Added Venue for It’s Not Easy Being Green

In addition to the venues I told you about here, the exhibit will appear

September 20 – October 27, 2016
Visual Arts Center Gallery
Mt. Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark Street
Gresham, OR 97030

Artist Reception:
Thursday, October 6th
11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the artist reception. I will check out the exhibit though. Click on the link above to see when the gallery is open.

Accepted For It’s Not Easy Being Green

I recently learned that my work Forget Me Not: Collaboration with Grandma has been accepted into the High Fiber Diet exhibit It’s Not Easy Being Green.  Three jurors selected 31 fiber creations, each including at least 25% recycled, repurposed or organic materials while expressing a struggle, whether personal or universal. (Click on image for a larger view.)

Forget Me Not - Collaboration with Grandma, 54 1/2" x 20", 2012, Not For Sale

The 3 jurors, Pat Bognar, accomplished photographer and teacher, Trisha Hassler, a superb mixed media artist and Columbia FiberArts Guild member, and Bonnie Meltzer, a transformative mixed media artist, contemplated 44 submitted fiber artworks to select 31 dynamic fiber creations for the exhibition.

High Fiber Diet is a sub-group of the Columbia FiberArts Guild, and is comprised of a group of artists located in southwestern Washington and western Oregon who choose to work with fiber to express their interpretation of the world and themselves. The members are committed to understanding the academic principles of art, integrating them into their individual creative processes, and applying their understanding of composition and design. I am thrilled to belong to a group who is committed to high standards of artistry and professionalism and who has for over twenty years successfully produced juried exhibits of fiber art, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, and wearable art.

Three confirmed venues for 2017 include: La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington, February 1, – March 30, 2017; The World Forestry Center Gallery in Portland, May 12,  – July 23, 2017; and Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon, September 1  – October 30, 2017. Negotiations for more venues are underway now. Watch for details in the near future.

Read about the work of my grandmother Hilda Elizabeth Packer Preston, its inclusion in this piece and awards that it has already won here, here, here and here.

Broken Tulips Done

In May I shared my inspiration and beginning of a new art quilt. Much has happened to distract me from completing the project, not the least of which was a persistent fear of doing the wrong thing. Thank you Kay for shooting that monkey on my back! And here is the quilt. (Click on image for a larger view.)

07-27-16 Broken Tulips

The last step in completing this piece was using white paint to highlight the areas where the sun turned the yellow-tipped petals white. It’s one thing to make mistakes using thread, it’s entirely another to make them using acrylic paint on a finished piece! Before painting the completed piece I experimented with the paint on fabric scraps from the stash that I used to create the piece. Why I didn’t think of that much earlier is a mystery. I can only say that I was listening to that monkey on my back and wasn’t stepping away to allow more clear thinking. Once I experimented with the paint and could see its effect on the fabric I felt a surge of confidence and dove right into painting.

This piece is 12″ x 12″, a size I like working in. Once again, I must acknowledge my gratitude to my friend Denise Oyama Miller who introduced this style of art-quilt making to me in February 2012. I have enjoyed the process of using it many times — search “Broken Ginkgo’ in the Art Quilt category to view more examples of this technique.

Acceptance at Art on Broadway Gallery

Two of my works have been juried into a guest show titled “minimal – just enough” at Art on Broadway Gallery. The gallery is located in the heart of historic downtown Beaverton and specializes in original fine art by award-winning local artists.

The call stated in part: “This show can apply to just about any art form. ‘Just enough’ could refer to a minimal number of colors, or to design, subject, or material.” The pieces accepted for this exhibit are Sunflower Scrap I (click on image for larger view)

Franki Kohler, Sunflower Scrap I, 12" x 12", 2012, For Sale

and Sunflower Scrap III.

Franki Kohler, Sunflower Scrap III, 12" x 12", 2012, For Sale

minimal — just enough

July 1 – 30, 2016

Art On Broadway Gallery

12570 SW Broadway

Beaverton, OR 97005

Artists Reception:  Saturday, July 9, 5 to 8 p.m.

If you are in the area, I hope you make a point of stopping in to see the exhibit.


