Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Routines continued...

The older I get, the more I rely on routines to get me through the day.  Families are busier than they used to be, and ours is no exception.  In order to remember where I need to be, or what’s to do during  any given week,  I make lists, and I still keep a paper appointment book.  The structure of the list gets things done.  Menus get planned for the entire week, and shopping only happens once/week.  Nothing takes longer than half an hour to prepare, so I know that at 5 pm I can check the menu on the fridge, all my ingredients will be on hand, and dinner will be on the table at a reasonable hour.  Chores like laundry or cleaning the bathroom happen on regular predictable days, so I don’t have to think about them.  (My brain is full enough these days that I don’t want to have to think about the little stuff.)  

Now, when it comes to quilting, my routines are a bit more tenuous.  When I’m under a deadline, I’m happy to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 am to sew (and I never miss a deadline, even when it means losing a bit of sleep.)  The rest of the time, quilting fits into the corners of the day – cutting patterns during my son’s swimming lesson, trimming threads while I wait to pick him up after school, etc.  For the last five years, I’ve been selling my work at local craft fairs during the summer/fall.  This year, my plans are in flux and I need to develop a new routine.  My energy is shifting toward entering more contests and finding galleries to host my work.  I want to start new series, tackle some larger pieces, and be done with the small items that I only do for fairs.  Much as I love the craft fairs, they are not my most lucrative venue.  

My routine is out of sync, and I don’t have much creative momentum going at the moment.  (Spending part of the month on Halloween costumes has put a dent in my quilting time too, but it’s fun, so that’s ok.)    And, by not much creative momentum, I mean that I have five small quilts laid out and ready to stitch, another large piece half done, and fifteen ideas in my head.  But, none of them particularly motivate me at the moment.  I’m curious to see how my art will change over the next few months.  When the time is right, a new routine will emerge.  In the mean time, I don’t mind sitting through a period of change.  Sometimes, the best creative work emerges when I don’t overthink but turn my brain off for a while and spend time enjoying the season, spending time with family, and witnessing the world. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Been a while.  Time to write more often, as the season turns cold and my thoughts slow, clarify, and turn inward again.  Summer was wonderful – I made a purple cow lap quilt for a child thousands of miles away.  My show in the Hosmer Gallery of the Forbes Library (Northampton) went well, with six sales resulting.  My family enjoyed a week in a Vermont state park, complete with canoeing, the most intense rainstorm of my life, and a hike up Mt. Mansfield, VT’s highest peak, via its steepest trail.  (Those three events were, fortunately, on different days.)  My son’s blossoming friendships resulted in many summer  play dates by the river, and we settled into a routine of time outdoors and assorted summer camps, punctuated by trips to museums and brief visits by family.  

My new autumn routine is to sneak out of the house every morning around sunrise with a cup of tea or coffee to watch the sky and listen to the birds wake.  I can’t stay out long, my son wakes around the same time, but these little moments of solitude are my favorite part of the day.  Last month, a pair of Carolina Wrens stopped by.  Every morning, they sing – more musically than any Carolina wren’s I’ve heard before.  Perhaps they’ll stay the winter.  The first time I snuck out, the air was full of mist, the wrens were singing, and the ground was covered in damp yellow leaves.  Watch for a mini-quilt version of that morning.  I plan to enter it in a Quilting Arts Magazine challenge.  Did you know that these wrens say “tea kettle, tea kettle, tea”?  

Yesterday, our first frosty morning, the sky was that clear rich blue color that you only get just before sunrise or after sunset.  The air was so cold and still, I could hear leaves popping lose and falling from the trees.  There was a narrow crescent moon rising in the east above the sun, and Venus glowed above the moon.  I walked to the edge of the woods behind the cemetery next door, and a large flock of crows passed over, headed east.  My impression was that they were headed into the sunrise to warm up!  Watch for more crows in my quilts too!  Here’s the piece that I donated to the Forbes Library’s silent auction at the end of this month.  Auction details are here.

