Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Beautiful, Bumpless Binding

I'm going to try to do a little demo here of my favorite way to create a bumpless binding. You know how, when you get to the end of attaching the binding on a quilt, you always seem to get that little "bump" where you join the ends?

Well, my friend Rex W. was kind enough to give me a refresher course this morning. I had thought I would remember it from when he taught it to me before, but it kept slipping right out of my Tiny Brain! So this time I decided to make myself a series of pictures and instructions, so I wouldn't forget again.

Then, I thought, well, I've gone to all this work, why not share it with my blog-hopping buddies? You may have to click on the images to see the written instructions. I hope the scanned pictures and instructions are clear!

(Please excuse the "quilt sandwich" ... it's obviously not a quilt, but a little test sandwich I use for testing and correcting thread tension, etc.)

Thank you AGAIN, Rex!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Creepy Baby

Here's one of the babies in my Creepy Baby series ... she's not one of the creepiest, but she IS kind of weird! Her name is Circus Baby, and she is a beaded 4-1/2" antique bisque doll. She came into my possession without her original arms, so I created some happy circus arms for her.

And here she is from the back, so you can see her little bonnet:

Some people have asked if the beads are glued on. No, they are peyote-stitched around her body and head with size 15 seed beads, creating a little attached bonnet. My friend Larkin Van Horn (http://www.larkinart.com/) taught me how to peyote-stitch around a solid object, such as a bottle, and I translated the technique to the doll.

Her arms are stuffed, stitched fabric, beaded at the ends and wound around with some gorgeous silk waste yarn donated by a friend (thank you, Jo!)

FFAC Reverse Auction Update

Hooray! Virginia Spiegel has showcased my donated art quilt on her FFAC blog today ... here's a link.

I'm so happy to be participating in her fund-raising effort for the American Cancer Society. Go Virginia!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Collage Mania Supporter

I just love it when someone supports a great cause out of the goodness of their heart ... and pocketbook. Iris Karp http://www.mistyfuse.com/, besides producing my all-time favorite fusible web, is one of those people who puts her money where her mouth is, and always puts a little public service announcement at the bottom of her ads. Here's one, in the latest Quilting Arts Magazine, for a cause near and dear to my heart ... Fiber Arts for a Cause, currently calling for artists to participate in Collage Mania.

In case my scan isn't clear enough for you to read, her blurb says, "Buy art and find a cure for cancer! Collage Mania is May 5-7, 2009. Submission deadline is April 1. Learn more at www.virginiaspiegel.com."
FFAC's founder, Virginia Spiegel, has all the information you need at http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/CollageManiaCall08.html. Step up ... do something good ... and have lots of fun while you're at it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

New York Beauty

There has been some discussion on the QuiltArt List about longarm machine quilting of New York Beauty quilts. I thought I'd post a few detail shots of one that I quilted for a customer. Click on the images for a closer look.

Thank you, Annie Brown, for letting me quilt this Beauty for you!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

2009 Invitational Reverse Auction of Fiberart

I have been a huge admirer of Virginia Spiegel's campaign to raise money for the American Cancer Society, since she started with the original sale of Fiberart Postcards at the Houston International Quilt Festival several years ago. This has been a labor of love for Virginia, her sister Nancy Spiegel Rosman, and the many others who have helped. Having lost my husband to cancer 9 years ago, I wanted to make some small contribution to something that is so close to my own heart, as well as a joyful way to remember my husband and other friends and relatives who have fought this disease. Since fiber art is both my vocation and my avocation, this seemed a perfect match for me. I was honored to be asked to contribute to the Invitational Reverse Auction, and delighted to accept.

Here is Virginia's announcement:

The following ten invited artists will be featured in the 2009 Invitational Reverse Auction of Fiberart to benefit the American Cancer Society:

Natalya Aikens
Gerrie Congdon
Marjorie DeQuincy
Rayna Gillman
Carol Larson
Linda Teddlie Minton
Susie Monday
Judy Coates Perez
Leandra Spangler
Roxane Stoner

Links to the artists' websites/blogs are here: http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/NewFiles/ACSFundraiser.html

What a great lineup of artists who each bring a different twist to her practice of fiber art! Each artist will donate one artwork to the Reverse Auction to be held in March 2009. I don't have the exact dates set yet, but, per usual, the Reverse Auction will be three days in March with the minimum donation (made directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause) dropping each day.

I thank the invited artists for their great generosity and hope you will support them during the Reverse Auction and by visiting their websites/blogs.

Warm regards,Virginia -- Virginia A. Spiegel
Website http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/
Blog http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/
Garbage, Art, Recycling http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/GarbageDayProject/
Fiberart For A Cause, fundraising for the American Cancer Society. http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/NewFiles/ACSFundraiser.html

Unifying Threads

(Click on the picture to see it better ...)

