…I’m back. The heck with Sandy my ass. Sandy  destroyed huge swathes of my home town, of my childhood. I purposely chose to avoid as much of the televised experience as I could. I preferred it that way after 9-11, when we had no TV because our antennas had been on the towers. I preferred it that way this time as well.

It hurts my heart to see photos posted on Facebook. It is worse as days go on, and more and more people come back to post, finally with power, and tell their unique, yet universal, tales of woe. It pleases me beyond measure to see my forgotten borough of Staten Island behaving in such civic minded and neighborly ways, via the magic of Facebook. And now, a week out, news cycles later, with the wonderfully Hooloovoo color our country turned on Tuesday with the election, we need to remember it isn’t over, not by a long shot. New York and New Jersey will be suffering for a long time to come.

But, this post isn’t about that. It’s about QUILTS! And fabric. And the International Quilt Show in Houston, TX. (my photos,– none my quilts!– with placards after each piece. It requires a password. IQF/12 ) Enjoy!

The show was amazing. Fantabulous, even. Just inspiring and tiring and crazy large, and overwhelming and just perfect. I met so many wonderful artists at the SAQA/Quilt Art reception hosted by Karey Bresenhan, I met quilters from message boards I frequent, and I even serendipitously ended up next to someone I had tried to reach out to via email and never connected with! And those wonderful Facebook friends that I finally got to meet IRL!

Patricia “Pokey” Bolton and me at Craftsy’s Open Studios—(VERY cool idea)


A quilted Yurt… (with Jamie Fingal posing for me as “Gert in a Yurt”)

untitled (38 of 1)

My “Haul”…or as male quilter I met from Kentucky called it, new items to add to my collection. (the idea being no one is expected to USE the stamps or the coins they collect, so….) ETA:  I had shoppers block! It was odd… I didn’t have a vision of  what I wanted to buy, and was paralyzed by all the choices…. I finally found one booth where I let loose.. and it was over. The fabrics I bought…many feel like Sandy. There is a quilt there, about my home…we shall see.

An overview….T-shirt, yardage and other assorted toys (Emails from China quilt on the wall)


A selection of the ATC and Mug Rug Swap that was set up by the Craftsy booth.


A ‘detail’ of some beads, rulers, paints, as well as my purchase from the  Pet Charity postcard booth, by Sylvia Weir (the Green piece)


And because no vacation should be considered complete without a trip to the beach….We went to Surfside Beach on the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. (plus other random photos from the trip.)

I’m ready to go back. Eithne, Robin, are you up for it??

Houston Bound!

The heck with Sandy. We will see what becomes of her over the next day or two but I am focusing on the other end of this week:

My first trip to the International Quilt Festival ( IQF ) in Houston, Texas!

Long on my bucket list, Timmy decided it would be an awesome Christmas present this year. ( I tend to agree. Both that it IS an awesome gift, and that HE is an awesome husband!Red heart)

Unfortunately, he didn’t give me very much time to squirrel away money to SHOP! I think I may be going for the show (ie, LOOKING at the quilts) and for the friendship….meeting up with 50,000 like-minded souls.

(OK, and the tiniest bit of shopping, but lots of looking and plotting and planning…. if only I could sell my first-born, alas she is a bit old for that…Smile with tongue out)


I will be going as well to see two of my photos that were juried into the photo show that is on display at the quilt show, in a special Exhibit called Favorite Things.



“The Stories They Tell”

2012-05 MAY26-36

And I will be bringing along a small pile of ATC’s and Mug Rugs to trade!  I have never made either, but I have had a lot of fun working on them (and feeling they may not be worthy, but that is a post in itself, isn’t it?)

I have been on a kick lately of just using up scraps. And using them in a very organic, no-thought kind of fashion, stitching them together until they resemble something large enough to cut into a shape of something else. I did sort a few tubs of scraps kind of by color, so some of the new pieces of fabric have a feeling of ‘unity’, but a good deal more are simply random.  Here is a lap quilt top using some of that ‘new’ fabric.IMG_2058

The ATC’s began as the leftovers of a Drunkards Path quilt called Emails from China that I made.  Very neutral colors, taupe and such. (Very NOT me, but I love it, and it hangs in my bedroom, probably the calmest colored room in the house) An in progress photo of the quilt. Yes, I am feeling too lazy to go take a new photo! of the finished product.


After arranging scraps on Peltex and stitching,  I decided they needed some color. Out came my wild variety of paints, fabric and otherwise.  I keep saying the one thing I will NOT get sucked into is hand-dyeing fabrics. But over-dyeing and painting on commercial fabrics is fun!


I made one set of these, and haven’t completely decided if they are finished yet….(but time is growing short, I know….)

Next, mug rugs. Using some of those new pieces of fabric I made with scraps, I then added some fun ribbons, and practiced some really awful machine quilting…. I also am trying to get myself to admit defeat, so I took a rather unsuccessful holiday wall-hanging, and have ‘repurposed’ it into mug rugs. (Think a washable, overly large coaster, where you can place your hot chocolate or coffee on one side and a nice big brownie on the other.)IMG_2495IMG_2498

Last but not least, I made myself a funky fabric covered button, announcing to one and all that I am a Quilt Art online member! (oh, and I got new glasses yesterday!)


See you in Houston!!!

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.