Three Accepted for Fabrications

I’ve just learned that three of my entries for the Columbia FiberArts Guild exhibit Fabrications have been accepted. The jurors had 70 submissions to consider and 37 were selected. This is the first exhibit I’ve entered since my move to Portland last summer. The call for this exhibit stated simply:

We are looking for creative, bold work displaying a solid command of design principles and appropriate technique.

The accepted pieces are Broken Ginkgos II (click on image for larger view)

Franki Kohler, Broken Ginkgos II, 12" x 12", 2012


Broken Ginkgos III

Franki Kohler, Broken Ginkgos III, 12" x 12", 2012, For Sale

and Broken Ginkgos V

Franki Kohler, Broken Ginkgos V, 12" x 12", 2012, For Sale


Fabrications will be on view

August 1st – September 30th, 2016

ArtReach Gallery

1st Congregational United Church of Christ

1126 SW Park Avenue

Portland, OR 97205

Opening Art Reception
August 4th, from 5-8 p.m.


Concrete & Grassland Exhibit

I attended the opening artists’ reception for Concrete & Grassland June 3rd. This juried exhibit is a collaboration between Studio Art Quilt Associates and the Grants Pass Museum of Art and features 57 art quilts by 57 artists.  SAQA artists were asked to submit works that explored either the soft lines of nature or the hard lines of urban structures, or a combination of both. Almost 400 entries were submitted from around the world, including the United States, Israel, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Belgium and Lithuania.

Several of my friends from the Bay Area have work in this exhibit and attended the opening reception so I was eager to see their work and them. The exhibit had a nice splash of notice in the Grants Pass Daily Courier on June 3. Click on an image for a larger view.

06-03 C&G 1

The date was also the First Friday Art Walk day for Grants Pass so attendance at the opening was very high. I heard one of the museum docents comment that well over 200 people had come in during the first hour.

Photography was limited — prior permission from the artist was required — so I have only a few images to share here.

Dolores Miller wrote this about Monument for Humanity in the catalog: “La Grande Arche de la Fraternite, the westernmost element of the Triumphal Way in Paris, was inaugurated in 1989. Rather than glorifying military victories (as does the Arc de Triomphe de l”Etoile), the hollow cubic structure with its grand staircase was designed to express humanitarian ideals and inspirations.”

06-03-16 Dolores-Miller-1

Jennifer Landau says this of her entry Root & Branch:  “Natural and human-made systems are positioned side-by-side, one grounded in the concrete grid and the other in topographic meandering.  Peel away the outer layer of urban structures and peek beneath the streets.  There is a branching infrastructure of pipe and wire that maintains human life, just as roots and branches sustain trees in the natural landscape.  Roots may curve as they delve into the soil and pipes may stretch straight beneath the pavement, but both allow water and energy to flow where needed.  Streams wind through the landscape, small branches joining into rivers, while neighborhood streets connect to cross-town arteries.  The relationship of the two worlds is not always benign, yet on good days we experience them seamlessly, two halves of our existence neatly zipped together.”

06-03-16 C&G-Jennifer-Landau

Denise Oyama-Miller shared her joy in creating Grass Lake for this exhibit:  One of my favorite spots is a lovely rest area along Highway 97 at about 5000’ elevation, just outside of Weed, California.  At one point, it actually was a lake created by a lava flows that blocked a drainage path on the east side of the valley.  There was a hotel on the same site as the rest area.  In the early 20th century, a development project inadvertently broke through the seal of the porous lava rock, and the water drained out through what is called “The Glory Hole,” which is still visible today.  What is now left is a large, beautiful “wet” meadow just east of the southern Cascade Range.  It is a quiet, peaceful spot to watch the herds of cattle in the distance, nesting sand hill cranes, and the rare tiger salamander.”

06-03-16 C&G-Denise-Oyama-Miller

Geri Patterson-Kutra created Room With A View 2.  She says, “We create urban environments not only to provide shelter, but also to satisfy economic mandates, neglecting our natural world and limited resources.  Power lines march across the landscape delivering the electricity to light the cities and power industries.  Our homes are built shoulder to shoulder on concrete slabs, ignoring the fragility of the earth below.  My work explores the juxtaposition between grassland and urban demands.  Will the lines between the two continue to be blurred until our only memory of grassland becomes a screensaver on our computers?”