We have our new postcard flyers for the Unifying Threads show that will be running at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft from October 26-December 21 (opening night will be 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., October 24).

Mary Ann Littlejohn and Susan King collaborated on the art direction for this card, which incorporates a piece of art from each of the participating artists. I think they did a beautiful job. Each of these artists is a member of the Beyond the Borders art-quilt group in Houston.

You are invited to come to the HCCC and view our work, along with the work of the other artists who will be showing there as well. We are thrilled to be showing during the same time that the Houston International Quilt Festival is in town, so we hope to see you there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

65th Anniversary

It's hard to believe that anyone could stay married to the same person for 65 years ... but my Mom & Dad have done it, and done it with class. We're celebrating this weekend with friends and family.

This is the shadowbox my sister Suzanne and I concocted (with long-distance advice from Der Craigle). The box itself was somewhat worn, so needed refinishing and a little touch of gold to brighten it up.

(Back of shadowbox ... I love this funny picture of Mom "begging" Dad to marry her. Click on the image to see it larger, and read the captions.)

Above is Detail 1: Spectacles with pictures of Dad & Mom adhered to the back of the lenses with Diamond Glaze. Both the spectacles and the little booklet were stitched to the fabric picture before it was glued to the backing of the box.

Above is Detail 2: a miniaturized copy of the dance booklet for Dad's Senior Ring Dance at Texas A&M ... just before he and Mom were married. (The dance was for the Class of '44, but was held in '43.)

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad ... we love you.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Birthday Postcard

Here is my gorgeous fiber-art Birthday Postcard from my friend Liz Broussard, named "Shattered & Scattered". Besides the beautiful stitching, the sewn binding is made from painted coffee filters! Thank you Liz!

This time I'M a winner!

Robin Gisela Towner (http://artaddworksforme.blogspot.com/) had a "100th Post Giveaway" on her blog, and I won 3 wonderful pieces of her rusted fabric! Now, you all know how much I love rusted fabric, and this stuff is beautiful! I received it in yesterday's mail ... one piece from rebar, one from some very kewl keys, and even one from a rusty old firepit! Thank you so much, Gisela! (And sorry for inadvertently typing "Robin" instead of Gisela at first!!!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The WINNER of the Name-That-Show Contest!

Since the 2008 Journal Quilts Exhibition is a juried show this year, we wanted to be able to see all the rest of them in an on-line show (on the QuiltArt List). We wanted a new name for all the wonderful quilts that either didn't get finished in time for the deadline, didn't get juried into the big Houston show, or just wouldn't be able to be there for whatever reason.

I posted a contest with a "Fabulous Prize" on the QuiltArt List for the winner of the naming contest ... and I got to choose the winning name! It was so much fun ... I received many, many entries ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous ... all of them lots of fun to read. Diane Ferguson was the hands-down winner. As soon as I read her entry ... "Braving the Elements" ... I knew it was "the one".

Then I had to scurry around and find a "Fabulous Prize" to send her! I knew it needed to be something quilt-art related, but also wanted to add something fun and funny ... so Sebastian the Sock Monkey entered the picture. Combined with a yard of my own hand-rusted cotton fabric, this was the perfect "Fabulous Prize".

Diane received the box I mailed her yesterday, and she immediately blogged about it ...
(http://yarngoddess.wordpress.com/). Here is what I Commented on her blog.

Diane, congratulations again on choosing THE best name for our on-line exhibit of Braving the Elements!

Sebastian is one of my vintage sock monkeys who has been in my collection for at least 20 years. Although beloved by me, he didn’t get along so well with the other sock monkeys (and one sock kitten). He tended to sneak up behind them and bite their tails, sometimes leading to midnight mayhem that I would discover (and have to clean up) the next morning.

So poor little Sebastian had to go. I’m so glad he found a good home with you. He is very friendly to frogs, turtles, lizards, and horned toads (if you can find any of those anymore!), but you would be wise to keep him away from any other sock monkeys. He’s a trouble-maker!

Oh yes, the rust-stained cotton fabric was made in my back yard, with some rusty old horseshoes, under the watchful eyes of some very confused mockingbirds. You have two shades of rust, due to the fold in the fabric.

Again, congratulations on your winning name! And THANK YOU!
(Diane, I "borrowed" the picture of Sebastian on the rusted fabric from your blog ... it was so much better than the one I took! I hope that's OK ...)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Floating Downstream on the Planet Jupiter

Floating Downstream on the Planet Jupiter, 6"x4", also started as a needle-felted base, with hand-dyed cheesecloth, ribbon, yarn, and wool. The little Venusian girl was separately beaded as a doll, then attached to the base. She is vacationing on Jupiter, serenely floating downstream, dreaming of a Venusian boy.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings, 4"x6", is an encrusted piece on a painted background. An original design created from a Photoshop-manipulated photo of a flower from my back yard, it ended up looking more like an egg than a flower. Either way, it reminded me of "new beginnings".

