Friday, July 23, 2021


 Working on adding pea vines... not quite done, 'cause I need to go out for more pink and purple thread, but really close!  

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Monday, July 5, 2021

Bare Branches

 The tree has been machine appliqued in place and is ready for it's foliage! Gonna also stitch some grasses abound the roots and threshold to plant and anchor them.  

Friday, June 11, 2021

Tree choices

 The questions of the evening are...

Thin tree or thicker tree?  And, willow foliage or regular deciduous foliage for it? (The flat brown color is just a place-holder.  The actual bark will be warm mottled brown.) The tree on the right go a little cropped, so see the b&w sketch below for the full shape.

full trees side by side for comparison

Monday, May 31, 2021


 This is Calypso, she's such a good helper!  The sky is quilted (and my arms are stiff because I'm out of practice quilting larger pieces).  Time to start thinking about the tree that'll go next to the door. 

Friday, May 28, 2021


 The quilting phase has started!  Still using my small 20+ year old Bernina, and picking out almost two  dozen spools of thread.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Ready to Stitch!

 Garages and ping pong tables are good for all sorts of things.  Ours was just the right size to use for pinning my current project.  Now it's ready to quilt!  Then I'll be appliqueing a tree and stitching a vine on top.

here, everything is pieced, ready to quilt before adding the tree on top

Monday, May 17, 2021


 Suddenly it's starting to look like a landscape!  Next up, the door frame.  

Friday, May 14, 2021

More sky...

 Here I've added some pink at the horizon, and you can see where the stars will appear in the doorway.  Top edge still isn't this dark in reality, it's just the lighting, but the rest is pretty close.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Cerulean Blue and Other Hues and Shades of Meaning

Here's the sky, in progress, for my current project.  The request was for cerulean blue, but of course color is very subjective and words often fail us when it comes to developing a shared understanding.  A watercolorist may see cerulean blue as the color that comes out of a particular tube of paint, while a birder pictures a warbler.  I'm fascinated by how we each perceive the world, and the colors in it.  I regularly talk to my quilt students about color and value, and about how our perception of these change depending on the placement of the fabric.  For example, a medium value fabric will look dark next to a light fabric, but it will look light next to a dark fabric.  And, sometimes we don't see what's in front of us, but what we picture in our mind's eye or remember from our childhood box of crayons.  

My fingers are crossed that this is close to the desired effect - certainly the sky at dawn is not one hue or shade.  The bottom row is still TBD, as I'm looking for a pale fabric that might incorporate a touch of pink.  The colors in the detail are a bit more accurate than the full shot because the light doesn't reach the top of my design wall well, so the full shot is a bit dark at the top. 

Spotlight on Cerulean Blue | Winsor & Newton (  

Thursday, May 6, 2021


Sometimes, when you find the right fabric, it's easy to create.  I ordered two constellation fabrics from, and even though I only needed a small cut of each, their customer service was fantastic.  Of course, I prefer to patronize my local quilt shops, but once in a while you need something extra and this is definitely it.  The rest of the blues came from my stash, 'cause why not collect fabric to use for dark starry nights?  The scale of the print was too large to use "as is" so I cut up the constellation and pieced it back together with the stars closer together in order to make the final constellation smaller.  The finished width of this section is 7", and it will be seen through an open doorway.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Feeling Grounded...

These are the squares that will represent the "ground" in the landscape I'm working on.  I have rearranged them, added some, subtracted others, and hand-colored a few.  It's time to stitch them all together while I'm feeling grounded and before I start second-guessing myself (although I might just move one or two of them around again.)  As a unit, I think they're looking earthy and unified.  They'll tone down a little more after quilting.  The photo doesn't quite do it justice, but sometimes my smart phone is just too smart for its own good and registers highlights that the human eye doesn't see.

Final Version

Here's an early version and the final one side by side so you can see where I started and where I'm headed... do they look different to you?  Some people might tune in to details that have changed, others might see the big picture and tell me I could have stopped rearranging them ages ago!

Early Version

Final Version

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Pleiades Door - Sky & Ground

The extra blues and browns arrived!  Over the past several weeks, I've cut a bunch of squares for the sky and ground and have been spending hours arranging and rearranging them, squinting, and taking thumbnail shots in order to evaluate the overall value and color.  It's still a work in progress, but I think they're pretty close!  We have 22 different blues in the sky, and around 50 different browns and greens for the ground.  Might still need to cut three or four more and replace a few of the lighter greens so that they blend better.  (The mountains and tree will come back later.)  This morning I'll start planning the final constellation and finish a full size pattern for the door.  


Saturday, April 24, 2021

New Project!

 Very excited to be starting a new project.  This one is a commission and needs to be washable, so it'll be mostly pieced, with a bit of applique for the mountains and the tree.  My client provided the design, which turns out to be reminiscent of Magritte, one of my favorite artists!  This sketch is still a bit of a work in progress, depending on how we decide to do the lighter sky. The dark sky in the sketch currently includes a photo of the Pleiades, but I'll be using fabric with stars for the final one. 

While I wait for the blue and brown fabrics that I've ordered to arrive, I'm practicing piecing a smaller version of the doorway so that I get it right when I do the larger piece.  I'm using David Sirota's paper-piecing technique, which is just perfect and sooooo much easier than if I'd done it the traditional way.  I wasn't sure if I'd remember how to do it, since the workshop I took with David was a few years ago, but it all came right back as soon as I tried it!  Of course, none of these are the final fabric choices, they're just what I had in my scrap bin...and as you can see the proportions aren't those of the final pattern either.  I don't usually like to take the time to do mock-ups or studies in advance, but sometimes a little extra planning goes a long way.