Overwhelmed but in a Good Way…

I have been finishing up some deadline projects and that feels good. There is always a bit of stress that goes with that and I often swear I’m not going to get myself into that situation again.  But then the mind starts going and the ideas start flowing and I’m at it again (my own worst enemy!) I love making art and I know that I’m lucky to be able to spend my days creating.
Here are a couple pieces I share in my new course – How to Make a Photo on Fiber Mixed Media Art Quilt, at Curious.com. Here is a discount link if you are interested in my lessons and over 20,000 more on Curious.com.

snow bunny

Snow Bunny photo of bunny photo by J. Krefting

garden path

Garden Path photo and fiber by Ann

Garden Path is the main piece in my new course. From developing the design, to the fiber elements, to quilting the heck out of the borders, it was a fun project. I love growing a photo past the edges using fabric and fibers!

I often make landscapes but I think using a wedding or baby photograph would be great subjects to softly surround with fiber. Or maybe not so softly…I can imagine heavy metal too!


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Flower Power

We walked on Coronado Island this morning. There were beautiful and colorful gardens and flowers everywhere. I love flowers even though Kona (aka the cat) will inevitably chew on any that arrive in our home, they still brighten my day.


From my sister

When I lecture I often talk about how there really is something for everyone in quilting and fiber art and I use these three fused flower pieces to demonstrate that in a small way…

basic flower solid fabrics

Solid fabrics

flower solid fabric pastel

Solid fabrics with wax pastel detailing

flower embroidered

Printed fabric hand embroidered detail

So whether you are a solid fabric kind of person or one who likes colorful prints and embellishments, I hope you enjoy every minute of your creative life and share it with someone else… I’ll bet you’ll brighten their day too.

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Love a Parade?

We live in the city but we are part of a couple smaller communities whose business district has for the past 11 years held a Halloween parade know as the Boo Parade. It runs down “main street” which really isn’t a main street anymore but rather just one of the most used streets running east to west through our area. The start of the parade is only a couple blocks from our home so we usually walk up and stay for a short time.

mez and lady

My mom and Lady

My favorite part of the parade is when the horses come through but that’s usually toward the end, probably so the marching bands and sirens don’t spook them. I have a romanticized view of horses, maybe because I’m a city girl whose mother’s family owned a blind horse on the farm and I’ve never had to clean out stalls and pick up manure. Anyway, this year I stayed for the entire parade and finally saw horses.horseHowever my favorite part of the parade was not actually in the parade at all…dachshund horse boo parade dachshund horse throwing rider boo parade
Happy Halloween!

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Sky watcher

We have a second story bedroom with a deck. There are no plants or furniture on the deck. It is south facing and the sun beat on it all day long so no need for places to sit or sun toasted plants. But most mornings and evenings one or more of us will be out on that deck watching the sky. It is important to us that we stop and look to the sky. It is something we have always shared as a family and even though the sons are adults they still marvel at all that is going on over our heads; how the wind changes the clouds, to see something we have never seen before and will never see again. And for me it is inspiring! I will try to paint this on fabric some day.

This morning…sunrise oct 25 2015




and a little later.sky oct 25 2015 changing

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Painted Fabric and a Binding Question

Yesterday I started the day by painting fabric, then I did a bit of quilting and worked on another lesson for my up coming Curious.com course and I did do a few of those pesky household chores. Those are some of my favorite things (except the chores), painting and surface design way up on the top of that list.

Here is a slice of a triptych I’m working on. I used textile paints, a flour resist and wax pastels. I wrote about my “scab” fabric a few posts back. Well, the parched earth part of this triptych is what was under that “scab” but here it has wax pastels applied over it.  The center water area is actually the back of a larger piece of painted fabric and the sky above it is from the front of that fabric. I’m quilting it now, when it’s finished I’ll post the entire piece. But…

I’m not sure how to bind it because of the design running from one edge to the next third. If I add my Butted corner binding I would piece the binding so the blue has blue binding and the brown has brown but still I’m afraid it would stop or break the design. I could satin stitch or stitch over cording on the edge the way Carol Ann Waugh does. Any ideas? How would you finish the edges of this piece?