06-03-16 Geri-Patterson-Kutra

The artists enjoyed lively conversations about their inspiration for the work.

06-03-16 C&G-2

And there was catalog signing.

06-03-16 C&G-catalogue-signing

And then just a bit of happy-moment posing. Here I am with Denise and Dolores — each of us is a former regional representative for the Northern CA SAQA Region.

06-03-16 C&G-9

The exhibit continues through July 29, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Grants Pass Museum of Art which is located at 229 SW G Street. If you are near the area at all, stop by to take it in — it’s worth the effort.

Storage System for Art Quilts

I have just submitted an entry for an exhibit with my new community of fiber artists. New communities have new ideas about how to do things. The rules can be long and detailed. It can seem overwhelming at first. Is this just a reaction to change? Perhaps. But darn! This is the kind of thing that does nothing to promote my art or spark creativity. Okay, okay. Once the grumbling was done, I saw the wisdom in the system for protecting and identifying art quilts during the submission/return process for exhibits.  In fact, I’ve embraced the system so completely that I’m creating storage bags for all of my pieces.

Right now my art quilts are stored rolled, tied with selvedge strips, hanging slat tucked inside the sleeve. Now I’m creating a bag for each piece like this:  Click on image for larger view.

05-25-16 First bag done

The fabric is a ‘retired’ bed sheet. Here are the steps I did for creating the bag:

  1. Cut fabric 16″ wide;  for the length, cut the width of the piece plus eight inches  (more about this measurement later).
  2. Turn top edge of fabric 1/4″ and stitch.
  3. Position a sandwich bag on the right side of the fabric. Use a zigzag-stitch on the sides and bottom to secure it.
  4. Center a tie on the right side, top edge of the back of the fabric and zigzag-stitch it in place.
  5. Right sides together, stitch a 1/4″ seam for the side and bottom of the bag. Turn right side out.
  6. Insert a printed page with a photograph of the art quilt, title, dimensions, your name and contact information.

The first one is done. Just nine more to go.

05-25-16 Nine to go

I cut all the fabric pieces at one time and assembled the information sheets, sandwich bags and tie supplies. If I had to do this again I would have done one bag to test all my measurements — hence, the suggestion above for a more generous length measurement than I used (five inches). What I have will work but it would be easier with a bit more fabric at the top.

Oh yes, I realize that the image at the top of my posting doesn’t have anything to do with this project but I couldn’t resist sharing what’s happening by the river. I’ll be watching the maturing of those blackberries very closely!


Last month I had a vase filled with gorgeous tulips.

04-04-16 Tulips

I took many photographs of the flowers as they opened. This photo inspired the piece I am working on now. I chose to use a method that I learned from Denise Oyama Miller several years ago — she calls it broken color. I like the method and the results I’ve gotten using it before.

First, create a pattern. Transfer the pattern (reversed) onto fusible web, then cut the pieces out. Select fabrics and fuse the pattern pieces to the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the pieces slightly inside the pattern line. Place the pieces under the pattern on a piece of background fabric. Here is the pattern with my fabric selections already underneath. Click on an image for a larger view.

05-11-16 Tulips, pattern with fabric under

When all the pieces are in their proper place, fuse the pieces to the background fabric.

05-11-16 Tulips, fabric fused

Notice the lines of background fabric which peek between the pattern pieces — hence the technique name broken color. Now for the stitching.

05-17-16 progress

My progress is slow but steady. This is the first work of this kind I’ve done since moving to Portland last summer, so I’m a bit rusty with my execution. I’m doing more warm up exercises to get back into my rhythm with free-motion work. I also like to tie off my threads as I go — say, every 2 – 3 pattern pieces. I find that I get into less trouble this way. The back stays uncluttered so I don’t have to spend time getting those loose threads untangled in the stitches I’ve done for another section of the work.

