Finding Surface Designs

I lifted the lid off a cast iron pan after allowing it to cool for cleaning and discovered this…

cast-iron-pan-artAt first I thought – Oh, that’s cool, in a rusty, creepy sort of way, and then I looked again and cast-iron-pan-art-detailthought, it looks familiar. I remembered coming across an old painting while I was organizing the new studio space… I’m not sure if you can tell from these photos but the texture and some of the shapes look much the same!

watercolor-run-paintingThe watercolor was done on paper and the technique was more – just let the paint flow (pour) than actually brush painting. I’m not sure how the tiny dots were made but I really like the textured appearance. After it dried I rotated it 180° and it made me think of coral below the sea. Cast iron, paper… next, get out the fabric and textile paints!

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A Little Fiber Fun

I’m finally getting back into the swings of things now that my studio has been relocated (yes, again!), maybe for the last time. Being settled in (and the time of year) gave me an itch to make something different. It’s still fiber and fabric, just not in an art quilt sort of way. If you read my blog you know I love exploring ways to use Terial Magic spray stabilizer and though I have made cheesecloth ghosts for years, using Terial Magic was so much easier than using glue or other gel medium type products.

The following tutorial is for a Halloween Ghost Candy Bowl. It is a simple and depending on your weather (it’s been in the nineties here!) a quick project. The instructions and supplies may be found here.

If you are adventurous; stitching, spiders and webbing could embellish the bowl.


hallo-ghosties-bowl-2hallo-ghosties-bowl-3  hallo-ghosties-bowl-4 hallo-ghosties-bowl-5 hallo-ghosties-bowl-6 hallo-ghosties-bowl-7 hallo-ghosties-bowl-8 hallo-ghosties-bowl-11 hallo-ghosties-bowl-10


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A Good Kind of Exhaustion

If you have ever helped put on a major event you’ll understand how one feels joy and exhaustion at the same time. Joy that so many visitors and participants come together to experience quilt making and fiber art, and exhaustion for being part of, in this case, an all volunteer organization in an almost 55,000 square foot room! Thanks to the quilt makers who entered their quilts for display, without whom there wouldn’t be a show.

The 35th Annual San Diego Quilt Show was the event and I was fortunate to be asked once again to display my Photograph of Fiber series. I’ll share photos of my exhibit and more quilts in future posts. I was also the chairperson for the Quilt Sales booth where we offered quilts: old and new, tops and blocks, along with other quilt or fiber related creations.

2016 sdqs quilt sales booth west 2016 sdqs quilt sales booth east

Being a bit of a control freak, I set the booth up by myself (with some help from my Mister). Plenty of people offered to help but nooooo! So I’m still feeling tired but very pleased with the booth. Many visitors purchased quilts for themselves or gifts for someone they love.

I’m amazed that some of our members are fifteen plus years older than I and they worked their butts off, had fun and stayed positive… I think there may have been a lot of coffee involved! I also discovered that being on the receiving end of hundreds of kind comments can be exhausting too!

It was a beautiful show and the volunteers who helped to make it happen are awesome and should be proud. I’m looking forward to next year when San Diego and postcards will be the theme. So if you are reading this and participated in the 2016 show (especially in the Quilt Sales booth)… Thank you and I hope to see you next year!

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Fiber and Wood

I know technically wood is fiber but in this case it is second to the fabric fiber. Here is one of my mini art quilts, from the flora series, mounted on acrylic and displayed on a pieces of (old pallet) hardwood. The top is hand appliqued because at that time I didn’t realize just how short life is! It is pillowcase turned and free-motion machine quilted (see back quilted here).

tulip quilt plexi reclaimed woodfree style flower5They are heavy so I have added 1/2″ stick-on (drawer) bumper “feet” to protect the surface they are set on and to keep them from sliding around.

flora wood base image

Do you have a less than traditional way you display small art quilts? I’m going to do more mounting on canvas too.

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Something New and a Little Green

I was gifted an herb planter set for Mother’s Day (from my Mister), and even though they were in a sunny window, it wasn’t going well until I placed them outside in the (filtered) sun. At first I thought – In jars without drain holes, bad idea but…herbs july Now they are very happy and I don’t feel like a plant killer! Hopefully the cilantro (the one I most wanted) won’t bolt.

herbs august 7I’m not a watercolor on paper artist but because I made the mistake of leash training Kona, I seem to be spending more time out on the kitchen deck, so I decided to try my hand.


I admire anyone who can paint Plein Air… I’m intimidated by it!

herbs watercolor

Painted on Watercolor Postcards stock (it’s tiny)

Back in the studio where I feel more confident… Here is a little detail of my most recent Photograph on Fiber series piece. It will be on display at the San Diego Quilt Show August 30 (evening Preview Party) through September 3, 2016. After the piece professionally photographed I’ll share it on the blog.

still moring detail

Hand painted whole cloth, stamped using hand made stamps, and machine quilted.

As I was writing this about twenty green parrots flew over… such a perfect ending!