Triptych slice

Triptych slice Part of one third


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Fall, Food, and Specialty Fabrics…

Fall seems to bring out the cook in me, even though we haven’t had much Fall yet. A couple of days ago I made soup and yesterday I made calzone because we’ve had a bit of reprieve from the 90 degree weather. calzone

We have had heat for far too long now.  I shouldn’t complain because the warm weather is fantastic for painting fabric, which I have been doing in-between everything else. I have been painting special order fabric for a friend and customer who’s working on a very neat project. I’ll share more about that later. Most of the time I enjoy the challenge of painting commissioned pieces for other art quilters. The best part is when they are pleased with the results, then they cut it up, put it back together and create their own art quilt or fiber project.

cocoa ringsSpeaking of Fall and fabric,  a couple days ago I came across this painted fabric I call Cocoa Rings (there are some mini marshmallows too. Can you see them?) I’m still not sure what I will do with it. I kind of like it just as it is but we will see.


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Ornery and a Little Gross

I can be ornery sometimes. I should preface this with a little back story. My husband is a mountain biker and the day before his 60th birthday he (who thinks he is still 29) took a spill (he crashed) on his bike. His injuries looked terrible to me, but he is not one to let anything get him down, not road rash or bruises. Luckily he didn’t break any bones, and now he’s made a full recovery.

The other day when it was about 97 degrees outside, I painted a piece of flour resist fabric. I took the below photos with my phone and later when I looked at them I had a light bulb moment. The fact that the fabric was brown with a reddish tint made it all the better.

I took the phone over to my mister and I said “Honey, when you were sleeping I took photos of your scabs”. I wish I had a picture of his face… he looked a little like he had been violated and a little like “that was a creepy thing to do”. I couldn’t keep my poker face and said “I’m just kidding, it is the flour resist fabric I painted BUT doesn’t look just like scabs?!” Yes, a little gross.

I’m happy with the way the fabric turned out. It is going into a triptych that I will share it in a future post. And I’m happy to say, the mister and I had a good laugh together and he has forgiven me.

flour resist 1
flour resist 2flour resist 3

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Quilts, Respect, and the Art Quilt part 2

I received wonderful responses from the art quilters I contacted with the three questions I posed in my last blog post. There is a great variety of styles between them and their answers are informative and thought provoking. I want to thank each artist for taking the time to reply and for allowing me to share their art quilts. If you aren’t familiar with their art I hope you will hop over to their websites.

Here are the three questions and their answers.

  1. Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?
  2. If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?
  3. If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

Joanna Mack (aka The Snarky Quilter) (Ohio)

  1. My work has never been submitted to or shown in any exhibit other than one for quilts. I think this is a function of one’s networks. I’m a lady of a certain age with no contacts in the local art scene.

  2. Even if I called my quilts fiber art I don’t think they’d be considered art by the art world as my observation is that around here works in fiber are considered craft.”


    Ripples in Still Water by Joanna Mack

Joe Cunningham (California)

  1. Yes

  2. I don’t think I have had it categorized like that. They just ask for the medium or media, and I say, “Cotton fabric, wool batting.” Or something similar. In other words I have only had my work treated as art in a mixed media show.

    circular logic joe cunningham

    Circular Logic by Joe Cunningham

Nelda McComb (California)

  1.  I have only once submitted work  at a venue that featured a variety of art.  I was the only art quilt artist and it was very successful for me as I sold 9 pieces.  There were all mediums: photo, ceramics glass, jewelry and a variety of fine art mediums.

  2.  They categorized my work as “art quilt”..Altho, I don’t think they really knew what it was all about until I set up and they saw my work in person.

  3.  I would consider entering into a conventional show that exhibited multi medias.

    Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb

    Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb

Betty Busby (New Mexico)

  1. I show in all media fine art shows all the time.

  2. Mostly categorized as mixed media.

    Tributary by Betty Busby

    Tributary by Betty Busby

Kelly Hendrickson (Minnesota)

  1. Yes I have. In fact, I found that my particular art work was MORE readily accepted in a venue with various mediums than they were in actual “quilt shows” or exhibitions.

  2. It all depended on the venue really. But I believe most often they were accepted as either Mixed Media or Textile Art.