05-17-16 progress back

Of course, one has to have the right tools at hand but when I stopped to do the finishing work on the first few pieces, I realized that mine were not in their usual spot on my work surface. Now then, where did I pack those things last year? Happily, it didn’t take too long to find them. And here they are:

05-17-16 tools I use

I found this needle threader on line years ago — don’t ask me where, I can’t remember. But this is the only needle threader that I have on my work table while I do thread work. I’ll be back with progress on this work soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve completed the final notebook cover, the one I’ve made for myself. 05-17-16 notebook done


05-17-16 open


I enjoyed doing the hand stitching on this piece. This one sits in my desk, waiting for the day when I need it.

New work and a new app

I am still organizing my studio — really, an endless task when you think about it. The only way to find the best place for everything in that space is to get to work. So here I go.

This is my first attempt at new work in over a year and I am feeling a strong pull for something familiar and small. I see this piece as an exercise in getting started again, not necessarily as anything that could be meaningful to my portfolio. I’ve chosen the small challenge of working in a color scheme not familiar to me, purple. After pulling out a hand-full of fabrics that looked compatible, I hand-ripped strips of fabric and started laying them atop an 18″ x 18″ backing-and-batting stack. Here they are pinned in place with netting to the right.

02-07-16 background ready to stitch

The fabrics are a mix of hand-painted, hand-dyed, discharged and commercial. It is fun to see these ‘old friends’ once again.

And here it is stitched:

02-12-16 background stitched

I have no clear idea about where this is going. I have a couple ideas that are floating about including using fused applique, thread painting and/or handwork. I may use some of those techniques or all, but let’s just say you shouldn’t be surprised to see some old themes used here.

Meanwhile, inspired by friends who have an iPhone app for converting photographs to watercolor-like images, I have located a similar app for my android phone. I’ve even figured out how to use it — can we say I’m not an early adopter? — though I’m far from proficient. Here is a recent photo of my favorite tug on the Willamette River positioning a barge.


And here is the same photo after running it through my new app:


Pretty cool! Stay tuned as I work my plan for creating art on a more regular basis.

What are your challenges lately? What new thing(s) have you tried?

Broken Color Exhibit

I have the good fortune to have my work hung with two other artists, a ceramicist and a painter, for a group show entitled Broken Color.

Black Oak II, 12" x 12", 2014, Private Collection

Black Oak II, 12″ x 12″, 2014, Private Collection

You’ll be treated to ceramics by Bobbie Altman and paintings by Heather Robinson.


Broken Color Group Show will be on view

September 1st – October 31st, 2015

Creative Framing & Gallery
2700 Park Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94606

Opening Art Reception, First Friday:
September 4th, 2015 from 6-9pm

First Friday, Artist Reception:
October 2nd, 2015 from 6-9pm

Franki Kohler, Broken Ginkgos IV, 12"x12", 2012, For sale

 I hope you’ll be able to stop by during this extended exhibit period. If you do, please let me know what you thought about it.

Harrington Gallery Acceptance

I’m very happy to say that Broken Ginkgos III has been accepted for Fresh Works V at the Harrington Gallery. The juror for this exhibit was Philip Linhares, former Chief Curator at the Oakland Museum of California and Director of the Mills College Art Gallery (my alma mater).


Franki Kohler, Broken Ginkgos III, 12" x 12", 2012, For Sale

Entries from all forms of art were accepted so there will be a nice variety on display. Harrington Gallery is part of the Firehouse Arts Center — read more about the Center and view some photos here.

Mark your calendar now for

Fresh Works V
May 2 – June 6, 2015
Artist Reception: Saturday, May 2, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Harrington Gallery
4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton

This arts center is impressive. I hope to see you there.

Three Accepted for Best of the Valley

The three entries I submitted have been accepted for the Best of the Valley exhibit April 10-12 in Lindsay, California. Two of the pieces are recently completed art quilts — Ginkgos in the Round  (click on image for larger view)

Ginkgos in the Round, 12" x 12", 2014, For Sale

and Hand of the Artist

Hand of the Artist_Full

The third art quilt accepted is Oakleaf Hydrangea II

Oakleaf Hydrangea II, 28 1/4" x 26 1/4", 2013, For Sale

Oakleaf Hydrangea II, 28 1/4″ x 26 1/4″, 2013, For Sale

The exhibit will be held at the
McDermont Field House
365 N. Sweet Brier
Lindsay, CA

Here’s the link for more information about Best of the Valley.