Recycled Sky - Ravens

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hanging Hosmer Exhibit Today!

How exciting!  I'm hanging my exhibit at the Hosmer Gallery today!  Here's another sneak peek!
Blueberry Rose Moon Triptych - panel #1

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sneak Peek...

Some of the pieces that will be on display at the Forbes Library, Northampton, MA starting August 1st!  Details here:  Hosmer Gallery

Pink Lady Slipper Orchid

Red Screech Owl - detail

Sonoma Moment

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

August Exhibit in Northampton, MA

Need a quiet summer activity?  Stop by the Hosmer Gallery at the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA and check out my exhibit of art quilts!  Details here:  Hosmer Gallery

Artist's reception August 8, 5-8 pm. 

Dawn Birches

Sunday, July 1, 2012

4th of July

Future Farmers of Chesterfield:  Heading to the Parade
Need a fun, small-town 4th of July parade?  Check out the one in Chesterfield, MA this Wednesday at 10:30 am.  They have a quilt exhibit in the church on the corner.  This piece, along with several of my other quilts, will be there.  This one's based on a photo I took at the parade last year!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Brown Cow

Baby Quilt ~47" x 47"
I've been working on a brown cow baby quilt.  Here it is in progress (almost done!)  I just need to decide whether to add a second small outer border in pink, or if it's big enough as is and just finish off the stitching. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Horse Crazy - DONE!

                                            Here's the final horse quilt, finished at last!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Remembering Hawaii

Remembering Hawaii
This is a composite of several photos that Tom and I took on our trips to Hawaii.  It's for Fairfield's Catch the American Spirit Calendar contest.  (It was selected for the calendar!)  This piece includes sixty different fabrics, lace, a huge assortment of of thread, some hand-coloring, and lots of fun! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recent Work

Fern Horse

Summer Fantasy - currently on hold, go here to view

Rising Sunflower
Geisha Moon #2 - go here to purchase this piece
Birch Time - go here to purchase this piece

Goddess #1

Mermaid Dreams - go here to purchase this piece

Screech Owls
Check out some of my more recent work and sales!  The pieces here were all created since I moved to Massachusetts.  Most are sold, but I would be happy to recreate any of them and many are parts of larger series.  Want to see my older pieces?  Take a peek at my Gallery Website here.

You can find MORE QUILTS FOR SALE here!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Guild Talk & Demo

Sample:  Fall Landscape Layout (unfinished)
 Last month, I had a wonderful time talking to the ladies of the Mohawk Trail Quilter’s Guild about designing landscape quilts.  They were a marvelous little group and it was nice to get back to teaching a bit.  (In the past, I’ve taught some quilting, jewelry making, stained glass, and silver-smithing.)  Here’s the landscape I assembled for them – unfinished of course.   We did some show and tell, they asked lots of good questions, and (I hope) everyone had a fun!

Horse Crazy 3...

Stitched and ready to trim.

The stitching is done!  I still need to trim the edges, cut loose threads, add a binding and a sleeve for hanging, and add a few other small finishing touches. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Horse Crazy 2...

Laying out the basic landscape.

Here we are, beginning to lay out the quilt top.  I like to work from back to front  just like a watercolor painter would; starting with the sky and working my way down and forward.  Still need the sun, more blueberries, and a bit of work on the foreground.  I just love this horse fabric!!!  The scene reminds me of the Colorado mountains, where I once spent about six months.  It was a chilly but breath-taking landscape.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Horse Crazy...

selecting the fabrics

As a child, I was as horse crazy as many other girls.  Our neighbors had horses, and I spent many hours hanging over their fence, sketching and watching them.   Some of us never outgrow that phase, and although I never got to own a horse myself, I always try to have at least one or two horse quilts on hand.  Currently, I am working on a small commission based on a little quilt called Morning Ramble.  Here’s a sneak peak at its development.