did last year, but alas, COVID, sigh. We shared our challenge pieces at last week's Zoom meeting and that will have to do!

Monday, August 3, 2020

house swap quilt

Well, I just realized I never wrapped up my saga of all the house blocks! House blocks were swapped, and I adored every single block I received from my friends (people, there is an advantage to being in charge of a swap! YOU GET FIRST PICK! although I will say, every single block turned in was a masterpiece so it was a win/win situation). The blocks only spent a few days on my design wall board and I was off and running. I added some low volume rectangles to stagger my blocks but there was still something missing. If you know me well, you know what that something was. WORDS! Improv letters were quickly in the works and added as two borders (because, assymetry! ha!)


Oh, yes, I did add in a little red car to represent my RAV4 (named James) because it's my quilt and I do what I want, so there! It was quickly quilted up with a walking foot grid on my Janome and bound with a tiny low volume polka dot. I quite love this finished quilt and need to find an empty wall to display it (not an easy feat in this house!)

Also, why have I never thought to photograph quilts on this pretty stone wall on my front porch? I wish I could leave it there but unpredictable Texas weather does not allow for that. sigh.....

my little house quilt finished up at 34" x 36".

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Collaborating with Brooks

My friend Brooks does amazing work with mixed media collage. Her pieces all tell a story, which I love. I've been finding that my quilts recently tell stories too. We have connected with each other's work for a long time. Recently, after she saw my quilt Urban Emergence, she made this collage in response...

  Look at the two pieces side by side....
We got together on zoom and chatted about collaborative work we could do. Brooks told me all about her art studio she is preparing to build on their property. She even built a 3d model to share with the architect. I was so intrigued by her plans....
 We decided to each make a piece that reflects her dreams for her studio. We talked for a long time about the plans, set a color palette and went to work. Although we had planned to work separately and not share until we were finished, we found ourselves texting and sharing photos along the way. Our pieces ended up more literal and alike than we had originally planned.
 I love the colorful circles bursting from the roof of the studio, representing all of the wonderful creative ideas happening inside. At first, my circles looked like the balloons from the movie Up, lifting the studio into the sky, hahaha! I worked at it and I think i finally got it right.
Brooks and I have another collaboration in the works. We are working off of some photographs I shared with her. This time, we really plan to keep our work to ourselves until we are finished. I hope we can stick to the plan! This is a real learning process. I can't wait to share our next project with you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

recent weaving

I've had a couple of orders for hand woven towels lately, in beautiful colors requested by the customers. First for Sarah....
 I'd really love to see Sarah's kitchen where these will live!
Then these for Nicole.....



These were all woven in 8/2 cotton from Webs on my rigid heddle loom (double threads warped in a 10 dent heddle, double weft as well for inquiring minds).

And now my loom is empty, but not for long, I'm sure!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

more watercolor

Hello friends! We are still sheltering at home here, as Texas has seen a recent surge in Covid19 cases. This nasty virus has impacted several friends and their families, so far our family remains healthy. I hope this finds you healthy as well.

I'm still enjoying dabbling in watercolor doodling. Most recently, I've been experimenting with flowers.



trying out different kinds of doodle flowers
some more delicate flowers. A set of four that might become cards
and a coordinating page in my art journal.

Have you learned anything new lately?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Urban Emergence


I am just now beginning to be able to tell a story with my quilts. Until recently, often my story was "I wanted to play with triangles" or "these are the colors in my bedroom". Sometimes my story would come to me after a quilt was finished (or someone else would tell a story from my quilt!) This latest finish definitely has a story to tell!

It started months ago when I decided to ask my Solid Seven beemates to make me small, improv minimalist blocks with the prompts urban and architecture. I requested that they use any medium to dark blue for the background and kona white for the details, with a tiny bit of yellow if they wished.  If you know me, you know that I love cities! Love to visit them, explore them, even make quilts about them apparently.

Just as my bee blocks began to roll in, I started seeing pictures on the news and online of major cities around the world emerging from the smog. Because of the pandemic, fewer cars were on the road and the air quality was improving. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, and many others had clear blue skies above them. An idea began to take shape in my head.

I started making gray on gray blocks that fit my theme, to represent the cities before the quarantine. A couple of friends (Debbie and Chris) chimed in and made me some gray blocks too. As I played with the blocks on my design wall, I began to see the cities emerging from the smog! Thus Urban Emergence was born.

The finished quilt top measured 40"x42". It cried out for matchstick quilting and who was I to argue! I used several shades of gray and blue thread for the quilting (and 10 or 11 bobbins.... I lost count).

Today during a zoom sew day with my McKinney Modern Quilt Guild friends I hand sewed down the faced binding. I'm so pleased with the finished quilt!
Do your quilts often tell a story?

Check out #thesolidseven on Instagram to see more of our shenanigans.

Monday, June 8, 2020

another quilt finish

I will say, sheltering in place has given me the time to finish up a bunch of UFOs! Last fall, my beemates from the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild made me pink and orange x & + blocks using this tutorial.
I added a giant version of the block. I sent my finished top over to my friend Diann so she could work her long arm magic. I even pieced the back, something I don't often do.
I love the fun modern floral Diann chose for my quilt.
Checking this one off my list!