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Carving and Printing

I have had a small lino block for some time now but keep putting off carving it. There seems to be a bit of fear! In the meantime I have been carving Speedball Speedy Carve rubber and having a blast with it! Printing on silk organza, as well as hand painted and dyed cotton using textile paint. Then I used the textile paint on a Gelli Arts plate and I just love how the results don’t look much like the original print (clear and clean) but more like a fern. Have you used these product? How were your results?

curving printing silk gelli

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Fabric is Just a Different Animal

There is just something about working on and with fabric that I love. As I have mentioned before – generally painting on fabric is more challenging than on paper, especially when trying to achieve a watercolor effect. Paint doesn’t move much, if at all, when placed on dry fabric. Even wet on wet has limited movement when the surface is fabric, and there is no “lifting” the paint once it is down. I like all of the challenges and exploring ways to produce pleasing fabric and art despite them. And sometimes it seems that the planets align and there’s a surprising outcome. That was the case with my elephants and they (along with a nice photo) became a Photograph on Fiber series piece.


Textile paint poured & tilted  on fabric. The elephants just happened!

the elephants detail

The dimensional leaves are painted and cut Lutradur

elephants photo fiber

Elephant photograph taken by D & A Guild while traveling in Africa

Pieces from my Photographs on Fiber series will be on Special Exhibit at the 2016 San Diego Quilt Show . I teach a 15 lesson course at on how to make a framed version Photograph on Fiber pieces.

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I walk every morning and take quick shots with my phone. I’m happy when I catch a bit of nature in a neat composition. I spotted this face down, soft yellow flower and didn’t really see anything else at the time but after viewing the photo on the PC I noticed the texture of the walkway and the stress crack that has collected tiny bit of plants and dirt. All that texture sends me to a happy, inspired place!

flower downAnd sometimes the inspiration is right in my own garden as with this Golden Dewdrop/Duranta erecta, flowing through our fence.

gloden dewdropsI’m participating in the most recent Visions Art Museum Member Challenge and I can’t help but think that the cascading Duranta erecta inspired my composition. The theme is “Surface Design” which, to me, could mean so many things, unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to create a new fabric. Since I have been the fabric coiling queen lately I decided to make an art quilt using some of the coils… It is titled Fiber Flow and it will be on display at VAM from July 16 – October 2, 2016, along with many awesome art quilts and textile pieces.

fiber flow fin

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Fire season and Water is Life

We were hit with a heat wave this week but there seems to be a break today, unfortunately several fires have broken out around the state and county. Knowing how these fire can spread and the damage they cause, especially with the winds we have been experiencing, is always frightening. I live in an area that has remained unscathed by fire but I have friends and family who have lost homes (and pets) in past fires. I’m thankful to the firefighters for what they do every day and admire the strength of those who rebuild and move forward.

On a happier note – Recently I received a Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine in the mail and noticed a banner at the top of the cover that read “Water is Life – Exhibit at the United Nations. A few of the quilts from the Quilt for Change – Water is Life exhibit are featured, including my a triptych Clear Necessity.

So, I’m trying to be careful and not waste too much water while I paint more fabric…forest rays painted fabric1 june 2016 acrylic on fabric june 2016

The left piece was started by painting textile paint wet on wet, then slightly folding and left in the sun to achieve a sun print (the “rays”). After it dried I did a rubbing on a homemade foam leaf stamp using wax pastels and then sprayed the entire piece with water to soften the design. Center piece was tilt painted (Online lesson at and the piece on the right was made by laying a piece of fabric onto a plexiglass sheet that had acrylic paint pooled and dripped on it. Though the acrylic paint ended up thin enough to stitch on (video coming soon, I hope) Next time I will use textile paint so that the hand will remain softer.

If you paint fabric I would love to see your designs. I’m always surprised and usually please when paint meets fabric!


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Special Exhibit!

I’m happy to say that pieces from my Photograph on Fiber series will be one of the Special Exhibits at the 2016 San Diego Quilt Show. That link has all the information about the show.

If you don’t already know, these pieces began as a collaboration with my son whose photograph of a lone leaf inspired my fiber art. I figured out a way to incorporate the actual photograph and my fiber art quilt into one work of art. Some of the more recent pieces have been inspired by and include the work of other photographers (Always used with permission) and in one case* the photo was taken by me (*Gathering Evidence).


The original construction which included, in part; adhering the photograph to the acrylic sheet and drilling the holes, got to be too much for me. More recently I have had the photographs mounted to the acrylic and holes drilled professionally (a company I would highly recommend – ArtisanHD)


Working on this series has allowed me to paint and stitch fabric & fiber and stretch as an artist and designer and of course, exhibit my artwork. I developed an easier version and teach that as a course online at , where you’ll find more of my lessons, as well as lessons and courses on just about anything you may be curious about.

So if you are in the San Diego, California area August 31 – Sept 3, 2016, treat yourself to a colorful few days of quilts, fiber art, classes, and much more! I’m Chairperson for the Quilt Sales booth so stop by and say “Hi” and be wowed by the wonderful quilts.

Quilting Away,

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