Happy to be Back

Since my last posting of January 28, my site has been completely rebuilt. My goal with this remodel was to create a professional appearance and a user friendly environment to navigate. I hope that you take the time to peruse the entire site and share your thoughts with me either as a comment below or as a more private email (just click on the Contact button in the top right corner or the envelope symbol to the right). I’m happy to be back here sharing what I’ve been up to.

I finished the work on Going in Circles, the piece I shared with you on January 28. Because this style of work is such a stretch for me, the decisions took a long time.


I liked the overall look of the piece but I wanted another layer of design that probably wouldn’t be noticed until the viewer stepped closer. Here are a few detail images to point out those design elements. Click on an image for a larger view.

I followed a quilting line on the top left corner with a simple blanket stitch.


And again on the lower right side I followed a quilting line with the blanket stitch.


Little x’s in the same orange color as the rectangle were added to the spiral here and simple straight stitches were added to the bottom left corner.


More x’s on the top right corner.


This will be a nice companion piece to Hand of the Artist.


Artist Reception at Firehouse Arts Center

I attended the artist reception at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton last night. It was the opening day for exhibits including the California Watercolor Association  — 75 artists had work hung — photo montage and collage artist, Deborah Griffin, and me. Click on image for larger view.


Yes, the center is a former firehouse, ca. 1888. Today, this state-of-the-art building is a 20,000 sq. ft. cultural arts center featuring a 227-seat theater, a 2,000 sq. ft. fine arts gallery, an 1,800 sq. ft. classroom space, and an hourglass shaped grand lobby that links downtown Pleasanton to the center’s Parkside patio and an adjacent park.

I was thrilled to have my work featured in the grand lobby with 5 art quilts

01-15-15 Artist reception 1

and an alcove upstairs with another 5 art quilts. A bridge walkway is the final entrance to this alcove (note the pole).

01-15 Firehouse Artist reception-7


The evening was buzzing with energy. There were many questions about my fiber art.


And I was happy to answer every one of them.


I was glad to receive a copy of a newspaper article about the exhibit from the gallery curator.

01-15 The Independent article about ehxibit

The arts are alive and well in Pleasanton.


If Ginkgos Could Talk for The 100

If Ginkgos Could Talk, 8" x 8" matted 12" x 12"

If Ginkgos Could Talk is ready to go to its new home. Click on image for a larger view. This is my contribution to Virginia Spiegel’s ACS Fundraiser The 100. This one-day event happens on February 4th. It’s not too early to mark your calendar because the first 100 patrons to sign up and contribute $100 will receive a randomly selected original artwork, made and donated by an invited artist.  When they’re gone, they’re gone. The money raised from this one day will push the total for Fiberart for a Cause to a cool quarter million dollars.  For a preview of the outstanding work made to date, check the Pinterest page being curated by Deborah Boschert here.

If Ginkgos Could Talk is 8″ x 8″ matted to 12″ x 12″, ready to be framed. (Pictures enlarge when clicked.) A description of the piece is attached to the back. The ginkgo is thread painted and surrounded by dense quilting. A simple line of beads and bold outline stitching at the corners frame and finish this piece.

If Ginkgos Could Talk, detail

I have long been enthralled with the ginkgo leaf. Every time I use this simple leaf as a design element in a quilt, I fall more deeply in love with it. The order to which the ginkgo belongs first appeared 250 million years ago. The rate of evolution within the genus has been slow, and almost all its species had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene (5.3-2.5 million years ago); the exception is the sole living species, Ginkgo biloba, which is only found in the wild in China, but is cultivated across the world. Imagine the stories the ginkgo could tell!

FFAC2015logoGreat art donated for a great cause — another win/win situation you could be a part of. Mark your calendar now so you can add to your art collection.

This posting is linked to Off the Wall Friday.