The Gift

The Gift, 4"x6", is a combination of two different projects. The original beaded doll on wire was created separately, and I had him on a little doll-stand. The background was needle-felted natural dyed shredded bark, and originally had an entirely different purpose. The two seemed to "fit" together, and became "The Gift".

The Lizard Constellation

The Lizard Constellation, 6"x4"is a painted background, beaded around a beaded button. Larkin Van Horn (http://www.larkinart.com/) taught me to bead a button, and this is a very dimensional piece ... one of my favorites.

Deep Currents

Deep Currents, 4"x6", is also a caged face cabochon. This face is ceramic rather than polymer clay, and has been in my "stuff stash" for several years, so I don't remember where I picked her up. Her veil was created with size 11 and 15 seed beeds, and surrounded by stacked beads. Almost all of the deep sea coral is made up of stacked beads, with a few Swarovski crystals thrown in for sparkle. The surface is a hand-dyed silk chiffon.

A Lunar Blessing

I thought I would add the rest of my 2007 Bead Journal Pages. This one, "A Lunar Blessing", 4"x6", started out as a machine-felted postcard. My friend Betty let me play on her embellishing machine one day, and I had a ball! After the piece was felted, though, it languished in my sewing room for want of a focal point. Once I came across the little polymer clay moon-face, I thought caging her at the center of the moon would be a lovely addition. I used my hand-dyed silk chiffon as the moon-beams, with a spattering of tiny beads added as stars.

Friday, August 15, 2008

She Waits

"She Waits", 4x6", is one of my first caged cabochons that I was entirely pleased with. I'm happy with the effect of the seed beads creating a sort of veil over her forehead, and I think the color scheme goes well with the beautiful ceramic face, given to me as a gift by my friend Larkin Van Horn (http://www.larkinart.com/). (She's also the one who taught me to "cage the wild cabochon"!)

Here's a side view, so you can see how dimensional the piece is.

And here it is framed to 14" x 16". This is the only one of my beaded pieces that is currently for sale ... through the Copper Shade Tree Gallery (http://www.coppershadetree.com/), or here's a direct link to my page on their website ... http://tinyurl.com/6hcxd6.

What Would Nancy Do?

"WWND?", 6x4", was a piece I started as a textural experiment, using different sizes and shapes of beads. Coincidentally, I made and wore the little "WWND" beaded pin to a quilt-art meeting where I knew my friend Nancy Dickey (http://www.nancybdickey.com/) would be. I wanted to both tease her and honor her for her fine, meticulous beading work. Then, once that joke was done, I decided to incorporate the little pin into this Bead Journal Page. It's not exactly a work of art, but it was a lot of fun, and took many, many hours of beading fun.

Eye of the Beholder

"Eye of the Beholder", 6x4", was created on a base of black ultrasuede, something I probably would not do again. The gold painted lines do not want to stay solid on this material. I also don't like the edge treatment I tried on this piece. However, I do like the "eye", which I purchased from a taxidermist, caged with seed beads, and surrounded with bugle beads.

Little Sun

"Little Sun", 6x4", was painted then beaded. I like the combination of "encrusted" beading for the seed area, and the lighter beading in the petal area, allowing the wash of paint colors to show through. Stacked beads worked well for the seeds, I think.

Desert Tortoise

"Desert Tortoise", 6x4", began as a painted cotton fabric background (Setacolor opaque paints), with the shell created by choosing irregularly-shaped polished rock beads. The desert flowers always seem so brave to me, so they had their say with tiny red sparks of color against the dry landscape.


"Carnivale", 6x4", was my June Bead Journal Page for Robin Atkins' 2007 project http://beadjournalproject.blogspot.com/. It has a base of black sweatshirt fabric, machine-needle-felted with fibers, and embellished with a hand-needle-felted "button". The beads seemed like explosions of light from a fireworks display to me, and so it became "Carnivale".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rusty Grove

I can't show the entire piece before it goes into a show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in October, but I thought I'd post a "teaser" just for fun. Here's a corner of an art quilt begun with gelatin plate prints, enhanced with hand-painted and -rusted cottons. Hand embroidered, machine quilted.

Art Girls Beading Day

Well we really did have a Beady Day at my house on Sunday ... Honest! Only you couldn't prove it by these pictures. Gloria showed her gorgeous jacket, which was part of her ensemble that won Third Place, as well as Viewer's Choice, in the Rosenberg Cotton Fashion Show. This was fabric that she had hand-dyed, discharged, stamped, and painted. Her finishing techniques are exquisite, too.