  3. OK…I didn’t answer no but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on this topic. I would highly recommend entering art quilts in shows/exhibitions designed for all types of mediums…not just quilt shows. We are making strides in being accepted as a valid “art” form in the non-quilting world. Each time one of us gets accepted there, it validates our genre. And I’m happy to see that we are also beginning to be accepted as a valid part of the quilt world. That took some time as well!

    The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson

    The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson

Kathy Nida (California)

  1. I do this all the time! I honestly think my work plays better in the art world than in the quilt world. I am also a member of a women’s art group where one other woman works in fabric, but most of them are painters with a few sculptors.

  1. They don’t categorize it as anything but art. Most of the art shows just put the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and occasionally a statement or a price. There’s no listing of materials and technique.

    Love (not) by Kathy Nida

    Love (not) by Kathy Nida

Carol Ann Waugh (Colorado)

  1. I stopped entering “quilt” shows when I started mounting my fiber onto wooden panels.  That was about 6 years ago so all the shows and exhibits I do are in art galleries.  When I submit to a juried show, it is always an open show of all media and usually, I am one of 2-3 artists working in fiber.  The rest would be painters, sculptors, photographers, etc.

  2. Usually, an artist categorizes their own work so you submit a work as 2-D or 3-D and if they have a space for a “medium”, I submit as “fiber”.

Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh

Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh

Wil Opio Oguta (The Netherlands)

  1. Yes I have submitted art quilts for mixed venues – both in real life as well as online.

  2. Most of the time I call my work Fiber Art, but when I submit to a mixed show I always call it Fiber Art.

    Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta

    Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta

Shyamala Rao (Kuwait)

  1. Yes I have. I have displayed my work in International Quilt Festival in Houston and in The Festival Of Quilts Birmingham and several other venues.

  2. Yes. I (they) did categorize it as an Art Quilt. Sometimes if there was a subcategory of art quilt like art pictorial, I have chosen it, if my quilt was based on a photograph or a replica of an existing architecture.

Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao

Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao

I hope you have enjoyed the artists’ contributions as much as I have. We can learn from each other and pass on what we learn, and I think that by continuing to make, show, teach, and sell art quilts, eventually they will gain the respect (and representation) in the art world that we know they deserve.




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Respect and the Art Quilt

After viewing pieces included in the Akron Art Prize venues, The Snarky Quilter posed this question on her blog:  “Do quilts still get no respect in the art world?”

Here are my thoughts… First, I would say quilts get less respect rather than no respect. I think that it actually is the word “quilt” that makes it hard for quilts, specifically art quilts, to be accepted in the art world. “Quilt” still causes most people to think “bed” rather than “wall” and “utility” rather than “art.”

Maybe it is that I consider all quilts to be art, but only some of the makers call themselves artists. Is it that there is an art quilt world and an art world and they are too far apart? Does respect come when collectors/buyers display art quilts on their home and office walls, “legitimizing” them as art?

Nowadays vintage quilts that were made for the bed are being recognized as art, collectors are displaying quilts on their walls, and there are museums dedicated to quilts; in my home city we have one specifically representing contemporary art quilts (Visions Art Museum). However, this doesn’t mean quilts are entirely respected in the art world.

I have had “Art Quilt” submissions re-categorized as “Mixed Media” or “Fiber Art” and I believe it is because the word quilt, for some people draws a line between craft and art — especially fine art — with “quilt” falling on the craft side. I won’t even get into the craft versus art versus fine art topic!

I asked a few successful art quilters three questions regarding their experiences with their quilts in the art world. They were so generous with their replies that I decided to share their insights in the next blog post, so I hope you will stay tuned. I’ll be sharing some images of their art quilts too!

What is your experience with art quilts and their reception in the art world? Please leave a comment and/or answer the questions I have posed –

1 – Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?

2 – If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?

3 – If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

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I have a love-hate relationship with deadlines. If not for deadlines I probably wouldn’t have finished many of the art quilts I have started. But I also (gently) kick myself when I don’t get a piece finished by a deadline. Today I’m kicking…

This was going to Visions Art Museum Members’ Challenge – Curves. Deadline today!

To be continued

To be continued!

The worst part is that I started an earlier piece for the challenge only to be so unhappy with it that I started over. So now I have not one but two little pieces that I need to finish… someday!

I look forward to seeing all the other members’ challenge pieces, they are always spectacular!

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