Happy Creative New Year

My last posting was on Christmas Day. From there daily events took over and I missed my usual schedule of posting. It happens. I’m over it.

I’m on to the new year now. I know it’s official because I just took the first images of 2015 and created a folder for them. Here is a peek at what is moving and shaking in my world.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the revision that I made to Hand of the Artist. I’m a member of a critique group which meets monthly. I shared this piece with them and one of the members suggested a slight change in arranging some of the beads. I played with the idea and liked it a lot. Click on image for a larger view.

Hand of the artist, changesThe change is rather subtle: a number of the turquoise beads have been moved to form small clusters. You can see the original design by clicking on the link above.

I put the final touches on Black Oak and printed a label for it.

Black Oak label

And just in time, too, because it goes to the photographer tomorrow (along with Hand of the Artist).

I’m working on a piece that was begun in Lorie McCown‘s class in Tahoe. I removed the original straight-line stitching (you can see the white marking line which is not permanent) and stitched large free-motion loops over the surface. Then I started cutting out circles.

Work in progress

Right now I don’t know which end is up on this piece — literally. I’m simply putting down one thing, then the next, making decisions as I go about color and stitches. I’m enjoying hand stitching and the go-with-the-flow approach I’ve adopted for this small piece. I’m keeping the stitches simple

Work in progress, detail 2

and will let the work tell me what it needs.

Work in progress, detail 1

I have been seriously missing sketching and watercolor work. Somehow I let the time for that creative pleasure vanish. I’m resuming the on-line class with Val Webb for sketching cats and dogs later this month (I had to drop out of it because I was over committed. I know that doesn’t happen to you!). I’m so looking forward to her instruction and getting back into a regular habit of sketching.

I have also signed up for an on-line class on blogging with WordPress. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a while but I know that I’ll learn from the class and it will also help me get back into the swing of regularly writing.

Some of the artists that I follow have a practice of adopting a single word as a mantra for the year — an interesting prompt. I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that, but if I did, my word (at least for now) would be DAILY. I am a person who thrives on order and schedules. The kind of habit I seek is not only good for my psychic well-being, it means that I am productive in the creative areas I choose.

New lessons don’t begin for a few days though, but there is no reason not to pick up a pencil and paint brush now. This charming teacup was a gift from a dear friend many years ago.


I’m off to sketch!

What are you doing to get 2015 off to its creative start?

Ginkgos in the Round Accepted for VAM Exhibit

I am thrilled to share the news that Ginkgos in the Round will be part of Visions Art Museum’s website exhibit Stories.

Ginkgos in the Round, 12" x 12", 2014, For Sale

Ginkgos in the Round, 12″ x 12″, 2014, For Sale

VAM invited its artist-level members to submit their work for on-line exhibits this year. See the first two exhibits — Wild Thing! and Up/Down — here. I applaud their continuing and creative ways of getting the word out about the relevance of contemporary fiber art.

Stories is scheduled to be live January 1, 2015. Be sure to check it out — I’m bound to be in great company!

Ginkgo Dust Up Headed to Dili, Timor Leste

I am thrilled to announce that as part of the U. S. Department of State Art in Embassies program, Ginkgo Dust Up will be on exhibit in the U.S. Embassy residence in Dili, Timor Leste, beginning this spring.

Ginkgo Dust Up, 27 1/2" x 54 3/4", 2009, For SaleThe curator for this exhibit explained that the theme for the new exhibition is fiber art.

Fiber plays an important role in the culture of East Timor; their Tais cloth is a form of traditional weaving created by women and used for a variety of purposes. We think that the people of East Timor will be interested in seeing and learning about American textiles.

The Art in Embassies program was founded in 1963 with the mission of creating exhibitions of original art for display in the public rooms of the U. S. diplomatic residences worldwide. The residences serve as centers for official state functions, and the exhibitions provide tangible focal points around which to build public outreach. Each exhibition becomes a part of the ambassador’s cultural mission.

I applaud the new ambassador’s focus on Tais cloth and Fiber art, both  significant contributions of the women of East Timor and the United States, to their cultural heritages. I am honored to be a part of an exhibit whose purpose is outreach and education between cultures.