INSIGHT. Journal quilt, 2007

International Quilt Festival, Houston  2007.

This is my second year with a quilt at Houston in the Journal Quilt show, and it is also the last year of this multi-year show. My first series of quilts is still traveling in part. One is being shown again this year, in the “book” section of the Journal show.  I must publicly thank Karey Bresenhan for her tireless enthusiasm for this project. Without it, I don’t know if I would have ever made the leap and tried to exhibit my work!!!!

This years quilt began with a box.  Last year I read about an artist who ships painted boxes to anyone who requests one. They say “FRAGILE: Contains—and then an empowerment word.”(

Click on this to see the quilt. 

It’s about the community of people, the connection; the thinking that occurs as people encounter the box on its journey.  A brightly painted orange and yellow box arrived at my home one day with the label “Fragile: Contains INSIGHT”. The box sits in my studio. My mind ponders the word, thinking about its true meaning. Researching it, it has many facets of definition. In October of last year, I traveled to Ocracoke Island, NC. I am not a morning person. But I do love sunrise, so on vacations where there is a beach involved I don’t growl too much when awakened before dawn.  I took a large number of photos at the beach of an incredible sunrise. One is framed and sits on my studio desk. The fiery orange INSIGHT box sits next to it.   

Choosing this year’s quilt was difficult. One quilt? I had thought that nine were hard. I froze. Finally in July, I noticed these two objects together and a quilt just came to me. Photo transfer! Painting! Crystals! Oh, and let’s try silk and rayon! In a matter of days, the quilt was almost finished except for the details. Having taken a Pamela Allen class, I decided to approach it with her pre-layered quilt sandwich as a canvas to stitch a variety of fabrics from clothes purchased at the Goodwill.

The lace of one wave is from the edge of a blouse once owned by my grandmother. I made a photo transfer of the original photograph, sandwiched and bound it and applied Swarvoski crystals to the sparkling water. I didn’t really know how this would be incorporated. It kind of evolved. Took it to work one day, and found explaining what I was up to helped clarify and validate my thought processes and ideas. At that point I realized the photo needed to be hung from a piece of driftwood; alas no more time for another trip to the beach. I scrounged around the yard for a piece of wood, scraped and bleached it and then found some sunrise colored yarns to hang the smaller quilt from the larger quilt. This three-dimensional aspect begged for balance on the bottom, hence the tulle trapped seashells.  Since I collect seashells and sand from every place I go that provides them, it wasn’t a challenge to come up with a few to incorporate.

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