Martha is our Tie-Dye Girl, and was checking out some of the pictures Gloria brought back from her Maine vacation with her granddaughters ... some of which we snitched to use as inspiration for fiber art.

Mary Ellen brought her collage piece to finish ... here it is without the edging finish that she added later that day. I think it's beautiful even without the finish! Below is a closeup of the collage by itself.

Patricia asked me to take a photo of the latest polymer clay bracelet I bought from her, for her portfolio. The photo isn't the greatest, but the bracelet is a show-stopper ... literally! I have people stop me all the time and ask me about it. She made it expandable, which is why it's different from most bangle bracelets. The gorgeous colors are achieved by her technique of Mokume Gane'.

And last but not least, we awarded Patricia "Best Laugh of the Day" with this photo ...

... and not a bead to be seen!

Oh my poor Blog!

It's so sad ...

untended ...

and drooping with neglect ...

that my friend Cathy has "goosed" me to revive it ... so here I am to do it. Thank you Cathy, I really didn't mean to be gone for so long!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Collage Mania Opens Monday

Get your motors runnin' ... Virginia Spiegel's Collage Mania
to benefit the American Cancer Society, is opening Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. CST, to run for ONLY two days. See her blog for more info. http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/archives/770 and for some answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

Here's are some more "teasers" for you ...

Asian Fall by Angie Platten

Creation Story by Joy Hellman

Full Circle 2 by Sherrie Tootle

Get your emails ready to send, and your trigger finger ready to hit the "Send" button at 9:00 Monday (and/or Tuesday) morning! I know I'm excited ... Good luck!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Collage Mania Preview Week -- It's here at last!

Sun Please, by Inge Reinholdt

At last, the much-anticipated Preview of all 235 collages created by over 100 artists worldwide, which will be available for purchase on May 5 and 6, 2008! Collage Mania 2008 is organized and managed by fiber artist Virginia Spiegel. Virginia explains:

"Preview Week is a great time to browse through the collages, make your shopping list, prepare an e-mail to send me (note: for which collages you want to acquire!) and ask any questions you may have about Collage Mania and how to acquire the artwork."


Virginia and her team of supporters organized Collage Mania 2008 to benefit The American Cancer Society. Virginia is also the founder of Fiberart For A Cause which has raised more than $150,000 for the American Cancer Society in the last several years.


Virginia provides detailed information about how to acquire a collage on the Collage Mania Site. It's fun, it's exciting! Preview all the wonderful artwork, make your choices ... and have your email ready to send off on May 5 and May 6! Then you will have not only some fantastic new artwork for your collection, but also the satisfaction of having helped a most worthy cause.

I've got my choices already made ... keeping my fingers crossed that I get at least one of my "first" choices, but knowing that ALL of my choices are wonderful! Dive in, have fun, and help Virginia raise more money for the American Cancer Society.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day, 2008

(NASA photo)

My little contribution to Earth Day today will be to stay home (use no gasoline), keep the TV and extra lights turned off, adjust my thermostat and use ceiling fans instead, and make art with recycled materials.

Well, I DID say "little" contribution!

... and it does make it easier to do all this because I've hurt my back and can't go anywhere anyway, am on pain pills and muscle relaxers so don't feel like watching TV, and since I won't be expending any personal energy, I won't need the air conditioning down so cold. The hardest part may be doing any artwork ... that may have to wait a few days, but I'll still hold to my resolution to use recycled materials.

Here's an interesting (and fun) website on the subject ... http://www.inhabitat.com/
Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 14, 2008

When Copper Meets Wood

My friend Sharon and I made an impromptu trip up to Round Top on Sunday (her hubby was working and the day was too beautiful to waste indoors) to see Gerald Tobola's new show, "When Copper Meets Wood", at his Copper Shade Tree Gallery. The opening had been the previous night, and many of the pieces had already been sold, but there was still plenty to see. The combination of the warm glow of hand-tooled and -rubbed copper, some sealed and some patina'd, with the woodwork of Gene Fitzwater, was just gorgeous.

Gerald has never had time to mount his own show in his own gallery until now! He's been so busy showcasing other artists that it's taken him this long to get around to showing off his own work. Believe me, it was well worth the wait! Here's the postcard with the show info, in case you get a chance to go by and see it ...

Here are some images from the show ...

Bamboo Triptich and 2 Gingkos by Gerald, and Rust & Relaxation by Liz Broussard

Gerald and Debbie with some of the lamps.

A fuzzy picture (sorry!) of a deliciously delicate and intricate "Gingko and Dragonfly" piece that sold on the first day.

Two of my all-time favorite people ... Gerald and Debbie Tobola.